Tag Archives: Boulder City Council

‘Council fails community’

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

Once again, the Boulder City Council disappoints. And the person most responsible for this is Mayor Suzanne Jones. From inside her cocoon of wealth and privilege, she has neither the understanding of nor empathy for the families with young children and us older folk who live in North Boulder.

Just as Bob Yates was gaining support for doing something about the fear in North Boulder, Mayor Jones shut him down. And again, after waiting three months for the subject of how to deal with the four “sexually violent predators” in Boulder to reach the agenda, it was shunted aside to another wimpy study group.

As Councilman Yates said, it is the council’s job to see that people in Boulder are safe and feel safe. For myself, just three weeks shy of 84, I cancelled my membership at the recreation center because of reports of a predator in the hot tub. I no longer walk around Wonderland Lake alone because of the presence of homeless and possibly predators in the underpass and on the paths. A few weeks ago, the Camera chart of crime statistics showed a sexual assault on 19th Street between Violet and Yarmouth.

I join the speaker who said “Shame on you, Greg Harms, for your decision to house … sexual predators at the shelter.”

There is no hope for this council. Not one of you running for re-election will have my vote.

Barbara Turner

Boulder 

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See City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders online and note the following: 1) The address of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless at 4869 N. Broadway; 2) “B.C.T.C.” is Boulder Community Treatment Center but it’s extremely unlikely that any sex offender there is being rehabilitated.

— MRW 

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‘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 police: homeless man stabbed, beaten with stick’

See the full story in the Daily Camera here. Copied below in its entirety, including photos of the suspect and two victims:

James Craig Dobson appears in court at the Boulder County Jail on Wednesday.

James Craig Dobson appears in court at the Boulder County Jail on Wednesday. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Boulder police believe that the homeless man assaulted on the corner of 27th Way and Baseline Road early Tuesday morning was stabbed and beaten with a stick, and doctors do not expect him to survive his injuries.

James Craig Dobson, 56, has been arrested in the assault of Roland Dequina, 43, and Jeffrey Cross, 50. Dobson faces charges of attempted murder and assault, but an arrest affidavit released Wednesday indicates the case “may turn into a homicide,” as doctors said Dequina is not expected to survive.

Dequina remained in critical condition Wednesday, while Cross was listed in good condition.

Roland Dequina

Roland Dequina (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office / Courtesy photo)

Jeffrey Cross

Jeffrey Cross (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office / Courtesy photo)

Dobson made his first appearance in court on Wednesday, and was given a $100,000 bond by Boulder County Judge Karolyn Moore. Boulder Deputy District Attorney Tim Johnson said the seriousness of the assault and the fact that he was homeless warranted the high bond.

“We believe he is not only a risk to the community but is a high risk to fail to appear in court,” Johnson said.

Moore then initially scheduled Dobson for a filing of charges on Friday, but at the request of Johnson and Dobson’s attorney, Amanda Bailhache, set him for a filing of charges on Aug. 2.

According to the arrest affidavit, Dobson, Cross and Dequina — all three of whom are homeless — had been hanging out and drinking overnight Monday and had been arguing throughout the night.

At 10 p.m. Monday, an officer responded to the area and found Dobson sitting near an intoxicated Cross, who was lying on the ground in the fetal position and bleeding. When taken to the hospital, Cross said he got the injuries when he “took a digger,” and Dobson also denied that anything happened.

Later in the night, three people bicycling through the same area at about 2:30 a.m. found Dequina lying in a pool of blood and called 911.

First responders were unable to find a pulse and began performing CPR. Doctors later said Dequina had a skull fracture, brain bleed, lacerations on his face and bruising and abrasions on his chest and arms. Medical staff told police at the time they did not expect Dequina to survive. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

According to the affidavit, police found Dobson at 9:20 a.m. Tuesday and took him in for questioning after hearing he, Dequina and Cross had been together overnight and arguing.

Police said Dobson was “difficult to follow” and “disjointed,” but said he admitted he was with Dequina. Dobson told police that Dequina threatened him with a stick, so he punched him in the face and then picked up his own stick to defend himself.

Investigators said Dobson’s clothes had blood stains on them and also had what appeared to be a splinter on his left hand.

Police at the scene recovered a branch that was 12 to 18 inches long and appeared to have been broken off a tree. Investigators said that the sharp end of the branch had blood on it and was consistent with Dequina’s injuries.

A vodka bottle covered in blood was also found at the scene. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Dobson’s criminal history includes arrests for obstructing a police officer, criminal mischief, trespassing, theft and burglary.

Dequina also has a criminal history in Boulder County that includes arrests for aggravated robbery, menacing, assault and theft, while Cross is a registered sex offender.

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A rumor going around in Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning is that one or more of these homeless men had been smoking methamphetamine on the night in question, and that’s certainly believable for Mr. Dobson given the extreme violence he displayed.

I understand that Mr. Dequina was formerly a resident of Housing First at 1175 Lee Hill. I’ll refrain from speculating on what might have led him to leave that highly-touted and very expensive program; however, as things turn out it was obviously of no benefit to him whatsoever.

Although I don’t know any of the three personally, I’ve seen all of them many times during my years here in Boulder.

What is Boulder City Council going to do about the increasingly dangerous climate that hundreds of homeless people are living in every day and every night? None of these three were angels, but you must remember two things:

1) Most of us are peaceful and law-abiding and trying to survive by our wits; and

2) Very few incidents of homeless-on-homeless crime are reported to police, so things are actually FAR WORSE than you might think, based only on the high-profile crimes we read about.

A prediction: The self-styled homeless advocates will either be MIA as far as speaking out on this case or they will try to exploit it in a renewed call for still more homeless shelter / services. BUT, the facts are that none of these three homeless men would have been accepted into any shelter with reasonable standards for behavior, and the ongoing Transient Migration to our city will continue to overwhelm available services no matter how much money is spent.

— MRW 

Residents of other cities in Boulder County react to Mayor Suzanne Jones:

Excerpt from the Daily Camera — 

Several council members expressed a desire to pressure surrounding communities that they alleged ignore the issue of regional homelessness. The council was pleased with Longmont’s outlook, but criticized other county communities for their collective lack of involvement in serving, transitioning and then housing the homeless.

“We need to get them on board,” Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said. “This is a regional issue.”

Mayor Suzanne Jones, whose sister, Elise Jones, is a county commissioner, wondered aloud whether Boulder County officials might not “compel participation” from neighboring communities through withheld funds, or other punitive actions.

“I think it’s time to think about leverage,” Jones added.

A random sampling of the reactions of residents in other cities (besides Longmont) follows:

Okay, the dog is a ringer, but you get the point . . .

— MRW

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

Random stuff 6/12/2017

HELP BOULDER COUNTY’S OWN HOMELESS PEOPLE, NOT THE WORST-BEHAVED TRANSIENTS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!

By Max R. Weller

1) Commentaries in yesterday’s Daily Camera from both Darren O’Connor (self-styled homeless advocate) and three board members at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless were entirely predictable, regurgitating the same tired old talking points and ignoring the reality of homelessness in Boulder, CO as I present it. I won’t bother to post the links to their drivel here, but I have to wonder if BSH’s executive director has fallen into disfavor, since he wasn’t one of the trio of authors.

If the board wants to do something useful, they should fire Greg Harms first and then resign as a body.

BTW, I’m still waiting for Boulder Shelter to admit that one of their staff members did steal $350+ from my locker there last March, and compensate me for that loss — $350 is a HUGE amount of cash for any homeless person to lose, especially through no fault of their own.

2) I was enjoying sitting on the wall along the sidewalk in the 4900 block of N. Broadway yesterday afternoon, when one of the drunks came along with an overstuffed plastic grocery bag from Safeway full of various condiments. That bag ripped open, spilling everything, so he went somewhere and got another plastic bag. That, too, ripped open and all of the stuff again hit the sidewalk. He then tied up the hole in bag #2, and tried to pick it up again; this time when the contents fell out, a large glass bottle of hot sauce broke, leaving a big red puddle.

That’s why this spot in front of the Mexican restaurant looks like it was the scene of BLOODY MURDER.

I just left, briefly flying a sign on the corner of U.S. 36 before continuing on to my campsite.

3) I had been considering applying for food stamps in order to donate canned goods to a local food pantry for poor and homeless families, and also applying for the Colorado Old Age Pension (available at age 60 for those not receiving Social Security or SSI) which could be up to $700 per month. However, it remains true that there is an abundance of food available to those in need, so my donations would be superfluous, and the bureaucrats are not above trying to use cash benefits as leverage to force one into a transitional living program and then a homeless ghetto project. I know more than one hardy outdoor-type homeless man whose money was in fact cut off because he refused the substandard housing which is typically available.

OAP is NOT for me under these circumstances — and it’s EXTORTION to use it as the do-gooders apparently are. They ought to be prosecuted and jailed upon conviction.

4) Boulder City Council seems to have lost sight of what the majority of citizens want them to do about homelessness: Focus on helping Boulder County’s own homeless men, women, and children.

Everything that city staff and nonprofits are striving to accomplish only INCREASES the number of transients here.

Here’s the question we need to address:

Boulder City Council supports greedy nonprofits’ focus on making millions, while hundreds here will remain homeless

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS!

By Max R. Weller

Get ready for increasing numbers of young Marijuana Travelers arriving here in Boulder, CO as word spreads through the nationwide homeless grapevine about $300K apartments being given to the lowest common denominator of homeless youth ages 18 to 24. True, it’s only 40 apartments — but there will be ten times that many drawn here by yet another Big Money project that FAILS to end homelessness, and also FAILS to address the welfare of Boulder County’s own homeless people.

Of course, the clueless do-gooders will have an orgy of patting themselves on the back . . .

I’m only mildly surprised at Boulder City Council’s action as reported in the Daily Camera. Read it here: No call-up: Boulder council grants final OK to 1440 Pine St.

Usually, I’ll copy either an excerpt or the entire story and post it here; however, I think this is a case where an Internet meme will sum things up just as well. To wit:

Life skills training needed for the homeless

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

By Max R. Weller

As one who has chosen to be a firsthand observer of homelessness here in Boulder, CO since early 2008 — even to the extent of sleeping outdoors in wintertime — I’ve often been amazed at how dysfunctional many homeless single adults are. They have difficulty with daily tasks that most of us take for granted, which we can do with very little conscious thought. Examples: 1) Reading a bus schedule and getting to the bus stop on time; 2) Shopping for food and other necessities on a limited budget; and 3) Understanding and dealing effectively with bureaucracy (or avoiding it altogether as I do, a skill in and of itself).

Unfortunately, the Transition Program at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless fails to educate homeless clients in any practical way. Many is the time I’ve been waiting outside for this facility to open at 6AM in order to take my morning shower, and I see program residents running after the RTD buses as they’re pulling away; this is because the homeless people inside aren’t even required to wake themselves on time to start their days. It gets worse: You name the task, and chances are that some “case manager” or other BSH staff member is doing it for the resident, which only reinforces their dependency. Residents are assigned very simple chores, which frequently don’t get done, and staff’s only concern is that the resident has signed off on having completed their chore (this is my pet peeve, because I have to clean the toilet seat I use every morning rather than take a chance on whether it was actually disinfected). When residents leave the building at 4869 N. Broadway at 8AM, at least a dozen will gather at the corner of Front Range & N. Broadway — on BSH property — to smoke marijuana (supposedly not permitted for those who are required to be “clean and sober”).

There are residents in this “nine month” program who have been there for years (with only brief respites), and remain just as helpless and needy as ever. Really, what’s the point? Besides having a “program” to point to in hopes of gaining more funding from both public and private sources. But, maybe that IS the point . . .

It’s time to refocus resources at Boulder Shelter in a way that will actually offer a chance at real change in the lives of homeless single adults who seek it. It can be done; just search online for Denver Samaritan House 120-Day Levels Program Requirements.

In wintertime’s life-threatening weather conditions, of course, there will always be a need for emergency overnight shelter. That’s a different matter, entirely, and it’s not one that attracts a lot of support from do-gooders wanting the homeless to “get back on their feet” as the tired old saying goes. However, I regard it as the true test of so-called compassion — providing a minimal level of emergency care for those who probably won’t offer any thanks and aren’t interested in rejoining the mainstream of society.

(This post has been submitted to the Daily Camera as a guest opinion and also e-mailed to Boulder City Council)