Top 5 most-read stories: Spotted in Aspen; Centennial affordable-housing rents rise sharply |

Top 5 most-read stories: Spotted in Aspen; Centennial affordable-housing rents rise sharply

Staff Report

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

1.) Asher on Aspen: Spotted in Aspen

There is a saying that I love that serves as one of the world’s great equalizers, “We all put our pants on one leg at a time.” It’s a subtle reminder that, at the end of the day, no matter if you live in a mansion or employee housing, drive a Range Rover or take the RFTA bus, have reserved tickets to Belly Up or general admission, we all have a pair of jeans in our closet, and we all put them on one leg at a time.

Glitz, glamor, and opulence take center stage this time of year in Aspen. The holiday bustle typically brings the most eccentric and affluent characters to town, making it one of the most sought-after times of year to visit. Tourists elicit entertaining and wildly absurd people-watching this time of year. Some are incredibly loud about their presence being known, while others fly under the radar and go relatively unnoticed. Stay with me as I attempt to outline the extravagant social gatherings from the past couple weeks in Aspen.

To kick off the winter season, locals and celebrities gather every year in mid-December for the annual St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship in downtown Aspen. Most people don’t realize that in the U.S., snow polo is held exclusively in Aspen. A-list celebrities like Kate Hudson, Shawn White, Rebel Wilson, and Kyle Richards frequent this event nearly every year. I watched from a distance as Kate, Shawn, and Argentinian polo player Nacho Figueras hopped on some horses for an impromptu photo shoot.

Shannon Asher

2.) Centennial affordable-housing rents rise sharply; APCHA and city officials huddle while tenants protest

Tenants at Centennial Aspen Apartments face a steep rent hike this month — well over the rate of inflation and possibly in violation of lease terms with residents. 

The landlord, Birge & Held — a national private equity, real-estate investment, construction, and management firm with offices in Denver and Indianapolis — posted notices to apartment doors in December.

The notices, dated Dec. 13, 2022, informed each unit of the impending rent increase, going into effect on Jan. 1.

Josie Taris

3.) Pleading accuses Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority hearing officer of bias

Lawyers are trying to establish that Mick Ireland had a built-in bias as Aspen-Pitkin Housing Authority’s hearing officer when he ordered a couple to sell their employee-housing unit last fall. 

In a court motion filed last month, Cameron and Patricia McIntyres’ legal team identified Ireland’s email exchanges with APCHA’s compliance officer, his contractual relationship with APCHA, and his outspoken opinions on housing as a columnist for the Aspen Daily News as evidence that he cannot be neutral as a hearing officer.  

“The Hearing Officer, like any human, has opinions to which he is, of course, entitled under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” according to the motion filed by lawyer Chris Bryan, who is co-counsel for the McIntyres. “But supposed neutrals do not publicly opine on the very topics they make decisions on. If a Pitkin County judge wrote an op-ed about cases they oversaw, disciplinary hearings would no doubt result. Nevertheless, the Hearing Officer opines about Aspen’s affordable housing one day, and then acts as a purported neutral in compliance hearings the next.”

Rick Carroll

4.) Remembering the legendary longtime local John Callahan

John E. Callahan, a longtime ski instructor, Mountain Rescue pioneer, and active community member, died at the age of 95 on Sunday.

“We’re all lucky. All four of us were there and held his hand as he passed away,” said Pat Callahan, 57, his son. His siblings John Callahan, Anne Marie McPhee, and Nancy Humphreys were with him. 

Callahan and his late wife, Cynthia, were inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame in 2017. 

Josie Taris

5.) Diana Ross to perform at first Snow Ball Gala, fundraiser for pediatric-cancer research

For film producer Thomas Pierce, losing his best friend to cancer changed his perspective on everything.

“I think everyone is touched by cancer,” he said. “I lost my best friend to cancer. And, I was asked by Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research to get involved, and I realized the need for pediatric-cancer research and early-stage science research of progressive rehabilitative treatments that are less toxic. There is a strong need and a gap to fill.”

After several years of working alongside Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation founder Denise Rich, who has raised $40 million for pediatric research, Pierce became motivated to help during the pandemic. He realized that, because of the inability for foundations to host fundraisers due to COVID, many were struggling to stay afloat, thus causing research labs and human trials to shut down due to a lack of funding.

Sarah Girgis

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