In Brief: Buddy Programs aims to expand; 13-y.o. hits 100 mph in chase; Wild Perspectives back in Snowmass | AspenTimes.com
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In Brief: Buddy Programs aims to expand; 13-y.o. hits 100 mph in chase; Wild Perspectives back in Snowmass

Staff Report

Buddy Program begins 50th anniversary fundraiser

As part of the Buddy Program’s 50th anniversary celebration, the youth-mentoring program launched a fundraising campaign to expand to Glenwood Springs.

The organization, which began a small grassroots group in 1973, was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1991 and expanded to serve youth in the midvalley in 1994. In 2010, the organization expanded to Carbondale, and, in 2018, one of the four programs started in Rifle — thanks to a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado.

“The Buddy Program is well positioned to be a true, regional organization, serving youth and
families throughout the Roaring Fork Valley,” said Executive Director Lindsay Lofaro, who has been with the program for 20 years. “There are many youth-serving organizations in the Glenwood Springs community with whom we are looking forward to working with. We believe our preventative, mentoring programs for youth will complement the work being done currently in Glenwood.”



“If you want our valley to be a whole community, where everyone has a chance to live a
fulfilled life,” said Mark Iola, president of the board of directors and chair of the
campaign committee, “then we need mentoring programs in Glenwood Springs to give all young people a
strong foundation.”

Annually, the Buddy Program serves over 500 youth, families, and volunteer big buddies. The organization is one of eight mentoring organizations in Colorado to be recognized with a gold badge for quality mentoring.




For more information, visit buddyprogram.org or call 970-920-2130.

Teen driver tops 100 mph during chase

Nebraska state troopers arrested a 13-year-old driver from Colorado after a chase that topped 100 mph along an interstate highway earlier this week.

A state trooper spotted an SUV driving about 35 mph on Interstate 80 near the city of Kearney on Monday night, but the driver sped up and fled east when the trooper tried to pull her over.

The chase continued at speeds over 100 miles (161 kph) until another state trooper put out stop sticks, the Nebraska State Patrol said in a news release. But, the Nissan Pathfinder took an exit off the highway and kept driving, although at slower speeds, until a state trooper used a tactical maneuver to bring the vehicle to a stop, the authorities said. The entire chase lasted about 15 minutes.

The 13-year-old girl who was driving the SUV and an 11-year-old boy riding with her were both arrested, and troopers said they found a gun and a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle. The State Patrol said both the girl and boy are from Colorado but didn’t release their names. They were placed in protective custody.

Wild Perspectives series returns Jan. 31 in Snowmass Village

Wild Perspectives, the series launched jointly by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and The Collective Snowmass in 2020, returns Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

Wild Perspectives features accounts of world travel, adventure, and the natural world through visual media and storytelling. Events are free from 7-8 p.m on select Tuesdays in January, February, and March at The Collective Hall in Snowmass Base Village. 

“Our community is fortunate to have world-class adventurers and storytellers right in our backyard who are excited to share their experiences with all of us. This year’s lineup includes adventures from Antarctica, Corsica, Chile, and more,” said Chris Lane, CEO of ACES. “These personal accounts will leave you feeling inspired and compelled, curious about the places your own feet, skis, and belay ropes can take you, too.”

Wild Perspectives is free and open to the public, with a $10 suggested donation to benefit ACES’ environmental-education programming. Seating is first-come, first-served, and patrons are encouraged to arrive early. Drinks and food will be available for purchase at Mawita.

Thompson Divide comment period ends

Coloradans and supporters from across the United States are urging the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to move forward with a proposed 20-year administrative mineral withdrawal — which would ban future oil and gas leasing and mining — of the Thompson Divide, the Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop reported Thursday.

This call comes after the BLM closed a 90-day public comment period earlier this week. Administrative action to protect the Thompson Divide was announced by President Biden the same day he designated the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, the first new national monument of his presidency.

The agency receiving over 73,500 public comments in support of the withdrawal, according to Wilderness Workshop.

Green Building Council names Colorado 7th greenest

Colorado ranks seventh nationally when it comes to addressing climate change in its building practices, according to the latest U.S. Green Building Council report.

Charlie Woodruff, mountain regional director for the council, said Colorado certified 12.5 million square feet of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design buildings in 2022.

He added the state will have opportunities to expand the footprint through the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in the last Congress.

Debt builds for student meals in Garfield school district

Debt accrued from families not paying for student meals continues to grow for the Garfield Re-2 School District, an official said last week.

Numbers presented by Director of Nutrition Services Mary McPhee to school board members show meal debt service increased from about $24,578 on Oct. 25 to $35,511 on Jan. 11.

A big reason why meal debt continues to inflate is because district families who still qualify for free-and-reduced meals are simply not filling out their applications, McPhee said. 

Despite November’s vote to pass Proposition FF, which implements universal free meals in Colorado schools by the 2023-24 school year, Garfield Re-2 is still responsible for paying for the meal debt they accrue this year.

“Because, even though this is going to start next school year, we still need to get free-and-reduced applications more than ever before,” McPhee said.

This growing debt is pushing the school board to consider using collections services or putting families on monthly payment plans to help cover outstanding bills. School Board Member Jason Shoup worried, if nothing’s done, the district could incur as much as $60,000 in meal debt by the end of the school year.

“Then, we’ve got a really big elephant in the room,” he said. “I’m 90% sure it’s the same families that are struggling, but how can we fix that?”

There are right now 980 district students who owe money for meals. Another 1,800 owe nothing, while 2,000 students at Garfield Re-2 are positive in their accounts.