Category Archives: Only in Boulder

Setting the record straight on Boulder police overtime

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

At a Boulder City Council meeting on 6/20/2017, during which there was discussion about the city’s Homelessness Strategy, Darren O’Connor of the Facebook group Boulder Rights Watch spoke publicly. He concluded his remarks by stating:

Finally, I want to voice my profound frustration at the choice of City staff in this process to unilaterally spend an additional $300,000 on the police, directing them to sweep the areas frequented by our homeless community. Closing down services and simultaneously subjecting homeless people to heightened police enforcement that effectively criminalizes being homeless would, if justice were to prevail, itself be criminal.”

This is incorrect — there are NO sweeps of homeless campsites anywhere in Boulder, CO such as those that occurred with great fanfare in Denver recently, in which the goal of authorities was to clean up the tons of trash and debris left behind by those camping illegally:

Seems reasonable to me.

No city anywhere in the civilized world will tolerate this for long.

But, what about the $300,000? I asked Boulder police face-to-face, and have just confirmed their reply by e-mail: $300,000 is the estimated overtime for increased SEASONAL police patrols on Pearl Street Mall, University Hill, the Civic Center area, and Boulder Creek Path in 2017. It was emphasized to me that SEASONAL increased patrols occur each year during the warm months (when many more people are out and about) and include officers walking and riding bicycles.

While I’m at it, let me deal with another unfounded rumor that concerns the arrests of homeless people by Boulder police. There are strict guidelines involved and it’s NEVER the preferred option for dealing with any homeless person in violation of various laws (Illegal Camping, Trespassing, Open Container of Alcohol, Smoking in Prohibited Areas, etc.) but some recalcitrant individuals are given repeated warnings to no effect or they have outstanding warrants (leaving arrest as the only alternative).

I’ve observed homeless people exercise very poor judgment and choose to escalate an otherwise routine contact with police, that would have been resolved peacefully but for the homeless person’s belligerent attitudes and actions.

In my 9+ years living as a homeless man in Boulder, CO and its environs, all but one of my contacts with law enforcement (including city police, county deputies, and state troopers) have been of the friendly “check welfare” type. Of course, I keep a low profile and have no interest in giving society the finger by becoming a serial petty offender.

The one time I had a grievance with a city police officer — Sam Carter of Mapleton Elk infamy — I followed the established procedure and filed a complaint with the Professional Standards Unit. It was dealt with promptly and resolved in my favor, with some changes made in how dispatchers deal with certain calls from the public. 

Through experience, I’ve learned that my trust in Boulder police has been well-founded.

I’ve also learned to critically examine anything the self-styled homeless advocates say; they absolutely do NOT advocate for the Homeless Philosopher.

Aggressive Panhandler Alert at N. Broadway & U.S. 36

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

He’s been hanging around with some other undesirable characters in the past few weeks, but had never been in my neighborhood before that. His friends are well-known street alcoholics and a couple of registered sex offenders, but it’s this Aggressive Panhandler’s violent history that concerns me:

David Hall

David Hall (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

Here’s his story from the Daily Camera back in 2015: Man sentenced to 4 years in prison in Boulder stabbing case. Obviously, he served only a fraction of that sentence.

You can’t miss seeing him in action as he “flies a sign” at this location in the median just outside the city limits; he marches toward oncoming vehicles as the traffic light is red, then walks backwards after it turns green. It’s apparent to me he’s a tweaker, and often can’t stand still as his whole body seems to be vibrating with meth-induced nervous energy.

I advise that you donate water and granola bars to Mr. Hall — certainly NOT $$$.

‘Jeff Schulz: Boulder’s approach to homelessness’

— MRW

Read the letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

I saw where a concerned resident recently had the temerity to comment in this fine publication that the homeless situation in north Boulder is out of control. Since she’ll never hear from the city, I wanted to offer her an explanation: First, her concern doesn’t fit Boulder’s standard “compassion” narrative and is therefore irrelevant and can be ignored. Furthermore, when the city says it is concerned about “safety,” that only applies when fear can be used to justify higher taxes for things like new fire stations. It does not apply to keeping her family safe from out-of-town sex predators. The background here is that City Council’s definition of fiscal responsibility is to make sure it spends its $350 million in the most inefficient way possible and request more funds every election. To help achieve these laudable goals, a large array of local homeless nonprofits are handed softball contracts where they are not responsible for actually reducing homelessness, but only for producing reports that use terms like “cross-cultural collaborations,” “representative stakeholder partnerships,” and “mission-focused outcomes.” In fact, this ingenious system is designed so that the proper combination of meaningless terms are keys that open the city’s treasury for another round of expensive complete failure contracts the following year.

Therefore, there is no motivation to actually reduce the number of homeless in town, but rather to be able to sound the most extreme at the next national convention of city officials and to keep the “compassion” gravy train going for connected insiders. Unfortunately, as the out-of-town transients unleash their dysfunction on the city’s residents, people like the uninformed letter-writer are advised that they should stop worrying about the safety of their family and focus on solving national-level problems. I hope this synopsis assists her and any other skeptics fall in line.

Jeff Schulz

Boulder 

‘George Tiba again found guilty of sexual assault in Boulder retrial’

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

George Tiba

George Tiba (Colorado Department of Corrections)

For the second time in four years, a Boulder County jury on Friday found George Tiba guilty of sexually assaulting a Boulder woman he met at a downtown Boulder bar in 2013.

Tiba, 52, was found guilty of sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising her condition after about two hours of deliberation late Thursday and early Friday.

Tiba was originally convicted of sexual assault in this case in 2013, but was granted a retrial after the conviction was overturned on appeal. But after a four-day trial, a new jury came to the same conclusion as the 2013 jury.

“We are incredibly thankful for the hard work from this jury, and that we have been able to achieve justice for this survivor and other women in our community,” said Assistant District Attorney Katharina Booth, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Fred Johnson. “We believe the verdicts in this case have gone a long way to protecting the safety of our community.”

Tiba is now set for a sentencing hearing on Oct. 19. The first sex assault count could carry four to 12 years in prison, or up to 24 years if a judge found aggravating factors, while the second carries a two to six year prison range with up to 12 years with aggravating factors.

Both of the sexual assault charges are also subject to Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing laws, which means Tiba could wind up spending the rest of his life in prison.

He already is serving a 12-year prison sentence on a burglary charge that was not overturned during the appeal, but Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said it was still important to his office to retry the sexual assault counts.

“The community should continue to know that sexual violence and violence against women is a priority for the office, and the time and effort that went into this case is a great reflection of that,” Garnett said. “We don’t get many cases reversed, but when we do, the first thing you do is check with the victim on retrying the case.

“But the heart of this case was the sexual assault allegation, and it’s important for the verdict to reflect the truth of what happened, so it was important we continued to pursue the charges until we reached justice.”

Booth also noted that sex offender registration and treatment hinged on a conviction on the sexual assault counts and also said Tiba already will be up for parole on the burglary count next year. Booth credited the victim in Tiba’s case for being willing to go through a trial twice.

“We are incredibly proud of her and her ability to, despite the extreme trauma she’s had to experience, be able to speak out and to come forward and make a substantial difference in protecting herself and protecting other women,” Booth said. “What many people can’t do once, this survivor has done twice very admirably and courageously.”

In their closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutors said that in 2013 Tiba aggressively hit on the then-22-year-old victim at the Walrus Saloon, separated her from her friends and convinced her to let him drive her home.

He then raped her after she passed out, took “trophy pictures” and stole items from her apartment.

Johnson told the jury that the woman was intoxicated and couldn’t recall portions of the night, but she clearly remembered telling Tiba that she wasn’t going to have sex with him.

“Women who go out with friends to have a good time are not fair game for rape,” Johnson told jurors during closing arguments Thursday afternoon. “From the moment he saw her at the bar to the last moment when he had her alone in her bedroom, he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.”

Tiba’s attorney, Sydney Dolan, argued that the victim had been through a traumatic experience and there was no reason to not believe her testimony, but gaps in the evidence presented made it impossible for the prosecution to prove its case.

“The prosecution in this case and taken the evidence that does exist and information that doesn’t exist and taken it to places where evidence doesn’t exist and created a story,” Dolan said. “It’s a story that fills in gaps where there isn’t any evidence.”

Boulder police say the victim had injuries consistent with assault, and Tiba told police during questioning that the woman had been drunk but had consented to sex.

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The pervert will — unless changes are made at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless — wind up in a “parole bed” at some point and begin trolling for new victims. It’s what pervs do!

— MRW 

At Boulder Shelter this morning

A HOMELESS SHELTER IS NOT A DUMPING GROUND FOR THE MENTALLY ILL!

By Max R. Weller

The most profoundly mentally ill homeless person I’ve yet seen here in Boulder, CO was waiting outside of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless when I arrived there about 5:20 this morning. She was wrapped from head to toe in a colorful blanket and had two large pieces of luggage (of the U-Haul trailer variety).
 
When she got inside, she couldn’t tell the staff her name nor give them a DOB, even though it’s not required that you document either during intake; she might have told them she was Melania Trump, born on 4/26/1970 and that would have sufficed. At first she couldn’t talk and was communicating with gestures and in writing, but then walked over to a wastebasket and spit out the liquid in her mouth, whatever it was. She seemed fearful about giving any info to staff, even false info. After a few minutes, they asked her to step aside so the rest of us could be logged into the computer record.
 
Her face had open sores on it. She had no body odor I could detect, but that might have been due to the blanket smothering the smell. Otherwise, I saw no physical disability during my brief observation.
 
When I left BSH around 7:20AM to board the SKIP bus, she was sitting on the low wall near the bus stop, the one on shelter property formerly used every morning by the resident potheads.
 
Clearly, this is an individual who needs 24/7 supervision in a secure psychiatric facility somewhere — BEFORE SHE GETS MUGGED, RAPED, OR KILLED by one or more of our fine transient predators who prey on homeless people they perceive as weaker.
 
I’ll be wondering about this woman for a long time . . .

‘Homeless overflow in north Boulder out of control’

Read the commentary by Heidi Davis in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety:

I live in Trail Crossing in north Boulder. The homeless shelter and the population congregating in north Boulder is negatively impacting our community of families. I fully support the idea behind having a homeless shelter for those who need assistance and shelter while going through tough times, however the shelter has become a “drug den” and an attraction for violent predators. We wake up to drugged-out people sleeping in our community park. We find human waste and garbage on our walking paths and in general do not feel safe living in our own community.

I feel as though the homeless shelter has lost control of its occupants and the city of Boulder is doing nothing regarding the overflow. It is affecting our surroundings, our community and children negatively. I do not understand why the City Council is letting this happen to north Boulder. I feel as though the city has to take a hard look at what they are allowing to happen with the homeless population and how it is impacting the people who live work and pay taxes here.

We cannot use our biking trails due to the congregation of homeless [word edited out by me for clarity — MRW] people drinking under the bridges. We don’t feel safe using the trails due [to] the abundance of homeless illegally camping. I talked to a police person recently and asked him for help with the overflow of homeless up here. He indicated that his hands are tied due to the City Council. When I found a group of homeless people trying to start a fire in the meadows by my house the police were slow to respond and finally a ranger came by after they had dispersed.

What is it going to take for the city of Boulder to finally see that there needs to be some enforcement of laws for the homeless population so we can all coexist and feel safe. This “overflow” of homelessness isn’t working for anyone, especially those who really need the shelter, and the lack of response from our police and government is becoming infuriating. I call on the city to let me know what we can do and what it plans to do to alleviate this problem.

Heidi Davis lives in north Boulder.

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Heidi makes good points, but the real BAD GUY here is the executive director of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Frankly, my dear, Greg Harms doesn’t give a damn about the neighborhood (I pick up trash from the homeless drunkards every day) nor about the vulnerable homeless men and women inside BSH (many are adult survivors of sexual crimes):

That’s Mr. Harms in the middle, taking a nap at a city council meeting.

My solution, and I admit it’s radical, is to cut off all city and county taxpayer funding to BSH until they acquire new leadership (including a new board of directors), who will adopt a requirement for a valid photo ID showing a Boulder County address along with proof of at least one year’s residency for anyone seeking shelter and/or services at 4869 N. Broadway. AND ABSOLUTELY NO REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS either on or off parole should be accepted!

— MRW

(E-mailed to Boulder City Council.) 

Boulder Shelter loves perverts, don’t they?

See the latest outrage reported in the Daily Camera here: ‘Sexually violent predator’ moves into Boulder homeless shelter, police say. Copied below in its entirety:

David Nicolai Bland

David Nicolai Bland (Boulder Police Department / Courtesy Photo)

A man deemed to be a “sexually violent predator” has relocated from “staying in a grove of trees” along a bike path to a bed at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, police announced Monday.

David Nicolai Bland, 43, was released from the Colorado Department of Corrections in late July and was convicted of a sexually-related crime that requires police to notify the public that he is living in the city, according to a news release.

Bland originally told police that he was homeless and would be staying in a grove of trees along the bike path to the north of Arapahoe Avenue and east of Old Tale Road.

An updated release Monday said that Bland had secured a bed at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, located at 4869 N. Broadway, as part of the Summer Bed Program.

Bland has a conviction in Colorado for attempted sexual assault on a child and a rape by force or fear conviction in California, according to a previous police bulletin. He also has convictions for assault and felony menacing.

Sex offenders can be designated “sexually violent predators” if authorities believe they possess certain personality traits that make them likely to commit further offenses.

Residents who want more information on the relocation may contact the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-4332.

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It doesn’t matter at all to executive director Greg Harms and the board members at BSH that there are MANY vulnerable homeless people, both men and women, currently living there (including adult survivors of sexual crimes).

I loathe these clueless do-gooders!

— MRW