Daily Camera: Suzanne Jones reappointed as Boulder mayor after Mary Young’s late withdrawal from race

— MRW

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‘Homeless invasion coming your way?’

Read the disturbing letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

Last week, my wife and a girlfriend had to run out of our home and call the police after finding a homeless man living in our basement. He had been there for days. Think about that for a moment. While I was out of town on business, a man had been sleeping in our basement as my wife and children slept. He had raided our refrigerator, stolen my shoes, and was relieving himself in containers. To say this situation is unacceptable is the understatement of the century and I blame it firmly on the city of Boulder and it’s “build it and they will come” attitude toward the homeless.

We have lived in Boulder for 25 years and have always taken pride in the safety of our community. However, we’ve watched in dismay as Boulder’s homeless services have outstripped the needs of Boulder’s actual homeless population. This means that most of the homeless on our streets aren’t from Boulder and the man who could have harmed my family was no different — he was from California with four prior burglary charges. Why was he here? He, like many of our homeless, was attracted by the expansion of “second to none” services that our City Council has rubber-stamped.

So, at what point will you experience your own Boulder homeless home invasion? Will you or a loved one be injured or worse? At what point will Boulderites stand up and say “enough”? While I support helping local people who are down on their luck, we are allowing our leaders to create a dangerous city by offering services that attract troubled transients. Since the police told us that this is becoming more common, you may want to check your basement now.

Chris Centeno

Boulder

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Boulder Rights Watch founder, Darren O’Connor

No, this isn’t an actual quote from the chief apologist / enabler for the worst-behaved BUMS who drift to Boulder, CO from all over the country — but it might be, given this character’s twisted thinking . . .

For emphasis, let me repeat the most salient point in Chris Centeno’s letter:

“. . . we’ve watched in dismay as Boulder’s homeless services have outstripped the needs of Boulder’s actual homeless population. This means that most of the homeless on our streets aren’t from Boulder and the man who could have harmed my family was no different — he was from California with four prior burglary charges.”

Of course, if this BUM had been discovered squatting in the basement of any one of our Boulder City Council members, steps would immediately be taken to move ALL OF ‘EM on out of town. It seems to the Homeless Philosopher that our elected officials are like ostriches when it comes to the issue of homelessness:

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

Comment from reader on previous post

This is the post: Boulder city staff deliberately misleads city council and public. And this is the (unedited) comment by “Lola” copied below:

I attended the most recent City Council public hearing (11/14/17) on the sexually violent predators and I was baffled by the lack of public interest or input on this subject. The council spent hours listening to people complain about a liquor tax on manufacturers of craft beer, wine and distilleries and eventually abolished the $3,000 fee because it would cause such financial hardship to those capitalizing on the vices of alcoholics and future alcoholics, than they spent time and consideration on protecting those who cannot protect themselves from the sex predators in our lovely progressive city of Boulder. I got my two minutes to speak to the council and I addressed directly the city manager and the city attorney Tom Carr after his various slides of outlines and recommendations of restrictions and erroneous statistics and callous analogies; comparing pedophilia to the nasty habit of cigarette smoking. I was sad and astonished that there were only two people who planned to speak and I was first on the list. The other speaker was a registered sex offended. I never write down what I want to state or ask of the council. I tend to listen to the presentation, even as ludicrous and uniformed as Tom Carr the City Attorney begins and ends his presentation whilst councilman Yates corrects his erroneous statistics with a simple Google search, I find it all to be as you have stated – misleading the general public. I reiterated what you have said all along, so I broke down the stats for them based on the current list of registered sex offenders in the city of Boulder. The number of SVP’s, according to Mr. Carr is 4. One has moved to Cali, so now we are down to 3. I presented my opinions to the council and did the simple math for the Mayor and council. I downloaded the current list. It is 40 pages long. Each page has 3 individuals and their convictions and where they supposedly reside. Of the list of 120 convicted sex offenders almost every page has at least one redaction. MOST listed are convicted of child sex assault, child exploitation, person of trust, child pornography, and various other offenses. It is my opinion, that anyone that victimizes a child is highly likely to re offend and should be considered as a violent criminal since it is the most heinous of crimes. It is also likely that the predator got caught this One Time but has repeated this crime many times and will continue to do so without constant monitoring. MOST of the RSO’s in Boulder have been convicted of crimes against children and MOST are from other states and MOST are not on any kind of monitoring or supervision. The ugly truth about Boulder is that your city council has made it a Mecca for the predators across our country to come to Boulder because it welcomes them with open arms to resources and housing and the ability to re offend and to eat up more resources. I have personal knowledge of 4 sex offenders in the homeless community that came here got housing and resources from the NBS, Bridge House, BOHO et al.and re offended. Only one of those remains in prison after years of dealing drugs, sex assault, attempted kidnapping, extortion and stalking. The Boulder Police allowed this pervert to commit crimes against dozens of women, in order to “build a case” on him. He was already a registered and convicted sex predator. Tom Carr will have you all believe that according to his studies and stats that if these offenders have a job and a home then they will not re offend. I called BS to the council and Tom Carr. He goes on to explain how unfair it is to these predators to limit them and their rehabilitation and that basically by limiting them we would contributing to their re offending and that somehow we must show more compassion. I did ask Mr. Carr ” where are your studies and stats that show one case in human history where upon even one human being has ever been rehabilitated or cured of pedophilia?” I got no answer. I also stated there is no correlation between being housed and fundamentally changing sexually orientation . I asked Mr. Carr, “do you believe that in some miraculous way that having a job and a house changes the mind, the soul, and everything broken inside of a predator?” No response. I also made a harsh statement of reality that by allowing these sex predators into the shelters it excludes a vast number of survivors. Women, children and men who would rather barely survive the freezing cold than go into the NBS, Bridge House, Ready to Work, etc that cater to them. For all the time effort, MONEY and hot air blasted into this subject by the Council, you will never hear any of them, including the Mayor, talk with any amount of compassion about the rights of the victims, survivors of these crimes and furthermore the danger that these predators pose to the general public, to children and the exponential damage done to a human being for the remainder of their lives, with one exception, Mr. Yates.
Now Mr. Carr suggests we have a working group and spend more money and time to work it out. I pleaded with the council not to waste their time throwing more money at the problem and allowing the policies to remain unchecked. I ended with a quote:
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no one recipe for living that suits all cases” Carl Jung.
I will continue to be the voice for those without one.

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Well, at least there’s ONE city council member who isn’t asleep according to Lola’s account.

Is it any wonder things are so FUBAR in Boulder, CO?

Convicted child molester from Connecticut, now living in Boulder, CO (victim was a 12-year-old boy).

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

Boulder city staff deliberately misleads city council and public

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

See the story in the Daily Camera here, Housing restrictions not answer on ‘sexually violent predators,’ Boulder staff tells council. Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder’s City Council should not adopt any laws limiting housing options for “sexually violent predators,” and should instead form a working group and try to improve inter-governmental cooperation on the issue, city staff recommends.

This summer, amid community tension over multiple “predators” moving into Boulder’s homeless shelter, the City Council requested more information on ways it could better monitor and manage this population — including by a possible ban on renting or buying housing within a certain radius of community gathering places, such as playgrounds and schools.

Sex offenders are given the additional “predator” label if they are convicted of certain sex crimes, including sexual assault and sexual assault of a child from a position of trust, and then deemed by officials to have personality traits that make them a greater risk to reoffend.

There are currently three “predators” living at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. A fourth, Christopher Lawyer, who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a newspaper carrier, was at the shelter but recently reregistered in California.

All three have been discharged from parole and are no longer under state supervision, which means that a couple of the council’s previously brainstormed ideas for increased monitoring, including making them wear GPS ankle bracelets and sending them to a halfway house, are not feasible.

It is still possible for Boulder to exclude the “predators” from living in certain areas, but city staff has looked into this and agreed it’s a bad idea.

Studies have repeatedly shown that limiting housing options for sex offenders and those deemed “sexually violent predators” does not improve public safety and may in fact increase the likelihood of recidivism.

Such laws can effectively zone certain individuals out of contention for local housing. One Florida study found that, of nearly a million housing units studied, only 4 percent complied with state and local restrictions.

A memo from city staff to the council stated that, “The significance of the impact of housing restrictions is the lack of housing availability leads to transience, homelessness and reduced employment opportunities. Housing instability is associated with increased rates of recidivism.”

For that reason, authorities on the issue, including the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, advise communities not restrict where sex offenders can and cannot live. Even so, several communities in the state have implemented restrictions.

The Boulder City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter Tuesday evening, during what will be the last meeting of these nine council members. Following last week’s election, three new members will be sworn in Nov. 21, and Matt Appelbaum, Andrew Shoemaker and Jan Burton will vacate their seats.

During the hearing, staff will recommend the council not take any significant action for now, and instead move to “direct the city manager to have the police work with the state Department of Corrections to monitor placement and residency of sexually violent predators.”

The memo to the council continues, “In addition, staff recommends that the city manager form a working group consisting of members of the community as well as representatives from the police department, the human services department, the city attorney’s office, the county and the state Department of Corrections.

“This working group would be tasked with making further recommendations regarding potential city policies and legislation.”

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Boulder city staff is deliberately misleading city council and the general public, because there are MANY MORE registered sex offenders staying at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Community Treatment Center (B.C.T.C.), Bridge House’s Path to Home, or otherwise lacking a permanent address than just the 3 Sexually Violent Predators. Furthermore, a lot of the sex offenders are from elsewhere in Colorado or even from other states! The last thing Boulder needs is another “working group” when the solution is clear: Provide bus tickets to ANY transient now stranded in Boulder, CO so they can return to wherever they came from . . . Boulder can’t solve the world’s problems, and there is NO effective “treatment” for pedophilia or sexual violence against adult women. City staff is trying to sell us on more Rainbows & Unicorns here, instead of securing the safety of our citizens — including the homeless survivors of sex crimes who are staying at local homeless shelters. 

See for yourself how many perverts are in our community, and please bear in mind there are others who refuse to register with the police as required by law: City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders.

I don’t believe we should follow the direction of city staff in this case, and throw up our hands in surrender to sex offenders who drift to Boulder, CO from all across the country. Better to fire the city manager and her legion of ninnies who came up with this crackpot idea . . .

Chicago-style electioneering comes to Boulder, CO

WHAT IS STRICTLY LEGAL MAY NOT BE ETHICAL IN THE LEAST!

By Max R. Weller

Thomas Cope takes the counted ballots to a secure room midday Wednesday at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office as election officials

Thomas Cope takes the counted ballots to a secure room midday Wednesday at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office as election officials finish counting ballots from Tuesday’s election. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Read the sordid tale of how supporters of Boulder’s Muni Scam rescued ballot issue 2L from defeat in the Daily Camera here, Student vote may have rescued Boulder municipalization. Copied below in its entirety:

Cody Jackson, a senior at the University of Colorado, wasn’t planning to vote in Boulder’s latest election until he was approached outside the University Memorial Center two hours before polls closed on Tuesday, by a volunteer with New Era Colorado.

“They told me, ‘Hey, if you want to vote, we can drive you there. It’ll be super quick, and there’s free pizza’,” Jackson said. “I was like, ‘OK, I have nothing better to do. I can do that.'”

And so he boarded a big van, where he saw three other students he knew and a couple dozen he didn’t know, and a cooler with drinks.

On the ride over, volunteers with New Era — a group focused on advocacy and civic engagement, run by and for young people — told Jackson about ballot measure 2L, a proposed extension of the tax that funds Boulder’s ongoing bid to separate from Xcel Energy and form a city-run electric utility.

“They emphasized that Xcel is sort of robbing people from opportunities to really support sustainable energy,” Jackson said.

By the time the van reached the voting center at CU’s Environmental Health and Safety Center, Jackson was sold. He stood with other students in a line that stretched out the door, and cast his vote for 2L.

On Thursday he expressed gratitude for the way he’d been treated by New Era, and for the help the group offered to both get him to the polls and to learn more about Boulder’s utility effort.

“I felt pampered,” he said. “It was amazing.”

Jackson’s vote played a small part in the surge of support for 2L, which was losing by 12 points for much of Tuesday night, then mounted a gradual comeback that ended with a 3.5-point win by midday Wednesday.

There’s a lot of election-related data that won’t be released until the final unofficial count is announced Wednesday, but this much is clear: Those who cast their ballots early — a disproportionately older crowd, according to age breakdowns provided by the county clerk — strongly rejected municipalization, while those who mailed their ballots on the later end, or voted in person on Election Day, strongly supported it.

And, as was the case during the narrow municipalization vote of 2011, outreach by New Era to younger voters is being widely credited with tipping the election.

Muni was New Era’s sole focus

Early estimates indicate that about 22 percent of Boulder’s total vote share this election came from people between the ages of 18 and 34. That’s only a little short of the statewide share for that age range in the 2016 presidential election.

Even when additional data is released, it’ll be difficult to prove that New Era was indeed the difference, but in an election that was decided by about 1,000 votes, it’s obvious that the group’s efforts were at least a major factor.

Lizzy Stephan, New Era’s executive director, said the group registered 2,075 people, from whom they secured “pledges” for 2L votes.

New Era, she said, also gave 428 van rides to the voting center, sent 21,000 text messages to voters and, starting in August, put in countless hours of in-person voter contact, both on campus and elsewhere in the community.

New Era didn’t do any outreach about individual candidates or other Boulder ballot issues, Stephan said. They were focused exclusively on municipalization.

In the final 24 hours of the election, during which Boulder’s response to 2L flipped from emphatic rejection to decisive approval, “We didn’t leave any stone unturned,” Stephan said.

“It’s really clear that our efforts to register and engage young people are paying off.”

New Era does work year-round and throughout Colorado, but in Boulder, their most significant impact in recent years has been around the issue of municipalization, which turns out to be a fairly easy sell on students.

“One thing we’re increasingly realizing about young voters in the muni fight is that they’re very suspicious of money in politics and very suspicious of large corporations,” Stephan said. “So right away, talking to a young person and explaining Xcel’s involvement in this fight — it doesn’t take a lot of convincing.”

See, for example, the case of Julia Redlinger, a CU freshman who said she was contacted about five times on campus by New Era volunteers before deciding to stop and hear them out.

“I didn’t know anything about (2L) before that,” she said, “and then they told us they’re trying to get away from coal and more conservative energy things, and just to make Boulder, as a community, healthier.”

Last week, she proudly cast her vote for the measure.

“I’m kind of a hippie,” she said. “I like clean air.”

Interviews with more than 50 CU students on Friday revealed that almost none of them knew anything about municipalization a few weeks ago. Most said they either voted in a different city or didn’t vote at all, but the dozen or so who cast ballots in Boulder shared reasoning similar to Redlinger’s.

Asked to weigh in on various details of municipalization, most came up empty.

“I think it was about electricity?” said freshman Isaac Prieto, who voted for 2L. “They were trying to make it all solar, or something like that.”

But they’re passionate about fighting climate change, the students explained, and were happy to support Boulder’s effort to ditch Xcel in the interest of more aggressive action and greater emphasis on renewable energy sources.

“I wanted to help the environment,” Prieto said.

No competition

The most common case against municipalization, at this point, is that the effort is no longer practical. No prominent opponents have demonstrated disinterest in fighting climate change, but have rather maintained that Boulder can take more meaningful action by partnering with Xcel and other cities.

In the process, the argument goes, Boulder could save, or reallocate, the millions of dollars it spends every year on staff work and legal fees for a project that, even in the best-case scenario, won’t result in an actual operational city utility for several years. Even then, Boulder would likely be buying power back from Xcel for another several years, meaning that the city might not be controlling its own portfolio of renewables until a decade from now.

Some CU students said in interviews that this argument, centering on points of pragmatism and fiscal responsibility, did not compel them. But many more said they never heard it at all.

That’s probably because the on-campus campaigning this fall was done almost entirely by New Era. Among all the students interviewed, a couple said they’d been contacted by Eric Budd — the City Council candidate who targeted young voters, but fell short on Tuesday — but not a single one of them said any other candidate or citizen organization reached out.

That left New Era, which had a pitch on 2L that was already attractive to many CU students, with virtually no competition this election.

There was only one group that spent money opposing 2L this year, and it was led by Councilman Bob Yates, ex-Mayor Will Toor and ex-Councilman Andy Schultheiss. Asked why the group, No On 2L, didn’t do any outreach with younger voters, Toor explained that his committee didn’t do any on-the-ground campaigning at all — at CU or otherwise.

“There was not a really extensive campaign effort around 2L from our side,” Toor said. “I would describe it more that those of us who felt that there was a better path forward to meet our climate goals felt like it was important to make that case, but we really did not organize a large campaign.”

Instead, the group sent some mailers, put together a website and hoped things swung their way in the election.

But even if No On 2L, or anyone else, had taken a stab at engaging young voters, it’s not clear that they ever put together a case remotely as appealing as the one supporters of municipalization were able to make.

“It’s an uphill battle,” Toor said, “because everybody wants to act on climate change, and there’s an easy-to-understand message with voting for the muni: It’s going to get us more renewables and let us meet our climate goals, and we can fight back against what the Trump administration is doing. That’s a very powerful message.”

And, as Stephan said, students didn’t seem to need much convincing to buy into it.

Steve Fenberg, the state senator who used to run New Era, and was at the helm during the slim victory of 2011, said, “There’s an advantage in communicating with young voters because they are much more supportive of aggressive (climate) action.”

‘Huge opportunity’

For those who might have pushed for anti-municipalization votes from young people, they’d not only have faced the challenge of lobbying against a side with an eco-friendly message, but they’d have had no specific alternative path on which to sell voters.

“It made this a really difficult conversation, that there was no agreement on the table about what you’d get with a partnership with Xcel,” Toor said. “Instead, we were saying we thought there was an alternative, but I think you need to be able to say, ‘Here’s how.’

“Absent details of that sort, I think it does become a very difficult case to make.”

In any event, that case, “difficult” as it may have been, seems never to have reached most young voters in Boulder.

That, combined with New Era’s efforts, may have been the difference. The 2L vote margin stands at 1,031, and New Era’s registrations alone were double that figure. Surely the van rides and relentless in-person contacts also helped buoy municipalization.

The passage of 2L means that, barring an unexpected turn, citizens will once again get to vote on municipalization in a few years. In addition to approving 2L, Boulder also passed a measure guaranteeing a public “go/no-go” vote before the city issues bonds for what could be north of $200 million in costs associated with acquiring Xcel’s local assets.

Ahead of that vote, and on a myriad of other Boulder political issues, Fenberg said local campaigns would do well to consider engaging a population that, for the most part, seems to have been largely ignored during this election season.

“If you weren’t talking to young people, you missed a huge opportunity,” Fenberg said. “There’s a huge reservoir. The more you talk to them, the more they turn out.”

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In the old days, of course, the political machine in Chicago would round up drunkards and other riff-raff from Skid Row to supplement the “graveyard vote” and ensure that their candidates and issues would win. Today, instead of FREE BEER at a mobbed up saloon it’s FREE PIZZA . . .

This points out the folly of allowing people to register to vote on election day itself; ask yourself how many of these CU students were already registered to vote back in their hometowns elsewhere in Colorado (and some in other states)? Maybe they even cast absentee ballots in their hometown elections, too. Does the integrity of Boulder elections mean nothing? DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS when it comes to rainbows and unicorns?

Here’s the really scary part: These CU students are apparently bereft of the critical thinking skills they are supposed to be learning, at great cost to their parents and the government. All you have to do is say the politically correct words and they’ll support anything.

I guess this explains the success of Bernie Sanders, but I digress.

In the end, of course, NOTHING — Chicago-style electioneering notwithstanding — can save Boulder’s bacon when it comes to municipalization. We’ll just have a few more years of wasted time along with many more millions of wasted tax dollars, before the tale ends.

Reader response to a recent post

This is the post: Bridge House’s Ready to Work spreading like a cancer to Aurora, CO. Here’s the (unedited) response from “Bunny”:

I actually only read a little bit of this article before I thought my head would explode. It seems greedy “not-for-profit” Bridge House, Ready to Work, Community Table and all the Churches, Synagogues, and other Religious groups that have patted themselves on the backs over the years for “helping homeless people” will continue the profiting off of, the enabling and disparaging of those less fortunate. The expansion of the Bridge House in Aurora is just another way for Isabelle McDevitt and her minion to inflate their salaries and to broaden the range of blatant discrimination. I have been here in Boulder for several years and watched McDevitt and the people that she hires as “staff”, especially the ex-homeless people, that use and abuse their power to create some fake data to impress the city council to get MORE MONEY. They make a mockery of the entire system. Those at the top of this ponzi scheme continue to rake in the dough and take a gigantic slice for themselves while claiming to not know how to solve the homeless problems in Boulder, even though MILLIONS have been spent. Now it seems that we have to go all the way to Aurora to help homeless people. As of today, no real EWC. I personally camped for most of the 4 years that my service dog and I have lived in Boulder, but I don’t struggle with alcohol and drugs and don’t smoke cigarettes so I have a huge advantage of survival, no matter what oppression is placed upon me by Bridge House, North Boulder Shelter, BOHO, and the others. There are a large number of people who are not mentally capable of survival, one night in the cold. I survived for two reasons, 1) my precious service dog 2) good Samaritans of Boulder. There are people slipping through the cracks because sobriety and sanity in not rewarded in Boulder. The one size fits all has never been a real solution to affordable housing and replacement for mental health. I know there is a very cost effective humane solution and my vision of a day shelter and night shelter would cost the city very little if nothing and would need to be 100% volunteer basis. This corruption in our community is astounding and the crimes against humanity need to end. If we turn a blind eye to crime against the homeless then we as a society send a brutal message that they have no worth and furthermore, that somehow these people deserve the hand their dealt and then exploitation rears it’s ugly head, theft, bias, exclusion from services, if you blow the whistle on someone. It’s so pathetic how these people at the top really believe they are the do-gooders and we are all bad bums, when in fact, the registered sex offenders get priority to housing and services and can come here to re offend and be rewarded with more free housing and shelters overnight exclusively. Something must change. The entire staff should be replaced in my opinion and policies to continue housing dangerous and violent criminals.

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It’s a terrible mistake to allow others to determine one’s self-worth, and I’ve never done it since I came to an understanding — years ago — that the homeless shelter / services industry (consisting of both government agencies and private nonprofits, with funding from both public and private sources) is ALL about money. It seems that this is true everywhere, but especially so in Boulder, CO. “More Homeless People = More Money.”

It’s inexplicable that we lack an emergency warming center (EWC) now, when preserving life and limb in life-threatening winter weather must be the very first priority. (The second priority must be giving bus tickets to transients without ties to Boulder County, so they can return to wherever they came from, whether it’s elsewhere in Colorado or other states.) But what do I know? I’m just a BUM who has lived outdoors in harmony with Nature and my human neighbors for most of the past decade.

— MRW