Mesa Verde

The ruins at Mesa Verde were home to ancestral Puebloans (or Anasazi) from A.D. 600 to 1300; it is today a National Park, protecting the approximately 600 cliff dwellings along with thousands of artifacts and archaeological sites. 

The November/December issue of Colorado Heritage, which you can check out from our library, features Mesa Verde.  One article highlights the early archaeological collections at the History Colorado museum.  Archaeological sites are protected today, unlike a century ago, when explorers and fortune hunters collected artifacts to sell or give to museums.  The article highlights the history of the museum's archaeological collections as well as society's changing attitudes toward the removal of artifacts and repatriation.

A second article examines how the ancestral Puebloans lived.  They had a thriving agricultural society, in which they cultivated beans, corn, and squash; they even kept domesticated turkeys.  They were accomplished in pottery and weaving, and built homes that have stood for more than half a millennium.  Yet they abandoned their cliff dwellings -- most likely, the article explains, due to severe drought that has been documented as occurring in the late thirteenth century, about the time the ancestral Puebloans disappeared from Mesa Verde.  Their ancestors are today's Pueblo people.

You can read more about Mesa Verde in two books available from our library, Mesa Verde National Park:  Shadows of the Centuries and The Anasazi of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners, or check out the Park's website.


Lowry Landfill Superfund Site

Several opinion articles referencing the Lowry Landfill in East Denver have appeared in the Denver Post in recent weeks.  Our library has several publications from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that offer background and analysis on the superfund site.  These include:

Also be sure to visit the CDPHE's Lowry Landfill website, which includes maps and current information on chemicals, environmental cleanup, and potential development.


Colorado Capitol Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree adorning the foyer of the Colorado State Capitol was provided by CSU's Colorado State Forest Service this year, as it has been for the last two years.  The 32-foot tree is decorated specially to commemorate military service members who have lost their lives since September 11, 2001.  The tree is known as the "Gold Star Tree of Honor" and is done in red, white, and blue.  Click here for more about the Capitol Christmas tree and the Colorado State Forest Service.
2013 Capitol Christmas Tree.  Photo courtesy Colorado State Forest Service.


Lane Closures and Travel Info

Traveling by car for the holidays?  Be prepared and avoid being stuck in traffic by checking the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT)'s Scheduled Lane Closures website.  Here you will find a map where you can click on any part of the state and receive updated information on lane closures and road construction, including specific dates and times for closures.  For more helpful resources, visit CDOT's Travel Center website.  Here you can sign up for free email and text message alerts.  You can also visit www.cotrip.org for updated traffic and road conditions, or call 511 for travel information. 


Economic Impact of Colorado Airports

A lot has changed since the Wright Brothers made their historic flight from Kitty Hawk 110 years ago today.  Aviation has become and continues to be an important part of the economy.  This fall, the Colorado Dept. of Transportation's Aeronautics Division released a new study on the economic impact of airports in Colorado.  The report contains some interesting facts about airports and air travel in Colorado.  For instance, did you know that Colorado has 265,700 jobs connected to airports, with a $12.6 billion payroll?  Additionally, the study looks at tax revenues generated by airports, benefits to other businesses, and more. 


Winfield Scott Stratton

Yesterday's Denver Post ran a column by Tom Noel on the generous philanthropy of Winfield Scott Stratton, a late-19th century mine owner.  The article mentions Dr. Noel's book Colorado Givers, which you can check out from our library.  We also have back issues of Colorado Magazine, which has included numerous articles over the years on the history of Cripple Creek, where Stratton made his fortune. You can also learn more about Winfield Scott Stratton in Colorado:  A History of the Centennial State, also by Tom Noel and available from our library.  


New Version of the Backseat Budgeter

This fall Colorado State University released a new version of their interactive tool, Colorado Backseat Budgeter.  Developed in part by CSU's Colorado Futures Center, the online tool allows citizens to participate in a simulation of the state's budgeting process.  According to a media release from the center, "the online tool displays the 2013-14 Colorado general fund budget and highlights the impact of two important issues on the November ballot: Amendment 66 (school finance reform) and Proposition AA (marijuana taxation). ... [Coloradans can] set their own priorities, save their budget, view others’ budgets, and discuss ideas through online posts.  In addition to helping voters better understand the impact of upcoming ballot initiatives and gain a better understanding of the Colorado general fund budget, the new version of Backseat Budgeter also includes a section that considers the costs of the state’s disaster response to fire and flood damage, as well as a robust healthcare section that helps users examine the costs associated with Medicaid expansion."



Statewide Transportation Plan

The Colorado Dept. of Transportation is currently formulating its new Statewide Transportation Plan and seeks YOUR input.  So why should you get involved in the plan?  Transportation is part of all of our lives.  According to CDOT, "If you use transportation, you should get involved. CDOT is making it easy to shape the Statewide Transportation Plan by offering this user-friendly interactive website, regional outreach meetings, and variety of feedback tools." 

You can also view past versions of the Statewide Transportation Plan, including current plans covering to 2035, by searching our library's web catalog.


Front Range Blizzards

This month marks the 100-year anniversary of Denver's worst-recorded blizzard, the blizzard of December 1-5, 1913.  (Read the 1913 newspaper story and view photos here).  The blizzard dumped 45.7 inches in Denver, and piles of snow moved to Civic Center didn't melt until the following July.

Ten years ago, in March 2003, Denver's second-worst blizzard (in terms of snow totals) hit the Front Range, with 31.8 inches of snow, well shy of the 1913 record.  You can find very interesting comparisons of the 1913 and 2003 storms in two periodicals available from our libraryThe 2003 issue Colorado Climate contains a comparison in terms of water measurement, while the Autumn 2003 issue of Colorado Heritage includes a historical comparison, "Colorado is Snowbound -- the Great Front Range Blizzard of 1913 (and its 2003 Counterpart)."       


Pet Safety During Cold Weather

It's important to remember your pets' needs during this week's below-freezing, single-digit temperatures.  (Brrr!)  The following tips are from a Colorado Dept. of Agriculture media release:

Ø  Keep pets inside. If animals can’t be inside, provide a warm, comfortable place. Face shelter away from wind and provide a flap or door to help keep the animal’s body heat inside.
Ø  Bedding is essential. It insulates the animal from the snow and ice underneath the body and allows the animal to retain heat within the bedding.
Ø  Cats may sleep under the hoods of cars to stay warm. If you have outdoor felines in your neighborhood, check under the hood before starting your car.
Ø  When walking your pet, keep them on leashes; they can’t rely on their sense of smell in the snow and may become lost.
Ø  Wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach after being outdoors to remove any ice, salt or chemicals. 
Ø  Outdoor pets need more calories to produce body heat so extra food and water must be provided. Devices are now available to keep water dishes from freezing; if one is not available, fill and replace water frequently.

The CDA also warns that pets are also susceptible to hypothermia, so be watchful for signs including shivering, listlessness, and body temperature below 97 degrees, followed by collapse and coma.  If your pet shows signs of hypothermia, see a vet immediately.       


Alcohol and Impaired Driving

According to the Colorado Dept. of Transportation, "more than 26,000 people are arrested for DUI and over 150 people are killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes" each year in Colorado.  Alcohol is not the only problem, however -- many fatalities occur as a result of drug-impaired driving as well.  CDOT has many resources on alcohol- and drug-impaired driving on its website.  Here you can find information on the Heat is On high-visibility enforcement campaign; DUI information; statistics and data; law enforcement info; a public service announcement; and even a downloadable smart phone app that lets you calculate your blood alcohol level. 


Plug-In Electric Motor Vehicles

Laws are changing for plug-in electric motor vehicles in Colorado.  Starting January 1, 2014, owners of such vehicles will be assessed a $50 fee as part of their registration and will be required to display a decal showing that the fee has been paid.  For information on determining whether you have a qualifying vehicle, what to do in cases of change of ownership, and where the money goes, see this brochure from the Colorado Dept. of Revenue. 


Wild Turkeys

Not all of Colorado's turkeys are at the grocery store; our state has many wild turkeys, as well.  Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife has published a new report on the Ecology and Management of Rio Grande Turkeys in the South Platte River Corridor.  The report takes a look at wild turkeys and their habitats, populations, movement and dispersal, survival, and nesting behaviors.  Rio Grande turkeys are found only in the eastern part of the state -- if you see a turkey in the mountains or in western Colorado, it's probably a Merriam's turkey.  Rio Grande turkeys are most common in Kansas, Oklahoma, and central Texas.  For more information on Colorado turkeys and turkey hunting, see the Division's turkey page.

Photo by David Hannigan, courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife


"Force of Nature"

What's the connection between rockfall mitigation and historic preservation?  The Colorado Dept. of Transportation explains in a fascinating 10-minute video, Force of Nature:  Passage and Preservation from Georgetown to Silver Plume.  Most of us have driven I-70 near Georgetown and seen the signs warning of falling rock.  The video explains how CDOT engineers are developing systems to protect I-70 drivers from falling rocks by building fences that can slow or stop the fall of boulders onto the interstate, while also helping preserve the historic character and contemporary livability of the silver mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume.  For example, CDOT engineers have designed the protective rockfall fences to be environmentally friendly and painted in colors that would seamlessly blend into the mountainside.  The video takes a look at the history of the silver mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume, and the importance of transportation to the area -- first in the form of the narrow gauge railroad, and then the highway.  By creation of a National Historic Landmark District, historic Georgetown was saved from destruction for the highway, which had been planned to snake right through the center of
town -- as a result, I-70 was built alongside the cliff, necessitating the need for rockfall mitigation. 

Today, the railroad has returned as a popular tourist attraction (the Georgetown Loop) and the highway is safer thanks to the efforts described in this interesting film.  For more information on the topics discussed in the brief film, visit our library's web catalog for resources.  Publications of note include:  
  • The Georgetown Loop:  A Capsule History and Guide
  • The Rise of the Silver Queen:  Georgetown, Colorado, 1859-1896
  • Geologic Hazards of the Georgetown, Idaho Springs, and Squaw Pass Quadrangles, Clear Creek County, Colorado
  • Active Surficial-Geologic Processes and Related Geologic Hazards in Georgetown, Clear Creek County 
  • Rockfall in Colorado
  • High-Capacity Flexpost Rockfall Fences
  • Highway Rockfall Research Report


Internet Speed Test

The State of Colorado's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is offering a new tool for Colorado residents and businesses to test the speed of their broadband internet connection.  The speed test will allow the OIT to determine and help improve internet speeds across the state.  By taking the test, you can put your part of the state on the map for determining broadband speed and availability.  For more information and a link to take the test, click here.


Colorado Outdoors: The Photography Issue

For seventy-five years, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife) has published Colorado Outdoors, a bi-monthly magazine focusing on Colorado's wildlife and outdoor recreation.  Each year, the magazine publishes a special photography issue, which features the best in wildlife photography around the state.  Many of the images are stunning; others, just plain cute (like this year's cover photo of baby mountain goats).  Check out this year's photography issue (v.62, n.6, Nov/Dec 2013) for some great photos including a barn swallow with an attitude; a baby bear's important lesson; a moose reflecting on life in Colorado; some playful black-tailed prairie dogs; a busy beaver; and much, much more (and of course, more baby mountain goats).  Copies can be checked out from our library, or you can subscribe by visiting their website.  


Creative Districts

In 2011 the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation to allow for the establishment of Creative Districts in Colorado.  According to the legislation, a Creative District is "a well-organized, designated mixed-use area of a community in which a high concentration of cultural facilities, creative businesses, or arts-related businesses serve as the anchor of attraction."  They can be established in communities large or small, urban or rural, and businesses can be for profit or non-profit.  The Districts are certified by Colorado Creative Industries, formerly known as Colorado Council on the Arts.  The first Creative Districts were Downtown Salida and the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver.  Since then, five new Creative Districts have been certified, in Pueblo, Trinidad, Ridgway, Telluride, and the North Fork Valley, and more are expected to follow (see the press release here.)  The program highlights the many artistic and cultural attractions our state has to offer.  If your community is interested in certifying a Creative District, find out how here.


Mining Accidents

Yesterday a mine accident in Ouray killed two miners and injuried 20 others.  Authorities say the two miners died from carbon monoxide poisoning, possibly triggered by an explosion in the mine.  You can read about mine safety from the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety.  Additionally, our library has mine reports going back to the nineteenth century that list mine accidents, injuries, and fatalities.  Contact us for more information.


Replacing Important Papers

Did you lose any of your important personal papers in the recent flooding?  If so, you may be scrambling to remember everything that needs to be replaced, as well as figuring out where to go to get replacements.  The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has addressed this problem by posting a list on their blog with websites and contact information for obtaining birth, death, and marriage certificates; mortgage, property, and insurance papers; adoption, immigration, and military records; financial information; passports; drivers licenses and vehicle records; and more.  Even if you were not affected by the recent flooding, this is helpful information to keep on hand in case any of your important documents are ever lost or destroyed.

Please note, the list links to a federal government website for obtaining birth, death, and marriage certificates.  However, if the birth, death, marriage, or divorce occurred in Colorado, you can obtain these records from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Vital Records Section.   


Hospice Care

Did you know that November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month?  If you are searching for hospice care for a loved one, be sure to select the best care possible by visiting the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Consumer Resources - Hospices webpage.  Here you will find the information you need on inspections, incident occurrences, and how to file a complaint, along with a directory of hospice care facilities in Colorado. 


Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day -- to all our veterans and active military out there, thank you for your service.  The State of Colorado offers many resources for veterans: 


Finish the GED in 2013

The GED is changing starting in 2014, so if you're currently working towards yours, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) encourages you to finish before the end of the year.  You can find information on the GED in Colorado by visiting CDE's website.  Here you will find testing locations, test preparation info, and information on accommodations and computer-based testing.  For more information on the year-end campaign see this press release from CDE.  For information and statistics on prior years' GED testing in Colorado, see Colorado GED Study and GED Testing in Colorado, available from our library.    


Uncovering the Past at the Colorado State Capitol

Yesterday's newspaper ran a story about original wall stenciling that has been uncovered in the House and Senate Chambers of the Colorado State Capitol.  The original designs, done in red in the Senate and green in the House to match the chambers' traditional colors, have been covered by acoustic tiles since the 1950s.  Uncovering the stenciling gives Coloradans a chance to see how the builders of the Capitol intended the chambers to look.  The stencils are being uncovered as part of a project to restore the chambers to their historic appearance.

Quoted in the article is Derek Everett, whose book The Colorado State Capitol:  History, Politics, and Preservation, is available from our library.  You can also learn more by visiting the "Mr. Brown's Attic" exhibit in the Capitol or, if you cannot visit in person, take the virtual tour courtesy of the Colorado Legislative Council.  Our library has a number of other publications on the history, art, and architecture of the Capitol, so be sure and search our web catalog for additional resources.



Today is Halloween, and one of the most recognized symbols of the day, along with ghosts and pumpkins and skeletons, is the bat.  Colorado is home to several species of bats.  You can learn about Colorado's bats at the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife's species profile or check out their publication Bats of Colorado:  Shadows in the Night, available from our library.   

Recently, many Colorado bats have been infected with white nose syndrome, which is causing the deaths of large numbers of bat populations.  Bats are an important element of the ecosystem.  If you spot a dead or infected bat, you are encouraged to contact the Division at 303-291-7771 or email wildlife.batline@state.co.us.  However, do not handle bats, as many are carriers of rabies.


More Flood Resources

Many people in Colorado are still being affected by last month's floods, as they work to clean and repair flooded and damaged houses or find new places to live.  Roadways and dams are also affected.  The State of Colorado has set up a flood resource website, www.coloradounited.com, which includes resources for flood victims, travel information, and how to volunteer or donate. 

Also helpful is the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's flood resources page, which includes resources both in English and Spanish.  In addition to the lists of resources for the general public, the site also includes information for health care providers, retail food establishments, child care providers, and landfill owners and operators.  Included are helpful links on water quality and testing, wastewater, private wells, and mapping and GIS. 


Beware of New Cell Phone Phishing Scam

A new scam involving calls to Colorado cell phones has been identified.  The scam is a "phishing" scam whereby the caller pretends to be from the person's financial institution and asks for account numbers and passwords.  The calls originate from a California phone number.  If you receive a call like this, DO NOT give out any personal information.  For more information on this scam, click here.  If you believe you have received this call and gave out personal information, alert your local police.  For helpful information on identity theft recovery, see the Colorado Attorney General's Identity Theft Repair Kit, available from our library.


Homeless Programs

The Colorado Governor's Office, the Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs - Division of Housing, and various local nonprofits have teamed up to produce a new report, Pathways Home Colorado:  Ensuring All Coloradans Have a Place to Call HomeThe report takes a look at the various initiatives around the state that are working toward reducing homelessness.  For more information and links to resources, visit the Division of Housing's Homeless Programs page. 


American Archives Month

October is American Archives Month, celebrating the rich array of historical treasures found in American archives.  In Colorado, most museums and many libraries have archives both large and small that store the record of American, Colorado, and local history.  The Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board "serves as a central advisory body within Colorado for historical records planning and coordination."  To find out what they are doing to make sure Colorado's history is available for the future, view their report Ensuring the Documentary Heritage of the Centennial State here.


Colorado Lottery Audit

The Denver Post last week ran a story and editorials on a new state audit of the Colorado Lottery, but as usual they didn't include a link to the audit in their story, so you can find it here.  In actuality, two audits of the Lottery were released last week -- a financial audit and a performance audit.  Both will soon be available from our library but in the meantime are available via the State Auditor's website.  For more information on the Colorado Lottery, see their annual reports, their monthly financial statements, and this Issue Brief from the Colorado Legislative Council.


I-70 Mountain Corridor

As the ski season approaches, the problem of congestion along I-70 again becomes a hot topic.  In 2011, the Colorado State Legislature passed HB11-1210, requiring the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) to study possible solutions for I-70 traffic and mobility.  The resulting study has recently been cataloged by our library:  Report Pursuant to HB 11-1210, Recommendations Regarding Short Term Mobility Solutions Along the I-70 Mountain Corridor.  Some additional state publications that discuss this topic include:


Colorado Main Street Program

Recently Governor Hickenlooper announced that Trinidad has been added to the list of communities participating in the Main Street Program (see the Governor's press release here.)  With the addition of Trinidad, there are now 13 communities across Colorado participating in the program.  According to the Governor's Office,

The Main Street® Program helps to revitalize downtown districts leveraging historic preservation. The program advocates for community self-reliance, local empowerment and the rebuilding of central business districts based on their traditional assets of unique architecture, personal service, local ownership and a sense of community. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) is the statewide coordinating agency for all Main Street® communities and is sponsored, in part, by a generous grant from the State Historical Fund.

You can find out more about this program by visiting their website.  Also, the Department of Local Affairs has published Community Profiles on four of the communities participating in the Main Street Program:

-Town of Fowler
-Five Points (Denver)
-City of Monte Vista
-City of Rifle

Other state publications of interest regarding the Main Street Program, and available from our library, include:

-Colorado Community Sustainability Guide
-Colorado Sustainable Main Streets Initiative:  Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, for more information on the State Historical Fund, visit their website.  Additional information can be found in their publication The Economic Power of Heritage and Place.


State Publications Library Open House

Stop by the Colorado State Publications Library tomorrow for an open house!  Tour the library, meet the staff, and learn about all of the great resources we have to offer.  

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 10am-1pm
WHERE:  201 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado (northeast corner of Colfax Avenue and Sherman Street) - Room 314

See you there! 


Bullying Prevention

October is Bullying Prevention Month.  The State of Colorado has two excellent resources on bullying, the Colorado School Safety Resource Center and the University of Colorado's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.  Some of the helpful resources these agencies have published (and are available from our library) include:
Additionally, the Colorado Dept. of Education has also published several helpful fact sheets on bullying, including What is Bullying? and What Parents and Teachers Should Know About BullyingHelp keep your kids safe by checking out these helpful resources.


Colorado Dept. of Corrections Releases New Statistical Report

The Colorado Dept. of Corrections has just released a new statistical report, which includes information on prison population, crime rates, security, admissions and releases, parole, recidivism, demographics, and more.  The report shows a decline in total prison population but a slight increase in the youthful offender population.  The data in the report is shown both visually in graphs and also numerically, so that it is easy to search for the information you need.  With the media's recent focus on Colorado corrections, particularly in regards to parole, this is a valuable resource for all kinds of data on Colorado's incarcerated population.


Protecting Pets from Coyotes

As the weather cools, pet owners should be more vigilant about protecting their pets from coyotes.  According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, coyotes require more calories during cold weather and also can be seen hunting during daylight hours in the colder months.  The following tips can help pet owners be aware of coyote activity and threats*:

Discouraging Coyotes Near Homes
- Frighten coyotes with loud noises; use unnatural odors (such as ammonia) to clean trashcans.
- Yell and throw things at coyotes whenever you see them near your home.
- Cleanup food attractants such as dog food, garbage and spilled seed beneath birdfeeders.
- Use yard lights with motion detectors - appearance of the sudden light may frighten coyotes away.

Protecting Pets and Children
- Keep pets in fenced areas or kennels; remember split rail fences and invisible fences will not keep your pet safe from predators. Pet kennels and runs should have a fully-enclosed roof.
- Provide human supervision while outdoors, even in your own backyard.
- Do not allow pets (or children) to run loose in areas where there is coyote activity. Keep pets on leash or leave the area when you see a coyote. Most urban areas have leash laws requiring dogs to be under control. Coyotes and foxes are thought to be responsible for many cat disappearances in residential neighborhoods.
- Although rare, coyotes could potentially to injure people. Teach your family not to approach wildlife and never feed wildlife.
- Treat the presence of a coyote as an unfamiliar and potentially threatening dog.

Coyote Encounters
- Rural coyotes are wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible. Urban coyotes seem to be more comfortable around humans.
- Overtly aggressive behavior toward people is not normal and should be reported.
- Never feed or attempt to "tame" a coyote.
- Do not turn your back or run from a coyote.
- If approached or followed by a coyote, make loud noises, yell and make yourself look big.
- If the coyote approaches to an uncomfortably close distance, throw rocks or other objects.
- Report coyote problems to the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife Office.

For more information, see this flyer, brochure, and postcard from the Division of Wildlife.  These resources also discuss how to minimize human interactions with coyotes.

Photo by David Hannigan, courtesy of Colorado Division of Wildlife

*this information was originally published in a DOW press release.


Emerald Ash Borer

An invasive species that could mean the death of numerous trees has been found in Colorado.  The emerald ash borer targets ash trees and has caused the death of tens of millions of trees in the United States, according to the Denver PostAsh trees are common in Denver and the metropolitan area, so the insect could significantly reduce Colorado's urban forests.  The first Colorado borer was found in Boulder last week.

Homeowners and tree growers can find out more about the emerald ash borer by reading this brochure and fact sheet from the Colorado State University Extension.  Also, be sure to view this helpful and newly-updated emerald ash borer resource guide from the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. 

What are the signs of emerald ash borer infestation?  Look for D-shaped holes, sparse or thinning canopy, bark splitting, shoots sprouting from the trunk, and increased woodpecker activity.

Emerald Ash Borer.  Photo courtesy Colorado State Forest Service.


Get Ready for Health Insurance Changes

Health insurance laws are changing January 1.  If you're a Colorado resident with questions about the new laws, the State of Colorado has set up a new site, http://www.cohealthinfo.com/, that explains the new laws in easy-to-understand language and videos.  The site addresses the questions I have health insurance.  What do I need to know?  and I need health insurance.  What are my options?  The site also includes sections discussing health and wellness, health insurance fact vs. fiction, and a glossary and timeline.  This website is a valuable resource for helping Coloradans navigate the new Affordable Care Act laws and health insurance Marketplace options. 


Governor John Vanderhoof

The Denver Post is reporting that former Colorado Governor John Vanderhoof has died.  He was 91.  Governor Vanderhoof served from July 1973 through 1974.  He served as Lieutenant Governor under John Love and became governor after Love resigned to join the National Energy Policy Office.  Vanderhoof was born in Rocky Ford, Colorado, and was a WWII Veteran.  He also served twenty years in the State House of Representatives, from 1950 to 1970, where he served for several years as Speaker of the House.

For more information about Governor Vanderhoof, visit the Colorado State Archives website.  Vanderhoof is also featured in the Legislative Council publication Presidents and Speakers of the Colorado General Assembly:  A Biographical Portrait from 1876.  Finally, you can find in our library some of the Vanderhoof administration's publications, including studies on land use planning, personnel administration, and education for prisoners.  Vanderhoof's office also published a Guidebook to Denver for the Handicapped, which is also available from our library.


Dam Safety

One of the challenges brought on by the recent floods is damages to a number of Colorado dams.  Dam safety in Colorado is overseen by the State Engineer's Office.  Check out their 2013 Flood Information page.  They have produced a number of resources to provide guidance on this important safety issue:


How to Register for Disaster Assistance

The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has made available this helpful guide to how to register with FEMA and SBA for disaster assistance following last week's devastating floods.  Included here, you can find a list of what disaster aid will cover, as well as maps of disaster assistance centers.  The site also includes fact sheets on individual assistance's sequence of delivery, ways to apply, and disaster loans.  FEMA assistance can help affected individuals with the cost of rent, home repairs, and other related costs.  FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can likewise assist affected businesses.

Finally, if you still need assistance with disaster relief, visit your local library or contact an applicable state agency.  


Colorado and the Dust Bowl

With recent flooding it is hard to believe that Colorado is prone to devastating drought, such as occurred during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  Colorado Heritage Magazine has a fascinating article in the current issue, which you can check out from our library.  "The Living West," A new exhibit at the History Colorado Center opening November 23, will also explore the Dust Bowl and its impact on the lives of Colorado farmers in the "dirty Thirties." 


Flood Resources

The State of Colorado has many resources available to Colorado flood victims.  Updates are available through the Colorado Office of Emergency Management at http://www.coemergency.com/

Recovery guides for the Colorado flood disaster are available online at

For insurance information, see Disasters, Severe Weather and Insurance Claims from the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Search our library catalog for more Colorado flood resources.


Recall Elections

Today is the day that voters in two Colorado State Senate districts will decide whether or not they will recall their senator.  This is the first time the recall has been used for Colorado legislators.  You can read the Colorado Secretary of State's rules for recalls here

Recently there has been some news of disagreements over who can vote in the recalls, based on new voting legislation passed last session.  You can find out more about the new election laws on the Secretary of State's website or by reading the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act, HB13-1303, here


Hay Resources

Hay is an important and sought-after agricultural commodity, especially this year as the United States suffers through drought.  You can find resources on buying and selling hay at the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture's Hay Resources webpage.  The page includes a link to the annual Colorado Hay Directory.  At our library you can find copies of the Hay Directory back to 1988.


Sand Creek Massacre

History Colorado has temporarily closed their exhibit on the Sand Creek Massacre due to complaints from descendants that the Indian tribes were not adequately consulted (see the news story here.)  The Sand Creek Massacre occurred on November 29, 1864, when soldiers of the Colorado Volunteers killed more than 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho, the majority of whom were women, children, and the elderly. 

Not all of the white soldiers participated in the massacre.  Capt. Silas Soule condemned the massacre and was subsequently murdered.  You can read his heartbreaking letters about the atrocities of the massacre in Western Voices:  125 Years of Colorado Writing, available from our library.  Other articles on the massacre can be found in the Historical Society's Colorado Heritage and Colorado Magazine, also available from our library.

Find out more about the History Colorado Center museum at http://www.historycoloradocenter.org.  Also, you can read History Colorado's statement on the exhibit closure here.


National Preparedness Month in Colorado

September is National Preparedness Month, bringing awareness to the need for preparation for natural and man-made disasters.  Governor Hickenlooper has issued a proclamation in recognition of National Preparedness Month (click on image to enlarge):

Additionally, the governor, Lt. Governor, and members of the American Red Cross and and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) will annouce the all-new Prepare Colorado initiative at 2:00pm on Friday, Sept. 6.  The announcement will take place on the steps of the State Capitol.  Prepare Colorado encourages all citizens to take part in a step-by-step plan that will ensure better preparedness for everyone.  A preparedness plan checklist can be found at www.redcross.org/Colorado.

There are numerous state publications and resources that can help citizens prepare for emergencies and disasters.  www.Readycolorado.gov is a helpful, Colorado-specific, state-sponsored site that can help citizens, businesses, and government agencies plan and prepare.  In addition, some useful state documents include:

Finally, see the Colorado DHSEM's press release for more details on Prepare Colorado and National Preparedness Month in Colorado.



AskColorado Celebrates 10 Years

On Monday, Sept. 2, the Colorado State Library's AskColorado service celebrated its 10th anniversary!  AskColorado coordinator Kris Johnson says,

On Monday, AskColorado/AskAcademic (ASK) marked its tenth anniversary. Since Sept. 2, 2003, ASK librarians have quietly and efficiently fielded over 370,000 sessions with K-12 students, college students, business researchers, military personnel, and many other information seekers. Many of our libraries are celebrating today with cake, and we’re posting photos at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AskColorado

The State Publications Library assists with AskColorado by answering questions relating to state government.  Ask a question or find out more at http://www.askcolorado.org/


Travel and Traffic Information

Heading out for the Labor Day weekend? The Colorado Department of Transportation has some great tools to help you stay on top of construction closures, and avoid accidents and traffic jams.  Visit www.cotrip.org for current road conditions, travel times and weather information. You can also sign up to receive text message or email travel alerts. If you have a smart phone, try out "CDOT Mobile" a free app that provides speeds and travel times; road conditions; road closures and other traffic-related incidents; and feeds from CDOT’s closed circuit television cameras.


Homeowners' Associations

In Colorado, homeowners' associations (or HOAs) are under the control of the law known as the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.  The Act, passed in 1991, was recently updated with HB11-1124, which clarifies conflict of interest of an HOA's executive board.  Colorado's HOA laws can be complex, but two publications have recently been issued to help clarify these laws.  The Colorado Legislative Council's Homeowners' Associations Issue Brief from 2011 explains the laws in plain language.  Additionally, the Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies has begun issuing an Annual Report of the HOA Information and Resource Center.  The Resource Center is an educational progam sponsored by the Division of Real Estate; for more information, see their HOA webpage.


The American Soldier

Be sure to visit the History Colorado Center to view their exhibit "The American Soldier" before it closes on September 2!  This poignant exhibit explores through photographs the lives and experiences of American soldiers from the Civil War to the present day.  Soldiers' experiences have also been preserved through letters and diaries.  On the History Colorado website you can find the WWI letters of 1st Lt. Charles Stewart, which were discovered in a Denver attic.  Another interesting look at military life is the diary of Romine H. Ostrander, kept from 1863-1865 during his service in the 1st Colorado Infantry.  The diary has been published in book form by the Colorado Historical Society and is available from our library.  


TCAP Results Now Available

The Colorado Dept. of Education has released the results of the TCAP tests for 2013.  A summary of the results can be found here, which also links to the full results on SchoolView.  The TCAP, or Transitional Colorado Asessment Program, has taken the place of the old CSAPs starting in 2012.  According to the Department, "TCAP supports the transition from Colorado Model Content Standards to the Colorado Academic Standards in grades 3 through 10 in the content areas of reading, writing and mathematics and in grades 5, 8, and 10 for science."  Results show slight growth in all content areas in 2013. 


Colorado State Fair Special Contests - Enter Today!

Are you a cupcake connoisseur?  A salsa specialist?  Pizza pro?  Green chili champion?  If you have a food or craft specialty, there just might be a contest for you to enter at the Colorado State Fair, brought to you by the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture.  Some of the contests include baking, homebrew and craft beers, quilting, amateur art, and more.  Some of the interesting contests this year include Pet Rock Olympics, gingerbread house decorating, baking with Girl Scout Cookies, and even a dress-your-doll contest.  For a list of contests and the entry deadlines, click here.  And if you'd rather judge those cupcake and beer contests, you can sign up here to volunteer. 

The State Fair starts August 23 -- visit their website for a complete schedule of events.


Travel and Tourism Statistics

At the State Publications Library we often receive questions regarding statistcal information on travel and tourism in Colorado.  The best place to find this information is in the annual Colorado Travel Year...  report, compiled by Longwoods International for the Colorado Tourism Office.  The report, issued each May, provides information not only on the number of visitors to Colorado, but also shows demographic information, number of overnight stays vs. day trips, and visitors' reasons for coming to Colorado. Statistics are further broken out by accommodations, food and beverage, recreation and sightseeing, transportation, and retail purchases.  The report also compares Colorado statistics with national trends.  The report is a valuable resource for businesses and anyone else looking to find out just how significant travel and tourism is to Colorado's economy.


State Recreational Lands

Colorado contains nearly 3 million acres of State Trust Lands, which are federal lands that were endowed to Colorado upon its statehood in 1876.  Under a Public Access Program, certain state trust lands are open to the public for recreation.  The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife has just released a new booklet on these areas, entitled State Recreation Lands.  The booklet is available online and from our library.  You can also find more information on state trust lands by clicking here.


Wildfire Assistance Now Available

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is now available to those persons facing unemployment due to the Black Forest or Royal Gorge Wildfires.  Information is available from the Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment (click here for specific Black Forest information and here for Royal Gorge information.)  To find out more about different types of unemployment assistance in the State of Colorado, see the Department's publication entitled Your Guide to Unemployment and Getting Paid Benefits.  


Colorado Art

Did you know that August is American Artist Appreciation Month?  This celebration highlights the contributions Americans have made to the fine arts.  Art is all around us, even in state government - the Colorado Dept. of Transportation and the Colorado Dept. of Education have produced publications that highlight art in schools and along transportation corridors.  The State Capitol includes many fine works of art both inside and out; check out Memorials and Art in and Around The State Capitol and Art of the House from our library to find out more.  Some other publications in our library that highlight American art and artists include:
  • Masterpieces of Colorado:  A Rich Legacy of Landscape Painting
  • The Architecture and Art of Early Hispanic Colorado
  • Art in Public Places
  • Irene Jerome Hood:  A Victorian Woman and Her Art
Also visit https://artistsregister.com/, partially sponsored by Colorado Creative Industries (formerly Colorado Council on the Arts) to find out about American artists of today.

The Gallery of Presidents is one of the many examples of art in the State Capitol.  All of the portraits were painted by Lawrence Williams except for the most recent portrait, that of President Obama, which was painted by Sarah Boardman of Colorado Springs.  Lawrence Williams died in 2003.  Photo courtesy Colorado State Archives.


August is Colorado Proud Month

Governor Hickenlooper has declarded August 2013 as "Colorado Proud Month," celebrating the state's agriculture.  Visit the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture's Colorado Proud webpage this month to read the Governor's Proclamation, find a calendar of agriculture tours and events, link to social media, and discover the 52 Reasons to Choose Colorado.  Finally, as always, you can find consumer information on the site, including recipes, a crop calendar, agritourism information, forest products, restaurants serving Colorado Proud foods, and directories of farmers' markets, wineries, and gifts.  The site also features information for producers including a newsletter, guidelines, and rules and regulations


Happy Colorado Day!

Colorado was admitted to the Union as the 38th state on this day, August 1, 1876 -- 137 years ago.  Back in 1926, Leroy Hafen, the premier Colorado historian at the time, along with other historians celebrated Colorado's then 50th birthday with a series of articles on Colorado statehood in the August 1926 issue of Colorado Magazine, which you can check out from our library.  Also in our library you can find Hafen's excellent 5-volume History of Colorado, published in 1927 and just recently digitized.  Over the years, Colorado magazine has featured several other articles on Colorado's statehood.  Contact our library if you would like to check out Colorado Magazine, Hafen's History of Colorado, or any of our other publications.


Colorado Environmental Education Plan

The Colorado Legislature passed HB10-1131 in 2010, which required the State Board of Education to adopt a plan for teaching Colorado's young people about natural resources and the environment.  You can read the plan, which was adopted in 2012, at the Colorado Environmental Education Plan (CEEP) website.  On this site you can also find links to teacher resources, activities, kid-friendly events at State Parks, and other reasources.


Energy and Sustainability at the Capitol

Earlier this month the CU Denver Business School hosted a forum on energy sustainability in historic buildings.  The forum was held in the Colorado State Capitol Building as a living example of the points made in the forum.  Colorado's Capitol is the first LEED-certified state capitol building in the nation.  At the forum, speakers such as Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall discussed how updating the Capitol with geothermal energy has saved the state more than $8 million in utility costs and has offset more than 91 million pounds of carbon emissions.  For more on the Capitol's energy efficiency and sustainability, see the document Energy Use at the Capitol from the Colorado Energy Office.

Solar panels on the State Capitol roof.  Courtesy Colorado Energy Office.


Colorado Cares Day

Americorps Colorado and the Governor's Commission on Community Service are sponsoring the 15th Annual Colorado Cares Day this Saturday, July 27.  Held annually on the Saturday closest to Colorado Day (August 1), Colorado Cares Day offers opportunities to get involved with service projects across the state.  If you're interested in helping serve your community on Colorado Cares Day, you can register your project or find ideas for where to volunteer by visiting this page.  Whatever your interest, there are volunteer opportunities available for you.  Some examples of projects that are recruiting volunteers for Saturday, and are being sponsored by the State of Colorado, include the Hep C Connection, Bluff Lake Nature Center, The Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Hospice, National MS Society, Aurora Water, and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.  Finally, for information on past years' service projects, see the Colorado Cares Day Annual Report, available from our library.

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