By Deb Smith
Raise your hand if you’re sure!
Centennial citizens got the chance to welcome their city’s newest code enforcement officer to duty. Officer David R. Campos took the oath of office and was sworn in by Judge Grafton Biddle at the May 16 city council meeting. Witnesses included Centennial Mayor Randy Pye, members of city council and approximately 50 citizens.
Centennial plans to fight the bite
While the warm weather brings with it visions of sunny skies and backyard barbeques, it also brings with it the threat of West Nile, a viral disease that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While the Tri-County Health Department suggests the 2005 season may not be as severe as 2003, it definitely won’t be as good as 2004.
Mosquito season in Colorado starts in the spring and ends in mid-September. West Nile virus can be carried substantial distances by infected birds and then spread locally by mosquitoes that bite these birds. Infected mosquitoes can then bite and pass the virus to humans and animals, primarily birds and horses. There is a vaccine for horses, but none for humans. House pets don’t spread the illness.
While there were no cases in Arapahoe County in 2004, because of the cool, rainy summer, mosquito control expert John Newhouse will be trapping mosquitoes around the Centennial area through October to monitor populations of the Culex mosquito. He’ll also be monitoring and “larviciding” as necessary in close to 72 standing water sites located around the city.
Larviciding entails dropping environmentally-friendly pellets or briquettes containing mosquito growth hormones that limit the development of mosquitoes in the aquatic stage. As an added measure, Centennial is renewing its contract this year with Colorado Mosquito Control, should the mosquito population grow substantially, requiring adulticide.
Adulticiding consists of spraying the atmosphere with a low toxicity pesticide after dark when mosquitoes are most active and feed. Should that become necessary, affected neighborhoods will be amply warned beforehand.
Health departments across the state are closely monitoring human and horse illnesses and tracking the virus by testing dead birds and trapping mosquitoes.
All residents of areas where West Nile virus activity has been confirmed could be at risk, but people over age 50 seem to be especially vulnerable to the severe forms of disease. In rare cases, it can be fatal. More severe infections may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness or convulsions. Persons with these symptoms need to seek medical attention immediately.
Even in areas where the virus is circulating, very few mosquitoes are infected and most are simply a nuisance, but not a health threat. Even if a mosquito is infected, the chances a person will become severely ill from any single mosquito bite are extremely small.
Precautionary methods include staying indoors at dawn and dusk when bugs are most active; wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors; applying insect repellent that contains DEET; installing or repairing window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out; and eliminating standing water to prevent mosquito-breeding areas.
Tips and more information can be found at www.fightthebitecolorado.com or by calling 877-462-2911 (toll-free helpline).
Liquor tastings approved in Centennial
The Centennial City Council has approved an ordinance allowing retail liquor stores to conduct liquor tasting events for patrons. The ordinance implements a law enacted by the state legislature in 2004 that allows municipalities to authorize liquor tastings in their communities.
These events are becoming common in the Denver metropolitan area, as a number of other communities have enacted their own tastings ordinances. The Centennial ordinance will allow local liquor stores the choice to conduct such tastings and thus remain competitive with liquor stores in neighboring communities.
Centennial liquor stores wishing to conduct liquor tastings will be required to apply with the city for a permit to do so. The Centennial ordinance limits the number of tastings at each liquor store to 50 days per year, and requires these events to be held between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., on not more than four days in any week. Retailers applying to hold these events will be required to complete a server training program that is certified by the state Liquor Enforcement Division.
There are 16 retail liquor stores in Centennial.
The Centennial City Council holds its regular meetings, at which public comment is heard, on the first and third Mondays at 7:00 p.m., at the city offices, 12503 E. Euclid Drive, Suite 200. For more information, visit [http://www.centennialcolorado.com] or call (303) 734-4567.