8.31.2006

Flood plains and you

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

8.30.2006

Nostalgia

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

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

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

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

8.24.2006

Resources for Back to School

It's that time again...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.22.2006

Cryosphere: Where the World Is Frozen

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

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

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

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

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

8.17.2006

Recycling opportunities and information

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

8.15.2006

Links to the Lynx

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

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

8.10.2006

History of the State Penitentiary

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

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

8.08.2006

Kids Count

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

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

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

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

8.04.2006

Colorado’s Points of Geological Interest (POGI)

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

8.02.2006

West Nile Virus

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

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