10/31/2011

Homeless and Runaway Youth

November is Colorado Homeless and Runaway Youth awareness month.

According to the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, the overall number of homeless students in K-12 increased 50%, from 12,302 to 18,408 students in the past two years. In the past year, the number of unaccompanied homeless youth (homeless youth without a parent or guardian) in Colorado public schools increased 48% from 896 to 1,325 youth.

What can we do to help?

The Office of Homeless Youth Services has put together a website that can point you in the right direction.

An extensive list of resources for homeless youth across Colorado has been compiled by the Colorado Department of Human Services.

The "Help for Homeless Youth" section on the Colorado Virtual Library's Tools for Tough Times Guide also has a list of non-profits and state agencies that provide services and assistance to homeless youth.

10/27/2011

Colorado Military Records

There are several places within Colorado state government to find military records. Historic military records are housed at the Colorado State Archives. These include the records of military personnel from Colorado who served as Colorado Volunteers or Colorado National Guard members. At the archives you can find rosters, muster rolls, service records, administrative files, special and general orders, record books, and much more. You can also search their online indexes for Colorado Volunteers registration (1861-65), Colorado Civil War casualties, Colorado Volunteers in the Spanish American War, Colorado Veterans' grave registration index, Colorado Vietnam War casulaties, and more. (For historical background on the Colorado Volunteers, see this article from the Archives.)

More recent Colorado National Guard records can be obtained through the Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs. See their website for instructions on obtaining records.

10/25/2011

Creative Capitol

Colorado has an interesting arts program called "Creative Capitol," where artworks reflecting Colorado life, environment, and heritage are displayed in the State Capitol Building. According to the program's website, "Staff and visitors are welcomed into the Lt. Governor's office to view the rotating exhibitions and to the Governor's office to view the permanent collection. This new program of Colorado Creative Industries celebrates Colorado's rich creative economy and shares this abundant resource with the citizens of Colorado." The current exhibit, which runs through December 8, 2011, features two separate exhibits on the American West. In the Lt. Governor's Office you can find Painting the West, featuring historic landscape paintings of the unsettled West by such famous artists as George Catlin and Karl Bodmer. In the Capitol's basement rotunda, you can find Tribal Pathways, an exhibit on the traditions of Colorado's American Indians. Online, you can also visit a site listing all of the past exhibitions, going back to 2008. These exhibits add new and interesting things to see along with the Capitol's already large collection of Colorado art.

10/24/2011

New Version of the Colorado Blueprint

A new version of Governor Hickenlooper's "Bottom-Up" economic development plant was released this morning. The new version,"Colorado Blueprint v1.0: A bottom-up approach to economic development", fleshes out the details and tightens timelines for the 24 tactics in the document. The blueprint focuses on the following six objectives: Build a Business-Friendly Environment; Retain, Grow and Recruit Companies; Increase Access to Capital; Create and Market a Stronger Colorado Brand; Educate and Train the Workforce of the Future; Cultivate Innovation and Technology.

According to the press release from the governor's office, specific changes include:



  • "Increased engagement of the business and economic development communities to develop a comprehensive statewide industry cluster strategy in the next three months, rather than the next nine months


  • Increased focus on local and regional infrastructure development tha aligns with regional economic development priorities


  • A structure for engaging industry partners in promoting the Colorado brand through the International Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program."

If you'd like to compare the old with the new, the first version of the Colorado Blueprint can be accessed through our digital repository.

10/20/2011

I-70 Twin Tunnels

Today the Colorado Transportation Commission approved $60 million to widen the eastbound tunnel of the I-70 "twin tunnels" in Clear Creek County. The project will add a third lane to the eastbound tunnel to ease congestion. For more information on what this upcoming construction means for you, visit the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT)'s project website. Here you will find documents and analysis, a timeline, environmental impact statements and records of decision, news releases, and updates on the project. CDOT has just tweeted that "we have at least [a] year of environmental study before construction. Will try to make it as painless as possible!" Keep checking the CDOT website for construction delays on highways throughout Colorado.

10/18/2011

The Denver Viaducts

Have you been in Denver long enough to remember the LoDo viaducts? When you walk around "LoDo" you'll see quite a few buildings with doorways to nowhere on the second floor. Now you know why. The viaducts were built in order to carry vehicle traffic over the Platte River and the railway lines used to supply the warehouse buildings. Most were removed in the early 1990s, though we still have a few other viaducts around town, including on parts of Colfax and 6th Avenue. The LoDo viaducts were famous, though, because they came so close to the old buildings.

You can read more about one of the Denver viaducts in a 1984 publication from the Colorado Dept. of Highways, The Larimer Viaduct Replacement, which provides an environmental assessment of the project. We also have another Dept. of Highways publication investigating the failure of one of the Larimer Viaduct's ramp pier tables: Preliminary Report of Failure Investigation, Walnut Viaduct-Ramp J. To see some great pictures of the viaducts, visit the Denver Public Library.

10/17/2011

History of Income Tax and Proposition 103

Last week I received my mail-in ballot for this November's election. The statewide ballot initiative, proposition 103, that proposes a temporary tax increase for public education has generated a lot of conversation. I was browsing through the list of titles that have recently been added to the State Publications Library collection and found an interesting and pertinent document by the Legislative Council Staff: History of Colorado Income Tax Rates. It gives a brief synopsis of how taxes have changed in the state since 1937 when income tax was first enacted in Colorado. An analysis of Proposition 103 can be found in the 2011 Ballot Information Booklet, also called the Blue Book. The full text of the initiative can be found on the Secretary of State's website.

10/13/2011

Consumer Resource Guide

Colorado consumers should know that the state's Attorney General's Office has on their website a very helpful Consumer Resource Guide. This online guide can answer your legal questions on a variety of topics, including: automobiles; business and professional licensing; civil rights & employment; common scams; credit & lending; elder issues; general consumer issues & complaints; government agencies & services; health issues; identity theft, and more. Consumers may also want to take a look at the AG's new Consumer Fraud Awarness newsletter. This month's edition covers topics such as AARP ElderWatch, counterfeit products sold over the internet; free trial offer scams; charitable fraud; telemarketing fraud; cashier's check scams; and telephone bill "cramming." Each issue contains helpful tips to keep consumers from becoming victims. These and other resources from the Attorney General's Office are a smart way to help you protect yourself.

10/11/2011

Colorado Virtual Library

The brand-new Colorado Virtual Library (CVL) has just been launched! This exciting State Library project is a great new website with lots of information on various Colorado topics. One of the highlights of the site is the Colorado Histories section, which includes digitized Colorado historic newspapers and a fun new section with biographies of famous Coloradans. New biographies will continually be added so check back often. Each famous Coloradan has a short bio, links to more resources, and a photo. These bios are great for any age, but are especially useful for 4th graders studying Colorado history, providing a helpful starting point for their research on significant persons in our state. Many of the people whose biographies are featured on the site also have full-length biographies within the publications of our collection; particularly in Colorado Heritage magazine; some, like Josephine Roche and Horace Tabor, have full, book-length bios in our collection. So if you're researching one of the featured persons on the CVL site, be sure to check our catalog for information, or let us know who you're researching so we can look for articles on that person. We're always happy to help in your research, whatever the topic.

10/06/2011

Onions

Did you know that ancient Egyptians valued onions so much that officials took office with their right hand on an onion? And that in the Middle Ages they were so valuable that they were given as wedding gifts? And that the onion is actually part of the lily family? These and many more interesting facts about onions can be found in the Colorado State University Extension publication Colorado Onion Production and Integrated Pest Management. Available from our library, this is an essential guide for any Colorado onion grower. It outlines the different varieties of onions that grow in Colorado, procedures for fertilizing, harvesting, and post-harvest, and weed and insect pests. If you grow onions, be sure to check this guide. We also have many other publications on all kinds of Colorado crops; search our web catalog for much more agricultural information.

10/05/2011

Fire Prevention and Safety

This week is National Fire Prevention week. Observed since 1922, this year's theme is "Protect your Family from Fire." Learn how to keep your home safe by visiting the National Fire Protection Association's site for kids and families. Highlights include tips on making a fire escape plan, and a fire safety checklist.

These titles from the State Publications Library collection may also be of interest:
Forest Home Fire Safety
Fire-resistant landscaping
Living with fire: protecting communities and restoring forests

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. More than 250 people were killed, over 17,000 structures were destroyed, and more than 2,000 acres burned in the tragedy. The Chicago Historical Society has put together an online exhibit called "The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory" that is worth a visit.


10/04/2011

Dinosaur National Monument

Today is the 96th birthday of Dinosaur National Monument, designated in 1915. The area is named, of course, for the dinosaurs that once roamed the area. The Monument is known for camping and rafting, in addition to its fossil finds. Just in time for their birthday, today the Monument is celebrating the grand re-opening of their exhibit hall after a 5-year renovation. The exhibits feature over 1500 dinosaur bones, including those of a newly-discovered herbivore, Abydosaurus mcintoshi. Visitors to Dinosaur National Monument will also want to be sure to travel along the area's designated Colorado byway, Dinosaur Diamond. (See Colorado: The Official Guide to Scenic and Historic Byways, available from our library).

If you're interested in the history of the buildings of the Monument, check out the Colorado Historical Society's publication Dinosaur National Monument: Multiple Property Listing, available from our library. For general information on dinosaurs in Colorado, check out Dinosaur Remains in Colorado and Dinosaurs in our Backyard (CD-Rom), both also available from our library.

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