11.29.2006

Colorado Gift Guide

If you can't face the crowds during the shopping season this year, you might be interested in this handy online gift guide from the Markets Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The directory includes companies with products grown and produced in Colorado. You can find gift baskets, chocolates, tea, jewelry, woolens and a whole lot more. There are descriptions of the items that each company has to offer along with links to their webpages so you can shop from the comfort of your home.

11.27.2006

Colorado Open Records

Our library is established to ensure that all state publications are available to residents of Colorado, CRS 24-90-201. Another piece of state government information, records, is also available to the public through the Colorado Open Records Act, CRS 24-72-201. Under this act public records are open for inspection by any person at reasonable times. This law applies to all levels and types of governments within Colorado. Records should be available immediately; however state agencies have up to 10 days to make your request available depending on the size of the request. You do not have to identify yourself or explain why you want the records. You may, however, be charged photocopying fees. An excellent explanation of the law is in the 12 -page Formal Opinion of Ken Salazar No. 01-0. If you want to examine either statute referenced above, go to the Colorado General Assembly Homepage and click on CO Revised Statutes.

11.22.2006

Seat belt use

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the highest travel weekend in the year. If you are one of the millions of people hitting the road, we at the Colorado State Publications Library encourage you to use your seat belts and arrive alive. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) “Click it or Ticket” website, last year in Colorado 460 drivers and passengers died on our highways and 258 of them weren't buckled up.

To ensure the safety of children passengers, check out the Colorado Child Passenger Safety website sponsored by CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol. In addition to a link to the text of the law on child restraint systems, it has a summation of the law’s provision. The infant, car seat and safety belt provisions of the law are primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child in the vehicle.

To help have a happy Thanksgiving, take a few seconds to make sure everyone in the car uses seat belts and that all children use correctly installed child restraint systems or booster seats.

11.20.2006

New Light Rail Lines Open

This weekend marked the opening of the new RTD Light Rail lines to the southeast metro area. The opening of the Southeast Line also marks the official end to T-REX, the Transportation Expansion Project. Even with T-REX complete, new light rail lines will continue to be built throughout the metro area in the next decade. These will eventually connect existing lines with DIA, the west metro area, and more, due to the FasTracks measure approved by voters in 2004.

In our library you can find many resources on T-REX, the Southeast Line, and on rail transit's impact on Colorado, including:

For more information, see also the Colorado Dept of Transportation website and the T-REX website.

11.16.2006

Air Quality

As winter weather moves along the front range, we become more conscious of air pollution --the frequency of ozone and air quality warnings increase in the news, and it is not uncommon to see the occasional haze around our city skyline.
The Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment web site, http://apcd.state.co.us/ , has a lot of interesting information. You can check current air quality conditions, read the daily advisory report, look at EPA ozone maps, and access wildfire information. The division operates a web-based camera showing a live image of the city so you can check visibility from your desktop. The Air Pollution Control Division has recently released the 2005 Colorado Air Quality Data Report. This report includes data from air monitoring stations across the state, with breakdowns of pollutant concentrations, particulate graphs, and charts of wind patterns for each area. Comparisons with cities across the nation are also included. The report can be found online: http://apcd.state.co.us/documents/2005AnnualDataReport.pdf
If you are interested in researching the change in Colorado air quality over time, the library has issues going back to 1979.

11.13.2006

School Violence Manual

Our library just received the 2006 edition of the Colorado School Violence Prevention and Student Discipline Manual by John W. Suthers, Attorney General of Colorado. This expanded edition is a must-have manual for teachers, administrators, parents, and anyone interested in the problem of school violence. In it you will learn that bullying may constitute a crime; schools must adopt a safe school plan, dress codes and policies on gang-related activities; parents can be held accountable for the actions of their children. Other topics are on student searches, reporting requirements relating to crimes, suspension, expulsion and more. Legal references are given throughout for those who want more detail. Past editions of this manual are not online but can be borrowed in hardcopy from our library.

11.09.2006

Three Governors in One Day

The election is over and the state has chosen a new governor. Despite all the mudslinging, this year's election was rather tame when compared to Colorado's most controversial gubernatorial election, more than one hundred years ago.

The 1904 election between Democrat Alva Adams and the incumbent, Republican James H. Peabody, was full of corruption on both sides. The Democrats were accused of using "repeaters" in Denver and other places, while Republican mine owners forced mine laborers to vote Republican or lose their jobs. Based on the returns, Alva Adams was elected, but when Peabody found out about the voting fraud, he contested the election. But since Peabody's side had themselves engaged in fraudulent voting, an investigation was set forth. Adams took office but, following three months of deliberation, was replaced by Peabody on March 16, 1905 -- on the condition that Peabody resign within 24 hours. Immediately following his resignation, Republican Lt. Gov. Jesse F. McDonald was sworn in as governor (at that time Lt. Governors were elected separately, instead of being running mates as today.) The result was that Colorado had three governors in one day.

CoSPL has some very interesting archival material on this election, including a 1905 copy of the speech given by Peabody's lawyer, John M. Waldron, on behalf of Peabody. We also have reports of the General Assembly's joint convention to determine the outcome of the contested election, and a 1905 copy of Adams' inaugural address and remarks from Gov. Peabody. A full analysis of the 1904 election can also be found in Marjorie Hornbein's well-researched article "Three Governors in a Day," first printed in Colorado Magazine in 1968 and later reprinted in the Colorado Historical Society's anthology Western Voices (2004). Both versions are available in our library.

Jesse McDonald only served one term as governor. Neither Adams nor Peabody ever served as governor again. Adams, who had already served 1897-99, ran again in 1906 but lost. Peabody never ran again. His house still stands in Denver at 1128 Grant Street.

11.07.2006

Colorado's Hot Spots

Do you know where the hottest spot in Colorado is? According to the Colorado Geological Survey, the hottest spot in the state isn't Denver, Aspen, or Vail but a large area between Cortez and Montrose, Colorado. To find out other hot spots in Colorado check out the Heat Flow map on the Colorado Geological Survey website. Other interesting maps found on "Statewide Maps of Colorado" include: Digital elevation model -- Digital elevation model from the east -- Distribution of rocks by age -- Earthquake map --Earthquake map server -- Fourteeners (14,000 ft. Peaks) -- General interest -- Geology -- Glaciers in CO during the last ice age -- Gravity -- Late Cenozoic fault and fold database -- Magnetics -- Major rivers in CO -- Major tectonic & geographic features -- Mines -- Physiographic provinces -- Shaded relief map.
All the maps are interesting, informative, and colorful. Check them out for a unique and fun experience with some of the lessor known aspects of Colorado.

11.03.2006

"Marriage Proposals" on Colorado's Ballot

Two of the ballot proposals receiving a lot of attention this November deal with marriage and domestic partnerships: Amendement 43 and Referendum I. If passed, Amendment 43 would amend the State Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Proponents argue that this amendment is necessary to preserve traditional marriage, while opponents argue that this is already a statutory law and does not belong in the Constitution. Referendum I does not deal with marriage per se, but establishes legal domestic partnerships whereby same-sex couples can, when legally registered, receive many of the same basic rights heterosexual married couples are allowed, particularly in areas of medical decisions, legal documents, property, and child support. While proponents of Referendum I argue for these basic rights, opponents argue that this proposal is a step toward same-sex marriage and gives same-sex couples more rights than any two other unmarried people such as heterosexual non-married couples.

For a full analysis of the pros and cons of Amendment 43 and Referendum I, see the Colorado Blue Book published by non-partisan staff of the Colorado Legislative Council, and see also the Legislative Council's Issue Brief, Marriage and Same-Sex Unions.