Monthly Archives: October 2017

Bad luck this morning, but still better off than other homeless people I see


By Max R. Weller

I hadn’t been to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless since last Friday morning, and suffered from repeated attacks of Durchfall over the weekend. I didn’t play the role of humble beggar on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36, returning to my campsite early to read and doze both Saturday and Sunday. This Monday morning, I happened to cough and that was enough to cause an embarrassing accident as I was starting to get up around 5AM.

It was time to do laundry at BSH, anyway . . .

After I’d showered and changed into clean clothes, however, I couldn’t find my wallet with all my remaining cash anywhere. I borrowed a dollar for the washing machine from an acquaintance, one who has borrowed money from me in the past. Later, I even retraced my steps back to my campsite and rooted through all of my gear, but no luck there . . . I must have forgotten to put my wallet into my locker — being distracted by my schmutzige Hose — and some opportunistic thief went through my pockets as I was in the shower, no more than 8′ away. (Me, I wouldn’t stick my hands in schmutzige Hose for any amount of money.)

Anyway, after the fruitless search of my campsite I stopped on the corner, without my “HAVE A GOOD DAY” sign, and it was no more than 5 minutes before a kind passerby gave me the $5 I needed for a day pass on RTD. Thus, I’m now sitting here in the warmth of Norlin Library on the CU campus.

Tomorrow, I shall have to make a concerted effort at “flying a sign” to replace my lost loot. As for food, I have plenty in my cache and won’t go hungry today.

To get to the point of this post: When I arrived at Boulder Shelter to await its opening at 6AM, there was some poor fool wearing just one tennis shoe (which was soaking wet) and nothing at all on his other foot. He rang the doorbell, and the staff member who answered gave him a “homeless disaster blanket” in its cellophane wrapper; Barefoot Bum stuck his bare foot in the bag and limped around until the door opened at 6. I’m sure there’s a story here involving alcohol and/or other mind-numbing substances, but I didn’t ask about it.

There was also Existential Drama from a homeless couple who have been hanging around since last Spring, and sometimes have had the use of an older SUV with Washington state license plates. Apparently, they spent last night outside without a tarp and got into a serious argument about who-knows-what; the young woman was crying, as the young man told her to go away. She cried repeatedly, and the young man told her to leave repeatedly. (I wished they’d both scram, but it didn’t happen.)

As happens so often, I was reminded how fortunate I am — all things considered:

NOT my campsite; I don’t have neighbors.

Give the transients bus tickets back to where they came from!


By Max R. Weller

Read the story in the Daily Camera here: Conflicted Boulder City Council creates new plan for homeless sheltering in severe weather. Copied below in its entirety:

Jason, left, and Mark, both of whom refused to give their last name, take a nap on the grass in front of the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Central Park in

Jason, left, and Mark, both of whom refused to give their last name, take a nap on the grass in front of the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Central Park in Boulder. Both of the men are currently homeless. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The Boulder City Council entered Tuesday night’s meeting with a dilemma concerning severe-weather sheltering for the homeless.

In a 5-1 vote — Sam Weaver, Andrew Shoemaker and Lisa Morzel were absent — the shorthanded council approved a new plan that will offer the homeless emergency shelter for an estimated 60 to 80 nights between December and February, up from the standing approach that would have done so for only about 20 estimated nights.

But the council, by its own admission, did not necessarily resolve the conflict inherent in Tuesday’s discussion.

The dilemma arises from the fact that Boulder is leading a countywide shift in homeless services, which is centered on a plan to offer homeless people personalized paths to long-term stability by getting them registered with a new “coordinated entry” system.

This way, the thinking goes, homeless clients will be better known to the system, and less likely to repeatedly need to seek out emergency, “Band-Aid” solutions.

Notably, the new strategy de-prioritizes these emergency solutions, such as walk-up sheltering and the services provided by now-dormant Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, as money and time is diverted to long-term programs.

But where does that leave homeless people who are not a part of the coordinated system, but still seek out shelter on cold nights?

For a City Council banking on this overall strategic shift, the challenge on Tuesday was to strike a balance between respecting the new strategy and implementing a severe-weather sheltering policy that responds to the very real threat to life that winter conditions present.

Councilman Matt Appelbaum stressed that the new systems need to jibe, and not run in parallel.

“It makes sense not to try to create a parallel system,” Mayor Suzanne Jones agreed. “But we also don’t want people to die on the streets.”

The key to that balance, according to Boulder’s Human Services director, Karen Rahn, is to get homeless clients who come to the severe-weather shelter involved in the coordinated entry system as soon as possible, so that they’re not coming back over and over for one-off nights of shelter — and thereby subverting the whole intent of the new program.

Rahn’s staff recommended a plan that would have seen emergency sheltering triggered whenever the National Weather Service issued a winter weather warning or watch, or temperatures were at or below 20 degrees.

This would cost the city an estimated $60,000 and lead to shelter being open somewhere between 50 and 60 nights from December to February.

The council felt that recommended plan would be insufficient.

Following a motion from Councilman Aaron Brockett, the council approved a plan to trigger emergency shelter under all the conditions named in the staff recommendation, plus in the event of weather with temperatures below 32 degrees and predicted snow.

That plan will provide sheltering between 60 and 80 nights this winter, according to estimates, and cost about $80,000.

“I think the imperative is to have people not dying on the streets when it’s preventable,” Brockett said.

Before casting the lone dissenting vote, Appelbaum said that the city needed stricter criteria for anyone seeking severe shelter, lest the overall plan be subverted.

“Go with the new system. Make it work,” he said. “Get people to go through the evaluations, the navigation system and so on. … I’d certainly have it so people are required to enter the system after a couple of uses.”

But, much as this council wants to see the coordinated entry program succeed, Appelbaum’s warning against “parallel” systems didn’t compel five of the six members present on Tuesday.

Following the council vote, city staff will move ahead in seeking out a provider, and hope to have details of the severe-weather sheltering plan in place by November.

“It’ll be a little muddy, and that’s the way it is,” Jones said of the conflicting efforts. “That’s the way it’s going to have to be.”


Two points come to mind:

1) You can NEVER force anyone to become a permanent dependent on the social services system against their will, apparently NOT even if they’re mentally ill and a danger to themselves. Just look at the scores, perhaps hundreds, of transient Froot Loops in Boulder County, CO right now; many have been part of the “homeless circuit” traveling around the country for years!

(The Homeless Philosopher falls into a different category — that of crotchety old hermit — but he is equally determined to live apart from the misguided “programs” offered by clueless do-gooders.)

2) What happened to the vague promises to begin PRIORITIZING homeless shelter / services here for residents of Boulder County who are in need, and who request assistance? It seems to have been put aside . . . I see nothing different at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this season; my educated guess is that more than half of clients there are from outside our city and county of Boulder, and many are Marijuana Travelers from outside of Colorado altogether. WTF?

If you’re concerned enough to want to lessen the risk of homeless people dying of exposure, OFFER THEM BUS TICKETS TO WARMER CLIMES! Giving homeless petty offenders a choice between being cited into court (and then sent to jail upon conviction for various offenses) OR a bus ride out of town would result in at least 90% choosing the latter option, I’m absolutely convinced.

(BTW, what those two BUMS pictured above need, more than anything else, is for someone to come along and kick their lazy butts!)

Let’s all feel sorry for Christopher Lawyer, shall we?

This is what the leader of Boulder Rights Watch wrote on the Daily Camera Facebook page:

So the challenge of integrating a man the courts deemed well enough to return to society will have to be solved elsewhere. Not that I have all the answers, and the issue of SVPs is a tangled one, but all we can celebrate is having no solution. I don’t think that’s anything to be proud of. We also still have several such identified people here, so this doesn’t much change things. We still have to decide what we wish to do about finding a way to address such people in our community. If any of them reoffend, will we really be happy it happened to someone’s kid in California? Are we that self-serving?

This is so f***ed up on so many levels, I’ll just hit the lowlights:

1) Colorado parole authorities released Mr. Lawyer early, perhaps due to some influence from his mother, and it was NOT any judge who did so.

2) Mr. Lawyer HIMSELF requested to transfer his parole to California, and he will be required to register as a sex offender there, too.

3) Many of Boulder’s sex offenders are from other states! I’m sure O’Connor is aware of this, but he glosses it over; who knows why he’s LYING by omission?

4) How twisted is it to label concerned citizens as “self-serving” because they want to protect those who might fall prey to these predators? VERY TWISTED, especially when you consider that several homeless women who belong to Boulder Rights Watch took O’Connor to task on the issue of SVPs not very long ago. He just doesn’t get it . . . Apparently, Darren O’Connor is okay with numerous sex offenders living under the same roof at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless with survivors of these vicious felonies.

I’m hoping this clown no longer has any credibility with Boulder City Council members or city staff on any issue.


Boulder Shelter’s cash cow — Christopher Lawyer — moving to California


By Max R. Weller

See the report in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:


Sexually Violent Predator Christopher Lawyer

Christopher Lawyer, a court-designated “sexually violent predator,” is set to move to California after a year of bouncing around Boulder County.

Lawyer, 42, had most recently been living at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at 4869 N. Broadway. But Boulder police spokeswoman Laurie Ogden said that Lawyer’s parole officer informed the department that Lawyer has requested a travel voucher to move to California.

The move caps a year in which the convicted rapist continuously moved around Boulder County while being spurned by cities and residents following his release from prison.

Lawyer first moved in to Boulder County with his mother at 1265 Mallard Court last September, but was arrested on suspicion a parole violation within a few months after a parole officer found pornographic material in his possession.

After serving a brief prison sentence, Lawyer tried to move to the Bar-K neighborhood near Jamestown, but the move was met with staunch resistance from residents, and the Colorado Department of Corrections blocked the move because of the area’s distance from law enforcement.

After an unsuccessful attempt to move to Longmont, Lawyer managed to secure a parole bed at the homeless shelter in Boulder in May, a move that did not go over well with north Boulder residents.

Lawyer made a brief move to Longmont in early September but then once again moved back to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless.

Lawyer is believed to be the first person in Boulder County to gain the sexually violent predator designation after being convicted of rape in 2001. The label is given by a judge or the parole board to sex offenders convicted of certain crimes and believed to be prone to re-offend.

Police in 2000 said Lawyer kidnapped a Boulder woman who was delivering newspapers at the Gold Run apartments, forced her into her vehicle and taped her eyes and mouth shut. Lawyer drove the woman to another location, and raped her for more than an hour at gunpoint.


In fact, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless was receiving $280 per week from Colorado parole authorities for providing a “parole bed” to Mr. Lawyer. People in the neighborhood must never forget how executive director Greg Harms chose to put financial greed ahead of the safety of families.

Unfortunately, there are many more registered sex offenders — including 3 other Sexually Violent Predators — being pampered by the misguided do-gooders here in Boulder, CO. See the Boulder Police online registry here, and note how many list the 4869 N. Broadway address of BSH or are otherwise labeled as homeless.

I don’t understand why anyone would choose to donate to the support of these perverts, who are already being enabled by funds from the Worthy Cause sales tax as well as other taxes. A pox on all of ’em!

Boulder, CO ranks #1 on ‘Happiest Cities in the United States 2017’

See the article and photos of the Top 25 here. Excerpt copied below:

The winner: Boulder, Colorado. Bolstered by a sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies, and perhaps even that clean mountain air, Boulderites overwhelmingly feel “active and productive every day,” according to Buettner’s research. Per capita, more people walk to work in Boulder than in any other city in the U.S. Low rates of smoking and obesity, and high rates of exercise, contribute to the satisfaction locals feel. Life is not always rosy in the Rockies—stress is on the rise; on average, 49 percent of locals surveyed reported feeling stress—but the qualities that keep Boulder on top make this city America’s happiest.

Here are a few additional photos of some happy-go-lucky folks in Boulder, chosen at random from hundreds of likely candidates:

This guy is my personal favorite.


See the CDC bulletin on hepatitis A among the homeless and drug abusers

Read it here. Copied below:

2017 – Multi-jurisdiction outbreak of hepatitis A among people who are homeless and people who use drugs

Since March 2017, CDCs Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) has been assisting several state and local health departments with hepatitis A outbreaks, spread through person to person contact, that have occurred primarily among persons who are homeless, persons who use illicit drugs, and their close direct contacts. Information on local hepatitis A case counts and outbreak response is available on web pages for the locations affected by the outbreak (San Diego CountySanta Cruz CountyLos Angeles CountyUtah).

For the current U.S. outbreaks among homeless and/or persons who use illicit drugs, CDC has encouraged state and local health departments to:

  • Work with community partners to provide hepatitis A vaccine to homeless individuals, persons who use illicit drugs, and others with established risk factors who are not yet immunized
  • Consider hepatitis A vaccination for persons with ongoing, close contact with homeless persons or persons who use illicit drugs

In response to these hepatitis A outbreaks, CDC has provided ongoing epidemiology and laboratory support as well as support on vaccine supply and vaccine policy development. On August 25, 2017, CDC notified all state and local health departments about the investigation of a cluster of hepatitis A, genotype IB infections in persons who are homeless and/or use illicit drugs. All U.S. jurisdictions were encouraged to be watchful for increases in hepatitis A cases and consider submitting recently confirmed hepatitis A virus (HAV) specimens meeting specific criteria to the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis Laboratory.

More information on hepatitis A is available on the DVH website.


  • If you think you are infected with hepatitis A, contact your health-care provider.
    • Some symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include:
      • Yellow eyes or skin
      • Abdominal pain
      • Pale stools
      • Dark urine

Advice to Public Health Officials

  • Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to HAV in the last 2 weeks; those with evidence of previous vaccination do not require PEP. PEP consists of:

NOTE: CDC recommends that all children be vaccinated against hepatitis A at age 1 year.  Parents or caregivers who are unsure if a child has been vaccinated should consult the child’s health-care provider to confirm vaccination status.

General Hepatitis A Prevention

  • CDC recommends the following groups be vaccinated for hepatitis A:
    • All children at age 1 year
    • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
    • Family members and caregivers of recent adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
    • Men who have sexual contact with other men
    • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs
    • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
    • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
    • People who work with hepatitis A infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory

Guidance on administration of pre- and post-exposure hepatitis A virus prophylaxis

The dose of GamaSTAN™ S/D has recently been changed

Information on Vaccines Purchased with 317 Funds

Information on Vaccine Supply


We can only hope that the do-gooders running Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Bridge House’s Path to Home are aware of this public health threat, and will be closely monitoring their homeless clients.


‘San Diego starts cleaning sidewalks, streets to combat hepatitis A’

Read the report from the San Diego Union-Tribune here. Copied below in its entirety:

Crews from the company Clean Harbors began power-washing sidewalks and street areas with a bleach and chlorine solution in downtown San Diego on Monday as part of an effort to stop the spread of hepatitis A among homeless people.

The area cleaned Monday included sidewalks around 17th Street and Imperial Avenue, where hundreds of homeless congregate and live in tents and other shelters along city streets. The cleanings will continue in other downtown areas on Wednesday and Friday and repeat every other week.

A hepatitis A outbreak has left 15 homeless people dead and hospitalized nearly 300 others over the past 10 months. A lack of adequate access to restrooms, showers and hand-washing stations is believed to have contributed to the spread.

Besides starting the washing program Monday, the city announced it was extending the hours of 14 restrooms in Balboa Park, which will be open 24 hours a day starting Tuesday.

“By disinfecting our sidewalks and making additional public restrooms available 24/7, we’re following the direction of County health officials to address the unsanitary conditions that have helped fuel this outbreak,” said Craig Gustafson, senior director of communications for Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “We’re taking swift action to eradicate this virus from our streets and keep our most vulnerable residents safe.”

On Friday, Gustafson said Faulconer expected to announce this week a plan to set up multiple large tents to provide temporary, immediate shelter relief for hundreds of homeless people. Those tents will be equipped with restrooms, hand-washing stations and showers, he said.

The sidewalk washings and extended restroom hours this week were in response to a letter sent by county health official Aug. 31 asking the city to move forward with a list of specific sanitation actions to help control the spread of hepatitis A.

The county gave the city five business days to respond with the plan for remedying what it called a “fecally contaminated environment” downtown.

On Monday, county Communications Director Michael Workman said health officials still were evaluating the city’s response to the request.

The county also has taken steps to address the outbreak and plans to expand its efforts to other cities in the region soon.

County health officials already have provided hepatitis vaccinations to 19,000 people, including 7,300 considered to be at-risk of contracting the disease. The county also hired its own contractor to install 40 hand-washing stations in areas where the homeless often gather, and it has plans to install more this week.

The city has identified three downtown areas to be cleaned every other week. Monday’s areas included the sidewalks along Imperial Avenue below the Interstate 5 overpass, where the city had installed jagged rocks in an attempt to deter homeless people from camping in April 2016. Homeless people still used the site, prompting a need to wash the area.

The Monday cleaning area also includes streets north of National Avenue, south of F Street, west of 22nd Street and east of 10th Avenue. It also includes several blocks north of F Street and south of B Street between 10th Avenue and 17th Street.

On Wednesdays, crews will move west and clean streets north of Broadway, south of Fir Street, west of 10th Avenue and east of Pacific Highway.

On Fridays, crews will clean streets north of Harbor Drive, south of Broadway, west of 10th Avenue and east of Pacific Highway.


It wasn’t that long ago here in Boulder, CO that citizens were up in arms, and rightly so, over the worst-behaved transients peeing and pooping along Boulder Creek upstream from the downtown area. See: City struggles to manage human waste along Boulder Creek from the Daily Camera.

After observing the new and much-ballyhooed homelessness strategy at Boulder Shelter for the  Homeless for over a week, featuring something called Coordinated Entry, I can tell you that it’s more of the same as we’ve seen in years past: MORE TRANSIENTS without any ties to Boulder County consuming resources that should be prioritized for local homeless residents. No doubt, some of them have recently traveled through San Diego, CA and been exposed to hepatitis A, which has killed 19 homeless people and hospitalized 300 others in recent months in that city.

Yet, the do-gooders in our local homeless shelter / services industry continue to welcome the BUMS with open arms. Their creed: More Homeless People = More Money.


Commentary from the Westside Pioneer in Colorado Springs:

Read it here. Copied below in its entirety:

EDITOR’S DESK: How to solve the bum problem

By Kenyon Jordan

      The years roll by, and our “new normal” features increasing numbers of alarmingly grubby beard people in our commercial districts and neighborhoods. They shuffle about, alone or in groups, seldom engaging with everyday folk except to ask for things, often mumbling to themselves, always leaving messes behind. 

       Lately, their legions have been joined by a younger crowd, able-bodied men as well as women, who seem to look on this lifestyle as a new career choice. Not a total surprise there, their formative years having taken place under Obama and legalized marijuana. 

       But they’re all bums. They pollute our creeks, set damaging fires, steal what they can, pick through our trash, pass out in public, exploit our emergency services, squat on bus benches, turn public parks and trails into scary places and, when their disability or SSI funds run low, stand on street corners proclaiming they’re hungry.

       If you’re wondering why the pavilion is being removed from Bancroft Park, it’s because of the vagrancy there. A Colorado Springs Parks representative said so at a public meeting. Ever wonder why the pretty landscaping got removed around the Old Colorado City History Center? Bums used it for… well, you figure it out. 

       For too long, our governments have foolishly handed off this problem to the most compassionate among us. I’m serious. These are people who fear desperately that our unwashed angels might freeze or starve. This tends to eclipse their common sense. They hand out sleeping bags when they know the recipients will use them to camp outside illegally and unsanitarily. They don’t discourage pet ownership, despite the odds that the animals will be ill-used. They devote hours to reform individuals who see them only as a mark. They give money to panhandlers, who (police say) frequently use the freebies to kill themselves with booze and drugs. 

       Believe it or not, when the Colorado Springs Parks Board heard that improvements in Bancroft Park would let the city shut off electrical service after hours, the response from two of its members was alarm that their outdoor friends were losing a place to charge their cell phones. 

       Many of these enablers are well-meaning Christians. In the old days, churches would at least make lost souls hear a sermon, but nowadays the compassioneers don’t even require identification. Who are we helping? We don’t know, but it sure feels good. 

       In recent years, the bum sympathizers have found an unlikely ally – the atheistic American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I doubt its diversity-minded donors care much about solving mass vagrancy or how that phenomenon drains communities – emotionally and financially – but you can bet they celebrate when ACLU lawyers find dubious enforcement loopholes in the U.S. Constitution. Meanwhile, undoubtedly, many of the ACLU supporters live in gated communities, where hired guards keep out the riff-raff.  

      The ACLU also has a love affair with Big Media, who adore stories that let them picture layabouts as innocent victims (“we’re all just a paycheck away from homelessness,” etc.), portray cops as bad guys and throw out incendiary accusations – as was done to Colorado Springs a year or so ago – i.e., running “debtors’ prisons.” Charles Dickens, who wrote about the true version of that practice in the mid-1800s, would laugh himself hoarse. 

       One of the most sensible things I’ve heard from the compassion crowd is that a big part of the problem is “mental issues.” That’s a nice way to say that many members of the grubby gang are off their rockers. Truly, who else but crazy people would choose to live under bridges like trolls, disdain employment and indoor plumbing, beg on street corners and drink or needle themselves into comas? 

       Do you think I’m exaggerating? Ask any cop. Or the crews on Cimarron/I-25, who frequently have to call in the CSPD’s HOT Team to clear out areas they’ll be working in. Or the business owners in Old Colorado City. Or the long-suffering residents in the neighborhoods near the Marian House. 

        So my suggestion – which I’m certain will be ignored and/or despised by Decision Makers, big and small – is that we reinvigorate our mental institutions. From what I’ve read, scaling them back was a trendy thing in the 1950s, and Ronald Reagan sealed the deal during his presidency in the ’80s. The pendulum needs to swing the other way. 

       Sure it would cost money. But right now, with all our ineffective programs and legal restraints, we’re just throwing good money after bad (taxpayer as well as donor) and wasting the energies of well-meaning city officials, church people and other volunteers – not to mention squandering any chances (however slim) of rehabilitating the shuffling mumblers themselves. 

       Details? How about requiring that after the third time someone is cited for camping outside with zero prospects, it’s off to the institution. It sounds like a win-win to me, moving poor losers off the streets and into the care of specialists who could dry them out, then diagnose whatever’s meandering around inside their ailing skulls. Better for them. Better for us. 

       Plus, I predict a side benefit. Once the word gets out that uncooperative campers are being shipped away to shrink-land, I think we’ll suddenly see a lot of those layabouts acting in ways that aren’t so crazy after all. Getting off the streets. Buying a razor. Applying for jobs. Maybe even finding Jesus and joining those churches they’ve been leeching from.


A friend of mine (who is also homeless) came across this column and printed it out for my benefit. So now, I’m passing it along to you.

Yes, I’ll also be e-mailing this post to Boulder City Council; I know of no group of elected officials anywhere more in need of a huge dose of COMMON SENSE.


WANTED: Shed or other outbuilding for shelter this winter


By Max R. Weller

I can’t afford to pay rent, but I can provide references from solid citizens attesting to my cleanliness, sobriety, and peaceful behavior.

I spent all of last winter, including 3 or 4 nights with the temperature below zero, sleeping under a tarp with several sleeping bags and wool blankets — and bundled up in my winter coat, insulated gloves, and balaclava — but at age 61 with an arthritic hip and a few other medical issues, I’d be better off with a roof and four walls to more effectively protect me from the elements.

If you live in my north Boulder neighborhood, around the intersection of N. Broadway & U.S. 36, and have a shed or other outbuilding where I could safely sleep overnight this coming winter, please leave a comment here on my blog or on my Facebook page.

Thank you!

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.)