Monthly Archives: March 2017

Update on theft of $350 from my locker at Boulder Shelter

By Max R. Weller

Not that I expect anything to come of it, but I’ve just filed an online report with Boulder Police Dept. regarding this crime.

I hope that Chad (no last name given) — the Assistant Director of Programs — is questioned by the police and that he sees fit to fully cooperate with the investigation. For example, providing the names of ALL staff members at the Shelter who worked between the morning of 3/24/2017 and 3/25/2017, inclusive . . . This is when the theft must have occurred.

— MRW 

Boulder Shelter refuses to investigate theft of $350 from my locker (and police have nothing to go on)

IT’S A SAD DAY WHEN A NONPROFIT ROBS A HOMELESS CLIENT . . .

By Max R. Weller

To refresh your memory read Robbed of $350 from my ‘secure’ locker at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and I suspect a staff member.

This morning, I finally received a hand-delivered letter in response to the written grievance I’d filed last Saturday, the same morning I discovered my money had been stolen. This letter from Chad (no last name given), Assistant Director of Programs, was dated March 27, 2017 — last Monday. This is interesting, because BSH’s big staff meeting always occurs on Tuesday mornings; apparently, a crime like this against a handicapped 61-year-old homeless client (that’s ME) isn’t considered important enough to even make the agenda!

Here’s the body of Chad’s letter to me:

Dear Mr. Weller,

I received your grievance and understand that you believe (empahsis is mine — MRW) that money has been taken from your locker. I am sorry to hear this. The Shelter strives to provide secure storage for residents and it is concerning to hear this report of theft.*

If you feel (again, emphasis is mine) that a crime has been committed at the Shelter, I would strongly suggest that you notify the police immediately. 

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Sincerely, 

(signed) Chad

Assistant Director of Programs

* Nothing at all prevents the Shelter from making a police report based on my grievance, and I’d be happy to assist a detective if only I could believe that the Shelter would be fully cooperative with any criminal investigation. I feel that this is NOT the case, however, and police would be stonewalled just as I’ve been. Thus, I’m NOT inclined to waste law enforcement’s time — Chad and others would only deny knowledge of the crime and no suspect(s) on staff could be identified. This is, of course, CYA by the Shelter.

I’m NOT surprised by the overall condescending tone of the Shelter’s response.

Those of you who are solicited by Boulder Shelter for the Homeless for donations in the future would do well to remember this incident — it’s indicative of corruption that goes straight to the top at this so-called nonprofit. And feel free to mention my name when you refuse to give your $$$ or time to BSH. 

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

‘Lafayette suicides spotlight increased mental health concerns’

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

Read the report in the Daily Camera here. Excerpt copied below:

Recent suicides in Lafayette have shed light on a mental health crisis that has quietly enveloped Boulder County, according to police, who along with city leaders will roll out an outreach campaign dubbed “Because We Care” over the next few weeks.

Two violent and public deaths that occurred within Lafayette — the first, when a man shot himself in front of police outside Flatirons Community Church earlier this month, and another on Sunday as dozens of horrified shoppers looked on while a man set fire to himself and his car in a Walmart parking lot — have left residents in the quiet east Boulder County city at a loss for answers . . .

Lafayette leaders are now faced with what police Chief Rick Bashor calls “a serious mental health crisis” gripping the community — an issue that Lafayette, Boulder County and the state as a whole are struggling to right.

Bashor, who has served on Lafayette’s police force for 34 years, says the recent suicides may be a side effect of a growing mental health crisis in recent years across the community.

“When I first started in law enforcement, we would do a 72-hour mental health hold twice a month or so,” Bashor said Monday.

“Now, oftentimes we see people in need of this once or twice a day. We seem to handle more suicides than we ever did in the past.”

A 72-hour hold allows for a person with a mental illness to be involuntarily detained for a 72-hour psychiatric hospitalization if the patient is deemed a threat to themselves or others, according to the Welfare and Institutions Code . . . 

The trend is not unique to Lafayette, he said, as Boulder County and state mental health numbers have painted a similar picture in recent years.

A total of 52 suicides were reported throughout Boulder County in 2010, according to data provided by the Boulder County Coroner’s Office — an increase from 39 reported suicides in 2001.

In 2015, the most recent available numbers, 67 suicides were reported in Boulder County, the majority of which were middle-aged males.

A report released last year from the Colorado Health Foundation found that the state’s suicide rate — one of the highest in the country — had continued upward with 19.4 suicides per 100,000 residents in 2014. That marked an increase from 16.5 suicides per 100,000 residents in 2007.

The 2016 study found that 470,000 Coloradans are struggling with mental health issues.

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In the past, I’ve struggled with Clinical Depression; I’m happy to report that’s NOT been the case for many years now. NO credit at all goes to the mental health industry, which seems to me just as focused on $$$ as the homeless shelter / services providers.

This upward trend in suicide underscores how utterly bogus all of the (self-reported) surveys really are. You know, the ones the media touts frequently that claim this state — and Boulder in particular — are among the Most Happy, Most Fit, Smartest, Most Affluent, etc.  All this patting-ourselves-on-the-back bull**** does is increase the feeling of isolation for those suffering depression: “What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I fit in with the rest of these happy, healthy, bright, and upper class people? It’s no use . . .”

Sadly, you had one asinine remark near the end of the DC’s article:

“We have certainly noticed an increased need for mental health support,” Suzanne Crawford, chief executive for Lafayette’s Sister Carmen Community Center, said Monday. “People are very stressed out and people are living in fear in our community for a lot of different reasons.”

While Sister Carmen usually refers those in crisis to other local centers, Crawford said, the rise in mental health illnesses among the organization’s visitors is distinct. It’s an illness, she says, that may have some clear symptoms born in recent months.

“There’s been a lot of fear since the election regarding what the new administration is going to do or not do,” she said. (Emphasis is mine — MRW) “Additionally, housing costs have skyrocketed and many renters are starting to be forced to move out of the area.”

Suzanne Crawford, you’re the hands-down winner of this month’s Boulder Bubble Booby Prize. Trump ain’t got a darn thing to do with any mental health crisis in Colorado — and SHAME, SHAME on you for exploiting paranoia for political purposes!

‘Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Shelters . . .’

See all the info you’ll ever need here.

Anyone familiar with Boulder Shelter for the Homeless knows about the infestation of these bloodsuckers there, since about this time in 2010 when they apparently hitched a ride to Boulder on a Denver transient. This combined invasion by BUMS and BEDBUGS (my preferred spelling) is what prompted the Homeless Philosopher to move outdoors year-round.

By all accounts, this is STILL a problem for residents and staff at BSH.

Actual size of Giant Mutant Bedbug! If you pass out drunk in a shelter bed, you’re risking your life . . .

— MRW

‘What a country — where even the vacuous have a voice.’

Read the Charles Krauthammer column from the Washington Post here. Copied below in its entirety:

Under the big gray cloud, amid the general gloom, allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. The last two months have brought a pleasant surprise: Turns out the much feared, much predicted withering of our democratic institutions has been grossly exaggerated. The system lives.

Let me explain. Donald Trump’s triumph last year was based on a frontal attack on the Washington “establishment,” that all-powerful, all-seeing, supremely cynical, bipartisan “cartel” (as Ted Cruz would have it) that allegedly runs everything. Yet the establishment proved to be Potemkin empty. In 2016, it folded pitifully, surrendering with barely a fight to a lightweight outsider.

At which point, fear of the vaunted behemoth turned to contempt for its now-exposed lassitude and decadence. Compounding the confusion were Trump’s intimations of authoritarianism. He declared “I alone can fix it” and “I am your voice,” the classic tropes of the demagogue. He unabashedly expressed admiration for strongmen (most notably, Vladimir Putin).

Trump had just cut through the grandees like a hot knife through butter. Who would now prevent him from trampling, caudillo-like, over a Washington grown weak and decadent? A Washington, moreover, that had declined markedly in public esteem, as confidence in our traditional institutions — from the political parties to Congress — fell to new lows.

The strongman cometh, it was feared. Who and what would stop him?

Two months into the Trumpian era, we have our answer. Our checks and balances have turned out to be quite vibrant. Consider:

1. The courts.

Trump rolls out not one but two immigration bans, and is stopped dead in his tracks by the courts. However you feel about the merits of the policy itself (in my view, execrable and useless but legal) or the merits of the constitutional reasoning of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (embarrassingly weak, transparently political), the fact remains: The president proposed and the courts disposed.

Trump’s pushback? A plaintive tweet or two complaining about the judges — that his own Supreme Court nominee denounced (if obliquely) as “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”

2. The states.

Federalism lives. The first immigration challenge to Trump was brought by the attorneys general of two states (Washington and Minnesota) picking up on a trend begun during the Barack Obama years when state attorneys general banded together to kill his immigration overreach and the more egregious trespasses of his Environmental Protection Agency.

And beyond working through the courts, state governors — Republicans, no less — have been exerting pressure on members of Congress to oppose a Republican president’s signature health-care reform. Institutional exigency still trumps party loyalty.

3. Congress.

The Republican-controlled Congress (House and Senate) is putting up epic resistance to a Republican administration’s health-care reform. True, that’s because of ideological and tactical disagreements rather than any particular desire to hem in Trump. But it does demonstrate that Congress is no rubber stamp.

And its independence extends beyond the perennially divisive health-care conundrums. Trump’s budget, for example, was instantly declared dead on arrival in Congress, as it almost invariably is regardless of which party is in power.

4. The media.

Trump is right. It is the opposition party. Indeed, furiously so, often indulging in appalling overkill. It’s sometimes embarrassing to read the front pages of the major newspapers, festooned as they are with anti-Trump editorializing masquerading as news.

Nonetheless, if you take the view from 30,000 feet, better this than a press acquiescing on bended knee, where it spent most of the Obama years in a slavish Pravda-like thrall. Every democracy needs an opposition press. We damn well have one now.

Taken together — and suspending judgment on which side is right on any particular issue — it is deeply encouraging that the sinews of institutional resistance to a potentially threatening executive remain quite resilient.

Madison’s genius was to understand that the best bulwark against tyranny was not virtue — virtue helps, but should never be relied upon — but ambition counteracting ambition, faction counteracting faction. 

You see it even in the confirmation process for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s supremely qualified and measured Supreme Court nominee. He’s a slam dunk, yet some factions have scraped together a campaign to block him. Their ads are plaintive and pathetic. Yet I find them warmly reassuring. What a country — where even the vacuous have a voice.

The anti-Trump opposition flatters itself as “the resistance.” As if this is Vichy France. It’s not. It’s 21st-century America. And the good news is that the checks and balances are working just fine. 

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Strangely, the Democrats have failed miserably in their role as the opposition party, so our country is fortunate that the courts, the states, Congress, and the media (despite their appalling ignorance of checks and balances and the separation of powers) have stepped up. Or maybe NOT strange at all, in view of the two clowns the Democrats had running for their party’s nomination. Hell, if I were Senate Minority Leader “Chucky Boy” Schumer (D-NY), I’d cry for REAL:

— MRW 

‘Homeless haters, your job and home could be next!’ says local weirdo Evan Ravitz

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, DON’T REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Is this guy crazy or what? Most of the Froot Loops sticking up for BUMS from everywhere outside of Boulder County, CO are members of a Facebook group called Boulder Rights Watch. BTW, don’t join their group if you’re hoping to engage in a constructive debate with any of them; they resent anyone challenging their pro-BUM stance.

Evan Ravitz, in his court appearance a few years ago demanding that the CU campus be turned over to stoners on 4/20 every year; the judge was NOT persuaded.

Read his letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera here: Boulder should establish legal campground. Copied below in its entirety:

The Sunshine fire is another reason why City Council must finally do what the late great Dr. Bob McFarland asked over 50 years ago: establish a legal campground for our hordes of summer visitors, homeless and others. If it’s legal, the fire ban can be enforced. Now people hide their camps and fires in the trees!

I think a campground should be right on the saddle area due west of the red rocks in Settlers Park, which is now burned. Legal campers will report illegal camps and especially fires!

The DU Law School report shows we’re spending millions extra on jailing the homeless and sending them to the emergency room instead of accepting them. A campground will cost mere thousands. I propose it charge $5-10 a night or 1/2-1 hour of work.

The saddle area is perfect because it has both purified Betasso water and ditch water available and a Parks Department road connecting to Sunshine Canyon. People have been camping in the areas between Boulder and Sunshine Canyon for decades, and this is not the first fire they’ve caused.

At a City Council study session, said they would support a legal campground. Please tell council what you think: council@bouldercolorado.gov

Remember, you only see the in-your-face homeless. Most are hiding. Many are children or whole families. Boulder causes homelessness in at least three ways: 1. Ever-increasing rents. 2. Zoning that prohibits tiny homes, etc. 3. Boulder is a center for automation, which since 2000 has caused 88 percent of U.S. job losses, with far more to come. That’s why the world’s foremost and most conscientious entrepreneur, Elon Musk, favors a guaranteed minimum income like Ontario and Finland are now trying.

Homeless haters, your job and home could be next! (Emphasis is mine — MRW)

Evan Ravitz 

Boulder

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I hope that Mr. Ravitz was simply careless in his choice of words for the final sentence of this published letter. I thought, at first, that he was making some vague threat of arson directed at Boulder businesses and residents’ homes . . . Who knows? I understand that he fell and landed on his head several times during his days as a circus performer on Pearl Street Mall here in Boulder. At least the DC did NOT use him as a source in their report Sunshine Fire reignites debate about homeless camping in Boulder.

His argument is totally lacking in merit, and I’ll tell you why:

1) The worst-behaved transients will NOT be interested in any legal campground with even minimal rules, the opportunity for authorities to keep an eye on them, and a charge for its use.

2) For that matter, the Homeless Philosopher — who isn’t burning down the countryside or causing any trouble whatsoever — would NEVER be interested in a “legal” campground shared by homeless alcoholics, Marijuana Travelers, and other assorted riffraff.

Fuhgeddaboudit.

(This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)

Robbed of $350+ from my ‘secure’ locker at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and I suspect a staff member

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR — THIS MEANS YOU, BOULDER SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

Copied below is the full text of my grievance filed this morning with Boulder Shelter staff:

3/25/2017

[To Whom It May Concern]:

This morning at Boulder Shelter I discovered that $350 in bills and a large amount of loose change (all of it in a gallon-size freezer bag) had been stolen from my assigned locker #78.

I never leave my locker unattended, there were no signs of forced entry, and to my certainty nobody other than staff would know the combination (by looking in the locker log). I doubt anyone from the streets has a master key for these locks.

Clearly, this theft is unacceptable. Steps must be taken to ensure that nobody else is robbed.

(signed) Max R. Weller

—————————————————————————— 

To her credit, the young lady on BSH staff who listened to my report of this crime was apologetic and even stated to me, “I hate to think it was one of us.” The circumstances do NOT point to another homeless client as the culprit, however.

I see no advantage to involving Boulder Police at this point; it’s NOT as though they would really have anything to go on — and I lack proof that I actually had $350+ in my possession in my secure locker.

It will be interesting to see just how BSH responds to this incident. Will they step up and restore my loss of cash (all that I had in the world except for $34 in my wallet) and fire the thief who stole it, or will they deny any liability and even stoop to blaming the victim (me)?

In the meantime, I hope I don’t suddenly lose all of my camping gear or have my threadbare jeans fall apart. I don’t have any $$$ to replace them.

 (This post e-mailed to Boulder City Council.)