On a brisk Tuesday evening in February, concerned citizens, town council members and a cadre of T-shirt-clad firefighters gather at the town hall in Castle Rock -- the largest enclave in a county with the second-highest median household income in the nation, a county in which less than 2.1 percent of families live below the federal poverty level -- to discuss a disturbing trend that has become almost synonymous with Castle Rock itself: panhandlers. Forget those McMansions springing up across the plains and those upscale Factory Outlet shops such as Liz Claiborne and Ralph Lauren -- that's just what outsiders see. Pulsing beneath the slick surface of Castle Rock, like a pus-oozing tumor infecting the city's main arteries and veins, is a sinister plague so rotten, it's eroding the very social fabric of the entire East... More >>>
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Cornering the market: Speer Boulevard is a popular strip with local panhandlers.