12/30/2010

Child Restraints in Vehicles

The Denver Post reported this week that a Colorado state senator visiting Texas caused a fatal accident on a highway in that state when her car veered into oncoming traffic. In her own car, however, it was reported that her passengers, a grown son and two small grandsons, were not wearing seat belts and were injured. This fact gained some attention because the legislator had in the past championed several seat belt and child restraint bills, including sponsoring last years' SB10-110 which toughened child restraint laws. See this webpage from CDOT for information on child restraints and the new law.

So what are the laws regarding child restraints in vehicles? Our library has several informational publications that can help you. These include Child Restraint in Automobiles brochure from the CSU Extension, and CDOT's brochure When Your World Rides with You: A Guide to Protecting Your Kids with Child Safety Seats and Seat Belts. The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment conducted a study, Booster Seat Use Among Colorado Children, 2004 and 2005, also available from our library. We also have a number of older brochures on child restraint from CDOT, the Colorado State Patrol, and the Colorado Dept. of Highways. For statistics on child motor vehicle injuries, see CDPHE's publication Motor Vehicle Occupant Injuries for Colorado Children Ages 0 to 14.

12/23/2010

Colorado Progressivism

One of the popular topics these days in the world of professional historians is the age of American Progressivism, generally regarded as approximately the 1890s through the 1920s. This was an important time as many social causes were fought, including the right of women to vote, better conditions for the many immigrants flooding into the U.S., and changes to employment laws, including child labor laws. Colorado was also a very important center of progressivism, not only due to enfranchising women in 1893, but also because in that era mining was an extremely important part of Colorado's economy, and changes in labor laws affected many mining and industrial workers in our state. Colorado's labor history includes famous figures like "Big Bill" Haywood and "Mother" Jones; and the state's labor history took a very dark turn with the 1914 Ludlow massacre. Our library recently received several new books from University Press of Colorado detailing some of the interesting history of the Progressive era, including:
  • The Beast, by Benjamin Barr Lindsey. This centennial reprint of the 1910 classic is Lindsey's memoirs on fighting the rampant political corruption in Denver in this era. Includes a new introduction by historian Stephen J. Leonard and a new index.
  • Dr. Charles David Spivak, A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement, by Jeanne E. Abrams. Abrams, a noted historian of Jewish Colorado, tells the story of a doctor who worked with tuberculosis patients in Denver's Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS).
  • A Chinaman's Chance: The Chinese on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier, by Liping Zhu, explores this one immigrant group's struggles in early-day Colorado.
  • The Archaeology of Class War: The Colorado Coalfield Strike of 1913-1914, by Karin Larkin and Randall H. McGuire, digs up history on Ludlow and the surrounding area.
  • From Redstone to Ludlow: John Cleveland Osgood's Struggle Against the United Mine Workers of America, by F. Darrell Munsell also tells the story of Ludlow, this time through the eyes of a wealthy financial capitalist.
  • The Gospel of Progressivism: Moral Reform and Labor War in Colorado, 1900-1930, by R. Todd Laugen also explores the southern Colorado labor war.
  • Thomas F. Walsh: Progressive Businessman and Colorado Mining Tycoon, by John C. Stewart explores the story of a man who made millions in mining, befriended President Taft, had a daughter who owned the Hope Diamond, and played an important role in Colorado Progressivism.

We also have a number of other, older books on these topics in our library, including:

  • "Remember Ludlow"! from the Colorado Historical Society
  • The Great Coalfield War, by George S. McGovern and Leonard F. Guttridge, University Press of Colorado
  • Tom Patterson: Colorado Crusader for Change, by Sybil Downing and Robert E. Smith, University Press of Colorado
  • Lessons of Leadville, or, Why the Western Federation of Miners Turned Left, from the Colorado Historical Society

Also, be sure and check out the Colorado Historical Society's commemorative book Western Voices, which includes several essays on Progressivism, including a biography of Big Bill Haywood, the history of women's right to vote in Colorado, and the story of how mine laborers contributed to Colorado's having three governors in one day in 1904!

12/21/2010

Colorado Region Profiles

If you would like to learn more about Colorado, take a look at the new Region Profiles from the State Demography Office. The reports give descriptions of the 19 planning and management regions in Colorado, with information on the population, economy, new community projects, the housing market, and a highlight of the main industries for each area. These profiles are a great way to become more familiar with our diverse state.

12/16/2010

Colorado Birding Trail

Are you a birdwatcher? Our library has received from the Division of Wildlife two handy guidebooks for the Colorado Birding Trail in southern Colorado. One guide covers southwestern Colorado and the other covers the southeastern part of the state. Each book contains trail maps and bird identification illustrations to help you find the best places to locate Colorado's many interesting bird species. So when you're planning your springtime hikes and summer camping trips for next year, remember to take along one of these handy guidebooks to enhance your wildlife viewing experience.

12/09/2010

Daylight Saving Time

An article in today's Denver Post reports that during the upcoming Legislative session, two Colorado legislators are going to introduce bills dealing with daylight saving time. Introduced separately and without the sponsors' knowledge of the other bill, one of the bills would allow Colorado to stay on daylight savings time year round (allowing it to stay light later in the evenings) while the other would have Colorado stay on standard time year round, like our neighboring state of Arizona. According to the article, Colorado has changed its clocks twice a year since 1966. However this will not be the first time in recent years that Colorado has dealt with this issue. In response, the Colorado Legislative Council created two Issue Briefs on daylight savings time, one in 2003 and one in 2007, both available online from our library.

12/08/2010

Air Quality Overview

If you're looking for an overview on air quality in Colorado, check out the latest Air Quality Control Commission's Report to the Public. This great resource has basic information on the factors currently impacting air quality in Colorado, descriptions of major pollutants, details on some of the current initiatives in the state, and individual profiles for regions. The report would be good for students, or anyone interested in learning the basic tenets of air quality in our state.

12/02/2010

Colorado Archaeology

If you think archaeology is just for places like ancient Egypt, think again - Colorado is full of archaeological treasures and resources.

There are two types of archaeology - prehistoric and historic. Prehistoric archaeology deals with ancient civilizations, while historical archaeology deals with looking for clues to more recent events, at places such as battlefields or even under the former outhouses of old buildings. The Colorado Historical Society, in excavating the site of their new museum currently being constructed, conducted an archaeological excavation that turned up many clues to the people that lived in homes formerly on the site, even down to old childrens' toys. Since most sites in downtown Denver have had as many as four or five different buildings on the same site in the last 150 years, there are many layers of artifacts to be found.

Not only the historical society, but also the Colorado Department of Transportation, play an important role in the State's oversight of Colorado's archaeological resources, both prehistoric and historic. CDOT's reports on their archaeological excavations are available from our library. The state also makes sure that most prehistoric archaeological sites are not publicized, so that ancient items in places such as the Four Corners region, with its Puebloan heritage, can stay in tact. It is important to remember that you can be prosecuted for theft if you remove artifacts from protected state and federal lands.

Recently, our library received several new books from the University Press of Colorado that deal with our state's archaeology, and what it tells us about the people who came before us. Here are a few of the interesting new titles you can now find in our collection:

Prehistoric:
  • Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains
  • Frontiers in Colorado Paleoindian Archaeology : From the Dent Site to the Rocky Mountains
  • Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country
  • Ice Age Hunters of the Rockies
  • Late Paleoindian Occupation of the Southern Rocky Mountains : Early Holocene Projectile Points and Land Use in the High Country

Historical:

  • The Archaeology of Class War : The Colorado Coalfield Strike of 1913-1914
  • Denver : An Archaeological History

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