homeless Archives - Colorado Politics

Associated PressAssociated PressDecember 8, 201714min2170

FARGO, North Dakota — Maria Modi's journey from South Sudan to a new life in Fargo included a stop at a refugee camp in Cairo. She and her seven siblings know what it is like to be hungry. "My mother and father work 12-hour shifts and still sometimes we don't get enough food at home to last us a week," said Modi, a Fargo North High School senior who plans to study music and theater in college next year.

Joey BunchJoey BunchMay 22, 20176min1460

Et tu, Dana Perino? When Fox News reported last week that “Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet,” regarding Durango, it was Douglas County’s Dana Perino in the video atop the page.

Durango leaders, however, didn’t think much of the reporting beneath the video by Fox News’ Joseph J. Kolb, who was in town for a soccer tournament, Shane Benjamin reported for the Durango Herald on Friday.

Kolb’s lead source on the speculative relationship between pot, homelessness and Durango’s downtown? A homeless guy.

“Legalized marijuana has drawn a lot of kids here from other states and the impact has not all been good,” said 58-year-old Matthew Marinseck, who Kolb reported was holding a cardboard “help” sign.

Kolb said some panhandlers just straight up ask for pot.

Official sources, even in Kolb’s piece, however, don’t back up the premise that pot and panhandling are partners in southwest Colorado.

“Panhandlers like Marinseck may not exactly pose a threat to pedestrians shopping at the boutiques, souvenir stores or microbreweries in downtown Durango,” Kolb reported. “But they don’t exactly evoke the wholesome image the business district wants to project.”

The Durango Herald on Friday had a damning headline of its own, “Fox News story draws ire from Durangoans.”

Kolb, also a blogger for the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, also published the article on the conservative news radio host Laura Ingraham’s news website Lifezette under the headline “The Town That’s Going to Pot.”

Another conservative website, The Daily Caller, also took a hit off Kolb’s story in a staff-written piece titled “Legal Weed Blamed For Transforming Colorado Town Into Panhandler Haven.”

Tim Walsworth, executive director of Durango Business Improvement District, spoke about homelessness in the Fox News piece, but made no mention of marijuana’s role in the prepared statement he gave Kolb.

So the lead source in a national story connecting pot to panhandling is a homeless guy in Durango.

Walsworth said folks who give money to homeless people are more of the reason than pot, along with the cities inability to enforce laws to combat it, after a scrape with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Benjamin continued:

“The reporter had an angle, and he took the information he got to fit his angle,” Walsworth said. “I told him I did not believe marijuana was the cause, and that was not quoted at all.”

What’s more, the reporter barely identified himself as a reporter, Walsworth said. He left a voicemail that may have included “something Fox,” but he really presented himself as a concerned citizen who was in town for the soccer shootout and wanted to learn more about the panhandling issue, he said.

“(He) certainly never said I am doing a story for Fox News, which just calls into question his credibility,” Walsworth said.

On second thought, let’s cut Perino some slack here.  The video atop the article taking pot shots at her home state was unrelated, apparently a report connected to the 4/20 marijuana observance in April.

The former White House spokeswoman for George W. Bush said she never tried pot.

“I was a Just Say No kid, right, Nancy Reagan’s program Just Say No,” she said of the former first lady’s initiative. “I was 8, 9, 10. I believed if my brain was an egg that would be my brain on drugs, so I never did it.”

Well, she’s not homeless.


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinApril 3, 20175min155

The City of Boulder is many things to many people, sometimes largely depending on your personal, political views. Some view them as one of the more forward-thinking local governments, others call them the "People's Republic of Boulder." Well, a story in the Boulder Camera reported that since the city is running out of space to develop, it wants the county to butt out of its land use decisions. Seems one of those intergovernmental agreements ...


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinMarch 17, 20178min153

A small, fledgling, informal group of Denver residents wants to "bring the voice of yes" to the city as it considers how to address growth-related issues like affordable housing, transportation and parking, according to the group's "unofficial leader." Part of a small but growing nationwide movement called Yes In My Backyard, YIMBY Denver formed after a Boulder gathering last summer, said Ian Harwick, a Denver resident since 2000 who has lived in Colorado since he was six months old.


Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinDecember 2, 20167min168

The City and County of Denver's dedicated, permanent, affordable housing fund and program is on track to debut next fall, with new staff members hired, a 23-member advisory committee formed and short- and long-range plans, a City Council committee was told Wednesday, Nov. 30. Rick Padilla, housing director in the Office of Economic Development, and Laura Brudzynski, a community development staffer in the office, updated the Safety, Housing, Education and Homeless Committee on those efforts.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 28, 201616min1720

DENVER — Suck in the holiday gut and belly up to your desk … It’s time to get back to work following (for many of us) a long Thanksgiving break. Oh, and happy ‘Cyber Monday’ to you, your favorite electronic device and your wallet. Let the financial gluttony continue! Strangest of all that crossed our desk this morning was the attack — or possibly odd diagnosis — of Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son Barron ... The Comedian trading laughs for scrubs to make some offensive claims concerning the “first kid.” You’ll just have to read for yourself. Let’s get things started!

Roger HudsonRoger HudsonNovember 23, 201616min1410



dance turkey gobble gobble julia child

The Hudson Firm

DENVER — So let the giving of thanks begin. … Wow, what a political year! No matter on what side of the ballot you stood, it’s easy to be thankful that campaigns are behind us. Now, if we can just make it through Thanksgiving dinner without a fist fight, a divorce, being disinherited or the cops being called … we truly will have something to be thankful for, won’t we?

FYI — We plan to stuff ourselves Thursday and not fully recover until Monday … so, we’ll see you then, on the other side. In the meantime, have another cranberry shaped like a can and turkey sandwich.

The First Shot

“Shut up! Avoid that conversation as much as possible!”

– Advice from Denver family therapist Dr. Larry Curry on how to avoid political conflict this Thanksgiving.


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Let the 2018 race for Colorado governor begin!

As I believe Colorado Republicans learned four and eight years ago … elections have consequences. The nation’s Democratic Party — and Colorado Democrats — are now feeling the pinch following the election of Donald Trump and the Republican control of both the U.S. House and Senate.

Hillary Clinton’s loss is reverberating among Colorado Dems. The headline from ColoradoPolitics.com blog says it well — “White House loss complicates things for leading Colorado Democrats.”


In one of his first articles written for his new employer, reporter Peter Marcus notes … Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is likely sticking around for his remaining two years, and former Interior Secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, a Democrat, won’t be headed to D.C to assist with a Clinton transition.

As both Democrats and Republicans jockey for an early position ahead of the 2018 Colorado governor’s race, the reintroduction of Ken Salazar may scare off some from his party who had thought of running for the state’s top job. Hopeful Republicans would have also liked to see Salazar out of the mix. His ability to tap national fundraising and “Dem star power” is a distraction most on the right had hoped to avoid.


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Pushing back against TABOR

Apparently looking to keep tax revenue instead of returning it back to taxpayers, the Poudre School District’s board voted unanimously Tuesday to join a lawsuit opposing the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights. The 2011 bipartisan lawsuit Kerr v. Hickenlooper alleges that TABOR is unconstitutional.


According to USA Today, a ballot notice for the 2010 election estimated the City of Fort Collins would collect $18.7 million through the Keep Fort Collins Great tax in 2011 and have $146.5 million in spending. The tax brought in $19.7 million; the city spent $160 million.

The Hot Sheet Flame

Blame it on the legal weed

The problem of homelessness in Colorado has seemed to explode in recent years. Communities are being forced to look for solutions — often expensive — to deal with an unhealthy, uneducated and often addicted population living dangerously on our Colorado streets.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development ranks Colorado 4th behind California, Washington and the District of Columbia for its absolute increase in the homeless population this year. And as the Gazette’s editorial board emphasizes, all four jurisdictions have recently legalized recreational pot.


Even more disturbing, Colorado’s growth in homeless veterans leads the nation, at 24 percent. Other states — according to the Gazette — averaged a decrease of 17 percent in veteran homeless populations. They are apparently leaving other states and moving to Colorado.

Like many Colorado communities, the state Legislature will be forced to look at the problem and explore possible solutions as well come January. The skyrocketing cost of caring for the homeless is an expenditure most communities are unable to pay.


The Hot Sheet Flame

RULE CHANGE: Three no longer a crowd

CDOT has thrown a curveball for those who are HOV travelers between Denver and Boulder. Blaming “rapid growth” and high usage, CDOT will be upping the riders who can travel for free from two to three come January 1st.

While some drivers are disappointed – according to Denver7 – the change to three in a car was actually decided in 2013, as part of a CDOT plan to handle rapid growth.


Anyone who regularly commutes in and around the metro area knows that our traffic situation is already a mess. But apparently, we’ve not seen anything yet. CDOT estimates growth will soar by 47 percent by 2040. YIKES!

Noting the explosion of commuters traveling on Colorado roads, the Republican legislative caucus has placed solving the state’s transportation problem at the top of their list of priorities.

FYI — If you decide to break the new HOV rules, it could cost you a 250-buck ticket.


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Pass the political opinion, please

It’s kind of understandable, right. Following one of the loudest and most divisive elections in U.S. history, many of us are dreading Thanksgiving small talk. Or maybe dreading the effort to AVOID political small talk at the dinner table this year.

According to the New York Post, so many of us are fearful that we’ll actually have to talk about current events that we’re canceling Thanksgiving dinner all together. Say it isn’t so!


The best advice on how to handle political food fights this Thanksgiving comes from Denver-area family therapist Dr. Larry Curry who shared his deep insights with 9News.  His advice? “Shut up! Avoid that conversation as much as possible!”

While we agree with Doc Curry … this might be the year to pass on the alcohol.


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Today in History

2011 – Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signs a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.

1981 – Iran–Contra affair: Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1963 – The BBC broadcasts the first episode of “An Unearthly Child” (starring William Hartnell), the first story from the first series of Doctor Who, which is now the world’s longest running science fiction drama.

1936 – Life magazine is reborn as a photo magazine and enjoys instant success.


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Just for Laughs





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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsNovember 22, 201616min1400

DENVER — Good Tuesday to you and yours. If it’s a traveling day (“over the river and through the woods …") for you, we do hope you arrive safely and possibly hungry. As you’ll notice, we are sharing several topics concerning our law enforcement today. With the recent police shootings (four this weekend) they have been top of mind and frankly … in our prayers. As Thanksgiving approaches, we hope you will keep those who wear a badge in your thoughts and prayers as well. More today as well ... Let’s get started!


Ernest LuningErnest LuningSeptember 19, 201626min1980

Casper Stockham idles at the curb on a crowded LoDo street at about 10 p.m., scanning the pedestrians who are surging and meandering in front of a popular Mexican restaurant. The Denver Broncos are playing just blocks away and the night is bustling, the sounds of cheers and music spilling onto the sidewalk. After a few minutes, a woman in her late 20s pokes her head in the open passenger window and asks, “Are you Casper? Are you my Uber?” Stockham smiles and leans across the seat. “That’s me,” he says. “Get in, and we’ll get you where you’re going.”