In Brief: Lit prize announcement; music fest tickets on sale; property tax appeal season upcoming
Aspen Words to reveal Literary Prize winner Wednesday
Aspen Words will announce live in New York City the next winner of its $35,000 Literary Prize in a program that begins at 4:30 p.m. Aspen time.
Kate Tuttle, executive editor for books at People Magazine, will moderate a conversation the the Morgan Library in New York with the five finalists and announce the 2023 winner around 5:20 p.m., with reception to follow.
The livestream can be viewed at aspenwords.org.
Aspen Music Festival tickets on sale
Aspen Music Festival and School tickets are now available online and by phone at 970-925-9042
(passes only available by phone) for the festival running June 29-Aug. 20.
Here’s a rundown:
- Lower-Priced Tickets: Lower-priced tickets have been added to Friday and Sunday concerts, now at $45, $65, and $90. Passholders can still choose seats anywhere in the hall for the same pass price.
- Season Passes: Music lovers can enjoy seating advantages and discounts with the flexible Season Pass. (May only be purchased over the phone.)
- Locals Passes: The Locals Pass brings music to full-time local residents at significant discounts. (May only be purchased over the phone.)
See aspenmusicfestival.com for more info.
Farm Collaborative celebrates Earth Week
The Farm Collaborative, a local non-profit, is kicking off its annual Earth Week celebration with a lineup of educational and inspiring ways to participate, organizers said. From an art display to a celebratory event, the focus of this week is about coming together to honor the planet, they said.
Earth Week will culminate with an event on Earth Day — Sunday — at the Farm Park at Cozy Point Ranch. The festivities will celebrate life in the spring and include a morning meditation, welcoming new baby animals, planting seeds, kid’s crafts and activities, launching the spring issue of Edible Aspen, along with a signature Earth Day cocktail for adults.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to register for their preferred time slot here: thefarmcollaborativeblog.org/blog/join-us-for-earth-day-2023
Leading up to the event, the Farm Collaborative is engaging with local schools to reflect on their connection to Earth. Kids were invited to submit artwork that showcases what the Earth means to them. All artwork will be featured online and will be printed as stickers to giveaway and a banner for all to enjoy at the Earth Day event.
In addition, the Farm Collaborative staff will be sharing what Earth Day means to them, along with Earth-friendly tips, DIYS, education, and inspiration on their social-media platforms and website. Follow @thefarmcollaborative for Earth-focused content during Earth Week and everyday.
Applications for child care financial aid due May 1
Kids First and the city of Aspen provide a financial aid program to help defray the expense of child care for working families. The deadline for applications is May 1, with assistance to begin in June 2023.
All families must apply or reapply at this time, which means new families and families already receiving aid.
Applications are available at Kids First or at cityofaspen.com/316/Financial-Aid. For more information, contact Kids First at 970-920-5363, 215 N Garmisch, Suite 1 in Aspen, or e-mail Nancy.Nichols@aspen.gov.
Assessor to accept property tax appeals May 2
Beginning May 2, the Pitkin County assessor will accept appeals and objections to classification and valuation of real property. Objections to the valuation or classification of real property must be submitted no later than June 8.
County officials said the 2023 values are calculated from property sales that occurred from Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. Those comparable sales will be listed on the county assessor’s website per area starting May 2.
Officials suggested reading the Tips and Tricks page under “Appeal Guide” on pitkincounty/assessor.com. Filing an appeal is free for the first two levels, they said.
Methods of appeal submittal in order of preference:
- Online appeal form at pitkincounty.com/198/Appeal-Guide.
The form is under Appeal Guide. Submit online using firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (970) 920-5174.
- You may mail your protest to: Pitkin County Assessor, 530 E Main St. Ste 204, Aspen, CO 81611.
- You may also bring your protest in person at 530 E Main St. Ste 204, Aspen.
Include your email address and phone number with your appeal, officials said. To speak with an appraiser, call (970) 920-5160. Appraisers will be available by phone through June 8 to hear appeals to valuations for the 2023 assessment of real property.
Personal Property: Beginning June 15, the assessor will accept appeals and objections to valuations of personal property. Follow above methods for submittal of appeals. All personal property appeals must be delivered or postmarked no later than June 30.
Appeals to real property or personal property valuations cannot be considered if made by a later date or after receipt of tax bill, officials said. For more informaion, call (970) 920-5160 or visit pitkincounty.com/Assessor.
I-70 work will slow traffic between Silt, West Rifle
The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Myers & Sons have begun a concrete slab replacement project on Interstate 70.
The project is located from Mile Points 85.5-98, between West Rifle and Silt. The work will replace approximately 13,000 square yards of deteriorating and damaged concrete slabs along the 12.5 mile section of interstate. Traffic impacts on I-70 will consist of single lane closures of up to one mile in length. Work zones will be stretched out along the project limits, with four miles between the zones. There will be no more than two zones at a time, over the length of the project, in order to minimize traffic impacts.
Additional project work will include approximately 100,000 square yards of grinding and texturing concrete pavement for smoothness improvements, rumble strips, guardrail upgrades, and bridge deck overlays with polyester concrete.
Once completed, the improved interstate surface will provide a safer and smoother driving environment, officials said. Work on this project is anticipated to be complete by the end of September.
Construction zones prone to crashes
In 2022, Colorado State Troopers investigated 1,138 crashes in construction zones across the state.
“Road work can be frustrating and sometimes confusing. This is exactly why it is each driver’s responsibility to stay focused on the task of driving while following traffic rules,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “There is no other way to say this: People’s lives are depending on you. Construction zones require extra caution.”
April 17 kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week, and with the warming weather, Colorado communities will begin experiencing an increase in road construction projects.
CSP is sharing the top causal factors of construction zone crashes investigated by troopers in 2022. Troopers found that a third of these crashes were caused by drivers following too closely to the vehicle in front of them. The second most common cause was due to drivers committing a lane violation in a construction zone (22%), and the third top causal factor was driving distracted through this high-risk area (17%).
Moe’s gives in to housing woes and closes Vail location
Barbecue lovers celebrated the end of an era on Saturday as Moe’s Original BBQ threw a closing party at its Concert Hall Plaza location in Lionshead for its final day of operation.
Enjoying the celebration with their patrons, owners Jeff Kennedy and Ben Gilbert said the Lionhsead location had become too difficult to maintain in recent years. The Lionshead location was the first storefront for Moe’s Original BBQ before the operation expanded to franchises in 16 states.
“We’re really trying to focus on 50 restaurants, but we keep getting sucked into one,” Kennedy said of the Lionshead location. “It’s just not working for us right now.”
It’s a sign of the times for the local business community in Vail, Gilbert said, but the problems Moe’s has encountered in maintaining staffing levels is not unique to Vail, he added.
“It’s all resort towns – whether it be at a beach town or a mountain town, there’s no housing,” he said. “And therefore, it translates into no employees.”