Top 5 most-read stories: Setting the forest on fire on purpose; understanding property valuation notices |

Top 5 most-read stories: Setting the forest on fire on purpose; understanding property valuation notices

Staff report

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

1.) Setting the forest on fire on purpose

The day started at 10 a.m. around a truck bed fully stocked with boxes of discount croissants, a bag of clementines, and a stack of Incident Action Plan packets. 

On Sunday morning, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Aspen Fire teams gathered at the Woody Creek Aspen Fire Protection District station for a briefing before the Collins Creek Prescribed Fire, the valley — and the White River National Forest’s — first this year. On Monday, the team will head to Avalanche Creek near Carbondale for another burn. 

Josie Taris

2.) How to understand the property valuation notices and what it will mean for property taxes

Property owners this week received a piece of mail from their counties — definitely not the fun kind. 

Assessors offices across the state recently sent out property valuations, and the jump in value is more than double the last valuation in some parts of the Western Slope and in Pitkin County. Owners are worried because property value is used in a complex formula to calculate property tax. 

Josie Taris

3.) The Hub of Aspen cycling shop is moving next to Clark’s Market as season arrives

The spokes are in motion. One of the longest-operating bicycle sales and repair shops in the city, The Hub of Aspen, will be moving locations this month.

Tim Emling purchased the business from Charlie Tarver in 2017 in hopes of keeping it a community-based business with services for tourists and the core resources needed for locals.

Throughout The Hub’s lifetime, the business has spun about town. But when Emling moved the operation from its other location above Eric’s Bar to 616 E Hyman Ave., he hadn’t projected another move.

Julie Bielenberg

4.) Remembering Travis Smith Sinclair

Travis Smith Sinclair’s celebration of life this past Sunday was a beautiful event. Several hundred community members and loved ones from far and wide attended to send him off with love, grief, and gratitude.

“Travis was the quintessential Colorado rancher on skis, and he loved everything these mountains and this town represents,” his family said.

Friends and family cheered and clapped and waved heartfelt goodbyes from the grounds outside of the Black Saddle where Travis’s family once owned one of the original ranches that lauded the foundation for this community. Travis’ children found themselves in a giant kid group hug so big they tumbled down into the grass.

Britta Gustafson

5.) Art or sandwiches in Wheeler tenant’s future?

On Tuesday evening, the Aspen City Council decided that Valley Fine Art’s current space in the historic Wheeler Opera House will go to a request for proposal (RFP) process for future tenants once its 10-year lease expires in November.

The council also specified what they imagine its future tenants to be — either an enterprise in the arts or an affordable, fast casual food model, or a mixture of both. 

Mia Valley, raised in the Aspen since she was 5, has operated her art gallery for over 24 years. In 2006, she moved Valley Fine Art into its current space at the city-owned opera house.

Julie Bielenberg