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I have been up since 6:30 a.m. with my dog. I am CAFFEINATED and READY TO GO!

I will dispense with the all caps as we get started on tonight's very long meeting, which will include...
+ First reading and public hearing on the 2020 budget
+ Discussion/decision on Alpine Balsam Area Plan
+ (Maybe) a discussion on the city providing off-duty cops to BI, Inc., which monitors immigrants/asylum seekers and is owned by a co. that runs detention facilities...
... and Public hearing and (maybe?) vote on Community Benefit, a project to determine what developers will give the city in exchange for being allowed to build up to the city's height limit (55 feet)
Right now, affordable housing is the only benefit on the table. Council broke that project into two parts, with other benefits (arts space, affordable space for nonprofits, etc.) being considered later
Sydney update: Tumor Willis has been removed, Sydney survived the surgery and now we have the same haircut.
This meeting is scheduled to last until past midnight. I hope you, like me, have your coffee.

Or you can just read my thread tomorrow at a normal hour, like a normal person. Up to you.
Or you can get your butt down here and participate in local gov't.
Getting started a bit late. First topic is an update on the needle exchange/disposal program. Here's staff's presentation on that: www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/1B_Syring…
This is in response to "community feedback" over the past couple weeks on "concerns over needles in public spaces," Kurt Firnhaber says.
This is a national issue, Firnhaber says. Per presentation: Injection drug use increasing nationally – opioid epidemic, heroin up 60%
Carol Helwig, MPH, CIC Communicable Disease and HIV Prevention Coordinator with BoCo.
Syringe access is a proven best practice for 20 years, she says, increasing safety and reducing illness.

"The science has been clear for a very long time."
It's about giving drug users access to clean needles, so they don't share and risk spreading disease. Every major health organization, all the literature supports syringe access and finds that it does not increase drug use, Helwig says.
Participation in the county program leveled off in 2017 but is up 12X(!) since 2010.

Most heroin users today started on Rx painkillers from their doctors, Helwig says. Most ppl use more than one drug (meth, heroin) plus non-injectable drugs.
The increase could be bc more ppl are accessing treatment, bc it coincides with more treatment options being available, she says. Not possible to tell from this data.
62% of participants in the county syringe access program are men.
49% own or rent their own home.
The rest are staying temporarily with friends/family (21%) are homeless or live in cars (23%) stay in the shelter (5%) or are in transitional housing such as a hotel (2%)

That hasn't changed since 2008, Helwig says.
Most have health insurance, too.
70% are on Medicaid.
BoCo also provides immunizations and preventative measures. Refers clients to other health services, too.
OD deaths peaked in 2013 at 57

January - August 2019:
251 naloxone kits distributed
54 overdose reversals reported by Works participants (that's the BoCo syringe access program)
Didn't know this: BoCo has a lower rate of Hep C and HIV than Colorado as a whole.
3.7 per 100,000 BoCo residents have HIV
37.2 have Hep C

Colorado: 7.4 and 57.4, respectively

(Numbers from 2008-2014)
Disposal site: Works Program has 5; 2 are 24/7
Public wall mounted disposals at:
– Libraries and grocery stores
– Municipal buildings and recreation centers
76 gal of waste per week at those two 24-hour disposal sites. Whoa.
From 2016-2018: hazardous cleanup spending up 250% (I think in BoCo but maybe just Boulder)
We treat those suffering from addiction with dignity and respect, Helwig says. "Sometimes we're the only ones treating them with dignity and respect."
Helwig getting a little emotional at the dais talking about that.
Audience clapping for her.
OK, RE: hazardous material cleanup increasing 250% from 2016-2018: That's JUST city of Boulder.
That $$ is "often diverted from routine maintenance," Firnhaber says.
Carlisle: "It's a great program and the numbers speak for themselves." But education is lacking, she says, referencing "chatter" on NextDoor.
BoCo will come put on a presentation at citizen request. But no one has taken us up on that offer, Helwig says.
Carlisle: How do we get *that* information to ppl, regarding disposed needles, that the program helps rather than exacerbates this?
Helwig: "The majority of ppl in our community do understand the value and support it."
Opposition comes from "a few ppl" who "may not be open" to hearing it, Helwig says.
Brockett: When ppl email us, is there a website we can send to ppl? Somewhere that has all the facts?

There is: bouldercounty.org/families/disea…
Brockett asks for a page "devoted" to community education; it's mostly for those accessing services.
Morzel: We had an email from someone whose 4yo got stuck with a hypodermic needle. How do we address that? The Works program is a great program, but there are issues with needles and we need to keep them as much off the street as possible.
Helwig: Communities with syringe access programs have less syringe waste on the ground than communities without it.
OH, a correx to an earlier tweet: The 24/7 disposal sites have the CAPACITY to collect up to 76 gallons per week; that's not how much they average. (Idk what that number is; Helwig might have said but I missed it.)
RE: Morzel's q. Helwig suggests a staff person whose job is outreach to the community of unhoused users.
Weaver: You have a "new audience" of ppl paying attention who may not have been before. They're not necessarily opposed to this program; they're concerned for the safety of their children. We need to focus on education.
"It's not OK to have children have these accidents, but we don't want to take away a program that helps ppl change their lives," Weaver says.
"And cuts down on syringes," Jones adds.
Alfalfa's elected to put in disposal containers, Helwig says, to protect their plumbing (syringes were being flushed) and King Soopers has them in every bathroom.
Jones saying ppl shouldn't repeat Helwig's "off the cuff" estimate of how many needles are disposed of improperly throughout the city. We don't want to toss out a number we don't know is accurate, she says.
OK, that's a wrap on that. @threadreaderapp please unroll.
Thank you!
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