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Letters to the Editor |
Letters to the editor: Homeless camping; questions on camping; law and order breakdown; appreciation for Fentanyl Act

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Thomas Gilbertz: Homeless camping: Fighting the blight of darkness

In reference to “With public camping a felony, homeless seek refuge” (Daily Camera, Sunday, May 22):

The best way to deal with a problem is to ignore it. The hardest part is the reaction caused by a reaction. A big problem right now is sleeping. We all have fears, but unknowing fears are amongst the scariest.

If I were to fall asleep at a park and to lose my most valued possession, I would be sad. But worse if I were to be: hurt, vandalized, or worse yet, sodomized.

The loss could be even greater; your faith in humanity. If it is at night; hiding behind the blind screen to shield you from the wind, wondering what sounds the creatures of the night’s intentions are — there is no guessing what can happen.

Our law enforcement and politicians have few options. The best way to protect a person’s Right to Rest is to only allow them to do it privately. How can anyone help you if you were asleep when it happened or reprimand you for something you lost? If you have no idea who accosted you, who can begin to help?

They always say, “The night is darkest just before the dawn.” But to those who must move before first light and they have lost their: motivation, mobility, sanctity or faith in humanity, an action must happen.

Thomas Gilbertz

Longmont


Julie McCabe: Homeless camping: Voters need more information

The Daily Camera May 20 lead story “County rejects camping ban” left me thinking, “Where’s the data?” for vehicles, tents and/or camps on Boulder County property.

How big is this problem? Do Boulder County officials lack this data, won’t share it, etc., or is the reporting poor? A map with size and approximate location of  camps would inform.

The rationale that tent occupants have privacy rights is good unless the tent and/or camp occupants host activities like drug abuse and/or dealing, theft (bicycles, for instance) and destruction of property.

The article begs the question: Do the courts, ACLU, Boulder City Attorney and Boulder County Sheriff understand this distinction?

Page 2B’s “Area nonprofits break down stigmas” also reports the same bias homeless advocates have of people who are critical of tents and camps. Housing is in short supply for everyone and expensive.

Even if this weren’t true, not every homeless person is apartment and/or job ready, for example, drug and alcohol abusers.

Both the State of Colorado and Boulder County now have large mental health budgets. Will any of the reported nonprofits receive mental health grants? If yes, how will they use this money to help the homeless?

Julie McCabe

Boulder


Jim Podolak: Social dysfunction: The breakdown of law and order

I was wondering today — Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m. — while trying to cross Arapahoe Avenue with the light at 30th Street if the longtime resident of Colorado (as indicated by his plates) who ran the red light in his bright blue Crown Victoria — a resident with resplendent long white hair and a jolly demeanor — has been concerned with the violence recently (school shooting, grocery store shooting, church shooting and random street shootings).

Is this jolly man in the bright blue Crown Victoria considering how this social breakdown occurs?

Police cannot enforce law and order. Gun control cannot enforce law and order. Mental health care cannot enforce law and order.

Law and order are our responsibility. To make any social system work, we have to understand that we must act first to accommodate each other by a simple act of following the law.

Showing respect for the laws that for the most part have evolved from a desired social order is the first step and is showing respect for each other.

I wonder if that jolly man in the bright blue Crown Victoria senses that he may be marginally responsible for this breakdown we are currently experiencing.

Jim Podolak

Boulder


Chelsea Brundige: Fentanyl Act: State’s legislators deserve recognition

Colorado’s lawmakers who passed the Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Act deserve deep appreciation and recognition. Cheap and 80 times more potent than morphine (sciencedirect.com), fentanyl is illegally mixed with pain pills and street drugs.

In 2021 fentanyl killed hundreds of Coloradoans, and is implicated in more than half the 100,000-plus drug overdose deaths nationwide (webmd.com).

Lawmakers who saw this bill through without stonewalling wrestled with complicated issues to try to stop a relentless and invisible killer. This $57 million law lowers the felony fentanyl possession threshold from a ridiculous 4 grams (a lethal dose can be 2 milligrams, dea.com) to 1 to 4 grams of any compound containing fentanyl.

A last-minute compromise allows defendants who prove they didn’t know they possessed fentanyl to have sentences reduced. Other provisions include expanded treatment options, statewide harm-reduction programs and bulk purchases and distribution of naloxone to counter overdoses.

Tragically, many families who have lost a loved one to fentanyl also have to live knowing the person who made and sold the poisoned substance is still on the street — and someone else will likely perish. Critically, the law allocates $7 million for a statewide fentanyl poisoning investigation fund to improve law enforcement’s investigation and prosecution of cases.

The fentanyl crisis is tearing families apart. Young people experimenting with ways to get high don’t end up high — they end up dead.

Blessings and thanks to the families of victims and others who labored to see this legislation through and who campaign every day to end this senseless murder.

Chelsea Brundige

Snowmass

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