Monthly Archives: June 2016

‘Attention Homes plan is in the wrong location’

Read the guest opinion in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

As a resident of the Whittier neighborhood, I share my neighbors’ concerns that placing a high-density housing development in our historic residential neighborhood will forever change its character. But that’s not the main reason that I am opposed to transitional housing project proposed for 1440 Pine Street. It is the wrong location for the at-risk population it is intended to serve. The plan is to build 40 apartments in downtown Boulder for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. This means that they have grown up, going from one residential placement to another. Typically, rejected, neglected, or abused as children, these emotionally scarred victims of circumstance desperately need guidance and support in order to become productive members of society versus ending up in jail, or worse.

Having had the privilege of working for Attention Homes, the proposed service provider for this facility, as well as serving on their board of directors, I had the opportunity to work with these children over many years, often feeling emotionally overwhelmed by their chilling histories, crying in my car on my way home from work. This is a population close to my heart. That’s why I feel compelled to speak out. By locating this facility so close to downtown Boulder, we will be setting up a large percentage of these residents to fail. I know this because when Attention Homes had a facility down the block from the proposed site, we would regularly “lose children to Pearl Street,” seeing them intoxicated and begging for money in the company of older drifters days later.

The flawed logic being espoused by the developers is that this is a great location because it’s near public transportation and job opportunities, when in fact any location on the bus route would accomplish the same goal without all of the unhealthy temptations. Particularly because there will be no ongoing supervision or treatment requirements for residents, according to Attention Homes.

Moreover, to see such a storied nonprofit veer from its mission in order to survive financially is heartbreaking. I also had the privilege of working with juvenile court judge Horace Holmes, who brought kids from his courtroom to his own home for respite, which provided the genesis of the Attention Homes model. Namely, taking kids out of institutions and placing them in a small homelike setting to recreate a sense of warmth and family. This is the first time in their 50-year history that they are breaking from that tradition. And due to reduced funding to provide alternate housing for children in need, to see them abandoning that effort in favor of now working with adults because of better funding opportunities, has us as a community abandoning these children all over again.

The ugly truth is that the location of this proposed facility is driven by financial gain for all three partners; The church will get their property developed at no cost to them, Attention Homes will have the funds necessary to keep operating, and the for-profit developer will, well, make their profit. Just imagine what they can do with 40 apartments in downtown Boulder, once their 15-year agreement with Attention Homes expires.

Jan Hittelman is a licensed psychologist in Boulder. 


Facility at 3080 N. Broadway; new addition completed in 2013

Changing the mission of Attention Homes from its original focus on vulnerable kids ages 12-17 to young adults ages 18-24 is indeed something “driven by financial gain” as the commentary above states. I find it unconscionable, as well as unneeded, because a ton of other resources are available for the 18-24 crowd . . . Also ironic, because the young adults are often preying on the kids.



Denver cracks down on 16th Street Mall


Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Denver Post: Denver going after “scourge of hoodlums” on 16th Street Mall. Excerpt follows:

Citing a “scourge of hoodlums” on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, city officials on Monday announced new plans to ramp up security, including stopping people from leaning on walls and calling animal control when people are loitering with dogs.

The plan also includes the addition of more uniformed officers on the mall, from the Denver Police Department and from private security, which will be hired by the Denver Downtown Partnership.

Mayor Michael Hancock said the crackdown is coming because of bad behavior from “urban travelers,” whom he described as a scourge of hoodlums who are pushing the boundaries of the law. Others describe the urban travelers as primarily young people who travel between cities seeking a carefree lifestyle with no desire to hold jobs, mortgages or bank accounts.

“I know people will try to twist who and what we are talking about here today,” Hancock said during a news conference at the Downtown Denver Partnership’s office. “We are not talking about Denver’s homeless. We’re not talking about those on the corner asking for money.”

The travelers often arrive in Denver around April 20, in time for the annual marijuana celebration, and they stick around for the warmer months before moving down the road. Since 2014, there has been an increase in their numbers, said Denver police Cmdr. Tony Lopez, whose district includes downtown.

“They are intimidating those who want to enjoy the mall,” Hancock said.

White described the travelers as “aggressive and offensive” and said, “they’ve been disrespectful to even our police officers in uniforms to be honest with you. We’re at the point where enough is enough. We’re not going to tolerate it for one more second.”

See Violent confrontation on 16th Street Mall caught on video from Fox31 in Denver.

This is the same situation Boulder has been struggling with for years, with transient predators committing violent crimes such as rapes and stabbings; other homeless people they perceive as weaker are frequently their victims. Most of the troublemakers in Denver also travel here to our fair city, filling all available emergency shelter space in wintertime and consuming other resources. Unfortunately, Boulder’s homeless shelter / services industry refuses to require valid photo ID with a Boulder County address and instead serves anybody who can stagger through the door, including sex offenders from other states. MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY.

Enabler-in-chief of the worst-behaved transients, heading an organization which spends millions of dollars annually at the same time the number of homeless in Boulder is increasing. And Bridge House has plenty of company:


“Sexually Violent Predator” Kerry Whitfield is from Denver.

I doubt any serious crackdown will ever occur in Boulder until one of the elites falls victim. Then, the do-gooders just might wake up to reality!


Everything Boulder, CO embraces becomes a travesty

From four years ago, but could have been written this morning:


By Max R. Weller

Sooner or later . . .

Consider the following:

1) Dog ownership; here in Boulder it’s an affectation for most, who really don’t have any clue how to care for Man’s Best Friend. Proper control over their pet in public is, of course, out of the question. Even homeless people have gotten into the act, with their numerous phony service dogs, which can always be identified as such when they board an RTD bus and begin sniffing everybody’s crotch. I owned a Springer Spaniel from the time I was about 8 years old until after I graduated from high school in 1974, and it made for great companionship — of a kind I find lacking in yuppies showing off their canines at the Farmers’ Market and elsewhere. A couple of years ago, there was a brouhaha here when some woman reported seeing her precious little Jack Russell Terrier (a…

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