News in brief | AspenTimes.com

News in brief

City officials claim that the local government has stayed within its greenhouse gas budget for the second year in a row.

Officials say the city has reduced its overall greenhouse gas emissions ” the pollutants that cause global warming ” by 4.6 percent from last year and a dramatic 15.6 percent from “baseline,” which is the 2004-05 inventory of emissions that officials use to calculate overall greenhouse gas activity for the city.

City emissions were tracked from Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2007.

“Individual departments within the city of Aspen have all been charged with helping the city meet its goals to reduce emissions by 2 percent from baseline,” said Kim Peterson, director of the city’s Canary Initiative, which the city’s program aimed at slowing climate change. “Every department but one met the goal for the 2006-2007 measuring period.”

The Aspen Police Department last year failed to meet its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent below baseline, partly the result of switching fleet vehicles to Volvo sport utility vehicles instead of Saab sedans.

Future greenhouse gas reductions are in the works, with plans for $1.1 million in energy-efficiency upgrades at the Aspen Recreation Center, the installation of the Castle Creek hydroelectric plant and the possibility of adding hybrid vehicles to the city’s police fleet.

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But the department successfully was able to reduce its emissions by 2 percent.

The department launched a program called Green Day, a day when police walked or biked their patrol beats instead of riding around in cars. Officers also paired up for night shift patrol work.

In addition to changes in vehicle habits, the department dramatically reduced the number of hard-copy books and reference materials by using online information sharing. Automatic light switches also were installed in some office spaces to use less electricity.

The result was a 9.9 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Plans are in the works to explore transitioning the police fleet to hybrid vehicles, and the department will continue to practice Green Day in the community.

Computers for Kids will be honored by the El Pomar Foundation at the Awards for Excellence banquet, to take place Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Computers for Kids is an organization which helps youth work on computer refurbishment, customer service, accounting and marketing projects with local businesses.

Awards for Excellence honors outstanding nonprofits in Colorado and rewards them with grant dollars. Computers for Kids is a finalist and will receive at least $7,500. Winners will be revealed at the banquet and will receive $15,000. One nonprofit will be honored with the Spencer and Julie Penrose Award as the outstanding nonprofit organization of the year.

On Saturday, Copper Mountain opened the Main Vein superpipe. For the third consecutive season, Copper can boast the first superpipe opening in North America. For the debut, Copper’s superpipe welcomed ski and snowboard pros, such as Tanner Hall, to take some of the first hits.

Copper’s pipe is a product of collaboration between Copper’s nationally recognized Catalyst Terrain Park team and Snowpark Technologies. SPT and Copper now will work together to develop, design and build Copper’s nationally recognized Catalyst Terrain Park and the other parks throughout the mountain. Copper’s Catalyst Terrain Park and Main Vein Superpipe will host the Suzuki U.S. Freeskiing Open and USASA Nationals in 2008.

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