Tag Archives: transients in Boulder County

Sow the seeds of inappropriate compassion, this is what you reap

Read the updated story in the Daily Camera here: Boulder police arrest suspect in 2 beatings; 1 victim suffers ‘grave injuries’ . . . Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder police arrested a homeless man on suspicion of attempted murder and assault after they say he beat two men four hours apart late Monday and early Tuesday — leaving one victim hospitalized in critical condition.

James Craig Dobson, 56, was booked into the Boulder County Jail on Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder and first-, second- and third-degree assault.

James Craig Dobson

James Craig Dobson (Boulder Police Department)

Police initially were dispatched to the corner of 27th Way and Baseline Road at 10:30 p.m. Monday on a report of a 50-year-old man who had been attacked and sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

That man was transported to Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital, and police were unable to locate a suspect.

Police were called out to that same location at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and found a 43-year-old man with “grave injuries” that police said appeared to be consistent with a beating.

That victim, who police said was homeless, also was transported to the Foothills Hospital, where he remained in critical condition as of Tuesday evening.

Neither victim has been identified publicly by police.

Through interviews, police identified Dobson as a person of interest in both cases. Police initially didn’t know where Dobson was, but said at 10 a.m. Tuesday that they’d located him.

After interviewing Dobson, police announced his arrest shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. He is due to make a first appearance in court at the Boulder County Jail today.

Court records show Dobson has a lengthy criminal history in Boulder County, including arrests for obstructing a police officer, criminal mischief, trespassing, theft and burglary.

The area where the assaults occurred is frequented by panhandlers and transients. Police said the victims and Dobson knew each other, and are all believed to be homeless. (Emphasis is mine — MRW.)

Police have not released any information on a possible motive for the attacks.

The area on Tuesday was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape, and multiple officers and evidence technicians could be seen placing evidence markers next to what appeared to be a pool of blood and items in the dirt area off the side of the road.

The on-ramp to Denver-bound U.S 36 from Baseline Road and the eastbound turn lane of 28th Street onto Baseline were both closed for hours Tuesday morning while Boulder police investigated.


What do our homeless advocates think about this dangerous part of Boulder, one I’ve taken care to avoid in the 9+ years I’ve lived here as a homeless man? Are they concerned by a few violent homeless men preying on others? Apparently, not at all!

See: Boulder McDonald’s chills some with closure affecting homeless from the DC in early 2014. Excerpt follows:

(Jeremy Papasso / DAILY CAMERA)

A McDonald’s restaurant on Baseline has received several complaints after allegedly barring homeless customers from entering the restaurant last week.

McDonald’s, 2920 Baseline Road, usually opens its inside dining area at 6 a.m. Yet a recorded phone call between the restaurant’s manager, Manuel Lopez, and a customer named Darren O’Connor, showed that the dining area stayed closed on Thursday morning, apparently to keep out customers who appeared to be homeless.

McDonald’s owner Aaron Holland said the closure was not meant to discriminate, but was only intended to give the understaffed location a chance to catch up after getting a larger-than-average crowd so early in the morning.

Yet in the recording, Lopez said the closure allowed the restaurant to cut down on customer complaints.

“We have a lot of homeless guys coming up, and if it’s just a couple of them, we usually let them in because it’s cold. When there is a lot of them, we have to do something because a lot of the customers complain about it,” Lopez said in the recording.

O’Connor, who recorded the phone conversation and posted it on YouTube after learning that only the drive-through was open, said the restaurant was unfairly discriminating against the homeless.

“You are clearly discriminating against our homeless community, who is coming in with money to buy food and drink, and you’re closing the doors,” O’Connor told Lopez in the recording . . .

However, this FAKE complaint wasn’t even supported by our local ACLU! The story concludes:

Judd Golden of the Boulder County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said private businesses have broad discretion to refuse service so long as they aren’t discriminating based on race, gender or another protected class. For example, they can discourage customers who spend very little money and take up space for a very long time.

Well, duh!


Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to condemn these vicious felonies; that might cause people to rethink donating to Boulder’s homeless shelter / services industry.


One year ago, Alabama arsonists started the Cold Springs Fire


By Max R. Weller

Read the article in the Daily Camera here: One year on, recovery . . . Copied below in its entirety:

Mary Pfeifer pets her dog, Bob, on the site of her home which was burned in the Cold Springs Fire one year ago. She was meeting with a local contractor on

Mary Pfeifer pets her dog, Bob, on the site of her home which was burned in the Cold Springs Fire one year ago. She was meeting with a local contractor on Saturday to talk about getting her well set up as part of her rebuilding process. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Boulder County resident Mary Pfeifer sat atop a large rock on a steep incline on Bonanza Drive to the northeast of Nederland on Saturday afternoon, with her friend Dave Beavans, and her dog, Bob.

They were waiting for a man from a drilling company to show up and discuss where to put the well. Just below her was the flat area where her double A-frame house once stood before it was destroyed, along with seven other homes in the area, when the Cold Springs Fire swept through in July of last year.

“I’ve been her friend for many years,” Beavans said. “I’m in the lighting business so I’ve been donating my time and stuff to help her out.”

The fire broke out on July 9, 2016 and scorched more than 500 acres. Pfeifer’s property has the burnt remains of trees still standing — snags in forest ecology parlance — and she says the houses visible in the distance weren’t as easily seen before the fire.

She has been staying in a neighbor’s cottage for the past year. Although she didn’t know the neighbor well before the fire, Pfeifer said the generosity extended to her is evidence of the closeness felt among many residents of the sparsely-populated community.

“It’s been great for my dog, because he knows the neighborhood,” she said. “That’s been a blessing for both of us.”

When the fire was first reported burning near Sugarloaf Road and the Peak to Peak Highway which heads north out of Nederland, fire officials initially thought it would be contained quickly. However, it spiraled out of control, and they drew up provisional evacuation plans that stretched to the Boulder city limits.

Overall, nearly 2,000 people were evacuated for several days and Boulder County Sheriff’s deputies blocked roads in and out of the neighborhood. Impromptu signs sprang up in and around Nederland thanking the legion of firefighters who came to stop the fire.

The fire roared up a ridge and into Pfeifer’s parcel of land, destroying her home and the one next door. It left other homes in the immediate vicinity untouched and Beavans said on Saturday that it was but for the grace of God that the fire didn’t destroy the entire neighborhood.

Alabama residents Jimmy Andrew Suggs and Zackary Ryan Kuyendall, who had been camping near the ignition point admitted to accidentally setting the fire. They pleaded guilty to felony arson and were sentenced to work release at the Boulder County Jail, followed by probation.

Pfeifer has spent the last year dealing with her insurance company — it’s not covering the entire cost of rebuilding — and Boulder County, which is requiring code upgrades to the new house that include improvements such as a sprinkler system and fire resistant roofing.

“I had a rustic mountain home,” Pfeifer said. “Now I have to build a city house in the mountains.”

Charlie Schmidtmann is a firefighter with the Nederland Fire Protection District who lost his home in the fire. His wife Bretlyn is also a first responder and the two continued to fight the fire even after learning their home on Sherwood Avenue had burned down. They have been staying at a home nearby.

Schmidtmann has also had to work through the hurdles of insurance companies, county permitting, plans for his new house and provide a detailed list of everything he lost in the fire to the insurance company.

“All that together is more than a full-time job,” he said. “It’s pretty unbelievable.”

He is also a contractor, so he is doing most of the work with one other person. He hopes to have the house done and ready to move in by next year’s Super Bowl.

Schmidtmann said part of the frustration of recovering from the loss of his home has been the people who drive through the area to look at the destroyed homes, and other damage wrought by the fire.

“I’m a firefighter for the town of Nederland, so I’m around fire all the time,” he said. “I go home and all I see is the destruction of the fire, and I see a lot of people who aren’t sympathetic. They are gawkers who come up and point.”

He said that some of the people have been bold enough to come onto his property, ignoring the posted “No Trespassing” signs and claiming that they are only “passing through.” He said the trespassing slowed down after six months, but it hasn’t completely gone away. And that has added to the stress.

“It’s heartbreaking for us,” he said. “We don’t like to consider ourselves victims. Unfortunately, it’s kind of the position we are in.”

A fire burns behind a house during the Cold Springs Fire in July 2016 in Nederland. Almost 2,000 people were evacuated and eight homes destroyed by the

A fire burns behind a house during the Cold Springs Fire in July 2016 in Nederland. Almost 2,000 people were evacuated and eight homes destroyed by the fire. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)


Suggs and Kuykendall may be returning to Alabama to serve four years of probation, after completing two years of work release at Boulder County Jail.

Dumb (L) and Dumber (R)

This is much better than keeping the INBREDS here in Colorado, where they would be homeless and pampered by the do-gooders, at least until they commit more serious felonies.

It’s almost unbelievable that local nonprofits and Boulder city staff still have NOT prioritized homeless shelter / services for Boulder County residents (valid photo ID and proof of one year’s residency required). What’s up with that, Boulder City Council?

Read this letter-to-the-editor from a year ago: ‘Jeff Schulz: Boulder should stop importing criminals’ from the DC. Copied below in its entirety:

As a longtime Boulder resident, I would like to request that both the City Council and the county commissioners explain why they insist on inviting homeless transients from all over the country to stay here. These two governing bodies are directly responsible for the havoc that out-of-town criminals inflict in our community, including the uptick in rapes and recently a huge wildfire.

I recognize citizens are also complicit because we’ve allowed special interests to essentially bring Boulder to its knees in the name of “compassion.” The non-profits that make money off of the homeless situation should also outline how their services are in the citizen’s best interest and why they can’t at least filter out the sex offenders.

As far as I can tell, these groups are not serving “a local need,” they are merely creating huge problems that the rest of the citizens have to contend with every day. We seem to be long on “activists” and “advocates,” but short on accountability. And since the D.A. is spending his time avoiding investigating what appears to be huge conflict of interests at the council level, the citizens simply have to demand better governance directly.

For example, I would like the well-paid city manager to personally visit the woman that was recently raped on the Boulder Creek path and apologize on behalf of the citizens, and explain that, while it’s unfortunate she had such a horrific experience at the hands of another criminal transient, the city’s policies are quite sound.

I would also like to request that the mayor quit worrying about ice cream sandwiches and that she and her sister on the county commission apologize to the citizens of Nederland and start reducing funding for the agencies that are importing criminals in from all over the country.

Jeff Schulz


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

‘[Transient Migration] a bar to successful Boulder County homeless strategies’

Read the story in the Daily Camera here. Excerpt copied below:

The existing need and scarcity explain why the housing goals associated with Boulder’s newly approved Long-Term Homelessness Strategy are, in the estimation of city officials, both ambitious and insufficient.

Over the next three years, the document states, a total of 180 new units of housing should be created between the city and Boulder County for the benefit of both high-needs homeless individuals and low-income or non-chronically homeless people in need of “rapid rehousing.”

Kurt Firnhaber, the city’s housing director, acknowledged the goals are a “stretch.”

But, clearly, achievement of those targets would still leave a massive amount of need, as assessments of regional homelessness suggest that even during the dead of winter — the down season for transient travel to the area — about 600 people are unhoused in Boulder County.

In Boulder and Longmont, the issue is highly visible, primarily with single homeless adults in the two cities’ respective downtowns. The majority of the homeless services in the county, and the only overnight shelters, are in those two cities. 


STOP ACCEPTING TRANSIENTS FROM OUTSIDE OF BOULDER COUNTY FOR SHELTER / SERVICES! Really, it’s that simple; I believe that adequate housing solutions can be found for ALL of our local homeless residents — defined as those with a valid photo ID showing a Boulder County address and proof of at least one year’s residency. It seems likely that over half of those seeking aid of all kinds are from elsewhere, so hand them bus tickets on RTD to Denver and sack lunches to-go. Then, embrace the truly progressive concept of inexpensive Tiny Homes. Finally, understand that a small percentage of homeless people will NEVER want to live as society would like them to — these are the folks who require a minimal level of emergency shelter / services during wintertime.

See what’s happening in Madison, WI — just one example among many cities in America which are leaving Boulder, CO in their dust:

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

— MRW 

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


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.


*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

Random stuff 6/12/2017


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, CO do-gooders on verge of winning Race To The Bottom


By Max R. Weller

It doesn’t look hopeful at this point for all of us who see through the smokescreen of “compassion” put out by greedy — yes, GREEDY — nonprofits like Boulder Shelter for the HomelessBridge House, and now Attention Homes (no longer is their mission to help kids ages 12 through 17). Read Boulder board approves housing for homeless at 1440 Pine St. in the Daily Camera. Copied below in its entirety:

A rendering of the proposal to house chronically homeless young adults at 1440 Pine St., Boulder.

A rendering of the proposal to house chronically homeless young adults at 1440 Pine St., Boulder. (Courtesy image)

After 18 months of community debate — often unusually heated, even by Boulder’s standards — the city Planning Board on Tuesday night approved a proposal to build housing for homeless young adults in a new downtown facility.

The board voted 6-1, with member Crystal Gray representing the lone voice of dissent.

The approval will be final unless the City Council moves to call up the project for additional discussion and then overturns the vote. That seems unlikely, based on the strong support from a Planning Board with its members handpicked by the council.

Barring such action by the council, Tuesday’s OK means that the local nonprofit Attention Homes, working with Studio Architecture and the affordable housing developer Gardner Capital, can proceed with plans to construct a new three-story building on what is currently a surface parking lot at 1440 Pine St.

The building will have 40 housing units for chronically homeless people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Attention Homes will relocate its administrative offices into the facility, which will also have space for various support-based services for tenants who in most cases will be trauma victims at educational and job-training deficits.

On the ground floor of the building will be a small “grab-and-go” café — no more than nine seats will be allowed, which the local restaurant and butcher Blackbelly has agreed to operate.

The project was granted a 62 percent reduction under the amount of parking that would typically have been required.

Tuesday’s meeting was a special one called only after a May 18 public hearing on the development ran so late as to require a continuation.

That earlier hearing put on full display the myriad citizen disagreements that have long marked the project.

Many — including the dozens who offered supportive public comments at the hearing — will celebrate Tuesday’s vote as a victory for inclusivity.

Others felt the building was too tall and dense to fit in with the Whittier neighborhood. Certain project opponents said that it was too risky to put at-risk young people near a busy downtown area they said is filled with temptations.

Some took issue with the public process behind the project, and said they were not given genuine opportunities to impact the ultimate proposal.

Specifically controversial was the fact that the developers were virtually locked into the 40-unit density prior to public outreach, because the grant money they’d secured was contingent upon that level of density.

“Exactly what we’re voting on,” Gray said, “is what was put in that grant package before the concept review and before this board even got to hear the public, and before the applicant even got to hear our concerns.

“When you don’t involve people in a transparent and honest process … you’re going to have winners and losers, and we have to change that.”

Chair John Putnam pushed back.

“I would strongly disagree with the suggestion that what happened wasn’t transparent or honest. I think they were following the rules and requirements as laid out, and there are no requirements that you go to the city before asking for grants.”

Offered member Liz Payton: “We need to operate in a way that it doesn’t look like people are taking advantage of loopholes.”

In her comments on the plan, Gray also said that the office and café uses are “so incompatible” with the neighborhood. Payton said it seemed to her “like kind of an incursion” on the surroundings.

Member David Engisn said “I don’t really see that” and member Bryan Bowen said he felt the café in particular would be “really useful in normalizing” the homeless clients who will move on-site.

As a result of this vote, Attention Homes will vacate its current offices at 1443 Spruce St. and move to 1440 Pine St.

The LGBTQ organization Out Boulder County, now located a few hundred feet from the site, has a tentative agreement to move its headquarters into what will be the former Attention Homes space on Spruce Street.

Included in the approval is a plan to designate the rest of the structures on the block — including the old house occupied by Lucile’s Creole Café — as historic landmarks.


The precedent for this kind of crooked manipulation of zoning regulations was set a few short years ago by the 1175 Lee Hill Housing First project. Partners in that enterprise, BSH and Boulder Housing Partners, claimed this Wet House was “transitional housing” which is a “use by right” in that zoning. But as soon as approval was gained, up went the signs proclaiming 1175 Lee Hill as “permanent supportive housing” — in fact, a congregate care facility specifically prohibited under the zoning rules in place. I can attest to the fact that HF clients are causing all sorts of problems out in the surrounding neighborhood, where I’ve lived for over nine years, due to their drunken and loutish behavior. Deacon Chris Byrne and the rest of the enablers on staff there can deny it, but it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

BTW, a former resident at 1175 Lee Hill, Donna the Homeless Drama Queen, threatened me just yesterday with a lawsuit because I blogged about her return from a failed alcohol rehab at Ft. Lyon (costing Colorado taxpayers at least $100K). Every word I wrote in her case was TRUE, and there are records from emergency services providers to prove it. Her new “protector” is a homeless man who left Boulder way back around Christmastime in 2013, and many of us thought he’d gone home to another state to finish drinking himself to death. I think his feelings were hurt when I couldn’t remember his name right off the bat, even though he also warned me not to blog about his pickled shenanigans in public in the future. Of course, I’ll write what I please when the time comes . . .