Revitalizing Main Street

Governor Ritter recently announced Colorado's receipt of a $1.28 million Federal grant that will "help four Colorado communities revitalize their downtown business districts through the Sustainable Main Streets Initiative. The funds will help renovate historic buildings and improve downtown walkways in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver, the City of Rifle on the West Slope, the City of Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley and the Town of Fowler in the southeast." (Read the Press Release here). Ritter signed Executive Order D-2010-007 in April to establish the Main Street program.

In recent years, many towns and communities have been focusing on their "Main Street," in other words, their primary commercial district. In many places throughout Colorado, these "Main Streets" include both businesses important to the local economy as well as significant historic structures. Main Streets also promote pedestrian-friendly, walkable communities.

If you're interested in developing Main Street programs for your community, contact the Department of Local Affairs' Main Street Resource Team. The team will meet with local governments to discuss ideas about grant funding and community revitalization. "Then, as a team, they shape their observations and recommendations into a comprehensive vision for your downtown." Main Street initiatives can help communities large and small with preservation and sustainability - which could lead to increased revenue for the local economy through increased tourism and a healthy business climate.


Elections are coming soon- Make sure to Vote

November 2nd is just around the corner. This year's general election includes a race for governor, and several ballot measures that may dramatically change the services provided by local and state governments. Make sure to get out and vote and let your voice be heard. Here are some helpful election resources:
2010 Ballot Initiatives - a list of initiatives and referendums on the November ballot with links to the text of each proposal from the Secretary of State's Office.

2010 Voter Information Guide - general information on voting in Colorado.

Voter Registration - Verify or update your registration

Blue Book - Ballot information from the Colorado General Assembly. Also available in audio.

Fiscal Impact Statements - analysis from the Colorado Legislative Council on the impacts ballot measures will have on the budget.

Judicial Performance Evaluations - performance reviews for district, county, supreme court and court of appeals judges on the 2010 ballot.


Conflict Resolution Month

Did you know that October is Conflict Resolution Month? The Colorado General Assembly officially declared the month of October as highlighting efforts toward resolution of conflicts in their Senate Joint Resolution 10-046. Many state agencies can assist with resolving conflicts large or small. The Colorado Supreme Court has an Office of Dispute Resolution, overseen by an advisory committee. Also, the Department of Local Affairs offers a helpful Local Government Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution, intended to help parties in avoid bringing disputes to court. For personal conflicts, Colorado state employees and their families can take advantage of conflict resolution counseling and mediation through the Colorado State Employees Assistance Program (C-SEAP). And of course, it's not only adults who have conflicts. The Colorado Department of Education offers a fact sheet, Bully Proofing and Conflict Resolution, aimed and teachers and K-12 education professionals.


Focus on the Children and School Research Guides

Are you wondering what services are available for homeless youth? Looking for reputable sources on your research topic? Colorado state agencies have the answers.

A new and improved version of the State Publications Library's "Focus on the Children" bibliography is now available. The subject guide is a compilation of print and Internet resources that address issues regarding children and youth in the state of Colorado. Topics include adoption, careers, charter schools, child abuse, child welfare, education, health, parenting, and safety.

"School Research Topics", a bibliography of online resources from Colorado state agencies, has also been revised and updated. Librarians, parents, students and researchers alike will find this guide useful for locating information on a wide range of topics.


Cold Case Files

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has a new database on its website where the public can search Colorado cold case files. According to the site, "The Colorado Cold Case Database features unsolved homicides, missing person, and unidentified person cases to assist law enforcement agencies in the development of information which can lead to the identification and arrest of any person(s) who may have committed any crime described on this page. If you have information on any of the persons, or cases found on this page, you are encouraged to submit a tip, which will be delivered to the lead investigating agency. All tips may be submitted anonymously. It is the sincerest hope of all those involved in the CBI Cold Case Unit's efforts that the necessary tips and information can be provided to the agencies investigating these 'cold cases' such that they may resolve their own investigations and provide some justice and closure to these tragedies."


College Tuition

According to a story in this morning's Denver Post, "Colorado colleges and universities are proposing possible tuition increases for next year ranging from 9 percent to 21 percent — all made necessary by deep cuts to the state's contribution to higher education." If you're a college student and worried about how to pay for your education, the State of Colorado has many resources that can help you.

A website, http://www.collegeincolorado.org/, sponsored by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, offers numerous planning tools not just for how to pay for college, but also on how to select a college or major, information on college life, and more.

Since tuition differs based on residency, the CDHE also offers an online residency guide; they also offer a webpage devoted to information on obtaining financial aid.

A fact sheet from the Colorado Legislative Council explains in plain English about taxes and tuition.

Finally, those in the military are eligible for tuition assistance - see the information from the Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs.

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