10th Mountain Division

Today came the news that Earl Clark, who served with the 10th Mountain Division in WWII and organized a national association for veterans of the 10th, has died.  Clark was also inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. 

The 10th Mountain Division was organized during WWII as the "soldiers on skis" who were specially trained for mountain fighting.  Much of their training took place at Camp Hale, near Leadville.  The Division, including Mr. Clark, fought in northern Italy in WWII and helped to force the Nazis out of that region.  The 10th Mountain Division still exists, though no longer based in Colorado, and has recently trained soldiers for the mountains of Afghanistan.

The Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department and the Colorado Historical Society (History Colorado) both have extensive collections of 10th Mountain Division archives and artifacts.  One interesting artifact held by History Colorado is the 10th Mountain Division diary of Dan Kennerly. This diary of the Italy campaign has been published in the Spring 2004 issue of Colorado Heritage magazine, which is available for checkout from our library. 


Candy Apple Recall

Several brands of candy apples are being recalled due to possible listeria contamination.  At least four people have died from eating the contaminated candy apples.  For specific information on which brands are being recalled, see the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)'s recalls page.

Everyone should be aware of basic food safety guidelines.  Several publications available from our library contain important food safety information.  Be sure to check out Bacterial Foodborne Illness from the Colorado State University Extension and CDPHE's Listeria webpage for helpful information.  Search the term "food safety" in our web catalog for more publications, including information on other conditions such as botulism; how to keep your food safe during warm weather or a power outage; farmers' market food safety guidelines; and serving safe foods to children.


Colorado's Water: Online Exhibits

Dot and Delph Carpenter and Ralph Parshall,
from the CSU Water Resources Archive
Colorado State University's Water Resources Archive is a treasure trove of digital documents relating to the history of water and water rights in our state.  Materials include theses and studies from CSU as well as the Western Waters Digital Library, which includes materials from 20 universities.  Also of interest on the Water Resources Archive website is a series of virtual exhibits featuring documents and photographs highlighting select persons and events in Colorado's water history.  Right now you can view exhibits on Delph Carpenter and Ralph Parshall, two of the most important names in Colorado's water history.  Dot Carpenter, Delph's wife, is also featured in an exhibit highlighting her contributions.  Another exhibit covers 110 years of water rights in Colorado. 

To locate even more resources on Colorado's water history, visit our library's web catalog.  Two of the resources available from our library are Delph Carpenter, Father of Colorado River Treaties and The Parshall Measuring Flumeboth publications discussing the work of the two men highlighted in the online exhibits. 


Nonprofit Board Member Course

Don't let this be your Board!
With the new year often comes new board members for nonprofits.  If you are joining a nonprofit board this upcoming year, or just want a refresher, check out the Colorado Secretary of State's Nonprofit Board Member Course.  This helpful online tool can give you tips on board governance, personnel issues, financial responsibilities, and much more. 


Economic Forecasts

The quarterly economic forecasts were released yesterday by the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) and the Legislative Council.  The December forecasts are important because they are the forecasts referred to for much of the legislation that is introduced from January, the beginning of the legislative session, until March 20 when the next forecasts are released.  The OSPB and Legislative Council forecasts often have slightly different predictions, so it is helpful to compare the two and not just rely on one or the other.  The good news is, both forecasts are showing economic growth in Colorado. 

Back issues of the forecasts are available from our library.  Click here for the OSPB forecasts and here for the Legislative Council forecasts.  Additionally, at the end of each year the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business publishes the Colorado Business Economic Outlook, which also contains economic forecasting for the year ahead.  View the just-released 2015 Outlook here, and see back issues here.  If you need an issue of any of the publications listed above and it is not online, check with our library as we have older issues in print. 


Help for Rural Colorado Job Seekers

Finding a job can be difficult enough, but if you are a job seeker living in a rural area, it can be even harder.  That is why the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) developed the Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium.  Check out the CRWC's website for helpful information on finding a job in rural Colorado, including notices about upcoming classes and trainings; locations of Workforce Centers; veterans' information; employment projections by region; information on the Workforce Investment Act and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act; and more.  For more job seeker resources see the CDLE's Find a Job webpage.


Teacher and Principal Evaluations

SB10-191 set forth new laws requiring evaluation of teachers and principals, otherwise known as educator effectiveness.  The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has created a state model evaluation system based on recommendations in SB-191.  There are many components to the system including rubrics, determination of ratings, and teacher quality standards.  All the information can be found on CDE's respective teacher and principal model evaluation system webpages.  Other school service specialists, such as school counselors, school nurses, etc., also need to be evaluated.  Information on evaluation of specialists can be found here.

A number of resources on educator evaluations are available online from our library.  Helpful resources include:



Colorado Cottage Foods Act

It is becoming increasingly popular to produce one's own food or buy products directly from farmers and other producers.  Many cities such as Denver now allow residents to keep chickens, goats, and bees, to produce fresh eggs, milk and cheese, and honey.  Others have signed up for cooperatives where they can buy fresh milk direct from the farm.  There are health concerns to be aware of when buying or producing such items, however; for example, the milk is unpasteurized. 

To address the safety concerns stemming from the increasing popularity of home-produced foods, the Colorado legislature passed the Colorado Cottage Foods Act in 2013.  If you're interested in either buying or selling these types of products, it's important to become familiar with the rules set forth by this law.  The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has produced a Fact Sheet on the Colorado Cottage Foods Act that contains answers to many common questions, such as labeling, and lists what foods can be legally bought and sold under the Act.  The CDPHE has also issued a producer brochure and an eligibility checklist.  


Colorado the Least Obese State

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued a press release stating that Colorado is the least obese state in the nation, being #1 in the U.S. for fitness and having the lowest prevalence of diabetes.  Colorado took top honors last year as well.  The CDPHE has published a number of studies on obesity and diabetes in Colorado.  Check out the following resources:


Emissions Testing

Colorado's emissions testing laws are changing beginning January 2015.  The most significant change is that newer vehicles will need to be tested after seven instead of the current four model years.  This law was changed because new vehicles are being designed to stay efficient for a longer amount of time.  For information on the new laws and what they mean for your vehicle, whatever its age, see this information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Emissions testing in Colorado is overseen by CDPHE's AIR Program.  The program's annual reports are available online from our library.  For further information including locations and hours of testing stations and information on RapidScreen roadside emissions testing, see the CDPHE's Automobile Emissions Inspection webpage.


Preparedness Factsheets

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and www.readycolorado.gov, the State's official preparedness website, are offering a set of fact sheets or "preparedness bulletins" on the Division's website.  Intended for general audiences, the bulletins are quick summaries on how to prepare for a variety of disasters, including avalaches, earthquakes, electrical outages, fires and floods, landslides, winter storms, and more. 

One particularly timely fact sheet is about holiday cooking safety.  Check out this quick two-pager to find out about how to safely prepare your holiday meals.  The fact sheet offers tips on food safety; cooking with children; and how to avoid burns and cooking fires.  For example, did you know that it is dangerous to use extension cords for cooking appliances?  The fact sheet tells us that they could overload electrical circuits and cause fires.  More about home fires can be found in the bulletin on that topic.


Flu Season

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is warning that this flu season could be more severe than recent years.  According to the Department's press release, the H3N2 strain of the virus is predominating this year, which in past seasons has been responsible for more severe cases and hospitalizations.  The CDPHE warns that, although the strain is different from that which had been distributed in most flu shots, getting a shot is still your best defense against the flu.  The CDPHE posts influenza data, updated weekly, on their website

If you or a family member does get the flu, be sure to consult the CDPHE's Home Care Guide for information and tips on how to treat the flu at home.  A print edition of the guide is also available from our library.  And although influenza can affect people of any age, young children and the elderly are the most at risk.  For helpful information on protecting the elderly in nursing facilities see the CDPHE's Prevention and Control of Influenza Outbreaks in Long-Term Care FacilitiesSearch our library's web catalog for more influenza resources.


City and Town Incorporations

Recently the story of the small Colorado town of Bonanza brought the issue of city and town incorporations to our attention.  According to the Secretary of State's office, which oversees town incorporation and abandonment in Colorado, the tiny town did hold a special election regarding whether to un-incorporate the town, and although the majority (11 votes!) did vote in favor, it was not the required two-thirds majority to allow the abandonment (see the Secretary of State's press release for more on Bonanza).

Given the state's mining, railroad, and agricultural heritage, there are hundreds of small towns across Colorado that have been abandoned or un-incorporated through the years.  Some remnants of ghost towns remain, but most of these towns are long forgotten.  Researchers looking for information on town incorporations in Colorado can find records for 1876-1977 at the Colorado State Archives, and from that date to the present at the Secretary of State's office.

Ghost towns can be found both in the mountains and on the plains, and are fun places to visit.  If you'd like to check out some of Colorado's ghost towns, see the Colorado tourism office website's Colorado Ghost Towns webpage or visit the Colorado Department of Transportation's www.ColoradoByways.org, which include several ghost towns along the routes.

The ghost town of St. Elmo, near Buena Vista.  Photo courtesy Colorado Tourism Office.


Data Breaches and Identity Theft

Several high-profile data breaches of retailers have occurred recently, so this holiday shopping season, be aware of how to protect yourself and your money.  Several state publications can help you prepare or recover from data breaches and/or identity theft.

What should I do if a data breach occurs at a place I have shopped or done business?
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has prepared a fact sheet, Tips Following a Data BreachHere you can find out about who to contact, whether you should opt for a credit freeze, and what kinds of suspicious activity to look for.  You can also find out more about credit freezes in CBI's fact sheet How to Place a Freeze on Your Credit.

What can I do to protect myself from identity theft?
Carefully monitoring your credit and bank accounts is the best way to detect identity theft.  The CBI suggests you obtain and check your credit reports annually; they explain how in their Credit Reports fact sheet.  Also be sure to monitor your bank statements and your credit card transactions for any suspicious charges or withdrawals.

I own or manage a business.  How can I protect my customers' or clients' information?
The Colorado Attorney General's Office has published two helpful guides on identity theft for businesses:  Protecting Personal Information:  A Guide for Business and the Business Identity Theft Resource Guide.

My identity has been stolen.  Now what?
The Identity Theft Repair Kit from the Colorado Attorney General's Office gives step-by-step instructions for what to do if your identity is stolen.  The kit is available online in both English and Spanish and can also be checked out in hard copy from our library.  The AG's office has also issued a new website, www.stopfraudcolorado.gov, which includes an Identity Theft page with links and steps to take if you have been victimized.

How do I protect myself when doing business online?
The Stop Fraud Colorado website also includes a page on Digital Fraud, where you can find information on how to know if your account is in jeopardy; protect yourself against phishing and other email scams; protect yourself on Facebook; reduce spam; report digital fraud; and secure the data on your smart phone. 


Fire Safety Laws for Schools

Following a tragic fire that took the lives of 92 children and 3 teachers on December 1, 1958, building codes and fire safety laws for school buildings were greatly expanded and new safety requirements have continued to be added over the years.  The 1958 fire, at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, remains one of the nation's most disastrous fires in terms of lives lost.  Some of the  basic precautions that seem so obvious today, such as doors in stairwells, could have saved numerous lives had they been used in that school. 
Here in Colorado, the Division of Fire Prevention and Control oversees fire-safe construction and safety inspections for Colorado public schools.  On their website you can find links to Colorado school construction codes and safety laws, as well as FAQs, forms, and other helpful resources.  School administrators can also request an inspection for their school by visiting this site.  The Division has also teamed up with the Colorado School Safety Resource Center to bring you the School Safety Assistance Guide, which outlines the role of the Division in keeping schools and students safe from fires.


Sand Creek Massacre 150th Anniversary

This coming Saturday marks the 150th Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.  At dawn on November 29, 1864, Colorado Volunteers led by Col. John Chivington attacked a camp of about 700 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians near Sand Creek in southeast Colorado territory.  Most of the Indians were unarmed, and soldiers chased after fleeing women and children while firing cannon on the village.  In the end, an estimated 150-200 Cheyenne and Arapaho were killed or wounded, mostly women, children, and the elderly. 

At the time of the massacre, tensions between Indians and whites had reached a fever pitch.  So initially Col. Chivington and his men, along with Territorial Governor John Evans, were lauded as heroes.  Eventually, however, the brutality of the massacre on unarmed persons was brought to light, particularly through the testimony of Captain Silas Soule, who told of the atrocities he witnessed.  During the massacre, he had ordered his men not to fire their weapons.  Soule was later gunned down for his testimony.  Chivington and Evans, however, were disgraced, and Evans resigned as governor.  No official charges were brought against either of them.

Today you can visit the site of the massacre, which has been designated a National Historic Site and is operated by the National Park Service.  See their website for visitor information as well as anniversary commemoration information and feature articles on various aspects of the massacre and the events that led up to it.

In our library's collection you can find various resources that tell the story of the people involved.  Resources on Cheyenne and Arapaho culture include:
  • Tell Me, Grandmother:  Traditions, Stories, and Cultures of Arapaho People
  • Treaties Between Tribes of the Great Plains and the United States of America, Cheyenne and Arapaho, 1825-1900
  • Colorado Native American Studies Resource Guide
  • Cheyenne Dog Soldiers:  A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat
  • Cheyenne Texts:  An Introduction to Cheyenne Literature
Resources on the Colorado Volunteers include:

Artist's rendering of the Sand Creek Massacre.  Courtesy History Colorado / www.nps.org.  


Private Occupational Schools

Some careers don't require a 4-year degree, but still require some training.  This is where private occupational schools come in.  These schools offer courses in a variety of occupations, including but not limited to
  • Acupuncture
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Bartending
  • Cosmetology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dog Grooming
  • Graphic Design
  • Holistic Medicine
  • HVAC
  • Massage Therapy
  • Medical/Nursing
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Real Estate
  • Reflexology
  • Tax Preparation
  • Trucking
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Web Development
  • Yoga Instruction
If you are interested in studying for these or other occupations not requiring a Bachelor's Degree, check out the Colorado Department of Higher Education's Private Occupational Schools Directory.  Here you can compare and find information on nearly 700 different schools around the state.  When you find a school that interests you, you can check on accreditation and verify against diploma mills at this webpage from the Department of Higher Education.


Fencing with Wildlife in Mind

140 years ago today, Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire fencing.  His invention would mean the end of the open range and would change the West forever.  And although today Colorado is home to numerous farms and ranches, it is also home to many species of wildlife that must coexist with agriculture.  Therefore the Colorado Division of Wildlife developed a helpful guidebook, Fencing with Wildlife in Mind, for farmers and ranchers to learn how they can protect their livestock while protecting wildlife at the same time.  According to the book's introduction,

This publication provides guidelines and details for constructing fences with wildlife in mind. The information it contains has been contributed by wildlife managers, biologists, land managers, farmers, and ranchers. Over time, their observations and research have built a body of knowledge concerning wildlife and fences, including:
  • A basic understanding of how ungulates cross fences and the fence designs that cause problems for moose, elk, deer, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep.
  • Fence designs that adequately contain livestock without excluding wildlife.
  • Fence designs that effectively exclude ungulates, bears, beavers, and other small mammals.

Other publications on this topic that can be found in our library's collection include Fencing for Man and Beast: An Illustrated Guide to Friendly Fencing for Livestock and Wildlife and Fencing for Mule Deer, both also from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.



Underage Drinking

The Colorado Department of Revenue has released a new website/app, the State of Colorado Underage Drinking Enforcement Website.  This site provides statistical information on minors in possession.  On the site, you can look up the number of tickets issued for underage drinking by Colorado region and check whether local establishments have been issued citations for serving alcohol to minors.  You can also use the site to submit an anonymous tip. 


Avalanche Danger

The storm that came through our state this weekend dropped a lot of snow in the high country. Some places got over 40 inches of snow. An avalanche advisory has been issued for many parts of the state. Read today's "Statewide Avalanche Statement" from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Besides providing information on current conditions, the center also provides avalanche training and also has links to online educational materials.


Licensed Professions and Occupations

Our library receives many questions about how to search for an occupational license.  If you are licensed in an occupation and need to check the status of your license, or if you are doing business with someone and want to verify that they are licensed, you can find this information at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA)'s license database.  Simply select the profession from the drop-down menu and, to narrow the search, fill in terms such as name or city in the search boxes.  You will get a list with basic information including name, license number, status (active, expired, etc.), city, state, and zip.  For more information, click on the "detail" link next to the person's name.  This will pull up information such as dates of licensing and any disciplinary actions received.

You can find detailed information on each profession and its requirements at DORA's Licensed Professions and Businesses page.  To renew a license, click here.


Colorado Military History

The nation's military history was the theme of the Denver Veteran's Day Parade this year.  Colorado has an interesting and extensive military history, dating back to territorial days when Colorado volunteers played a role in the western theater of the Civil War.  You can learn about Colorado's military history through a number of insightful publications available from our library, including:

  • This Soldier Life:  The Diaries of Romine H. Ostrander, 1863-1865, in Colorado Territory, Colorado Historical Society, 2006.
  • The Tall Chief:  The Unfinished Autobiography of Edward W. Wynkoop, 1856-1866.  Colorado Historical Society, 1994.
  • A Time for Peace:  Fort Lewis, 1878-1891.  University Press of Colorado, 2006.
  • The Military Establishment at Camp George West.  Colorado Historical Society, 1992.
  • Fort Garland Museum:  A Capsule History and Guide.  Colorado Historical Society, 2005.
  • Old Fort Garland.  Colorado Historical Society, 1954.
  • Military Engagements Between United States Troops and Plains Indians. University of Northern Colorado, 1980.
  • Hollow Victory:  The White River Expedition of 1879 and the Battle of Milk Creek. University Press of Colorado, 1997.
  • The Battle of Beecher Island and the Indian War of 1867-1869.  University Press of Colorado, 1992.
  • Cheyenne Dog Soldiers:  A Ledgerbook History of Coups and Combat.  University Press of Colorado, 1997.
  • Just Outside of Manila:  Letters from Members of the First Colorado Regiment in the Spanish-American War. Colorado Historical Society, 1992.
  • Distant Bugles, Distant Drums:  The Union Response to the Confederate Invasion of New Mexico. University Press of Colorado, 2006.
  • Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War:  The New Mexico Campaign of 1862.  Colorado Historical Society, 1963.
  • Military Records of the State and Territory of Colorado. Colorado State Archives.
  • Colorado Volunteers, 1861-1865.  Colorado State Archives.
  • Annual Report of the Department of Military Affairs
  • A War-Modified Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado. Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1918.
This Veterans' Day, these publications and others available from our library can help us to remember those Coloradans who fought and died for our country.

The Colorado Veterans' Monument in Lincoln Park across from the State Capitol is one of many military monuments on or near the Capitol grounds.  Others include Civil War monument and cannons; a Pearl Harbor Memorial; the USS Colorado Memorial; Volunteers of the Spanish American War Flagpole; Medal of Honor recipient Joseph R. Martinez statue; Amache Internment Camp and Governor Ralph Carr memorials; and the Sand Creek Interpretive Plaque.  Photo courtesy Colorado Legislative Council.


Marijuana Enforcement, Licenses, and Rules

The Colorado Department of Revenue's newly-designed website now includes a Marijuana Enforcement webpage which includes helpful information for marijuana retailers, law enforcement, and government officials.  This site includes all licensing information and forms for marijuana retailers, both medical and recreational; applicable laws, statutes, and regulations; tax information; and information on testing, transporting, and registering as a cultivator.  This site includes all the information a licensee or government official needs to make sure a marijuana operation is in compliance with Colorado laws and regulations.


Departmental Budget Requests

Each Colorado state departmental agency is required to submit their budget request to the Office of State Planning and Budgeting on November 1 of every year.  Then, in November and December, the two months before the Legislative session begins, the agencies present their budgets to the Joint Budget Committee.  This year's round of agency budgets is now available on the State Planning and Budgeting website.  Here you will also find the department Performance Plans that are also now required as part of the SMART Government Act.  For information about the SMART Act, see this Issue Brief from the Colorado Legislative Council. 

Our library permanently retains copies of all agency budget requests.  In many cases our holdings date back to the 1970s.  Budgets are available for checkout and recent years are available online; search our web catalog to find budgets from previous years.


Colorado Points of Interest

As you travel through Colorado, you will find numerous markers designating points of interest.  Some of these are historical, and others geological.

Historical - History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society) places and maintains point of interest markers in places where important historical events occurred around the state.  Our library recently acquired an interesting Historical Society publication done in 1972.  Entitled Point of Interest, it is a pictorial guide with stories, maps, photos, and drawings of historical sites, divided by region.  While the sites covered in the book can still be visited, of course, many new sites and markers have been added since then.  And the technology has changed, too -- no longer do you need to flip through a guidebook.  History Colorado now offers a Historic Marker Database that you can access with your mobile device as you drive around the state, or view online as you plan your trip. 

Geological - Even before history was prehistory, and the changes in the earth over the eons can be easily seen from your car window as you drive through Colorado.  The Colorado Geological Survey provides an interactive map for finding points of geological interest, or POGIs, such as mines, fossils, caves, and rock formations.  Click on a POGI on the map to see photos and read an explanation of the POGI's geological significance.  You can also read about the POGI program in the Spring 2006 issue of RockTalk, available from our library.

Points of interest can be fun ways to keep the kiddos entertained during road trips, or for anyone to learn about the special places that make Colorado what it is.


The Crash of 1893

The 1929 stock market crash wasn't the only crash to occur in late October; an earlier event sparked one of the worst economic disasters in Colorado history.  121 years ago today, the U.S. Sentate gave final approval for repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.  Through repeal, the U.S. government would no longer purchase silver for coinage, moving to the gold standard. 

A silver mine in the Roaring Fork area.  Photograph courtesy United States Geological Survey.
The nation as a whole suffered a strong economic downturn during this period, but Colorado was hit especially hard because so much of the state's economy relied on silver mining.  Fabulous fortunes, like those of Horace Tabor, were lost, business slumped, and building and construction came to a halt for more than three years. (In fact, one can generally tell pre-Crash architecture from post-Crash because after building started to resume in the late 1890s, architects were desigining in simpler, neoclassical styles instead of the fussy excess of the Gilded Age.)
Even though Colorado was founded on the quest for gold, silver mining is an important part of our state's history.  Many of Colorado's towns were formed because of silver (think of the many town names that contain the word, like Silverton, Silverthorne, Silver Plume, Silver Creek, Silver Cliff), which was even more plentiful in Colorado than gold. 

You can find many resources on Colorado's silver mining heritage in our library.  Search our web catalog for titles; some highlights include:
  • The Quest for Gold and Silver: Including a History of the Interaction of Metals and Currency
  • The Rise of the Silver Queen:  Georgetown, Colorado, 1859-1896
  • Silver Saga:  The Story of Caribou, Colorado
  • Mining Among the Clouds
  • Aspen:  The History of a Silver Mining Town, 1879-1893
  • History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado
  • The Trail of Gold and Silver: Mining in Colorado, 1859-2009
  • Silver in Colorado
  • Colorado Mining History Resource Guide
  • Mining History of Colorado
  • The Ballad of Baby Doe
  • Horace Tabor:  His Life and the Legend
  • The Tabor Story


Colorado State Hospital

The Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP), formerly known as the Colorado State Hospital, is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year.  (See the news story from the Colorado Department of Human Services.)  The institution was founded as the Colorado State Insane Asylum on October 23, 1879.  It grew from 12 patients that year to over 6,000 by the 1960s, according to the CMHIP's history page.  Today the population is around 500. 

You can find further historical information on the State Hospital at our library.  Helpful resources include:
  • Colorado State Hospital (1981)
  • Colorado State Hospital Decentralization Plan (1962)
  • Biennial Report (1919-1951) and Annual Report (1952-1962)
  • The Colorado State Hospital and Related Services for the Mentally Ill in Colorado:  A Survey Report (1958)

Photo courtesy Colorado Department of Human Services


2014 Election Information

Election day is Tuesday, November 4 -- just a week from tomorrow.  If you haven't voted yet, now is the time to have your say in this important election, where Colorado will be deciding its next Governor; U.S. Senator; U.S. Representatives; Colorado Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer; all Colorado House seats; and many Colorado Senate seats; as well as several significant ballot issues, the retention of many of Colorado's judges, and a number of local issues. 

There is still time to make your voice heard this election.  For the first time, Colorado is allowing same-day registration -- meaning you can register to vote on election day.  Also for the first time this year, all voting is by mail-in ballot.  (If you register too late to get a mail ballot, you can still vote at a polling location -- see the Colorado Secretary of State's www.GoVoteColorado.com page to find a polling place or to register online now).  For a summary of the new laws, as well as a calendar of important election-related dates, candidate information, and more, see the Colorado Secretary of State's 2014 Election Information homepage.



There are no cases of Ebola in Colorado, but the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wants Coloradans to be aware of the threat and what they are doing to combat it.  They have launched a slogan "Facts, Not Fear" and have posted current information on a new Ebola webpage.  This page includes information and guidance for both the public and for health care providers.  It also links to information from the Centers for Disease Control.  Also found on the webpage are posters, webinars, and public service announcements that can be used to help educate the public on the recent Ebola scare. 


Genetically Modified Foods

One of the questions on this year's ballot concerns whether or not food should be labeled to state whether it contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  For the pros and cons of Proposition 105, see this year's Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book).  Two fact sheets from Colorado State University offer background on the issue.  See Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods from the CSU Extension, and A Risk Perception Analysis of Genetically Modified Foods Based on Stated Preferences from CSU's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.


Degree Within Reach

Colorado college students have long enjoyed a program where they can transfer their credits from community college to a 4-year institution to earn a Bachelor's degree.  Now, the Colorado Department of Higher Education has introduced a new program, called "Degree Within Reach," a program of "reverse transfer."  Their website explains:

Degree Within Reach is the state of Colorado’s way of describing “reverse transfer,” a new process allowing students who have transferred from a Colorado community college to a Colorado university to combine credits from both institutions and apply them towards an associate’s degree.

If you are a transfer student, this means you can complete the associate’s degree you started at your community college while still working toward your bachelor’s degree. You could be eligible even if you left a four-year institution before earning any degree.

For more information on how to get started in the program, click on the link to the program website above. For more information on transfer, visit the Colorado Community College System's transfer agreements website or search our library's web catalog for additional resources.


School Librarians

School librarians play an important role in students' education.  To find out how, check out the Colorado State Library's DVD and brochure, Your School's Team Deserves a Star PlayerThe DVD is available for checkout from our library.  For more in-depth information about the value of school librarians, see School Librarians Continue to Help Kids Achieve Standards, a publication of the Library Research Service.  Check out our web catalog for more resources, including non-governmental publications that can be found in our library's Professional Collection.


Online Vehicle Registration Renewal

Did you know that you can renew your vehicle registration online?  There's no longer any need to send a check through the mail, or stand in line at the DMV (although persons without internet access can still use these methods).  To renew your plates, simply go to the Colorado Department of Revenue's Online Vehicle Registration Renewal website and follow the prompts.  For more information on motor vehicle registration in the state of Colorado, see the Department of Revenue's Division of Motor Vehicles website.


Gaming and Gambling in Colorado

One of the ballot measures that voters will decide on this November is Amendment 68.  According to the State Ballot Information Booklet (or "Blue Book"),

Amendment 68 proposes to amend the Colorado Constitution to:
  • Permit casino gambling at horse racetracks in Arapahoe, Mesa, and Pueblo counties, limited to one racetrack in each county; and
  • distribute new casino tax revenue to K-12 public schools.

In 1992 voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing casino gambling in three cities -- Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek.  (For a history of this initiative see the University Press of Colorado book Riches and Regrets:  Betting on Gambling in Two Colorado Mountain Towns, available for checkout from our library).  Proponents of Amendment 68 argue that it will provide consumers more choices and will benefit public schools with additional revenue.  Opponents argue that the three mountain communities will lose a vital part of their economy, and less money will go to the interests currently funded by casino revenues, including community colleges, historic preservation, and tourism promotion.  Refer to the Blue Book for a complete analysis of the pros and cons of Amendment 68. 

You can find out more about gaming and gambling in Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Revenue's Division of Gaming website.  Here you will find resources on licensing, laws and regulations, statistics, tribal casinos, problem gambling, tax filing for casinos, and more.  Also, be sure and check our library's web catalog for additional resources.


AIDS Awareness Month

October is AIDS awareness month.  Though often associated with the 1980s, AIDS is still very much a problem around the world.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) keeps statistics on AIDS in Colorado.  Their website has many resources on the topic.  Here you can find data, reports and fact sheets, local and national trends, community involvement, provider resources, training, care, and funding resources.  A good resource for background and epidemiology data is CDPHE's annual HIV and AIDS in Colorado report, available from our library.


Minimum Wage

Colorado's current minimum wage is $8.00/hr.  According to the Colorado Constitution, the minimum wage is adjusted annually for inflation. Check out the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's Minimum Wage webpage for information resources on the minimum wage in Colorado, including fact sheets, wage bulletins, and posters that can be displayed in places of employment.  The site also includes a history of the changes in minimum wage back to 1998, and links to reference materials such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the state constitutional requirements, as well as resources on the federal minimum wage.


Italian-American Heritage Month

Italian Americans have made significant contributions to our state.  You can read more about Colorado's Italians and their history in the Colorado Historical Society's publication Italy in Colorado:  Family Histories from Denver and Beyond.  Many Italian influences still remain in Denver's northwest neighborhoods.  However, Denver was not the only place in Colorado to be influenced by immigrants from Italy.  Mesa State College published a history entitled Transplanting the Body:  Bringing Southern Italian Culture to Grand Junction, 1870-1930.  There is also an article about Colorado's Italian immigrants in the Summer 1977 issue of Colorado Heritage.  All of the above listed publications are available for checkout from our library.

Colorado also celebrates Italian heritage with a special license plate, pictured below.  You can find out how to obtain this or other group special license plates at the Colorado Department of Revenue's website, https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/node/40131/.


Safe Schools

October is Safe Schools Month (see the Governor's proclamation here.)  The State of Colorado has established the School Safety Resource Center (SSRC), a state agency dedicated to helping schools become safe, positive environments for students and teachers.  The SSRC has numerous resources on its website, covering a wide range of school safety topics including bullying prevention; how to talk to kids after a violent incident; school threat assessment; suicide prevention; and much more.  SSRC staff has authored several guidebooks which can be found on the website or through our library; also, the website includes numerous streaming videos of conference keynotes.  Whether a teacher, parent, or school administrator, this is a helpful website for ensuring a safe school climate.  Additionally, check our library's web catalog for more school safety resources from other Colorado government agencies. 


Family and School Partnership in Education Month

October is being recognized in Colorado as a time to bring awareness to the partnership between families and schools in helping students succeed.  (View the Governor's proclamation here.)  The Colorado Department of Education has many resources on this topic, and has recently established the State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education.  On their website you can find materials related to school-parent partnerships.  Other helpful resources available from our library include Reading Tips for Parents published by the Colorado State Library and Connecting with Your Kids, a guidebook from the Colorado Supreme Court.


Right-of-Way and Relocation

If your property is being considered for use for new roads or highways, whether through eminent domain or other means of acquisition, it is important to know your rights.  The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has issued a Right-of-Way Manual "to provide guidance in all phases of acquiring, managing, and disposing of real property.  It is based on federal and state statutes, rules, policies, and procedures related to the real estate, condemnation, and relocation."  The manual is frequently updated so contains current information.  You may also wish to view CDOT's publication entitled Your Rights and Benefits as a Highway Relocatee, available from our libraryCDOT has also recently issued a new set of brochures including an introduction to right-of-way, information for residential property owners and tenants, and information for businesses, farms, and nonprofits.  Each brochure is available both in English and in Spanish.


September is National Preparedness Month

Communities and individuals are better able to withstand disasters when they are prepared, whether it is by clearing the area around a structure at risk of wildfire; purchasing flood insurance; participating in a community-wide exercise; monitoring homeland security threats; or even keeping a snow shovel and blanket in your car during winter.  The State of Colorado has produced many informational resources on how communities and families can be prepared.  The State's preparedness website, www.readycolorado.com, is full of useful information.  Other helpful resources include:


Search our web catalog for additional documents.


Fabulous Fall Foliage Drives

It's official -- today is the first day of fall, and it's time to head to the high country to view the brilliant colors of a Colorado autumn.  The Colorado Tourism Office and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have some recommendations on the best drives for fall foliage viewing.  CDOT has put together a list of exceptional fall viewing along Colorado's scenic and historic byways.  See Viewing the Fall Colors the Byway Way for suggested byways along with dates of upcoming events to take in while you're traveling.  The Colorado Tourism Office's list offers20 recommended fall foliage drives divided by region.  Finally, Colorado Parks & Wildlife has compiled their own list, 7 Ways to Enjoy Fall Colors, which includes not only suggestions for drives, but bike or horseback rides as well.

Photo courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife


Gunnison Sage Grouse

Recently there have been news stories about the debate over whether the Gunnison Sage Grouse should be declared an endangered species.  In our library you can find several conservation plans and studies on this rare bird:
For more information about the Gunnison Sage Grouse, see the Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife's Species Profiles.

Gunnison Sage Grouse.  Photo courtesy Colorado Division of Parks & Wildlife.


Constitution Day

How well do you know the U.S. and Colorado constitutions?  September 17 is nationally recognized as Constitution Day, a day that encourages learning and familiarity with the Constitution.  The Colorado Secretary of State's Office publishes a booklet containing the Colorado and U.S. Constitutions, which they update whenever changes are made.  In our library you can find the past editions of these booklets, to compare and see how these documents (especially the Colorado Constitution) have changed over the years.  Also in our library you can find historical documents relating to the State Constitution, including a printing of the original 1876 Colorado Constitution and the Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of 1875.  Search our web catalog for more resources on the State and U.S. constitutions.


Colorado Local Food Products

Colorado's many agricultural products have made our state a great place for eating local.  The Colorado Department of Agriculture, with its Colorado Proud program, has highlighted Colorado's culinary contributions for years.  Recently, however, the locally-grown food movement has gained in popularity, and the new buzzword is agritourism.  This fall, the Colorado Tourism Office is helping to promote agritourism and local food products in Colorado with the Colorado Roots Restaurant Challenge.  In this contest, locally-owned restaurants can enter to win prizes for the best menu, website, advertising, decor, and design that promotes Colorado agritourism.  If you operate a locally-owned restaurant, enter today!  Contest ends October 1.  For a directory of Colorado restaurants that use local ingredients, check out the Colorado Proud Restaurant Guide.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has put together a helpful webpage of Agritourism Resources.  Be sure to also visit the Colorado Proud webpage for additional resources on local food products.  A fun feature of this webpage is that each month it highlights one Colorado-grown ingredient with a special recipe.

The Colorado State University's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics has also produced a number of reports on the local food movement, available from our library, including:


Saving for College

September is College Savings Month, and if you are ready to start saving for college, whether for yourself or for your children, the Colorado Department of Higher Education's CollegeInColorado.org is a helpful place to start.  On this website you can find interactive tools to help you design a personalized path to higher education, as well as information on scholarships, financial aid, and the State's CollegeInvest 529 college savings plan.  The site also includes a helpful Money 101 section.  Many of the resources on the site have been divided by audience -- middle school student, high school student, college-level student, parent, or workforce/adult student -- to help you find the information you need for your own particular situation.  This website is a great place to start for planning your higher education finances.



The Floods -- One Year Later

This cool and rainy day brings to mind the pouring rains of one year ago that caused the devastating 2013 floods, one of the largest natural disasters in our state's history.  Colorado has come a long way in the year since the flooding.  Earlier this week Governor Hickenlooper released a statement commemorating the flood anniversary, which included an update on funding and recovery.  This Saturday, September 13, has been designated by the State as the Colorado United Day of Service, on which citizens are encouraged to assist with the ongoing recovery. 

In the wake of the disaster, the State of Colorado set up the new Colorado United website to connect citizens with recovery information and assistance.  The website is still going and includes the latest updates and news, impacted areas, a blog, volunteer opportunities (yes, still needed), a map of the floods, home safety tips, road and travel information, and more.  Other helpful information can be found at the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Flood Resources webpage, which includes a photo gallery of the 2013 floods, and from the Colorado General Assembly's Flood Disaster Study Committee.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released a very helpful guide, After the Flood:  A Guide to Returning to Your Home and Cleaning UpOther environmental recovery resources can be found on CDPHE's webpage.

There are some encouraging stories.  The State Historical Fund has prepared a video about recovery and restoration of the Lyons Library, which was severely damaged.   This is but one of the many stories of how Coloradans have cleaned up, cleared out, and continued to work toward the renewal of their communities.

Boulder's Little Church in the Pines was severly damaged when its foundation was washed out during the flooding.  The State Historical Fund/History Colorado released this image showing the structure in the aftermath of the flood; during stabiliztion; and today. 


Enterovirus Outbreak

Yesterday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a statement regarding the recent outbreak of enterovirus-D68, a rare respiratory virus that is mostly affecting children.  Several children have been hospitalized in Colorado; children with asthma or other respiratory conditions should be extra careful to avoid this contagious virus.  CDPHE is advising that people protect themselves by:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Making sure vaccinations, including the influenza vaccine, are up to date. 

  • For more information on childhood respiratory infections see Infectious Diseases in Child Care and School Settings from the CDPHE. See also the morbidity and mortality report from the CDC.

    Update 9/11/14:  The CDPHE has also released a Q&A fact sheet on enterovirus.


    Colorado Suicide Prevention Week

    Governor Hickenlooper has declared the week of September 7-13, 2014, to be Colorado Suicide Prevention week (see the governor's proclamation here.)  Suicide is the leading cause of accidental/injury death in Colorado.  Our library has many resources on suicide and suicide prevention.  Some highlights include:
    Also be sure and check the website for the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention for additional resources.


    Mold in the Home

    With the recent rainy weather, it is prudent to be aware of the possibility of mold growth in the home, particularly if you have any leaks or have any water in your basement or crawl space.  Rainy weather, however, is not the only contributor to mold in the home, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  Humidifiers, shower steam, drying clothes indoors, and even sprinkler spray hitting the house can all be potential culprits for mold.  CDPHE emphasizes that some mold is always present, but becomes a problem and must be addressed if and when you can see or smell mold.  For information on cleanup procedures and potential health risks of mold, see the CDPHE's Mold Information SheetInstructions for cleaning up mold can also be found in the CDPHE's guidebook After the Flood:  A Guide to Returning to Your Home and Cleaning Up.

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