BUM FIGHT over panhandling at N. Broadway & U.S. 36

Originally published on 9/24/2015:

homelessphilosopher

HELP BOULDER’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS!

By Max R. Weller

bumfight

When I returned to my north Boulder neighborhood around noon yesterday, I found that a rival drunken crew was camped out underneath the pine trees belonging to the Dakota Ridge HOA, led by Renee — the homeless white female who squatted and pissed on the sidewalk there just three days ago. Her crew members included Drunk Steve (formerly part of Donna’s Drunken Crew) and some scurvy bum who calls himself “Irish” — and indeed he’s obviously an alcoholic.

No matter to me; I ate my lunch and waited the short time it took for Irish, Renee, and Steve to each take a turn “flying a sign” on the corner. All of the inebriates are such weaklings that they can’t stand upright in the hot sun, on the concrete median between asphalt roadways, for much longer than 20 minutes each. As I…

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‘Renewed tax could fund north Boulder library . . .’

Read the report (which is only speculative at this point, like so much that passes for “news” these days) in the Daily Camera here. Excerpt copied below:

What might a tax renewal fund?

Boulder City Council members are expected to vote to place on the 2017 city ballot a renewal of the “Community, Culture and Safety” tax, which is now being renamed the “Capital Improvements Tax.” Should that renewal question reach voters, there’s a good chance that the public will be deciding on a slate of associated projects recommended by a citizen advisory committee convened by the city.

That committee suggested renewing the tax for five years, and allocating the revenue in the following way:

Relocate Boulder Fire Station No. 3 — $13 million

Renovate Scott Carpenter Pool — $6.2 million

Renovate and expand the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (nonprofit) — $6 million

North Boulder library — $6 million

Police Department/Fire Department radio infrastructure — $6 million

Fourmile Canyon Creek Greenways Improvements — $4.25 million

Facilities maintenance backlog — $3.2 million

Studio Arts Boulder (nonprofit) — $1.75 million

Meals on Wheels (nonprofit) — $1.6 million

Public Art — $1.5 million

Center for ReSource Conservation (nonprofit) — $1.4 million

KGNU (nonprofit) — $1.25 million

Community Cycles (nonprofit) — $822,500

Growing Gardens (nonprofit) — $87,000

Continuing excerpt:

The NoBo Corner Library, at 576 square feet, would be replaced by this new facility, which could be about 15 times larger.

Plans for a full-service branch have been floated in north Boulder since 1988, and have been included in every library master plan since 1995. But the 576-square-foot facility has remained, even as its annual attendance has ballooned to 45,000 — more than much larger cultural institutions such as the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Boulder.

Library and Arts Director David Farnan said he’d like to see the new library — if it is indeed funded and built — stay at Yarmouth Avenue, which is home to the current, smaller branch. But the city would investigate other sites, too.

Families in north Boulder have almost double the number of kids per household than those in other areas of the city, and almost double the rate of non-native English speakers, according to city numbers.

“If you look at a heat map of diversity in Boulder*, the epicenter is right next to that (library) site,” Farnan said. “So I think that’s a nice ingredient for both the city and the community.”

Germaine Johnson and her daughter, Vienne Tillotson, 11, shop for books at the north Boulder library on Monday in Boulder.

Germaine Johnson and her daughter, Vienne Tillotson, 11, shop for books at the north Boulder library on Monday in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

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I nearly always support tax issues for emergency services and libraries . . . HOWEVER, it seems to me that we have too many nonprofits suckling on the taxpayers’ sugar teat in this city! Meals on Wheels does good work, and they probably deserve what is proposed, but Studio Arts Boulder, KGNU (radio station), Community Cycles, and Growing Gardens ought to make their own way if they can or cease to be. And will somebody please point out to me ANY “Public Art” here in Boulder that would make us want to spend another $1.5M? Perhaps a Marcalee Gralapp-inspired display of colorful ceramic dildoes strung up along Pearl Street Mall? NO THANKS!

*BTW, what in the blue blazes is a “heat map of diversity in Boulder”? Is this some term invented by a sociology professor seeking a grant? I want a full-size north Boulder library because it would be convenient for all of us who live in this area!

— MRW 

‘Drug ring bust a huge wake-up call for Colorado cannabis regulators’

Read the editorial in the Denver Post here. Copied below in its entirety:

By

Colorado’s efforts to ensure our legal cannabis industry remains above suspicion of black market shenanigans have taken a major hit. In response, our state’s leaders need to act quickly and soundly to make sure our seed-to-sale regulatory system is reliable and beyond reproach.

Without that certainty, Colorado’s cannabis experiment could find itself in peril, jeopardizing the work of the many law-abiding ganjapreneurs out there who follow the rules.

The recent indictment of a former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division officer ought to come as an enormous wake-up call.

As reported this week by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace, a grand jury has concluded that the enforcement officer, Renee Rayton, joined a company masquerading as a legal cannabis operator that lured her to work as a “compliance consultant” for $8,000 a month. We add the air quotes because the work Rayton was being asked to do hardly had to do with compliance, and it strains credulity to believe that someone in Rayton’s position was fooled.

Instead, she is charged with using her extensive field experience as a regulator to aid illegal marijuana grows. From there, Harmony & Green, a shell company, bought legal pot cultivation licenses and tricked investors into helping finance the scheme. But Harmony & Green was never in the legal marijuana business. Instead, the grand jury found, it shipped Colorado cannabis worth millions of dollars to several states illegally.

Rayton’s indictment says that she was introduced to a Harmony official through an enforcement division employee. When she quit her post in early November, she declined to tell her peers where she was going. But within weeks she was working for Harmony. Her doing so meant a breach of policies that require former regulators from working in the industries they oversaw for six months.

Worse, during her employment at Harmony, when questioned about monitoring tags being switched among plants illegally and other trickery, Rayton told a source she knew someone at the Department of Revenue who would help the company “get legal.”

Investigators assert that, given Rayton’s vast regulatory field experience, which included warehouse monitoring and inspection, she must have been aware of the duplicitous practices that were lining her pockets.

Like their product, the drug ring’s activities haven’t escaped attention beyond Colorado’s borders. Even before news of Rayton’s indictment, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned the Harmony operation in a recent letter to Congress, arguing against a measure that would prevent the Justice Department from prosecuting violations of the Controlled Substance Act in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Sessions, of course, would rather cannabis remain illegal.

We’ve argued many times that, for the most part, Colorado’s experiment with legal cannabis sales has been successful. But there have been problems, and this one fundamentally calls into question the state’s ability to keep pot out of the illegal marketplace.

Colorado’s Enforcement Division is right to have asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation. Meanwhile, the Department of Revenue should launch a review of its enforcement division’s practices and ensure, through education and otherwise, that its regulators can be trusted.

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Far from being “successful” as this editorial states, Colorado’s so-called legal dope industry is now being exposed for the cesspit of corruption it has been from the start — with illegal drug profits being laundered as start-up capital for ganjapreneurs. It’s no surprise that a CMED officer might succumb to the temptation for easy money.

BTW, do you remember Hector Diaz, a Colombian national arrested some time ago as reported in the Denver Post?

Mr. Diaz supports Colorado’s legal dope industry.

— MRW

Bridge House’s ‘Path to Home’ is all about transients gaining a foothold here in Boulder, CO

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT TRANSIENTS WHO DRIFT INTO TOWN TO GRAB FREE STUFF!

By Max R. Weller

Read the story in the Daily Camera here: Boulder’s ‘Path to Home’ summer homeless sheltering to begin next month. Copied below in its entirety:

Jaxx Cross panhandles at the corner of Broadway and Canyon Boulevard on Friday afternoon. Cross, who said he is homeless, said he sleeps outside and only

Jaxx Cross panhandles at the corner of Broadway and Canyon Boulevard on Friday afternoon. Cross, who said he is homeless, said he sleeps outside and only on a couple of occasions used a homeless day shelter in town. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)*

Boulder on Friday announced plans for a new summer homeless shelter program called Path to Home, which will debut next month.

With about $84,000 in city funding, the local organization Bridge House will run a nightly shelter for up to 50 adults per night at various faith-based sites. The program will begin July 5 and end Sept. 30.

Clients will be taken in on a “first-come, first-served” basis, the city said, with a one-week limit that Bridge House Executive Director Isabel McDevitt said will be flexible in some cases, depending on progress clients make with case managers who’ll be staffed on-site.

“We are anticipating that people will use more than seven days if they are working on a case plan that requires it,” she said. “We are going to work closely with individuals to monitor those case plans and then grant week-by-week stays depending on progress.

“Given our experience, though, we anticipate that a number of folks will use less than seven days, based on the data we have collected already around service usage of homeless adults.”

That data shows that about 20 percent of the local homeless population accounts for 80 percent of the total nights spent in Boulder shelters annually. Conversely, 80 percent of homeless people in the city will use shelters for less than a week in a given year. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

The city and Bridge House have not yet signed a contract, so neither side is prepared to name the faith sites that will be utilized as part of this program.

But Boulder did confirm a number of other details, including that clients will be given local bus tickets and space to store personal belongings.

Bridge House was one of two groups that responded to Boulder’s original request for proposals from those interested in running a summer sheltering program. The other was Boulder Rights Watch, a citizen advocacy group frequently critical of the city’s response to homelessness, and particularly to its urban camping ban.

“Every new bed that’s offered up is fantastic,” said Boulder Rights Watch’s Mike Homner, who also sat on the city’s Homelessness Working Group. “I’m glad that Bridge House is stepping up to the plate and I applaud their efforts, but I just think it’s too little and too late.”

He was referencing the fact that the working group completed its recommendations before the summer sheltering program was announced, somewhat on-the-fly.

“We should have had this plan in place way back when we were talking in the working group,” Homner added. “Any time we give safe places for people to sleep that are legal, I’m all for it. The worry is that it’ll be minuscule compared to what’s on the street.”

The Path to Home program, among other aspects of the city’s evolving response to homelessness, will be the subject of what’s expected to be an in-depth City Council discussion Tuesday night.

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*Mr. Cross, pictured above, won’t benefit by the offer of a one-week stay on the floor of various unnamed “faith sites” referred to in the DC article, in close proximity to unwashed inebriates from Denver and elsewhere across America. In fact, if he’s learned how to survive and be comfortable sleeping outside at night, why wouldn’t he continue to do so? The Homeless Philosopher will for a certainty . . .

It’s a program that can only serve to help integrate Alabama arsonists, Denver sex offenders, and the worst-behaved transients in general into the social services system here in Boulder, CO. Isabel McDevitt and the city staff who worked on the Path to Home scheme know this is true, and as the report points out they have an initial $84,000 as incentive.

On the other hand, it’s completely inadequate to deal with Boulder County residents’ needs on a long-term basis — which was supposed to be the new focus of homeless shelter / services here. WTF?

I would be in favor of a Real Path to Home for homeless people who foolishly come here seeking the Big Rock Candy Mountain — a bus ticket on RTD bound for Denver with a sack lunch to-go. $84,000 would probably serve to move every single bum currently loitering in Boulder’s public areas on down the road, with as much as $75,000 left over! (Allowing $5 per bus ticket and $5 for each sack lunch.) After being dropped off in Denver, they can hitchhike anywhere they please.

What happened to prioritizing shelter / services for Boulder County homeless men and women?

In closing, let me condemn the silly posturing of Boulder Rights Watch — an organization whose members couldn’t find their own butts using both hands. Mike Homner and his clueless sidekick, Darren O’Connor, have NEVER met a scurvy bum they didn’t love. This is what we need to work on ending, but Bridge House’s [Phony] Path to Home will continue to divert resources away from our own homeless residents in need.

Two reminders of transients’ recent misdeeds here:

Sunshine Fire, started by unidentified transients

“Sexually Violent Predator” Kerry Whitfield, from Denver

Overnight tent city in my old hometown:

This is in the old Goose Pond in Lexington, MO — which served as campsite for participants in the Big BAM 2017 cycling event.

Makes me realize how easy it would be to set up a homeless tent city anywhere with enough flat space (Goose Pond could easily accommodate a football field). Rather than tents, think Tiny Houses as in Madison, WI:

Protest Movement Turned Into A Commitment to the City’s Homeless

— MRW

Grocery shopping on the cheap: A useful life skill for the homeless

THE DO-GOODERS CREED: MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE = MORE MONEY

By Max R. Weller

This morning I decided to focus on purchasing the cheapest foodstuffs I could find at King Soopers on Table Mesa. Here’s what I came up with for slightly less than $10:

Kroger strawberry ice cream (pint) — $1

Cheetos crunchy bag (8 1/2 oz.) — $2

Kroger cole slaw (1 lb.) — $1.29

Kroger orange juice (1 pt.) — $0.99

Bar S bologna (1 lb.) — $1

Kroger colby cheese brick (8 oz.) — $1.67

White enriched bread loaf (24 oz.) $1

With sales tax added, I paid $9.36; savings from using my King Soopers card were $3.04, and so far this year my cash savings total $474.73 with this very easy-to-use tool at the checkout counter. NO FOOD STAMPS FOR ME, and I typically donate the change I get back to whatever charity the store is collecting for; this probably adds up to about $180 in the course of an entire year.

NOBODY on staff at any of Boulder’s homeless shelter / services providers is teaching clients how to manage grocery shopping to get the most bang for their bucks. That’s hardly a surprise, when you realize that they don’t teach homeless adults anything at all, and the Program Director at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless once told me — in front of many other folks in the dayroom there — that the homeless can’t learn anything so it’s pointless to try to teach them.

WTF? If I live to be 100 years of age, I’ll NEVER forget what he said.

This is what your donations are supporting in our worthless local nonprofits. I say it’s much better to give help, financial and otherwise, DIRECTLY to homeless people in need you’ve become acquainted with.

BTW, I’m feeling much more upbeat after deciding NOT to apply for food stamps or the Colorado Old Age Pension. It’s just not worth it to me, when I can do on my own as I’ve outlined above.