May is Building Safety Month

Governor Hickenlooper has declared May, 2016 as Colorado Building Safety Month.  This month brings recognition to the work of architects, engineers, and construction workers, as well as fire prevention professionals, to reduce risk of structure fire, collapse, flooding, airborne pollutants, and other potential injury-causing structural defects and problems.

In our library you can read more about what the State of Colorado is doing to make sure our buildings are safe and sound, including safety standards and regulation of the building design and construction professions.  Start by visiting the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control's Fire and Life Safety webpage, which includes information on building fire suppression systems, the Hotel/Motel Fire Safety Act, permitting and inspection information, and more.  Then be sure to check out these publications available from our library:

Carbon monoxide:
Case studies:
Fire prevention:
Government buildings:
Home safety, general:
Lead-based paint:
Licensing and regulation of professions:
School facilities:
 Swelling soils/subsidence (earth movements):
 Wood burning stoves:
  • Wood for Home Heating:  How to Install a Wood Burning System Correctly and Safely.  Colorado Office of Energy Conservation, 1981.
  •  Using Coal and Wood Stoves Safely.  Colorado Office of Energy Conservation, 1974.

You can also view our collection of building codes in our Incorporated by Reference collection, which are materials pertaining to specific rules in the Colorado Code of Regulations.

Click to read the Governor's Proclamation.


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado in 1976

A lot was going on in Colorado in the year 1976.  First of all, while the nation celebrated its bicentennial, the Centennial State celebrated its own centenary milestone.  In our library you can view a number of materials from the Colorado Centennial-Bicentennial Commission.  Our library has had several of these documents digitized, including the official teacher's guide, souvenir program, and, most significantly, Once in a Hundred:  The Final Report of the Colorado Centennial-Bicentennial Commission, which not only gives information on commission activities, financing, and marketing, but also offers descriptions of all of the programs, organized by date and county, as well as hundreds of photographs of the special events. 

1976 was also a significant election year for Colorado; there were several important issues on the ballot.  These included a constitutional amendment regarding construction of nuclear power plants; repeal of the "Equal Rights Amendment," (i.e. Equality of the Sexes), which had been added to the State Constitution in 1972; a proposed statute to exempt food purchases from sales tax; establishing a returnable beverage container deposit law to encourage recycling; setting limitations on tax increases; and several other measures.  You can read analyses of each ballot measure, along with arguments for and against, in An Analysis of 1976 Ballot Proposals, also known as the "Blue Book."  So what did the voters decide?  You can probably guess on most of them -- Section 29 still protects the equal rights of the sexes and CO doesn't appear on the bottom of any beverage bottles.  Tax exemptions on groceries actually didn't pass in 1976 -- that law went into effect January 1, 1980.  And what about the nuclear power plants and tax increase limitations?  You can check out the number of votes for and against these and the other measures in the Colorado Secretary of State's 1976 Abstract of Votes Cast1976 was also a presidential election year, so you can find a county-by-county breakdown of the state's presidential electors (part-time Coloradan Gerald Ford won the state, but Jimmy Carter won the election), as well as the number of votes for other races including Congressional, Legislative, judges, etc.

Of course, 1976 was also the year of the disastrous Big Thompson Flood.  You can read about that, and the related documents available from our library, in an earlier post.  Since then, we now have the Final Report to the Governor in our library's digital collection.


Fracking: Risk to Homes and the Environment

Today's Denver Post headlined "Colorado residents push to protect homes, river from fracking," which discusses the use of state rules that were established by recommendations from a 2014 task force.  If you're looking for the task force's report, which does not appear to be linked to in the Post article, you can find it here.  For further resources, search the term "hydraulic fracturing" in our library's web catalog.


Licensing of Optometrists

If you or your child needs glasses, you may have questions regarding who to see -- an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, or an optician.  (Click here to find out the difference between the three).  Many people will choose to see an optometrist.  Colorado has a State Board of Optometry which regulates this profession.  This means that you can go online to view an optometrist's licensing information and find out if there have been any disciplinary actions against them.  Go to the Department of Regulatory Agencies' License Lookup and select OPTOMETRY from the drop-down menu, then search by name or city.  Ophthalmologists can also be searched using this database.  They can be found under "MEDICAL:  Physician (Dr.)" in the drop-down menu.

For more information on the State Board of Optometry, visit their website.  You can also view the board's Sunset Reviews, available from our library.  The reviews from 2010 and 2001 are online; earlier reviews, done in 1978, 1984, and 1991, are available for checkout from our library.  


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Highway Maps

What was it like to travel around Colorado before I-25, I-70, and the other major highways?  Colorado had a network of smaller roadways -- which probably allowed visitors a more scenic view of the state than we have today!  The Colorado Department of Transportation has digitized a number of its old state maps, which have been cataloged and are available from our library.  The digitized maps go back to 1942.  Not only are these maps of roads and highways, but the full-color maps also give suggestions for points of interest along the routes.  The maps also contain mileage tables, information on National Parks, Monuments, and Forests, a list of mountain passes, and a list of the state's highest peaks.  Some years also include topographical information.  Experience traveling in days gone by with these fun maps!