Category Archives: Politics

Illegal alien says, ‘Come and get me, ICEmen!’

Apparently, ICE has better things to do than play a role in this silly Boulder drama brought to us by the Daily Camera, no matter what they say . . . See the story here.

Copied below in its entirety:

Peruvian-born Ingrid Encalada Latore sits inside the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, where she has been taking sanctuary for eight months. She is

Peruvian-born Ingrid Encalada Latore sits inside the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, where she has been taking sanctuary for eight months. She is in the United States illegally, and faces a deportation order. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement calls Encalada Latore “an ICE immigration enforcement priority.” (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

It’s summer right now, but when school’s in session, Ingrid Encalada Latorre usually cooks her 9-year-old son Bryant breakfast before sending him off to Eisenhower Elementary in Boulder.

Her younger son, Anibal, is 2 ½ and goes to preschool three days a week. Later in the day, Encalada Latorre will prepare dinner for the boys and her husband Eliseo Jurado, then the family will watch television before going to bed.

It’s a fairly routine day — except that it all happens inside the confines of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder.

Encalada Latorre has called the east Boulder church home for the past eight months, taking sanctuary there as she resists a deportation order that would send her back to her native Peru.

Ingrid Encalada Latorre, holding her son Anibal, tears up at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder on Jan. 11 as she recalls her husband’s

Ingrid Encalada Latorre, holding her son Anibal, tears up at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder on Jan. 11 as she recalls her husband’s call to tell her he had been arrested by federal agents. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Encalada Latorre speaks English, but was more comfortable speaking to a Daily Camera reporter via an interpreter.

She said she’s trying to keep things as “normal” as they can be for the sake of her sons, particularly Bryant, who is stressed by his mother’s circumstances and sometimes sad that she can’t leave the church grounds with him. Her sons will come with her if she returns to Peru, but both are American citizens. Bryant’s first language is English.

As grateful as she is for the sanctuary the church provides, and the dozens of volunteers who make it possible, Encalada Latorre is out of her element. She was raised Catholic, but she has taken sanctuary at two Unitarian churches and a Quaker meeting house since December 2016. She generally attends Sunday services at the Boulder church.

“There are people who say I am lucky to live in Boulder, because it is such a beautiful city,” Encalada Latorre said. “It’s not like I have a normal life, so I can’t experience life in Boulder.”

Ingrid Encalada Latorre, right, the Peruvian woman who has been avoiding deportation by taking sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder,

Ingrid Encalada Latorre, right, the Peruvian woman who has been avoiding deportation by taking sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, chants with others, including the Rev. Kelly Dignan, center, outside of the church as part of an immigration march on May 3. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

‘It’s never been a secret’

A small army of volunteers from 13 congregations across Boulder County comes to the Unitarian church to help Encalada Latorre, said Mary Dineen, who co-chairs the church’s immigration advocacy organization, Sanctuary Now!

“We have 185 volunteers who have gone through a training,” Dineen said. “The training involves some education involving Ingrid’s situation as well as being prepared if ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) were to arrive.”

Dineen said that people living in the neighborhood around the church also have pitched in, along with others in the Boulder community. Volunteers ferry Encalada Latorre’s children to and from school, pick up groceries and do laundry.

“I think the strength of Ingrid is really incredible,” Dineen said. “We are immigrant-led as much as we can be. We will do it for as long as we have to. We hope that she can go home soon, but unless we can change the laws she will be here for a while if that is her choice.”

Dineen said that volunteers learn how to check warrants for accuracy and record any interactions with police, should they transpire. She added that, so far, no one from ICE has shown up, and the church has a good relationship with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and the Boulder Police Department.

“They are aware she is here,” Dineen said. “It’s never been a secret. The day she came here we notified ICE.”

The current sanctuary movement in the United States is a continuation of sorts of one from the late 1980s and early 1990s when churches and synagogues took in refugees fleeing violence in Central America, much of it perpetrated by U.S.-backed governments. As many as 2,000 people were spirited across the southern border and offered refuge.

The congregation at Boulder’s Unitarian church voted last year to formally offer sanctuary, but for several years, its members have helped people in Colorado’s immigrant community, Dineen said.

“We have helped and worked with families who’ve had family members deported,” she said. “We go to ICE detention facility rallies in Aurora. We connect with families who have been separated.”

‘People find ways to survive’

Encalada Latorre came to the United States illegally in 2000. In 2010, she was arrested on a felony charge for using a stolen Social Security number for work. She later pleaded guilty — she claims she got bad legal advice — and the conviction sank her chances of gaining legal standing in this country.

“I have paid for the problem I got myself into,” she said. “I feel that I’ve completed my commitment toward paying for it and now I’m facing deportation anyway.

“When people arrive to this country and there is not a legal path to immigration, people find ways to survive and do things like buy Social Security numbers.”

Prior to and since her legal troubles began, Encalada Latorre has cooked and washed dishes at a nursing home and worked at a dog food factory. She said her boss at the nursing home was willing to rehire her, but couldn’t because of the felony conviction.

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More random thoughts 7/14/2018

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP DONATING TO CORRUPT NONPROFITS!

By Max R. Weller

Good news and bad news to report this morning . . .

First, the good: I received a visit yesterday afternoon from my friend Terzah, who brought me snacks, McDonald’s cheeseburgers with fries, and a crime novel to read (I made it through about 140 pages in the evening).

And the bad: My blood pressure reading about an hour ago was much higher than it’s been before in the almost seven months I’ve resided at Happy Haven — 152/86. Typically, thanks to medication, it’s been close to the ideal 120/70. All last night, however, I had to put up with Jabba the Hutt’s nonstop grunting and groaning and his loud TV (a repeat of the Rockies baseball game he had watched earlier in the evening), along with silly conversations he had during several visits from Creepy Male CNA who works overnight. When I finally get rid of Jabba, I’ll have Creepy Male CNA barred from entering my room and lurking near my bed, something that also disturbs my ability to rest.

Image result for jabba the hutt images

“I need my diaper changed!” 

They don’t pay the staff nearly enough to deal with an ornery old devil who is too lazy to get up out of his wheelchair and use the toilet — something he is able to do! I’ve seen it, and the Occupational Therapists here at Happy Haven have worked diligently to get him into shape to do so ALL THE TIME. He would rather lie in bed or sit in his wheelchair and pee in a diaper, then show off his junk to random female CNAs during diaper-changing.

As far as his hog-like grunting both day and night, it was much less when they had him on oxygen, but that has been discontinued because he reached a pulse-oximeter level of 90% (but numbers don’t tell the whole story). I think he’s addicted to opioids, perhaps getting extra “pain pills” from family members who visit, and he seems to be craving dope more frequently as time passes.

I can truly state that contact with my friends enables me to keep a grasp on sanity, and escape into great old movies on TCM or books are quite helpful, too. Thus far, I have resisted the urge to appeal to my friends for the Old Family Recipe:

Image result for W.L. Weller images

Stay tuned, however . . .

A BUM can dream, and other random thoughts 7/12/2018

DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

I continue to watch what is happening to the concept of Tiny Houses for the homeless around the country, and what jumps out to my eye is the antipathy of most of the major players in the homeless shelter / services industry, including both government agencies and private nonprofits which are committed to multimillion-dollar housing projects like those we see in Boulder, CO. 1175 Lee Hill, 4747 Table Mesa, and 1440 Pine have collectively consumed many times more $$$ than would be needed to put each of the 1,000+ homeless people on the streets in this city into a comfortable and safe Tiny House. And these three projects, costing about $24M, serve only 115 individuals! I call it a travesty of compassion.

Read One year in, Madison’s village of tiny houses wins over many neighborhood critics.

About $5,000 per unit

Actually, I’d be happy in an abandoned mine somewhere in the Colorado mountains, a place where my friends might stockpile several years-worth of canned goods, books, and sundries for my solitary existence:

Image result for abandoned mine in colorado images

No homeless ghetto project for the Homeless Philosopher!

Other stuff rattling around in my head:

One of the social workers here at Happy Haven came to see me the other afternoon, as I lounged in a chair outside of the room I continue to share with Jabba the Hutt, and she asked how I was feeling. I told her I’m tired, angry, and depressed because those in authority here refuse to follow through on their announced plan to move Jabba into a private room with an oversize bed. (They should also shove a catheter into him and give him a fentanyl patch, and be sure a working phone is close to his bed so he can call his family members and LIE to them about using his walker to exercise in the hallways all over the facility — LOL!). She told me it will happen soon, but I replied that I’d been hearing that for about three weeks now.

Like social workers in general in my experience, she wants to avoid directly confronting the PROBLEM and prefers to screw with innocent bystanders who suffer the negative impacts of bad behavior. I’ve found this to be true in the Missouri DOC, in various homeless shelter / services providers, and in long-term care facilities. Cactus Jack’s famous remark fits social workers: not worth a bucket of warm spit!

BTW, 320-pound Jabba crashed to the floor a couple of nights ago trying to get into bed, and narrowly missed crushing a CNA who might weigh slightly over 100 pounds. The humongous marshmallow was unhurt, of course, and they used a battery-powered lift to raise him from the floor into bed.

I enjoy bacon for breakfast a couple of times each week, and can order fried eggs anytime I want. I’ve grown tired of oatmeal after six months, and will eat cream of wheat or Cheerios instead. I’ve got Folgers instant coffee I make as soon as I get up, shortly after 6AM. This month’s menu alternative for lunch and dinner is breaded fish and tater tots, which I’ll eat until I grow scales . . . Beats the heck out of chicken, which is the most common protein offered at Happy Haven.

My friend on staff told me yesterday that she has put in her two weeks-notice, and will be moving on to Arizona. She reads this blog, and I want to thank her for her consideration and say that I’ll miss her a lot.

That’s enough for today . . .

‘Pueblo rescue mission ceasing homeless services’

Read the story from the Pueblo Chieftain here.

Copied below in its entirety:

As of midnight tonight, Pueblo once again will be without services for the homeless.

Jackie Jaramillo, president and CEO of The Pueblo Rescue Mission, confirmed that with the exception of regular office activities, the shelter located in the former Salvation Army headquarters on West 13th Street is ceasing operations.

“The only thing we will be able to do is offer bottled water and use of the rest rooms,” Jaramillo said. “No more daily meal or showers or clothing handouts.”

While the mission’s warming shelter closed for good at the end of April, Jaramillo was in talks to purchase the building from the Salvation Army and establish a multi-faceted transitional homeless shelter later this year.

According to Pueblo City Manager Sam Azad, at the crux of the issue is the mission’s special use permit — temporarily approved by the city’s planning and zoning department to allow for the warming shelter — that expires today.

“That special use permit was issued on a temporary basis due to emergency circumstances,” Azad said. “And if she (Jaramillo) wants to remain in that location as a homeless shelter, she has to apply for rezoning that location through planning and zoning.”

In a letter sent to Jaramillo, John Vigil, Pueblo assistant city manager, confirmed that continuation of the mission’s business license “is contingent upon acting to appropriately zone the current property or locate a property that is appropriately zoned for the type of use you desire.”

In order to operate, Vigil informed Jaramillo, “You must receive a special use permit for a charitable organization to operate in an R5 (multiple residential and office) zone district, approved by the zoning board of appeals.”

t’s a process “that provides for notification of adjacent property owners and public hearing for residents to speak both in favor and in opposition to the proposed request.”

But, even if the special use permit for a charitable institution is approved, “The operation of an overnight homeless shelter would not be allowed. A homeless shelter is not allowed to operate within an R5 zoned property,” wrote Vigil.

Jaramillo, to little surprise, is extremely disappointed with the turn of events.

“The neighbors rose up against us,” she said. “And I learned that they are being represented by an attorney who has an office in the neighborhood. He was going to challenge the city for giving us a permit, or even an extension.”

Jaramillo maintains that as a denomination-based entity, The Salvation Army, which previously offered similar services in the West 13th Street facility, “had special privileges for the building that didn’t transfer to us, even though we are a faith-based organization.”

With the proposed purchase of the building now off, Jaramillo and her staff are looking at other buildings in which to establish a homeless shelter.

“Our goal is to stay in the community and continue to offer services to the homeless,” Jaramillo said.

If that happens, Azad encouraged Jaramillo not to eye a building in a residentially zoned area.

“Going forward, they have to be in a business or industrial zone,” Azad said. “If they choose a building in a residential area, we are going to have these same problems once again.”

City Councilman Mark Aliff, who this week is hosting two meetings centered around the homeless issue, said of Jaramillo and her staff: “I’m aware that they have some buildings that they are looking at. They are ready to move forward. It’s a matter of finding the right location and getting everything in order.”

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Pueblo, CO is the first stop in this state for so many Marijuana Travelers coming from the Deep South. I guess the do-gooders in that city want to make BUMS feel welcome, before they move on into Colorado’s forests and start wildfires.

Alabama arsonists who set the Cold Springs Fire in 2016

— MRW

‘Not enough housing available’

DONATING TO A NONPROFIT IS NOT THE SAME AS HELPING THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

See my letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera published last December, shortly before my heart attack, by clicking here.

Copied below in its entirety:

I’m bemused by the whole Boulder County coordinated entry for access to homeless shelter/services, and it’s not just the highly questionable self-reporting of transients regarding how long they’ve been here making me scratch my head.

Karen Rahn, Boulder director of Human Services, is claiming that 500-plus homeless people have been through the coordinated entry intake process to this point. Okay, let’s take her at her word, which leads us to this question: Where are all of those unaccounted for? 500-plus minus 260 available beds at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Path to Home equals 240-plus (not even counting the non-participants in coordinated entry, as many as 1,000-plus). They’re still on the streets, of course.

Bottom line: Boulder County does not have the housing units available in order to accommodate the hundreds of homeless people in need. Adding 30 or 40 more apartments each year will accomplish little, perhaps nothing at all as the transient migration to Colorado continues apace. Once you accept this truth, the whole coordinated entry business is exposed as a sham.

Max R. Weller

Boulder

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When I got back onto my blog a couple of months or so ago, I found a comment waiting for me in the moderation basket; it was obviously written by someone with close ties to the corrupt homeless shelter / services industry as an employee, a volunteer, or as a permanent dependent of inappropriate compassion. Of course, they took umbrage at my points regarding Coordinated Entry being a sham, and I deleted their silly remarks.

I don’t know if anyone replied with their own letter-to-the-editor of the DC. No matter. Seven months have passed since my letter was printed, and it’s painfully obvious to any objective observer that local do-gooders (those in government agencies and private nonprofits alike) will say anything in order to keep the dollars rolling in (from both public and private sources) and homelessness is more widespread now than ever.

They ought to be ashamed of themselves!