Anti-fracking Froot Loops get reality check from judge, and more

By Max R. Weller

Read Judge tosses out Lafayette’s voter-approved fracking ban in the Daily Camera. Quoting from the report below:

A Boulder District Court judge on Wednesday issued a ruling tossing out the charter amendment passed by Lafayette voters in November banning fracking in that city.

Judge D. D. Mallard made the decision in a case brought by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association against the city of Lafayette.

“The Court finds the Charter Amendment banning drilling is invalid as preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Act,” Mallard ruled. “Accordingly, the Court grants summary judgment in favor of COGA and against the City of Lafayette.”

The decision in the Lafayette case follows on the heels of Mallard’s ruling July 24 that struck down a 2012 voter-approved fracking ban in Longmont. The Longmont City Council voted 7-0 in favor of appealing that ruling Tuesday night. The case will now proceed to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Additionally, earlier this month, Larimer District Judge Gregory Lammons upheld COGA’s request for summary judgment to dismiss a five-year fracking ban in Fort Collins.

A prepared statement Wednesday from Tisha Schuller, president of COGA, said: “For the third time in a month, a Colorado district judge has ruled that a local ban on fracking clearly violates state law. Today’s ruling was unequivocal, with Judge D.D. Mallard saying the operational conflict between the state’s robust framework of regulations and local bans is ‘obvious and patent on its face.’

“I couldn’t agree more, and I hope her ruling ends the activist effort to pass illegal bans against energy development. The Court clearly stated that ‘Lafayette does not have the authority, in a matter of mixed state and local concern, to negate the authority of the State. It does not have the authority to prohibit what the state authorizes and permits.'”

I’m always pleased to see the rule of law triumph over hysteria.

Also see Police seek witnesses after woman assaulted on Boulder Creek Path in the DC. Round up the usual suspects!

“Look, officer, if the b**** was on our turf she deserves to get punched in the head!”

E-mail your concerns about the transients to council@bouldercolorado.gov and brautigamj@bouldercolorado.gov — and demand that public safety be given priority over the care and feeding of bums from Denver and elsewhere!

Great double rainbow yesterday evening from around 6:40 until after 7PM, when I retired to my burrow in north Boulder:

10535764_10204851259069094_3628381879228754318_o

Facebook photo (view from Boulder Public Library at 1001 Arapahoe)

Survey: Americans’ pessimism on economy has grown from the Associated Press via the Denver Post shows that not everyone is drinking the Obama Kool-Aid these days:

Tonight at my campsite: cheese sandwiches and V-8 juice.

Prioritize shelter/services for Boulder County’s own homeless people

By Max R. Weller

First, let’s clear up a common misunderstanding. In fact, local, state, and federal government agencies ALL recognize a mailing address as legitimate. This includes the local election authority which registers one to vote, the state DMV which issues a driver’s license or photo ID, and the IRS which processes income tax returns and mails out tax refunds — among many, many others. It’s no different for a homeless Boulder County resident than it would be for a wealthy Boulderite who sells his home to go on a trip around the world; both would use a mailing address here.

Now. read Message to Boulder council: Fight homelessness with more housing in the Daily Camera.

If the goal is to end homelessness by providing more housing, two things must occur:

1) Prioritize homeless shelter/services for Boulder County’s own homeless residents.

Many nonprofits in cities around the country choose to provide shelter/services only to locals who are homeless. Example from San Antonio, TX: Haven for Hope. Copied from their website:

To be eligible for our shelter and services you MUST:
•Be homeless (Lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence) or be at immediate risk of homelessness
•Be a resident of Bexar County with proof of residency
•Proof of residency is a document that proves your status as a Bexar County resident; for example, tax documents, dated store receipts, library cards, etc.
•Have government issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license, passport, military ID, or any state or federally issued photo ID) or be willing to obtain government issued photo ID within 30 days

I presume that the “travelers” are told to keep on traveling.

2) Forget the hugely expensive model of multimillion dollar housing projects which serve only a relatively small number of homeless clients. It will NEVER be able to house even the majority of those in need — the $$$ simply are NOT there to do so.

Instead, pursue building one or more “tiny house” communities for local homeless people; this is an emerging trend in truly progressive cities all over America, but Boulder, CO is missing out altogether. See this Associated Press article: Tiny houses help address nation’s homeless problem.

Frankly, I do NOT believe that the current leadership of Boulder’s homeless shelter/services industry is up to the challenge . . . They must be replaced!

$5,000 tiny house by OM Build in Madison, WI

This blog post is being e-mailed to Boulder City Council and the City Manager.

That’s all for now.

Bum rights? And more

By Max R. Weller

No doubt, apologists/enablers  for the worst-behaved transients (a.k.a. Boulder Rights Watch)would consider what we see below police brutality — disturbing the drunken stupor of derelicts loitering in one of the city’s popular public venues:

Boulder police Officer Dan Bergh talks to a group of homeless people congregating in the "horseshoe" area of the Boulder Creek Path near Boulder

Boulder police Officer Dan Bergh talks to a group of homeless people congregating in the “horseshoe” area of the Boulder Creek Path near Boulder High School during a foot patrol on Tuesday. Advocacy group Boulder Rights Watch would like to see a community response team organized to help ease tensions between police and the homeless. (Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera)

Given the fact that pickled idjits here in Boulder, CO tend to pass out and die from alcohol poisoning, with their worthless “friends” also passed out and unable to call 9-1-1 for the paramedics in time, it’s necessary for police officers to check on their welfare. Asking to see ID and doing a warrant check are also legitimate police actions.

Needless to say, Boulder Rights Watch does NOT speak for the Homeless Philosopher. I’ve never been ticketed for anything in the 6 1/2 years I’ve lived here as a homeless man, and if I can obey the laws then nobody else has any excuse for failing to do so. I’m sick and tired of the bums whining about their self-inflicted problems with law enforcement. GROW UP!

BTW, let’s remember Bridge House’s own survey done in May, 2013 and published in the Daily Camera — Survey: More than half of Boulder homeless who sought help at center were new to city.

Here’s a thought: Ban alcohol sales to chronic inebriates, and make certain that liquor stores and bars keep an updated list of drunks’ names and photos. It would also be good for retail liquor establishments to voluntarily STOP all sales of rotgut vodka, which typically costs around $10 for a 1.75L jug:

Could be used as paint thinner

Great editorial, Little Liz at state fair: The sideshow must go on,  from the Denver Post. Shame on constipated Boulderites who forced Little Liz out of the Boulder County fair in Longmont!

Time to shut down CU’s department of philosophy? Read CU-Boulder investigating yet another philosophy professor in the DC.

5ty7h

That’s all for now . . .

Pickled idjit becomes Poster Boy for Boulder, CO’s do-gooders, and more

By Max R. Weller

Boulder police Officer Dan Bergh checks on Thomas Ellington — who was passed out in the "horseshoe" area near Boulder High School —

Boulder police Officer Dan Bergh checks on Thomas Ellington — who was passed out in the “horseshoe” area near Boulder High School — during a foot patrol last week. Police say that even with stepped-up patrols, the city’s smoking ban in Central Park and across the municipal campus has been most effective in moving the homeless out of that downtown area. (Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera)

The photo above is part of this story, Boulder seeks balance in homeless solutions, in the Daily Camera. The online comments which follow it are worth reading, too. My two cents is copied below:

I’m very pleased to see that most of those commenting here are NOT buying into the inappropriate compassion offered by misguided do-gooders.

As to the homeless shelter/services industry itself (composed of both government agencies and private nonprofits, funded by both public and private sources) — their unwritten and unspoken creed is MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY. They have no incentive whatsoever to “end homelessness” nor do they want to “transition” anyone away from dependency on the social services system.

When you donate to Bridge House or Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, both of which steadfastly refuse to prioritize shelter/services for Boulder County’s own homeless people, you are supporting the FUBAR status quo. The transients and their apologists/enablers aren’t even grateful for the bounty they receive . . .

See: http://homelessphilosopher.wordpress.com/resource…

Also see Survey: More than half of Boulder’s homeless lived here before they lost housing in the DC. My online comment follows:

I know “Swan” and I also know a homeless woman named “Renee.”

Swan used to hang out in north Boulder, smoking weed all day, and was part of a group of inebriates who loitered in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. Thank goodness they’re all gone from there, now. One of his friends, named Cal, froze to death in Swan’s broken-down RV last winter, and Swan himself suffered frostbite to several toes. Swan now uses a wheelchair to get around, although he walks better than I can.

BTW, Swan is from Chicago, IL.

Renee used to be at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless every morning, stewed to the gills, but she has also moved elsewhere in our fair city. One time, as I was reading a book and eating my lunch of refried beans at a shady spot in the neighborhood, Renee came staggering over with her vodka breath and asked if she might have a spoonful of my beans. I told her that a can of beans costs about $1, much less than the jug of rotgut booze she’d already purchased.

Is this where resources should be directed? Helping homeless people like these two?

Self-reporting is notoriously unreliable. I don’t believe for a moment that most of those surveyed are residents of Boulder, CO who formerly had homes here. Are they perhaps counting those who have been evicted from Section 8 or other subsidized housing?

Finally, read Boulder Rights Watch: Non-police response teams can help ease homeless tensions from the DC. My online comment:

Where, in all of this reportage, is any mention of homeless-on-homeless crime? Most of it is never reported, and the biggest reason I’ve criticized the worst-behaved transients is because they prey on other homeless people by stealing, assaults, rapes, even murders.

The self-styled homeless advocates are NOT helping the majority of those on the streets, so long as they continue to help the predators.

5rsdp

I’m just finishing The Abominable by Dan Simmons, a novel which kept me occupied for the past few days. I enjoyed its weird plot twists.

Tonight at my campsite: a catered banquet by Boulder Rights Watch, consisting of stale pastries, beans and rice, and cheap likker.

Boulder County Commissioners are crooks, and more

By Max R. Weller

Read the pointed editorial in the Times-Call (of course, nothing like it will appear in the Daily Camera): Public should help county prioritize for paving money.

Online comments by “donwrege” are copied below in their entirety:

From BoCoFIRM.org:  

County continues its campaign of misinformation
In Sunday’s Daily Camera and yesterday’s public meeting, the County Commissioners continue to refuse to tell us the truth about why they defy the will of their constituents and that of the Court by refusing to fix our roads.

The Commissioners went so far as to write:

“While we respect the judgment of the court, we are disappointed with the ruling, as it removes an important tool (the LID) from the tool kit” (REF: Guest Editorial, Boulder Daily Camera, “Roads, funds and road reconstruction” Domencio, Gardner and Jones, August, 17, 2014)

This is analogous to a burglar complaining that the police removed a lock pick from his tool kit. It shouldn’t be that difficult to understand. Using a LID for road maintenance is illegal.

How long do they expect us to put us with this behavior?

What’s the truth? Do we have the funds or not?
On July 16, 2014, the County stated that “the Board of County Commissioners has already approved the budget for 2014 work and plans will move forward this year, independent of the legal outcome.” The next day the Commissioners approved a $4.4M contract with Asphalt Specialties for the repair of subdivision roads. By law the Commissioners cannot approve a contract without sufficient funds in the bank to cover the cost of the contract. Then the day after the Court ruled the LID illegal the Commissioners canceled the contract to fix our streets and told us “By necessity of this decision, the subdivision repaving plan for 2014 that was detailed in an email last Friday will no longer move forward as a result of the court’s ruling.”

So what is the truth? We know the County had sufficient funds on July 17th. Then the funds “disappeared” a few days later. Did the funds “disappear” to punish subdivision residents because the County lost the lawsuit?

The “County doesn’t have any more money”
Immediately after the Court shot down the LID the Commissioners rolled out their tired old argument that “the county doesn’t have any more money to put towards the repaving of subdivision roads”. Really?

Does anyone believe that Boulder County can’t find 1.2% out of a budget of $366,760, 981 to honor their commitment to fix our roads. And if the County can pay for the projects listed below, why can’t they pay for fixing our roads?

Plenty of money for projects despite the flood recovery

The Underpass From Nowhere to Nowhere – Earlier this year the Commissioners spent over $3,300,000 from the Boulder County Transportation Sales Tax revenue to build a pedestrian/bike underpass at Airport Road and the Diagonal.

The Gilpin County Easement – This spring the County gave $1,500,000 of your money to a wealthy family so that they could continue to own their mountain paradise that lies almost completely outside Boulder County. What did we get in return? Access to trails? No. The ability to use the land? No. Just simply the ability to stand outside their property and gaze at how wonderful it must be to actually use the land.

Let them eat bikes – And while Commissioners want us to believe that we simply don’t have the money to fix our roads, someone ought to tell the Transportation Department. Because the Transportation Department has under construction or are planning in the coming years the following “transportation” projects.

Bike path shoulders – State Hwy 93, Marshall Road to SH 128
Longmont to Boulder (LOBO) Trail addition- IBM Connector
US 36 (Boulder/Denver Turnpike) Bikeway – Louisville to Boulder
Another Bike/Pedestrian Underpass on the Longmont Diagonal; this one at Hoover Road
An extension of the St. Vrain Greenway Trail from Golden Ponds to Pella
Bike path shoulders – East Boulder County Line Road
Bike path shoulders – 71st Street, Hwy 52 to Lookout Road
Bike path shoulders – 79th Street, Hwy 52 to Lookout Road
Bike path shoulders – Arapahoe Road 119th to E. County Line
Bike path shoulders – S 120th Street, Lafayette to Dillon Rd
Bike path shoulders – Hygiene Road
Bike path shoulders – Isabelle Road, 75th to 119th
Bike path shoulders – Hwy 170 (Eldoroado Springs Road)

So the question remains. Why won’t the Commissioners fix our roads?

In the past months, BoCo FIRM has been able to document that all the County’s excuses of why they can’t fix subdivision roads, “it isn’t fair to city residents”, “the flood ate our reserves”, “the County is too poor to fix all the roads”, “it will cost $70,000,000 to fix the roads”, are not supported by the facts.

What we do know is that if we had been willing to be good “subjects” and pay our PID or LID tax, the Commissioners would fix our roads. And since we didn’t obey their command we will not have our roads fixed.

Both Boulder County citizens and the Court have made it abundantly clear. It is time that the Commissioners comply with state statutes. It is time to stop this nonsense and simply fix our roads.

The issue isn’t the absence of a plan.

The issue isn’t that the County doesn’t have the funds to fix the roads.

The issue is that these Commissioners have made and continue to make a choice that they will not fix our roads without extracting more tax revenue from the residents.

The bottom line for BoCo FIRM is that we will continue to work on your behalf until our roads are fixed without new taxes.

The Plan to fix our roads

The Commissioners continue to state that they need a “new” plan to fix the subdivision roads. In actuality, the plan to fix our roads is straightforward. We submitted it to the Commissioners over three weeks ago. It is available by clicking on the following link BoCo FIRM Plan to fix our roads and at our web site www.BoCoFIRM.org . This is the plan.

1. Convert the citizen Subdivision LID Paving Advisory Group to a citizen Paving Advisory Group.

2. Finalize accurate and reliable costs to fix all subdivision roads using the same procedure used for the current plan to fix “community use” subdivision roads.

3. When the Commissioners set the budget for 2015 and subsequent years, allocate the necessary mil levy to the Road and Bridge Fund for the maintenance of all County roads.

Donate to BoCo FIRM

BoCo FIRM continues to use every tool in our tool kit, including legal recourse, to complete our goal of getting our roads fixed without new taxes. If you would like to help our efforts, donate to BoCo FIRM by clicking on the following link Donate to BoCo FIRM or visit our website www.BoCoFIRM.org .

As always thank you for your support of our efforts.

Tiny houses for homeless people? Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is ‘infatuated’ with the idea, advisor says. These are still overpriced, compared to many other tiny houses I’ve seen, but at least people in authority are looking at alternatives to the multimillion dollar housing projects that serve only a limited number of homeless clients. Case in point, right here in Boulder, CO: 1175 Lee Hill, a $6 million plus 31-unit Housing First apartment building, opening soon. 

Oh, joy! The high school students are once again going to be crowding onto the SKIP bus which I ride in the morning, and it always seems to be just one of the SKIPs, with those buses immediately before and after it being nearly empty of passengers bound for Boulder High and Fairview High.

That’s all for now, folks. Back on Monday . . .

Bubonic plague returns, sleazeball prof won’t teach this fall, and more

By Max R. Weller

Read and heed Plague found in Boulder-area fleas; residents warned to take precautions in the Daily Camera. Quoting from the report:

Bubonic plague has returned to Boulder County, public health officials announced after fleas collected from the city of Boulder’s Marshall open space property, northeast of the intersection of South Boulder and Cherryvale roads, last week tested positive for the disease.

The flea samples were collected from a deserted prairie dog colony on the property, officials say. It is the first confirmed case of plague in Boulder County since 2011.

The threat of spreading the disease has not been deemed serious enough to close the open space, but county health officials are urging people to protect themselves.

“The fleas don’t travel large distances, so it’s nothing we’re seeing spread or becoming an epidemic. It’s confined to that one area,” said Lane Drager, consumer protection coordinator for Boulder County Public Health. “But if pets are going into these areas, they are risking exposure for themselves and for those pet owners.”

The plague can causes symptoms including high fever, extreme fatigue and painful, swollen lymph nodes.

All prairie dogs have fleas. No doubt, the prairie dogs who “deserted” the colony mentioned above took plague-infected fleas with them. I’ve been concerned by the varmints spreading to the area of my campsite, as well as the nearby Dakota Ridge neighborhood in north Boulder; apparently, they’re migrating from the National Guard Armory property at the southeast corner of N. Broadway and Lee Hill.

Here’s the solution: Rodenator.

Also read the update in the DC on Prof. David Barnett, who “investigated” a female student without authorization by CU administration (apparently as retaliation for her complaint against a male student), and cost the university over $800,000 to settle the young woman’s lawsuit: CU-Boulder philosophy professor under threat of firing won’t teach this fall. Quoting here:

As University of Colorado students and instructors return to the classroom Monday, embattled associate philosophy professor David Barnett will not be among them.

The university is moving to fire Barnett, 44, after paying a graduate student more than $800,000 to settle claims he retaliated against her after she reported she was sexually assaulted by a fellow graduate student.

Barnett had been scheduled to teach two introductory philosophy courses this semester.

“At professor Barnett’s request, he has been given relief from teaching duties, with pay, until he is given a hearing on the allegations against him,” Brian Moore, Barnett’s attorney, said Wednesday.

CU spokesman Ryan Huff confirmed that Barnett was relieved of his teaching duties this semester after his request was approved by Steven Leigh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Huff said Barnett will continue his research and committee duties within the philosophy department.

Barnett, who receives an annual salary of $77,668, is accused of compiling a 38-page report painting the female graduate student as “sexually promiscuous” and alleging she falsified the report of the sexual assault, according to a notice of intent to sue CU that was filed by the woman last month.

The university paid the student $825,000 to settle her retaliation claim.

In the Real World of private business, Barnett would have been fired immediately.

David Barnett

Creepy CU professor

Of 51 recent arrests in Ferguson, 1 is a resident from the Associated Press via the Kansas City Star.

Will this homeless guy in Houston, TX be coming to Boulder, CO when the emergency overnight dorms at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless open on October 15th?

There are a lot of these human pack rats here, already. Some of them rent storage units to hoard their worthless junk, but if you can’t afford that, I guess an overloaded shopping cart is one alternative. The Homeless Philosopher prefers the minimalist approach to daily living . . .

It’s absurd for school to be starting before Labor Day, while the heat of summer is lingering. I feel sorry for the youngsters subjected to the stupidity of school authorities. Just as bad, many kids have to eat Michelle Obama’s school lunches:

Tonight at my campsite: more than enough chow to ease the pangs of hunger.

They’re on their way, and more

By Max R. Weller

Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Fife tell Mayberry, NC town drunk Otis Campbell to ride his “horse” to Boulder, CO — where bums from everywhere are welcomed!

Read Controversial Fort Lyon homeless facility sends alums into world in the Denver Post. Quoting from the article below:

After 15 years of cheap whiskey, merciless nights on hard concrete, and trips in and out of jail and detox, Richard Spotted Bird heard about a new treatment facility at a sprawling campus that has served as both a prison and Veterans Affairs hospital.

“I told them to put me on the list,” said Spotted Bird, 54, one of 11 people to have graduated from Colorado’s first state-supported homeless program at the former Fort Lyon corrections facility.

The historic facility began life as a frontier fortress and housed a veterans hospital until 2001. It was a state prison when Gov. John Hickenlooper closed it amid budget cuts in 2011. It reopened last year to house the chronically homeless.

It was a plan hatched in controversy, with state legislators questioning the costs and wisdom of a bill that would bus homeless Coloradans — mostly from the Front Range — to Fort Lyon, in Bent County.

In 2013, after the Joint Budget Committee refused to reserve about $6 million over two years to repurpose the campus, the idea became an amendment grafted to a bill with broad legislative support.

Hickenlooper’s staff worked closely with lawmakers to pass the plan, which cost $4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. About $2.7 million of that came from the general fund budget, and an additional $1.3 million from Colorado’s share of a national fraud settlement with mortgage lenders.

Operating costs are expected to be similar in the years ahead. Supporters expect that over time some costs to the state will be reduced by federal and other grants, said Pat Coyle, director of the Colorado Division of Housing.

Do the math: Divide the $4 million figure above by the 11 individuals who have “graduated” from this facility . . . That’s a cost of $363,363 and change per graduate! You could probably send these inebriates to the Betty Ford Center or other private inpatient treatment for around $30,000 per month, so where in blazes is the advantage to Fort Lyon? I’m assuming, arguendo, that Mr. Spotted Bird and the others will remain sober in their lives in the Real World outside of treatment (typically, however, only about 10% do so).

This is the fallacy inherent in all of these big $$$ programs to address various aspects of homelessness, including substance abuse: they are so hugely expensive as currently designed that only a LIMITED NUMBER of homeless clients can be served, and the rest remain on the streets.

It’s a load of manure . . .

Great letter-to-the-editor by Mark Hafen in the Daily Camera in re municipalization, another load of horse****.

Next time you’re out and about in public here in Boulder during regular business hours, check out the number of well-to-do men and women between the ages of 22 and 65 who are obviously part of a local Leisure Class. I’m always amazed when I do so; the idle rich far outnumber the dirty transients loitering in public venues, and this isn’t counting the wealthy white elites lounging beside private pools:

“I donate to Bridge House and Boulder Shelter, too!”

Tonight at my campsite: chicken salad and a decadent dessert.