Voter Registration: Time is Running Out

If you haven't yet registered to vote in the November 2012 election, you only have until October 9 to submit your registration.  Registering is easy - simply go to the Online Voter Registration page on the Colorado Secretary of State's website. 

If you aren't sure whether your registration is currently active, be sure and check before October 9.  Simply go to the Colorado Secretary of State's My Voter Information, a secure site.  On this site you can also submit name changes, withdraw a registration, request a mail-in ballot, and find resources on overseas/military voting, identification requirements, county election offices, accessibility, and more. 


CSU Football Stadium Study

An article in today's Denver Post references a feasibility study done last month and presented to Colorado State University regarding the possibility of building a new football stadium.  You won't find it in the newspaper article, but you can find the feasibility report in our library collection:  Colorado State University On-Campus Stadium Feasibility Study, dated August 9, 2012. 


Ike Liked Colorado

So far, no U.S. President has hailed from Colorado, but one of the first ladies has - Mamie Eisenhower.  As a result, the President who spent the most time in our state was Dwight D. Eisenhower; he even established a "Summer White House" at Lowry Air Base during his presidency.  It was on this day 57 years ago, September 24, 1955, that Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while visiting Colorado.  According to Colorado:  A History of the Centennial State (University Press of Colorado, 2005), which you can check out from our library, Ike's heart attack came after eating a hamburger and playing twenty-seven holes of golf! 

Eisenhower's Colorado legacy also extends to transportation.  Colorado describes how one of his fishing buddies, a developer, helped convince the President to support the construction of I-70 running east-west through Colorado.  As a result, the Eisenhower Tunnel was named for him.  (A bit of trivia:  Only the westbound tunnel is the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel; the eastbound tunnel is the Johnson Memorial Tunnel, named for Colorado Governor and U.S. Senator Edwin C. Johnson.)  Learn more about the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels on the Colorado Department of Transportation's website, which includes a behind-the-scenes photo tour of the operation of the tunnels. 
Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels.  Courtesy CDOT.


New Resource for Military Servicepersons in Colorado

The Colorado Attorney General's Office has just released a new guidebook, Consumer Guide for Military Personnel and their Families.  This helpful guide gives service members and their families information on topics such as predatory lending, debt collector scams, foreclosures, identity theft, fraud prevention, and more, all written specifically for those serving our country.  For more information on consumer protection and fraud in Colorado, or to report a fraud, see the Colorado Attorney General's website's Consumer Protection Section.



According to an article in today's Denver Post, some experts are predicting that by the year 2030, obesity rates will reach 50% or more in 39 of the 50 states.  Colorado has long had a reputation as one of the healthiest states, mostly due to the many outdoors-loving people who choose to live here.  However, that doesn't mean we don't have a problem - although Colorado is not predicted in this study to be one of those 39 states with 50% obesity, it is predicted to have a 45% rate by 2030.  So what are the facts about obesity in Colorado right now, and what can we do about it?  The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment has published The Weight of the State, which reports that as of 2009, the combined number of obese and overweight persons in Colorado was 55% of the state's population.  (The 2030 predictions cited above only measure those who are obese, not including those overweight but not obese).  Interestingly, the report finds that since 1995, obesity rates have increased from 10.1% to 19.1%!  For interesting facts on overweight and obesity rates by demographic characteristic, as well as statistics on Coloradans' physical activity and nutrition, check out this interesting report.  For more resources on Colorado health, search our web catalog.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Amphibian

Colorado's newest state symbol, designated just this year, is the State Amphibian, the Western Tiger Salamander.  This small amphibian can be found in ponds and lakes statewide; also look for them near rodent burrows and on ground surfaces at night during damp weather.  For more information, see the Tiger Salamander page in the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Colorado Herpetofaunal Atlas.  You can find other resources on Colorado's amphibians in our library, including Quick Key to Amphibians and Reptiles of Colorado (Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2008); Hip on Herps:  Colorado's Reptiles and Amphibians (Colorado Division of Wildlife, 2004); and Colorado's Underworld (Colorado Division of Wildlife, 1994).  The latter two publications are especially written for kids.  You can find more on the designation of the State Amphibian in this article from the Denver Post.

Photo courtesy Colorado Division of Widlife


Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Saturday and continues through October 15.  Hispanos have been an important part of Colorado history since the sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers roamed the Southwest in search of gold.  Ever since, the Hispanic community has made many contributions to the history of our state.  If you are researching Hispanic history in Colorado, our library has many resources that can help you.  Some of these include:
  • Colorado Hispanic Studies Resource Guide, Center for Colorado and the West, University of Colorado Denver.
  • Hispanic History Resources, History Colorado.
  • Enduring Legacies:  Ethnic Histories and Cultures of the Colorado Border Lands.  University Press of Colorado, 2011.
  • Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies journal, University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • The Life and Times of Richard Castro, Colorado Historical Society, 2007.
  • El Pueblo History Museum, a Capsule History and Guide.  Colorado Historical Society, 2006.
  • The Culebra River Villages of Costilla County, Colorado Historical Society, 2002.
  • The San Luis Valley:  Land of the Six-Armed Cross.  University Press of Colorado, 1999.
  • La Gente:  Hispano History and Life in Colorado, Colorado Historical Society, 1998.
  • The Architecture and Art of Early Hispanic Colorado, University Press of Colorado, 1998.
  • Race and Hispanic Origin for Colorado Counties and Regions, Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs, 1990.
  • Confluencia journal, University of Northern Colorado
  • The Status of Spanish-Surnamed Citizens in Colorado: Report to the Colorado General Assembly, 1967.
We also have much more, so be sure to check our web catalog for additional resources, including information on the contemporary Hispanic community. 

Finally, check out the Colorado Virtual Library, a project of the Colorado State Library, for biographies on famous Hispanic Coloradans, including:
  • Felipe Baca, rancher and town founder
  • Casimiro Barela, state legislator
  • Rudolfo "Corky" Gonzalez, activitst
  • Federico Peña, Mayor of Denver
  • Teresita Sandoval, early settler
  • Juana Suaso Simpson, early settler


Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Recent diagnoses of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in campers in Yosemite National Park have brought national attention to the dangers of this respiratory disease carried by mice, which can be deadly to humans.  Even though Yosemite is far from Colorado, the possibility of contracting HPS in Colorado is very real.  In fact, as of July 2012, Colorado had the second highest number of cases of HPS of any state in the union, after New Mexico.*  It was first found in the four corners region in 1993; since then, cases have been diagnosed in nearly every part of the state.  Humans can become infected through direct contact with mice or their nests or droppings.  To protect yourself against this often-fatal illness, be sure to visit the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's HPS webpage, where you will find FAQs and an illustrated guide on how to safely clean up rodent droppings, dead rodents, and nests.  The site also contains HPS information for health care professionals and maps and statistics on outbreaks.  Remember, be safe - mice might be cute, but they can also be deadly.

*Source:  http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/surveillance/state-of-residence.html

Photo courtesy Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Reptile

Like many of our other state symbols, schoolchildren petitioned the Legislature for the designation of the State Reptile.  In 2007 the distinction went to the Western Painted Turtle, a small, multicolored turtle found in ponds and lakes around the state.  Check out the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife's website for a species profile of the Western Painted Turtle. 

Photo courtesy Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife


Colorado Proud Recipes

Colorado's Department of Agriculture (CDA) promotes locally-grown agricultural products through its Colorado Proud campaign.  Buying products that come from Colorado's own farms and ranches helps our state's economy.  Every month, the CDA features one product grown in Colorado along with a scrumptious recipe.  (This month it's pears - yum.)  You can find this and all of the past Colorado Proud recipes collection on the Colorado Proud webpage, classified by recipe type (appetizers, desserts, etc.).  Best of all, the recipes are submitted by some of Colorado's top chefs and restaurants.  Finally, if you're not much of a cook yourself, but still want to enjoy Colorado-grown foods, check out Taste Colorado, the Colorado Proud restaurant guide.


"Be Bear Aware"

Bear-human interactions have been in the news lately, as they often are this time of year, as bears go on a feeding frenzy before settling down to hibernate for the winter.  I've written previously about the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife's publication Living with Bears, but CP&W has recently produced some new publications on the topic, all of which can be found on their website, Be Bear Aware.  On this site you will find information such as Bear Proofing Your Home; Attracting Birds, Not Bears; Building a Secure Beehive; Bear Resistant Trash Containers; Camping & Hiking in Bear Country; Bear Encounters; and even Be Bear Aware information for children.  All of the information on the site is quick and easy-to-read; if you are planning on spending time outdoors or live near bear country, you may be glad you did.

Make sure your bird feeders are bear-proof!  Photo courtesy Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.

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