Monthly Archives: October 2015

Give directly to homeless people in need

DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS

By Max R. Weller

Read the letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera, and copied below in its entirety:

On the evening of Oct. 20, when it was dark and chilly, I left work late and caught the bus for home in North Boulder. I often think that this is the time “when the school of hard knocks” lets out; it appears that many of the people getting on the bus are heading to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. At one stop the bus driver was reluctant to let a woman on because she had no shoes (a violation of RTD rules). The bus was quiet as she explained she’d fallen asleep in the park and her shoes were stolen, so the driver let her on in her stocking feet.

She sat next to me and we talked about the unfairness of her stolen shoes when a girl on the other side of me said quietly, “Would you like my shoes? I don’t have far to walk.”

The woman said, “I can’t take your shoes, you need them.”

Then the girl’s mother said, “We don’t have to walk far and she’d like to give you her shoes. It was her idea.”

The shoes were graciously exchanged and donned by the woman who lost her shoes. It was one of the kindest acts I’ve witnessed. I asked the girl where she went to school and she said Casey Middle School. I don’t know her name, but I went home and made a donation to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and hope that this girl’s thoughtfulness inspires others to, as well. And perhaps someone find out that girl’s name and give her an award.

Joanne Belknap

Boulder

I was delighted by this letter, until I got to the final paragraph and read, “. . . I went home and made a donation to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and hope that this girl’s thoughtfulness inspires others to . . .” Huh?

My hope is that others who read this story of a young lady’s act of kindness will be inspired to imitate her, by giving an appropriate kind of aid DIRECTLY to a homeless person in need they may come across in the community. Isn’t this the example being set for all of us here? A homeless woman needed shoes, and the girl provided them!

It has nothing at all to do with any nonprofit, like BSH, burning through millions of dollars — from both public and private sources — every year without any long-term positive outcomes to show for it. And, to be brutally honest, who in blazes stole the homeless woman’s shoes in the first place? Almost certainly it was one of the homeless sociopaths who drift into Boulder around this time every year, and who are the biggest consumers of homeless sheltering/services in our fair city. The thought that this thieving ne’er-do-well would be rewarded by more donations going to Boulder Shelter makes me nauseated.

Please get a clue, Joanne . . .

Now, let me tell you about the act of charity I received this morning from another homeless man of my acquaintance: He just received his monthly disability benefits today, October 30th (because November 1st falls on a Sunday), and he walked up to me with a $20 bill in hand. “Here, Max, I want you to have this just for being my friend, and so you won’t have to stand out on the corner [panhandling] today.” Talk about an act of kindness! He saw my need, because I don’t receive any government benefits, and he wanted to help me purchase life’s necessities.

BTW, this occurred inside BSH, and my homeless friend deliberately chose to help someone directly, when he could just as easily have made a $20 cash donation to this nonprofit instead. I was almost speechless with surprise, but did manage to thank him. After further reflection, I should NOT have been surprised; most homeless and other poor people are very generous with what little they have in this world, but it’s always the Bad Actors who are in the public eye.

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(Click on image to enlarge)

Let’s take these two examples to heart — the one of the girl on the RTD bus and that of my homeless friend at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — and look for any opportunity to do as they have done.

That’s all for now. Have a good weekend!

Comrade Keith Percy: ‘Government Official’ according to his Facebook page, and more

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By Max R. Weller

See it here, before he edits his Facebook page to remove this fraudulent claim.

Remember, a vote for any FRINGE CANDIDATE helps the three incumbents running for re-election to Boulder City Council — Lisa Morzel, Suzanne Jones, and Tim Plass — by dividing the opposition vote.

And to think that a few nitpicking Boulderites have criticized the Homeless Philosopher for referring to himself as a philosopher. Where is their concern for Comrade Percy’s BIG LIE? Granted, it makes me chuckle, because as far as I’m concerned the three incumbents have been posing as government officials for years . . .

I’m hoping for a significant snowfall soon, which is certain to move the bum camping in my general area somewhere indoors, like Boulder Shelter for the Homeless or BOHO. Maybe this clown is afraid of the wild critters and wants to be near another camper, but I’m NOT anyone’s babysitter. He has disturbed my sleep with moaning and groaning, loud coughing, and the stench of his cigarette smoking is very unpleasant. He could be indoors right now! I may offer him the $5 bus fare on RTD back to Denver, which also has many overnight emergency shelter beds available.

Republicans aren’t the only folks facing a difficult choice for their party’s nominee for POTUS in 2016. Consider what Democrats are dealing with:

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Here’s my choice, a man of culture and decisive leadership skills:

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Frankly, when you reflect on it, America is a resilient nation given that we haven’t had an effective leader in the White House since Bill Clinton’s first term (the second was all about Monica).

Tonight at my campsite: ham & cheese sandwiches, with canned spinach.

Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, and more

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By Max R. Weller

Copied from the Facebook page of Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow:

BOHO’s Opening Policy
Please READ and SHARE!

BOHO opens Emergency Warming Centers on nights when the temperature is predicted to be below 32 degrees, or 38 degrees with rain or snow. We will open for nightly sheltering for the winter beginning November 15, 2015.

To find out if we are open and where, you can check our Facebook page, call 303-605-8919, or ask at the Bridge House or public library.

See you soon!

I’m wondering what washed-up NBA player Lamar Odom was thinking:

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Lamar, the Elvis smirk doesn’t work for you.

Having married a Kar[trashy]an ho, he then feels the urge to visit a Nevada brothel? Isn’t this redundant? Lamar had already put the ho in his home . . . How soon will it be before all of the Kar[trashy]ans are on the streets? Perhaps they’ll come to Boulder, CO for homeless sheltering/services. Yes, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless even has a special room waiting for Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner:

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The one and only Jimmie Rodgers sings “In the Jailhouse Now” circa 1928. See for yourself how many homeless/transient inmates are in Boulder County Jail today, 10/28/2015, by scrolling through the hundreds of names on the Jail Listing (note “Arrestee Address”). The only time I tried to count, I made it halfway through before my eyes started to glaze over — and I’d reached about 60 bums incarcerated at that point. Many are, of course, being held on felony charges pending trial or serving time for felony convictions; when the do-gooders imply that homeless people only go to jail for petty municipal offenses like Illegal Camping, THEY LIE.

I have no doubt that hosting the made-for-TV GOP Candidates’ Debate will gain more publicity for CU than the annual overhyped Conference on World Affairs does. How many folks living outside of the Boulder Bubble give a rat’s patootie about the CWA?

Tonight at my campsite: Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder, with Keebler Club Crackers.

I’m not worried about the competition, and more

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By Max R. Weller

See the new blog “Boulder Street Stories” which I noticed in a post on the Facebook page of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning.

Here’s my take on it, which I made as a comment on BSH’s Facebook page:

Out of curiosity, I looked at this blog — particularly the post “A lot of people out there treat us like garbage” — and I couldn’t DISAGREE with it more. In almost 8 years of living as a homeless man in Boulder, CO not one soul has treated me like garbage; nor have I had any negative experiences with the police or others in authority here. I’d bet that 80% of all those who can be considered homeless at any point during the past eight years have shared my experience, but I acknowledge there is that small minority who are looking to play the victim card every chance they get and an army of apologists/enablers who help them to wallow in self-pity.

Yes, I’m a cynic, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong to suspect this new blog: 1) has an agenda to  support our local homeless shelter/services industry; and 2) its author is most likely a sociology major at CU, with a tenuous grasp on reality when it comes to homelessness.

BTW, my blog will NEVER publish the views of any homeless person simply claiming to be a veteran of military service, without confirming their honorable or general discharge status by means of a DD214. In other words, there are a lot of FAKERS out there on the streets, like this guy:

Richard Grant (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

The KC Royals payroll is right in the middle of all 30 MLB teams, and the NY Mets rank 20th.

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Owner David Glass with Manager Ned Yost

I remember when disgruntled fans were calling Royals owner and former Walmart CEO David Glass a cheapskate (and worse), but now they’re back in the World Series for the second consecutive year (four times in team history). Just goes to show you don’t have to spend $$$ like the Dodgers and Yankees do in order to be successful!

I was awakened overnight by the sound of someone coughing near my campsite, which is disconcerting because I take pains to get away from other homeless campers. Now, I’ll have to worry until tonight about my gear still being where I left it about 5AM today. Darned piggybacking bums — they should find their own place and stop following me around.

That’s all for now, folks . . .

Drunken child molester arrested in 4900 block of N. Broadway

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

I witnessed Mr. Funk being arrested yesterday afternoon, as I was seated on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in my north Boulder neighborhood. Today’s Boulder County Jail listing shows that he was arrested on a Probation Violation and two Boulder municipal offenses of Illegal Camping (outstanding warrants). How he came into contact with Boulder PD makes for an interesting story . . .

By 10AM yesterday (Sunday) morning, there were no less than six homeless men sitting in the Peanut Gallery on the wall as I was playing the role of Humble Beggar on the corner of U.S. 36. I gave it up after half an hour, despite receiving $4 from passersby, because it’s always slow with a bunch of inebriates lurking nearby in full view of motorists. Who can blame people for driving right on by in such circumstances? Shouting Joe, Mississippi Billy, and Frank Funk were three of the six onlookers — and they were already under the influence that early in the day.

Mississippi Billy has been a resident in Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill for a short time now, and he frequently invites his pickled pals from the streets to party in his apartment. This is permitted by Housing First policy — clients and guests drinking alcohol in the apartments — and most drunken residents are taking advantage of it as often as possible. Of course, as many of the neighbors (including me) predicted, the loutish behavior typical of inebriates spills out into the neighborhood. Thus, the three drunks carried on their party on the wall, taking turns “flying a sign” in the nearby median to get enough money for a big 1.75L jug of rotgut vodka; their goal was achieved by early afternoon, and they staggered down the sidewalk southbound to one of the liquor stores in that direction. Apparently, after making their purchase, they went back to Mississippi’s apartment. Remember, as stated above, they were intoxicated before obtaining more booze.

Next thing I noticed, Frank was headed back along the sidewalk northbound, but he stumbled into Broadway and fell on his face twice, and never made it despite the assistance of Drunk Renee the sidewalk pisser:

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Read The wild critters are more respectful than some homeless people.

Lucky for Frank, no cars happened to strike him, for he surely would have been killed. He made it as far as the driveway leading into the commercial district in the 4900 block, and Drunk Renee just left him there. No, she didn’t call 9-1-1, and I don’t own a cell phone — but a Good Samaritan saw the drama and did phone for emergency assistance. Two Boulder PD units responded along with the paramedics, but because Mr. Funk had warrants he was arrested and taken directly to Boulder County Jail, instead of detox.

I have yet to see the other two guys, Shouting Joe and Mississippi, since this incident and it’s entirely possible they’re unaware of what happened to their drinking buddy.

None of the homeless people I know are able to hold their liquor, as the old saying goes, and they inevitably get totally wasted and STUPID every time they imbibe either beer or hard likker. The “permanent supportive housing” approach used at 1175 Lee Hill enables their self-destructive lifestyle and negatively impacts the community. It’s a travesty of compassion, and a darned expensive one at that.

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There are many brands of rotgut vodka available, but all of them are CHEAP.

‘The Dodge City War’

Read about it here and copied below:

Dodge City, Kansas, sprang out of a barrel of whiskey. For 10 years it thrived on whiskey, and city politics revolved around whiskey. The ‘Wickedest Little City in America’ became its nickname. The so-called Dodge City War of 1883 came toward the end of Dodge’s whiskey era.

After Colonel Richard I. Dodge assumed command of Fort Dodge in the spring of 1872, he stopped the sale of alcohol at the fort. This order affected not only the soldiers but also the buffalo hunters and traders in western Kansas. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad was laying track toward Fort Dodge, bringing hundreds of workers. George M. Hoover, a 24-year-old Canadian, jumped on this golden opportunity. He went to eastern Kansas and brought a wagonload of whiskey back to Fort Dodge. On June 17, 1872, Hoover, destined to become the richest man in Dodge City, measured off five miles to the west and opened for business, charging 25 cents a drink.

Hoover’s competition moved in quickly. By the time the tracks arrived in September 1872, several businesses had been established, some still in tents. Dodge City wasn’t incorporated until November 1875, and Ford County wasn’t organized until 1873, so for its first year there was no law or official government in Dodge. Boot Hill, though, was firmly established.

Dodge immediately became a major shipping point for buffalo hunters. By 1873 some 2,000 hunters roamed western Kansas. In a three-year period, 850,000 hides were shipped east out of Dodge, 754,529 of those in 1873. That same year, millions of pounds of buffalo meat and 50 carloads of buffalo tongues were also shipped out.

By 1875 the buffalo was virtually gone from the area, but there was another animal waiting to take its place, the Texas Longhorn. The buffalo hunter was replaced by the cowboy in Dodge City. Some of the hunters stayed around, though, and went into the saloon business as owners, part-owners, bartenders or gamblers. Others became lawmen. Several did both. In 1877, with a population of less than 1,000, Dodge had 16 saloons, plus dance halls and brothels. The saloons changed ownership partners and locations so often one almost needed a scorecard to keep track of all the players.

The early city government and law enforcement were controlled by the Dodge City Gang (or just the Gang), a group of merchants, saloonkeepers and gamblers in favor of a wide-open town to accommodate the Texas cowboy. The Gang’s leader was James H. Kelley, an ex-Confederate soldier and an ex-scout for George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry at Fort Hays, Kan. Kelley loved to hunt and race the greyhounds he brought with him to Dodge. Nicknamed ‘Dog,’ Kelley served as mayor of Dodge City from 1877 until 1881. For 26 years he had a saloon, restaurant and opera house on the corner of Front Street and First Avenue.

Some of the Old West’s most famous lawmen worked under the first elected mayor of Dodge, George Hoover, and then under Mayor Dog Kelley. The Canadian-born Masterson brothers–Ed, Bat and Jim–worked for the railroad and then became buffalo hunters. From buffalo hunting they went to working the saloons of Dodge and serving as lawmen. Bat served as undersheriff to Ford County Sheriff Charles E. Bassett in 1877 and then was elected sheriff that November. Older brother Ed served as a policeman and assistant marshal in 1877 before being appointed marshal that December. Bat’s younger brother Jim became a policeman in June 1878 and was deputy sheriff under Bat. On November 4, 1879, he became marshal. Wyatt Earp, also a onetime buffalo hunter who took to gambling, joined the Dodge City police force in May 1876. Two years later he was appointed assistant marshal. These men didn’t tame Dodge, nor was that their aim, but they did keep a lid on it, at least north of the railroad tracks.

In 1878 the city council passed a law against gambling and prostitution in the Dodge City limits. Individuals involved in those popular activities were fined and released. No one minded too much, and the money generated by fines and by taxes on saloons paid the salaries of law officials. In the meantime, cowboys kept spending their money, and that was what the Dodge City Gang wanted.

By 1879 an anti-Gang reform group was building. These people wanted a safe, moral environment in which to live and raise families. The Reformers, as they were called, were tired of newspapers across the country printing such things as: ‘The town [Dodge City] is full of prostitutes and every house is a brothel’ (Hays Sentinel); or ‘Dodge City. A Den of Thieves and Cut Throats–The Whole Town in League to Rob the Unwary Stranger’ (Yates Center News). Prohibition laws were passed in Kansas in 1880, but in Dodge, as the New York Herald reported,’saloons, gambling rooms and dance halls run with perfect freedom and their proprietors are the leading men in town.’ The Reformers were determined to change the situation.

In the fall of 1879, Bat Masterson, a member of the Dodge City Gang, was defeated in a hotly contested race for sheriff of Ford County. Bat left town, but he would be drawn back to Dodge before long. The new sheriff, George T. Hinkle, was also a saloonkeeper and bartender, but he owned property and was generally considered an anti-Gang merchant. Hinkle’s election was heralded by the Reformers. Mayor Kelley and the city council held on until the April 1881 election, when they were all defeated.

The new mayor, Alonzo B. Webster, a New Yorker who had served in the Union cavalry during the Civil War and as a dispatch scout at Fort Hays after the war, opened a dry-goods store in Dodge in 1872. By the time of his election nine years later, Webster also owned two saloons. Nevertheless, he was one of the Reformers, and he aimed to stymie the Gang’s so-called rackets. On April 17, 1881, Mayor Webster posted this warning to the Dodge City Gang about one of the ‘moral’ ordinances supported by the new anti-liquor city councilmen: ‘To all whom it may concern: All thieves, thugs, confidence men, and persons without visible means of support, will take notice that the ordinance enacted for their special benefit will be rigorously enforced on and after tomorrow.’ He then fired Jim Masterson as city marshal, giving the job to Fred Singer, a bartender in one of his saloons.

Several months before the election, Jim Masterson had become a partner of A.J. Peacock in the Lady Gay Dance Hall and Saloon. Peacock hired his brother-in-law Al Updegraff as bartender. Masterson and Updegraff never got along. Masterson wanted to fire Updegraff, but Peacock sided with his brother-in-law, who supposedly filed a complaint for Masterson’s arrest. At this point someone sent an unsigned telegram to Bat in Tombstone asking him to help Jim. Bat immediately set out for Dodge City. He had already lost one brother there and didn’t intend to lose another. City Marshal Ed Masterson had been killed in April 1878 while trying to disarm a drunken cowboy.

Bat arrived by train on April 16, 1881, and immediately confronted Peacock and Updegraff, who were both armed. No one knows who fired the first bullet, but soon all three were firing. Masterson was along the railroad tracks firing south. Peacock and Updegraff took cover around the corner of the city jail just south of the railroad tracks. They were firing north directly toward the businesses on Front Street. Others joined in the gunplay–probably including Jim Masterson from the saloon–and for a few minutes it sounded like war had broken out. When the firing ceased, Mayor Webster and Marshal Singer ran up with shotguns and arrested Bat Masterson. Updegraff was the only one wounded, having been shot through the lung, perhaps by Bat. Businesses along Front Street lost their windows, but they, as well as Updegraff, recovered. Bat paid an $8 fine plus $2 court costs. He then got out of Dodge again, this time taking Jim, after Jim and Peacock had reached a financial settlement concerning the Lady Gay establishment.

The Lady Gay was purchased by Assistant Marshal Tom Nixon and a former buffalo hunter, Brick Bond. It was the only dance hall left in town. With the marshal running one of the two saloons owned by the mayor, these Reformer officials were essentially doing the same thing the Gang had done. Money collected from other saloons, gamblers and prostitutes was used to pay for Mayor Webster’s lawmen. Webster wasn’t so much after reform as he was out to control the action and profits.

In 1882 Luke Short arrived in Dodge City. He was a professional gambler who had gained a reputation as a gunfighter after killing Charlie Storms inside Tombstone’s Oriental Saloon. He looked the part of a professional gambler–impeccably dressed, complete with top hat, diamond tie pin and gold-headed walking stick. He had wandered in and out of frontier towns and became friends with Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Masterson later wrote that Short was a small man, 5 feet 6 inches tall, and weighing under 140 pounds. ‘It was a small package, but one of great dynamic force,’ Bat wrote. Short was not a man to be pushed around. (Emphasis is mine — MRW).

In February 1883, Short bought out half of the Long Branch Saloon. His partner was William H. Harris, a saloon owner and gambler in Dodge City since 1876. Harris was in the cattle business, too, and had founded Dodge’s first bank. In April 1883 he was picked as the Gang’s mayoral candidate against Lawrence E. Deger, who was outgoing Mayor Webster’s man. Deger had no love for any of the Mastersons, their friends or their friends’ partners. He had been defeated by Bat Masterson for sheriff in November 1877 and then replaced as city marshal by Ed Masterson the following month. He was out to strike back. The stage was now set for the Dodge City War.

Webster and Deger supporters, including the Dodge City Times, made good use of smear tactics in their campaign against Harris. Deger easily won the election. Talk was that railroad men had cast many illegal votes. Dodge was an important town to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, and the railroad company wanted the town tamed. Ordinances Nos. 70 and 71 were passed on April 26, 1883. Number 70, ‘An Ordinance For The Suppressing Of Vice And Immorality Within The City Of Dodge City,’ levied fines from $5 to $100 on prostitutes and brothel keepers. Number 71, ‘An Ordinance To Define And Punish Vagrancy,’ placed fines from $10 to $100 on anyone convicted of ‘loitering, loafing or wandering’ within the city limits without a job or visible means of support. The vagrancy ordinance was designed to be quite sweeping and affected keepers of brothels or gambling houses and those ‘engaged in any unlawful calling whatever.’

Two days later, April 28, extra police were hired, and the lawmen arrested three ’singers’ at the Long Branch Saloon. After Harris and Short discovered that same day that none of the girls from other saloons had been arrested, Short put on his revolvers and headed for the jail. Deger and his administration clearly had it in for him. As Short approached the jail in the darkness, Louis C. Hartman, city clerk and one of the new policeman, was standing on the walk. According to some accounts, Short opened fire first, but Hartman dove to the ground unhurt. Other accounts say Hartman shot first, but missed Short. As Short returned the fire, Hartman, running in full retreat, tripped and fell off the walk. Thinking he had killed the policeman, Short went back to the Long Branch and barricaded the door. The next morning, Marshal Jack Bridges sent someone to tell Short that he had not hit Hartman and if he would surrender, he would be released after paying a small fine for disturbing the peace. When Short came out unarmed, he was arrested and charged with assault. He was released on $2,000 bond.

Webster and Deger wanted to be rid of Luke Short for several reasons. For one thing, they were afraid of him and his friends. Webster was losing money because it was hard to compete with Harris, Short and the Long Branch ’singers.’ Although Deger had won the recent election, he still resented Harris and disliked Short for being a friend of Bat Masterson. Hartman, of course, was also anti-Short, as were such other so-called Reformers as lawyer Mike Sutton and Assistant Marshal Clark Chipman.

A couple of days after being released on bond, Short was arrested, along with five other gamblers. They were told that they were going to jail for being undesirables. The six gamblers were not allowed to see lawyers. After a while, the prisoners were escorted to the depot by a large group of armed men. Short and the others were given a choice–either an eastbound train or a westbound train out of Dodge. Short chose to go east to Kansas City.

Short wired Bat Masterson in Denver to come to Kansas City, and Masterson answered his friend’s call. Masterson suggested that Short go to Topeka and see Governor George Washington Glick, an anti-prohibitionist. The Kansas City Evening Star got wind of what was happening and on May 9, 1883, reported: ‘The fact, that for the past ten days a very remarkable and startling state of affairs has existed at as well known a point as Dodge City, Kas., and that all mention of them has been kept out of the press, the matter, in short, entirely suppressed from the outside world, is an excellent illustration of what western lawlessness can do and the state of society in some of the border towns. That trouble of a serious nature has existed there can be surmised from the fact that prominent Kansas City attorneys left to-day for Topeka to petition Gov. Glick in the interest of Dodge City property owners that the town be placed under martial law.

‘The difficulty, which began only a little over a week ago, is but the culmination of a long standing feud between two elements of the peace. Dodge City has long enjoyed the reputation of being a hard place. It was one of the few points in Kansas where saloons run openly and gambling is legitimized. The headquarters of the cowboys and cattle men of that vicinity, the majority of the institutions are designed for their especial selectation. Just before the last city election the mayor was a man named Webster, the proprietor of a dive, half saloon and the other half gambling house and variety hall. He was a representative of the tougher element of the sporting fraternity. The head of the other faction was W.H. Harris, of Harris and Short, proprietors of the Long Branch saloon. Harris represented the quieter and more respectable element and there was bitter feeling between the two. At the last election Harris was beaten in the race for mayor by one Deger, Webster’s candidate, and since then it has been conceded that it was only a matter of time when all of Harris’s sympathizers would be driven out of the town. Thus Dodge has been hovering on the brink of trouble for a long time. About ten days ago it came. Mr. Short, who is Harris’s partner, and a police officer had a shooting affray. Neither were hurt and the evidence showed that Short was fired on first. He was nevertheless placed under bonds, and next day thrown in jail. The marshal of Dodge, who made the arrest, is Jack Bridges, a well-known character, who formerly lived here and traveled principally upon having ‘killed his man.’ A short time later five gamblers were arrested, and also jailed. That night a vigilance committee was formed with Tom Nixon, the proprietor of one of the hardest dance halls that ever existed in the west, at the head. This crowd repaired to the jail and notified the prisoners that they must leave town next morning and that they would be given their choice of trains going east or west. Meantime the vigilantes took possession of the town.

‘The correspondent of the Chicago Times and other leading papers were notified that they must not be permitted to send any telegrams in reference to the situation and a body of armed men watched the arrival of each train to see that there was no interference. A lawyer from Larned, sent for by one of the prisoners, was met by a vigilante who leveled a shot-gun at his head and told him not to stop. He passed on. Next morning the five gamblers were put on a westward bound train and Short left for Kansas City where he is at present. The trouble has by no means yet abated. The place is practically in the hands of the ‘vigilantes’ and the situation is more serious from the fact that the mayor is acting with them and it was he who notified the prisoners that they must go. The trains are still watched and armed men guard the town while a list of others who will be ordered out has been prepared. Every source of reliable information indicates that Dodge is now in the hands of desperadoes, and that incident to the objection of Short and the others, the lives and property of the citizens are by no means safe. For this reason martial law is being asked. That there will be trouble of a very serious character there, is anticipated.’

In Topeka, Short filed the appropriate petition to the governor stating that a ‘band of armed men’ had forced him out of Dodge City because of ‘political differences and business rivalry.’ He added that if he had remained he would have been murdered. W.F. Petillon, county clerk of Ford County, was summoned by the governor. He backed up Short’s story.

Governor Glick wired Sheriff Hinkle about conditions in Dodge City. Hinkle answered on May 11 that the men were expelled to avoid trouble and that he could keep the peace in Dodge. Glick apparently didn’t like Hinkle’s answer because he wired back: ‘The accounts of the way things have been going on there are simply monstrous, and it requires that the disgrace that is being brought upon Dodge City, and the State of Kansas, by the conduct that is represented to have occurred there, should be wiped out. Your dispatch to me presents an extraordinary state of affairs, one that is outrageous on its face. You tell me that the mayor has compelled several parties to leave the town for refusing to comply with the ordinances. Such a statement as that if true, simply shows that the mayor is unfit for his place, that he does not do his duty, and instead of occupying the position of peace maker, the man whose duty it is to see that the ordinances are enforced by legal processes in the courts, starts out to head a mob to drive people away from their homes and their business.’

Short and friends, including Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Shotgun Collins and Rowdy Joe Lowe, were assembling in Kansas City. Bat Masterson and Charlie Bassett were already there. Newspapers across the country were now carrying the story of what they called the ‘Dodge City War.’ On May 15, the Kansas City Evening Star, obviously in sympathy with Luke Short, published a list of the men (along with their reputations) who were preparing to descend on Dodge City. The paper concluded: ‘Such is the party who are going to Dodge City to see to it that Short is permitted to reenter his place of business and protect him from molestation. It is probable that they will be joined by others before they arrive at Dodge City, and those who are acquainted with the party and their disposition are at no hesitancy in predicting that there is going to be trouble of a bloody nature if resistance is offered to Short’s return.’ When Sheriff Hinkle learned of this threat from Kansas City, he gathered a posse to meet all incoming trains.

Short and friends went to Caldwell, Kan. Some of them, including Earp and Holliday, apparently moved on to Colorado to round up more troops. ‘Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and all the sports in the country, held a meeting at Silverton and decided to take Dodge City by storm,’ according to a letter dated June 2, 1883, and published anonymously in the Topeka Daily Commonwealth three days later. ‘Short is at Caldwell but will meet the party at Cimarron, 18 miles west of Dodge, perhaps Sunday night [June 3] or soon after. Horses will be taken at Cimarron and the whole party will rendezvous at Mr. Oliver’s, two miles west of Dodge. Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp [who had taken care of business with the Clantons and other ‘cowboys’ in Tombstone two years earlier] are now secretly in Dodge City, watching matters. When the time for action comes a telegram will reach them worded as follows: ‘Your tools will be there at _____,’ giving the time agreed upon. The plan is to drive all of Short’s enemies out of Dodge at the mouth of the revolvers.’

Wyatt Earp later told his biographer, Stuart Lake, his version of what happened when he arrived in Dodge City on May 31. There was nothing secret about Earp’s arrival, and Holliday was not with him at that time. The four men with Earp were Dan Tipton, Johnny Green, Texas Jack Vermillion and Johnny Millsap. As he stepped off the train, Earp was met by ‘Prairie Dog’ Dave Morrow, an ex-buffalo hunter, part-time lawman and friend of Bat Masterson. Morrow was wearing a special policeman’s badge. After Earp explained his presence, Morrow agreed that Luke Short got ‘a dirty deal.’ Earp stated that if he and his four companions were deputized, they could legally wear their guns in town. Morrow looked into the eyes of the gunmen and appointed all five of them city policemen. Earp sent his men to lookout points, while additional support arrived–Charlie Bassett, Frank McLain, Shotgun Collins and others.

On the day of Earp’s arrival, Sheriff Hinkle wired the governor to send troops. Hinkle stated that because Dodge was overrun by gunmen, he could not maintain the peace any longer. Instead of ordering out any troops, Governor Glick said he would send Adjutant General Thomas Moonlight to check conditions in Dodge City. Bat Masterson later wrote: ‘When it became known in Dodge the sort of reply the governor had sent back to the appeal for militia, something of consternation took possession of Webster’s followers. Those who had lately been the loudest in their declarations of hostility to Short were now for peace at any price. Webster, himself no coward, saw that the yellow streak he knew was in the makeup of his followers was giving unmistakable signs of recrudescence. He knew that when the time came he would have to fight the battle alone….It was at this stage of affairs that Webster concluded to send for Wyatt, and if possible bring about a settlement of the difficulty without an appeal to arms.’

Wyatt Earp, according to Masterson, was told by Webster that Short would be allowed to return to Dodge and resume business unmolested. In return, Earp guaranteed there would be no conflict. Bat Masterson wrote: ‘Wyatt immediately notified Short and I by wire of the complete backdown of the enemy, and when we reached the city next day we were cordially received by our friends. The enemy, not being sure that Wyatt could control the situation, kept in the background until he had received assurances from both Luke and I that the peace terms made by Earp would be faithfully lived up to by us.’

Masterson and Short’s appearance on Monday June 4 was described four days later by the Evening Star: ‘The entrance of the Short party in Dodge was peculiar. First Luke Short arrived. Getting off the train some little distance from the camp he slung a 6-shooter on each hip, and with a double barreled shot gun in his hands, walked down the main street to the Long Branch saloon, carefully watching the corners. In a day or two Bat Masterson dropped in, armed in a similar manner, and joined Short. Then came Charley Bassett, who simply dropped a Winchester repeating rifle under his arm and walked up the middle of the street. Since then every train has brought fresh delegations, and there are now upwards of 40 or 50 men ready for call at the Long Branch. The so-called vigilantes have weakened and there is no apprehension of immediate trouble.’

By the time Adjutant General Moonlight got to Dodge, a couple days after Short, everything was essentially settled. A compromise had been reached. Gambling was to continue in areas screened off from bar rooms and dance halls. Women would be allowed in saloons and dance halls, but would have to be more discreet. Short and his friends promised to help get rid of the really crooked gamblers and swindlers, which they did. The bloodless Dodge City War was over.

In a letter to the Daily Kansas State Journal printed on June 9, Bat Masterson first wrote about the backdown of the enemy. ‘I arrived here yesterday and was met at the train by a delegation of friends who escorted me without molestation to the business house of Harris & Short. I think the inflammatory reports about Dodge City and its inhabitants have been greatly exaggerated and if at any time they did ‘don the war paint,’ it was completely washed off before I reached here. I never met a more gracious lot of people in my life. They all seemed favorably disposed, and hailed the return of Short and his friends with exultant joy. I have been unable as yet to find a single individual who participated with the crowd that forced him to leave here at first.’

To assure continued peace in Dodge City, Moonlight set about establishing a group he called Glick’s Guards. It was composed of both pro-Webster and pro-Short men. The Guards were to anticipate and solve any future problems. Before Short’s friends left town, seven of them posed with him for a formal picture that soon became known as the ‘Dodge City Peace Commission.’ Three days after Bat Masterson arrived in Dodge, he and Wyatt Earp left town, headed for New Mexico Territory.

Peace was maintained. On November 19, 1883, Harris and Short sold the Long Branch Saloon. Short went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he bought into another saloon. In 1884, Short reached an out-of-court settlement after threatening to sue the city of Dodge for forcing him to leave town the previous year. Short reportedly became wealthy at the gambling tables and moved into Fort Worth society. A gambling dispute led to a shootout on February 8, 1887, in which Short killed the dangerous gunfighter Jim Courtright. When Short’s health began to fail, he returned to Kansas and sought relief at the mineral spa at Geuda Springs. Luke Short died there of what was described as ‘dropsy’ on September 8, 1893. His wife took his body back to Fort Worth to be buried. He was 39 years old.

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This article was written by P.A. Mallory and originally published in the June 1997 issue of Wild West magazine.

Boulder keeps the homeless as “pets” (redux)

(Originally published on 5/8/2012).

By Max R. Weller

Let me explain: By “Boulder” I mean the wealthy white elites, of course, who are doing all they can public policy-wise to drive out the middle class and working poor from home ownership in our fair city. (The Boulder elites are a much larger percentage than Occupy’s so-called 1%, and the PLAN-Boulder cabal further increases their nefarious influence). To compensate for this outrage against workers now forced to live in neighboring cities and commute to their jobs here, Boulder has made itself a mecca for transients from all across America and built an elaborate homeless shelter/services industry; this renders the appearance of compassion and allows Boulder to Feel Good about itself. It’s all a sham.

I submit, based on over four years of continuous observation of homelessness in my new hometown, that Boulder has no real interest in actually helping most homeless people “get back on their feet” as the trite expression goes. There is no transitional program in this city that has a successful track record which people might point to and say, “Hey, that’s great!” The homeless people who get sucked into this system have great difficulty in breaking free, and many become permanent dependents of it — thereby providing scores of social workers, case managers, addiction counselors, mental health counselors, and others with regular paychecks at taxpayers’ expense. To me, it’s unconscionable.

Boulder Shelter for the Homeless has its revolving door First Step and Transitional Living programs. The latter is supposed to be 9 months in duration pending the client getting into housing somewhere, whether temporary or permanent; in fact, you can see some of the same faces there year after year without long-term successful outcomes. And the relatively new Ready to Work program, touted with much fanfare by Bridge House as a transitional employment program, is apparently just a make-work enterprise funded by taxpayers. Picking up cigarette butts on Pearl Street Mall for $8/hour will hardly help one in obtaining a real job with a decent wage in private industry. It’s all show and no go.

Keep the homeless as pets, and put your enlightened compassion on display for all to see! That’s what Boulder is all about, in much the same way the elites cater to prairie dogs. And just to fool the folks who are paying attention, we’ll tighten up city ordinances a little bit so the ACLU will complain (not that this will keep the hundreds of transients from coming to their vacation destination). BUT, we certainly can’t have the homeless transitioning to middle class-status, because then we’d have the bother of running ‘em out of town and making them commute to work here. Can’t have any upward mobility among the unwashed masses of Boulder. BTW, we need to figure out a way to shut up that homeless guy with the blog . . .

gregharms

Max’s rainy day journal, including thoughts on Tiny Houses

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

See the National Weather Service forecast for Boulder, CO. I welcome the rain, and I hope it continues throughout the daylight hours. This will probably chase away the bums who want to hang out on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in the 4900 block of N. Broadway. I call them the Homeless Peanut Gallery, and they have a negative effect on the generosity of passersby at the corner of U.S. 36. For example, in the hour I spent as a Humble Beggar with four or five onlookers I made only $3; in the hour after they left the neighborhood and I was alone, I received $13 from generous folks at the stoplight there. This is almost always the case, and I can’t blame drivers for it — who wants to donate cash to any panhandler with a bunch of inebriates lurking nearby? Especially Crazy Mike, who struts back and forth in front of the other homeless people like a Bantam rooster:

bantamrooster

Thinks he rules the roost: LOL!

This is the first day since early May that I’ve worn the winter coat a friend bought for me around this time of year in 2012. The only wear it shows is fading from black to gray in places most exposed to the Colorado sunshine. This heavy garment is warm and water-proof, and in the harshest winter conditions I sleep in it overnight. I still haven’t donned my thermal underwear, however.

Read Boulder City Council approves $328M budget for 2016 in the Daily Camera. Quoting from the article below:

The Boulder City Council gave unanimous approval Tuesday night to a $328 million budget for 2016 that includes 47.7 new employees, including two new police officers . . . Boulder police Chief Greg Testa said the new officers will eventually focus on mental health and homeless response in cooperation with mental health professionals.

Does this mean the obvious Froot Loops causing so many problems here will actually be taken into custody and transported to a secure psychiatric facility for evaluation? If not, we can expect to see violent crimes affecting the general population, not just drunken bums stabbing each other.

BTW, using the handy online calculator, this budget comes to over $3,000 in city spending per capita (based on a population of 105,000 in Boulder, CO). That’s over $12,000 for a family of four! Are YOU getting services from the city worth so much? And consider this: If Boulder spends $3,000 annually for each homeless person counted in the U.S. Census, why are hundreds of them still on the streets? Where is the money going? Isn’t it long overdue to demand accountability from our local homeless shelter/services industry?

See what OM Build in Madison, WI can provide for $5,000:

Could America End Homelessness Quickly By Doing This?

You must understand that almost all of what homeless people in Boulder, CO receive at various Free Giveaway venues — food and beverage, footwear and clothing, camping gear, hygiene products, etc. — is donated by individuals or companies. Isabel McDevitt is NOT taking a shopping list to Walmart NOR spending any part of the Bridge House budget on these goods. What is happening to the city taxpayers’ money?

Oh, pardon me! Taxpayers’ money is going into grandiose projects like the 31-unit Housing First project at 1175 Lee Hill (a collaboration between Boulder Shelter and Boulder Housing Partners). Each apartment for a single chronically homeless adult cost well in excess of $200,000 . . . That’s more than the price of 40 tiny houses! Homelessness in Boulder could already have been ended using the OM Build approach, instead of squandering millions of dollars for relatively few homeless clients.

The do-gooders who think that 1175 Lee Hill is a good idea ought to be transported to a secure psychiatric facility for evaluation.

do-gooders

Do-Gooders by Mona Charen

I try always to tell it like it is, unlike some others:

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That’s all for now . . .

‘Guest commentary: Boulder enables homelessness’ from the Daily Camera 8/1/2009

By Max R. Weller

See it here and copied below:

My opinion as a homeless Boulderite may surprise many, but here it is nonetheless: Boulder does too much for its single adult (not yet senior) homeless people — far beyond a necessary minimal level of emergency shelter, food, medical care, and clothing — and this “enabling” culture not only has a negative impact on the community as a whole, it fails to serve the homeless people in the long run.

It must be pointed out that many of these homeless men and women receive SSDI/SSI monthly disability benefits, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. Many of them patronize the Carriage House homeless people’s day center for case management and Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, which runs a transitional living program and provides morning services all year in addition to providing emergency overnight sheltering during the winter season.

In addition, many homeless people apply for subsidized housing programs (there are several) and get on a first-come, first-serve waiting list.

As for medical care, the typical homeless Boulderite can use Clinica Campesina (People’s Clinic) for free or at greatly reduced cost or just present himself at Boulder Community Hospital’s ER. There are a couple of local churches that provide assistance to pay for prescriptions, if the homeless person lacks Medicaid coverage. Unfortunately, too many homeless people seek out doctors to obtain prescription narcotic painkillers, which they then sell on the streets for a profit. Sometimes, the phony patients will even have an ambulance respond to take them to the ER in hopes of obtaining free narcotics.

Boulder puts out so much free food for homeless people that it’s no wonder most are overweight. Besides the breakfast available for everyone at Boulder Shelter every morning 365 days a year, there is Carriage House for lunch and snacks Monday through Friday, various churches feeding during the evenings Monday through Thursday, St. Thomas Aquinas food bank open for breakfast and grocery bags of food to go Monday through Saturday, various churches which rotate feeding lunch every Sunday, a meal in the Justice Center parking lot Sunday night, and others. No wonder, either, that food stamp benefits are superfluous in all of this bounty and sometimes wind up being sold for 50 cents on the dollar. The fat and happy homeless of Boulder simply cannot eat it all.

Emergency shelter is an important consideration during the cold winters in Colorado, and Boulder Shelter allows an individual homeless person 90 nights of sheltering during the winter season from Oct. 1 through Apr. 30. An Emergency Warming Center coalition of several churches exists to handle the overflow when Boulder Shelter’s capacity is exceeded. If priority were given to homeless Boulderites over Denver transients, the overflow would be eased considerably; Denver has adequate facilities to take care of its own homeless people. Boulder County Cares provides camping gear during the winter, and most of my own gear I’ve picked up after it was just thrown away by homeless campers. So much of it that I’ve donated some of it back to BCC.

Too much free clothing is distributed, and some homeless people simply throw away their dirty clothes rather than use the free washers and dryers at Boulder Shelter, available 365 days a year. Deacon’s Closet might reconsider being open every Thursday, and cut back to once or twice a month.

Boulder’s parks must be made family-friendly once again, and a big step to accomplishing that would be to make public intoxication (in and of itself) a municipal offense. There is no constitutional right for the homeless to be drunk and stupid in public. Write ’em up or take them to the Addiction Recovery Center, which should be a lockdown detox facility like the one in Denver.

Panhandlers should be required to buy a business license and be subject to regulation by the city as are many businesses. They would almost all vanish if this were to become law, despite their claims that panhandling or posing as musicians is “work.”

Yes, these are just a few examples of how Boulder enables homeless people to continue in that lifestyle with no thought to the future. I think it’s a dirty shame, and not compassionate at all.

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Addendum 10/20/2015: In the six years and counting since this was published, Boulder has continued down the same road at an ever-increasing speed. Consider the 1175 Lee Hill “permanent supportive care” facility, a collaboration between Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Boulder Housing Partners, and the Ready to Work “transitional living” program run by Bridge House (formerly known as Carriage House); both are taxpayer-funded and serve no useful purpose, once you strip away the do-gooders’ empty rhetoric and critically examine client outcomes.

Meanwhile, there are still hundreds of homeless people on the streets here, over half of them transients from Denver and elsewhere . . .

I favor giving each one of them the $5 bus ticket on RTD back to Denver, along with a couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bottle of water to-go.

Weekend drama from Crazy Mike and Drunk Max in north Boulder

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By [Sober] Max R. Weller

On Saturday, Drunk Max the guitar player (or former guitar player, since he’s now too drunk to do anything except make a fool of himself and pass out in public) attempted to “fly a sign” at the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36. He didn’t walk out to the median there until after he’d fortified himself with several swallows of rotgut vodka, and it hit him hard: Drunk Max was staggering from side to side and even fell into the driver’s side door of a couple of cars, which fortunately were stopped at the red light and NOT in motion. His pal, Crazy Mike, finally went out and assisted Drunk Max away from the corner, leaving his “friend” unconscious behind the wooden fence that forms the north boundary of the Bustop Gentleman’s Club.

As inebriated as Drunk Max has been on a daily basis for over a week, Crazy Mike should have called the paramedics to respond and transport DM to detox. I guess that’s expecting too much of CM, who has been drunk himself every day for about three weeks now. No matter — one or more passersby who witnessed this spectacle called 9-1-1. BTW, I don’t own a cell phone.

Shortly after CM got back to what used to be my spot on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant in the 4900 block of N. Broadway (I’ve moved to a spot farther south along the sidewalk, so people won’t mistakenly associate me with the scurvy bums), two Boulder County SO vehicles pulled up and the deputies got out to confront CM. He admitted what he’d done, saving his own hide by dumping his helpless friend out of sight like a bag of trash, and the deputies quickly drove over to the Bustop’s parking lot to check on DM’s welfare. The ambulance was summoned immediately, and paramedics took the drunkard away.

I was very vocal in my criticism of the bad behavior of both homeless men, but they’re so self-entitled that nothing registers on their pickled brains. Everything that happens to them is somebody else’s fault, don’t you know . . .

Yesterday (Sunday), I tried moving back to my old spot because CM wasn’t around, and a couple of decent guys were sitting there. The three of us didn’t get to talk for very long before Crazy Mike comes rolling up on his bicycle to tell us about other would-panhandlers gathering underneath the bridge spanning Four Mile Creek at Broadway & Rosewood. CM said, “They’ll be coming up here to take over the corner!” This indicated to me that CM is spying on other homeless people, who have recently straightened up and are no longer causing trouble on the corner as they take a turn panhandling, while he continues to invite his stupid friends like Drunk Max and the Louisiana Lunatic to do so. Crazy Mike gets out there and rants and raves, using numerous f-bombs so loudly that it disturbs folks dining on the patio at the nearby restaurant, and he’s become the worst of the bad actors by far.

I told him, “We don’t care about those other people; they aren’t the ones causing trouble now — YOU ARE!” The poor boy (who could be as old as 40, but I’m not sure) started sputtering vague threats against me, and I was hoping he’d walk over and take a swing at me in front of witnesses who could (and would) back my version of events: “Deputy, he swung at me first and then I defended myself by driving the head of my cane into his solar plexus . . .” You hit any drunk there and he’s certain to go down and start puking, which ends the fight.

I’m not about to lose my cool and start a fight with anyone.

drunks

NOT Crazy Mike and Drunk Max, but it could be.

Residents in the Dakota Ridge neighborhood have recently gotten more involved in trying to rid this area of the riff-raff, and the brush that was growing up in the ditch along the sidewalk has been cut down, likewise the tall grass underneath the pine trees where the drunks had been wallowing during the day. In fact, much progress has been made.

Still, something needs to be done about Crazy Mike and Drunk Max. I’m concerned that CM is as twisted mentally as James Holmes, and nobody wants to see a massacre at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — which recently banned CM from its premises, and would be the most likely target for his violent impulses.