2.28.2013

Resources for Crime Victims

The Colorado Dept. of Public Safety has put together a helpful list of resources for crime victims.  These resources include crisis support lines, legal services, support groups, and much more.  There are also several publications available from our library that victims may find helpful, including the Colorado Dept. of Corrections' new document A Walk Through the System:  A Guide for Victims and Survivors; the Colorado Dept. of Human Services' Information for Victims and Victims' Representatives; and Crime Victims Have Rights! from the Division of Criminal Justice. 

2.26.2013

Today at the Legislature: Fire and Ferrets

Today the Colorado Senate will be debating SB13-083, which creates a Prescribed Burning Program under the Colorado Dept. of Public Safety.  The creation of this program is due to last spring's disastrous Lower North Park Fire in Jefferson County, which started when a controlled burn went out-of-control.  (Read the Dept. of Natural Resources' official review on the Lower North Fork Fire here).  The Dept. of Public Safety has been undergoing changes as fire, homeland security, and emergency management functions are being moved out of other state agencies to be consolidated under CDPS.  One of these changes is the new Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the website of which contains valuable information on fire safety and prevention.  For more information, see also the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment's Wildfires, Prescribed Fires, Open Burning website.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife
The Senate will also be considering SB13-169, which concerns reintroduction of black-footed ferrets in cases where a landowner consents to a safe-harbor agreement.  Black-footed ferrets, according to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, are "considered the most endangered mammal in North America."  On the brink of extinction in the 1980s, black-footed ferrets have slowly been making a comeback.  The Division reports annually to the Legislature on the status of black-footed ferret reintroduction; you can read the reports here, as they are archived by our library.  For more on this rare mammal, see the Division's species profile.

You can watch or listen to all Colorado House and Senate floor debates on the Colorado Channel.  If you miss the live debate, all proceedings are archived for access at any time.  This resource also offers audio of all committee meetings. 

2.25.2013

Income Tax

Tax season is here; also, did you know that today is the 100th anniversary of the income tax?  The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, authorizing a graduated income tax, was ratified on February 25, 1913 (you can read it here).  Today, our state and nation's income tax laws are varied and complex, but the Colorado Dept. of Revenue has simplified the laws for you in their FYI publications series.  Each FYI fact sheet covers in plain language one area of income tax policy that consumers may have questions about, such as tax credits; tax forms; part-year residents and non-residents; interest; military servicepersons; pensions; filing jointly and/or with dependents; and much more.  So if you have questions while preparing your taxes this year, the FYI publications - and our library - can help. 

2.21.2013

New: Demography Dashboard

The State Demography Office (part of the Colorado Dept. of Local Affairs) has just released a new "dashboard" feature, with information presented for each county.  According to the Office, 

"Our new Demography Dashboard shows graphs and charts for various datasets by county. Graphs include: Net Migration by Age, Population Estimates, Population Projections and Components of Change."

And, as always, you can find a great deal of other information on the Office's webpage, including population data, housing and households data, the economy and labor force, demographic profiles, and US census data and information.

2.19.2013

Colorado Public School Finance Act

A new bill to be introduced in the Colorado State Senate will, if passed, revamp Colorado's Public School Finance Act, which has been in place for about 20 years.  According to an article in today's Denver Post, the bill would enact sweeping changes to Colorado's current school finance system, including abolishing the annual October 1 student count in favor of an average determined by four days per year. The bill would also tweak the ways smaller districts can pass tax increases; require transparency in district spending; and increase financing to special education programs.  Should the bill pass the legislature, it would then have to go to a statewide vote because of provisions of TABOR that require all tax increases to be referred to voters. 

Detailed information on district funding per the Public School Finance Act can be found here.  Also, for an introduction to the Public School Finance Act as it stands today, see the Colorado Dept. of Education's annual publication Understanding School Finance and Categorical Program FundingIssues back to 2002 are online; earlier issues may be checked out from our library.

2.14.2013

Protect Yourself Against Heart Disease

This Valentine's Day, make sure you don't end up with a broken heart: learn about heart disease and how you can help prevent this killer.  At our library you can find a number of publications that can help you become aware of heart disease risks.

From the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment: 
From the Colorado State University Extension:

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2.12.2013

University of Colorado Denver: 40 Years

Happy Anniversary to my alma mater, the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.  UCD has provided a world-class education right in the heart of downtown Denver for 40 years this year (see the article in today's Denver Post.)  Since the start, UCD has appealed to older, working students, differing from the more traditional Boulder campus.  Because of that, says the article, UCD had to fight to extinguish the older campus's view that UCD wasn't a "real" university.  But UCD overcame its early struggles and has thrived as a vibrant urban university with excellent programs in business, mathematics, architecture, education, public affairs, and liberal arts, among others.  For more on UCD's history, check out the commemorative publication prepared for the school's 25th anniversary, University of Colorado at Denver, 25 Years:  From Arapaho Camp to Denver's Urban University, available from our library.

2.11.2013

Relocating a Business to Colorado

If you're interested in taking advantage of Colorado's highly educated workforce and other amenities by relocating your business in our beautiful state, all the information you need is available at your fingertips through the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade's Site Selection resource.  Here you will find everything you need to know, from incentives and financing, to information on infrastructure and community resources; there's even a listing of sites and buildings waiting for your business to locate there!  Need more convincing?  The site also cointains a quick rundown of statistics on the state's business climate and workforce...and of course, there's those mountains too...



Photo courtesy Colorado State Parks

2.07.2013

Black History Month

African-Americans made (and continue to make) an important contribution to the history of Colorado.  You can read short biographies of several prominent blacks in Colorado history on the State Library's Colorado Virtual Library website, including Justina Ford, Barney Ford, Hattie McDaniel, and James Pierson Beckwourth.  You can also find video biographies of Clara Brown, Bill Pickett, Justina Ford, and O.T. Jackson on History Colorado's Biographies of Notable Coloradans page.  Also, in our library you can find back issues of Colorado Magazine and its successor, Colorado Heritage, from the Colorado Historical Society.  Here you can find articles on topics such as blacks in WWI and WWII; black cowboys; buffalo soldiers; civil rights; jazz musicians; negro baseball leagues; slavery and freedom; and much more.
Black History,Black History Month,boys,celebrations,children,education,girls,kids,persons,signs,special occasions

2.05.2013

Colorado Energy Office Audit

You may have read of the recent audit of the Colorado Energy Office, which has been making headlines in the last few days.  You can read the audit report online at the State Auditor's website.  For more on the Colorado Energy Office visit their website or search our web catalog for their publications.  (Note:  Before July 1, 2012, the Colorado Energy Office was called the Governor's Energy Office.) 

2.04.2013

Promoting Colorado: Agritourism

First of all, what is agritourism?  The Colorado Dept. of Agriculture defines it as "integrat[ing] recreational and educational farm and ranch enterprises with the travel and recreational sectors of our economy.  Agritourism covers a wide variety of...activities and services, based on a farmer's or rancher's land, physical and human resources."  For example, one of the most popular agritourism activities in Colorado is touring vineyards in the Western Slope's wine country.  If you're interested in touring and learning about Colorado's agriculture, see the official state tourism website's Agritourism activities page, which includes a directory and trip ideas.

Researchers looking for information on agritourism in Colorado should visit the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture's Agritourism Resources webpage, or see the following agritourism reports from Colorado State University's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics:

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