Redistricting Part Deux

Back in September new legislative redistricting maps for the Colorado House and Senate were approved by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission. Many legislators objected to the new maps. They were challenged, and the Colorado Supreme Court ruled to reject the maps. Today a new set of maps have been approved. Redistricting is always a process fraught with emotion because redrawing the district lines can throw two current incumbents into a race for the same seat, or change the political dynamic of a district. An article detailing the latest drama can be found in today's Denver Post. The latest proposals and information about the reapportionment process can be found at www.colorado.gov/redistricting.


New Guidebook on Arts Education

The Colorado Department of Education has just published a guidebook for arts education in Colorado. The new guidebook is in response to HB10-1273 from the Colorado Legislature. The guidebook addresses the need for arts education and the implementation of arts instruction in schools. Program evaluation, leadership and planning, student engagement, funding, and more are all addressed. This is a very helpful guide for all educators interested in bringing the arts back into schools.


New Population Estimates and Economic Forecasts for 2010

New 2010 population estimates and economic forecasts have just been released from the Colorado State Demography Office. Population and housing unit figures, and county populations by single year of age and sex have been updated. The updated forecasts show Colorado's population growing by 1.6% per year over the next five years, increasing to 1.8% per year before the end of the decade to grow to close to 6 million persons by the year 2020.

The economic base analysis and job estimates for 2010 have also been updated and released. According to the State Demographers, Colorado saw a slight dip in total jobs, losing 45,411 (-1.6 percent) jobs between 2009 and 2010. The largest contraction occurred in the Denver Metro Area, with Denver, Jefferson, and Arapahoe Counties accounting for nearly half (20,128) of jobs lost statewide.

There are also interesting thematic maps based on figures from the 2005-2009 American Community survey.

Visit www.colorado.gov/demography for the latest data and information.


Wildlife and Holiday Decorations

As many people start to think about hanging their holiday decorations this time of year, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has issued some tips on how to decorate with wildlife in mind. These tips, which you can find here, offer handy information particularly on how to avoid having deer get tangled in strands of lights. The reindeer with his antlers wrapped in Christmas lights is a popular caricature for the holidays, but in real life, it's very dangerous, so make sure to follow these tips to avoid getting deer trapped in your holiday lights. For other tips on how to keep wildlife safe on your property, see Fencing with Wildlife in Mind from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.


Enterprise Zones

The Denver Post recently ran a 4-part series on Enterprise Zones in Colorado. Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) defines enterprise zones (EZs) as "provid[ing] tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate and expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state." If you would like more in-depth information, our library has several publications concerning the EZ program, including: General Information About Colorado Enterprise Zones from the Colorado Dept. of Revenue; Colorado's Enterprise Zone Program from the Colorado Legislative Council; and the Colorado Enterprise Zones Annual Report, from the OEDIT, which administers the program. The State Auditor's Office has audited the program several times, the last time being in 2007.


Medicare 101

Attention Seniors: The Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies is going to be holding a public webinar on January 25, 2012, called "Medicare 101." (Click here to sign up - space is limited). This online presentation will give you helpful tips and information, whether for those just starting Medicare, or those who are already receiving Medicare but have questions. Please note, that if need more information and would like to speak to someone, call the Department's Medicare consumer information line, 1-888-696-7213.

If you can't participate in the webinar, our library has many publications that can assist you. Some of the helpful publications on Medicare that we have available in our library include Your Medicare Matters, Protect It!; Medicare Drug Insurance and You: Colorado Options 2012; The Big Picture: Medicare and Related Health Insurance; Managing Your Medicare Bills; and Help for Medicare Beneficiaries with Lower Incomes.


Colorado Geology

This weekend I visited Roxborough State Park for the first time. My hike along the trail brought views of spectacular rock formations and an interesting variety of flora and fauna. I learned to identify the Lyons, Fountain, and Dakota Formations. My visit sparked an interest in the geology of Colorado, so this morning I found the following items in our State Publications Library collection:

  • Geology of the Interstate 70 Road Cut, Jefferson County Colorado (HED4/2.2/P94/7)

  • Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology (NR12/20.2/M56)

  • Dinosaurs in our Backyard (NR12/20.2/D61/2005)

  • Geology of Denver, Colorado, U.S.A (NR7.2/D41/1982)

  • Guide to the Petroleum Geology and Laramide Orogeny, Denver Basin and Front Range, Colorado (NR12/20.3/51)

These and many other titles from the Colorado Geological Survey are available upon request.


Chickens in the City

Did you know that Denver residents are allowed to keep a limited number of chickens on their property? The popularity of raising chickens comes from the "sustainable food" movement, whereby you can stop buying eggs at the grocery store and have your own organic eggs "delivered" right to your backyard. You are also allowed to raise up to two goats to use for milk and cheese production. Remember, you need to obtain a license to keep these animals.

So you have chickens - now what? If you weren't raised on a farm, you might have no idea where to begin. Our library can help. The following fact sheets from Colorado State University explain in simple beginners' language all about feeding, housing, habits, and other information yo need to know before raising chickens:


Veterans Day - November 11th

On Friday, many state offices will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Since 1919, November 11th has been a day to honor those who have fought for our country in times of war. The date was originally chosen to honor the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany at the end of World War I that went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of November (Armistice Day). In June 1954, legislation was passed changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, to honor American veterans of all wars.

If you'd like more information on the history of veteran's day and how it is commemorated, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has put together a nice set of Veteran's Day resources, including a teacher's guide.

On a related note, if you are looking for information on services available to Colorado veterans, visit these state agency websites:

The Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs is a central source of information on veterans benefits, rights and issues. Their "Veteran Resource Links" page is a great collection of internet resourcesfor veterans.

The Veterans' Services program at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has a mission "to provide Veterans and transitioning service members with the resources and services to succeed in the 21st Century workforce by meeting labor-market demands with qualified Veterans." This is the place to go for information on employment services, education and training, and benefits for veterans.


Supreme Court Justices

This past week saw both the appointment of a new Colorado Supreme Court Justice, Brian Boatright, and the death of a former Justice, Luis Rovira, who served from 1979 to 1995. If you're interested in finding out more about the Justices of Colorado's Supreme Court, see this page from the Colorado Supreme Court Library. Here you will find a listing of all Supreme Court Justices since 1859, along with biographical information and searchable by name and by year. You can also read about what the Justices do at the Colorado Supreme Court homepage.


Birth, Death, and Marriage Records

At our library we receive many questions about how to obtain copies of birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce records. These certificates and records are kept by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Vital Records Section. On their website you can find out about the different procedures involved for obtaining certificates. You can order copies of certificates by phone at 1-866-300-8540 or visit them in person 8:30-4:30, Monday through Friday, at 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South in Denver.

If you're tracing your family history, the Vital Records Section has put together a helpful Genealogy page. Some historic records will need to be obtained from either the Colorado State Archives or county vital records offices; the Section can help you determine where to locate your family's historic records and certificates.



November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Almost 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, while another 79 million have what is called "prediabetes." In our library we have a number of publications that can help you learn more about this disease, including The Burden of Diabetes in Colorado; Planning for the Future: Colorado Diabetes Prevention and Control Strategic Plan; Diet and Diabetes; Colorado Diabetes Resource Guide; Understanding Diabetes; and Colorado's Action Plan to Reduce the Burden of Diabetes.

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