7.31.2007

CSAP - Colorado Student Assessment Program

The Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) is designed to provide a picture of how students in the state of Colorado are progressing toward meeting academic standards, and how schools are doing to ensure learning success of students. At 10:30 today the new CSAP results for 2007 will be released. Visit the Unit of Student Assessment's CSAP summary page to get the latest data from the statewide summaries, along with school and district summary results for reading, writing, math, and science.

7.26.2007

Plant Grafting and Other Garden Tips

Working with our collection today I ran across a document that caught my eye - Plant Grafting. According to the "quick facts" on the first page, "Grafting is a means of joining tissue from two plants by holding cut surfaces in position until a union of living cells is formed. Grafting is regularly used to asexually propagate fruit trees and to repair trunk injuries." Well, we've all seen saplings with tape around them, but did you know (I didn't until reading this!) that "Grafting is also used to create novelty items such as tomato plants that produce potatoes...and fruit trees bearing more than one variety per tree." Pretty amazing. Anyway, you can find out more about plant grafting by checking out this document from our library. It is part of a series of gardening fact sheets produced by the CSU Cooperative Extension. Fact sheets are available for checkout from our library; many are also available online, so check our online catalog for links.

Crime in Colorado

Did you know that more 13 to 14 year olds were arrested in 2003 than scored "Advanced" on the reading CSAP? or that 58.4 months is the average time offenders spend in Colorado prisons for sexual assault? You can find these statistics and more in a recently released report from the Division of Criminal Justice: "Crime and Justice in Colorado, 2006." The report has statistics and analysis on crimes committed, the corrections system, parole, demographics of those involved in criminal cases, juveniles, sex offenders, drug use, offenders with mental illness, and recidivism to name a few. The report can be accessed from the Department of Public Safety website, and a print version is available at the Colorado State Publications Library.

7.24.2007

Ozone

Sunny days and high temperatures combined with ground pollution from autmobiles and other sources can lead to high ozone levels in the metro area. High ozone levels can cause health problems for seniors, young children, and people with asthma.
The Regional Air Quality Council has a site with basic facts on ozone, tips on limiting ozone-producing emissions, and you can also sign up for ozone action email alerts.
For information on the state's efforts to reduce ozone air pollution, visit the Department of Public Health and Environment's Ozone page. Current air quality readings for Colorado can be found at http://apcd.state.co.us/psi/today.phtml, from the Air Pollution Control Division.

7.19.2007

Rockfall and Landslides

If you drive up into the mountains or through the canyons, you may notice signs that say "Watch for falling rocks." We have recently received a CD with a lot of interesting reports on the geology, geologic hazards and history along the I-70 corridor (which you might not guess from the title): "Field Trips" from the 1st North American Landslide Conference, June 2007. There are pictures and diagrams showing weak areas in the slopes and sections with landslide potential. The reports include geologic maps, and discuss the formations in the area. Also included is a paper on Colorado Wine Country, how the geology, soils and climate affect the wines in the region. The CD is a special publication from the Colorado Geological Survey. It was distributed to our state depository libraries, and is also available to check out from the Colorado State Publications Library.

7.18.2007

Colorado Statistics

Need to find statistics for Colorado? Our new updated "Quick Guide to Government Statistics" will help you find demographics, health statistics, crime and offender data, traffic volumes, labor/industry information, education statistics and more.

7.17.2007

Tamarisk

The tamarisk plant (saltcedar) is one of the greatest threats to riparian habitats and streams. Originally from Eurasia, it was introduced in the 1800’s to the southwestern area of our country. For years I’ve seen it along the western rivers. Now I see it in the metro area along roadside marshes, drainage ditches, foothills streams, and in my city parks!

In 2003 Governor Owens issued Executive Order D 002 03 to coordinate efforts to eradicate this plant on public land. In response to the Executive Order the Department of Natural Resources published a report, 10-Year Strategic Plan on the Comprehensive Removal of Tamarisk and the Coordinated Restoration of Colorado’s Native Riparian Ecosystems, in 2004.

You may wonder what this plant looks like. It isn’t just a little weed, easy to overlook. Thick stands, up to 15 feet high, obstruct views of lakes and rivers and make access to them difficult. It crowds out native shrubs and trees that wildlife depend on and is of no use to native species. Difficult to eradicate, the most critical problem is that it consumes enormous amounts of water. One acre of tamarisk uses 1.3 million gallons of water per year. For pictures and details, check out the above reports and the following state publications:

Streamlines, v.20, no. 3, pp. 4-5
Weed Profile, Saltcedar (Tamarisk) Colorado State Parks

Wind Power

There has been an increasing interest in wind power as an alternative to energy from fossil fuel. Colorado is ranked 11th in the nation for its wind energy potential. The Governor's Energy Office has a great page on wind energy. There are wind speed maps, information on possible applications of wind power, guides to using wind energy, and much more. Interesting readings on opportunites for using wind power in Colorado are available from Colorado Wind & Distributed Energy Conference presentations. For ideas on changing the way you use energy in your home, check out the "Energy Action Guide".

Publications on wind power are also available to check out from the State Publications Library. A keyword search using the term "wind power" will bring up a list of titles. Titles which may be of interest:
Wind Energy in Colorado: A Practical Guide for Farmers and Ranchers
Windpower and Wildlife in Colorado (Resource Guide from the Colorado Division of Wildlife)

7.05.2007

Humans and Wildlife

Our library just accessioned a brand-new publication from the Division of Wildlife entitled "Living with Wildlife in Red Fox Country." This new brochure is especially timely due to the recent news story of a little girl who was bitten by a fox. CDOW has also published "Living with Wildlife" brochures on geese, bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and moose, all available from our library. Some other sources regarding the interaction between widlife and humans available in our library includes:

7.02.2007

State Taxpayer Accountability Report (the STAR Report)

In order to provide greater transparency and accountability in Colorado government finances, the state has published the first State Taxpayer Accountability Report. Three state offices collaborated on this: the Governor’s Office, the State Treasurer’s Office, and the State Controller’s Office. To be published every year, the STAR Report is understandable and written from the perspective of the taxpayer, so that we can all understand where our money is going. If you prefer hardcopy, this title is available for loan from the Colorado State Publications Library.

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