Wildflower Hikes

Wildflower season has arrived in Colorado's high country, and with this year's added moisture, you can expect a good show.  The Colorado Tourism Office has put together a list of suggested wildflower hikes, from the metro area to the Western Slope.  Many Colorado State Parks also offer great places to view wildflowers, particularly those in the central mountains and the San Juans.  A number of parks are within easy access from I-70.

Hiking through wildflowers near Crested Butte.  Photo courtesy Colorado Tourism Office.

If you are interested in learning about the wildflowers you see on your hike, our library has many resources that can help you identify and understand these beauties.  Check out the two companion volumes Colorado Flora:  Western Slope and Colorado Flora:  Eastern Slope, published by University Press of Colorado.  We also have a number of other resources including information from the Colorado State University Extension, so be sure to search our web catalog for resources, including both print and digital.


Time Machine Tuesday: Oil and Gas in Colorado, 1925

Where was oil found in Colorado in the early days of the automobile?  How do different parts of the state compare in oil and gas production based on geological epochs?  A 1925 map (reprinted in 1984) from the Colorado Geological Survey answers these questions and more.  Although the early map did not use color, it instead used shading to indicate the various geological time periods (Tertiary, Cretaceous, Triassic/Jurassic, Paleozoic) and symbols to indicate oil fields, gas and oil seeps, anticlines, bitumen, deep water wells, and other relevant information.  This interesting look into the early years of oil and gas production has been digitized and is available online from our library.  Visit our web catalog for further resources.



Back to School - Time for Vaccinations

Students from preschool to college are required to show proof of vaccinations to enroll in school, so now is the time to have your child (or yourself, if a college student) vaccinated.  For everything you need to know about vaccinations, including forms, schedules, lists of required vaccinations, and more, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)'s Immunizations page.

For data and statistics on how vaccines prevent diseases, see the CDPHE's Vaccine Preventable Diseases Surveillance Report, available online from our library.


Toll Lanes on US36

Tomorrow (July 21), tolling will begin for the Express Lanes on US36. Toll rates will vary depending on time of day, number of passengers, type of vehicle, and whether or not you have an ExpressToll pass. An explanation of all the variables can be found on CDOT's "Plan Your Trip" page. For a breakdown of the rates specific to US36, check out the "US36 Express Lanes Tolling Fact Sheet."
The Colorado Department of Transportation has put together a great source with information about express lanes in general at: https://www.codot.gov/programs/expresslanes. Take a look at the project page for more background information and the environmental impact statement.


Colorado's Growing Health Industry

The Colorado Department of Higher Education and its subsidiary, College in Colorado, have teamed up with three Colorado community colleges to to offer a new website for Coloradans interested in studying for health careers.  According to the website, planyourhealthcareer.org, the health industry is adding 4,000-8,000 new jobs each year, and pay is above the national average.  Whether you are a young college student or an adult going to school, the site has information on colleges and programs, advice on career pathways, financial aid information, and opportunities to connect with employers in the health industry. 

For more information on the growth of the health industry in Colorado, check out the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's Health Care brochure, and search our library's web catalog for additional resources.  Here you can also find information from Colorado's state community colleges, including catalogs of course offerings.


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Industries for the Blind

During the 1950s the State of Colorado sponsored a program, run by a five-member board, that provided jobs for blind persons.  Colorado Industries for the Blind, or C.I.B., was modeled after a federal program and supported by state sales taxes.  It focused on four areas:  manufacturing, vending stands, rehabilitation, and home industries.

Employees on the manufacturing side produced brooms, brushes, mops, and rubber mats in a special C.I.B. workshop.  "Home industries," similar to manufacturing, gave blind Coloradans the opportunity to make household items like aprons and ironing board covers.  The items would then be sold to blind door-to-door salesmen to resell.  In 1953, there were 12 persons making these household items.  Each was paid only on average $100 a year, the highest-earning worker being paid $460.

Workers at the vending stands earned substantially better pay than the household item manufacturers, but also put in more hours and didn't have the option of working from the comfort of their homes like the home industries workers.  Vending stand operators earned between $100 and $440 per month.

The rehabilitation program's purpose was to "find, train and place blind persons in a productive, self-sustaining capacity," according to a 1954 legislative report available from our library.  From 1951-1953, the report notes, the program placed 94 blind persons in productive employment, including the manufacturing and vending programs described above as well as lathe operators, typists, press operators, and defense plant workers.  Others were able to begin self-employment.

The State of Colorado sponsored industrial programs for the blind, operating under various names, from the early twentieth century until about the 1970s.  A report of the program as it operated in 1912 is also available for checkout from our library.


Farm Fresh Mobile App

Farmer's market season has arrived, and if you're hunting for the nearest market or looking for a specific type of food for sale, download the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA)'s Farm Fresh Mobile App.  This link will take you to CDA's Markets webpage, where you can select from an Apple or Android app.  If you're not an app user, the department has also published a paper and PDF Colorado Farm Fresh DirectoryYou can check out a paper copy of the directory from our library, as well as view past years' versions.  CDA also has a 2015 Farmers' Market Locations quick list with the basic information.


Governor's Disaster Declaration

Lieutenant Governor Garcia (in Governor Hickenlooper's absence) has issued a disaster declaration for the floods and landslides affecting Colorado due to the heavy spring and summer rains Colorado has experienced this year.  Executive Order D 2015-005 authorizes the Colorado National Guard to respond to flooding and landslides affecting Northwest Colorado, especially State Highway 13.  The EO also makes available $150,000 from the state's disaster emergency fund.  The flooding is due to Colorado receiving between 200% and 600% of average rainfall this year, according to the EO. For updated information visit the Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management's blog coemergency.com.  You can also find all Colorado executive orders, including historical disaster declarations, from Governors Hickenlooper, Ritter, Owens, Romer, and Lamm, available from our library.  Search our library's web catalog for these and other resources.



Time Machine Tuesday: Admission to the Bar, 1924

This month, as hundreds of recent law school grads prepare to take their bar exams, we look back at the requirements for admission to the Colorado bar in 1924.  Much has changed since that year!  Back then, the examination fee was only $10 (today it's $710),  and of course the exams were handwritten, not computerized like today.   The oath of admission, beginning on page 24 of the 1924 document, has also changed.  It is now quite a bit shorter and much of the flowery language has been replaced with vernacular.  To compare the 1924 rules with today, click here for the current oath of admission, and here for today's Supreme Court rules for admission.


Paintcare: Colorado's New Paint Recycling Program

Colorado has a new paint recycling program.  The Paintcare program started on July 1, as required by SB 14-029, the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act.  The paint recycling program is overseen by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)'s Solid Waste program.  Under the program, 100 sites around Colorado -- mainly hardware stores -- will begin accepting public drop-off of unused paint, regardless of where the paint was purchased.  Primers, stains, varnishes and sealants are also accepted for recycling.  The program is free to drop off paint, but a small fee will be added to the purchase price of new paint.  For additional information on the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act see CDPHE's website.


Colorado Population by Age Visualization Graph

How has Colorado's population changed in terms of age over the last 25 years, and how will it change in the coming years?  Which age group claims the greatest number of Coloradans, and how will this change?  These questions can be answered with a fascinating animated graph from the Colorado Demography Office.  Their Age by Year Visualization presents a graph for each year from 1990 through 2040, breaking down the number of Coloradans of each age, and coloring the graph by generation to show which age groups have the highest number of persons in our state.  For example, the graph predicts that by 2040, the age group born after 2000 will have by far the greatest numbers, while Baby Boomers and even Gen-Xers start to decline.  Some of this is natural aging of population, but the overall numbers show a significant increase in the state's total population and in the birth rate. 

On the website, click on the "animate" button to see an animated version of how the population's numbers and ages change over the years, or select a specific year for data from the drop down menu.  Selecting 2015, for example, shows that there are more 35-year-olds in Colorado than any other specific age.  Ten years ago, in 2005, the greatest number of persons were age 30.  Since this is only a five-year age difference in 10 years, it suggests how much of Colorado's population change is do to migration rather than aging.  For more information on Colorado's population growth and demographics, visit the Colorado Demography Office website.

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