An open letter to one of Boulder’s ‘homeless advocates’

Dear Mr. O’Connor,

On the Daily Camera’s Facebook page, following this story, you made the following comments:

1)  “Let us not forget that the Fourmile Canyon fire was started by a firefighter. I don’t remember folks complaining about housed people destroying 135 homes, the most expensive fire in Colorado history.” Actually, the Waldo Canyon Fire at $453.7M ranks as the state’s most expensive.

2) “A nice solution to trash would be simple and effective: provide trash service.”

3) “If Boulder provided places to camp, our unhoused community wouldn’t be forced to sleep in the woods. So there’s that.”

4) Repeating yourself: “There was no fire ban when this happened. Just like there was no ban when a resident firefighter started the Fourmile Canyon fire, destroying, 135 homes. Remember that? And he didn’t spend even a night in jail.”

Responding to these by the numbers:

1) Certainly I remember the Fourmile Fire, and I thought that the homeowner who failed to make absolutely certain that his fire pit was out should have been prosecuted. Despite flooding it with several inches of water and smothering it with dirt, fire investigators found that the ground around this fire pit was several hundred degrees at a pretty good depth, and they knew then that this was the source of ignition. Having said all that, I recognize that prosecutors did not believe they could gain a conviction in this case, and they have discretion in filing charges. Claiming, “SO-AND-SO DID WRONG AND GOT AWAY WITH IT (I guess losing your own home doesn’t count), SO I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO WRONG, TOO” is the argument of a bratty 5-year-old. That’s about the level of discourse we’ve come to expect from Boulder’s homeless advocates, and probably explains why Boulder Rights Watch has only 108 members versus 300+ and counting for Peak to Peak Forest Watch.

2) Campers can haul out their own trash — most of them do so without whining — and homeless campers are already getting millions and millions of dollars’ worth of sheltering / services from many nonprofits in Boulder County.

3) Even those who camp illegally can do so in a way respectful to others and to the environment, and most of them do. Why are you so obsessed with the lowest common denominator of transients who make ALL homeless folks look bad?

4) Repeating myself: Claiming, “SO-AND-SO DID WRONG AND GOT AWAY WITH IT (I guess losing your own home doesn’t count), SO I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO WRONG, TOO” is the argument of a bratty 5-year-old. That’s about the level of discourse we’ve come to expect from Boulder’s homeless advocates, and probably explains why Boulder Rights Watch has only 108 members versus 300+ and counting for Peak to Peak Forest Watch.

To sum up, goodhearted people need to stop donating to nonprofits which cater to transients who have no ties to Boulder County, CO — as a matter of preserving both our environment and our quality of life.

Sincerely, Robert Nelson

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2 thoughts on “An open letter to one of Boulder’s ‘homeless advocates’

  1. Mark Miller

    I realize you’re posting someone else’s letter, but thought I’d comment on this here, anyway. I found it hard to blame the fire marshall for the Fourmile fire. It was a shock that a fire marshall was responsible for it, but it seemed to me he did what would have been expected of him to put out his fire. He did his due diligence. It just wasn’t enough, and so what I’d hope is that it caused people to reconsider what due diligence means in that environment.

    Reply
  2. homelessphilosopher Post author

    Personally, I don’t think there’s any comparison between the efforts made by the Fourmile resident and the lackadaisical conduct of the Alabama transients. Seems unlikely to me that any jury would have convicted the resident, and prosecutors saw it the same way at that time; they are bound by ethics not to bring charges without the reasonable belief they can gain a conviction.

    Darren O’Connor, of course, has never met a transient he didn’t like — no matter what they do. Like other self-styled homeless advocates, he ignores the fact that most of the bad actors are preying on other homeless people they perceive as weaker, and almost none of those rapes, batteries, thefts, etc. are ever reported to authorities.

    BTW, it’s possible that “Robert Nelson” is an alias. LOL!

    Reply

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