8/31/2015

Bustang - CDOT's New Express Bus Service

Last month the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched Bustang, a new express bus service that commuters can use to connect between Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Glenwood Springs via the I-70 and I-25 corridors.  The buses are equipped with Wi-Fi, charging stations to allow busy commuters time to work instead of drive.  The buses also have bathrooms.  Fares average around $10-$20 a ticket depending on the distance and route.  These new buses offer a way to maximize your commute time and avoid the hassles of traffic and weather, especially on I-70.

8/27/2015

Demographic Infographics

The State Demography Office has put together a series of infographics on population change, labor, and households for Colorado back to 1970.  (Infographics are short one-page graphs or charts accompanied by quick data, maps, etc.)  A quick glance at the infographics shows a significant population increase in Colorado since 2000.  Other infographics present pie charts and other graphs showing the state's age distribution; labor force statistics; and household growth as related to size, age, and household composition.  If you need quick facts on population in Colorado, these infographics are a helpful resource.  The website also offers the infographics in PDF form so they can be printed as posters, etc.

One of the State Demography Office's infographics.

8/25/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Germans from Russia in Colorado

Between 1975 and 1978, Colorado State University undertook a study of the progress and achievements of Germans from Russia in Colorado.  According to the study,


The Germans from Russia are the second largest ethnic group in Colorado and one of the most important contributors to the historic development of the state. Arriving around the1880's, they became primarily the mainstay of the sugar beet growing and processing industries. Within two generations, they rose from field hands to fill leading positions in business, education, culture, and the political life of the state. Their remarkable advance from immigrant status to community leaders is one of the great American "success stories" of the twentieth century, and contemporary descendants of these hardy pioneers take justifiable pride in their cultural legacy. 


The study included an oral history project, a library collection, lectures and presentations, and "scores of surveys, reports and papers" on the subject.  The above link connects to the final report of the three-year study, available from our library.  We also have a more detailed year-end report from 1976 that offers a lengthy bibliography on resources about the Germans from Russia.

8/24/2015

Hire for Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is working to reduce the number of unemployed and underemployed persons in Colorado.  Although the number of unemployed has been reduced with the upturn in the economy following the recession, many are still underemployed in Colorado, according to a new website sponsored by the Department.  HireforColorado.com is a website for both employers and job seekers to find out information on putting Colorado to work.  "If you are a jobseeker, here you will find information and resources to help you find your next job. Employers - sign our employer pledge, post jobs and learn about tax credit opportunities," proclaims the website.  Not just a jobs listing site, Hire for Colorado also discusses information on expanding training opportunities for decreasing underemployment; revising hiring practices to get better pools of applicants; and how unemployed persons can "get back in the game" after six months or more of unemployment.  If you are seeking a job or looking to fill a position with the best qualified candidate, check out this website today.

8/20/2015

More Information on the Animas River Spill

The State of Colorado has set up several new information sites where you can find out what is happening with the Animas River/Gold King Mine release.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a new webpage which includes up-to-date information on public meetings, water sampling and data, frequently asked questions, health recommendations, and GIS data.  Further, the Gold King Mine Release Unified Command Joint Information Center has started a blog that has current information on the status of the spill and any associated health risks.  Blog posts answer such questions as how the spill affects wildlife, and whether you can eat the fish caught in the Animas River. Check out these two resources for the most current information on the situation.


Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

8/18/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Tuberculosis in Colorado

This week we use our digital documents to travel back to 1957, when the Colorado Department of Health issued a report entitled Recent Levels of Known Tuberculosis in ColoradoAt the time of this report's publication, tuberculosis was well on the decline in Colorado -- in fact, according the report, "from 1950 to 1956, the reported number of new cases of tuberculosis, among Colorado residents, per 100,000 population decreased steeply, or from 119.7 to 67.5."  The rate of death from tuberculosis was 7.8 per 100,000 in 1956, down from 32.3 in 1945.  The report attributed this decline to "new treatment methods."  The report predicted a 1.5 per 100,000 death rate in ten years.

Today we don't think of tuberculosis very often -- 2013 data shows that Colorado is now down to 1.4 cases per 100,000 residents, a sharp decline even from the 1950s.  Yet tuberculosis, or consumption as it was known in the last century, once affected thousands and played a major role in populating our state.  Consumptives came to Colorado for the "climate cure," the dry air and high elevation that was considered curative of the respiratory disease.  Many tuberculars did indeed find relief from the illness here in Colorado, but medications would prove to do more for curing the disease than fresh air alone.  Much of the research on tuberculosis treatment in Colorado was done by Dr. Florence Rena Sabin, a highly respected medical researcher.  She studied tuberculosis data in Colorado in the 1940s (reported in the 1957 report) and found that incidences were higher in urban areas (having "greater opportunity for infection"); "Spanish-Americans" had the highest rates of tuberculosis among racial/ethnic groups; tuberculosis was more prevalent in males than in females; and areas of low socio-economic status had higher rates of tuberculosis.  The disease was also highest among those age 45 and older.

Although the 1957 report presents a statistical analysis and does not explain treatment methods, an article from the European Respiratory Journal explains that new medications were discovered in 1944 and 1952 that could, in combination, cure tuberculosis -- consistent with the rates of decline described in the 1957 report.

For information on tuberculosis today, see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Annual Tuberculosis Surveillance ReportAlso here at the State Publications Library we have a number of resources that delve into the history of tuberculosis in Colorado.  Resources that cover this topic include:
  • Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail:  The Religio-Ethnic Role of Four Sanitoria in Early Denver by Jeanne E. Abrams, Colorado Historical Society, 1991.
  • Colorado Tuberculosis Annual Report published in the 1970s by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Dr. Charles David Spivak:  A Jewish Immigrant and the American Tuberculosis Movement by Jeanne E. Abrams, University Press of Colorado, 2009.
  • A Medical Gentleman:  James J. Waring, M.D., by Patricia Paton, Colorado Historical Society, 1993.
  •  "Doctor Florence:  Colorado's Woman of the Decade," Colorado Heritage, Winter 1995.

    Tuberculosis treatment in the early 1900s centered on fresh air; patients spent their days on porches like this one at the Agnes Memorial Sanatorium in Denver.  Many private homes were also built with large porches for tuberculosis patients.  Photo courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Department. 


8/17/2015

Power Up Colorado: Jobs in the Energy Sector

The Colorado Department of Higher Education and College in Colorado have teamed up to create a website devoted to education, training, and jobs in the energy sector.  According to the website, Power Up Colorado, "The energy industry has been a key part of Colorado's economy throughout its history.  Energy jobs...pay considerably more than Colorado's median household income."  Power Up Colorado offers guidance on schools and programs focusing on the energy industry; career pathways resources; opportunities to connect with Colorado energy companies; and information on financial aid and other financial resources for adults going back to school.

8/13/2015

Helpful Videos on Health Insurance

Under the Affordable Care Act many consumers are purchasing health insurance on their own.  If you're new to the process, it can seem daunting.  The State of Colorado, however, has provided several helpful videos to help make the process easier.  Videos include "Shop and Compare," "How Health Insurance Premiums are Determined," "From Coverage to Care," and "How Insurance Works."  Also included are videos demonstrating the steps for how to apply for health insurance in Colorado, and how Medicaid clients can use the Colorado Affordable Care Collaborative.  These videos are all part of the website cohealthinfo.com, a State of Colorado website that provides consumer information regarding health insurance.  If you have questions, check out this handy website today. 

8/12/2015

Animas River Spill Situation

Yesterday the governor issued an Executive Order declaring a disaster emergency for the release of toxic chemicals from the Gold King Mine into southwest Colorado's Animas River.  The accidental spill by the EPA caused the river to turn an orangey-yellow, shutting down the river to tourists and potentially impacting the river's aquatic species.  Further information on the spill is available from the Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management.

Our library collection contains several helpful resources on the impact of mine contaminants on water.  The following items are available for checkout:

8/11/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: Kids' Games, 1931

You probably know how to play charades, or bean-bag toss, or how to make shadow animals.  You might even remember Cootie (I do!)  But do you know how to play Up Jenkins?  Or, You Have a Face?  Or, I Went to Paris?  What in the world is Dumb Crambo?  Do you know the elements of Four Elements?  If you were a child in 1931, you might know.  One of the little gems in our collection is a 1931 handbook from the Colorado Cooperative Extension, which explains games children could play using everyday objects -- very handy for parents during the Great Depression who couldn't always afford to buy toys for their children.  Games used food items (e.g. Egg Shell Polo, Rice Relay), household items (e.g., Clothespin Race or games using pictures from magazines and catalogs), or natural materials (games using snowballs or flowers).  Other games used no physical items but were instead games of memory, thinking, or music.  Take a look to find some games your own children or grandchildren could learn to play -- a fun and interactive way of teaching history.


8/07/2015

Denver Artist's Guild

One of History Colorado's regional museums, the Byers-Evans House Museum, currently is holding an exhibit of artworks by Colorado artists who were members of the Denver Artist's Guild.   Founded in 1928, the Guild included such well-known artists as Vance Kirkland and Allen True. 

Our library has recently acquired a gorgeous new book from History Colorado highlighting the exhibit and the history of the Guild.  The full-color-illustrated book includes not only the exhibition catalog, but also a history of the Guild; a discussion of the Guild's 1948 split between traditionalists and modernists; and a walking tour of artworks on view in Denver and around the state. 

8/04/2015

Time Machine Tuesday: A 1940 Perspective on Conservation

The 1970s are generally thought of as the era when the conservation movement took hold in Colorado, but as a number of documents in our library demonstrate, it had its roots back to the early 1900s, when schoolchildren planted trees on "Arbor Day" -- the precursor to today's Earth Day.  By 1940, the movement for conservation of natural resources had expanded, as you can read about in Colorado's Wealth:  A Bulletin on Conservation of Natural ResourcesThis 136-page booklet was issued by the Colorado Department of Education in an effort to teach youngsters about the importance of conserving the state's natural resources which, in many places around the state, had been decimated by mining, dryland farming, and other industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

Photos from Colorado's Wealth depicting Colorado land use problems.
The conservation movement was not only in Colorado, but nationwide, though prevalent in the Western states.  National Parks were being established at a rapid rate after the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906, and in the 1930s one of the work programs of the Great Depression had been the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), where young men were given jobs planting trees, fighting forest fires, teaching citizens about soil conservation (important during the Dust Bowl), conserving and reintroducing fish and wildlife species, and establishing parks by breaking trails and building roads and public buildings to be used by citizens for the appreciation of natural resources.

Schoolteachers used the Colorado Department of Education booklet, issued during the same era as the CCC, to help children appreciate and protect Colorado's natural wonders.  The booklet starts off with a quote from Walter Lowdermilk of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, entitled "The Eleventh Commandment:"  "Thou shalt inherit the holy earth as a faithful steward, conserving its resources and productivity from generation to generation...if any shall fail in this stewardship...thy descendants shall decrease and live in poverty or perish from off the face of this earth."  The booklet continues with a discussion of the conservation movement and a "challenge to schools" from Charles Lory, former president of Colorado A&M (later Colorado State) University.  The remainder includes essays on various conservation topics to give teachers "an understanding of land problems and the effects of the misuse of land resources on the entire population of our country" in the 1930s and 1940s.  Concepts such as erosion are shown in drawings while photos of flood damage and dust storms graphically illustrate what can happen when conservation is ignored.  The final part of the book illustrates projects that children and youth have created or participated in as ideas of how to get them involved in the conservation movement.  Some of the projects discussed show a diversity in the students creating them -- projects from Navajo and "Spanish-American" students are included.

This publication is a fascinating look at the conservation movement during an era when the past several generations' overuse of the land caused widespread ramifications and in response inspired a new appreciation of the state's soil, botany, and wildlife. 



8/03/2015

New Colorado Crowdfunding Rules

The Colorado Crowdfunding Act (HB15-1246) will go into effect on August 5, and new rules were released by the Securities Division of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies on July 29.  If your organization is participating in crowdfunding in Colorado, it is advisable to review these new rules to ensure you comply with all reporting requirements.  The Securities Division has set up an informational webpage which explains the forms you need to submit to the division, the limits on how much capital can be raised, and the laws regarding transactions outside of Colorado.

It is important to note that these rules refer to a type of crowdfunding known as "equity crowdfunding" and do not affect sites like kickstarter.com.  A press release from the Division of Securities defines equity crowdfunding:

Equity crowdfunding differs from current crowdfunding enterprises such as Kickstarter and Indigogo. With equity crowdfunding, businesses that choose to solicit money from the general public will now be able to offer equity or a stake in the company. Previously, individuals who contributed to crowdfunding campaigns were not allowed shares in the company, and their contributions were considered donations to an effort. Colorado joins a handful of other states in legalizing this method of capital acquisition in response to a delay in federal crowdfunding rules that were made legal through the 2012 Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups (JOBS) Act.

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