12/27/2006

Winter Weather Preparedness

If you live in Colorado, how did you fare during the recent blizzard? Are you ready for the next one? The Division of Emergency Management’s Winter Weather Preparedness web site has information on how to protect yourself and your family during severe winter storms. It covers preparations before storms and measures to take during storms. From there you can link to Winter Preparedness Safety Tips which covers additional topics, such as what to do if you are trapped in your car during a blizzard. You can also link to a site on Preparing Your Car for Winter – all good information and reminders for everyone.

12/22/2006

Avalanche Alerts

Thinking about skiing the back country over the holidays? You may want to check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for an avalanche forecast before hitting the slopes. Mouse over the map to see conditions for your travel destination. They also have current weather conditions by the hour for Colorado mountain passes. If you like statistics, the Information Center has avalanche accident statistics going back to 1997. They also offer avalanche survival classes and hold awareness sessions throughout the state. Go to: http://avalanche.state.co.us/Education/CAIC+Classes/ for a listing of upcoming events.

12/18/2006

Wilderness Survival

Recent instances of people trapped in the snows of the Pacific Northwest mountains serve to remind us that anyone venturing into the high country in wintertime should familiarize themselves with some important survival skills. The Colorado Dept. of Wildlife has produced an informational guide, The Art of Survival by 'Papa Bear' Whitmore. Available online and for checkout from our library, this guide explains wilderness survival tips such as what to do for food and water, and ways to signal rescuers. These tips are relevant not only for winter but for anyone in the mountains at any time of year. DOW also has an online article, Survival Tips for the Colorado High Country, which is mostly aimed at hunters but provides valuable outdoor survival advice for anyone heading to the mountains.

12/14/2006

Governor’s Advocate Office

Where to start? That’s the question many citizens have when needing to deal with Colorado state government. Our library can help with information needs; however, many citizens don’t know about the Governor’s Advocate Office for people having issues or concerns with Colorado state government. This office was created by Executive Order in 1993.

Go to the Governor’s Advocate Office website to see what kinds of complaints they handle, and review their list of referrals for those problems they cannot help you with.

An email link to the Advocate Office is on their site, through which you make your initial contact. Your concern will then be forwarded to designated advocate personnel in the appropriate state agencies.

12/12/2006

Online Education Performance Audit

On Monday the Office of the State Auditor released an audit report on online education in Colorado. The findings do not look good -- auditors found that online students performed poorly on the CSAP exams and were more likely to repeat grades, or drop out . The report states that the Department of Education has not be using the accreditation process effectively to improve the quality of education in online programs, and that there has been insufficient assessment of teacher qualifications and instruction practices. The document details several significant problems with the Hope Online Learning Academy Co-Op and illustrates the risks of having insufficient oversight and standards for online schools. The audit report is available online on the Office of the State Auditor's web site. Paper copies should arrive at the State Publications Library in a few days.

You may also be interested in the School Accountability Reports. Issued early last week, the reports include information on individual school's academic performance, CSAP scores, teacher qualifications and more.

12/08/2006

Children’s Literacy Resources

The Children’s Literacy Resources page published by the Colorado State Library, reports that 35% of U. S. children enter public schools at substantial risk for early academic difficulties because they lack readiness skills. Children, who start school behind, typically stay behind.
Children's experience with books plays an important role in readiness skills. Very young children DON'T need to learn to read or be forced to practice with pencils or memorize the alphabet. But from birth through kindergarten, they MUST take part in many activities to prevent later difficulties in reading, writing, and other tasks of formal schooling.
The Children’s Literacy Resources page provides information on who can and how to provide the kind of experience with books and words that will enable the child to succeed. It also provides several links for on-line resources for parents including:
Reading tips for parents and “Free resources on Early Childhood Literacy
Colorado State Publications Library catalog list several other items on literacy including a pamphlet entitled “Getting ready for kindergarten :bReady? Set? Go!” which can be checkedout.

12/07/2006

Capital Punishment in Colorado

Several state websites discuss capital punishment procedures in Colorado. The Dept. of Corrections has the webpage Capital Punishment in Colorado, which is a basic outline of information including privileges granted to death row inmates, procedures for execution day, and statistics. The Colorado Public Defender (which firmly states on their site that they are against capital punishment), has also prepared a webpage on the history of the practice in Colorado. In addition, the non-partisan staff of the Colorado Legislative Council has prepared two Issue Briefs. One, Colorado's Death Penalty - Back in the Hands of a Jury (2003), explains Colorado's death penalty's shift from being decided by a jury, to a change in law that gave the decision to a panel of judges, and then, when that was ruled unconstitutional, given back to the jury. The other Issue Brief, The Death Penatly - Who Decides, Judge or Jury? was published in 2002 during the time when the issue was being debated.

11/29/2006

Colorado Gift Guide

If you can't face the crowds during the shopping season this year, you might be interested in this handy online gift guide from the Markets Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The directory includes companies with products grown and produced in Colorado. You can find gift baskets, chocolates, tea, jewelry, woolens and a whole lot more. There are descriptions of the items that each company has to offer along with links to their webpages so you can shop from the comfort of your home.

11/27/2006

Colorado Open Records

Our library is established to ensure that all state publications are available to residents of Colorado, CRS 24-90-201. Another piece of state government information, records, is also available to the public through the Colorado Open Records Act, CRS 24-72-201. Under this act public records are open for inspection by any person at reasonable times. This law applies to all levels and types of governments within Colorado. Records should be available immediately; however state agencies have up to 10 days to make your request available depending on the size of the request. You do not have to identify yourself or explain why you want the records. You may, however, be charged photocopying fees. An excellent explanation of the law is in the 12 -page Formal Opinion of Ken Salazar No. 01-0. If you want to examine either statute referenced above, go to the Colorado General Assembly Homepage and click on CO Revised Statutes.

11/22/2006

Seat belt use

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the highest travel weekend in the year. If you are one of the millions of people hitting the road, we at the Colorado State Publications Library encourage you to use your seat belts and arrive alive. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) “Click it or Ticket” website, last year in Colorado 460 drivers and passengers died on our highways and 258 of them weren't buckled up.

To ensure the safety of children passengers, check out the Colorado Child Passenger Safety website sponsored by CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol. In addition to a link to the text of the law on child restraint systems, it has a summation of the law’s provision. The infant, car seat and safety belt provisions of the law are primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child in the vehicle.

To help have a happy Thanksgiving, take a few seconds to make sure everyone in the car uses seat belts and that all children use correctly installed child restraint systems or booster seats.

11/20/2006

New Light Rail Lines Open

This weekend marked the opening of the new RTD Light Rail lines to the southeast metro area. The opening of the Southeast Line also marks the official end to T-REX, the Transportation Expansion Project. Even with T-REX complete, new light rail lines will continue to be built throughout the metro area in the next decade. These will eventually connect existing lines with DIA, the west metro area, and more, due to the FasTracks measure approved by voters in 2004.

In our library you can find many resources on T-REX, the Southeast Line, and on rail transit's impact on Colorado, including:

For more information, see also the Colorado Dept of Transportation website and the T-REX website.

11/16/2006

Air Quality

As winter weather moves along the front range, we become more conscious of air pollution --the frequency of ozone and air quality warnings increase in the news, and it is not uncommon to see the occasional haze around our city skyline.
The Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment web site, http://apcd.state.co.us/ , has a lot of interesting information. You can check current air quality conditions, read the daily advisory report, look at EPA ozone maps, and access wildfire information. The division operates a web-based camera showing a live image of the city so you can check visibility from your desktop. The Air Pollution Control Division has recently released the 2005 Colorado Air Quality Data Report. This report includes data from air monitoring stations across the state, with breakdowns of pollutant concentrations, particulate graphs, and charts of wind patterns for each area. Comparisons with cities across the nation are also included. The report can be found online: http://apcd.state.co.us/documents/2005AnnualDataReport.pdf
If you are interested in researching the change in Colorado air quality over time, the library has issues going back to 1979.

11/13/2006

School Violence Manual

Our library just received the 2006 edition of the Colorado School Violence Prevention and Student Discipline Manual by John W. Suthers, Attorney General of Colorado. This expanded edition is a must-have manual for teachers, administrators, parents, and anyone interested in the problem of school violence. In it you will learn that bullying may constitute a crime; schools must adopt a safe school plan, dress codes and policies on gang-related activities; parents can be held accountable for the actions of their children. Other topics are on student searches, reporting requirements relating to crimes, suspension, expulsion and more. Legal references are given throughout for those who want more detail. Past editions of this manual are not online but can be borrowed in hardcopy from our library.

11/09/2006

Three Governors in One Day

The election is over and the state has chosen a new governor. Despite all the mudslinging, this year's election was rather tame when compared to Colorado's most controversial gubernatorial election, more than one hundred years ago.

The 1904 election between Democrat Alva Adams and the incumbent, Republican James H. Peabody, was full of corruption on both sides. The Democrats were accused of using "repeaters" in Denver and other places, while Republican mine owners forced mine laborers to vote Republican or lose their jobs. Based on the returns, Alva Adams was elected, but when Peabody found out about the voting fraud, he contested the election. But since Peabody's side had themselves engaged in fraudulent voting, an investigation was set forth. Adams took office but, following three months of deliberation, was replaced by Peabody on March 16, 1905 -- on the condition that Peabody resign within 24 hours. Immediately following his resignation, Republican Lt. Gov. Jesse F. McDonald was sworn in as governor (at that time Lt. Governors were elected separately, instead of being running mates as today.) The result was that Colorado had three governors in one day.

CoSPL has some very interesting archival material on this election, including a 1905 copy of the speech given by Peabody's lawyer, John M. Waldron, on behalf of Peabody. We also have reports of the General Assembly's joint convention to determine the outcome of the contested election, and a 1905 copy of Adams' inaugural address and remarks from Gov. Peabody. A full analysis of the 1904 election can also be found in Marjorie Hornbein's well-researched article "Three Governors in a Day," first printed in Colorado Magazine in 1968 and later reprinted in the Colorado Historical Society's anthology Western Voices (2004). Both versions are available in our library.

Jesse McDonald only served one term as governor. Neither Adams nor Peabody ever served as governor again. Adams, who had already served 1897-99, ran again in 1906 but lost. Peabody never ran again. His house still stands in Denver at 1128 Grant Street.

11/07/2006

Colorado's Hot Spots

Do you know where the hottest spot in Colorado is? According to the Colorado Geological Survey, the hottest spot in the state isn't Denver, Aspen, or Vail but a large area between Cortez and Montrose, Colorado. To find out other hot spots in Colorado check out the Heat Flow map on the Colorado Geological Survey website. Other interesting maps found on "Statewide Maps of Colorado" include: Digital elevation model -- Digital elevation model from the east -- Distribution of rocks by age -- Earthquake map --Earthquake map server -- Fourteeners (14,000 ft. Peaks) -- General interest -- Geology -- Glaciers in CO during the last ice age -- Gravity -- Late Cenozoic fault and fold database -- Magnetics -- Major rivers in CO -- Major tectonic & geographic features -- Mines -- Physiographic provinces -- Shaded relief map.
All the maps are interesting, informative, and colorful. Check them out for a unique and fun experience with some of the lessor known aspects of Colorado.

11/03/2006

"Marriage Proposals" on Colorado's Ballot

Two of the ballot proposals receiving a lot of attention this November deal with marriage and domestic partnerships: Amendement 43 and Referendum I. If passed, Amendment 43 would amend the State Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Proponents argue that this amendment is necessary to preserve traditional marriage, while opponents argue that this is already a statutory law and does not belong in the Constitution. Referendum I does not deal with marriage per se, but establishes legal domestic partnerships whereby same-sex couples can, when legally registered, receive many of the same basic rights heterosexual married couples are allowed, particularly in areas of medical decisions, legal documents, property, and child support. While proponents of Referendum I argue for these basic rights, opponents argue that this proposal is a step toward same-sex marriage and gives same-sex couples more rights than any two other unmarried people such as heterosexual non-married couples.

For a full analysis of the pros and cons of Amendment 43 and Referendum I, see the Colorado Blue Book published by non-partisan staff of the Colorado Legislative Council, and see also the Legislative Council's Issue Brief, Marriage and Same-Sex Unions.

10/31/2006

Fun and Facts About the Dead

Graveyards, ghosts, mummies – there is fun and fascination with the dead around October 31st. What is the story about disposing of human remains in Colorado? As far as the State of Colorado is concerned, local ordinances have the final say. A brief summary, Disposition of Remains or Cremains, can be found online on the Vital Records Section of the Department of Public Health and Environment web site.

10/26/2006

Referendum K

This November one of the ballot issues will be Referendum K, concerning whether or not the Colorado Attorney General should sue the Federal Government to demand they enforce federal immigration laws. According to Colorado's Legislative Blue Book, which lists pros and cons for each ballot measure, arguments for Referendum K include sending a clear message to Washington that Coloradans want the immigration laws enforced; and arguments against include an increase in taxes to pay for the time/staff involved. The Colorado Legislative Council, which produces the Blue Book each year, also produces a series of publications called "Issue Briefs." Included in this series is Immigration in Colorado: State Impact and Recent Legislation. Available online from our library, this publication describes the impact of illegal immigration on the state's economy.

10/24/2006

Economic Development Data Book

Our library just received the Economic Development Data Book, 2006, published by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Check it out! This is packed full of figures on Colorado economics, population, employment, technology, taxes, education, recreation, quality of life, utilities, and much more. It has been published every year since 1999, and before that every few years under the title Colorado Facts: Statistics and Comparisons of Key Indicators to Evaluate Colorado’s Economic Climate. Since only the current version is online, past issues are available in hardcopy from our library and from our depository libraries around the state.

10/19/2006

Traveling in Colorado

Winter travel in Colorado can be challenging because of the weather extremes and the difference in the topology of the state. The plains can be basking in sunny weather while snow piles up in the mountain areas, or the mountains are enjoying the sunshine while the plains are high winds and blowing snow that forces road closures. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has a website Road Conditions which gives the condition of the major highways throughout the state, as well as closures, restrictions, construction etc. In addition, there are links to the travel cameras located in various parts of the state. The information is updated and new information comes in. It is an excellent site to bookmark for anyone traveling in the state in any season

Ballot Proposals Regarding School Finance

On the ballot this November are two proposals that deal with school district spending: Amendment 39 and Referendum J. Though closely related they do not depend on one another to pass or fail. Each proposal requires school districts to spend 65% of funds on expenses specifically involving classroom instruction. For example, the 65% can be used on teachers' and librarians' salaries, books, computers, art, music, athletics, and field trips, while expenses such as building maintenance, administration, and school boards do not count toward the 65%. (Referendum J allows support personnel such as principals, counselors, and nurses to fall within the 65% while Amendment 39 does not.) Arguments for these initiatives includes increased funds spent on classroom instruction without increasing taxes, and establishing a statewide standard for spending. Arguments against include whether or not Referendum J is necessary, as, according to the Legislative Council, most school districts already spend approximately 65% on expenses covered by the Referendum; and that Amendment 39 does not take into account the administrators and support staff who do not have direct involvement in the classroom but are essential to the school. For the complete analysis of Amendment 39 and Referendum J, as well as the other 2006 ballot proposals, see the Legislative Council's Blue Book. Additional school finance information can be obtained from our library, including:

-School Finance in Colorado
-Understanding School Finance and Categorical Program Funding
-Financial Policies and Procedures Handbook: Budgeting, Accounting, Reporting, and Investment for Colorado Public School Districts

10/16/2006

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us have some connection to those who have had to fight this dreaded and common cancer. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides a great deal of information on this topic. Their Cancer web site takes you to the following 3 programs:

Colorado Women’s Cancer Control Initiative, which strives to reduce breast and cervical cancer among low-income women.

Comprehensive Cancer Program, which leads statewide cancer control efforts.

Colorado Central Cancer Registry, which provides statistics and reports.

Reports on cancer, including breast cancer, are found on all three sites, as well as in our collection, and are searchable in our online catalog.

10/11/2006

Audio version of the 2006 Legislative Blue Book

The Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) provides free service to Coloradans of all ages who are unable to read standard print material due to visual, physical or learning disabilities whether permanent or temporary. One of the many services CTBL provides for Colorado citizens is recording the Legislative Blue Book every year. The 2006 Blue Book is divided into four different MP3 files to make downloading easier. There are links to the file on both the CTBL web site as well as the Legislative Council website.
If you want to learn more about the services that CTBL provides please check out their web site.

10/10/2006

Term Limits and Retention of Judges

This November one of the ballot issues will be Amendment 40, concerning term limits for Supreme Court and appellate judges. This proposal asks voters to decide whether judges should or should not be term limited to four years. Proponents of the measure argue that new judges every four years will add some fresh perspective, while opponents argue that if a judge's performance is satisfactory, why make them leave? (See the 2006 Blue Book for the Legislative Council's official description of the measure).

Also on the ballot, (and unrelated to Amendement 40), voters are asked, as they are annually, to vote on whether particular judges should or should not be retained. The Judicial Performance Commission issues recommendations on whether or not judges should be retained, based on the Commission's evaluation of the judges' performance. According to the Supreme Court's pamphlet entitled "Colorado's Judicial Merit Selection & Retention System," (available in our library), the commission observes the judges and evaluates them based on several points including integrity, knowledge of the law, communication skills, "preparation, attentiveness, and control over judicial proceedings," "docket management and prompt case disposition," "effectiveness in working with participants in the judicial process," and others. To become a judge, a nominee must have been licensed to practice law in Colorado at least 5 years; must be a "qualified elector of the state," and must be under age 72 when their name is submitted for nomination.

10/09/2006

Colorado Ballot Proposal Information

At this time Coloradans are receiving the Analysis of the 2006 Ballot Proposals (or “Blue Book”) in the mail. If you miss your copy, you can access it on the Colorado Legislative Council’s site Colorado Ballot Proposal Information. This site also gives background information on the process, history, and the rules that must be followed. Past Blue Books are available as well, in English and in Spanish.

9/29/2006

Avalanches in Colorado

While it may seem that the snow cover is simply a beautiful winter’s blanket, it is
more complicated and dangerous than many people realize. Snow avalanches are a geologic hazard for anyone who lives in or travels through the mountains of Colorado. Several publications in our collection contain information on avalanches in the state. Two interesting publications are from RockTalk published by the Colorado Geological Survey. The October 2000 issue discusses avalanche formation and release as well as safety tip and gear, and educational opportunities for the winter sport enthusiast. The July 2004 covers the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), history and statistics of avalanche in Colorado (avalanche fatalities —1860 to 2004. Total known deaths are 643), an in depth discussion of why the snow pack in Colorado is more prone to avalanches than in other areas of the U.S., and a brief look at how avalanche forecasting helps CDOT keep the winter highways safer. Check out these or any of the other 30 items in our collection that discuss avalanches.

Historic Georgetown, Colorado

September and October can be great months for visiting Colorado's high country, with fairly pleasant weather and the gorgeous fall foliage (but be prepared for a snowstorm nonetheless). Instead of just driving up for the scenery, though, check out some of Colorado's historic mountain towns while you're there. These towns are a fun place to spend the day and offer a wealth of history to explore.

One of my favorite historic mountain towns is Georgetown. This is a great destination if you just want to get away for the day and don't want to drive very far. Georgetown is special, too, because it has one of the highest percentatges of historic structures still standing of any town in Colorado. Visiting this little town is truly a step back in time. Here at the State Publications Library we have a variety of resources that tell the story of this scenic mountain mining town:

-The Rise of the Silver Queen: Georgetown, Colorado 1859-1896
-Hotel de Paris and Louis DuPuy in Georgetown

-William A. Hamill: The Gentleman from Clear Creek
-The Georgetown Loop: A Capsule History and Guide
-The Pelican-Dives Feud: A Study in Frustration and Terror

Also check out the guidebook Colorado Museums and Historic Sites for information on Georgetown museums like the Hotel de Paris and the Hamill House, and the Colorado Historical Society has information on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Additionally, check our catalog for resources on other historic mining towns like Leadville, Silverton, and others.

9/28/2006

Our Changing Forests

Anyone driving in the mountains of Colorado cannot help but notice the dead trees due to the pine beetle epidemic affecting the western states. This will change the look of our mountains dramatically, and in a short time. Information about the attack on trees that have been weakened by years of drought and fire suppression can be found online in the following publications:

Colorado’s Common Insects and Diseases
Preventive Spraying for Mountain Pine Beetle
Mountain Pine Beetle
Mountain Pine Beetle fact sheet
Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests 2005

Recent news about the aspen forests is disturbing as well. Aspen trees throughout the west are dying off and scientists do not know why. The above issue on the health of forests has information on our aspen forests as well, but watch for the next issue which may have information on this latest development.

A broader look at Colorado’s forests can be found on the Colorado State Forest website. In addition, search our online catalog for information not found online.

9/21/2006

More Ideas for School Papers

Recently updated and on the Colorado State Publications Library (CoSPL) web site is a resource list called “School Research Topics: Notable Internet Resources from State Government”. The staff of CoSPL, Colorado State Library, is pleased to publish this list for educators, librarians and students. State agency web sites are a valuable resource in education from grade school through high school.

While the sites listed below are all available via the Internet, the CoSPL staff can help you find publications in printed format, too, deliverable to you via interlibrary loan or your closest depository library.

Web site URLs may have changed since the printing of this list. If a web address does not connect, go to http://www.colorado.gov/ and search by subject keyword. As with any use of the Internet by minors under the age of 18, educators and parents may want to monitor children's use.

· General Information
· Corrections
· Criminal Justice System
· Driving Information
· Education
· Environment/Energy
· Government
· Health
· History
· Kids' Pages
· Law
· Outdoors and Wildlife
· Social and Mental Health Programs

9/12/2006

Colorado Information for Grade School Students

Now that school is in session, our library can expect to receive requests for information from grade school students assigned to do reports on a state. Middle grade school students and up typically request information on such topics as Colorado industry, recreation, history, fun facts, and state emblems and symbols. The State of Colorado has assembled help for young students on a site called Grade School. The links on this site are chosen by the kinds of information students typically want, and they lead to sites that are easy for young people to understand. Check it out.

9/08/2006

Remembering Sept. 11

Next Monday marks the five year anniversary of Sept.11, and CoSPL has a few resources dealing directly with the tragedy, as well as information on what Colorado's government is doing to protect our state.

CoSPL's materials concerning Sept. 11 include a number of publications produced by CU-Boulder's Natural Hazards Research Center. These include:
-Emergency Management in the 21st Century
-Community Response in a Terrorist Disaster
-Victim Identification and Management Following the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers
-The September 11th Attacks on America
-Field Observations of Lower Manhattan in the Aftermath of the World Trade Center Disaster
There are others so search our catalog with the search term "September 11" for more.

In addition, we have some resources on Colorado homeland security, including the 2005 document "State of Colorado Homeland Security Strategy."

9/05/2006

Labor Day Revisited

Actually, the Labor Day weekend is now a memory, but how many of our thoughts turned to the workers of Colorado during that time?

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has web pages full of information for and about the workers, as well as, the employers of our state. Some of the topics are listed below:

Colorado’s Economy and Job Market –
Economy &Job Market
Employment/Unemployment Data
Job Vacancy Surveys
Occupational Wages

Current Labor Statistics- data for July 2006

Labor Laws- including youth employment laws

Unemployment Benefits- with link to a claimant handbook

Worker and Job Seeker Benefits- lists workforce center locations

Employer Services- post jobs here

Workers Compensation- compensation rules and how to file electronically

8/31/2006

Flood plains and you

According to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Flood Protection Program web site, there are estimated to be 65,000 homes and 15,000 commercial, industrial, and business structures in identified floodplains. There are likely many more structures located within unmapped flood hazard areas. To learn more about the Flood Protection Program go to their website and check out the Flood Preparedness Brochure.
The Colorado State Publications Library has several studies performed by the Army Corps of Engineers of flood plains around the state. Checking out some of these could tell you if you live on a flood plain.
If you think you live on a flood plain or wonder if you need flood insurance, you can go to the Division of Insurance's website and check out the Flood Insurance brochure.

8/30/2006

Nostalgia

On a recent trip to my favorite mountainous area of Colorado, favorite because it has changed the least from the “old days”, I experienced a bit of nostalgia for the Colorado that I grew up in. Upon my return, I checked into some of the older, 1960’s -1970’s, tourism material in our collection, taking a trip down memory lane with the pictures and facts about Colorado at that time:

Colorful Colorado map, 1966: No interstates shown on this map
Colorado Facts, 1976
Living in Colorado, 1973
Colorado, the Ultimate Fringe Benefit, 1977
Colorado Adventure Guide, 1979
Colorado Accommodations Guide, 1981:
Shows a selection of rentals in Vail for $25 - $40 !
Colorful Colorado Invites You! 1974: Full of pictures, one showing camping on the shore of Maroon Lake, definitely not allowed now.

Going way back (not in my lifetime), a favorite Colorado travel book in our collection is Colorado: a Summer Trip, an account of author Bayard Taylor’s travels through Colorado in 1866.

All of these titles, and others on the topic, are searchable in our on-line catalog and available for loan.

8/24/2006

Resources for Back to School

It's that time again...

CoSPL has an abundance of resources for students, parents, community members, and public officials concerning school information. Some questions that you might be asking yourself this time of year:

-What will my child be learning this year? At CoSPL (and online) you can find the state's Model Content Standards for K-12 for each subject, and not just reading and math, either - the guides include such diverse subjects as civics, theatre, and dance.

-How good is my child's school? School Accountability Reports provide these very valuable answers. According to the reports' website, "Among many other items, you can learn about a school's academic performance, CSAP results, safety and discipline incidents, student/teacher ratio, teacher qualifications and how taxpayer dollars are spent."

-My child has to take the CSAP this year. Where can I find information? The Unit of Student Assessment webpage has this info.

-What about children with special needs? The Exceptional Student Services webpage can provide this information.

-How can I find out if homeshooling is a good option? Visit CDE's Home Schooling webpage.

-What to take this semester? Or, where to apply? CoSPL collects the catalogs for each state institution of higher education, including public universities, state colleges, and community colleges. We have the catalogs in print, but most of them are also online, so check our web catalog for links.

8/22/2006

Cryosphere: Where the World Is Frozen

The word "cryosphere" originates from the Greek word kryos, meaning cold, and refers to low-temperature elements of weather such as ice and snow. The Earth' s cryosphere includes sea ice, freshwater ice, snow, glaciers, frozen ground and permafrost. The National Snow and Ice Center Web site at the University of Colorado provides information about changes in the cryosphere and global climate and resources for teachers and students.

Educational sites include:
All About Glaciers Glaciers and ice sheets cover about 10 percent of the Earth's land area. Glaciers are large, thickened masses of ice that accumulate from snowfall over long periods of time.

All About Sea Ice Sea ice is simply frozen ocean water. It forms, grows, and melts in the ocean. Many polar mammals and polar communities depend on sea ice for habitat.

Arctic Climatology and Meteorology Primer Climate is defined as statistical weather information taken at one place for a specified interval. Learn about arctic weather patterns and what determines weather and climate.

All About Snow, Avalanches, and Blizzards Seasonal snow cover, the largest component of the cryosphere, covers up to 33 percent of the Earth's total land surface.

8/17/2006

Recycling opportunities and information

With the beginning of the school year, many people may be considering buying a new computer. This brings up the question of how to dispose of the old computer and other electronics. End-of-life electronics are a growing portion of Colorado's waste, and a growing environmental problem for the state. Based on 2003 numbers, if all of the computer systems that became obsolete in the state had been disposed of in our state's landfills, it would've added 9,200 tons of lead to the environment. The collections of household hazardous wastes collection sites.
In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has launched a mercury prevention and reduction campaign to inform citizens, businesses and the medical industry about the serious health threat associated with exposures to mercury and to develop strategies to keep mercury out of our environment. One of the driving forces for this initiative is to prevent unacceptable mercury levels in state rivers and lakes.
For further information check out Colorado-Recycles.org or the Colorado State Publications Library which has more than 60 items on recycling.

8/15/2006

Links to the Lynx

Lynx were reintroduced into Colorado’s mountains in 1999. Recent news reported that the number of lynx kittens born in the wild this year dropped 75%. As a result the DOW is not planning to release any more cats next spring while biologists study why. Information about this elusive cat is available on the Division of Wildlife’s Lynx Overview site providing a description, with links to reintroduction reports and location reports, and how to distinguish lynx from bobcats. An opportunity to comment to the Division of Wildlife on this reintroduction program is available as well.

The animal’s status can be followed on the Threatened and Endangered List. Additional information on lynx can be found on the Kids Discovery Pages, Wildlife in Danger Profile, and Colorado’s Wildlife Company web sites.

8/10/2006

History of the State Penitentiary

I just finished reading Dick Kreck's newest book, Anton Woode: The Boy Murderer, which tells the true story of an 11-year-old boy convicted of murder in 1892 and sentenced as an adult to the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City. While we don't have the book in our library, we have many materials here on the history of the famous prison. These include the Biennial Reports of the Warden of the Colorado State Penitentiary, which were referenced frequently throughout the book. Also in our collection is a 1955 souvenir booklet, This is the Prison. We also have quite a bit of recent statistical information.

The Colorado State Archives has a history of the prison, many digitized records and photos, and even an index of the names and prison numbers of every inmate from 1871 to 1973 on their Penitentiary Records webpage.

8/08/2006

Kids Count

KIDSCOUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children. Many Colorado state agencies contribute data to this project.

The state-level data online system contains Colorado data for over 75 measures of child well-being. This easy-to-use, powerful online database allows you to generate custom reports for a geographic area (Profiles) or to compare geographic areas on a topic (Ranking, Maps, and Line Graphs). Just select "Colorado" in the Profiles by State box. Comparisons by topic and by state are available as well as raw data to download as delimited files.

The Colorado profile has indicators over a five year period in categories such as health, education, poverty, immigrant children, population and family characteristics, etc. From the state profile you can create a custom report and through CLIKS link to detailed county-level data and limited school district-level data.

Our library has the most recent "Kids Count in Colorado" report for 2006. (HCP1.12/2006) Holdings date from 1993 to the present for this report.

8/04/2006

Colorado’s Points of Geological Interest (POGI)

Summer is almost over but there is still time for some visits to some of the many points of geological interest across the state. “Colorado’s Magnificent POGIs”, the spring 2006 issue of RockTalk published by the Colorado Geological Survey contains a wonderful guide to POGIs that have guided activities in the form of interpretive presentations, hikes or tours; self-guiding hikes or drives; museum exhibits; roadside displays; or educational seminars where geology is a primary topic of interest.
“Colorado’s Magnificent POGIs” is divided up into areas of interest including: Fossil and dinosaur activities; Minerals, mine tours, and mining-related activities; General and scenic geology activities; Cave tours; Geology seminars; and Undeveloped POGIs. POGIs range from the newly renovated Colorado Convention Center to Dinosaur National Monument straddling the Colorado/Utah border. Each entry in the guide has an annotation that includes a description, telephone numbers and web addresses.

8/02/2006

West Nile Virus

In 2003, West Nile Virus first made its appearance in Colorado and was featured in the news frequently. Now we hear little about it although it is here to stay. Infection rates have been light this year (only 7 cases statewide as of August 1) according to the Department of Public Health and Environment’s Human West Nile Virus Infections web site. Compare this to 2003 when almost 3000 cases were reported! It’s still important to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Precautions are easy, and the Fight the Bite web site is worth checking out. Also helpful is the West Nile Virus Resource List by the Cooperative Extension. For detailed information, statistics, control, etc. go the West Nile Virus site by the Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division.

7/27/2006

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious problem in Colorado and around the nation, and keeps growing as scammers think of new and creative ways of tricking their victims. The best defense against identity theft is to be aware of scams such as phishing (scam emails that ask for your bank account and other personal information) and phone calls pretending to be law enforcement or some other "trustworthy" institution, asking for your personal info over the phone. There are various other schemes such as theft of mail, check washing, etc.

The State of Colorado website has various resources identity theft, including the legal issues and how to protect yourself:
-Identity theft concerning motor vehicles/drivers license
-Issue Brief: Identity Theft with Social Security Numbers
-Office of the Attorney General, identity theft page
-Colorado Bureau of Investigation: What Should I Do if I Become a Victim of Identity Theft?

Searching "identity theft" in the state homepage will yield other helpful sites as well.

7/25/2006

Colorado Historic Markers

While traveling Colorado’s highways and back roads you may have noticed signs that say “Historic Marker Ahead” and thought that sounds interesting, but lacked the time to stop.

How long it would take to see every historical marker in Colorado? There are more than 220 Colorado Historical Society markers across the state. What once took days, even weeks, can now be done in seconds—at the click of a button! Search the database by location or keyword to view details, including the text, of each marker.

Colorado boasts one of the oldest historical marker programs in the nation. The Daughters of the American Revolution and the state legislature placed Colorado’s first known historical marker in 1907. From the 1920s the Colorado Historical Society took the lead in commemorating our state’s people, events, and issues by creating nearly 180 bronze and wooden markers. In 1995, the Society began placing a new generation of historical markers that present information along with full color photographs, maps and graphs. These markers give due consideration to topics neglected in earlier years—topics ranging from water rights to women’s suffrage.

7/21/2006

Public Utilities Commission investigats Xcel Energy

During last weekend's sweltering temperatures several power outages, some long lasting, occurred in the Denver metro area. The newspapers' headlines reporting the situation may have reminded some people of President's Day weekend last February when upslope cold front moved in, dropping temperatures far below what Xcel predicted for its power load requirements. At 08:47 on Saturday morning, February 18, 2006 Xcel Energy "initiated rolling blackouts due to a power supply shortfall of nearly 400 megawatts on its electric power system. More than 371,000 Colorado electric service customers lost power for an average of more than 41 minutes on one of the coldest days in several years." The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) asked Xcel Energy for a report on the cause of the outages, the length of time of the outages, and the poor communications the company provided to the people who called to report outages.
Xcel's reports and the PUC's staff response reports are found on the on the PUC web page.
Maybe these reports will be joined by reports explaining the July outages.

7/18/2006

Child Passenger Safety

Since becoming a first-time grandmother recently, I have taken an interest in child and infant safety while riding in an automobile. The laws are tougher since my own children were small, and with good reason. The Colorado’s Child Passenger Traffic Fatalities Under Age 16 report shows that 86% fatalities involved unrestrained passengers in 1995, with an improvement of 61% in 2002, but still too high. In 2003 changes to the child restraint law went into effect. You can read about the new requirements in CDOT’s brochure Colorado’s New Child Passenger Safety Law. CSU Extension has put out an informative publication on this topic, Child Restraint in Automobiles. Both should help people determine if they are providing the safest ride for their passengers. Additional information is listed below:

CDOT web site: Brochures Available for Printing or Viewing
Car Seat and Seat Belt Use by Age Group in Colorado (1990-2002)
Colorado State Patrol Child Passenger Safety information

7/13/2006

Highway Construction

This week, a driver in Massachusetts was killed when a concrete tunnel caved in over her car. The tunnel was a part of that state's massive construction project known as the "Big Dig." Colorado is undergoing its own highway project - "T-REX" - and CoSPL has information on the project from the Colorado Dept. of Transportation, including,
-T-REX Fact Book (serial) for 2002 and 2003
-A Trip Through T-Rex Central: Colorado Boulevard to I-25/I-225 and the I-225 Corridor
-A Trip Through T-Rex North: Broadway to Colorado Boulevard
-Wall Art on the T-Rex Project
-T-Rex Year in Review (serial) for 2002 - 2005

Although there was nothing the Massachusetts driver could have done to avoid the accident, it is still important to remember to use precautions when driving in construction zones. CDOT has published a guidebook, Work Zone Safety, that deals with these concerns.

7/11/2006

Trail Finder

Looking for a recreation trail for some summer family fun? Colorado's 40 state parks offer over 500 miles of trails for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, snowshoeing and off-highway vehicle use. Colorado State Parks of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources provides an online guide to statewide trails called "Trail Finder".

A wide variety of trail environments exist in the state such as:
  • On the eastern plains is the Bonney Prairie Nature Trail to learn about short-grass prairie.
  • In the southern part of the state is Navajo State Park with several trails including around Navajo Lake and the Sambrito Wetlands Area.
  • High mountain trails are accessible from Vega State Park near Grand Mesa on the western slope.
  • Near Ft. Collins is Lory State Park with 25 miles of trails to explore wildflowers to wildlife.

7/06/2006

Special Session Begins Today

A special session of the Colorado Legislature begins today, July 6. The session was called primarily to deal with the issue of illegal immigration, but some other issues will be covered as well. Colorado has not had a special session of the legislature since August 2002, when the the "hot" issue was wildfire and drought. That was the summer of the Hayman Fire and other disastrous fires that prompted Governor Owens to remark, "All of Colorado is burning." This year, the extra session on illegal immigration was spurred by reaction to the Colorado Supreme Court's decision on initiative 55, a ballot proposal that, if approved, would deny non-emergency taxpayer services to illegals. The court ruled that it could not be placed on the ballot, reasoning that the measure had more than one subject; but this decision drew many critics, including the governor. The 2006 special session will also deal with efforts to strengthen requirements that only U.S. citizens be allowed to register to vote. And, according to Governor Owens, other topics besides illegal immigration that will most likely be brought up this session include human trafficking and common law marriage.

For legislative calendars, bills, status of bills, and other information, see the Colorado Legislature's hompage. These items are also available from CoSPL.

7/05/2006

Emergency Water Supplies and Treatment

These days we all hear about two threats, terrorism and bird flu pandemic, and the need for preparing, including an adequate supply of water. We hear that we should store water, but no details are given. Colorado State University Extension has recently published Emergency Water Supplies and Treatment, which is a unique piece of information detailing how much, how long, and how to safely store water. It even tells you how to raid your hot water heater and your toilet tank! So if this is a topic that concerns you, take a look and print it out. It’s not enough to bookmark this information, as you may not have computer access as well!

6/26/2006

National Political Conventions

Lately there has been buzz about Colorado hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention (see Denver Post, 6/22/06). Interestingly, the last time Colorado hosted the DNC was in 1908 - exactly 100 years before. That year, the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, who had many friends and political allies in Denver. The convention was held at the brand-new Auditorium Theater downtown. In a 1984 Colorado Heritage article (available at our library) about the 1908 convention, historian Phil Goodstein writes, "Politics had little to do with Denver securing the convention. In what appears to have a very contemporary ring, the convention was a product of Denver's efforts to win a place as one of the leading convention cities in America." With much the same attitude today, contemporary boosters are looking to again promote Denver as a "convention city."

Lightning Strikes

Here in Colorado, lightning is the number one life threatening weather hazard. Between 1959 and 1994, lightning killed 394 people. Colorado ranks number 11 for lightning deaths in the United States. The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has assembled "Lightning Safety Tips" that can save lives. The National Weather Service also has a lightning safety page and a slogan, "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". A lightning strike can result in a cardiac arrest (heart stopping) at the time of the injury, although some victims may appear to have a delayed death a few days later if they are resuscitated but have suffered irreversible brain damage. The medical aspects of being struck by lightning can be many and varied.

The National Weather Service also has links to:

Survivor Stories - location when struck (such as on phone inside the home) and medical impacts
Success Stories - for example, changing outdoor sports weather awareness rules
Kids Page - games for children to learn lightning safety
Teacher's Tools - curriculum guides, slide presentations, games, etc.
Photos of Lightning Striking

6/21/2006

Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in nineteenth century American. Almost with the arrival of the first miners, people came to Colorado to seek a cure of this dreaded disease. In fact, as much as 60% of Colorado’s population migrated to the state, either directly or indirectly, for treatment of tuberculosis.
We have a couple of publications that cover the early years of tuberculosis in the state. _Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail_ (HED6.14/6) tells the stories of the early years of four sanatoria in early Denver. _A medical gentleman : James J. Waring, M.D_ (HED6.2/W23/1993) tells the story of how Waring, who suffered from tuberculosis himself, searched for a cure for the dreaded disease and trained other doctors at CU Health Sciences.
Although tuberculosis isn’t the killer it once was, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment keeps close tabs on the disease in the state. They publish yearly reports Tuberculosis in Colorado as well as a Tuberculosis Manual for health care workers.

6/16/2006

Common Law Marriage

June is the month for weddings. Some couples, however, choose to skip the formalities and just live together. According to today’s news reports, a recent ruling opens the way for 12 year-old girls and 14 year-old boys to enter into common law marriages because the Colorado General Assembly has not passed a law specifically defining or forbidding them. What constitutes a common law marriage in Colorado? Check out the Colorado Attorney General web site on the topic for more information.

6/12/2006

Smoking Ban in Colorado

Colorado lawmakers passed The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act this past legislative session to protect the health of both the public and employees by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke. The law creates a safer and healthier environment for employees, families and people statewide to enjoy Colorado’s restaurants, bars and other indoor establishments. July 1, 2006 is the effective date.
Several Colorado organizations have worked together to develop resources to help educate the public, restaurants and bars and other businesses about the smoke-free law. Colorado offers some excellent and effective resources free of charge to all Coloradans who want to quit smoking: Colorado Quiteline and Colorado Quitnet.

How does the law affect:
Restaurants and Bars
Other Businesses
General Public

Check out the “Frequently Asked Questions” on each page above to answer such questions as: do businesses need to post a no-smoking sign, does the law apply to ski resorts on private land, or is smoking allowed in common laundry rooms in condominiums? Also, Fact Sheets with additional information in multiple languages are available to download.

6/09/2006

Planning an Outdoor Vacation

I am planning my annual Colorado camping vacation using some of the great resources available from the state, online and through our library. Perhaps some of them would help you, too!

State Parks Information and Camping Reservations

Official Map to Colorado Scenery and Adventure, CDOT

Colorado Wildlife Viewing Guide, 2000 – great resource for statewide locations for wildlife viewing, including camping, hiking, etc.

Fishing: Colorado Regulations and Property Directory

Fishing Guide, Division of Wildlife, 2006

Exploring Colorado State Parks, 1997 (Interesting information about parks in existence at that time.)

Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology, 2003

Colorado Search and Rescue Fund (Purchase a card to help fund the program that reimburses search teams if you are lost.)

Search our online catalog for additional titles!

6/01/2006

50th Anniversary of Interstate Highways 1956-2006

In the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, Congress acted on recommendations from Interregional Highways . The legislation called for designation of a National System of Interstate Highways, up to 40,000 miles in length, to connect principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers, to serve the National Defense, and to connect with routes of continental importance in Mexico and Canada at suitable border points. Under the leadership of President Eisenhower, the question of how to fund the Interstate System was resolved with enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956.

Some Fun Facts for the Colorado Interstate System:

  • Interstate first signed and showed up on Colorado maps in 1961.
  • Highest point on Interstate system is at the Eisenhower Tunnel. – 11,155 feet. Also, it’s the highest vehicular tunnel in the world.
  • The last section of interstate highway to open in Colorado was I-76 between Pecos Street and I-25, in September 1993. Completion of this segment marked the completion of the interstate system in Colorado.

Histories of Colorado Interstates including construction highlights and major incidents for Interstates 25, 70, 225, 76, and 270. Historic photos can be ordered from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Search the CoSPL catalog for titles of interest on interstates

5/31/2006

Colorado Memorials and Monuments

This Memorial Day week, I would like to highlight a few of the interesting publications CoSPL has describing memorials and monuments in Colorado:

Mission Accomplished: Building Colorado Veterans Monument (GSS1.2/M68/2003). Edited by Tim Drago, a key figure in planning for the Colorado Veterans Monument in the late 1980s, this hardcover book with color photos examines the fundraising, construction, and legacy of the Veterans Monument adjacent to the State Capitol. Also included is a roster of the more than 5,000 Colorado war dead up to that time.

Denver's Historic Markers, Memorials, Statues, and Parks
compiled by Agnes Wright Spring (HED6.2/D41/1959). Published by the Colorado Historical Society, this booklet examines Denver monuments from a historic preservation point of view.

Memorials and Art In and Around the Colorado State Capitol (GA4.2/C17/1992). This publication gives a listing and brief description of the many statues, portraits, plaques, stained glass windows, murals, time capsules, and various other monuments and artworks in and near the State Capitol. There are even specially designated memorial trees on the Capitol grounds, and moon rocks on the building's first floor!

Additionally, for more detailed information on the Capitol, see also:
-The Colorado State Capitol: History, Politics, Preservation (HED13.2/C17/2005)
-Visitor's Guide to Colorado's Capitol (GA4.2/C17/2005)
-The Colorado State Capitol: Granite and Gold (GA12.2/C17/1992)
-Art of the House: Paintings in the House of Representatives (GAH1.2/P16/1990)
-Colorado State Capitol Virtual Tour

5/15/2006

Colorado's Economy

Several state agencies publish useful information on Colorado's economy. These include some serials that can keep Coloradans up-to-date on the state's economic situations, including:

-Colorado Economic Chronicle
-Colorado Close-Up
-Focus Colorado, Economic and Revenue Forecast
-Colorado Economic Perspective

Other resources include:

-Colorado Economic Profile (Office of Economic Development and International Trade, 2005)
-Colorado Economic Development Data Book (Office of Economic Development and International Trade, 2005)
-Economic Development Committee: Report to the Colorado General Assembly (Colorado Legislative Council, 2005

These publications (including back issues of the serials) and others on the subject can be borrowed from State Publications.

Water-Saving Landscapes

Even though the worst of the drought years appear to be over, many communities continue to issue water restrictions or guidelines to conserve water. Is it possible to have attractive landscaping that is water-wise? Just ask a Colorado Master Gardener how it's done. These gardening volunteers assist home gardeners by answering questions over the phone and/or on their web site as well as conducting gardening classes, writing articles, etc.

Print out fact sheets on everything from how to harvest rainwater to xeriscaping techniques. Use of native plants can help save water. Growing vegetables is possible using water conservation methods. Colorado State University and the Denver Botanic Gardens have partnered to create a web site to assist gardeners in selecting plants that thrive in our Rocky Mountain region. Specific xeriscape information is available in English and Spanish at PlantTalk.

Examples of some related titles that can be borrowed from CoSPL are:

Native trees for Colorado landscapes by J. Klett, B. Fahey, and R.Cox, CSU Cooperative Extension, UCSU20/6.22/7.421/2002

Native shrubs for Colorado landscapes by J. Klett, B. Fahey, and R. Cox, CSU Cooperative Extension, UCSU20/6.22/7.422/2002

Native herbaceous perennials for Colorado landscapes by I. Shonle, L.G. Vickerman, and J.E. Klett, CSU Cooperative Extension, UCSU20/6.22/7.242/2004

5/12/2006

Help Buying a Home

This is the time of year when many people make the decision to move, and the State of Colorado has information to help you. The Colorado Geologic Survey publishes a book, A Guide to Swelling Soils for Colorado Homebuyers and Homeowners, 1997, that every Colorado homebuyer should read, in addition to many other publications on swelling soils available in our library. The Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division’s web site on radon has information on radon and real estate transactions, as well as mitigation.

In addition, go to the Division of Housing’s web site for low income housing information, rental assistance, affordable housing data, manufactured housing, and more. There is also an online database for finding affordable housing.

If you would like to know more about the buying/selling process, the Colorado Real Estate Manual is available online. All of the above can also be borrowed in hard copy from our library.

5/11/2006

Visiting Colorado

Planning a trip to Colorado? Live here and having out-of-town visitors? Looking for summer vacation destinations close to home? Need something for the kids to do when school's out? Visit Colorado's tourism and vacation web page for what to do and the best time to it.

Some ideas for activities are:

5/08/2006

Get Out and Vote

It may not be November, but with the 2006 regular legislative session winding to a close this week, and with city elections being held in many municipalities this May, this is as good a time as any to post a blog about voting in Colorado! The governor's race is heating up, and ballot issues are already being discussed.

The Colorado Legislature has considered a number of bills this session concerning voting and elections, including bills on absentee ballots (HB06-1012), provisional ballots (HB06-1198), proof of U.S. citizenship to vote (HCR06-1009 and SB06-146), conduct of elections (SB06-170), and others.

CoSPL has a variety of resources on voting and elections, including the HAVA [Help America Vote Act] State Plan; and Abstract of Votes Cast (most years going back to 1892). Also see the Colorado Secretary of State's "Election Center" website with info on voter registration, rules, statistics, HAVA, and more.

5/04/2006

Home Alone

With summer fast approaching many working parents may be looking for child care. A question our library occasionally receives is on the law regarding children at home alone. The answer is on the Division of Child Welfare’s FAQ site. You can also go to the Division of Child Care Website for information on finding licensed child care. Two publications, Tips for Choosing Child Care and Resource Guide for Early Care and Education, are available as well. Alternatively, these publications are in hardcopy in our collection and are available for loan.

5/01/2006

Gone Fishing!

The 2006 Fishing Guide will be available this month and the warm weather open water fishing season is just around the corner. The Colorado Division of Wildlife's annual efforts of stocking fish in lakes, rivers, and streams is well underway. Anglers have many resources to make the sport more enjoyable.

Search CoSPL online catalog to borrow reports on the state fish, the greenback cutthroat trout, including a video detailing it's history called the "Incredible Journey of the Greenback Cutthroats" (NR6.2/C97/1996) by Hugh Gardner. Other titles on fishing and aquatic research are available at the library.

Colorado's Constitution

CoSPL has many resources for researching the Colorado Constitution, including text of the Constitution itself (updated most years; current edition also available online) as well as some historical publications such as Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention Held in Denver, December 20, 1875, to Frame a Constitution for the State of Colorado (1907). Other Colorado Constitution resources include:

-Original 1876 Constitution online
-Colorado, Constitutionalism and Contemporary Methods of State Constitutional Revision
-The Colorado Constitution: Is It Adequate for the Next Century?

The last two titles suggest the debate over the state's constitution. Recently the State Legislature debated a proposal for a Colorado Constitutional Convention to be held to discuss removing outdated parts and transferring some of the laws from the Constitution to the Statutes. Legislators in favor of HCR06-1003 argue that Colorado's Constitution is one of the longest and most frequently amended state constitutions in the U.S. Although the bill has been postponed for now, it raises an interesting issue about our state's laws and government.

4/28/2006

Wildfire Preparations

Colorado, primarily east of the continental divide, has had little precipitation; as a result, Governor Owens and the legislature are preparing for an active wildfire season. Owens has signed Executive Order D 003 06 making $358,000 available from disaster emergency funds. Senate Bill 96 has passed the Senate and will fund additional money for a wildfire preparedness fund. For those who live in high risk zones, much information is available for wildfire mitigation. A search of CoSPL’s catalog using the terms fire or wildfire results in titles on preparing your property, and historical accounts of past wildfires, all available in paper and/or online.

In addition, here are some online resources from Colorado state government:

Wildfire Awareness Information, Colorado Division of Emergency Management
Colorado Fire and Drought Information, Office of the Governor
Colorado Wildfires, 2002; Natural Hazards Center, CU Boulder
Drought and Fire Resources, CSU Extension
Colorado State Forest Service web site

4/25/2006

Biographies...In State Documents?

Believe it or not, CoSPL's collection contains a variety of biographies. We have many "real" published books, including those published by the University Press of Colorado and the Colorado Historical Society, and many of these are biographies. Do a keyword search in our catalog for biographies on important Colorado historical figures such as Hiram Bennet, Saco R. DeBoer, William Hamill, A.E. Humphreys & sons, William Henry Jackson, John Otto, Charles Christopher Parry, Thomas M. Patterson, Josephine Roche, John Shafroth, Horace Tabor, Henry M. Teller, Dr. James J. Waring, Edward Wynkoop, and more. There are also several memoirs of ordinary Coloradans, such as On Colfax Avenue, a Victorian Childhood. Additionally, the collection includes some collective biographies such as the University Press book Colorado Profiles, and one of our more unique titles, Presidents and Speakers of the Colorado General Assembly 1876-1980. Published by the Colorado Legislative Council, this publication includes a short bio and photograph of each President of the Senate and Speaker of the House from the state's beginnings. This is a valuable resource because while some of these politicians ascended to more well-known political positions, others remained in relative obscurity and otherwise may be difficult to find information on. Another collective biography is the online resource Colorado Governors, produced by the Colorado State Archives with short bios on each Colorado state and territorial governor.

4/20/2006

Healthy Kids

Governor Owens recently vetoed HB1056 which would have required that 50% of items offered in school vending machines meet acceptable nutritional standards. His decision is not the issue here, but it does open up discussion about children’s health. CoSPL has a number of titles on children’s health in Colorado:

Bigger Kids?

How Healthy are Colorado Children?: Key Findings From the 2004 Colorado Child Health Survey, 2005

Colorado Connections for Healthy Schools: Making the Connection Between Health and Learning: a 2010 State Plan for Coordinated School Health, 2005

Colorado Early Childhood Hearing Screening Guidelines, 2001

Addressing the Crisis of Oral Health Access for Colorado’s Children, 2000


In addition, the following web sites offer more information on the topic:

Colorado Connections for Healthy Schools
Child, Adolescent and School Health

Coexisting With Wildlife

According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, between 8,000-12,000 bears around the state will be awakening from their winter hibernation within the next few weeks. Adult male bears will come out first. Initially, they will drink lots of water and then look for food - and will eat anything they can find! In Colorado, we only have the American Black Bear which usually avoids humans, but their need for food may bring them in contact with us in open spaces and parks in the foothills and elsewhere.

Bears are not the only wildlife species we may encounter and, in the spring, they may have their young ones close by or be young males hunting on their own for the first time. Recently, a young boy was attacked by a young mountain lion on a trail near Boulder. Depending on the location, other species to look for are coyotes, moose, beaver, Canada geese, and deer. Early spring is stressful for wildlife and human contact adds to the stress.

People and wildlife can coexist. The key is to respect the wildness of the wildlife. The rules are simple: leave the animals alone and, especially, do not intentionally, or inadvertently feed them. More links to Internet sites and print publications on the topic are available in the resource list "Wildlife in Colorado: Resources from Colorado State Government Agencies".

4/17/2006

New to the Collection

Check out these resources new to CoSPL's collection:

-Early in 2006 the Colorado Legislature faced several complaints on ethics that made headlines and ultimately led one Senator to resign. For information on the rules that must be followed by Colorado Legislators, refer to the newly-published 2006 Colorado Legislator's Handbook (GA4.9/553). The Colorado Legislative Council publishes a new edition each year. Past years' handbooks can also be found in CoSPL's collection.

-A new CU financial audit has been published for FY2004-05 and recently added to CoSPL's collection (GA2/100.10/1710/2005). This includes financial info on the entire school; CoSPL's collection also includes the CU Athletic Department audit, which made headlines when it was released in November 2005.

-One of CoSPL's most frequently requested documents via the Prospector system is the Colorado POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Manual for 2005, which is published by the Department of Law. The newly released 2006 edition has recently been added to CoSPL's collection.

4/13/2006

Safe Schools

A new title in our collection on gun violence, Project Safe Neighborhood, Final Report, brings to mind that 7 years ago this month the Columbine shootings took place. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts in school safety, as illustrated by the following reports in our collection from various state agencies:

Child Abuse: Information for School Employees, 2006

Reference Guide for School Personnel Concerning Juveniles Who Have Committed Sexually Abusive and Offending Behavior, Dec. 2003

Colorado School Violence Prevention and Student Discipline Manual, 2004

Safe Schools: An Overview of Requirements, 2003


School Resource Guide Regarding Sex Offender Registration Information, 2003

In addition, check out CU Boulder's Center For the Study and Prevention of Violence web site, specifically the Safe Communities – Safe Schools Overview, where you will find titles on such topics as bullying, effective programs, statistics, etc, most of which are also available in hardcopy. Searching our online catalog will bring up all of the above, and more.

4/11/2006

Reaching for Higher Education

Making decisions regarding educational choices after high school graduation is never easy. However, the Colorado Department of Higher Education has a mission to ensure that higher education is accessible and affordable to all Coloradoans. Assistance in planning for students and their families is available at CollegeInColorado and a "Students and Parents" web page with links to financial assistance, admission standards, extended campus, student exchange, etc. The former Colorado Student Loan Program is now College Access Network dedicated to help navigate college financing.

Check out comparable degrees and enrollment for public colleges and universities by searching the public higher education database. The Division of Private Occupational Schools provides standards and works to foster and improve private occupational schools. They provide a list of approved and regulated post-secondary schools in cosmetology, massage therapy, real estate, and truck driving.


Search the State Publications Library online catalog for additional information such as the College Guide 2005-2006 (HED1/10.36 2005) which helps students plan, apply and pay for college. For guides to non-Colorado colleges and universities check your local library catalog through the Colorado Virtual Library.

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