Douglas County wants to help you get a home

By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Douglas County’s Housing Partnership is a program which helps citizens without the means for a downpayment to afford a home.  I spoke with Artie Lehl, the Loan Programs Manager about their program – which may be expanding to Elbert County, as well.
        The Downpayment Assistance Program advertises that a person will require only about $1,000 of their own money as downpayment for properties under $300,000.  The catch?
·         Potential homeowners have to undertake an educational program and remain in their home for 10 years. 
·         They need to be at or below 80% of the area median income
        The educational program is a 6 hour class provided every 3rd Saturday of the month.  “The class covers everything from what to expect when applying for a loan, to all the ins and outs of a Real Estate Transaction, to the benefits and pitfalls of being a home owner.  We also get into details such as the various types of loans available, down payment assistance options (not just for Douglas County), mortgage credit certificates, and best practices on selecting lenders and realtors,” said Lehl.
        The majority of those taking advantage of the program are teachers, police officers, city workers and retail workers. 
        Lehl says that there are benefits of homeownership to the entire community.  “Home Ownership is important both to individual families as well as local communities because it first and foremost creates stability.  The family is more stable given that they have a fixed per month price on the cost of housing.  They are also more stable because they now own a property that can yield them equity and hopefully help with long term expenses and savings.  Home ownership is better for communities because it helps tie people to the communities in which they live.  It generates revenue both for local business and local government, because people tend to spend their money close to home.  Because of the ties it creates, home owners are more likely to get involved in civic matters, further strengthening the community.”
        Why is it important to assist Low and Moderate Income families with Down Payment Assistance?  Lehl says, “to truly create a sustainable community it is desireable to have people from all walks of life and all income levels living in it.  As we've recently seen through the last recession, neighborhoods that were more diverse survived the recession better than those that were more homogenous.  In a recession, economic stresses don't hit all income levels at the same time.  If a community is made up of a variety of income levels then it is likely that foreclosure rates in that community will remain more stable.  This helps to preserve property values which are important to both the individual home owner as well as the town or city that they reside in.”
        It is better for the fabric of the community to have those that work there, also live there.  “Even in higher cost areas you still have teachers, civil servants, and retail workers.  Creating work/life balance for individual home owners helps to create healthy communities for all,” explained Lehl.

        Lehl recommends other communities establish similar programs.  “Down payment assistance is an excellent tool to accomplishing these goals as it doesn't require massive changes to zoning or the creation of low income communities.  Rather, there is an integration of lower income homeowners  that can create stable healthy communities and have no impact on the free market and housing values.”
Learn more at:

Volume 5 Issue 43

SPECIAL REPORT: Arapco Sheriff’s “hot” pee during parole - Elco Sheriff Heap gets judgment against jail prisoners - Kelly Dore interrupts amazing guitarist - Blizzard of 1982 not the biggest? - DEEPAK MORRIS! - the Herald’s Republican Discount - Hobden responds to Herald’s no on 67 with “yes” - Buddhism - and so much much more!
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Sheriff Heap gets judgment against prisoners

Aaron Brachfeld - - - Sir, some might respond to your rhetorical question with the argument that the Jail was established by citizens as a way to reduce crime and protect their families. Why should this cost be borne by the criminals who are being corrected in this institution while they are simultaneously deprived of the means of paying for that correction?
Sheriff Heap - - -  I dont believe it is society's burden to bear the entire cost, the individual sentanced has responsibility for the situation they put themselves in. There are many other programs we run to keep people out of jail and at their jobs.

by Sheriff Shayne Heap - - - Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap has implemented a program he calls “You stay, you pay”. This encompasses a set charge per day that an inmate has to pay while incarcerated in the Elbert County Jail.
        Two hearings were conducted regarding this issue. The Elbert County Court Judge’s ruling states the sheriff’s office can collect $14.65 per day, per inmate for the costs incurred for medical care, housing and feeding an inmate. This ruling is based on Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1.3-701, Judgment for Costs and Fines.
        Although actual housing costs are approximatly 4.5 times higher, the break-down of the $14.65 per day is as follows from the judge’s ruling:

Bedding: $0.10
Clothing: $0.14
Food: $3.52
Medical: $10.79
Dental: $0.10
The court essentially denied any jail operating expenses (cost of utilities, salary of deputies on duty, etc).

        Charging inmates for Cost of Care is evaluated on a case by case basis and the Sheriff’s Office will not collect from individuals who are deemed indigent.
        Additionally, the sheriff’s office is able to collect the costs for transporting an inmate from one facility to another. This includes a deputy’s wage during the time of the transport, as well as fuel for the transport vehicle.
        Ultimately it costs far more to operate the jail than what we are able to collect from the Cost of Care ruling. All fees collected help offset the annual operating budget for the jail.
        Sheriff Heap commented, "Every day citizens of this county work to support their family and pay their own way in life. I don't see why inmates should be any different?"

American Civil Liberty Union Legal Director Mark Silverstein Responds

The Sheriff’s 'pay to stay' policy will bring in so little money that it is unlikely to help the Sheriff’s budget, and it will only make it harder for persons who are already struggling with poverty to make a successful re-entry. The way to reduce the amount the public spends on jails is to reform bail policies, revise sentencing practices, and reserve incarceration for persons who actually pose a danger to public safety.

Editor Responds

Aaron Brachfeld - - - Reflecting upon the news of the Sheriff Shayne Heap's judgement against the prisoners. I am unconvinced by Mr. Heap's argument. The jails were made for the service of the public, not the criminal, and we should bear the burden of caring for our brothers.

Sheriff Shayne Heap - - - 18-1.3-701 States - where a person is convicted of an offense the court SHALL give judgement against the offender for the amount of the costs of prosecution, the amount of the cost of care and any fine imposed. The statute goes on to say the cost of care means providing room, board, clothing, medical care and other normal living expenses.

Aaron Brachfeld - - - With respect, Sir, I regret that I must point you that you quote the statute incompletely, as sections 1 and 5 establish limitations so that criminals are not impoverished by the restitution and compensation ordered by the court.  There are other limitations, which I believe you are aware of as well. 

But I think the question you raised rhetorically was, regardless of its legal foundation, unsatisfactory: I could quote CRS 18-1-704 which establishes limits to a person's right of self defense under Article II Section 13 of the Constitution as perfectly legal, and thereby justify the arrest and imprisonment of men for defending themselves.  Or quote CRS 18-18-406.3 which permits the use of marijuana under Article XVIII Section 14 of the Constitution as perfectly legal, and thereby justify the distribution of narcotics.  The legality of your demand upon the prisoners was not questioned, and indeed was to a limited degree affirmed by the Court.  As has been your enforcement of various statutes.  As I am sure will be your enforcement of all the statutory laws violated in this County.

The question is whether we must bear the burden of caring for our brothers in jail.  And against your reasoning, I believe we do - regardless of the obligation established by CRS 18-1.3-701. 

The jail is a correctional institution, and is as important to the welfare of our society as the elementary school.  Both are underfunded, and if I may say so without insult (for you are not to blame), both the schools and the jail are mismanaged. 

Why do we balk at the standards imposed upon the elementary schools to teach about sexual orientation and even the methods by which mathematics are to taught, but we do not bat an eye at the high and increasing recidivism rate resulting from mandates upon our jail?  The absurdity of minimum sentences, or even the lack of healthcare for prisoners, is shocking.  But the under-funding that prevents otherwise functional programs from success is horrible.

But our present vilification of the criminal justifies our anger at him?  There the responsibility lies: but his misdeeds do not make our own right.  Lawmen, such as yourself, are not in opposition with criminals.  If anything, lawmen should be the criminal's last friend.  Neither are law abiding citizens at opposition with criminals - we should be their friend too.

Colorado used to have one of the lowest rates of incarceration in the nation.  We had one of the lowest rates of recidivism.  Your character is the same sort that once made our entire State proud, but the kind and diligent efforts of lawmen like yourself in defending the community and helping criminals better themselves into citizens is being prevented.  By us!

Even without regard to the legal obstacles we place in your way, we have gone to extents to impede you within our private businesses: the difficulty with which a reformed criminal finds employment encourages a return to crime.  I have known men and women with Masters degrees, Doctorates even, who, in a moment of idiocy when they were 18 or 19, ruin any potential chance of future employment due to the ever-present background check.

The community needs to take responsibility - not you - for the care of these criminals.  We need a jail that is a model for the nation.  We need to emulate systems of justice that work at reducing recidivism.  We need to intervene when our leaders violate the law, and provide a demonstration that law and order exist as the foundation of justice.  We need to show - in numerous successes - the greater prosperity from lawful behavior than from criminal behavior.

We cannot expect diligent lawmen such as yourself to succeed in such an environment as we have given you.  How, then, can we expect those criminals among us - our brothers, sons and fathers - to succeed in the environment we have given them?

We must care for our prisoners - they are our family and friends.  Their failures are our own shame. We must bear the cost.

Sheriff Heap - - - You seem to have missed the middle of the story. Sentanced individuals are seen in court first - if their finances dont allow them to pay then they dont. The court takes into consideration ALL of their rights and makes a decison. I like your attitude and idea regarding how these costs are covered. I think the big picture you are missing is that I dillegently work to make sure that individuals that shouldn't be in jail have another avenue. We are working on a pre-trial system that will start in January - this will significantly reduce the population of the jail. I would only request that you be fair in your judgement and include all the programs (unfunded I might add) that we run in order to take great care of those individuals.

Aaron Brachfeld - - - I would be very interested in helping share about those programs - is there someone I can talk to about them, so I can share their success stories? And about your new program?

I did not miss the middle of the story, though: you clearly said "Charging inmates for Cost of Care is evaluated on a case by case basis and the Sheriff’s Office will not collect from individuals who are deemed indigent."

I was reflecting on your argumentation that was presented in our discussion after your news release: you said you don't believe it is society's burden to bear the entire cost, the individual sentenced has responsibility for the situation they put themselves in. There are many other programs we run to keep people out of jail and at their jobs.

The responsibility is ours, not theirs, to rehabilitate them - regardless of the preventative programs intended to reduce the requirement for rehabilitation.  And, quite frankly, some criminals should not be at their jobs - but in a jail that is rehabilitating them. 

The ability of a person to work is no measure of their lawful behavior. If it were, several local politicians, civil officials and lawyers might be better esteemed.

Other Readers Respond
Darla Buckland - - - Fines are the cost of Prosecution. Transfer of prisoners is standard job description covered by salary. Statistics clearly show the majority of persons incarcerated are low income , were they not so they would pay bond.  In addition what about parents who are incarcerated for failure to pay child support? I am certain the children needs 14.00 a day for their basic needs worse than the prison.

Republicans subvert the Denver Post

As the owner of a newspaper I must admit I felt anger upon learning that the Republican party - quite literally - bought the Denver Post's endorsement for their candidates, especially Ken Buck and Cory Gardner. They paid enough so the DP would not even interview other candidates for those public positions!

But I shouldn't be angry.  There are a few days left in the advertising - er... "Campaigning" - season left.  Maybe the Republicans are waiting for the last minute to subvert independent journals like the Meadowlark Herald?

Hey, kids! A full page ad in the Herald - full color - only costs $200.  We have 12 pages in a standard issue.  But I'd expand it out for you - and throw in a discount of 15% - out of my sincere respect for what the Republican Party stands for.

Check out the complaint made by the Democratic candidate Vic Meyers - who is too cheap of an SOB to even offer to bribe me, or any other Editor.  Sorry, getting bitter again.

Arapahoe County Sheriff has “hot” UA while on probation

By Jonathan Elinoff, Independent Journalist for Fox News - - - Since I am getting a few messages and emails every now and then about press asking me to comment on the upcoming early release of the Sheriff I spent 2 months taking down here in Colorado, I decided to release even more now. All press related videos on the former Sheriff Pat Sullivan investigation I was a part of are now made public again. In the playlist, you will see tons of press of me and my work on the case, the various underage victims, the dead bodies found, the bath house raid, the CNN clip, everything -
        The former sheriff had a plea deal, it never went to trial. He only served a few weeks in jail. For probation violations, after two years, he was sentenced to a few months in jail. It is normal for a hot urinalysis examination, in other words, a urine test showing methamphetamine, to justify an automatic jail sentence, and sometimes even a prison sentence, if a person is on probation and gets the "Hot UA" while on probation, and this sheriff violated his probation, with more than three dozen hot urinalysis test showing methamphetamine. He also left the state without permission, and he repeatedly did not follow his probation orders. For some reason, they chose to ignore all the hot urinalysis tests, and only charge him with a probation violation for leaving the state, the lowest misdemeanor related to a probation violation. So, after many months back in 2011, I worked with a 22 person task force including two members of the Central Intelligence Agency, members of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Denver Police Department, and Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, as well as the South Metro Drug Task Force to take down a very dangerous man. I also worked with the anti human trafficking and FBI safe streets task force in busting A underage sex trafficking ring associated with the sheriff.
        I worked very hard to build a very strong case, there were at least three dead bodies. The former sheriff himself, absolutely without any shadow of a doubt, molested, raped, and most likely murdered multiple victims. He fed them dangerous drugs, manipulated them, endangered their lives, and he also threatened them with force and fear because of his high ranking status. He is the country's or at least was the country's highest ranking Jesuit, he personally invited the Pope out for World Youth Day back in 1992, he was in the Clinton administration on an anti meth task force, he was sheriff the of the year in 2001, he had a lot of power. He is personal close friends with HW Bush and was in Cuba in 1960, having a previous career in intelligence during his military years, he was most likely a very high level security operative before becoming the head of Littleton Police Department and then onto Sheriff of Arapahoe County. That Sheriff abused many laws both during his time as a cop, and after. Anyone who had something to say about the sheriff or had accusations against him contacted me and gave me thousands of documents. I had a lot of help from the inside, from officials who had "red tape" and knew he was crooked but were not allowed to pursue him. I was brought in because I didn't have these same barriers that the officials I worked with were facing. It took a toll on my soul to experience the whole ordeal, from finding the victims the FBI couldn't even find, I had gone into extremely dangerous situations with extremely dangerous individuals to obtain information, locate people and built the case I did against that sheriff. It was all taken by the authorities and I was asked to sign a non disclosure agreement to not publicly discuss the full knowledge of what I uncovered, or any other alleged involvement from any political or law enforcement officials in illegal activity related to the sheriff.
        This thing was huge, it was a white wash. The whole state and even country was talking about it at one point, I was escorted by defense contractors and private security for protection because of some of the dangerous people involved. Without disclosing much more here, I can assure you that I have nothing to worry about. I chose to walk away after that experience. 10 years of being an activist and documentary film maker, I had a website reaching 22 million people a month, and I was getting a lot done, and I was threatened and put in very difficult and extremely dangerous situations at that time and chose to walk away. I haven't gone back since, and have moved onto other priorities in my life and had decided to take a break from it all. Unfortunately, with all the press it received, and all of the work I did, the case never went to trial. For many political reasons, which I will not disclose publicly, this man got a pass. You can probably figure out that there are a lot of officials, state officials, federal authorities, police officers and sheriffs, even political and school officials, who are all criminally negligent and or culpable for very serious crimes that were ignored and not investigated. This former top cop was never going to trial. It was too politically dangerous, and it put me in a lot of danger as well, but thats a whole other story that is even more fascinating if I ever decide to disclose it publicly.

Editor: I had the opportunity to interview Brian Maas, of CBS News, who helped break Elinoff’s shocking story, about his reflections upon what he learned from the experience.
By Brian Maas, CBS News - - - The Pat Sullivan story was simply remarkable and on many levels, unbelievable. I remember well hearing about the allegations which seemed far fetched at the time. Sullivan had been such a well respected,’law and order’ Sheriff, it was hard to imagine him mixed up in the drug world and swapping drugs for gay sex. I had dealt with him as Arapahoe County Sheriff for years and he seemed so straight laced.  It almost sounded like it was all made up. But it was not.
        I followed the investigation for weeks from behind the scenes  as it progressed and will never forget the day he was actually arrested, following an undercover law enforcement ‘sting’. I remember writing the story up for our 6pm broadcast and breaking it on the air. It was almost hard to read what I had written- that one of Colorado’s most respected lawmen had been arrested and jailed for trading meth for sexual favors. Minutes after I broke the story on our CBS4 broadcast, an official news release went out confirming my information.  It was one of the most unusual and unexpected stories I have broken and reported on in my 30 years at this television station.
Editor: I would ask your opinion of whether there presently exists danger to the public from this man, and others like him, and what citizens can do about this.

Maas: This is  a hard question to answer. The record shows that Sheriff Sullivan has been unable to comply with court orders and is paying the consequences. I cannot honestly say or predict how he will emerge from his latest stay in jail.

The Bear Yogi

By Aaron Brachfeld, picture from display/Yogi.html  - - - Temple Priests at Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple of Colorado say that Bhakti yoga is the best way to begin practicing yoga, and also the most important yoga.
Gary Twohorse Green What about Yoga Bear and his pal Boo Boo?
Aaron Brachfeld Babu?
Gary Twohorse Green Close enough.
Aaron Brachfeld  I knew that yoga bear and babu were insidiously influencing our children toward practicing yoga…
Deepak Morris There are levels of importance of yoga? Next, they'll be saying that only Bhakti Yoga is the true yoga. And after that it's just a few steps to saying that only Aryan Yoga must be practised and practitioners of all other yoga must be eliminated, so the world becomes pure, peopled by a pure race.
Aaron Brachfeld  I don't think so. I was asking him what is the best way to start learning yoga. So my question required a categorical answer...
Deepak Morris One does not LEARN yoga! Oh gosh, you'll kill yourself if you try that! You need to work under a Guru who can spot where you're going wrong and stop you, then correct you physically.  Yoga cannot be learned in text.
Aaron Brachfeld You might be surprised. I have interviewed now two Priests and a yoga instructor for this story, and they say there are actually 4 kinds of yoga. Only one is athletic. The other three are mental, spiritual and intentional in nature. The yoga referred to above is intentional in nature, and focuses on the development of strength in love and compassion. I have greatly enjoyed researching this story. It is always interesting to talk to religious teachers about their culture.  I once talked to the local Priest of Death - he led his worshipers in the religious practices passed down since Aztec times. Apparently their Goddess appreciates sacrifices of candy, cigarettes and soda pop.
Deepak Morris As also hearts torn out of living prisoners.
Aaron Brachfeld I asked...  he said they are *so* over that!  I believe that religious practices change over time. The death worshipers no longer murder human beings as sacrifices, and the hindu practices are vastly different today than they were a thousand years ago. As are the Christian practices. The Dalai Lama and other Buddhist teachers are quite frank about how Buddhism changes, and I think that other cultures should be equally proud. We should know our gods better than our ancestors - otherwise, our spiritual practice is for nothing.
Deepak Morris You are rather naiive. Thugee still exists, as do practices such as aghori:

Aaron Brachfeld Not naiive  Though some lizards grew feathers and learned to fly, there are still plenty of poisonous snakes still slithering about.

Letter to Editor: Yes on 67

Do you support or oppose 67?  Why?  Share your opinions with the Herald too!

by Linda Hobden - - - I voted FOR Amendment 67, because current Colorado law does not consider the death of an unborn human when determining the consequences of criminal actions that result in that death. If passed, Amendment 67 will result in the inclusion of unborn humans in the Colorado criminal code.

In 2009, judges of the Colorado State Court of appeals concluded that there was no definition of 'person' or 'child' in the Criminal Code and that this was an area that cried out for new legislation. I agree. Adding this to our state law will give additional protection to our pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

The life of our children is precious and the location of that child (womb) should not be a determining factor. The sad fact is that the actions of our Supreme Court in the Roe vs Wade decision, and the resulting availability of abortion as a means of birth control, has resulted in the cheapening of the worth of these children in the eyes of society and ignores the impact of their loss to their grieving families. This amendment seeks to correct that.

Society demands retribution for the inhumane treatment and death of dogs, cats and other animals, but is callously silent when our children have been mistreated or killed. The death of a child carries with it the loss of family gatherings, school pictures, proms, weddings, family vacations, birthdays, grandchildren and other precious memories. Being able to appropriately sentence a person who has carelessly taken the life of one of these little ones will not erase these losses, but it will at least honor their life and death, and in a small way offer consolation to their family.

EHS students invite you to a haunted house!

Every Friday & Saturday 7:30 – 10:30 PM in Elizabeth
Not suited for young children,those who suffer from seizures, or the faint of heart.
Parental Guidance Recommended.
$15 per Person
Locted at Holly Acres Nursery
5403 Hwy 86, Elizabeth, CO 80107
ON HWY 86 just 1 Mile East of Elizabeth,Co 80107

Volume 5 Issue 42

SPECIAL REPORT: Abortive options and the proposed ban. News and Information: Meet the Rough Ramshorn Snail, Prairie Dogs fat, 3 Male Genders? Features: DEEPAK MORRIS!, 9:47 AM on 16th Street, Scenic Douglas County, The Best Halloween Hike, Buddhism, and so much much more!

Thank you for supporting local, independent journalism. Tell your friends you heard it in the Herald, and to subscribe.

We are community supported, and appreciate your support! Tell your friends to subscribe! Subscriptions are only $12 per year for the electronic edition, $45 per year for the paper. We also have very affordable advertising rates, as well.

Abortive options widely available despite proposed ban

By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Though new laws proposed this election year would illegalize the modern medical practice of abortion by making the act of destroying a fetus or prematurely terminating a pregnancy a homicide (whether accidentally through natural miscarriage or purposefully through abortion), abortive herbs which have been used safely for tens of thousands of years to abort pregnancies or destroy fetuses remain widely available – and even grow in the wild (and urban) places of Colorado.
        However, as easy and safe as it remains to abort a pregnancy using juniper berries, or even by properly adapting common herbs like dong quai, it is a sobering reality that obedient citizens will not any more likely use them for abortion than they presently avail themselves of those numerous toxic plants for the murder of adult human beings.
        Proponents of the legislative measures to illegalize abortion argue that there is little moral ground upon which to discriminate between the destruction of human life at any particular stage of development, yet the discrimination required to describe an act of murder requires the premise that life, simply lived, is insufficient.  A person who is nearly murdered, or is permanently handicapped by an assault, warrants the charge of attempted murder, under our law.  The quality of life has always been taken into account – until now.
        The slave, though alive, requires freedom and will give their life for that liberty.  The man who is starving will purchase bread even with his life.  Not only self-defense provides moral excuse for a murder, but the defense of necessary liberties.  Why, then, do we not now consider the quality of life of either mother or child?  This is a disturbing shift in the moral character of Coloradoans.
        The recent extension of human rights to other sentient animals upon evidence of their sentience established a sound basis for determining whether a fetus is sentient, and has any independent right to exist. 
        And observing these fellow sentient beings we call animals, we observe vicious acts of warfare and murder which put even the human capacity for violence to shame.  Yet we also see acts of compassion that exceed our own, as well.  We observe the tender care of a mother for a hopeless, helpless young one – and also acts of abortion which, as Coloradoans, we are about to illegalize. 
        Indeed, we see not only abortion, but infanticide – in many species, when resources are insufficient to lend a minimum quality of life to the next generation, the mother or father will undertake a merciful murder of their children.  In the Prairie Dog, this is done unwillingly, and with evidence of emotional distress at the mercy killing.  In other species, too, infanticide occurs only at that point when life is no longer preferable due to the quality of life which is being lived.
        No matter the species, because of our shared animal womb, a child born into want and poverty will be affected by that want and poverty – profoundly, from the womb’s subtle effects on the child’s hormones and instincts, to their upbringing and establishment of moral character. 
        In our own species, abortion – and infanticide – occurs with equal unwillingness, and after cold reasoning and logic requires the mother undertake that act of destruction so contrary to her nature and instinct. 
        Yet when we illegalized infanticide, we provided social care to mothers so that there would never be such a need while in our present illegalization of abortion, we provide no such remedy. 

        And if our mothers remain as obedient as we should expect them to be, we will soon see a society where many live, but few wish to.