12/30/2010

Child Restraints in Vehicles

The Denver Post reported this week that a Colorado state senator visiting Texas caused a fatal accident on a highway in that state when her car veered into oncoming traffic. In her own car, however, it was reported that her passengers, a grown son and two small grandsons, were not wearing seat belts and were injured. This fact gained some attention because the legislator had in the past championed several seat belt and child restraint bills, including sponsoring last years' SB10-110 which toughened child restraint laws. See this webpage from CDOT for information on child restraints and the new law.

So what are the laws regarding child restraints in vehicles? Our library has several informational publications that can help you. These include Child Restraint in Automobiles brochure from the CSU Extension, and CDOT's brochure When Your World Rides with You: A Guide to Protecting Your Kids with Child Safety Seats and Seat Belts. The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment conducted a study, Booster Seat Use Among Colorado Children, 2004 and 2005, also available from our library. We also have a number of older brochures on child restraint from CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, and the Colorado Dept. of Highways. For statistics on child motor vehicle injuries, see CDPHE's publication Motor Vehicle Occupant Injuries for Colorado Children Ages 0 to 14.

12/23/2010

Colorado Progressivism

One of the popular topics these days in the world of professional historians is the age of American Progressivism, generally regarded as approximately the 1890s through the 1920s. This was an important time as many social causes were fought, including the right of women to vote, better conditions for the many immigrants flooding into the U.S., and changes to employment laws, including child labor laws. Colorado was also a very important center of progressivism, not only due to enfranchising women in 1893, but also because in that era mining was an extremely important part of Colorado's economy, and changes in labor laws affected many mining and industrial workers in our state. Colorado's labor history includes famous figures like "Big Bill" Haywood and "Mother" Jones; and the state's labor history took a very dark turn with the 1914 Ludlow massacre. Our library recently received several new books from University Press of Colorado detailing some of the interesting history of the Progressive era, including:
  • The Beast, by Benjamin Barr Lindsey. This centennial reprint of the 1910 classic is Lindsey's memoirs on fighting the rampant political corruption in Denver in this era. Includes a new introduction by historian Stephen J. Leonard and a new index.
  • Dr. Charles David Spivak, A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement, by Jeanne E. Abrams. Abrams, a noted historian of Jewish Colorado, tells the story of a doctor who worked with tuberculosis patients in Denver's Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS).
  • A Chinaman's Chance: The Chinese on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier, by Liping Zhu, explores this one immigrant group's struggles in early-day Colorado.
  • The Archaeology of Class War: The Colorado Coalfield Strike of 1913-1914, by Karin Larkin and Randall H. McGuire, digs up history on Ludlow and the surrounding area.
  • From Redstone to Ludlow: John Cleveland Osgood's Struggle Against the United Mine Workers of America, by F. Darrell Munsell also tells the story of Ludlow, this time through the eyes of a wealthy financial capitalist.
  • The Gospel of Progressivism: Moral Reform and Labor War in Colorado, 1900-1930, by R. Todd Laugen also explores the southern Colorado labor war.
  • Thomas F. Walsh: Progressive Businessman and Colorado Mining Tycoon, by John C. Stewart explores the story of a man who made millions in mining, befriended President Taft, had a daughter who owned the Hope Diamond, and played an important role in Colorado Progressivism.

We also have a number of other, older books on these topics in our library, including:

  • "Remember Ludlow"! from the Colorado Historical Society
  • The Great Coalfield War, by George S. McGovern and Leonard F. Guttridge, University Press of Colorado
  • Tom Patterson: Colorado Crusader for Change, by Sybil Downing and Robert E. Smith, University Press of Colorado
  • Lessons of Leadville, or, Why the Western Federation of Miners Turned Left, from the Colorado Historical Society

Also, be sure and check out the Colorado Historical Society's commemorative book Western Voices, which includes several essays on Progressivism, including a biography of Big Bill Haywood, the history of women's right to vote in Colorado, and the story of how mine laborers contributed to Colorado's having three governors in one day in 1904!

12/21/2010

Colorado Region Profiles

If you would like to learn more about Colorado, take a look at the new Region Profiles from the State Demography Office. The reports give descriptions of the 19 planning and management regions in Colorado, with information on the population, economy, new community projects, the housing market, and a highlight of the main industries for each area. These profiles are a great way to become more familiar with our diverse state.

12/16/2010

Colorado Birding Trail

Are you a birdwatcher? Our library has received from the Division of Wildlife two handy guidebooks for the Colorado Birding Trail in southern Colorado. One guide covers southwestern Colorado and the other covers the southeastern part of the state. Each book contains trail maps and bird identification illustrations to help you find the best places to locate Colorado's many interesting bird species. So when you're planning your springtime hikes and summer camping trips for next year, remember to take along one of these handy guidebooks to enhance your wildlife viewing experience.

12/09/2010

Daylight Saving Time

An article in today's Denver Post reports that during the upcoming Legislative session, two Colorado legislators are going to introduce bills dealing with daylight saving time. Introduced separately and without the sponsors' knowledge of the other bill, one of the bills would allow Colorado to stay on daylight savings time year round (allowing it to stay light later in the evenings) while the other would have Colorado stay on standard time year round, like our neighboring state of Arizona. According to the article, Colorado has changed its clocks twice a year since 1966. However this will not be the first time in recent years that Colorado has dealt with this issue. In response, the Colorado Legislative Council created two Issue Briefs on daylight savings time, one in 2003 and one in 2007, both available online from our library.

12/08/2010

Air Quality Overview

If you're looking for an overview on air quality in Colorado, check out the latest Air Quality Control Commission's Report to the Public. This great resource has basic information on the factors currently impacting air quality in Colorado, descriptions of major pollutants, details on some of the current initiatives in the state, and individual profiles for regions. The report would be good for students, or anyone interested in learning the basic tenets of air quality in our state.

12/02/2010

Colorado Archaeology

If you think archaeology is just for places like ancient Egypt, think again - Colorado is full of archaeological treasures and resources.

There are two types of archaeology - prehistoric and historic. Prehistoric archaeology deals with ancient civilizations, while historical archaeology deals with looking for clues to more recent events, at places such as battlefields or even under the former outhouses of old buildings. The Colorado Historical Society, in excavating the site of their new museum currently being constructed, conducted an archaeological excavation that turned up many clues to the people that lived in homes formerly on the site, even down to old childrens' toys. Since most sites in downtown Denver have had as many as four or five different buildings on the same site in the last 150 years, there are many layers of artifacts to be found.

Not only the historical society, but also the Colorado Department of Transportation, play an important role in the State's oversight of Colorado's archaeological resources, both prehistoric and historic. CDOT's reports on their archaeological excavations are available from our library. The state also makes sure that most prehistoric archaeological sites are not publicized, so that ancient items in places such as the Four Corners region, with its Puebloan heritage, can stay in tact. It is important to remember that you can be prosecuted for theft if you remove artifacts from protected state and federal lands.

Recently, our library received several new books from the University Press of Colorado that deal with our state's archaeology, and what it tells us about the people who came before us. Here are a few of the interesting new titles you can now find in our collection:

Prehistoric:
  • Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains
  • Frontiers in Colorado Paleoindian Archaeology : From the Dent Site to the Rocky Mountains
  • Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country
  • Ice Age Hunters of the Rockies
  • Late Paleoindian Occupation of the Southern Rocky Mountains : Early Holocene Projectile Points and Land Use in the High Country

Historical:

  • The Archaeology of Class War : The Colorado Coalfield Strike of 1913-1914
  • Denver : An Archaeological History

11/30/2010

Mountain Lions in your back yard

This morning there was a news story about a woman in Golden who went to the door looking for her cat, and instead found 2 mountain lion cubs and their mother in her back yard. (Pictures and the full story can be found at 9news.com)

Mountain lion sightings become more frequent in the winter, as deer move into lower territory looking for land to graze, the lions follow -- deer are their main source of food.

If you encounter a mountain lion, here are the tips from the Colorado Division of Wildlife:

  • Stay calm, and talk calmly and firmly to it.
  • Back away slowly.
  • Do all you can to appear larger-- by raising your arms, or opening your jacket.
  • Fight back if you are attacked.
More details can be found in their brochure, "Living with Wildlife in Lion Country."
There is also a new mountain lion safety video out on the Division of Wildlife website.

11/24/2010

Let's Talk Turkey

Did you know that there are still wild turkeys in Colorado? The Colorado Division of Wildlife's website is full of information on these large (and tasty!) birds. For instance, you can read the DOW's Outdoors Journal article about imitating turkey calls. There's also another article, "Turkey Trekking," about finding and following turkey tracks. Kids can learn about Colorado's wild turkeys through DOW's Kid's Discovery Page on turkeys. (Hint: If you print out the fact sheet, you can color the turkeys too!) If you're interested in spotting turkeys in the wild, visit DOW's wildlife viewing page on turkeys for information on where to go. For hunters, DOW also has a Turkey Hunting 101 webpage. And what to do with that juicy turkey once you've brought it home? Check out DOW's Colorado Catch Cookbook: Wild Game and Fish Recipes, available from our library.

Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble

Photo courtesy of Colorado Division of Wildlife

11/18/2010

6th Annual Denver Adoption Day

Tomorrow, Friday, November 19, is Denver's 6th annual Adoption Day. Not only does Adoption Day promote helping foster children find permanent families, but this year, 93 children will officially have found those families as the county court legalizes their adoptions tomorrow. Yet there are still about 300 foster children around Colorado, about a third of which are in Denver, waiting for a permanent home. If you are interested in adopting a foster child, see the Colorado Department of Human Services' adoption website at http://www.changealifeforever.org/index.asp, or contact your local human services agency. For more on Denver Adoption Day, see the Colorado Supreme Court's press release.

11/11/2010

Complete College Colorado

On Monday Governor Ritter launched a new campaign to encourage students to obtain or finish their college degrees. The campaign, called Complete College Colorado, focuses on degree attainment, financial aid, education reform, and assistance for adults returning to school. For more information, see the Governor's press release. The program's website is available at at http://completecollegecolorado.com. Our library has many resources from the state's publicly-funded colleges and universities, so if you're thinking about college, be sure and check our catalog for helpful resources, both in print and on the web.

11/08/2010

Veterans Day

Since 1919, November 11th has been a day to honor those who have fought for our country in times of war. The date was originally chosen to honor the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany at the end of World War I that went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November (Armistice Day). In June 1954, legislation was passed changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, to honor American veterans of all wars.

If you'd like more information on the history of veteran's day and how it is commemorated, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has put together a nice set of Veteran's Day resources, including a teacher's guide.

A list of events and celebrations along the Front Range is available on the Denver Post website.

On a related note, if you are looking for information on services available to Colorado veterans, visit these state agency websites:

The Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs is a central source of information on veterans benefits, rights and issues. Their "Veteran Resource Links" page is a great collection of internet resourcesfor veterans.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has a program called "Veterans Succeeding in the 21st Century Workforce." Their mission is "to provide Veterans and transitioning service members with the resources and services to succeed in the 21st Century workforce by meeting labor-market demands with qualified Veterans." This is the place to go for information on employment services, education and training, and benefits for veterans.

11/04/2010

Historic Colorado Postcards

Did you know that the Colorado State Archives has a collection of historic postcards? Postcards are a fun way to learn about the past. They highlight places and events that were important to previous generations. Plus, illustrated postcards show pictures in color before the widespread use of color photography. The Archives has a collection of over 800 historic postcards, about half of which are digitized and searchable on their website. For more about the Colorado State Archives, visit their homepage at http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/.

Here is a view of early-twentieth century downtown Denver from the Archives' collection:

11/02/2010

Mollusks in Colorado

Did you know that freshwater mollusks are becoming one of the most endangered group of animals in North America? Wildlife professionals are collecting information on Colorado's mollusk population to determine if the species here are endangered. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has released "A Field Guide to the Freshwater Mollusks of Colorado" to aid field biologists and other concerned citizens in the identification and inventory of mollusk populations in the state. The book is available online, and can also be checked out from the State Publications Library, or any of our depository libraries across the state.

10/28/2010

Revitalizing Main Street

Governor Ritter recently announced Colorado's receipt of a $1.28 million Federal grant that will "help four Colorado communities revitalize their downtown business districts through the Sustainable Main Streets Initiative. The funds will help renovate historic buildings and improve downtown walkways in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver, the City of Rifle on the West Slope, the City of Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley and the Town of Fowler in the southeast." (Read the Press Release here). Ritter signed Executive Order D-2010-007 in April to establish the Main Street program.

In recent years, many towns and communities have been focusing on their "Main Street," in other words, their primary commercial district. In many places throughout Colorado, these "Main Streets" include both businesses important to the local economy as well as significant historic structures. Main Streets also promote pedestrian-friendly, walkable communities.

If you're interested in developing Main Street programs for your community, contact the Department of Local Affairs' Main Street Resource Team. The team will meet with local governments to discuss ideas about grant funding and community revitalization. "Then, as a team, they shape their observations and recommendations into a comprehensive vision for your downtown." Main Street initiatives can help communities large and small with preservation and sustainability - which could lead to increased revenue for the local economy through increased tourism and a healthy business climate.

10/25/2010

Elections are coming soon- Make sure to Vote

November 2nd is just around the corner. This year's general election includes a race for governor, and several ballot measures that may dramatically change the services provided by local and state governments. Make sure to get out and vote and let your voice be heard. Here are some helpful election resources:
2010 Ballot Initiatives - a list of initiatives and referendums on the November ballot with links to the text of each proposal from the Secretary of State's Office.

2010 Voter Information Guide - general information on voting in Colorado.

Voter Registration - Verify or update your registration

Blue Book - Ballot information from the Colorado General Assembly. Also available in audio.

Fiscal Impact Statements - analysis from the Colorado Legislative Council on the impacts ballot measures will have on the budget.

Judicial Performance Evaluations - performance reviews for district, county, supreme court and court of appeals judges on the 2010 ballot.

10/21/2010

Conflict Resolution Month

Did you know that October is Conflict Resolution Month? The Colorado General Assembly officially declared the month of October as highlighting efforts toward resolution of conflicts in their Senate Joint Resolution 10-046. Many state agencies can assist with resolving conflicts large or small. The Colorado Supreme Court has an Office of Dispute Resolution, overseen by an advisory committee. Also, the Department of Local Affairs offers a helpful Local Government Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution, intended to help parties in avoid bringing disputes to court. For personal conflicts, Colorado state employees and their families can take advantage of conflict resolution counseling and mediation through the Colorado State Employees Assistance Program (C-SEAP). And of course, it's not only adults who have conflicts. The Colorado Department of Education offers a fact sheet, Bully Proofing and Conflict Resolution, aimed and teachers and K-12 education professionals.

10/18/2010

Focus on the Children and School Research Guides

Are you wondering what services are available for homeless youth? Looking for reputable sources on your research topic? Colorado state agencies have the answers.

A new and improved version of the State Publications Library's "Focus on the Children" bibliography is now available. The subject guide is a compilation of print and Internet resources that address issues regarding children and youth in the state of Colorado. Topics include adoption, careers, charter schools, child abuse, child welfare, education, health, parenting, and safety.

"School Research Topics", a bibliography of online resources from Colorado state agencies, has also been revised and updated. Librarians, parents, students and researchers alike will find this guide useful for locating information on a wide range of topics.

10/14/2010

Cold Case Files

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has a new database on its website where the public can search Colorado cold case files. According to the site, "The Colorado Cold Case Database features unsolved homicides, missing person, and unidentified person cases to assist law enforcement agencies in the development of information which can lead to the identification and arrest of any person(s) who may have committed any crime described on this page. If you have information on any of the persons, or cases found on this page, you are encouraged to submit a tip, which will be delivered to the lead investigating agency. All tips may be submitted anonymously. It is the sincerest hope of all those involved in the CBI Cold Case Unit's efforts that the necessary tips and information can be provided to the agencies investigating these 'cold cases' such that they may resolve their own investigations and provide some justice and closure to these tragedies."

10/07/2010

College Tuition

According to a story in this morning's Denver Post, "Colorado colleges and universities are proposing possible tuition increases for next year ranging from 9 percent to 21 percent — all made necessary by deep cuts to the state's contribution to higher education." If you're a college student and worried about how to pay for your education, the State of Colorado has many resources that can help you.

A website, http://www.collegeincolorado.org/, sponsored by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, offers numerous planning tools not just for how to pay for college, but also on how to select a college or major, information on college life, and more.

Since tuition differs based on residency, the CDHE also offers an online residency guide; they also offer a webpage devoted to information on obtaining financial aid.

A fact sheet from the Colorado Legislative Council explains in plain English about taxes and tuition.

Finally, those in the military are eligible for tuition assistance - see the information from the Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs.

9/30/2010

Over the River

Artist Christo's plan to hang fabric over a portion of the Arkansas River has generated much controversy. Opponents worry that the project will harm the natural landscape, while proponents argue that the art will bring tourism dollars to the area. The BLM, in conjunction with the Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources, the Colorado Dept. of Transportation, and the Colorado State Patrol, has studied the issue carefully and has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposal, which you can view online here.

9/23/2010

Protecting your Home from Forest Fire

Our unusally dry summer has led to increased fire danger, as evidenced by the recent Fourmile Fire, among the most destructive fires in the state's history. (See Governor Ritter's disaster declaration here.) If you live in the mountains or foothills, there are many precautions you can take to help protect your home in case of a fire, i.e. making sure the trees are cleared near structures. Our library has many resources for forest-area homeowners, including:

We have much more on this topic as well, so be sure to search our web catalog for additional resources.

9/21/2010

Filmed in Colorado

Have you ever thought about putting together a list of movies set in Colorado? The Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media has beaten you to it. Their "filmography" has a list of feature films, shorts and other projects filmed in Colorado. You can browse through the titles, or search by year, genre or type of production. Each entry a description of the film, director, screenwriter, name of the production company and a list of cast members. Before you head to the video store, or add something to your queue on Netflix, take a look at this great resource on films shot in Colorado.

9/16/2010

2010 Blue Book now online

The November election is fast approaching, and those who are receiving mail-in ballots will receive them in less than a month. There are many different issues and candidates on this year's ballot, so the explanations provided in the annual Blue Book can be very useful. Although hard copies have not yet been mailed, the 2010 Blue Book is now online.

9/13/2010

Colorado Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, Sept 13-17, 2010

In support of H. Res 1472, Governor Bill Ritter signed a proclamation designating September 13-17 as Colorado Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.
Congressional declaration, H. Res 1472, designating National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week was sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis [D-CO] and is the culmination of literacy advocacy and outreach resulting in twenty co-signers in the House.
Adult education and family literacy programs serve adult learners who need to improve their basic literacy and math skills, improve their oral and written English, practice for the GED test to attain a high school equivalence degree, and prepare for community college or vocational training. According to the latest national survey of adults, over 93 million American adults have Basic or Below Basic literacy skills that limit their ability to advance at work and in education, help their children with school work, interact with their health care professionals, and participate fully in their communities.

Family literacy programs serve parents and their young children, teaching basic skills, English as a Second Language, and parenting skills to the adults while the children are provided high quality preschool programming. These programs are focused on breaking the cycles of low literacy, low education, and poverty.
For more information, contact Margaret Kirkpatrick, 303-866-6640, State Director, Adult Education and Family Literacy or The Colorado State Publications Library, http://www.cde.state.co.us/stateinfo/index.htm and peruse the Adult Literacy Collection at
https://athena.cde.state.co.us/screens/opacmenu_s2.html

9/10/2010

Photo Contests

Are you a photographer who enjoys capturing Colorado's wonders through your lens? If so, there are several state-sponsored photo contests available to you right now.
  • Every September, Colorado State Parks sponsors the Eldorado Canyon Annual Photo Contest. For details, visit the contest website.
  • The Colorado Department of Agriculture is currently sponsoring a photo contest. Submissions must be entered by December 31, 2010. See this page for more info.
  • The State of Colorado homepage, www.colorado.gov, is looking for scenic Colorado photos for their website. Visit this page to submit your photos. Categories are scenery, wildlife, and recreation.

9/02/2010

Colorado State Fair

The Colorado State Fair, brought to you by the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, is going on right now! (through Labor Day weekend). The Fair, located in Pueblo, Colorado, offers fun for all ages. In fact, the slogan for this year's Fair is, "It's a Party!" There's live entertainment, food, rides and games, ag expos, and much more. Some of the interesting attractions at the Fair this year include a dog show, an agricultural pavilion, a gigantic fruit sculpture, an alligator show, a strongman competition, a world-record-holding juggler, a lumberjack show, mutton bustin', and even pole vaulting. You'll also find over 300 commercial exhibitors; lots of free goodies; and of course, lots of animals! So even if you're a city person, head down to the Fair and teach your kids where milk comes from. Also, this Sunday, 9/5, is a special Fiesta Day. For information on the Fair, visit the Dept. of Agriculture's State Fair website.

Bed bugs!

Perhaps you’ve heard the commotion about the influx of bed bugs in Colorado and the nuisance they can become. Bed bugs are small blood sucking insects. The adult females deposit eggs in cracks crevices, behind woodwork and similar locations. Adults can live for more than a year! It’s important to identify the species present to determine what kind of control should be directed to be the most effective. This information was located in the Bat bugs and bed bugs pamphlet from the CSU cooperative extension. For more information, check out this and other materials that we have available at the Colorado State Publications Library.

8/31/2010

Enjoy the outdoors at Colorado State Parks

Although summer is drawing near it's end, there is still time to enjoy nature at one of Colorado's State Parks. Fishing, camping, boating, hiking, and biking are just a few of your options for outdoor activities. The Colorado State Parks website, www.parks.state.co.us offers additional information on activities and recreation opportunities at each park.

Twenty-four Colorado State Parks now have "Family Activity Backpacks". The packs include: two large bug boxes, magnifiers, various guide books (covering birds, insects, wildflowers and pond or tree life depending on the park), binoculars and a nature journal. "Family Activity Backpacks" may be checked out free-of-charge at the park visitor center or office for day use and returned before heading home or back to the campsite. For more information, visit: http://parks.state.co.us/familyKids/Pages/familyandkids.aspx.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, campsites are still available at most state parks for Labor Day weekend. The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Crawford State Park, Eleven Mile State Park, the Island Acres section of the Colorado River State Park, Mancos State Park, Ridgway State Park, State Forest State Park, Vega State Park and Yampa River State Park still have campsites available for all three days. To reserve a campsite, call (303) 470-1144 in Denver or 1(800) 678-2267 statewide or visit: http://parks.state.co.us/Reservations/Page/ReservationsHome.aspx

8/27/2010

Colorado has a Poet Laureate.

Per Executive order A2010-127, available at our library, Colorado has an official Poet Laureate.
David Mason was born and raised in Bellingham, Washington. David Mason’s family goes back four or five generations in Colorado. His father grew up in Trinidad, his mother in Grand Junction, and except for family visits did not spend an extended time in Colorado.
He and wife Anne Lennox live in the mountains outside Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Mason has published three full-length books of poems to date, plus quite a few chapbooks and limited editions. He is co-editor of four major anthologies and the author of many dozens of poems, essays, reviews, translations, stories and memoirs. An advisory editor at the Hudson Review, the Sewanee Review and Divide, Mason’s work can be found in The Nation, TLS, The Hudson Review, Poetry, The American Scholar and many other periodicals here and abroad. His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac,” and he has been interviewed for other MPR and NPR programs. He remains committed to performance as a guide to the composition and teaching of poetry.

To see examples of his work click the following link.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/entertainment/poetry/profiles/poet_mason.html

8/25/2010

CU's Journalism School to Close

According to a Denver Post story appearing today, the University of Colorado is planning to close its School of Journalism & Mass Communication and develop a new communications program "that will better prepare students for the world of new media." The department will be gradually phased out, rather than abruptly closed, so that students currently enrolled can finish their degrees. The closing of the Journalism School, which has given rise to many well-known names in Colorado and the national media, is just the latest in the many casualties brought about due to changes in technology - closing newspapers, declining "snail mail," etc.

For more information on the Journalism School, see their official website, which includes information on current programs as well as alumni news. Or, for a history of the School's programs, you can search in the college catalogs, available from our library dating back to 1979.

8/24/2010

Job and Resource Fair

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is hosting the E-3 Job and Resource Fair at the Convention Center September 9th. The event runs from 10am to 3pm and includes workshops, resume critiquing and the chance to meet with representatives from over 80 businesses. According to an article at 9news.com some of the workshops include:
  • Technology Careers What jobs should people interested in IT careers focus on filling in 2011? The presentation will discuss the "hot jobs"
  • Get Into Water: Careers In the Water Industry This workshop provides an introduction to the careers available with utilities, cities, counties and special districts in positions such as engineering, management, customer service and operations.

  • How To Apply for Federal Jobs This workshop will help job seekers through the maze and increase their chances of finding the right job and getting it.

  • Green Jobs This workshop provides an overview of the industries and occupations that make up green jobs (such as solar, wind, renewable energy and clean energy) and offers tips on how you can start the search to find your dream green job.

  • Franchising Pros and Cons Is owning a franchise right for you? This workshop provides an insider's look at the pros and cons of working a franchise operation.

  • Telework This workshop presents the reality of telework, e-commuting and working at home. It shows how to get the job that works for you - and the job offers you should avoid.
A list of exhibitors and more information about the event can be found on the Division of Employment and Training's website.

8/19/2010

Motor Vehicle Law Resource Book

The Colorado Legislative Council, the non-partisan research branch of the General Assembly, has just released a new information guide on motor vehicle laws, the 2010 Colorado Motor Vehicle Law Resource Book. This handy guide is designed to help Colorado motorists, as well as legislators, navigate the state's complex array of motor vehcile laws. The guidebook includes easy-to-understand information on numerous motor vehicle topics, including seat belts/child restraints; photo radar enforcement; driver distractions; speed limits; fines and point assessments; driving under the influence; drivers' license renewal; minor drivers and instruction permits; titling and registration; emissions testing; and laws regarding motorcycles and low-power scooters. This guide is different from the Colorado Driver's Handbook because it focuses on Colorado driving laws, while the Driver's Handbook gives more general information on rules of the road. Both guides are handy and helpful references for all Colorado drivers.

8/12/2010

CSAPs

This year's CSAP scores were released on Tuesday, and found, for the most part, little change from last year. The Colorado Department of Education website has all the results on its Student Assessment Results and Data page. Here you can find data on each school, including excel spreadsheets of test data by subject.

8/05/2010

Primary Election

The Denver Post this morning reported that this year's primary election, which is a mail-in ballot election in most Colorado counties, is nearing record turnout, and there's still five days to go. According to the Post, "As of early Wednesday morning, 436,382 Coloradans had voted: 222,938 were Republicans and 210,201 were Democrats, according to the Colorado secretary of state's office." The Secretary of State is the official source for election information. On their webpage you can find a list of all candidates, a voter information guide, voter registration informaiton, and much more. Even if you're not eligible to vote in the primary, this information can be very helpful in preparing you for the November general election.

7/29/2010

Living with Bears


Bears have been in the news a lot lately, with everything from a bear attack near Yellowstone to a bear in Larkspur getting trapped inside a vehicle! As humans move closer and closer to bear's natural habitats, conflicts are bound to occur. If you live in the mountains or foothills, or plan to visit an area with bear populations, see the Division of Wildlife's brochure Living with Bears. Also available in paper form from our library, this website includes helpful information on how you can bear-proof your home, keep bears out of your trash cans, secure beehives, and keep from attracting bears to homes or campsites. The site also offers helpful information on what to do if you encounter a bear. This is valuable information that should be reviewed by anyone living or vacationing in bear country, to help you protect your property and your life.



7/22/2010

Wildlife for Kids




Did you know that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has a special section on its website devoted to kids? The DOW's Kids' Discovery Pages is a great site for kids of all ages. It includes interactive games such as Black Bear Challenge, Be A Hatchery Manager, and Habitat Happenings, along with crosswords, word jumbles, and match games. There's also links to species information, coloring pages and activities by age level, and even volunteer information for teens. This site promises hours of fun and learning with Colorado's amazing wildlife! Finally, for teachers, there DOW also has a great Teacher Resources page.

7/15/2010

New Size Record for Fish Caught in Colorado

A 14-year-old from Golden set a record June 4 when he reeled in the heaviest fish ever caught (on record) in Colorado. Caught at Prospect Park Lake, the huge carp weighed in at 51 pounds. The Colorado Division of Wildlife keeps tally of Colorado's angling records. For other record fish, including by weight and by length, see the DOW's Awards and Records webpage. Also, for more on this year's record carp, including a picture of the monster fish, see the DOW's July 1 press release.

If you want to become an expert fisherman and maybe set some records yourself some day, our library has many resources that can help you, including the very popular DVD "Fly Fishing Colorado." Other popular fishing titles available in our collection include:

7/09/2010

General Mills 100,000 Book Giveaway!

Here’s a great opportunity for libraries to get free books.
According to General Mills:
“As part of a commitment to children’s literacy, Cheerios cereal along with Jon Scieszka, will donate 100,000 books to First Book. First Book’s mission is to give new books to kids in need to help them develop skills to succeed in life.
Cheerios is asking the public to tell them which states should receive the books. To vote for the state you think is most in need of new books go to www.FirstBook.org/Scieszka and answer questions about classic children’s storybooks. Every correct answer counts as one vote: so the more questions you answer correctly, the more votes you cast. The five states with the most votes will each receive 20,000 books, provided by Cheerios. Hurry the contest ends 8/31/2010.
Jon Scieszka’s books have won a whole mess of awards, and sold over 11 million copies. His latest series of books are all set in Trucktown, a world where all of the characters are trucks and all of the trucks act like real preschoolers.”

7/08/2010

Avoid Rip-Offs and Scams

A story in today's Denver Post brings attention to a growing trend: scams and rip-offs for home maintenance work, particularly victimizing the elderly. This particular story highlights a landscaping scam, while other scams are frequently seen following events such as hailstorms, for instance, when many people are needing new roofs. Authorities warn consumers never to hire a contractor who comes door to door. Instead, carefully choose someone and initiate the contact yourself. For more on scams and rip-offs see the Attorney General's information on Home Repair Fraud. For information specific to senior citizens, see the AG's publication Respecting our Elders: A Statewide Action Plan to Combat Senior Fraud. If you believe you have been victimized by a fraudulent contractor or other business person, you can notify the AG's office by filing a consumer complaint, or you can contact your local district attorney's office.

7/01/2010

Summer Heat Dangers - Don't Leave your Kids in the Car

It's now July, the hottest month of the year in Colorado, and if you're planning on taking a child or pet with you on an errand, never, ever leave them in a parked car, even for a short time. According to the Colorado Dept. of Human Services, cars can reach up to 155 degrees and a child left inside can die of heat stress in as little as 15 minutes. Also, if you see a child left alone in a hot car, call 911 immediately. You can find this and more information at the Dept. of Human Services' Summer Heat Dangers webpage, which also includes a link to an illustrated diagram and fact sheet from the Denver Post entitled "When Cars Become Coffins." This information focuses on children, but pets also suffer and can die when left in left in cars. So protect your children and pets during these hot summer months- take them in with you on your errands, or leave them at home.

6/24/2010

Colorado Tourism Resources

Looking for something to do this summer? The state's official tourism website, www.Colorado.com, allows you to explore the state and the many enjoyable experiences it offers. Whether you are interested in recreation, heritage tourism, fairs and festivals, or relaxing in luxury, the site profiles places all over the state with maps, vacation ideas, deals on entertainment and lodging, trip planners, and photos and facts on locations throughout Colorado. The Tourism Office also releases an Official State Vacation Guide, which you can order through the website or check out a copy from our library.

6/10/2010

Primary Election Mail-in Ballot Information

2010 is a major election year in Colorado, with races for Governor, U.S. Senate, and some U.S. House seats. In addition, there are elections for all 65 State Representatives; about half the State Senators; and several ballot measures. The ballot measures won't be on the ballot until November, but this August is the primary election for party candidates. Depending on the political party, many of the above-mentioned races will have primary contests. Although election day is August 10, counties with mail-in ballots will be distributing them in early July. To find out if your county issues mail-in ballots, see this map from the Colorado Secretary of State. You can find more information on the election, including a form for requesting a mail-in ballot, on the Secretary of State's Elections Division website. On this webpage you can also find a link to register to vote or uptate the information on your voter registration.

6/03/2010

Assessing the Condition of the State Capitol Exterior

Colorado has recently passed legislation to raise money to fund much-needed repairs to the the State Capitol Building. Some of the money will come from the State Historical Fund; others will be fundraised through private donations. Fentress Bradburn Architects assessed the deterioration of the exterior of the building in November 2009. For their photos, and an analysis of the restoration work that needs to be done, see this publication, available online from our library.

5/27/2010

Colorado Veterans Monument

Directly across Lincoln Street from the front of the State Capitol is the Colorado Veterans Monument. Shaped like a smaller, red sandstone version of the Washington Monument, this sculpture was dedicated on November 10, 1990 to all veterans past and present. According to the book Memorials and Art in and Around the Colorado State Capitol, available from our library, the shape of the monument is meant to signify strength and vigilance, with a beacon at the top meant to signify memory and awareness of veterans' services to Colorado and the United States. You can read more about the monument in a book dedicated to the monument's construction and dedication, Mission Accomplished: Building Colorado Veterans' Monument, also available from our library. Happy Memorial Day, and thank you, to all our veterans and servicemen.

5/20/2010

Update on State Parks Passes

Last week I described some of Colorado's summer recreation opportunities, including Colorado State Parks. Well, yesterday, May 19, the Governor signed into law a new kind of Parks Pass - an "Aspen Leaf" lifetime pass for seniors. Giving seniors a lifetime pass, according to the bill sponsors, will allow senior citizens to keep active without having to continually re-purchase the pass. To see the final Act creating the lifetime pass, click here.

5/13/2010

Get Ready for Summer Recreation

It's May - hooray! - summer will soon be here. If you enjoy taking advantage of Colorado's summer outdoor recreation opportunties, now is the time to start getting ready.

Fishing - anyone age 16 or older needs a fishing license to fish Colorado's waters. Buying a fishing license is easy - you can apply for a license online or visit one of hundreds of retailers around the state. For a list of stores where you can purchase a license, click here. Additionally, you can obtain a Colorado Fishing Map from the Division of Wildlife, or check one out from our library.

State Parks - Colorado State Parks are great for hiking, biking, camping, or boating. To use the parks, you need to purchase an annual Parks Pass. Passes are issued per vehicle. The regular price is $60 per vehicle per year; however, there are reduced rates for seniors over 64, low income, and disabled individuals. Disabled veterans and persons born prior to 1923 get free passes. To find out more about purchasing a Parks Pass, click here.

Boating - Registration is required. Boats may also be subject to inspection for aquatic nuisance species (i.e. zebra mussels). For more about boating registration, inspections, and regulations, click here.

5/06/2010

Colorado Hospital Prices

If you know you're going to need to check in to the hospital, you may want to check hospital prices beforehand to find the best care and the best price. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies can help you with this. They have set up a new website, the Colorado Hospital Price Report, which provides information on prices, insurance, hospital bill FAQs, resource links, and a hospital report card. The information in this helpful website promotes increased transparency and greater access to information for Colorado consumers.

4/29/2010

Colorado Transportation 2035

What are Colorado's future goals for transportation? You can find out at the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT)'s interactive webpage, Moving Colorado: Vision for the Future, 2035 Statewide Transportation Plan. On this site, you can select from different areas or highways around the state to find longterm projects and goals for that area or highway. The site also provides access to regional transportation plans and useful links. This is a helpful site for anyone interested in the future of Colorado transportation.

4/26/2010

Denver Bicycle sharing

Picking Earth Day, April 22, 2010, Denver Mayor, John Hickenlooper, launched the nation’s first large-scale citywide bicycle sharing program. The idea being to help Denver residents and visitors increase their daily activity, save money and reduce carbon emissions, and also to view first hand, lovely and scenic Denver.
Denver B-cycle was fully operational at noon, launching with approximately 400 red Trek B-cycles at 40 B-stations throughout the City.
Kaiser Permanente has committed to a three-year $450,000 community benefit sponsorship.
Denver B-cycle members can pick up a B-cycle from any of the conveniently located B-stations and drop it off at any other B-station. B-stations are currently located throughout downtown Denver, Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek and University of Denver, among other areas. By the end of the June, Denver will have approximately 500 B-cycles at 45-50 B-stations.
Users can sign up for 7-day ($20), 30-day ($30) or annual memberships ($65) online. Users can also purchase a $5 24-hour membership at the B-cycle station with his/her credit card. Discounts are available for students and seniors. Once registered in the system as a member, there is no charge for the first 30 minutes every time the member checks out a B-cycle from a station. After 30 minutes additional usage fee apply that escalate every half hour thereafter. The fee caps at $65/day.
This is a great opportunity to not only go green but to take in the sites and get a little exercise. The Colorado State Publications library can help along the way with safety manuals, rules of the road and even maps of the biking paths of Denver and the surrounding metro areas.
For more information, visit http://denver.bcycle.com.

4/22/2010

Colorado Airport Directory

The Colorado Department of Transportation publishes an Airport Directory every other year. This directory is a valuable resource for both pilots and passengers. The directory lists each airport in the state, along with key facts about the airport. You can find out what kinds of planes are allowed at each airport, for example, and other key facts. People traveling around the state can find out if they have another option besides driving. And statistical data is presented, as well. Current and past editions of the Colorado Airport Directory may be checked out from our library; the current edition can also be accessed online.

4/15/2010

Colorado's Scenic Highway of Legends

Colorado has 25 scenic & historic byways, drives highlighted for their special beauty and history. One of these is Colorado 12, the Scenic Highway of Legends, in Southern Colorado near Trinidad. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation's Byways website, the highway gets its nickname due to the several Spanish and Indian legends regarding the area. According to local lore, a Spanish conquistador, Juan Humana, and his party disappeared in the area in 1594; a rich vein of gold was discovered but lost; and a Trinidad man stopped a band of "marauding Utes" from attacking the town by "distracting them with taunts." Aside from its history, the Scenic Highway of Legends is also designated a byway due to its exceptional scenery of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Wildlife viewing is also possible along the route. You can find more information in a publication available from our library, Colorado 12, Scenic Highway of Legends: A Guide to the Historic Beauty of Southern Colorado, State Highway 12, Trinidad-Walsenburg.

4/14/2010

The Great Colorado Payback

For the past 3 weeks the Antiques Roadshow has been airing episodes that were taped in Denver. One of the issues touched on was the Great Colorado Payback, which collects lost and forgotten objects left in safety deposit boxes in Colorado banks. The objects vary from stamp collections to Civil war relics to antique jewelry. These items are turned over to the Colorado unclaimed property division of the State Treasurer’s office. The items are held for 5 years and then auctioned on-line. The money raised is held for the owners indefinitely. One of the more interesting items highlighted on the show was a “Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond” that weighed in at a whopping 6.2 carats. The show’s appraiser valued it at 15,000 to 20,000 dollars, but did concede, if the ring was indeed a natural yellow diamond and not artificially colored the value would increase to 75,000 to 85,000 dollars. The findings could only be authenticated by an accredited laboratory and certified. It may be beneficial to check the family tree to see if any “ornamental fruit” may be missing.

4/08/2010

Preserving the State Capitol Dome

The Colorado State Capitol Building has been making headlines lately as lawmakers discuss how to go about funding a much-needed restoration of the building's crumbling dome. Some funding proposals may come out later this session. Fentress Bradburn Architects recently completed a historic structure assessment of the building, the extent of its deterioration, and the steps (and costs) needed to fix the 115-year-old structure. In the last few years, visitors have not been allowed to visit the dome's scenic balconies due to chunks of masonry falling off that have the potential to seriously injure someone. The Fentress Bradburn study was commissioned by the Colorado Historical Society. For more about the history of the Capitol, visit the Colorado Legislative Council' Virtual Capitol Tour.

3/25/2010

Rafting and River Outfitters

The Legislature's recent bill regarding rafting and the rights of outfitters to utilize waterways through private lands has brought significant attention to the sport. You can find information on registered river outfitters using the State of Colorado's rafting business license database. See also the Department of Regulatory Agencies' Office of Outfitters Registration page. You can also read about regulations for river outfitters in DORA's 2009 Sunset Review of River Outfitters. Colorado State Parks also has information for river outfitters on their site.

3/18/2010

State Treasury's "Colorado Tax Tracks"

The State Treasury office has developed a new interactive website called Colorado Tax Tracks. According to the opening page of the site, "This website, brought to you by the Colorado State Treasurer's Office, will show you an approximation of how much you pay in state taxes and where your tax dollars go." This is part of the state's new effort to promote transparency. Using Tax Tracks, you can enter in your personal income and see how the state's tax laws affect you.

3/11/2010

Glenwood Canyon

Glenwood Canyon has been in the news lately due to a massive rockfall that closed I-70. (See Samantha's posting below for information on rockfalls). Glenwood Canyon has been hailed as a remarkable feat of engineering, and is a gorgeous drive, too. Our library has a great deal of information on the building of the highway through the canyon, including the videos Glenwood Canyon: Ancient Treasure, Modern Marvel and Glenwood Canyon: Mastering Engineering and Environment in the Colorado Rockies. We also have numerous technical reports dealing with the construction project, including design concept studies and environmental impact assessments. To find these reports, search our web catalog using the keyword "Glenwood Canyon."

3/10/2010

Rockfall

The recent closure of I-70 due to a huge rockfall in Glenwood Canyon made me curious to see what information I could find on landslides and rockfalls from Colorado state agencies. A great place to start is "Rockfall in Colorado" an issue of RockTalk from the Colorado Geological Survey. It has basic information on rockfalls, why they happen, and how rockfall events can be mitigated or avoided.

If you are more interested in the geological details and rockfall risk assessment, check out "Modification and Statistical Analysis of the Colorado Rockfall Hazard Rating System." This report details a fascinating study conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation, that analyzes the geological structures around Colorado, and ranks them based on the likelihood of potential rockfall.

Another useful source of information is the Colorado Geological Survey's rockfall website.

We have many other publications on this topic in the State Publications Library collection. Just search our catalog using the keyword "rockfall" or "landslide" for a list of titles.

3/05/2010

Quick Summaries of Legislative Issues

If you are looking for a quick, easy-to-understand explanation of some of the hot political issues facing our state today, the Colorado Legislative Council's Issue Briefs might be the place to start. The Legislative Council, the nonpartisan research division of the Colorado State Legislature, publishes many reports on governmental issues, but the issue briefs are specially meant to be quick, simple reports in just a couple of pages, aimed both at elected officials and the general public. Recent issue briefs have covered issues such as forest health; federal stimulus funding for energy projects and transportation; Colorado Health Care Affordability Act; gun laws; carbon monoxide alarms; Denver Union Station redevelopment; CoverColorado; DNA laws; DUIs; laws regarding electric vehicles; rainwater harvesting; and unemployment insurance. Be sure to check the Legislative Council's Issue Briefs page, organized by subject, for more briefs.

3/03/2010

Earthquakes

Did you know that more than 500 earthquakes have occurred in Colorado since 1867? Although our state has not been prone to big quakes like the ones that recently hit Chile and Haiti, we do have about 90 potentially active faults. An interactive map of Colorado earthquakes is available through the Colorado Geological Survey. The map server contains information on individual seismic events, including date, time, magnitude, location and depth of the event when you mouse over one of the earthquake symbols. The Geological Survey also has general information and publications on earthquakes that can be accessed from their Earthquake website.

Another good source of information is the Colorado Earthquake Information site from the Colorado Division of Emergency Management. There are tips on how to be prepared for an earthquake, and a table of past Colorado earthquakes.

A number of studies and reports are also available from our collection at the State Publications Library. Search for "earthquakes" in our online catalog for a list of titles.

2/25/2010

Arts Education

A new bill introduced this session, HB10-1273, aims to strengthen the requirements for Arts education in Colorado schools. If passed, this bill would require that all Colorado public schools offer classes in visual and performing arts, and all high school students would be required to take some arts classes. If you're interested in reading about the effects of the Arts on education, the State Publications Library has a number of publications that address this issue. These include:

2/24/2010

Recipes

Did you know that the state publications collection includes recipes? You won't find Julia Child, or Jacques Pepin in the stacks, but we do have a number of books with recipes that may peak your interest. These titles can be checked out from our library, or borrowed through inter-library loan:

  • Colorado Catch Cookbook : Wild Game and Fish Recipes (NR6.2/C28/1987)
  • Cookie Recipes from a Basic Mix for High Altitudes (UCSU20/6.3/456A/1992)
  • Household Cleaning Recipes (UCSU20/6.22/9.502)
  • Mile High Cakes: Recipes for High Altitudes (UCSU20/6.3/516A)
  • Pioneer Potluck (HED6.2/C77/1963)
  • Recipes for Dry Beans and Peas (HE15/210.2/B37/1988)
  • Recipes for High Calorie Nutritious Foods (HE15/210.2/C13/2/1987)
  • Wheat, Gluten, Egg and Milk-Free Recipes (UCSU20/16.3/530A/2000)

2/18/2010

DUI Arrest Statistics

Did you know that 371 people were arrested for driving under the influence during this year's Super Bowl weekend? The arrests were made as part of the "Heat is On!" high-visibility enforcement campaign to combat drunk driving. You can find out how many arrests were made in each of the "Heat is On!" campaigns by visiting the program's statistics site. Not only are statewide numbers given, but you can also search by county or by sherriff's department.

2/11/2010

Colorado Health Data

Are you looking for statistics, trends, and data on Colorado health? The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has a new page, Colorado Health Data, containing health information from many subject areas across the department. Here you can find, for example, statistics on birth and death, diseases, behavioral risk factors, health disparities between diverse populations, environmental health, injuries, hospital discharges, and much more. The site also has a link to CDPHE statistical publications. Colorado Health Data is a handy resource for quick access to Colorado health statistics.

2/04/2010

Unemployment Resources

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment seeks to help the state's unemployed through a new website, the Unemployment Self-Service Resource Guide. Using this site, you can find out how to estimate your unemployment benefits, file for unemployment insurance, search for a new job, and more. The site seeks to answer your questions on insurance claims, getting paid, using the Colorado Automated Payment Card, direct deposit, and other information you might need if you find yourself in this difficult situation.

2/02/2010

State agency databases

Did you know that there is one place you can go to find databases produced by Colorado state agencies? An annotated list of free databases has been compiled by State Publications Library staff as part of a wiki project hosted by the State and Local Documents Task Force of ALA's Government Documents Roundtable. Take a moment and browse through the Colorado State Agency Databases wiki. You'll be surprised at the variety of data that's available. The wiki project is also a great place to start if you need comparisons of data by state. Volunteers have created list for each state, so it's an easy way to locate statistics and data produced by other states.

1/28/2010

I-70 Wildlife Watch

The Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Patrol, and other partners have just launched a new website, www.I-70wildlifewatch.org. I-70 Wildlife Watch is a website where motorists can log in and report wildlife sightings along the interstate. Then, other motorists can visit the site prior to making their trip and view the interactive map to find out where along the highway to use extra caution. The website is designed to help both people and animals by reducing the number of vehicle-wildlife crashes.

1/26/2010

PERA reform

This afternoon (January 26, 2010) is the first hearing on a new bill to reform PERA, the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association's retirement plan. Senate Bill 10-001,"Concerning modifications to the Public Employee's Retirement Association necessary to reach a one hundred percent funded ratio within the next thirty years," calls for larger contributions from employers and employees and a smaller cost of living increase to help balance the retirement fund. The hearing will be held before the Senate Finance Committee in Room SCR 354 at 1:30. Live audio is available from the General Assembly website.

For more information about this issue, try the following resources:

1/21/2010

Race to the Top

The first major initiative of the 2010 Legislative session has been the Race to the Top program for federal education funding regarding teacher preparation. The Governor has already signed SB10-036 regarding Race to the Top. For information on the program and related documents, see the Governor's Race to the Top webpage.

1/20/2010

Guide to Legislative Information

If you would like to stay on top of the activities in the capitol building during the new legislative session, the State Publications Library has created a "quick guide" to legislative information that may help you navigate through the complexities of the Colorado General Assembly. Listen to live audio of the proceedings, read proposed bills, and learn about the legislative process.

1/14/2010

2010 Legislative Session Underway

Yesterday began the 2010 Legislative session, which runs 12o days. This year, the budget will continue to be a major topic of debate. For information on the introduction and status of bills, legislators' contact information, and calendar of proceedings, visit www.leg.state.co.us. Additionally, the Legislature's research division, Colorado Legislative Council, has a new feature on their website entitled Legislative Research Fundamentals, with helpful information on researching laws and bills past and present. Finally, the current session's House and Senate floor proceedings can be viewed online or on Comcast cable channel 165. Online viewing includes archived proceedings. Broadcast of the Senate is new this year. Committee hearings are available via streaming audio, however, these are not archived on the website, so past hearings need to be accessed from the Colorado State Archives.

1/13/2010

Internet Safety

Earlier this week Colorado Attorney General John Suthers unveiled Wired with Wisdom, an Internet safety program designed to educate Colorado parents on how to keep their kids safe online. According to a press release from the Attorney General's Office:
The program, Wired With Wisdom, is designed to provide parents and caregivers with useful information and solutions related to the problems their children might encounter in today’s digital age. The program addresses the dangers associated with social networking, e-mail, cell phones, chat rooms, instant messaging and other technology widely used by youth today so that adults are equipped to educate young people about safe and responsible online practices.

More information on the program and how to connect is available in the press release.

You may also want to visit the "Safe Surfing Initiative Website" which contains Internet safety resources for kids and parents.

1/07/2010

Previous Political Roles of Colorado Governors

Since Colorado's current Governor, Bill Ritter, has decided he will not run for re-election in 2010, there has been much speculation about who will run on the Democratic ticket. The press has speculated on such possible candidates as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, former Speaker of the (State) House Andrew Romanoff, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (although Salazar announced today he will not run). As each of these persons has a very different role in government, it made me wonder what prior political positions have been held by past governors.

Colorado's governors dating back to Statehood in 1876 had served in roles from everything from judges to school boards to City Attorney, although, interestingly, no Colordo Attorney General has ever become governor.

Only one Governor ever served as Mayor of Denver - John L. Routt, who was governor first, serving as Territorial Governor 1875-76, the State's first Governor 1876-79, Mayor of Denver 1883-85, and Governor again 1891-93. (Popular guy!) Two other Colorado governors served as Mayors, of Pueblo and Montrose, before becoming governor.

One Colorado Governor, John Shafroth, served in the U.S. House of Representatives before becoming Colorado's chief executive, while exactly half, 18 out of 36, Governors served in the Colorado State Legislature, two as Speaker of the House and seven as President of the Senate.

Finally, seven Colorado state governors previously served as Lieutenant Governors.

This information was obtained from the following sources: The Colorado State Archives' lists of Colorado Governors and Colorado Attorneys General; the City and County of Denver's online list of Mayors; the Colorado Legislative Council's database of legislator biographies; and a book, available from our library, entitled Presidents and Speakers of the Colorado General Assembly.

1/06/2010

2010 Election

It seems early to be thinking about elections this year, but the early stages of candidate selection are in full force. Candidates are vying for a chance to run for governor, U.S. Congress, and positions in the state legislature to name a few.

The Colorado caucus for candidate selection is scheduled to take place on March 16, 2010 this year. The Democratic and Republican Parties will both hold a caucus to poll public preference for their gubernatorial and other candidates. According to state law (CRS 1-3-101):
"In order to vote at any precinct caucus, assembly, or convention of a political party, the elector shall be a resident of the precinct for thirty days, shall have registered to vote no later than twenty-nine days before the caucus, assembly, or convention, and shall be affiliated with the political party holding the caucus, assembly, or convention for at least two months."
Voters who want to participate in their local caucus need to register to vote and declare their party affiliation before January 15th.

To learn about the election process, try the following resources:

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