Home Inventory: Prepare for Disaster

cover of Home Inventory Checklist brochureIf a fire, flood, tornado, or other disaster destroyed your home, would you be able to report to the insurance company everything you lost?  Unless you have completed a home inventory, the answer is probably "no."  Luckily, taking an inventory of the contents of your home can be easy, thanks to the Colorado Division of Insurance.  They have put together a helpful Home Inventory Checklist which you can use to go room by room through your home and note furniture, electronics, appliances, collectibles, artwork, kitchen items, and more.  For an even better home inventory, use the checklist to identify items, and then photograph them.  It's an easy way to save yourself a great deal of stress later, should disaster ever strike.  For more information, see "Understanding the Value of Your Home and Its Contents" from the Colorado Division of Insurance.


Apartment Rates and Vacancies

A story in today's Denver Post reports that apartment rents are at an all-time high in Metro Denver.  The story references a report produced quarterly by the Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.  You can find reports on apartment vacancies for Metro Denver, Colorado Springs, and Statewide at the Division of Housing's website.* 

If you're thinking about renting, be sure to check out the Division of Housing's Colorado Renter's Guide.

business,for rent,phrases,properties,real estate,signs*Please note, that the current report as referenced in the Post article will not be available on the Division of Housing site until the next quarter's report is released.  This is because the Apartment Association charges a fee for the current report.


Backcountry Avalanche Forecasts

CAIC: Colorado Avalanche Information CenterMuch of the central Colorado mountains is under "considerable" avalanche danger conditions right now, as evidenced by several recent deaths.  The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) monitors avalanche conditions and constantly updates their Backcountry Forecasts page with the latest information.  Right now, the Front Range, Vail and Summit Counties, and the Sawatch Range are all under what the CAIC has termed "considerable" danger:  "Dangerous avalanche conditions.  Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential."  This helpful resource also provides information on weather, snowpack, and other essential information.  So if you're headed to the high country, be sure and check this site to determine which parts of the state are not safe. 


2012 Remedial Education Report

The growing numbers of college and university students needing remedial education is the focus of a new study released last week by the Colorado Dept. of Higher Education.  Each year, the department tracks statistics on the numbers of postsecondary students enrolled in remedial classes.  This year, in addition to the report, the department has prepared a video, frequently-asked-questions, resources to help improve remidiation rates, and an explanation of new methods for calculating the remedial rate in 2012.  All of this information can be found on the report's webpage at the Colorado Dept. of Higher Education site.


Colorado Digital Citizenship Day

Today, April 22, has been designated as the first-ever "Colorado Digital Citizenship Day," as recognized by the State Board of Education.  "Colorado Digital Citizenship Day will focus on the important issues facing children and their families in our 24/7 digital world," according to the State Board's resolution.  This includes children's internet safety and privacy issues, and how families, schools, and students can work together to keep everyone safe online.  For resources on children's internet safety, see the Colorado School Safety Resource Center's "Internet Safety & Digital Responsibility" page; the Colorado Attorney General's Safe Surfing brochure; and Cyber Bullying and Internet Safety from the University of Colorado's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.  For more information on Colorado Digital Citizenship Day, see the Colorado Dept. of Education's press release.



99 years ago this Saturday, Colorado was the scene of one of the bloodiest and most controversial incidents in the Progressive Era labor wars.  The Ludlow Massacre, April 20, 1914, occurred when Colorado National Guard troops fired on striking coal miners and their families in the Ludlow tent colony near Trinidad.  The miners, employed by John D. Rockefeller's Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I), were part of a strike organized by the United Mine Workers of America that lasted from September 1913 to November 1914.  One of the great tragedies of the massacre was that not just striking workers, but also their families, were the victims.  At least 19 people died in all; of these, two women and 11 children were killed when, trying to protect themselves by burrowing under a tent, fire consumed the tent above them.  Historian Howard Zinn called the massacre "...perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history."  Today the massacre site includes a monument to the victims and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The story of the strike and its aftermath is a complicated one, and many books have been written about Ludlow and the Colorado coal strike.  Some of the resources that you can find in our library include:
  • Brandstatter, Natasha.  "Remembering Ludlow:  A Monument for the Masses."  Colorado Heritage, July/August 2012.
  • Larkin, Karin, and Randall H. McGuire, eds.  The Archaeology of Class War:  The Colorado Coalfield Strike of 1913-1914.  Boulder, CO:  University Press of Colorado, 2009.
  • McGovern, George S., and Leonard F. Guttridge.  The Great Coalfield War.  Niwot, CO:  University Press of Colorado, 1996.
  • Munsell, F. Darrell.  From Redstone to Ludlow:  John Cleveland Osgood's Struggle Against the United Mine Workers of America.  Boulder, CO:  University Press of Colorado, 2009.
  • Pascoe, Pat.  Helen Ring Robinson:  Colorado Senator and Suffragist.  Boulder, CO:  University Press of Colorado, 2011.
  • Rees, Jonathan.  Representation and Rebellion:  The Rockefeller Plan at the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, 1914-1942.  Boulder, CO:  University Press of Colorado, 2010.
  • Sampson, Joanna.  Remember Ludlow!, Denver, CO:  Colorado Historical Society, 1999
  • Secrest, Clark.  "Ludlow:   A Colorado Horror."  Colorado Heritage, Winter 1992.
  • Wolff, David A.  Industrializing the Rockies:  Growth, Competition and Turmoil in the Coalfields of Colorado and Wyoming, 1868-1914.  Boulder, CO:  University Press of Colorado, 2003.
Numerous other books and articles have been published on Ludlow and the Colorado Coal Strike, so be sure to check your local public or university library for more information.  You can also find records on the Ludlow Massacre at the Colorado State Archives.

The Colorado State Archives has in its collection this and other telegrams to Governor Elias Ammons two days after the Massacre, when strikers retaliated against the troops.  "...strike situation absolutely beyond control...men women and children now among dead..." 


Quick Facts on Education

Are you puzzled by the multitude of K-12 educational programs and laws currently in place?  If so, you're not alone, so the Colorado Dept. of Education has set up a new webpage of Education Fact Sheets.  Here you can find brief summaries and statistics for various education topics including accountability, assessment, educator effectiveness and associated legislation, remediation, school choice, licensure, and much more. 


Kids and Car Seats

With the laws about car seats constantly changing, how do you know if your child is in the right size seat for his or her age, height, and weight?  Check out Car Seats Colorado from the Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT), which can help you determine if your child is in the right seat.  According to CDOT, 64 child passengers died in car accidents between 2006 and 2010 in Colorado.  Of these, 55% were not properly restrained.  So check out this helpful website to make sure your child stays safe when riding in a motor vehicle.


Jefferson's Legacy in Colorado

Did you know that Colorado was almost named Jefferson?  In October 1859, residents of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory (now the Denver metro area) gathered in Auraria to form a new territory, named Jefferson after the president who had signed the Louisiana Purchase.  A territorial constitution was drawn up and Robert W. Steele was named the first Governor of Jefferson, which included parts of what had been Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, and New Mexico Territories.  Jefferson included all of what is present-day Colorado, but extended north and west into parts of what is today the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah.  There was one problem, however -- Jefferson Territory was not recognized by the United States Government.  So the federal government set up Colorado Territory in February 1861.  Yet for about a year and a half, residents lived by the laws set up in the Jefferson Constitution, many of which were adapted into the new Colorado Constitution.

Colorado had reason to commemorate Thomas Jefferson, who did so much for the expansion of the United States and the opening of Western lands.  Today, our state has a different name, but we still remember our third President through the name of Jefferson County.

You can read more about Jefferson Territory in the Colorado Magazine, available from our library.  Here you can find a reprint of the Jefferson Constitution (November 1935), Governor Robert W. Steele's reminisces (March 1937), and other articles on the history of Jefferson Territory (July 1924 and July 1961). 

Finally, you can learn more about Thomas Jefferson, whose birthday is coming up this Saturday, April 13, by visiting the new and limited-time Jefferson's Bible exhibit, currently on view at the History Colorado museum.


Holocaust Awareness Week

This week, April 7-14, is Holocaust Awareness Week, which the Colorado General Assembly will be commemorating with SJR13-026.  The Joint Resolution will be heard on the Senate floor this Thursday, April 11, and following Senate passage will move to the House.  Holocaust Awareness Week remembers the 11 million people who died in the Holocaust, at least 6 million of whom were Jewish, and strives to create awareness so that they are never forgotten, and also so that such genocide can be prevented in the future.  You can watch the General Assembly's proceedings live as they offer speeches and tributes in rememberance of Holocaust victims and survivors.  The Colorado Channel will broadcast the proceedings live on Thursday morning, but they will also be archived on the website for future access.


What Does Colorado Mean to You?

The State of Colorado has launched a new website, http://makingcolorado.gov/, that seeks input from Coloradans as part of the state's branding campaign.  The site invites anyone to "share a photo or tweet that represents what Colorado means to you.  It can be...anything at all.  Your submission will be added to the library our designers will use to create Colorado's new look and feel."  The submissions are posted on the website, so you can browse and see what Colorado means to others.  Additionally, the website outlines the phases that the project will go through:  "inspire," (the current phase of collecting ideas), "collaborate," (the design process), "vote," (where citizens can vote on what designs they like best), and "generate" (applying the design).  Help brand our state by getting involved today.


Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, which the Colorado State Legislature recognized with SJR13-024.  The Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Child Abuse and Neglect manual tells us that children who are abused are more likely to grow up to abuse their own children.  Therefore, it is important to stop this circle of abuse.  Other resources available from the State of Colorado include the Child Maltreatment Fatality Report; Child Abuse and PreventionChild Abuse and Neglect Cases in the Colorado Courts; and Preventing and Reporting Child Abuse and NeglectHelp children lead happier, healthier lives by being aware of the signs and factors of child abuse and neglect.


Administrative Segregation of Inmates

The topic of administrative segregation (also sometimes known as solitary confinement) in correctional facilities has been receiving renewed focus due to recent events.  The Colorado Dept. of Corrections (DOC) has published several studies on administrative segregation and its effects on inmates.  Information from DOC includes:
*This publication deals specifically with the new law that allows inmates time off of their sentence for time served in administrative segregation.  You can view the original Act for SB11-176 here.


Amendment 64 Implementation

The State of Colorado has recently released its Task Force Report on the Implementation of Amendment 64, Regulation of Marijuana in ColoradoThis task force, created through Executive Order B2012-004, "was asked to identify the legal, policy and procedural issues that need to be resloved, and to offer suggestions and proposals for legislative, regulatory and executive actions that need to be taken, for the effective and efficient implementation of Amendment 64 -- the constitutional amendment authorizing the use and regulation of marijuana in the State of Colorado." 

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