6/26/2008

Colorado Recipes

You might not expect that a government documents library has any cookbooks, but we do have a few...with a Colorado theme.

One of our cookbooks, the Colorado Catch Cookbook, gives tips and recipes for what to do with that trout you caught or that elk you bagged. In 1963, the Colorado Historical Society also produced a cookbook, Pioneer Potluck: Stories and Recipes of Early Colorado, mixing education with cooking.

In 1988 the Deptartment of Health produced a few recipe books in an effort to encourage Coloradoans to eat healthier. Some of their titles include
  • Recipes for Dry Beans and Peas
  • Recipes with Kix Cereal
  • Recipes for High Calorie Nutritious Foods
Most of the rest of our cookbooks are put out by the CSU Cooperative Extension and, like Colorado Catch and Pioneer Potluck they are mostly Colorado-specific, offering high-altitude baking recipes. Some of the CSU Extension's cookbooks include:
  • Mile High Cakes (mmm!)
  • Cookie Recipes from a Basic Mix for High Altitudes
  • Wheat, Gluten, Egg and Milk Free Recipes for Use at High Altitude and at Sea Level
  • Today's Sourdough at High Altitudes
  • Quick Mixes for High Altitude Baking

6/24/2008

Online Guides to Colorado Architecture

The Colorado Historical Society's website offers some very helpful resources for anyone researching historic architecture in Colorado. Their Online Guides page offers such helpful resources on Colorado architects and builders, historic preservation standards, and A Guide to Colorado's Historic Architecture and Engineering, a helpful guide for identifying Colorado's many architectural styles, forms, and functions. These guides are very user-friendly and not too technical, so anyone can use them.

6/19/2008

Volcanoes in the Western U.S.

Last weekend, on vacation in New Mexico, I visited the Bandalier National Monument and the nearby Valles Caldera National Preserve, a huge, 89,000-acre sunken crater in the Jemez Mountains, a volcanic mountain range. There hasn't been any volcanic activity for many thousands of years, so today the area is a just a very scenic mountain valley -- but since it is a sunken volcano, it is unlike any other mountain valley I'd ever seen before, with very little vegetation and little "hills" of hardened magma. Upon my return to work this week, coincidentally reviewing our Colorado Geological Survey collection, I was surprised to run across a "field trip guide" to the Jemez Mountains and Valles Caldera. This document, though unfortunately not online, is available for checkout from our library and offers tourists an easy-to-understand guide to this very scenic and fascinating area. CGS has also published a number of other "field trip guides" to interesting geological sites in Colorado and nearby states. Search "field trip guide" in our web catalog for more titles.

Volcanoes and volcanic areas are not uncommon in the western U.S. Of course everyone is familiar with Mt. St. Helens in Washington, which erupted in 1980 and a few years ago was the subject of speculation that it might erupt again before long. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is also a volcanic region (hence the geysers) that geologists say has the potential to erupt at any time. For more information on U.S. volcanoes, check out another publication available from our library, Volcano Hazard in the United States: A Research Assessment by Richard A. Warrick.

6/16/2008

Ozone

As we move into the summer season, sunny skies and high temperatures can also be accompanied by high concentrations of ozone. In fact, this afternoon there is an ozone alert for the western areas of Denver and Boulder. Basic facts on ozone can be found on OzoneAware.org, a site created by the Regional Air Quality Council.

The Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a lot of useful resources on their website. There is a real-time map of conditions from air monitoring sites around the state, a variety of air quality reports -- including data by monitoring site, parameter (temperature, carbon monoxide, ozone, etc.), and tracking air quality over time. Information on ozone alerts and tips for individuals on the prevention of ozone can be found here as well.

Additional resources can be found by searching the State Publications Library catalog using the keywords "ozone" or "air quality."

6/11/2008

Taxpayer Accountabiity Report

This month the Colorado State Treasurer's Office has published the second annual Taxpayer Accountability Report. This report, aimed at the general public, gives the reader information in plain, simple language regarding state tax revenue, including information on TABOR, Referendum C, education funding, consumer spending, and more, illustrated with simple charts and diagrams. The most recent report is available online via the State Treasurer's website.

6/10/2008

West Nile Virus

Summer is here and that means that soon mosquitos will be out in full force. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has begun its state-wide surveillance program for mosquito-borne viruses. Mosquitoes are collected to determine abundance, and some are tested for the presence of West Nile Virus.

Tips for decreasing exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Limit outside activity around dawn and dusk (when mosquitoes feed)
  • Apply insect repellant
  • Try to eliminate standing water on your property, and change water in birdbaths or wading pools at least once a week
More facts and tips are available in a brochure from the CDPHE.

If you are curious about how many human cases were found last year, and the results of animal testing and surveillance, the information can be found on the CDPHE website.

You can also call the Colorado West Nile Virus Hotline: 1-877-462-2911

Additional information can be found on the "Fight the Bite" website from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

6/05/2008

Water Quality

Water is an important part of our daily lives. We die without it, and can get sick if chemicals or bacteria infiltrate our water sources. The Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has recently released "Status of Water Quality in Colorado - 2008", an assessment of water quality throughout the state. The report identifies pollution sources, and also evaluates water for recreational uses and propagation of aquatic life ("fishability"). You can look up a stream or creek in your area to learn about pollution issues. This study comes out every two years -- if you are interested in comparing changes in our water resources over time, we have reports going back to 1978 at the State Publications Library.

For more information on Colorado's water resources, try the following websites:

6/02/2008

Information for Telecommunications Consumers

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has issued a number of short fact sheets for consumers regarding many of the questions that frequently arise regarding telecommunications and telephone service. These consumer fact sheets are available from the State Publications Library, and include easy-to-understand tips and answers on subjects such as

and more. Search our web catalog for additional information on Colorado telecommunications regulatory and consumer information.

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