Auto-Pedestrian Accidents

During the past month the news has been filled with reports of auto-pedestrian accidents in Denver.  Although it seems like there have been an unusually high number recently, is this really the case?  According to the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT), there were 47 pedestrian fatalities in 2009; 36 in 2010; and 45 in 2011.  These numbers are actually down from 2006 and 2007, when there were 59 and 58 pedestrian fatalities, respectively.  (Data from the 2012 Transportation Safety and Traffic Engineering Annual Report).

What can you do to help keep yourself and your family safe, and keep others from harm?  See CDOT's Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety page for information.  Teachers of children in the primary grades can use CDOT's pedestrian safety lesson plans to teach kids about safety; see also CDOT's Safe Routes to School program site for more information about keeping young pedestrians safe.  And if you're the one behind the wheel, make sure you learn about watching out for pedestrians on the road.  See CDOT's Share the Road program site for more information.

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Digital Learning in Colorado

The Colorado Dept. of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Children's Campaign have teamed up to study the effects of and opportunities for K-12 digital learning in Colorado, as required by HB12-1124.  The result is Digital Learning in Colorado, which examines the benefits of digital learning and how it affects student achievement and academic growth.   The study also looks at ways to expand opportunities for high-quality digital learning experiences to all Colorado students.  For more of the latest research on digital/online learning in our state, see the CDE Office of Online and Blended Learning's reports page.


Colorado Dinosaur Information for Kids

Many, if not most, children go through a "dinosaur phase" where they can't learn enough about the giant prehistoric creatures.  But I had to smile at the story in Friday's Denver Post about a 9-year-old boy who is so interested in dinosaurs that he applied for the job of chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science!  He didn't get the job, of course, but the museum rewarded him with the title of Honorary Curator for a Day. 
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If you have a budding paleontologist at home, our library has several publications of interest from the Colorado Geological Survey that are great for all ages.  Dinousaurs in Our Backyard is an interactive CD-rom that will teach kids (and kids at heart) about the fossils of Dinosaur Ridge, located right outside of Denver and a great place to take youngsters on a field trip.  Additionally, the little ones will enjoy Darin and Denise Discover Denver's Dinosaurs and Other Denizens of Deep Time, written especially for kids.  And if your miniature scientists are begging to visit other dinosaur sites, Dinosaur Remains in Colorado from the Colorado Office of Archaeology and Preservation can give you some ideas for where to go.  Also, the CGS's special publication 35, Colorado's Dinosaurs, provides maps to fossil sites along with other information on our state's prehistoric creatures. 


Offenders with Mental Illness

One of the significant problems faced in Colorado's criminal justice system is what to do with offenders who have mental illnesses.  The General Assembly revisits the issue annually in their interim Legislative Oversight Committee for the Continuing Examination of the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness who are Involved in the Criminal Justice System.  Click here for their most recent report.  Our library also has all of the committee's previous reports online; search our web catalog for prior years' reports.

Additionally, the Colorado Dept. of Corrections has released a new report, Offenders with Mental IllnessThe Colorado Dept. of Public Safety has also published several reports on the subject, including Colorado's Juvenile Justice State Plan for Youth with Mental Health Issues and Co-Occurring Disorders, which focuses specifically on juvenile populations.   


Colorado Ag Day

agriculture,barns,buildings,farming,farms,fields,industries,pastures,silosToday is "Colorado Ag Day," a day set aside to honor the state's farmers and ranchers and their important contribution to our state's economy.  Today is also "National Agriculture Day."  The Colorado Legislature will be celebrating Ag Day with HJR13-1018.  This Joint Resolution tells us that each American farmer feeds about 156 people, and agriculture is the Colorado's second-largest industry, contributing $41 billion to our state's economy.  To learn all about agriculture in Colorado, visit www.colorado.gov/ag.


Child Care Facilities

If you run a child care facility, you should be aware of a new bi-partisan bill just signed into law, HB13-1084, concerning licensing of facilities.  Also making its way through the Legislature is another bill relevant to child care providers, HB13-1259, regarding child abuse and domestic violence. 

Our library collection contains many documents that provide helpful information for both providers of child care and for parents.  Some titles of interest include:
Search our web catalog for more titles regarding child care and services for children.
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Tax Day is only a month away.  The State of Colorado's Revenue Online has everything you need to know about filing your state tax return.  If you have questions about your taxes, other helpful sources of information include the Colorado Dept. of Revenue's Tax FYI fact sheets, Tax Information Index, and new TaxInfo blog.


Gun Legislation

It's a big day for gun control legislation in the Senate chambers of the Colorado General Assembly. If approved, three bills will go to the governor for signature:
HB13-1229 Requiring background checks for all gun transactions;
HB13-1228 Charging gun buyers a fee for background checks; and
HB13-1224 Limits gun magazines to 15 rounds.

Two other bills under discussion are SB 13-197 preventing people who have committed domestic violence from possessing firearms; and SB13-195 concerning training requirements for concealed handgun permits. If ratified by the Senate, these bills will head to the House for approval.

You can listen in on the debates (select "Senate Chamber" on the left side of the screen) or watch the deliberations on the Colorado Channel.


State Government Ethics

The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) has just released a brand-new Ethics Handbook.  The purpose of the handbook, as stated in its introduction, is to "...raise awareness of ethics issues,...to provide guidance to public employees faced with an ethics question, and to instill a sense of public trust in governmental activities."  So, if you are looking for information on such topics as gifts to public employees/elected officials; conflict of interest; appearance of impropriety; post-government employment; or information on the role of the IEC and about state ethics laws, this handbook can help.


Colorado House Speakers

Today was a historic day at the Capitol as 10 current and former Representatives who have served as Speaker of the House all gathered together at one time, alongside dozens of other former legislators.  The occasion was to memorialize former speaker Carl B. "Bev" Bledsoe, who passed away in June, with House Memorial 13-001.  Bledsoe has the record for serving the longest term as Speaker of the House.  

You can read biographies on all of these Speakers, along with their Senate counterparts (known as President of the Senate) in the booklet Presidents and Speakers of the Colorado General Assembly:  A Biographical Portrait from 1876For more on today's historic Legislative reunion, see today's Denver Post.

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