News in Brief |

News in Brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen residents who lived within the city limits for the entire year of 2010 are eligible for a $50 food-tax refund.

The city of Aspen created Food Sales Tax Refunds as an incentive to encourage voters to support a sales tax referendum. It was intended to reimburse voters for the approximate amount of sales tax that they would pay annually on grocery purchases due to the imposition of a 1 percent city sales tax.

Applications are available at the Finance Department window on the first floor of City Hall at 130 S. Galena Street, on the web at or by calling (970) 920-5040. The deadline for applications is April 15 at 5 p.m.

If you were a registered voter prior to Jan. 1, 2010, and your address has not changed, no further supporting documentation is required; however, you are still required to complete the application and submit it to the Finance Department prior to the deadline.

Those who have never received a refund or whose address has changed must provide proof of residence within the city limits for the entire year of 2010. Accepted documentation includes a signed lease, utility bills or canceled checks from January 2010 and December 2010 that include a physical address.

ASPEN – The Town to Town Tour, postponed as a result of lackluster snow coverage in January, is a go on Saturday, Feb. 19.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers will host the nordic tour from Aspen to Basalt on the Rio Grande Trail. Recent snowfall has left the trail with sufficient snow to hold the tour, and organizers are confident the snowpack will last until Feb. 19, according to David Hamilton, executive director of RFOV.

The snow has been packed with a groomer to help retain it over the course of the next week.

“We actually got a foot of snow between Saturday and Monday,” Hamilton said.

The tour starts at the Rio Grande Plaza in Aspen and finishes in Basalt, with an alternate start in Woody Creek. Snacks and beverages are served along the route, shuttles are provided, and crossing guards will greet skiers and snowshoers as they approach road crossings.

Participants of all abilities and ages are encouraged to participate. Early registration fees (before 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18) are $30 for individuals and $45 for families/partners, and $40 for individuals and $65 for families/partners on the day of the event.

Volunteers are still needed. To register or volunteer, go to, email, or call 927-8241.

ASPEN – Local backcountry group Powder to the People will host its second avalanche awareness evening of the winter season on Friday, Feb. 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Rio Grande meeting room in Aspen.

Featured guests for the talk are Brian McCall, local forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and local ski instructor/backcountry guide Anton Sponar.

McCall will discuss current backcountry conditions, recent avalanche activity and how the area snowpack is faring at this point in the season, and offer tips for safe backcountry travel.

Sponar will present a slideshow of his 2009 self-supported ski expedition to Mount Aconcagua, South America’s highest peak (at 22,841 feet), with former Aspenite Ollie Nieuwland-Zlotnicki. Aconcagua, which is popular with climbers who are warming up for the Himalayas, presents a challenge for skiers given its extreme winds. Sponar, a guide for Aspen Alpine Guides, ski instructor and ski tuner, will discuss how he used his backcountry knowledge and avalanche certification on the expedition.

Powder to the People promotes avalanche awareness and backcountry safety through its educational efforts. Contact for more information.

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