Cruelty to the homeless
(Re: “Homeless turned away at Red Cross shelter,” News, Sept. 19.) I read your article today regarding the homeless population being turned away at shelters. I have heard first-hand that it was not only one shelter that turned them away, but many.
I am saddened and disgusted by the lack of humanity shown in this situation. These are people! They are mothers, sons, fathers, daughters … people!
They are not less than because of their circumstances. I think this is a complete injustice. We need more of an outreach during disasters, as well as every day. I wish those that turned them away could live in their shoes even for a day. Their lives are hard enough without a possibly deadly disaster.
I will be contacting everyone possible to convey this. I may not make a huge difference, but I have to try. I encourage you to do the same. I strongly suggest that we as a community come together to express how wrong this is. I am proud to live in Boulder and love the city and its people … including my amazingly kind friends without homes. Please understand being homeless is not a crime. I strongly believe that the people quoted that were in charge should be called to the carpet. They are obviously not professional enough to do their jobs. Let’s come together and make Boulder the kinder place.
There is so much beauty and kindness here … let’s remember to keep it that way.
Carah Rector/via Internet
Thanks so much for doing an article on the homeless this week.
I wonder if you’ve thought about doing something similar on the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. They have a nice big building up there that is way underused even during emergency conditions. I thought it was an emergency shelter.
Sarah Hartzell/via Internet
Holes in the Waters tale
A Boulder resident since September 1974, I have noted a huge increase in the homeless population, particularly in the last few years, and a very effective series of countermeasures by city council, reflecting public resentment of the homeless and the public resources they consume!
The Waters case seemed suspicious to me from the start, and I appreciated the lengthy exegesis in the previous BW [“Troubled Waters,” cover story, Sept. 5]. One man attacking two with a knife seemed dangerous, and East Pearl Circle is miles beyond the normal range of Boulder beggars, mainly office buildings, one hotel. Both the Camera and BW failed to provide photos or drawings of the area, and, having walked it, the distance from Target, 18th and Pearl, and East Pearl Circle, about Old Pearl and 49th, is several miles, uphill, with no trails or sidewalks going the full route; I question how two impaired men, in darkness, could make this trip in 20 minutes, as Giampino claims, and suspect the round trip would be closer to two or three hours.
The police seem to have acted in good faith, as did the DA and courts, and I suspect the motive was to “send a message” to a growing, dysfunctional, disruptive subculture. While I now see the homeless as a symbol of our economic and social contraction, I also feel the homeless and their many apologists, enablers and advocates (minus recently convicted Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow founder Jim Budd) could acknowledge a need for greater self-discipline, maturity, sobriety and civility by only a few hundred lost souls, whom I now see as a Lost Generation post-Great Recession!
Tip your street performers
I was on the Pearl Street Mall the other day and had a very discouraged street performer vent to me about a few things.
I have seen this street performer several times, and he is rather good at what he does. He does prefer, however, to remain nameless.
He mentioned how frustrated he was as a hard-working individual who delights in sharing his talent with those that pass by and take pictures of him. While he does not want to be rude, those that are used to YouTube and getting free things all over forget that there are talented, skilled people who cannot provide a roof over their head when they fail to compensate for the video and picture they take. He mentioned that if he had a dollar, just a dollar for every picture that was taken it would be a decent wage at the end of the day. However, he struggles to pay for things currently. This performer mentioned to me that it is not just him that is frustrated with this. There are quite a few other street vendors that give their time and talents as well becoming discouraged by the end of the day.
Part of the sparkle of Boulder drawing tourists and residents is the rich culture and space of the Pearl normal Street Mall, where anyone can come and let their talents shine. Those that choose to share their talents, however, cannot legally ask for a set price for their talents. While they can ask for a suggested donation, many times those that come to the mall leave with photos, videos, enjoying time spent, without compensating the talented individuals.
It is my hope that in sharing this story those who enjoy the Pearls of the Mall can consider some etiquette while on the mall and compensate those who share their talents, realizing that for many this is how they earn their living in life, and if you enjoy it, and value it, compensate it.
Donating to ‘conservation’
While at the checkout counter at Cabela’s, I was asked if I would like to make an 82-cent donation to conservation. I asked where the money would go and what it would support. She pointed me to a list of companies on organizations were the National Rifle the board before the exit. Two of these Association (NRA) and the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation. Both of these organizations lobby Congress on behalf of the gun and ammunition manufacturers of this country, under the guise of protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
The Congressional Sportsmen Foundation opposes restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines, a ban on military-style AR-15 rifles and the imprinting of bullets with traceable serial numbers to help solve crimes. The Congressional Sportsmen Foundation’s board has included top executives of Freedom Group, the largest American maker of firearms, and ATK, the country’s biggest producer of ammunition. In 2010, the foundation disclosed that its most generous donor in its history was the gun industry’s trade association. Many of the galas, banquets and Congressional shootouts hosted by the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation are sponsored by the NRA, Cabela’s, Wal-Mart, Georgia Pacific (Koch Brothers owned) among others.
Are these organizations the new face of conservation? Foolishly I was thinking of organizations that would help to protect and preserve open space, clean water, clean air, etc. Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said the NRA’s “association with the sportsmen’s foundation plays up this mythology that they speak for sportsmen when, increasingly they don’t. They represent views that help gun manufacturers.”
If we follow the money and see who is financing these organizations, as well as organizations like the NRA that sponsor them, then we will know their true intent. Cabela’s has made their intent clear.
Natural disasters and pets
As the flash floods that engulfed Boulder attest, natural disasters often strike with little or no warning. That’s why it’s vital to make emergency plans now to protect all members of our families, including our animals.
Animals are even less equipped to survive a disaster than we are, so it’s vital to never leave them behind in an evacuation. Before an emergency strikes, find places where you can stay with your animals if you must evacuate (friends, family and hotels are good options).
Have an emergency kit ready to go so you can leave at a moment’s notice. Include leashes, bowls, towels, blankets, litter pans and litter, and at least a week’s supply of food and medications. Always keep animals current on vaccinations and ensure they wear collars with identification tags.
If you have no choice but to leave animals behind, leave them indoors, with access to upper floors and at least 10 days’ worth of dry food and water (fill sinks and multiple containers). Never leave animals tied up or caged. Place signs in windows and on doors indicating the number and species of animals inside — rescue teams may be able to save them.
Lindsay Pollard-Post, The PETA Foundation/Norfolk, Va.
To bomb or not to bomb
How do I reconcile my initial, fearful, aggressive norm of consciousness that tells me to attack, punish or kill the killer(s) … with the deep realization that violence only begets more violence? Do I do nothing? Do I disengage by letting others take care of it? Do I put my own life on the line for what I believe in? Do I support the bombing out of my personal fear?
If I hold the position of an acknowledged world leader with a voice that would be carried to we the people of this planet … words that would reach beyond violence, knowing that war begets war, what would those words be? That violence will prevail when we allow our fears to control our actions. That it is time to find another way. That the present evolution of our human nature allows for an expansive awareness which allows for creative solutions.
As world leader, I would propose that we respond with the consciousness that we now have available to us. A consciousness that understands and accepts our interdependence with all others on the planet. That, we who know this to be true, refuse violence and come together to take up this greatest opportunity we have to act of a broader, more expansive view of what it means to be human. We would together consider what is truly in our best interest as an evolving human race, not in the interests of military might, political power or profit-making. Our considerations would recognize our personal fears but not be driven by them.
It would mean that we would have to step out of survival and self-interests and look to the greater good. This kind of working together demands a change in the way we have been doing things for millenniums.
Eminem for laureate
I humbly nominate Marshall Mathers for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Jason S. Clark/Boulder