3.30.2006

Teen Drivers

Recent news carried the story about the man who used the HOV lane by riding with a dummy. The judge ordered him to auction her off on e-Bay to raise money for the Alive-at-25 Program. According to the 2004 Colorado State Patrol Annual Report, this program started in 1996 with the Colorado State Patrol teaching the AA25 course to young drivers. In the report the State Patrol estimates that more than 60 lives were saved through 2004. Our library has several sources for accident statistics for teen drivers:

Colorado State Patrol Annual Report
Traffic Stop Summary
Standard Summary of Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents in Colorado
Transportation Facts

In addition, visit CDOT’s Traffic Safety Website for teen driving statistics and information, and read New Driving Laws for Minor Drivers which summarizes recent laws to help teens with driving.

3.27.2006

Historic Preservation

In an effort to help save Colorado's quickly vanishing historic buildings and sites, voters in 1992 approved a measure that would enable a portion of the gaming revenues from Central City, Blackhawk, and Cripple Creek to go toward historic preservation. The funds are administered by the State Historical Fund, a branch of the Colorado Historical Society, and to date they have overseen more than $125 million in grants going toward the preservation of sites as diverse as Mesa Verde, the State Capitol Building, and numerous historic schools, churches, libraries, ranches, theaters, town halls, courthouses, commercial buildings, community centers, and other types of buildings and sites throughout the state. Several of these projects have been highlighted in a documentary new to CoSPL's collection, entitled "Saving Colorado's Treasures." This 50-minute DVD examines the stories behind the selected sites' preservation, including interviews with the restoration architects and members of the community, that emphasize the many benefits of historic preservation. CoSPL also has a variety of other resources on historic preservation in Colorado, including titles such as "The Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation in Colorado." For a list of suggested resources on historic preservation in CoSPL's collection, see the bibliography at http://www.cde.state.co.us/stateinfo/slstphistbib.htm.

3.23.2006

Living With Asthma

If you live in Colorado chances are that you know someone with asthma. Colorado has the second highest prevalence of asthma in the country with an estimated 7.1% of population living with this disease. For more detailed data on such topics as hospitalization, mortality, etc. and for information on what Colorado is doing to improve the lives of those affected, link to the following titles that our library cataloged this month:

Colorado Asthma Surveillance Report, 2004
Hospitalizations for Asthma, 2005
Colorado Asthma Plan: Putting the Pieces Together, 2005


In addition to the above titles, the Colorado Asthma Program in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides a great deal of practical information for anyone needing help living with this disease. You will find information for schools, brochures for people needing help with medications and management, bibliographies for adults and for children, and links to other organizations in Colorado and the U.S. offering assistance.

3.21.2006

Prairie Dog Sightings

April and May are the months to start seeing young prairie dogs at burrows in Front Range open spaces. The black-tailed prairie dog is the most common. Although they are called prairie dogs, or sometimes "sod poodles" and "range rodents", they are members of the squirrel family. Young are called "kits" and a family group is a coterie. They live in highly social communities called "towns" with as few as 10 or as many as several hundred individuals. Communication is by a variety of calls or "alarms" to alert the community of danger.

Wildlife experts have found they are an intregal part of the prairie ecosystem and a "keystone species". Their burrows serve as homes for burrowing owls, rabbits, rattlesnakes, and others. They are a major food source for predators such as hawks, eagles, coyotes, black-footed ferrets, etc. Managing them has been an issue since 1915, and earlier. Relocation, especially in urban and suburban areas, is a more recent issue and has several requirements.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are known for creating elaborate underground towns. Using their head and shoulders, they displace roughly 480 pounds of dirt when they form a colony.

CoSPL Selected Resources:
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Study of Eastern Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife,2000, (NR1.2/B56/2000) also online
Conservation Plan for Grassland Species in Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2003,(NR6/115.2/G77/2003/2) also online
The Prairie Dog Situation in Colorado, W. L. Burnett, Office of State Entomologist, 1915 (UCSU20/2.4/17)
Managing Prairie Dogs, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, 2001, (UCSU20/6.22/6.506)

3.20.2006

Mining for Facts

Mining was one of the industries most important to shaping our state's history and growth, and many Colorado mountain towns had their roots as mining towns. Precious metals, such as gold and silver, as well as other mineral resources, such as coal and molybdenum, were mined in Colorado, and, although on a smaller scale, are still mined today. CoSPL has a rich "lode" of resources on Colorado mining heritage, from both the historical and scientific perspectives. Examples from CoSPL's collection:

Colorado mining history, general:
-Directory of Mining-Related Properties in the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties, HED6/50.2/M66/2003
-Mining History of Colorado, NR12/20.2/M66/2001 (also online)
-Colorado Geological Survey reports and maps

Mining towns and areas:
-The Rise of the Silver Queen: Georgetown, Colorado 1859-1896, HED13.2/R49/2005
-History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado, From Mountain Solitude to Metropolis, HED6.2/L47/1996
-When Coal Was King: A History of Crested Butte, Colorado 1880-1952, HED4/2.2/C86/1984
-Mining Among the Clouds: The Mosquito Range and the Origins of Colorado's Silver Boom, HED6.20/2002/6
-Song of the Hammer and Drill: The Colorado San Juans, 1860-1914, HED4/2.2/SA5/1982

Mine labor:
-Coal People: Life in Southern Colorado's Company Towns, 1890-1930, HED6.20/1999/3
-Biennial Report of the Bureau of Mines of the State of Colorado, NR9/200.1. Collection includes years 1912-1919.

3.16.2006

March: Women’s History Month

By Presidential Proclamation, March is designated Women’s History Month to honor the contributions that women have made in our society. Related titles in our collection offer some interesting reading on Colorado women. Here is a sampling, but search our catalog for many more titles!

Colorado Women’s History: A Multicultural Treasury, 1985
Long Vistas: Women and Families on Colorado Homesteads, 1993
Women’s Clubs of Denver, Essays in Colorado History, No. 13, 1992
Women’s Gold Videorecording: Prominent Women in Colorado History, 1989
Junior League of Denver: Leaders in Community Service, 1918-1993
Directory of Colorado State Register of Historic Properties Associated With Women’s History, 2005

In addition, link to the Women’s Gold Tapestry on the Colorado State Capitol Virtual Tour site, which provides information on the Colorado women immortalized in this tapestry hanging in the capitol.

3.14.2006

Flu Epidemic vs Pandemic

Hear that coughing and sneezing - that means it's flu season. Numbers of suffers seem to be down this year, but infections are tracked by date, place, and age with weekly updates. Then we hear about a pandemic and the bird flu and wonder what it all means. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has some explanations.

An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease, like the seasonal flu, in a limited area, such as a city or state. A pandemic is not seasonal and occurs when a new flu virus rapidly spreads beyond the borders of several countries. The biggest pandemic of influenza was in 1918 when at least 500,000 Americans died and millions worldwide. The avian influenza or bird flu is an influenza strain that infects birds and occurs naturally, especially in wild waterfowl like ducks and geese. A small number of high pathogenic avian flu infections have been reported in humans and many have died. People can be infected from contact with infected birds or their droppings. Colorado has tested birds for avian flu since 2004 and no birds have tested positive.

The state of Colorado has a plan in progress to provide a guide to the state's response to an influenza pandemic called the Colorado Pandemic Influenza Index to CDPHE Internal Emergency Response Implementation Plan . The Plan describes the basic strategies of disease monitoring, vaccine and medication delivery, communications, and emergency management activities. Also, on the morning of March 24, 2006 at the Colorado Convention Center there will be the "Colorado's Pandemic Readiness and Emergency Planning Conference". It is free and open to the public.

3.13.2006

Weird Weather

March has often been considered a month of unpredictable weather as we move from winter into spring, and this March looks like it will be no exception. Over the weekend, tornadoes ripped through the midwest, but tornadoes are also possible in Colorado as early as March. CoSPL has information about tornadoes around the world, from the CU-Boulder Natural Hazards Center. Publications focusing on March tornadoes include Risk Factors for Death in the 1 March 1997 Arkansas Tornadoes and Multi-Organizational Coordination During the Response to the March 28, 2000 Fort Worth Tornado. We also have information on Colorado tornadoes, including the 1991 report Lessons Learned from Limon: A Tornado After-Action Report, available to check out from CoSPL.

March is also Colorado's snowiest month, and who can forget the great March 2003 blizzard. Two serials provided analysis after the storm: Colorado Climate (2004 issue) and Colorado Heritage (Fall 2003). The article in Heritage offered a fascinating comparison of the March 2003 blizzard with the great blizzard of December 1913.

The wildfire season also begins around March, and CoSPL has a variety of resources on wildfires.

3.09.2006

Wolves in Colorado

The prospect of wolves migrating into Colorado is a polarizing topic. Consequently, last week when a lone wolf was spotted in the Northern Colorado mountains, it made newspaper headlines, and the Division of Wildlife posted the story and video on its web site. Colorado has no plans to reintroduce wolves; but in anticipation of their arrival, in 2004 the DOW held meetings around the state, formed a diverse working group, and produced Findings and Recommendations for Managing Wolves That Migrate Into Colorado, Dec. 2004. When the federal management of wolves is turned over to the state, the DOW will implement the plan.

For more information about about wolves, link to a brief summary called Wolves, Knocking at Colorado’s Door, 2004. A survey, Colorado Residents’ Attitudes and Perceptions Toward Reintroduction of the Gray Wolf (Canis Lupis) into Colorado, 1995 is available in hard copy. In addition, there is a wealth of information on the DOW’s Gray Wolf web site, covering many aspects of this controversial issue, such as laws, economic and ranching impacts, biology, maps, and other states’ management plans.

3.07.2006

The Court of Last Resort

The Colorado Supreme Court is indeed the state's court of last resort and its decisions are binding on all other state courts.
Governor Owens recently appointed a new member to the Supreme Court, Allison Eid of Golden. She is the 95th person to serve and will have a provisional term of two years after which she must stand for retention to serve an additional ten years. Judges serve ten year terms. The Chief Justice is selected from the members of the body and, among other duties, appoints a Chief Judge for each of the state's 22 judicial districts.
It's possible to search the opinions of the Colorado Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The Colorado State Publications Library has reports from the Court including The State of the Judiciary (SC1.11/year), special reports, Research Links plus historical reports such as Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado: in effect January 22, 1917 (SC1.6/1917).

3.06.2006

Colorado Education Standards

Over the past week there has been considerable debate over whether Overland High School teacher Jay Bennish's controversial lecture was within the appropriate curriculum for a geography class. Colorado Model Content Standards can help with this question. To assist k-12 schools and school districts in determining curriculum by grade level, the Colorado Department of Education has published Model Content Standards for every subject. These guides can be found at the State Publications Library or online through CDE. (And, of course, this is for reference only and does not reflect CDE's position on the Bennish issue.)

3.02.2006

Goose on the Loose

Long-time residents of the Front Range can remember that sighting a Canada goose was rare and a thrill. Now they are everywhere, taking over our parks and other places where we don’t want them! What happened in such a short time? CoSPL has the story. We just made available the 1957 Division of Wildlife report, Canada Goose Restoration Along the Foothills of Colorado, describing the 1950’s restoration of Canada geese as being a “success story seldom equaled in the history of wildlife management."

Interestingly, the project was such a success that DOW in recent years published Geese Galore or Why the Front Range is home to so many geese, and what you can do to minimize the problems they may cause, 1989; and Living with Wildlife: Canada Geese, 2002, also available on-line. These and other state publications on the topic are available for loan.