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July 2018 - Posts
On July 7th, 2018 at approximately 4:08 a.m., Aurora Police District 3 Officers and Aurora Fire Rescue responded to the 2900 block of South Ceylon Way regarding a report of a car that crashed into a tree.  An adult driver of the vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene and an adult female passenger was transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Alcohol and speed are being investigated as possible factors in this collision.

At this time, the identities of the involved parties are not being released.  The Aurora Police Traffic Section is conducting this investigation.

Officer Kevin Deichsel
Aurora Police Traffic Section
303-739-6373

Posted by kdeichse@auroragov.org  On Jul 08, 2018 at 3:51 PM
  
Residents of Aurora are invited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Night Out with the Aurora Police Department and the rest of the country on Tuesday, August the 7th. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The goal of the campaign is to make Aurora a safer place.

The Police Area Representative Team for District 2, which serves northeast Aurora has announced the District's plans for the evening. There will be a series of parties at several locations throughout the District and a caravan of Officers and vehicles will visit each location.

National Night Out party locations:


Landon Park Apartments, 100 S. Sable Blvd.
APD will be visiting from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Town Center of Aurora, 14200 E. Alameda Ave.
APD will be visiting from 5:05 p.m. to 5:35 p.m.

The Preserve at City Center, 1098 S. Evanston Way.
APD will be visiting from 5:40 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.

Highland Point Apartments, 16893 E Arkansas Ave.
APD will be visiting from 6:15 p.m. to 6:35 p.m.

Murphy Creek, 23945 E Florida Ave.
APD will be on scene from 6:45 p.m. to 7:10 p.m.


Download an event flyer.

Officer Kenneth Forrest
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by kforrest@auroragov.org  On Jul 20, 2018 at 7:40 AM
  
Residents of Aurora are invited to celebrate National Night Out with the Aurora Police Department and the rest of the country on Tuesday, August the 7th. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The goal of the campaign is to make Aurora a safer place.

The Police Area Representative Teams for District 1, which serves West Aurora (areas west of I-225)  will be hosting two community gatherings to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Night Out.

North Event
Moorehead Recreation Center, 2390 Havana St.
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

South Event
Utah Park, 1800 S. Peoria St.
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Download an event flyer.

Officer Kenneth Forrest
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by kforrest@auroragov.org  On Jul 19, 2018 at 12:05 PM
  

Residents of Aurora are invited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of National Night Out with the Aurora Police Department and the rest of the country on Tuesday, August the 7th. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. The goal of the campaign is to make Aurora safer place.

The Police Area Representative Team for District 3, which serves the Southeast area of Aurora has announced the District's plans for the evening. A caravan of police officers and department vehicles will be traveling to and visiting National Night Out events throughout the District. Below is a list of their scheduled stops.

Stop #1
Mission Viejo Park
3999 S. Mission Parkway
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Stop #2

Eastern Hills Community Church
25511 E. Smoky Hill Road
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information call 303.627.3172

Download an event flyer.

Officer Kenneth Forrest
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095

Posted by kforrest@auroragov.org  On Jul 13, 2018 at 5:50 PM
  

emojis surrounding blog title post

Post by Sara V.H.

It's World Emoji Day! party popper

When words just aren't enough, emojis are there to help you really say what you mean!
World Emoji Day is celebrated each year on July 17 because that is the date shown in the calendar emoji. 

calendar of July 17






To celebrate World Emoji Day, let's play a game of "Guess that Book: Emoji Style!" Guess the titles below portrayed by emojis (scroll to the bottom of the post for answers). Leave a comment with how many you were able to accurately guess!

Ready...go!

emojis depicting book covers

 




























































The answers are below...







Answers:
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2. Dragons Love Tacos
3. Turtles All the Way Down
4. Holes
5. Grapes of Wrath
6. Water for Elephants
7. The Scarlet Letter
8. War and Peace
9. Frankenstein 
10. Twilight
11. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish 
12. The Secret Garden
13. The Time Travelers Wife
14. A Tale of Two Cities
15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Thanks for playing! Please comment with how many you got correct and which one was the hardest.

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Jul 17, 2018 at 9:39 AM
  

Smartphone with the Instagram logo

 Post by Tessy W. 

Social Media and the Poet

As an introduction, I'll begin with a few disclaimers.

I don't read a lot of poetry. Other than a short phase in high school, dreaming of literary stardom as I scribbled profound thoughts in a rainbow colored notebook, I haven't had much to do with poetry. Even then, I did little but read a Frost poem or two, and thought myself risqué for buying a pocket-sized Arthur Rimbaud.

Additionally, I'll also note that I'm an odd millennial. Don't get me wrong, I have the trappings of your average millennial; Snapchat filters are necessary for everything, and I communicate almost exclusively via text.

But I'm not big on social media. Send me a wave on Facebook Messenger, and I probably won't see it for two months. I haven't checked my Instagram account in half a year, and I was never on Twitter to begin with.

Thus, this conversational gem:
"Have you seen the latest Rupi Kaur?"
"Umm... I don't think so?" I had no reference point to place the name, but had a vague notion that I'd heard of her before.
A phone was thrust into my face.
"On Instagram.... you know, the Instapoets?"

Having only just heard the term, I was confused. My friend sighed, already well-acquainted with my flaws, and the conversation moved on.

But I was intrigued. I'd vaguely heard of Rupi Kaur, later learning that she is a giant among this new generation of poets. The poem I had been shown was succinct and lovely; so, I decided to investigate.

Poem with illustration from Instagram

rupikaur_. Poem. Instagram, 25, Feb. 2018, www.instagram.com/p/BfoOHhYAQTt/?hl=en&taken-by=rupikaur_.

Instapoets present their poetry, often in stylized font and sometimes with illustrative imagery, on various forms of social media (including Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), with an emphasis on Instagram. The result: clips of thought presented with instant shareability.

These poets are labelled "Instapoets" like they're frivolous. It’s a result of their medium.

Thoughts and ideas shared on social media hold less gravitas apparently. On occasion, this is a justified stereotype. Using technology can make us truly thoughtless.

It's easy to say something stupid when you share your first, and sometimes second thought, without ever pausing to reflect. Or if you parse that semi-serious thought with a meme.

However, the immediate sneering dismissal of Instapoets and their social media kin isn't often inspired by a well-reasoned, multi-point critique of the impact of technology on modern lifestyles. Instead, social media is paralleled with the younger generation it emerged with, and when are Millennials ever seen as anything but thoughtless?

A snowflake generation producing snowflake poetry.

However, as a non-poetry reader, I was impressed by Rupi Kaur and her fellow Instapoets.

Their poetry is heavy; the type of snow with weight. Flipping through "The Princess Saves Herself in This One" by Amanda Lovelace, I was smacked in the face by parental abuse, death, bad relationships, and an ever-present fantastical sheen that charmed the fantasy-reader within me. She cast herself as the hero that could overcome those pesky plot barriers that we call life. Emotions at the forefront, candid.

These poems are often as fast-paced as the modern society they're spawned from. The bold words and images, burned into your mind like afterimages. Pausing between the meetings and the endless string of e-mails, you remember the clipped stanzas that stole your breath, the imagery still blooming with color.

And by no means do these poets limit themselves to social media; if anything, their Instagram accounts are savvy marketing tools. Rupi Kaur sold over a million copies of her first book, Milk and Honey.1 R.H. Sin, with over a million followers and the second bestselling poet of 2017 (Kaur was the first)2, is nearly as popular with his characteristic fourth-wave feminism.
Wandering the poetry section of the library, I can pull a handful of slim volumes off of the shelf. Is there a difference between the poet and the Instapoet?

A mottled cover like sparks of flame, Wild Embers by Nikita Gill drew me in with a powerful reimagining of Grecian goddesses. Hera locking the door on Zeus, and learning to sleep by herself. Persephone exalting in her throne of fire. Gill has almost half a million followers on Instagram - a demigoddess in her own right.

Next, a slender green volume titled, Nature Poem by Tommy Pico. I flipped between poems randomly, forwards, backwards, and then back to the start; all the way through. Sharp and absorbing, with a solemnness like the overcast skies on his cover. You can find him on Instagram, but mostly for the common usage of filtered shots and life-moments, not specifically for his poetry.
Instagram is a modern day method of expression. If it encourages people to read poetry, everyone benefits. A line of verse on Instagram could spark a passion for words just as easily as a book.

Investigation thus completed, I settled on an easy conclusion. Poetry makes the poet, not the medium.

1. Maher, J. (2018). Can Instagram Make Poems Sell Again?. [online] Publishersweekly.com. Available at: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/75976-can-instagram-make-poems-sell-again.html [Accessed 14 Jun. 2018].
1. April is National Poetry Month in bookstores – and on social media, too. NPD Group. https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2018/instapoets-rekindling-u-s--poetry-book-sales--the-npd-group-says/. Published April 5, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2018.

 

Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Jul 26, 2018 at 11:23 AM
  

Plastic dinosaurs on a yellow background

Post by Steven K.

If you’ve been following events at Aurora Public Library this summer, you definitely know that libraries rock. Maybe you attended the classical piano concert with Ammiel Bushakevitz at Central, or the John Williams and American Film Music program at Mission Viejo, or one of the many Libraries Rock programs with Bradley Weaver. Whatever your fancy, this year’s Summer Learning Program has been a wild, musical success. (If you’ve missed all this, don’t fret! There’s still time to check out more of our musically-themed programs through the end of July. Visit our Programs and Events page for more details.)

But maybe music isn’t really your thing. (Hard for a musicophile to imagine, I know, but it’s totally a thing.) Or maybe you’re just looking for a change of pace, or a reprieve from the constant audio-bombardment from advertisers and disc jockeys and people who blast music from their smartphones sans headphones.

If so, another way to engage with our Summer Learning Program is to come to Central and check out our rocks! For while it’s true that libraries rock, rocks also rock, and our library’s rocks especially rock.

First, let me apologize for that. Second, allow me to explain.

There’s no denying that rocks have an image problem. They’re literally the most common thing on the planet. They’re used as a metaphor for stupidity. Breaking rocks was once a common form of punishment. And I mean, really, they just let people walk all over them. (Again, apologies.)

Sure, rocks might seem dull at first, but once you get to know them a little they can be positively fascinating. Layers of sandstone and limestone might not grab your interest at first, but let a river cut its way through them over several million years and you get the vast beauty of the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably watched the news and seen rocks being born before your very eyes on the island of Hawaii. Climbed one of Colorado’s 58 fourteeners lately? Imagine what the view would look like when the Rockies were new to the continent and twice as tall are they are today.

Canyons, volcanoes, and mountain ranges are all breathtakingly sublime. Sadly, we can’t fit these in our library—but we can fit something just as wondrous, albeit on a much smaller scale. Many somethings, actually, things that used to be very much alive but are now very much dead and have had all their living tissues completely replaced with rock. Yes, you’ve guessed it: we have fossils!

More specifically, we’ve got trilobites—and they are some of the coolest animals to have ever graced planet Earth. So what, exactly, are they? To put it plainly, they’re very ancient sea bugs. But they’re also so much more than that.

For starters, here’s what one looks like:

Trilobite fossil

 

You might recognize them from high school earth science textbooks or from a trip to your local natural history museum. In fact, they’re one of the easiest fossils to identify, thanks largely to their anatomical namesake. The word “trilobite” is deceptively simple; it just means “three lobes” and these lobes are easy to spot on a fossil. There’s a raised lobe in the middle (the “axial” lobe) and two other lobes to the left and right (the “pleural” lobes). Coincidentally, trilobites also have three main body sections: head (“cephalon”), body (“thorax”), and tail (“pygidium,” which is just stupid fancy Latin for “rump”). Depending on the species—and also on how well- preserved the fossil is—trilobites will have various forms of eyes, legs, antennae, and spiky spines (that were probably used for defense but could have served other purposes as well).

trilobite with anatomy highlighted














But to me, one of the most amazing facts about trilobites is how ancient they are. The oldest 
specimens paleontologists have found (so far) date back to the early Cambrian period, over 540 million years ago (Fortey, 2000). That’s almost incomprehensibly old. Just stupid old. 

Imagine that you could walk back through geological time, with each step you take accounting for one year of history. To get back to the Middle Ages and chill in a castle, you’d need to walk about 3 city blocks. Watching the pyramids being built would cost you 2 miles; seeing the end of our latest ice age would be 5 miles; meeting your first fully-modern human ancestor would be a punishing 88-mile trek. But to get back to the Cambrian and swim with the trilobites, you would literally need to walk to the moon—all 240,000 miles of it. They’re that old.

Our trilobites aren’t quite that old, but they’re still ancient. Based on the identifying characteristics of the species we’ve got, they’re probably about 400 million years old—about three-quarters of the way to the moon in our thought experiment—which places them in the middle of the Devonian period (Gon III, 2009). (Take this with a grain of salt, though. I’m not a paleontologist—I’m just a nerd.) They’re also probably from Morocco, which today is a serious hub for trilobite fossil hunters. But 400 million years ago, what’s now Morocco would have been unrecognizable, because at that time it would’ve been in the Southern Hemisphere and covered by a shallow sea—which was good for our trilobites, since they were exclusively marine animals. It’s also good for us, because seafloor conditions are great for making fossils. Well, relatively speaking.

In reality, fossilization is tricky business. As Bill Bryson puts it in his delightfully accessible "A Short History of Nearly Everything"(2005): “It isn’t easy to become a fossil. The fate of nearly all living organisms—over 99.9 percent of them—is to compost down to nothingness. [...] Even if you make it into the small pool of organisms, the less than 0.1 percent, that don’t get devoured, the chances of being fossilized are very small” (p. 403). Scavengers, microbes, oxygen, and exposure are generally unforgiving to the recently deceased. The key to successful fossilization, then, is quick burial, which prevents things from nibbling away at them long enough for minerals to slowly replace all the once-living tissue. And as it turns out, quick burial is more common on the seafloor, on account of falling sediment, changing tides, churning currents, storms, mudslides, and the like. Had trilobites been land-dwelling creatures we might not have known much about them at all.

But there’s something else about trilobites that makes them the “old reliables” of the fossil record. Unlike many of their contemporaries, trilobites’ shells were infused with calcite—the same hard mineral present in clam shells and limestone. Even their eyes were made of calcite, in a crystalline form that made them some of the first animals to see complex images. In life, these rocky shields protected them from predators; in death, they staved off decomposition and, through the eons, preserved an amazingly rich fossil record for us to study.

And how very rich it is! Paleontologists have identified and cataloged about 20,000 distinct species of trilobite belonging to 10 fantastic orders. The smallest species could be as small as a millimeter long, while the biggest could grow to over 2 feet long. (Most were 1-3 inches long, though, including those we have in our small-but-charming collection.) They were also tremendously successful animals, in terms of evolutionary success and global distribution.

Collectively, they scuttled about our oceans for 300 million years—that’s twice as long as the dinosaurs ruled the earth—and their remains can be found on literally every continent on earth, even Antarctica. They were at last defeated 250 million years ago by the Permian Extinction, the so-called “Great Dying” that wiped out 95% of marine life. Since then, no trilobite has crawled along the seafloor or looked through their remarkable crystal eyes.

They may be long gone, but thanks to trilobite fanatics around the world they’re certainly not forgotten. If I’ve piqued your interest and you want to see what all the fuss is about, come visit us at APL Central in July! You’ll find our trilobites on the lower level near the 750s in the nonfiction stacks. Also, if you’d like to learn more about our ancient friends or more about prehistory in general, come visit me at the Reference Desk and I’ll be happy to indulge you.

Don’t take this opportunity for granite! (That’s the last one, I promise.)

References:

Bryson, Bill. (2005). A short history of nearly everything: Special illustrated edition. New York,
NY: Broadway. Pp. 403-417.

Fenton, Carroll Lane and Fenton, Mildred Adams. (1989). The fossil book. New York, NY:
Doubleday. Pp. 192-212.

Fortey, Richard. (2000). Trilobite! New York, NY: Knopf.
Gon III, Samuel M. (2009). “A Pictorial Guide to the Orders of Trilobites.” Retrieved from
http://www.ps-19.org/Crea11Phyla/References/TrilobitePictorialGuide2009.pdf.


Posted by zsmith@auroragov.org  On Jul 20, 2018 at 10:04 AM
  
On July 30th, 2018 at approximately 3:52 p.m., Aurora Officers from District Two and the Aurora Traffic Section responded to East 48th Avenue and North Imboden Road on a serious accident involving a motorcycle and a truck. Adams County Deputies arrived on scene and immediately began CPR on the motorcyclist. Emergency rescue personnel also arrived and the motorcyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The investigation revealed that the motorcycle was westbound on East 48th Avenue and stopped at the stop sign to go southbound on North Imboden Road. The motorcyclist attempted the turn to southbound North Imboden Road and pulled into the path of a northbound truck pulling a trailer.

The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor for either the motorcyclist or the driver of the truck. Speed is also not considered a factor based on witness statements. The driver of the truck is cooperating with the investigation which is still active.

This will be the 18th accident related fatality in Aurora this year.

Any further questions can be directed to:

Sergeant Mike Douglass
Aurora Police Traffic Section
303-739-6293

Posted by mdouglas@auroragov.org  On Jul 31, 2018 at 8:05 AM
  
On July 30th, 2018 at approximately 8:58 p.m., Aurora Officers from District Three and the Traffic Section responded to a serious collision involving a motorcycle and an SUV at East Iliff Avenue and South Kittredge Street. The motorcyclist was transported to a local hospital and was later pronounced deceased.

According to witnesses, the motorcyclist was traveling at a high rate of speed with another motorcycle, when it struck the side of an SUV that was attempting to make a legal turn at the intersection. The driver of the SUV remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

The details of the collision are still under investigation and there are no immediate indications that alcohol are a factor. The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet.

This is the 19th vehicular related fatality in 2018 and the second motorcycle fatality of the day.

If you witnessed the collision, please contact:

Sergeant Mike Douglass
Aurora Police Traffic Section
303-739-6293
Posted by mdouglas@auroragov.org  On Jul 30, 2018 at 11:26 PM
  
On June 18, 2017, an Aurora Police Department Lieutenant, Charles DeShazer, made a highly inappropriate and racially inflammatory comment while on the scene of a Denver Police Department officer involved shooting following a police pursuit. The offensive statement was caught on the body worn camera of another officer, and was reported internally by two APD supervisors who were also at the scene and heard the comment. An internal affairs investigation was immediately initiated. Following the investigation, I terminated Lt. DeShazer on September 1, 2017.

Pursuant to rights provided by the City Charter, Lt. DeShazer appealed his termination to the Civil Service Commission. The Commission held a hearing on June 19 - 20, 2018. It issued an order on June 29, 2018, agreeing with me on the policy violation and the need for “substantial discipline.” However, the Commission reduced the termination to a demotion from lieutenant to sergeant and denied any payment of back pay for the ten months Sgt. DeShazer was out of work.

The Department is in the process of returning Sgt. DeShazer back to work. He will first be assigned to the APD Academy to ensure he is in compliance with all POST certification requirements. His final assignment has yet to be determined. It is within my authority to set his assignment. I can assure the community that Sgt. DeShazer will not be in a supervisory or citizen-facing role.

The racially insensitive comment made by Sgt. DeShazer is in direct contradiction to the values of the Aurora Police Department. We hold ourselves to the highest standards, and when one of our officers fall short, we strive to take immediate and necessary action to ensure they are held accountable.

In making its decision, the Commission considered three other “comparable” cases. Although not noted in the Commission’s Order, two of these cases were decisions of prior chiefs and may have had a different outcome if I had issued the discipline. The one comparable case relied on by the Commission where I issued the discipline was notably different in that I found the statement in that case to not be racially motivated, and the officer involved promptly and genuinely apologized for his actions.

Every day, the women and men of the Aurora Police Department work diligently to maintain strong cooperative partnerships that are built on trust and respect within our diverse community. They interact with the public thousands of times a year, with the overwhelming majority of these contacts occurring without incident or problem. They put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of the community. Inappropriate and racially offensive incidents happen infrequently, but are nonetheless of great concern to the Department and to me. I am committed to investigating these incidents when complaints are made, either internally or externally, and taking swift and decisive action when appropriate to hold officers accountable.

The Department will continue to work on its mission To Make Aurora Safer Every Day and will continue to provide the highest level of service to all residents, enforce local laws and foster a strong relationship with the community.

Contact:
Sergeant Chris Neiman
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
(720) 432-5095

Posted by cneiman@auroragov.org  On Jul 10, 2018 at 7:18 PM
  
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