Homeless campsites; housing improvements; love and appreciation

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Michael Deragisch: Housing: Joseph should push forward with homeless camp

Regardless of Ms. Junie Joseph’s dual office election issues, I hope she pushes forward on her position of creating a homeless camp in the eastern planes within the Boulder city limits. Perhaps the top issue in the state and in Boulder, homelessness needs to be addressed. Until other more suitable housing can be arranged, we must address this issue both for the homeless and for the tax-paying citizens of Boulder.

A designated camp will allow services to be consolidated, and allow the authorities to escape the horns of the no-camping dilemma. Apart from a designated camping location all other camping within the city limits must no longer be allowed or tolerated.

It is unsafe for people to camp along our creeks, on the bike baths, under the bridges or in our tunnels.

If we as a city can make sure no one parks for more than two hours in a neighborhood parking zone, we should be able to enforce the no-camping ban.

The city provides a host of services through the coordinated entry program. Other private agencies also help. For a variety of reasons some who seem to be in need refuse these services, that is their right. However, it is not their right to camp wherever they please.

Set up one homeless camp. Allow tents there — and only there.

The size of the line item in the city’s budget to deal with homelessness is enormous. Spend it wisely.

Michael Deragisch, Boulder


Robert Porath: Housing: ‘Quality of life’ improvements don’t appear to be for residents

For the current majority on the City Council, addressing “quality of life” issues appears to apply not to residents and neighborhoods, but to developers and commercial interests. Celebrating Google’s presence in the city and supporting the university’s constant expansion are cases in point. This bias is the root cause of our growing traffic congestion and pollution. Jobs are here, affordable housing is not. The developers’ answer for this has been, with the blessing of the Planning Department, the construction of block after block of multiple rental properties, presumably upscale enough to not be considered “Upstairs/Downstairs”/company town worker living accommodations. The Housing Advisory Board’s brainchild is a libertarian, free-range loosening of regulations and restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Units. This gift to the city’s landlords will heavily impact neighborhoods whose community integrity, including K-12 school enrollment, is already stressed by the spread of “cash cow” student rentals. Apparently, the Danish Plan and other “quality of life” initiatives are now interpreted as relating mainly to property values and commercial endeavor. Perhaps they always were. Protecting the people of Boulder needs a major rethink in the city’s leadership.

Robert Porath, Boulder


Joseph La Camera: Family: A crash allows appreciation and reflection

Fritz Perls said that “we have lost the ability to listen to ourselves and to listen to others.”

During the spring of 1956, I was a passenger in the car my sister Gloria was driving to take us to the store. She was in or past her 6th month of pregnancy with her second child. As we approached a road with stop signs to give us the right of way, I could see an oncoming car not wishing to stop at her stop sign… I yelled to my sister that this oncoming car was not going to stop. “Look out,” I said. The woman driving drove through the stop sign and we plowed straight into her car broadside. We both ended up in the middle of the yard adjacent to the interchange. Both cars were demolished and had to be towed away. Fortunately, my sister, me, and the other driver were unharmed.

I was most concerned for my sister and her unborn baby. As it turned out, that baby is my niece Diana and I became her godfather. We have had a very special love prior to her birth which continues to this very day. I tell everyone that I have known Diana since before she was born. And that is the truth and a gift to me. I am now 86 and she is 66. I am grateful and also humbled. As Perls has said, “Don’t think so much. … Feel.”

That accident allowed us to bond and appreciate what it means to be alive and to love.

Joseph La Camera, Boulder

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