Non-Profit in the Spotlight

Every month, Aspen Public Radio picks a non-profit in the Roaring Fork Valley that is focused on service and improving the community for all. Each week, you'll hear a different aspect of our Non-Profit in the Spotlight as they explain their mission, challenges, and successes.

English in Action was created in 1994 when the Basalt Regional Library launched its Adult Literacy Program - committed to fostering a diverse community. In 2008, the initiative became a fully independent non-profit organization known today as English in Action.  

Executive Director Lara Beaulieu discusses the organization's history and importance in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

  Tim McFlynn is the founder and board chair of Public Counsel of the Rockies - he humbly refers to the organization as more of a "non-profit in the candlelight". And he has good reason for that - the organization is small, elusive, and tends to fly under most of our radars. But, he says it's time to bring more awareness to the public interest firm and its work. Chelsea Brundige, board trustee and head of the Counsel's Smart Water Program, says that they hope the younger generation of professionals and activities will continue this work. 

In 2006, Public Counsel began the process of challenging the 1963 Colorado Oil & Gas Act, that allowed the owner of a property's underground mineral rights to pump and dispose of groundwater to access the gas, with no permit, despite the protests of the surface owner.

In 1969, the Atomic Energy Commission used a nuclear bomb 8,000' below the ground in Rulison, Colorado, to crack a fracture zone to release natural gas. Thirty-five years later, a small Texas energy company applied to drill wells in the area. Chelsea Brundige, board trustee of the Public Counsel of the Rockies, and Tim McFlynn, founder and board chair of Public Counsel, discuss the case and outcome. 

 Chances are, you've never heard of Public Counsel of the Rockies...until now. This little organization is based out of the Benedict Building in Aspen, and has no staff, but is a heavy hitter when it comes to making big changes on issues of public interest. Tim McFlynn is the founder and board chair of Public Counsel. He shares the organization's history and his inspiration for creating it. Chelsea Brundige is a trustee on the board of Public Counsel, and runs the Counsel's Smart Water Program. She also joins the conversation. 

Renee Solari is the Program Manager for Education Services at SunPower, a solar company that designs and manufactures high-efficiency photovoltaic cells and solar panels out of California. The company has a mission to provide tools and promote education to students around the country. Energetics Education, based in Carbondale, is a recipient of donated solar panels from SunPower. These panels are used by high school students in the Roaring Fork Valley to design and build solar-powered cars, or Solar Rollers. 

Jon Fox-Rubin is on the board of Energetics Education, a non-profit focused on inspiring kids to study, learn, and develop new methods of clean energy today and in the future. Fox-Rubin shares his personal history in engineering and his passion for Energetics Education.

Visit www.EnergeticsEd.org to learn more about Energetics Education and the Solar Rollers program.   

Noah Davis is the Executive Director of Energetics Education, a non-profit organization that brings energy education to high school students through the Solar Rollers program. High school teams comprising of six students sign up to participate in Solar Rollers. The teams are given a solar-powered car kit which they must design and build, and eventually race against other teams. The third annual race was held in the Big Horn Toyota parking lot in Glenwood Springs in May 2015. 

Energetics Education is a young non-profit organization based in Carbondale that works to bring energy education programs into high schools. Established in 2014, the organization has one program - Solar Rollers - that gives solar car kits to high schoolers and hosts a competitive race for the school teams in the spring.   

Noah Davis is the executive director of Energetics Education and shares his personal history in energy and education, and what inspired him to start the organization.

Mike Simmons, Chairman of the Aspen Science Center board, and Jackie Francis, Executive Director of the Aspen Science Center, share their vision for the future of the center. The organization hopes to build a science museum where visitors (both locals and tourists) can explore, interact, and discover. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center and their summer programs at www.AspenScienceCenter.org

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