Letters 10/07/21 – Boulder Weekly
What Safer Boulder wants
My family recently moved to Boulder with our seven month old daughter. In the 1980s I lived here for several years at 4th and Pearl and loved the community and its spectacular nature parks and public spaces. When I returned to Boulder, a brief walk on the Boulder Creek Road began to remind me why I left the San Francisco Bay Area and decided never to move to Los Angeles, Portland, or Seattle. Boulder had been overtaken by “homeless camps”. Boulder Creek looked more like a slum than a nice walking trail. Crime and break-ins into local restaurants and homes were at an all time high; as are the acts of violence against the townspeople, perpetrated by individuals wielding knives and machetes while being drunk on methamphetamine and other drugs.
The Twitter feed and Shay Castle’s article in Boulder Weekly, “Who is Safer Boulder?” How an obscure group became a powerful force in Boulder politics, ”try to infer nefarious intent from a group of local Boulder residents who all have children and are concerned about crime and drug addiction in our town. We are also concerned about the environmental risks to our community from a group of individuals who refuse to participate in the services provided by local homeless shelters. Is it wrong of us to suggest that parents shouldn’t have to walk the Boulder Creek Road for fear of being accosted by drug-hungry individuals? Is it wrong of us to fear that until the Boulder Police Department clears the encampment under the Boulder Library, thousands of drug syringes (YES THOUSANDS!) Are littering our parks a few feet from the grounds children’s games?
During a presentation in April by Boulder County Parks and Recreation Director Ali Rhodes and Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold to Boulder City Council, they showed photos of the hundreds of bikes and propane tanks stolen and thousands of drug needles that Boulder Police and Parks Department employees had to leave these encampments. They explained how these efforts took a heavy toll on employees in our city and county, and posed both health risks and forest fires. Boulder’s diverse city council then voted unanimously to ban Boulder camping as a result of these facts and presentations. Is it wrong for people who share the same desire of most residents to enjoy Boulder’s natural beauty by wading or tubing in Boulder Creek without fear of being used as a mass toilet by the encampments? along the way ? While Shay’s concerns are sincere for the “displaced”, she must also share her concerns for law-abiding citizens who wish to preserve their environment and public spaces.
I have no doubt that Liberals and Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans all share a common love for their children and concern for their safety. This is an issue on which we can and must unite as a community. So who is “Safer Boulder”? Well, we’ll tell you: lots of Boulder families who just want a safer place to live for our neighbors and our kids. So why does Shay Castle want to demonize us, including Boulder City Council candidate and father, Steven Rosenblum? Some people have even taken to creating fake websites that attribute quotes to Steve that he never did. Has the new far left narrative become so perverse that we can now demonize families who simply want to act to protect their children? We all have a responsibility to help our fellow citizens who have gone through difficult times with real needs. Many people who support Safer Boulder have donated to the Boulder Homeless Shelter, including myself. But the people we see on our streets and public parks refuse to participate in our community shelters and supports because they are determined to continue using drugs, polluting our environment and committing crimes against our citizens. . Those who have chosen to champion the cause of offenders do not have the right to deprive the vast majority of citizens of their right to live in a clean, healthy and safe community.
Brett Kingstone / Boulder