Where to Take a Kid Fishing

School's out, and the weather is finally warming up.  Time to go fishing!  Fishing can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is a great way to introduce city kids to the outdoors.  On their website Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers a map app, 101(+) Places to Take a Kid Fishing.  This fun, animated map includes fishing spots in every corner of the state, from the mountains to the metro area and even on the Eastern plains.  Click on a splashing fish to get information about the location, including a description of the area, fish species, scheduled events such as fishing clinics, and directions for finding the spot.

Other resources from CPW can also help families - and anyone else - decide on where to go fish. See the annual Colorado Fishing brochure for seasonal information.  Also check out the Colorado Fishing Atlas and Fishing Close to Home (available for checkout from our library).

Note:  Kids under 16 don't require fishing licenses, but adult anglers will need one in order to fish.  Visit CPW's website for fishing license information, season dates, and fees.  The first full weekend in June each year (this year -- June 6 and 7) is Free Fishing Weekend, the only time each year when anyone can fish without a license.


Dam Safety

With all of the recent rain it is important to be aware of dam safety if you live near a river or dam.  The Dam Safety Branch of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources has issued the following safety tips:

If you live in Colorado you are aware of the above average precipitation we have had and the saturated conditions of our ground in much of the state. Rivers are running high as is typical for this time of year, and the added moisture is making flooding more likely than ever. These conditions put added pressure on dams. The extra runoff can make streams run that normally don’t and fill small ponds and reservoirs that are typically dry. Below are some facts about dams and preparations and actions that community members can take to keep themselves and their neighbors out of harm’s way in the event of a dam emergency in their area.


§ The larger dams you see in your area with large concrete structures and wide open spillways were designed for extreme amounts of rain. Those structures were designed specifically handle and safely pass the volumes of rain and moisture we are currently experiencing.
§ Even during normal operations, some spillway flows may be damaging and hazardous to the downstream channel and care should be taken around spillways discharging to those channels
§ Smaller neighborhood dams, farm ponds, livestock ponds and erosion control ponds are less hazardous due to their small size, but can still be dangerous if someone finds themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
§ Water flowing from spillways, outlet works or even over a dam generally follow established and defined stream channels or drainage paths.
§ More useful information about dams and their safe operation can be found in the Dam Safety Manual provided by the Colorado Dam Safety Branch at: http://water.state.co.us/DWRIPub/Documents/DS_Manual.pdf
§ Or on our dam safety website at: http://www.water.state.co.us/damsafety/dams.asp:


§ Now is a great time to make yourself aware of your surroundings and the likely numerous dams in your area. Take notice of reservoirs in your area and areas of normal travel and recreation.
§ Take notice of the stream channels and drainage ways that affect you every day.
§ Notice low areas and channels and find the highest surrounding ground nearest to them. Memorize where those high places are
§ Seek out sources of current weather information and stay tuned to those sources when conditions dictate.


§ In the event of high stream flows, sheet flows down streets or flows in ditches, always seek the higher ground 
§ Never travel in or cross a flooded area or a path of moving water on foot or in a vehicle, Turn around, don’t drown! 
§ Pay attention to weather and weather alerts in your area

You can also find information on dam safety at our library.  Resources include 


Time Machine Tuesday: Urban Renewal in Colorado

This is still a timely topic, as HB15-1348 has been passed by the Legislature (it is still awaiting the Governor's signature).  The bill concerns "modifications to statutory provisions governing urban redevelopment to promote the equitable financial contribution among affected public bodies in connection with urban redevelopment projects allocating tax revenues."  What is urban renewal?  Urban renewal is the city-initiated redevelopment of urban and high density areas that are considered "blighted," often using eminent domain and other legal means. 

The practice of urban renewal peaked during the 1960s and '70s, especially in Denver, where 27 blocks of downtown buildings were demolished in the name of progress.  Initially, the concept had developed to clear out housing slums.  The Legislature passed an urban renewal law in 1958 that allowed a program of public purchase and clearing of land and subsequent re-sale to private developers -- an issue that is still being contested today.  A little over a year later a legislative committee studied the effects of urban renewal in other states, its use in Denver and Pueblo, and its potential in Colorado, publishing their findings in a report which you can view online from our library.  The report also includes a copy of the 1958 law and a glossary of urban renewal terms.  At the time of the study, the constitutionality of urban renewal was at issue before the state Supreme Court. Seven years later, the issue went before Denver voters who approved the establishment of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority's Skyline Urban Renewal project, focusing on clearing the areas of downtown considered to be "skid row."  The practice of urban renewal has both its critics and its supporters, but either way, the program has been responsible for completely changing the landscape of Denver and other cities where it has been used. 


Salaries of Elected Officials

SB15-288, regarding salaries of elected officials, is currently awaiting the Governor's signature.  If signed, it would allow a pay raise for the Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, members of the General Assembly, and some elected county officials.  The pay raises would not go into effect, however, until January 1, 2019, by which time the Governor and many of the current legislators will have been termed out of office.  Currently, legislators make $30,000 per year with an additional per diem; the Governor brings in $90,000 and the Attorney General earns $80,000.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the legislative salary is about average among the fifty states but the executive officials' salaries are on the low end of the fifty states.  SB 288, if signed by the governor, will change the salary structure for elected officials to make them adjustable for inflation, similar to the way Judicial Department salaries are currently structured. 

The bill was developed with recommendations of the County Elected Officials Salary Commission; see their January 2014 Report to the General Assembly here.  This is far from the first such commission -- over the years, the Colorado government has dealt with this issue a number of times.  In our library you can find historical reports of past commissions, including the reports of:
Search our library's web catalog for other reports on salaries and compensation.


Time Machine Tuesday: 1965 Flood

September 2013 notwithstanding, springtime is generally the season when we are most prone to floods in Colorado.  In fact it was on this day, May 19, 1864 that Denver experienced its first major flood disaster.  Yet it was a century later that Denver and the eastern plains experienced another flood, one that many longtime residents can still recall.  The 1965 flood occurred on June 16 of that year, when four consecutive days of heavy rains caused the South Platte River to flood from Denver to the Nebraska state line.  Twenty-one persons were killed and many others injured.  The flood caused over $543 million in damage, destroying more than 5,000 structures.  During that same week, flooding also occurred along the Arkansas River basin. 

Flood damage at a trailer park near Bowles and Santa Fe Drive.    
That July, the state legislature convened a special session  to deal with the June flooding.  The cost to the state included not only the damage, but costs incurred by the calling out of the National Guard; highway safety expenses; health/environmental cleanup; and public welfare for those left homeless.  Therefore, the Legislature considered such measures as increasing the fuel tax to pay for repairs to highways; distribution of Federal disaster relief funds; flood plain regulation; and the establishment of a legislative committee to study how future disasters of this type could be prevented.  The report of this committee can be accessed online through our library.  It includes an informative description of the disaster as well as a summation of the steps taken by the General Assembly to deal with it.

Photo courtesy Colorado Water Conservation Board


Animal Shelter/Adoption Statistics

Colorado is a state that loves its pets.  We have an "Adopt a Shelter Pet" license plate and the shelter pet is our "state pet."  So if you are looking for statistics on the state's animal shelters, or the number of dogs, cats, etc. adopted out, visit the PACFA Shelter Outflow Statistics available on the State of Colorado's Information Marketplace website.  PACFA, the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act, is a program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture that oversees the welfare of shelter animals.  If you are considering adopting a pet or farm animal, it is a good idea to check out the shelter where you plan to adopt from, so check out these statistics to find out more about the shelter or rescue that you plan to do business with, and contact PACFA if you have any concerns about a shelter you've visited.


Morgan County Floods

Due to recent heavy rains the National Weather Service is carefully monitoring water levels in some areas of Colorado, particularly around Fort Morgan.  The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Morgan County EOC have been activated and potential evacuation zones have been established.  The weather is being monitored for continued rainfall, as well.  Morgan County and Fort Morgan have officially declared an emergency.  The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHSEM) has set up a public information map which includes information on possible flood zones.  The map includes feeds such as river gauges, forecasts, radar, daily precipitation, public alerts, Red Cross information, and more.  If you live in the Morgan County area, keep checking the map for updated information.  Updates are also being posted on the DHSEM's blog, http://www.coemergency.com/.

For flood preparedness information, visit http://www.readycolorado.gov.  If you have had flooding on your property you may want to consult the State of Colorado's 2014 resource guide After the Flood:  A Guide to Returning to Your Home and Cleaning Up.


Time Machine Tuesday: 1970s-era Clothing

Changing tapered pants to flares.
Ask almost anyone what they remember as being the top fashion trend of the 1970s, and they'll say bell-bottoms or flares.  They were so popular that in 1975 the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension issued a booklet Rags to Riches:  Recycle Your Clothes, which included instructions for how to turn tapered pants into flares.  It also suggested that, if not changed to flares, tapered pants should be cut to make shorts.  Pity the person who wore their old tapers in 1975!  The booklet also included numerous other tips on remodeling clothing that reflect the trends of the '70s.  Instructions can be found to create wool "knickers" for women to wear skiing.  Menswear ideas included how to piece together fabric to create a colorful contrasting shirt, or how to turn an old jacket into a vest.  The booklet's tips for remaking children's clothing focuses less on trends and includes practical ideas on how to lengthen hems and sleeves for growing kids, information that is still useful today for those who know how to sew.  Other tips on sewing and resizing garments are also still useful today. 
Rags to Riches suggested this for a women's ski outfit.


Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is warning poultry farmers to take precautions for avian influenza, which has caused the deaths of thousands of poultry birds in Iowa, and it has been detected in several other states throughout the country.  The flu affects poultry flocks as well as wild birds.  The Department has issued the following news releases with information on bird flu: 
For further information on avian influenza see the following resources available from our library:
Also, be sure to keep checking the Department of Agriculture's news releases for updated information and how to report suspected cases of bird flu.


Colorado Recognizes Teachers and Small Businesses

This week Colorado is recognizing two separate groups for their contributions to our state.  May 4-8, 2015, is Teacher Appreciation Week as well as Small Business Week.

Teacher Appreciation Week
As the school year draws to a close, this week has been set aside to thank teachers for all they have done for us.  Nearly everyone can recall a teacher or professor who inspired us, challenged us, or just made learning extra fun.  The Colorado Department of Higher Education encourages Coloradans to thank their favorite teacher by posting a message or video at #ThankATeacherCO.  Our library has numerous resources on teaching and teachers, including teacher education, licensing, evaluation, employment, recruitment, and more.  Search our web catalog for resources.

Small Business Week
The Colorado Secretary of State's Office is highlighting National Small Business Week this week by directing business owners and researchers to the many resources available on their website, such as

·        Starting a business in Colorado tutorial

·        Filing tips

·        Helpful business links

·        Business FAQs

The SOS also points out that many resources are available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which has posted a special Bulletin with resources for Small Business Week.  Also be sure to check out the Colorado Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), which offer locations around the state for business training and consulting.  They also offer the very helpful Colorado Business Resource Guide, available online or in print via checkout from our library, or you can pick up a copy at your local SBDC location


Time Machine Tuesday: T-REX

No, not the dinosaur (that's really going back in time!).  Here I'm actually referring to the huge transportation project that Coloradans were dealing with about a decade ago.  T-REX, short for Transportation Expansion Project, was a $1.67 billion multi-modal transportation project that added 19 miles of light rail in addition to bridge, drainage, lighting, and lane improvements on I-25 and I-225.  Because it was such a large project, and took over four years to complete, it was covered extensively in many of the state documents of the time, which you can find in our library.  Highlights of these resources include: 
  • Updates from Governor Owens in the December 2003 and September/October 2006 issues of StatelineThe 2006 issue reports on the project's completion.
  • A Trip Through T-REX booklets -- covering the north, central, and south areas of the project.
  • T-REX Fact Book -- more in-depth information published in 2003 and at project's end in 2006.
  • Wall Art on the T-REX Project
  • T-REX Year in Review DVDs, one for each year of the project, available for checkout from our library.
  • Light Rail on T-REX (in print, available for checkout from our library).
  • The Road, the Rail, the Solution (in print, available for checkout from our library).

The I-25/I-225 Interchange in 2001, before T-REX.  Courtesy CDOT.


Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.  According to the Colorado Health Information Dataset, cardiovascular disease (which includes stroke) is the second-highest cause of death in Colorado statewide, trailing just behind cancer, and accounting for more than twenty percent of Colorado deaths each year.  In addition to the Dataset, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) offers a great deal of information about stroke and heart disease on their website.  Our library collection also includes numerous reports from the CDPHE regarding heart disease and stroke's impact on Colorado, and the state's plans to address the condition.  Search our web catalog for resources.  

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