Organic Fertilizers

It's that time of year where many homeowners' thoughts turn to lawn and garden care.  Fertilizing has long been recognized as an important part of keeping a lawn healthy, but increasingly many people are looking for green alternatives to chemical fertilizers.  The Colorado State University Extension has produced several publications about how to use organic fertilizers that are better for the environment, such as


Time Machine Tuesday: The Rocky Flats Fires

The Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant experienced two large fires, in 1957 and 1969, that resulted in the release of plutonium contaminants into the environment.  In the 1990s the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
conducted public exposure studies on these events and other instances of potential public exposure.  These studies are available from our library, and those with links are also available online:
Cleanup after the 1969 fire.  Photo courtesy CDPHE.
In our library we have around 150 documents related to Rocky Flats, so the above is just a sampling.  Documents range from the 1990s CDPHE studies to the reports of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Panel and other citizen committees.  Also in our collection is a 1979 nuclear emergency plan.  For these and more resources search our web catalog.


Colorado Women's History Month

Today the Legislature is considering SJR15-020, which designates March as Colorado Women's History Month.  In our library collection you can find many resources on the contributions women have made to our state's history, including:

  • Colorado Women:  A History
  • Colorado Women's History:  A Multicultural Treasury
  • Directory of Women's History Sites in the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties
  • Women's Gold:  Prominent Women in Colorado History (videocassette)
  • Women's Clubs of Denver 
  • Summary Report of the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, 1965
  • Pioneer Potluck:  Stories and Recipes of Early Colorado
  • Junior League of Denver
  • Colorado Profiles:  Men and Women Who Shaped the Centennial State
  • Hell's Belles:  Prostitution, Vice, and Crime in Early Denver
  • Tell Me, Grandmother:  Traditions, Stories, and Culture of Arapaho People
  • Long Vistas:  Women and Families on Colorado Homesteads

 Also, you can find biographies on Colorado women such as:
  • Irene Jerome Hood:  A Victorian Woman and Her Art
  • A Wide-Awake Woman:  Josephine Roche in the Era of Reform
  • The Ballad of Baby Doe
  •  Helen Ring Robinson:  Colorado Senator and Suffragist


Time Machine Tuesday: 1950s Comic Books

No, we don't have comic books in our collection.  But we do have an interesting document that deals with them, and gives some fascinating insight into 1950s culture. 

In 1956, Colorado actually had an interim committee in the Legislature to deal with the "problems" brought about by comic books!  The 1956 Report of the Committee on Comic Books is available online from our library and provides an intriguing look at the morals and attitudes of the 1950s.  According to the report, the committee met to discuss "allegations...that such publications...may tend to provoke acts of juvenile delinquency or crime," and whether comic books that were "inherently objectionable should be made unlawful...or should be so regulated as to eliminate their evil." 

Check out the full report to find out what the Committee decided.  In our library you can also find the related legislation that was developed by the Committee.  



Railroad Crossing Safety

A recent news story offered a history of recent incidents of rail crashes resulting in death, citing 29 deaths in Colorado in the last 5 years, including both heavy rail and light rail incidents.  Last week the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a press release to bring awareness to this issue and provide safety advice for railroad crossings.  The PUC offered the following tips:

Rail Crossing Safety Tips for everyone:
· Always expect a train at a railroad crossing at any time, on any track, from any direction;
· Always look both directions for a train at any railroad crossing.

Rail Crossing Safety Tips for drivers:
· Don’t drive around crossing gates – it is both unsafe and illegal to do so in Colorado;
· It is both unsafe and illegal in Colorado to stop or allow yourself to become trapped on tracks. Proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping;
· Always obey warning signs at a railroad crossing whether they are passive (signs) or active (flashing lights, gates, bells).

Rail Crossing Safety Tips for pedestrians and bicyclists:
· Be alert and aware when you are around railroad tracks and at light rail and commuter rail train stations;
· Don’t wear headphones or stare at your phone when you are around railroad crossings;
· Always obey safety warnings whether they are passive (signs) or active (flashing lights, gates, bells, pedestrian swing gates);
· Don’t trespass on railroad or light rail tracks.

 For more in-depth information see the PUC's Three Year Safety and Security Audit Summary of the Metro Denver Area Regional Transportation District (RTD) Light Rail Operation 2008 through 2010, available online from our library.  See also the Colorado Department of Transportation's State Freight and Passenger Rail Plan, also available online from our library, which addresses some safety issues.