Tips for Avoiding Cyber Scams

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. What can you do to avoid being a victim of cyber crime? Criminals are increasingly using the internet to target victims, either to steal their identities or scam them out of a lot of money - or both. Below are some common types of cyber fraud, and tips to avoid them. You can read more about these scams on the Colorado Attorney General's Digital Fraud website.

  • Click bait scams. These are scams where criminals will create an intriguing post on social media with the purpose of tricking the victim into sharing personal information or even installing malware. Tip: when clicking on social media posts, if you receive a suspicious-looking popup asking you to update your video player or scan your computer for viruses, this may be a scam to install malware on your computer or device. But before you even click on the post, hover your cursor over the link to make sure it's taking you to a safe and familiar website. Even if the post appears to be from someone you know, cyber criminals will often hack into users' accounts - so if a link looks suspicious or unfamiliar, verify it is legitimate before clicking. 
  • Internet auction and classified ad sites. These kinds of scams use legitimate websites to lure customers into false purchases or which cheat sellers out of goods without paying for them. If you're selling items on an internet auction site, a fake "buyer" might pay for the item with phony checks or money orders. Other types of scams include fake advertisements for property rentals, where an interested renter clicks on a phony ad and is made to fill out a long "application" divulging all kinds of personal information. Also common are fake ticket scams. You send in money to buy tickets for an event, but the tickets never arrive. Tip: For sellers, don't ship items until you make sure the payment is legitimate. For buyers, do your research on a company by checking sites such as the Better Business Bureau. Don't give personal information such as social security numbers. And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • "Money Flipping" Scams. These are essentially "get rich quick" schemes that advertise over the internet, promising that if you invest a small amount of money you can "flip" it into a larger amount. Tip: Always do your research on a company before sharing any personal or financial information. Your research might reveal complaints. Also, as with click bait scams, sometimes it might look like one of these money flipping deals is coming from someone you know - but it's possible their account may have been hacked, so always verify first. And again, trust your instincts. If it's too good to be true...
  • Negative Option Scams. These are scams that send you products you didn't order and then bill you for them. Or, they trick you into thinking you are ordering something once, only to be added to an "automatic delivery" over and over - again, sending you the bill. "Free trials" that collect money up front can fall into this category. Tip: Once again, do your research to make sure you are doing business with a legitimate company. Also, read the fine print. If you give your credit card number to get a free trial, be certain that the company won't automatically start billing you after the trial period is over, and be aware of their cancellation policies.
  • Tech Support Scams. These are common scams where you either get a phone call, an email, or a popup pretending to be from your company's IT department, or from your device's manufacturer or carrier (e.g., someone claiming to be from Microsoft calls and tells you your computer has a virus). They either trick you into revealing personal/financial information, or gain access to your computer and install their own viruses, spyware, and malware. Tip: Never give a stranger access to your computer or device. Keep your computer or device updated with the latest security software. Don't click on any suspicious email attachments, and do not respond to suspicious emails - just delete them. And if you're not sure, contact the company directly and ask them if a call or email you received is legitimate.
These are just a few of the many types of cyber scams. The Colorado Attorney General's Digital Fraud webpage includes more details on these and other scams, as well as tips on internet browsing safety, online shopping, smart phone security, and how to reduce spam. You can also use this website to report fraud. If you're a victim of identity theft, be sure to check out the AG's Identity Theft Repair Kit and other resources on their website.

scams, fraud


Time Machine Tuesday: Festival of Mountain and Plain

In 1895, Coloradans were looking for something to lift their spirits. Two years before, the state had been devastated by the worst economic crisis in its history. But after a couple of years had passed, the state was slowly recovering. So, what better way to boost morale and celebrate Colorado's resilience than with a giant party? The Festival of Mountain and Plain, as it was to be called, was planned by a committee of leading Denver citizens overseen by booster extraordinaire William N. Byers, the founder and former owner of the Rocky Mountain News.

Held October 16-18, 1895, the festival kicked off with an enormous parade through the streets of Denver. In celebrating the state's economic recovery, the parade featured floats highlighting Colorado's various industries -- mining, agriculture, manufacturing -- as well as floats from Denver school children and civic groups. A second, military parade was held the following day. In the evenings, 16th Street "from Larimer to Broadway" was lit with "over 3,000 electric globes." The final day of the festival included a band contest, a miner's drilling contest, "exhibits showing the resources of the state," a free football game, and, in City Park, an "Indian Festival" with "dances, sports and ceremonies by Ute and Santa Clara Indians." The festival culminated with a Grand Allegorical parade featuring the "Silver Serpent." Because Colorado's reliance on silver mining had been the cause of the 1893 crash, the festival symbolized the defeat of the "serpent."

The festival was considered an enormous success, with over 100,000 people attending. The event was so popular that it was held again each October through 1899. Each year, new attractions were added: a "Balloon Ascension and Parachute Jump" in 1896; an enormous outdoor masquerade ball in 1897; a horse show in 1899. After this time, however, interest began to wane. Festival organizers skipped 1900 and tried again in 1901, but this festival was not nearly as successful as it had been in the 1890s. A final attempt was made in 1912, but again, the festival failed to make enough money and to attract the numbers that it had during its first years. Those years, however, became legendary and the festival was long remembered in the memories of those who had lived in Denver in the 1890s. Today's many downtown festivals have their roots in the great Festival of Mountain and Plain.

In 1948, Levette J. Davidson published a two-part history of the Festival of Mountain and Plain in the Colorado Magazine. Part 1 can be found in the July issue and Part 2 appeared in the September issue. The articles present a detailed look at the festival programs, the reasons for its discontinuance, and some great photos of the floats and festivities.

The 1895 festival grandstand at Colfax and Broadway with view of the State Capitol. Courtesy Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.


College Application Month

September 17 through October 31 is College Application Month in Colorado, "a six-week boot camp to get students to identify career goals, research matching education programs and apply successfully regardless of their postsecondary path," according to College in Colorado.

As part of College Application Month, Colorado is sponsoring Colorado Free Application Day this October 30. That day, all of Colorado's public higher education institutions, as well as several private institutions, are allowing students to apply with no application fee. Click here for a message from the Governor about Colorado Free Application Day, and see the College in Colorado's Free Application Day website for more details, including a list of participating institutions.

Still need help deciding what college path you'd like to take? Visit College in Colorado's College Planning webpage for helpful tips, a handy College Admissions Tool, and a guide to programs and majors.


2018 Election Information

2018 Colorado Blue Book ballot information
Election season has arrived! Ballots will be mailed started this Monday, October 15. This year's ballot will be one of the longest ever. To help you decide on the many issues on the ballot, the State Publications Library has made the "Blue Book" available in a variety of formats to suit your needs. "Blue Books" are the state's official ballot issue guides, prepared each election year by the non-partisan Colorado Legislative Council. Searchable PDFs of the Blue Book are available online in both English and Spanish. In addition, the Colorado Talking Book Library has recorded the entire Blue Book in audio format for voters who are visually impaired.

To find out more about the election and to access your voter registration information, visit the Colorado Secretary of State's website. To see previous years' Blue Books, visit our library's Blue Book finding aid.


Time Machine Tuesday: Victory Gardens

Victory gardens were a part of life on the home front during World War II. While farmers were encouraged to increase production to help feed the hungry soldiers, those living in urban and suburban areas were also encouraged to help the war effort by growing as much of their own food as possible. Eleanor Roosevelt even planted a victory garden on the White House lawn.

Many people who planted victory gardens were not experienced gardeners, or had only had small gardens before the war. So here in Colorado the Colorado State College (now Colorado State University) published a number of resources to help gardeners and small-size farmers learn the basics of home food production. Many of their publications focused on avoiding problems, such as diseases, which if controlled could lead to higher yield. One such publication, issued by the college's Experiment Station, was Psyllid Control on Potatoes and Tomatoes in the Victory Garden. Other wartime Colorado State College publications included Increasing Home Vegetable Gardening and Starting Vegetable Plants.

The College's Colorado Farm Victory Program published a series of brochures which included such titles as Alfalfa in Colorado; Diseases of Cucumber and Melons and Their Control; Concrete Tile for Sub-Irrigated Gardens; and Irrigation for Maximum Production.  Farm Victory Program brochures also focused on home food storage to reduce waste. Some of these titles include Drying Fruits and Vegetables; Home Storage of Fruits and Vegetables; Preservation of Meat, Poultry and Fish by Freezing; Home Canning of Vegetables in a Pressure Cooker; Clean Milk and Cream: How to Produce Them; and even Pest Control on the Home Front. Search our library's online catalog for more Farm Victory Program brochures and other titles.


Minimum Wage in Colorado

Currently, Colorado's minimum wage is $10.20, or $7.18 for tipped employees. This was increased on January 1 of this year and will increase again on January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020. This is due to Amendment 70, which was passed in the 2016 election and went into effect in the beginning of 2017. This constitutional amendment increases the minimum wage by $0.90 each year until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2020. After that date, should no other amendments pass, the minimum wage will be adjusted for cost-of-living increases based on the Consumer Price Index.

For more information on Colorado's minimum wage, visit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website. Here you will find the most recent Colorado Minimum Wage Order; fact sheets; minimum wage posters for places of business; resources in Spanish; more on Amendment 70; and a chart of Colorado's minimum wage back to 1998. You can also view prior Minimum Wage Orders via our library; search our web catalog for these and additional resources.


Identifying Students with Learning Disabilities

One of the most frequently-accessed publications in our library is the Colorado Department of Education's Guidelines for Identifying Students with Specific Learning Disabilities. This publication helps teachers and parents understand the processes of identification and how they work with state and federal laws. The guidebook discusses an approach that "provides interventions as part of a problem-solving process at the earliest indication of need." Information on how special education and general education can collaborate is included in the guidelines. Referral and evaluation, response to intervention (RtI), and areas of specific disability -- such as oral, written, listening comprehension, reading, or mathematical -- are also discussed. This is an essential resource for Colorado educators, administrators, and anyone working with schoolchildren with disabilities. 


Time Machine Tuesday: Traffic Data

As more and more people move to Colorado, we all spend a lot more of our time sitting in traffic. Colorado's highways were constructed in the mid-twentieth century, when the population was much lower. So how does your daily commute compare with a half-century ago?

In 1971, the Colorado Division of Highways released Traffic Volumes on Urban Freeways in Colorado, a report containing graphs and charts with average weekday traffic volumes for Colorado's highways. You can compare these numbers to the current traffic volumes, which are available in the Colorado Department of Transportation's Online Transportation Information System (OTIS) database, for some pretty amazing results!


Colorado Colleges and Universities: Aims Community College

Aims Community College, in Weld County, is what the Colorado Department of Higher Education calls a "local district community college," meaning that while it is a state-funded community college, it is not part of the Colorado Community College System but is locally managed.

The idea for a college in Weld County was first studied in 1965, according to the Aims history website. The college officially began in 1967. 949 students were enrolled that first year, and classes were held in Greeley's old Lincoln Elementary School until a permanent site was purchased in 1969. Construction of the campus buildings continued over the next several years. A South Campus opened west of Fort Lupton in 1984, and a Loveland campus opened its doors in 1987. A Windsor campus was added in 2010. Aims also offers online courses.

7,966 students were enrolled in Aims in 2016/17, the majority being under the age of 22. Check the college's website for additional stats, including information on tuition, financial aid, degrees awarded, and more.

In our library you can find a number of publications about Aims Community College, such as their annual budgets, historic and current college catalogs, annual report, and an economic impact summary.


Should Wolves be Reintroduced in Colorado?

If wolves were reintroduced in our state, would they benefit the environment or be a nuisance for ranchers? In spite of a 2016 resolution passed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife stating that wolves would not be purposefully reintroduced into the state (although those that wander here on their own won't be removed), the debate continues.

Andrew Gulliford, a professor if history and environmental studies at Fort Lewis College, is an advocate for reintroduction and recently co-edited a book outlining the science, and the debate, behind the reintroduction of wolves. According to Gulliford's blog posting for University Press of Colorado -- the publisher of his book The Last Stand of the Pack -- evidence for wolves' contribution to the ecology of the mountain west can be seen in Yellowstone:

I teach my college students that wolves brought songbirds back to Yellowstone. I explain that wolves cut the coyote population in half. With fewer coyotes there are more small rodents and mammals aerating the soil and providing better grasses. But the largest and most dramatic effect has been the culling of the Yellowstone elk herd. By 1995 the ungulates had done severe damage to the vegetation of the park. Wolves changed that. As wolf packs began to hunt elk, the wapiti were slowed and caught in downed timber along rivers and streams. So elk learned safety meant higher sagebrush benches where they could see and smell better. With fewer elk, plants recovered. Aspen thrived. And in this new thicker forest of riverine vegetation, beaver colonies established small pools, attracting other animals, insects, and, yes, butterflies.

The State of Colorado has been studying the issue of wolf reintroduction since the 1980s. In our library you can find several reports on the topic, including
The Last Stand of the Pack is also available for checkout from our library. This book was originally issued in 1929 by famed Colorado naturalist Arthur Carhart and Stanley P. Young. Gulliford and the aptly-named Tom Wolf edited the new edition for University Press of Colorado. This expanded edition contains new writings by Gulliford and other contributors who discuss the debate over reintroduction since Carhart's time.

For more information on Colorado Parks and Wildlife's 2016 resolution, see this fact sheet explaining their decision.


Computer Science Resource Bank

There's no question that computer science is becoming an increasingly important subject in today's schools. If you're a computer science teacher, be sure to check out the Colorado Department of Education's new Computer Science Resource Bank. Here you'll find "a variety of materials for computer science educators, including standards, curricula, and materials for professional educator development." The resource bank can direct you to scholarships, cybersecurity resources, competitions, professional associations, teaching tools, learning environments, and much more. All of the suggested resources are coded for elementary, middle, and high school, making it easy to find what you need. Free resources are also highlighted. In the ever-changing environment of computer science, teachers can keep up with what's new by using this handy resource.


Colorado Dept. of Agriculture Photo Contest

From animals to scenery, products to people, Colorado agriculture provides numerous opportunities for artistic photographs that showcase this important part of Colorado's economy and landscape. Are you a photographer interested in sharing what makes Colorado agriculture special? Enter the Colorado Department of Agriculture's annual photo contest, which runs until December 31. Both amateurs and professionals are welcome to apply. This year's contest features two new categories, "agriculture from above" and "urban agriculture," in addition to the usual categories of crops, livestock, people, and wildlife in agriculture. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize, and all winners will have their photos displayed at Northeastern Junior College and on the department's website.

Click here to view past winners back to 2011, along with other helpful resources about Colorado agriculture.


Where to Go to See Fall Colors

"Leaf peeping season" has arrived. Where are the best places to go to view Colorado's colorful aspens?

For suggestions on Colorado's most colorful state parks, visit Colorado Parks & Wildlife's Fall Colors page. Here you can find suggestions not only for where to go, but how - whether you prefer a car trip, camping, hiking, biking, horseback, or a fall-themed outdoor event. Or view their publication Rush to the Gold: 8 Recommended Fall Trips in Colorado State Parks. Find the State Park nearest you with CPW's Park Finder map. And don't forget, you can check out a parks pass from your library.

Colorado scenic byways are another great way to view fall colors. The byways program highlights some of the most scenic drives in our state. See the Colorado Tourism Office's list of 5 Color-Drenched Colorado Scenic Byways. If you still need more ideas, check out these additional articles from the Colorado Tourism Office for suggestions:

When's the best time to go leaf peeping? See the Colorado State Forest Service's Planning Your Fall Foliage Experience website for viewing tips and how to pick the peak week to go.  


Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Traveling Library Commission

In 1903 the Colorado Legislature passed an act creating the Colorado Traveling Library Commission. Appointed by the governor, the commission consisted of five volunteers from Colorado women's clubs who oversaw the shipment of boxes of books to Colorado schools and towns. The program's goals were to create a "love and habit of reading good books" and "to have more good books read per capita than any other state."

The distribution of boxes of books was made to rural communities across the state. Each box contained fifty books of mixed collections of fiction and nonfiction. Anyone from a community could request the box, but they had to be responsible for its contents, to be returned to the commission after a period of six months. The program also sponsored a free magazine mailing to hospitals, train stations, and other public gathering places, as well as to prisons and reformatories.

During its first year, the program sponsored 122 boxes. Each box was purchased and assembled by a local club or charity; a few boxes were sponsored by individuals. Just five years later, they were up to 242 boxes! In 1912 the program's biennial report carried comments from readers who had benefited from the program. This one is my favorite:

"I must thank you for the books. We are thirty miles from a railroad, four miles from neighbors. We have a dry claim. The hail came and left us nothing, and my husband and one son had to go away to work. Not more than once in four or five weeks do we see anyone. I cannot think what we would have done without the books. We are not able to buy books or anything. Certainly, of all charities this is the greatest."

To learn more about the Traveling Library commission, see their biennial reports, which have been digitized by our library. Here you can find lists of the book boxes and who sponsored them; locations where the boxes were sent; and information on the commission members and other supporters. The 1910/12 report also contains a memorial tribute to Julia V. Welles, the founding leader of the program, who passed away in December 1912.

The years 1904 to 1912 were the apex of the program. After that time, the biennial reports were no longer required when the legislature changed how it appropriated funds to the program and these changes, alongside Welles' death, caused the program to fade somewhat. But the commission did continue along until 1929, when it was was combined with the Board of Library Commissioners to create the new Colorado Library Commission. This combined program continued until 1933 with the establishment of the State Library as we know it today.

One of the commission's traveling book boxes. Photo from the 1910/12 biennial report.


Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community

A recent news story discussed a new state audit report assessing the Fort Lyon residential facility - but the news report failed to actually link to the report. You can view the report here. The report provides a cost-benefit analysis of the facility and an assessment of success rates.

Fort Lyon, in Bent County, served as a U.S. Army fort from 1867 to 1897. In the twentieth century it was used as a veteran's hospital, and then as a minimum security prison from 2001-2011. In 2013 the site reopened as a rehab facility for homeless persons. The facility includes not only housing, but programs to help residents overcome substance abuse issues. It is not a correctional facility - residents live there by choice.

Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community is run by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. To learn more, visit the facility's website.

Residents of Fort Lyon get to live in the campus's historic buildings. Photo courtesy DOLA.


How Geology Helped Build the Moffat Road

Our library recently received a fascinating new document for our collection that will be of interest to historians researching Colorado's railroads as well as to those interested in our state's geology and mineral resources.

Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1918, a special committee of the Denver Civic and Commercial Association asked State Geologist Russell George to produce a report of the mineral resources that could be found in the Northwest Colorado region of the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad, known informally as the "Moffat Road." The committee, led by Denver Tramway Company president William Gray Evans, was interested in "the extent and location of the deposits of coal, oil shales, hydrocarbons, and other minerals of economic value...to be used by [the] Committee to make clear the public advantage and public necessity for the completion of the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad -- the "Moffat Road" -- and its main range tunnel." In other words, Evans -- one of the major promoters of the Moffat Tunnel after the 1911 death of its namesake, David Moffat -- wanted to use this report as justification for the railroad and tunnel through the mountains, construction of which would be no easy task.

George and the Colorado Geological Survey provided Evans and his colleagues with a thorough description of the area's resources, the most prominent being coal -- the mining of which was one of the state's major industries during this era. George's narrative is bound together with three large foldout maps. One map shows the Road's route and proposed tunnel location alongside existing (supposedly inadequate) rail lines. The second map details the area's coal resources, and the third map points out locations of other mineral resources, including copper, molybdenum, tungsten, carnotite, gold, and oil and gas.

Evans and his colleagues were likely very pleased with the report, because George concluded that "the industrial value of many million dollars' worth of useful mineral deposits depends largely upon the quick completion of the railroad enterprise, including the proposed tunnel through the main range." However, it would be nearly a decade before the Moffat Tunnel finally opened in 1927. Evans didn't live to see the tunnel's completion; he died in 1924.

This document is an incredible primary source for anyone researching Colorado's railroad history. Although it is not presently available online (the large size of the maps would make this difficult), anyone is welcome to come and view the document here in our library. Search our library's online catalog for many more resources on Colorado's history, geology, and transportation.

A D&SL train near Kremmling in 1928. Photo by Otto Perry courtesy of Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.


Time Machine Tuesday: Anniversary of the 2013 Floods

Five years ago today, the rain began to fall in what became one of the state's most significant flood disasters, impacting twenty-four counties and causing millions of dollars in damage. The Colorado communities affected by the September 2013 floods showed amazing resilience and are thriving once again.

Here are some State of Colorado resources that tell the story of the 2013 floods and subsequent recovery efforts:

Flood damage near Jamestown, Colorado, September 2013.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons


Building History Research

If you're the proud owner of a historic property, or if there's a particular building that speaks to you, you may be interested in finding more about its history. Who lived in your house and what were their stories? Or, what were the previous uses of your commercial or public building? If you're wondering how to go about researching the history of a historic structure, our library has resources that can help you.
  • Researching the History of Your House is a publication from History Colorado that outlines the steps involved in research, not only for houses but for other buildings as well. This publication includes a handy checklist for places to search and helpful documents to find.
  • Documenting the History of Your Home is a 1992 publication from the Colorado State University Extension. The advice in this publication is still very relevant, but check with your local library or historical society because many of the resources mentioned are now available online, making research easier than ever before.
  • Your building's architectural style can tell you a lot about its history, including the time period when it was built and for what purpose. See History Colorado's Field Guide to Colorado's Historic Architecture and Engineering for information on historic building styles, types, and materials. 
  • Who designed and/or built your house? If your research reveals the name of an architect or builder, check to see if they're featured in History Colorado's Architects of Colorado and Builders of Colorado biographical series. 
  • The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is a great tool that you can use to search for historic news stories about your building or its previous owners.
No matter where in Colorado your building is located, be sure to visit your local library. Many libraries have local history and archival collections. The Denver Public Library's Western History and Geneaology Department, Boulder's Carnegie Library for Local History, and Pikes Peak Library District's Regional History and Geneaology are among the state's best local history collections, but many smaller and rural libraries have excellent local history collections as well.

If your research turns up some fascinating history, or if your building is architecturally significant, consider nominating it to the National Register of Historic Places or as a local landmark (check with your town or municipality for information and eligibility criteria). See this fact sheet from the Colorado State University Extension or visit the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation's website for more information on the National Register.


September is National Honey Month

Beekeeping is growing in popularity, and many beekeepers sell honey at farmers markets and other local businesses. If you're interested in producing and selling honey, see the publication Colorado Cottage Foods Product Information: Honey. Here you can learn about product safety and the State of Colorado's rules for selling home-produced honey. You can find more information about selling "cottage foods" in Colorado at the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's Cottage Foods Act webpage.


Is Your House on Shaky Ground?

Ground subsidence problems are very real in Colorado. Whether from naturally occurring elements in the soil or from the effects of Colorado's mining history, the ground in certain parts of Colorado is susceptible to settling, collapsing, expanding, heaving, or swelling, all of which can have potentially hazardous effects on structures. So how do you know if your area is affected by subsidence and swelling soils? And if it is, what should you do?

When the Ground Lets You Down, a title in the Colorado Geological Survey's popular Rock Talk series, provides an excellent introduction to these types of hazards. The geological processes are illustrated in simple diagrams and information is provided about insurance, emergency situations, and where to go for help.

Another helpful publication, produced especially for homeowners, is A Guide to Swelling Soils for Colorado Homebuyers and Homeowners. This helpful guidebook can be checked out from our library or through Prospector. 

Additional helpful resources available from our library include:
Also, search the term "geologic hazards" in our library's online catalog for additional resources.


Highway Work Zone Safety

Did you know that since 1929, sixty Colorado highway workers have lost their lives in the line of duty? The most recent fatality, that of Nolan Olson in southwestern Colorado, occurred just this year. Olson, like many of the other fatalities, was just doing his job when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

In 2010 the Colorado legislature passed HB10-1014, which requires CDOT and the State Patrol to prepare a joint annual legislative report regarding fatalities in work zones and what awareness and safety measures are being taken. You can view all of these  reports online from our library. Also, during the 2018 session, just following Olson's death, the General Assembly passed a resolution designating a section of Hwy 84 near Pagosa Springs as the "Nolan Olson Memorial Highway."

To help avoid accidents like Olson's, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds drivers to "slow for the cone zone." If you're driving through a construction area, go extra slowly and carefully, always obey flaggers, and make sure to give workers a wide breadth. Visit CDOT's website for more tips on safe driving in construction zones.


Time Machine Tuesday: 20th Century Fashions

Diagram of ladies' hats from Planning One's Clothes (1924)
In the early 20th century, keeping your family clothed wasn't nearly as easy as it is today. Now, online shopping and large retail stores give us access to thousands of clothing options, but a century ago, clothing items were more expensive and often were not mass-produced, and many people still sewed their own clothing. As a result, mothers and housewives spent a great deal of effort mending, repairing, and caring for their family's wardrobes. This is evidenced by publications from the Extension Service of the Colorado Agricultural College (today's Colorado State University).

The Extension produced - and still produces - hundreds of bulletins, pamphlets, and factsheets that offer simple advice on agriculture, gardening, and home economics. Among the bulletins produced in the 1920s include several on how to care for clothing. For anyone researching early 20th century fashion and domestic life, these bulletins are excellent primary sources. Some of the 1920s titles include Simple Articles for Clothing and Household Use (1923); Clothing Clubs (1923); Baby Bunting's Clothing Budget (1924); Blouses, Skirts and Dresses (1924); Planning One's Clothes (1924); and Care of Clothing (1925). Although published in the flush times of the '20s, their tips on caring for and prolonging the life of garments would become especially helpful to those affected by the Great Depression in the 1930s.

When WWII broke out, some clothing items were rationed while many clothing factories shifted from civilian consumer goods to the production of war materiel. Therefore, those on the homefront were encouraged to make do with what they had, or to remodel older garments into new uses. In 1942 the Extension produced Care of Clothing: Daily-Weekly-Seasonal; Care of Woolen Clothing; and Remodeling Clothing.

By the 1970s, clothing was becoming cheaper and more mass-produced, so the Extension began focusing on more on creative sewing, as well as how families, especially those on farms and in rural areas with less access to cheap consumer goods, could maximize their clothing budgets. 1970s titles included Rags to Riches: Recycle Your Clothes and Western Wear Wisdom.

Finally, in the 1990s, clothing became so mass-produced that many people had never learned the most basic mending techniques. The Extension came to the rescue with publications like Fixing a Torn Loose Pocket; Making a New Hem; Patching Knees in Pants; Replacing a Jacket Zipper; Replacing Elastic in Skirts or Pants; and Replacing Torn-Off Buttons.

In the 20th century, it wasn't just the fashions themselves that changed, but people's approach to buying and owning clothes changed as well. Check out these and other publications from the CSU Extension, available from our library, to learn more.


Colorado Colleges and Universities: Adams State University

Adams State UniversityFrom community colleges to research universities, Colorado offers a variety of public-funded higher education options. Today we profile Adams State University.

Adams State, located in the San Luis Valley, was founded as a teacher's college in 1921. Originally Adams State Normal School, it eventually became known as Adams State Teachers College and then Adams State College until 2012, when it became Adams State University. The school is named for William H. "Billy" Adams, a legislator from Alamosa. Adams served in the General Assembly for four decades (this was before term limits), from 1886 to 1926, when he was elected Governor of Colorado. During his forty years in the legislature, according to the Colorado State Archives, the only bill he introduced was the one that founded the Adams State Normal School.

Today, Adams State University has an enrollment of 3,701 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. To learn about the programs offered at ASU see their Academic Catalog. To learn more about the school's plans for the future, see their 2020 Strategic Plan. Search our library's online catalog for more documents from Adams State University and the former Adams State College, including budgets, audit reports, financial accountability plans, self-study reports, trustee manuals, presidents' reports, promotional materials, master plans, and more. We also have some interesting historical documents produced by the school, such as a 1980 report on migrant farmworker youth and a 1974 model for San Luis Valley community development.


Colorado Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases

Each year the Colorado Supreme Court's Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee issues an updated instruction book for juries on criminal cases. This highly detailed document includes laws and information on the jury selection process and information specific to each different crime category, from homicide to traffic offenses and everything in between. The instructions also include comments with legal references, cross references, and relevant case law citations. This guide is an essential resource for judges, attorneys (both prosecution and defense), and other courtroom personnel. Defendants and jury members may also find it helpful in clarifying certain legal matters. You can view the Colorado Jury Instructions - Criminal guide online from our library. 


1918 Influenza

CaƱon City High School students don masks during the 1918-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy History Colorado.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the great Spanish influenza pandemic that claimed the lives of an estimated 50 million people worldwide -- more people than died in combat in both World Wars combined. I have several relatives who died of the 1918 flu, and you probably do, too.

Despite the name, the influenza didn't start in Spain, but rather began its deadly spread very near Colorado, on the farms of Kansas near the Kansas-Oklahoma-Colorado border. Scientists and historians believe that the influenza originated from swine in the hog farms of Kansas. The hogs may have picked up the flu from migrating birds, according to researchers at the Smithsonian. The bird flu wasn't spreadable to humans, but when it infected the hogs it changed enough genetically that it was able to spread to people.

Given the deadly flu's origins so close to the Colorado border, our state was hit hard. The first Colorado cases were reported in September. Then, several thousand Coloradans died of the flu in just the three months between October and December of 1918, according to an essay by Stephen Leonard in the 1989 edition of Essays and Monographs in Colorado History, which you can check out from our library. In total, over 49,000 Coloradans, out of a total state population of 906,000, became infected with the flu.

Some of Colorado's first cases of the 1918 flu were at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which set up quarantines in fraternity houses. You can read about the University of Colorado Medical School's response to the pandemic in The University of Colorado School of Medicine: A Centennial History, available for checkout from our library. Other Colorado cases spread through the army camps and among civilians who had traveled outside the state to locations where the flu was widespread. Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and other cities ordered schools, churches, theaters, and other public gathering places to close temporarily, and many outdoor public gatherings were banned. Even some trains required all passengers to wear masks. One Coloradan who nearly died of the flu was Katherine Anne Porter, a Rocky Mountain News columnist. She would go on to write Pale Horse, Pale Rider, arguably the most famous novel written about the Spanish flu.

The flu spread so quickly and so widely around the world in large part because of the Great War. American soldiers brought it to Europe, where, it is believed, the strain may have mutated. Then, when the war ended, the soldiers brought the mutated strain back to America. Estimates for the numbers of persons infected and killed by the Spanish influenza are difficult to determine because for many sufferers, if the flu itself didn't kill them, it turned into pneumonia. Therefore many death certificates list pneumonia as cause of death when in actuality the pneumonia was brought on by the flu. Estimates suggest, however, that the pandemic caused the death of at least 8,000 Coloradans, over 675,000 people across America, and 20 to 50 million worldwide. The 1918 flu remains one of the deadliest disease outbreaks in recorded history.



Cultivating Colorado: A New Magazine on Colorado Agriculture

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has debuted a new magazine all about Colorado farmers. Cultivating Colorado profiles Colorado producers, their crops and livestock, and their contributions to the Colorado economy. The 2018 issue, for instance, includes articles on Colorado dairy farms; high-tech gadgets for farms; horse therapy; Colorado's "liquid arts;" brand inspection; Colorado products known nationally; and the story of one nursery business that has been in the same family for four generations. In the magazine you'll also find recipes, charts for what's in season, and more. Read it online from our library, or check out a print copy from us.


Baseball in Colorado

A new exhibit at the History Colorado museum, Play Ball!, brings in some amazing artifacts to tell the story of the nation's pastime. In conjunction with the exhibit, the two most recent issues of History Colorado's Colorado Heritage magazine include numerous articles on the history of Colorado baseball.

http://www.cde.state.co.us/Scripts/SPDirect.asp?SPF=http://www.cde.state.co.us/artemis/hedserials/hed615internet/hed6152018summerinternet.pdfThe Spring 2018 issue looks at how major league baseball came to Denver, as well as a story of how a softball league helped one rural town through the struggles of the Great Depression.  The brand-new Summer 2018 issue includes a fun article with historic photographs and stories of early Colorado amateur baseball teams. Another article explores how the museum collected baseball-related artifacts. There's also an article about girls' baseball teams.

If you're interested in the history of baseball in our state, be sure to also see They Came to Play: A Photographic History of Colorado Baseball, available for checkout from our library or on Prospector.


Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Attorney General

A.J. Sampson, Colorado's first state Attorney General.
The Attorney General of Colorado is an elected official tasked with "represent[ing] and defend[ing] the legal interests of the people of Colorado and its sovereignty." The Attorney General's Office -- comprised of the elected Attorney General and the state's Department of Law -- serves as legal counsel for state government and also focuses on issues of consumer/public safety and representing the state's interest before the federal government.

Since Colorado became a state, thirty-eight people have served as Colorado's Attorney General, beginning with A.J. Sampson in 1877. Two Colorado Attorneys General, Gale Norton and Ken Salazar, have served as United States Secretary of the Interior.* Several others have served in Congress. One third of them served in the State Legislature. The office has been held by twenty-three Republicans, twelve Democrats, one Populist, and two elected on the "fusion ticket" of the 1890s -- a mix of votes from members of the Populist, Democrat, and Silver Republican parties.

The activities, cases, and opinions of the state Attorney General have been recorded in the office's Biennial Report. The full run of the reports from 1877 through 1966 can be viewed digitally from our library, along with more recent reports from the past decade. You can also learn more about Colorado's Attorneys General in The People's Lawyer: The History of the Colorado Attorney General's Office, published in 2007 by Attorney General John Suthers and his staff. The book examines each Attorney General in detail. You can also find short bios and photos on the History of Colorado's Attorneys General webpage from the Department of Law.

*Six Secretaries of the Interior have been appointed from Colorado: Henry M. Teller, 1882-1885, under President Arthur; Hubert Work, 1923-1928, under Presidents Harding and Coolidge; Oscar Chapman, 1949-1953, under President Truman; James G. Watt, 1981-1983, under President Reagan; Norton, 2001-2006, under President George W. Bush; and Salazar, 2009-2013, under President Obama.


New Resource for HOA Information

Colorado has 8,006 registered homeowners associations. Is your home - or a home you're thinking of buying - part of an HOA?

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has just debuted a new website dedicated to consumer information on HOAs. Part of their Take 5 to Get Wise consumer websites, the new HOA Information and Resource Center provides numerous resources such as a "before you purchase" feature; FAQs and resources for HOA boards; information on state and federal laws; reports and educational publications; how to register an HOA; and a calendar of events where you can find forums, classes, and other events relating to HOAs.  You can also sign up for a newsletter that has helpful tips for homeowners in HOAs.

For more information about the HOA Information and Resource Center, view their annual report, which is available online from our library back to 2011.


Planning for College

It's that time of year...back to school time, and time for college-bound high school students to choose classes that will help them toward their college goals.  The Colorado Department of Higher Education's College in Colorado website has planning tools for high school students that can help them plan their high school experience with their future goals in mind. The site offers a timeline for what kinds of classes to take each year of high school, along with information on SATs, the college admissions process, and tips for succeeding in high school. There's even a way to connect with peers and learn about their experiences.

College in Colorado isn't just for high school students. There's also information for current college students on financial aid, career planning, resume and interview tips, and more. And, adults looking to go back to school will also find much helpful information in College in Colorado. The site's workforce/adult page is a helpful tool for adults who are looking for a career change. Here you can take a variety of interactive quizzes, profilers, and assessments to help you find the career that is right for you...and what skills you already have that might be transferable.

So whatever your age, if higher education is in your future, check out this helpful website.


It's National Farmers Market Week!

This is the time of year for fresh produce, and Colorado has many local farmers markets that sell quality, organic fruits and vegetables, along with a variety of other homemade items such as honey. To find a farmers market near you, check out the 2018 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Never been to a farmer's market? See the Colorado State University Extension's publication Shopping at Colorado Farmers' Markets to learn what to expect.

If you're a vendor, see Tips for Farmers Market Vendors and Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors. Our library has a variety of other publications of interest so be sure to search our web catalog.


Community Corrections in Colorado

Felonies for controlled substances and assault increased in 2017 over the previous year, while theft and forgery were slightly down, according to the 2017 annual report of the Office of Community Corrections, which was released last week. A part of the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS), the Office of Community Corrections works to "enhance public safety by working to improve the supervision and rehabilitation of offenders assigned to community corrections across Colorado." Community corrections refers to parole, probation, behavioral health, etc. The annual report offers statistics on offender types, demographics, treatment, escapes and violations, employment, length of stay, criminal history, discharges, child support, and much more. You can find the annual reports going back to 2000 available online from our library.

CDPS also recently released a new research and statistical report, Community Corrections in Colorado: Program Outcomes and Recidivism. The also recently updated their Community Corrections Standards. Other community corrections reports available from our library include:
For additional resources visit our web catalog.


Exotic and Prohibited Wildlife in Colorado

Coloradans love their pets, there's no doubt about that. But did you know that there are some animals that Colorado law prohibits keeping as pets? Wildlife species (unless in the care of a licensed rehabilitation center) cannot be kept in homes or as pets. Wildlife are a "public resource" so cannot be owned by individuals, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), and it's for the animal's own good. Wild animals just aren't wired for domestic living like dogs, cats, and other common pets. Wildlife can carry disease, and they can become frightened, destructive, and even harmful to humans. It is best to leave wildlife in the wild, where they know by instinct how to survive. Even baby animals that appear cuddly can be problematic.

The State of Colorado also prohibits ownership of some exotic species. Monkeys and other primates, exotic pigs, certain kinds of frogs, exotic bovids such as wildebeest and ruminants like oryx, for example, are illegal to possess in Colorado. The reasons certain species are prohibited varies; some are due to the threat of the spread of disease, while others can have damaging effects on native habitat and wildlife populations. American bullfrogs, for example, are not native to Colorado but somebody brought them here and, whether through escaping or being released into the wild, the frogs a have since become significant predators to Colorado's native leopard frog. Piranhas are another species that have been brought to Colorado and let loose, causing problems for native fish species. See this information from CPW on why you should never turn a pet or lab animal loose.

For a list of prohibited pets and wildlife in Colorado, as well as more information on why wild animals should stay wild, see the CPW's Exotic Pets and Prohibited Wildlife brochure and visit their "Don't Domesticate" webpage. Here you can also find information about why you shouldn't feed wildlife or try to assist an injured animal in your home. Rehabilitation facilities exist for this purpose. They and other similar entities can find information on obtaining special licenses by clicking on this link. Finally, animal import requirements can be found on the Colorado Department of Agriculture's website.

Photos courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

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