Top 5 most-read stories: Community mourns Michael Ferrera; Getting away with merger

Staff report

We’ve rounded up the top 5 most-read stories on last week.

1. Aspen community mourns Michael Ferrara, a legendary adventurer and first responder

Pitkin County Coroner Steve Ayers knew Michael Ferrara for nearly 40 years and can share countless stories about his longtime friend.

Whether it’s the time Ferrara sliced a deer in half while driving too fast on a motorcycle on his way to Snowmass Village, or the adventures Ferrara had climbing in Nepal, Ayers said the stories are countless. And, so, too, are the lives Ferrara saved.

“The most amazing thing is that no one will ever know how many people he ministered to through his activities in the valley and the tens of thousands of visitors he helped,” Ayers said. “You cannot count the number of people he helped or the lives that he saved. It’s not a number that anyone could count, but it’s huge.”

Jonson Kuhn

2. Getting away with merger: How will Kroger’s plan to acquire Albertsons impact Aspen area stores?

Kroger, owner of City Market and King Soopers, issued a press release in October 2022 announcing its plans to acquire Albertsons for $24.6 billion, raising a number of concerns from state and federal officials of a grocery monopoly forming from a merging of the two grocery giants.

If approved, the deal is expected to close in 2024.

In an effort to secure regulatory approval, the two stores are in talks of selling off more than 400 locations throughout the country to C&S Wholesale Grocers, according to Bloomberg News.

Jonson Kuhn

3. Another one bites the dust: Mi Chola set to close doors in 2025

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and for Aspen’s popular local hangout Mi Chola, that end is Oct. 1, 2025.

Since 2016, locals have come to know and trust Mi Chola as an affordable familiar spot designed specifically with them in mind.

“We opened this for the locals and the working class,” said co-owner Adam Malmgren. “We wanted there to be an amazing place for the ski instructors, the boot techs, the working class to come hang out with us and have fun. We wanted a place that maintained some of the vibrant, rowdy energy that this town has been known worldwide for. It’s been the utmost important thing for us; there’s been no option to vary from that. That is who we are.”

Jonson Kuhn

4. Mayor: ‘I can hear champagne popping all over Aspen’; city council approval puts Lumberyard closer to reality

Aspen City Council on Tuesday voted 4 to 1 to approve ordinance 10, which outlines entitlements designed to attract a developer-partner to the $400 million Lumberyard Project, the biggest and most ambitious affordable housing project Aspen has ever tackled.

Councilman Bill Guth, the sole dissenting vote, thanked the more than 150 members of the public who weighed in by email, snail mail, and in person.

“I think this is a good project,” he said, adding that he is worried that the Lumberyard will not attract the developer it needs to make the plan a reality. “The execution has been less than ideal. … I am very scared about the impact on traffic flow.”

Lynda Edwards

5. Alpine Bank warns of text scams on the rise in Western Slope

Something is rotten in the state of Colorado. That one may smile and smile and be a villain … especially along the Western Slope.

Alpine Bank customers, along with other banks in the region, are being subject to what’s called a “brute force attack,” where criminal cyber-gangs are sending massive amounts of fake emails and texts telling consumers their bank accounts have been compromised or locked.

Alpine Bank President Glen Jammaron said that while there has recently been a concentrated amount of these scams reported in the Western Slope, he’s cautioning folks residing in the valley, as well.

Jonson Kuhn