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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