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/

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