Paint Your House

Do you own an old house?  Do you want it to faithfully evoke the era in which it was built?  If yes, our library has a unexpectedly great resource - the Paint Your Vintage House workbook.  This was actually the workbook from a CU-Colorado Springs workshop, but you didn't need to take the class to benefit from the ideas and guidance presented in this helpful resource.  You'll find information on color theory, a list of what colors were popular in what historical periods, what colors to paint details and trim, color selection exercises, and much more.  There's also some fun quizzes to help you discover not only what color is best for your house, but which color you'll enjoy based on your own tastes and preferences.  Even if you don't have an old house, the color theory and quizzes can help you decide what colors work best for you, no matter what your house's age.  It's all designed to help you make your home look its very best.  (And for more fun, you can print it out and color the illustrations)!


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Songs

Colorado actually has two state songs.  The traditional state song is "Where the Columbines Grow," which was adopted as the state song back in 1915.  The song was composed by traveler A.J. Fynn, who was inspired by a meadow full of Columbines (which are also our state flower).  You can read the words to the song and listen to audio of the music at the Colorado State Archives website.  If you would like a copy of the sheet music for the song, email our library at spl@cde.state.co.us.

In 2007, Colorado adopted a second state song, "Rocky Mountain High," with music by Mike Taylor and lyrics by John Denver.  The song was written in 1973.  You can also read the words to this song at the State Archives site.


Help in Planning Your Career

Whether you're in high school/college and planning your future, or already in the workforce and looking to change careers, a good way to help select your vocation is to look at future projections for jobs and professions.  The Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment publishes each year a series of brochures listing the top jobs/careers projected for the next decade.  This is a great way to know which industries you will be most likely to be able to find a job in - and which careers to avoid.  The CDLE's Labor Market Information section also provides online a number of other reports and brochures helpful for career planning, including specific industry information on health care, creative industries, green jobs, construction, retail trade, tourism, finance, manufacturing, and more. 


Everyone's Nature

Colorado is a state known for its outdoor activities.  But what about those who have disabilities or mobility impairments?  The Colorado Department of Natural Resources believes everyone should be able to enjoy the outdoors.  So, they have helped produce a book entitled Everyone's Nature, available from our library, which describes a process called "universal design" that can be used to make natural areas accessible to many who otherwise would not be able to enjoy Colorado's amazing outdoors.  Universal design can be employed for nature trails, wildlife viewing, interpretive exhibits, and more.  If you're looking for places with universal design features, visit the Colorado State Parks website.  The site's sections on each park describe the different accessibility options for the park.  Also, the Colorado Division of Wildlife's webpage has a section on fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing for persons with disabilities.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Insect

The Colorado General Assembly designated the Blue Hairstreak Butterfly, Hypaurotis cysalus, as the State Insect in 1996.  The two-inch-wide, black, orange and purply-blue butterfly is generally found at elevations between 6,500 and 7,500 feet.  To learn more about Colorado butterflies, see the Colorado State University Extension publication Attracting Butterflies to the Garden.  

Image courtesy Colorado State Archives


Proposed High-Speed Rail System

The Colorado Department of Transportation is taking public comments on its new Front Range high-speed rail study (see the newspaper article).  CDOT says no official proposals have come forward yet, but the idea for a rail line is being discussed.  You can find more about rail transit in several CDOT publications available from our library, including:
Also, be sure to check out the CDOT Transit and Rail Program website for more information.


The Hyatt Skywalk Disaster

Thirty-one years ago today occurred what is usually considered to be the greatest architectural-deficiency disaster in modern times, the Hyatt Skywalk Disaster.  On July 17, 1981, 111 people lost their lives when a glass "skywalk" inside the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, collapsed on top of a dance being held in the hotel lobby.  Post-disaster assessments suggested that the glass walkway was not sturdy enough to withstand the large dance crowd, which put far greater numbers of persons on the structure than ordinary.  In 1995, the University of Colorado's Natural Hazards Research Center published a study on the Hyatt disaster, which ultimately had led to changes in design and structure codes (as disasters so often do).  The Hyatt Skywalk Disaster and Other Lessons in the Regulation of Building, available from our library, explores the disaster and the lessons learned from it, in the hopes of preventing more such tragedies.  For a collection of newspaper articles and photographs from the disaster, click here.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Grass

Yes, Colorado has an officially designated State Grass - the Blue Grama.  Blue Grama grass is easily recognizable to those familiar with prairie landscapes, though it can be found in all parts of the state.  It was designated the State Grass by the General Assembly in 1987.  You can learn more about Blue Grama and other grasses found in Colorado in the book Grasses of Colorado (University Press of Colorado, 2008) available from our library.  See also Native Grasses for Colorado Landscapes and Handbook of Colorado Native Grasses, both from the Colorado State University Extension.

Photo courtesy CSU Extension


Brain Injury and Kids

With so many children participating in sports and other physical activities, brain injuries to minors is an important risk for parents and educators to be aware of.  The Colorado Department of Education has produced a very helpful Concussion Management Guidelines booklet that every parent or educator should familiarize themselves with.  Even if your child does not participate in sports, children can suffer brain injuries in other ways, such as car accidents and falls.  For more information on brain injury in children, see the Colorado Department of Education's Brain Injury webpage and help your kids stay safe and healthy.


Colorado and the Olympics

 Recently, Colorado made headlines with announcements from the Governor and the Mayor of Denver that an exploratory committee would look into the possibility of Colorado bidding for the 2022 Olympic Games.  Just last week, however, the United States Olympic Committee announced that the US would not be seeking the 2022 Games.  (See the Governor's press release).  Colorado has had an interesting role in Olympic history.  Many athletes train in Colorado, both on the slopes and in the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs. 

In 1970, when Colorado received word that it had been awarded the winter Olympics for 1976, the state was poised to make Olympic history - but not for reasons of hosting the games.  Colorado:  A History of the Centennial State (2005, University Press of Colorado), available from our library, tells the story of Colorado and the Olympics.  When first awarded the Games, Coloradans were thrilled, but as time progressed, the already development-concious state began to see the downsides of hosting the Olympics -lots of construction, lots of people, and lots of money.  The book relates how, by the time the figure of $100 million started to be talked about, many Coloradans seriously started to oppose hosting the Games.  Then, in 1973, Governor John Love resigned, "admitt[ing] that in negotiating for the games the boosters had 'lied a bit.'"

One of the fiercest opponents of the Olympics was Richard Lamm, then serving as a Democratic state Representative from Denver.  He is largely given credit for swaying voters in the 1972 election to reject funding for the Olympics.  Two years later, he rode the wave of popularity to the Governorship.  Not only was the 1972 vote -- which has the distinction of being the only time in history that a location awarded the Games has voted to reject it -- an important part of Olympic history but, asserts Colorado, it was also responsible for ushering in a political "sea change" with the election of Lamm, Patricia Schroeder in Congress, and Gary Hart and Tim Wirth in the Senate, all ousting old-guard politicians who had held office for years. 

For the complete story, check out Colorado:  A History of the Centennial State, which, unlike so many other local history books, covers not only the "early days" but events all the way up to the new millennium.  You can also search our library's web catalog for more on the Lamm administration, a biography of Governor Love, and much more on the political climate of the 1970s.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Gemstone

Because Colorado's mountains are rich in minerals, there are many gemstones to be found in our state, but only one has the distinction of being named Colorado's state gemstone - the aquamarine.  This light blue to green mineral was designated our state gemstone in 1971; it is found primarily at Mount Antero and White Mountain in Chaffee County.  For more about Colorado minerals, see the following Colorado Geological Survey publications, available from our library:  An Introduction to Mining & Minerals in Colorado; and Messages in Stone:  Colorado's Colorful Geology.  See also The Minerals of Colorado and Area Locations from the Colorado Bureau of Mines.


Colorado's Constitution

A recent story in the Denver Post highlighted Colorado's state Constitution, of which the original document is now on display in our state museum, the History Colorado Center.  One of the interesting facts of the Constitution's history is that it was first written in three languages - English, Spanish, and German.  Among the treasures we have in the State Publications Library are our copies of the 1881 Session Laws, (a book compiling the laws passed by the Legislature that year), which were also produced in Spanish and German in the early years of our statehood.  Historically, the German version is especially interesting, because not only is the language German but the type is done in the old Fraktur typeset.  After a few years, both the Constitution and the Session Laws ceased their multi-language publications, but they remain in the archives as interesting bits of our state's history. 

Colorado's State Constitution has changed dramatically over the years since Colorado first gained statehood in 1876.  Today, the Colorado Constitution is about double the length of the U.S. Constitution!  The Colorado Secretary of State's office prints the most current version of the Colorado Constitution, which you can read online along with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.


New Laws in Effect July 1

The following bills passed this Legislative session went into effect on July 1:
  • HB12-1015, Modifications to DORA sunrise review process. (more info)
  • HB12-1017, Extend local access health care pilot.
  • HB12-1019, Transfer ports of entry to State Patrol. (more info)
  • HB12-1037, Classify certain agricultural products as wholesale sales.
  • HB12-1045, Spruce beetle kill wood products tax exemption.  (more info)
  • HB12-1052, Health care work force data collection.
  • HB12-1059, Military spouse practice occupation/profession.
  • HB12-1073, Number of judges in judicial districts.  (more info)
  • HB12-1083, Continue Environmental Agriculture Program fees.  (more info)
  • HB12-1099, Phytoremediation hemp remediation pilot program.
  • HB12-1158, Commercial livestock feed regulations.
  • HB12-1204, Sunset regulations for hemodialysis technicians.  (more info)
  • HB12-1212, BOCES multi-district online education programs.
  • HB12-1216, Drivers Licensing Services Fund.
  • HB12-1233, Legal separation court appearace procedure.
  • HB12-1238, Ensuring K-12 literacy education.
  • HB12-1247, Reduce tobacco settlement accelerated payments.
  • HB12-1248, Create fund for Dept. of Law and authorize grant spending.
  • HB12-1266, Sunset review, continue bail bond agent registration.  (more info)
  • HB12-1272, Enhanced benefits for unemployed workers in training.
  • HB12-1283, Consolidate Homeland Security functions under Dept. of Public Safety.  (more info)
  • HB12-1286, Film production activities in Colorado.  (more info)
  • HB12-1300, Sunset review, continue professional review committees.
  • HB12-1311, Sunset review, continue State Board of Pharmacy.  (more info)
  • HB12-1315, Reorganization of Governor's Energy Office.  (more info)
  • HB12-1334, Severance tax funding for agricultural energy projects.
  • HB12-1346, Sex offender registration, no fixed residence.  (more info)
  • SB12-009, Consolidate Division of Water Resources funds. (more info)
  • SB12-012, Dept. of Revenue audits, emission test centers.  (more info)
  • SB12-094, Clarification of state sales tax definition of food.  (more info)
  • SB12-110, Funding for Attorney General's insurance fraud investigations.
  • SB12-113, Direct public assistance recoveries in Long Bill.
  • SB12-148, Name change for Metro State College.  (more info)
  • SB12-159, Evaluation for children with autism, Medicaid waiver.
For analysis of some of the above-listed bills, see the June 30 Denver Post article.  Also, note that the bills listed above are only those that went into effect on July 1, 2012.  Many other bills were passed during the legislative session that either went into effect immediately upon signing, or will go into effect at a later date.  For all the bills and acts for this session as well as prior sessions, visit the Colorado General Assembly homepage.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Fossil

Schoolchildren suggested Colorado adopt a state fossil, the dinosaur Stegosaurus, in 1982.  One of the most recognized dinosaurs, with its line of plates along its back and spiky tail for defense, Stegosaurus lived in what came to be Colorado during the Mesozoic era, Jurassic period 150 million years ago.  Stegosaurus fossils have been discovered in Colorado.  For more on Colorado dinosaurs, see
  • Dinosaur Remains in Colorado from the Colorado Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation;
  • Dinosaurs in our Backyard from the Colorado Geological Survey (on CD-Rom);
  • and Colorado's Dinosaurs, also from the Colorado Geological survey,
all available from our library. 

Image courtesy Colorado Geological Survey

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