4.24.2017

2017 Colorado Wildfire Outlook

On April 14 the Governor and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control (DFPC) presented on the outlook for the 2017 wildfire season.  "The number, intensity, and complexity of wildfires in Colorado have been growing exponentially, and experts predict that it will continue to worsen," notes the Department of Public Safety's press release.

Each year the DFPC submits a Wildfire Preparedness Plan to the governor.  These plans are available from our library.  You can search our library's online catalog for numerous other resources on Colorado wildfire preparation, response, and recovery. 

The High Park Fire, June 2012, in Larimer County. 



Photo by Sgt. Jesica Geffre, U.S. Army/Colorado National Guard, via Wikipedia

4.21.2017

House Resolution Recognizing Libraries

The Colorado House of Representatives has scheduled for today the consideration of HR17-1008, a resolution recognizing the importance of Colorado libraries.  The resolution states, in part, that "Colorado libraries are a vital and essential public resource that provide free and equal access to educational and recreational material and enrich the lives of all citizens."  The resolution goes on to stress the importance of IMLS funding for libraries.  And, in paragraph 9, State Publications is listed as one of our state's "essential library programs and services." 

You can watch the presentation of the resolution live on the House floor today (or, if you are reading this after today, you can view a recording) by going to the Colorado Channel.

The Colorado House chambers.  Photo by Tony Eitzel courtesy of Colorado General Assembly.

4.20.2017

What is the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws?

The Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws (CCUSL) is a commission under the auspices of the state General Assembly which compares state laws around the country and determines discrepancies between Colorado laws and other states on topics of potential national importance.  Each state has such a committee, which act as participants in the federal Uniform Law Commission (ULC). 

The topics examined by the CCUSL and ULC are varied in subject and scope.  The commission discusses various topics and makes recommendations for legislation.  For example, in 2016 the CCUSL authored five Senate Bills:  SB16-071, concerning registration of athletic agents; SB16-084, concerning "health care decision-making documents," SB16-085, concerning property trusts; SB16-088, concerning "fiduciary access to digital assets," and SB16-103, concerning domestic violence protection orders.  Two of these bills, SB16-085 and SB16-088, were passed into law.

You can find out about the CCUSL's work, and their legislative recommendations, in their annual reports.  These are available from our library back to 2002.  You can find out about the legislation CCUSL has proposed for the current 2017 session by viewing this blog post from the State Legislature.

4.18.2017

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Rehabilitation Farms

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Farm Security Administration (FSA) sponsored a program to purchase under-performing farmland from poor farmers and resettle them in group farms to enhance cultivation.  Despite criticism from some who considered the program to be socialist collectivism, the federal government did establish some of these farms in Colorado.  Here in our state they partnered with the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station to administer the program.  The annual income & expense reports for the program have been digitized and are available from our library for 1937 (the first report), 1938, and 1939.  The coming of World War II eased some of the economic burdens on agriculture, and the program was abandoned by 1944.  Check out these reports for an interesting look into a mostly-forgotten chapter in Colorado's agricultural past.


4.17.2017

Dental Health in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has many programs promoting oral/dental health.  Specific programs target Coloradans of various ages, such as the Cavity Free at Three program and the Dental Assistance for Seniors program.  CDPHE also oversees water fluoridation and keeps statistics on Coloradans' dental health.  For information on CDPHE's programs, see their website.  For publications about dental health in Colorado, check our library's online catalog.  Some examples of resources include

4.13.2017

Colorado Egg Production

Buying Easter eggs this week?  You may not realize that the eggs you buy must go through a rigorous inspection process by the Colorado Department of Agriculture before they can appear on the shelves of your favorite grocery store.  Egg producers and dealers are required to be licensed by the state.*

The Colorado Egg Law and You and the Colorado Department of Agriculture's egg FAQs are two publications that discuss egg safety and quality.  Use this publication to learn about the inspection process; the difference between Grade AA, A, and B eggs; how to select organic or cage-free eggs; how you can keep eggs fresh longer; and how eggs are officially sized (from jumbo to peewee!)


*Some exceptions exist for small producers under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act.

4.11.2017

Time Machine Tuesday: Gilpin County

During the Colorado Gold Rush, Gilpin County was one of the leading areas attracting miners and prospectors to attempt to strike it rich.  Today, as home to Central City and Black Hawk, two of the Colorado towns that allow gambling, people are still heading to Gilpin County to try to strike it rich.

In 1920 Thomas Maitland Marshall, a history professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, put together a lengthy volume of Early Records of Gilpin County, 1859-1861.  This wonderful resource has now been digitized by our library.  It contains a history of the Gold Rush in Gilpin County and reprints of hundreds of articles of correspondence, meeting minutes, mining district legal documents, and much more.  If you are researching an early Gilpin County mining district, you can now find all in one place the records you might have had to visit numerous libraries and archives to view.  This is a terrific resource for learning about the mining business in early Colorado.

For more resources on the history, geology, etc. of Gilpin County, search our library's web catalog.  Also be sure and check out Riches and Regrets:  Betting on Gambling in Two Colorado Mountain Towns, by Patricia A. Stokowski (University Press of Colorado, 1996) for a history of gambling in Gilpin County.  Among the recipients of gambling funds is the State Historical Fund, which preserves historic sites around Colorado, including many of the historic buildings in Gilpin County itself.  For more on the State Historical Fund, see Guide to Colorado Historic Places:  Sites Supported by the Colorado Historical Society's State Historical Fund, also available for checkout from our library.   


1860s views of Black Hawk and Central City.  Photos courtesy Denver Public Library Western History Department.
 

4.10.2017

National Library Week

National Library Week is here!  Celebrated April 9-15 this year, Library Week "is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support," says the American Library Association.  Libraries provide a vital service in our communities and this week is a great time to show your support.  In our own library's collection are many resources that illustrate the impact and importance of all types of libraries:

4.06.2017

New Report on Heroin Use in Colorado

Today the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and several partner agencies released a new report on heroin use in Colorado.  Heroin in Colorado:  Preliminary Assessment is the product of the Heroin Response Work Group, which includes the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Office, and other partners in addition to CDPHE.  The need for the report comes from a recent spike in heroin use and overdoses in Colorado, according to CDPHE's press release

While this report is, according to CDPHE, the first ever State of Colorado report specific to heroin, we do have in our library other reports on drug use in Colorado that can provide additional statistics on heroin and overall drug use in the state.  These resources include

4.04.2017

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado and the Great War

This coming Thursday, April 6, will mark the 100th anniversary of America's entry into World War I.  Europe had been embroiled in the Great War since 1914, but U.S. President Woodrow Wilson had vowed to keep Americans out of the conflict.  As the bloody war dragged on, however, it became apparent that the United States could no longer sit on the sidelines.  Several U.S. ships had been damaged or sunk by German mines in the Atlantic, and when the British passenger ship Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915 -- resulting in the deaths of 128 Americans -- public opinion began to favor going to war with the Germans.  Many statesmen such as former President Theodore Roosevelt urged American entry into the war, but Wilson resisted.  By the late winter of 1917, however, the Germans had sunk several more American ships, and on April 2 Wilson finally asked Congress for a declaration of war.  The vote passed the Senate on April 4 and the House on April 6. 

This graphic appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera one hundred years ago today.
From the spring of 1917 through the war's end on November 11, 1918, more than 43,000 Coloradans served in the military, including soldiers and nurses "over there" as well as those filling military roles stateside.  Colorado Governor Julius Gunter wrote in the Rocky Mountain News that "our state is well advanced in preparation to bear its part and to do its share in all of the services President Wilson had in mind when he said: ‘It is not an army we must shape and train for war; it is a nation,’ and it further means that Colorado’s people, zealous to give their abilities and resources to the cause of the world’s democracy and liberty, are coordinated and unified in organizations that can quickly and effectively translate into action the policies of their chief executives, state and nation."*

America's participation in the Great War affected everybody, even schoolchildren.  The Colorado Superintendent of Public Instruction issued A War-Modified Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado, which has been digitized by our library.  Americans of German heritage were also affected, as they were targeted for their ethnic background even if they had been United States citizens their whole lives.  An interesting article on this topic, "The Ordeal of Colorado's Germans During World War I," appears in the Fall 1974 issue of the Colorado Historical Society's Colorado Magazine.  That magazine's successor, Colorado Heritage, also devoted the entire Winter 1992 issue to "The Turbulent Teens:  1910-1920," to accompany the Colorado History Museum's series of exhibits on each decade in Colorado history.  This publication can be checked out in print from our library.  Finally, you can read original newspaper accounts of Colorado's reaction to the entry into war by visiting the Colorado State Library's Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection


*Reprinted at https://coloradogenealogy.com/history/colorado_world_war.htm 

4.03.2017

Protecting Colorado's Groundwater

Pesticides and chemicals can have an unhealthy effect on groundwater, so the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have teamed up "to protect groundwater and the environment from impairment or degredation due to the improper use of agricultural chemicals while allowing their proper and correct use." 

For further information, check out the program's website, including reports and information on current investigations.  You can also find numerous reports on the topic available from our library, including
Search our library's web catalog for additional reports.

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