West Nile Virus confirmed
Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) has confirmed the first case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Colorado for the 2011 season. A 47-year-old Longmont woman reported that she first became ill on July 4.
She developed a severe headache, body aches and extreme fatigue. She was not hospitalized, and her symptoms have since improved.
“I hope this will remind people that although we don’t hear as much about West Nile virus as we used to, it’s still a risk,” said Murielle Romine, BCPH Communicable Disease Control program coordinator. “I cannot emphasize enough that we all still need to take steps to protect ourselves and our families.”
WNV is a disease that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While most infections are mild, the more serious infections can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and/or meningitis (inflammation of the brain’s lining), loss of vision, paralysis, coma, tremors, convulsions and death. Symptoms of WNV include fever, extreme fatigue, headache, body aches, and occasionally can also include skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes. Generally, symptoms appear three to 14 days after being bitten by a mosquito. People who experience these symptoms should consult with their doctors or local community health clinics. There is no treatment, cure or vaccination for WNV. Health care providers can only treat the symptoms to help patients feel better and possibly recover more quickly.
Public health officials urge residents to take action to protect themselves by following all of the four Ds: 1. Use DEET-enhanced insect repellant or an approved alternative. 2. Dress in long sleeves and pants. 3. Dusk to dawn, avoid the outdoors. 4. Drain standing water outside the home.
For more information about WNV, please visit the BCPH website at www. BoulderCountyMosquito.net.
Lane closed on S. Boulder Road
Due to road damage, one lane of South Boulder Road remains closed in both directions from South 68th Street to Barcelona Drive, just west of 76th Street. The lane closures are expected to last for several days and will cause traffic congestion.
County officials advise motorists and cyclists to take alternate routes if possible and to exercise extra caution if they travel through the area.
The damage was caused by upward heaving of the large concrete panels that make up the road. An assessment is underway to determine what caused the heaving.
Police seek witness in rape case
Boulder police believe there may be a witness to the sexual assault of an 18-year-old female that occurred around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 16. The victim was walking alone along the 28th Street Frontage Road north of Baseline, when she was allegedly grabbed from behind and then sexually assaulted.
The victim believes a male walking by might have heard or seen part of the incident. The witness is described as a blonde, white male in his 20s. He was wearing a dark-colored T-shirt with some type of white graphics and gray sweatpants. He made a comment as he passed by. Police believe the witness may not have known or understood that a sexual assault was taking place.
Detectives would like to talk to this witness and are asking him to come forward. The witness, and anyone who may have information about this crime, is asked to contact Detective Brian Scott at 303-441-3381. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800- 444-3776. Tips can also be submitted via the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.
Businesses designated ‘bike friendly’
Community Cycles and GO Boulder recently named nine Boulder businesses “bike friendly,” bringing the number of “bike friendly” designated businesses in Boulder to 48 since the program began in January.
The Boulder Bike Friendly Business program was developed by Community Cycles with support from GO Boulder. Both organizations share a desire to increase the viability of bicycle commuting and hope the program encourages more businesses to accommodate riders with amenities like parking,
changing facilities, and a bike-friendly business culture. To receive the designation, business owners fill out a survey ranking their commitment to making biking a viable option for customers and employees. Respondents answer questions about bike amenities they offer, community involvement and company programs and company policies related to biking. Businesses are ranked Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze based on their score out of 100.
The most recent group of honorees includes Eco-Cycle and Pivot Communication at Platinum; PreRace. com, Rally Software and NOAA Boulder at Gold; Walnut Café, Quick Left and Walnut Capital Management at Silver; and University Parent Media at Bronze. More than 40 other businesses have received bike-friendly distinctions since January.
“It’s encouraging to see the great response we’ve received to this program,” said Sue Prant, advocacy director at Community Cycles. “It goes to show just how much many local businesses care about supporting cycling culture.”
Those named bike-friendly receive a Boulder Bike Friendly Business sticker. Businesses are also featured on the Community Cycles and GO Boulder websites and e-newsletters.
WOW!, Lafayette Library team up
WOW! Children’s Museum and Lafayette Public Library announced on Friday, July 15, that they are forming a partnership to launch an innovative after-school and family-focused science and literacy educational effort titled LEAP into Science. Based in Lafayette, the two organizations form one of 10 partnerships nationwide selected to launch a program modeled after the highly successful LEAP into Science museum/library partnership between Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute and The Free Library of Philadelphia.
The national effort kicks off with a LEAP into Science Expansion Conference July 18-20 in Philadelphia, with educators from both organizations slated to attend. Museums, libraries, school districts, universities and a variety of other educational institutions from New York City to Salt Lake City have signed on, with a total of 25 representatives from these organizations gathering at The Franklin Institute to learn best practices as they design and launch their own programs.
After school programs are a growing feature of informal education throughout the country, and 31 sites vied for the opportunity to launch their own LEAP into Science partnership programs.
Volunteers sought for YardBusters
Boulder County CareConnect has launched YardBusters, a new service that provides yard work for seniors and adults with disabilities. CareConnect already has a FixIt service for indoor repairs. Now help will be available for minor outdoor repairs, as well as yard work.
“A recent countywide study showed that helping older adults stay in their homes requires assistance with maintaining yards and gardens, as well as leaky faucets and grab bars,” says Richard Varnes, executive director of CareConnect. “Our sense of living in a workable and safe home extends beyond the front door. A senior who can grow a modest garden and keep his or her home tidy and clear of fallsafety hazards will be safer and happier in that home.”
CareConnect is in need of volunteers to help with the new program.
Volunteer time is flexible and can include evenings and weekends. Although volunteers are especially needed who have and can transport their own lawn mowers (client lawns are generally small), volunteers of any ability are welcome — with or without yard maintenance tools.
The primary focus of the program is occasional yard maintenance and cleanup with an eye to safety and compliance with city ordinances.
Although volunteers won’t be providing regular lawn mowing services, YardBusters will help residents avoid citations for lawn and weed ordinance violations.
A high priority of the program is to reduce the risk of falls outside the home by removing potential safety hazards such as uneven pavers, branches and brush. Other volunteer tasks may include removing weeds, raking leaves, spring garden preparation, removal of small tree limbs and fall safety hazards.
Sign up to volunteer by calling Rebecca Yenney, YardBusters coordinator, at 303-443-1933 x 416, or visit www.careconnectbc.org.