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.

A few years ago, the Aspen Poets' Society published A Democracy of Poets of the Roaring Fork Valley and Beyond, a book that features poems by local poets. Marjory DeLuca, member of the society and owner of Aspen Graphic Solutions, helped design and publish the book. She says the response has been great and they're onto their second printing. DeLuca shares the process of creating the book, and the expansion of poetry in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Kim Nuzzo, co-founder and president of the Aspen Poets' Society, and Cam Scott, member of the society, also contribute. 

Learn more about the Aspen Poets' Society and their monthly live poetry readings at or 379-2136.  

Lisa Max Zimet and Kim Nuzzo are the co-founders of the Aspen Poets' Society. Celebrating its 9th year anniversary this month, the organization was formed after Zimet, who was doing marketing for the former Zele Cafe in Aspen, had the idea of bringing live poetry readings to the cafe after a series of successful evening events with music. 

Zimet and Nuzzo share the history of the organization and the power of poetry. The Aspen Poets' Society hosts live poetry readings every month at Victoria's Cafe in Aspen. To learn more about the organization and their events, visit or (970) 379-2136. 

English in Action Executive Director Lara Beaulieu discusses the challenges facing the organization, as well as her goals for the future. English in Action has a waiting list with almost 100 individuals waiting for tutors - the organization will host a fall volunteer tutor drive in hopes of recruiting almost 80 new tutors.

Learn more about the fall recruitment HERE, and find out more information about English in Action at   

Julie Goldstein is the Board Chair of English in Action. She joined the organization in 2009 when she became a volunteer tutor. She shares her personal experiences in education and as a tutor, and examines the changing trends of immigrant communities in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Visit to learn more about how you can become a volunteer tutor. 

In the 1980's, an increasing number of immigrants - predominantly from Mexico and Central America - became a vital part of the Roaring Fork Valley. Some of these new immigrants struggled to learn English and in some cases, cultural divides developed.

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.