By reporter Steven Smalley
A makeshift dwelling on the corner of 20th Avenue West and West Barrett Street recently caught fire with charred belongings still aside the burned out RV carcass. Neighbors write Magnolia Voice about the numbers of illegal vehicles parked along Government Way, 20th Ave., and Thorndyke. Your assistance is requested.
The following is an edited letter from a reader who calls himself Harley Lever. He asks you to contact the mayor.
Seattle people I need your help! ?For the past 8 months we have been struggling to deal with RV Campers illegally camping, dumping tons of trash, emptying their human waste storage tanks, and throwing drug needles all over the area along 20th Ave W and Dravus. Many of these campers are using industrial propane tanks, that are not properly secured, and are an explosion waiting to happen.
We have called the Seattle Police, Parking Enforcement, BNSF Railroad, and the Mayor’s Office. The Seattle Police and Parking Enforcement say that their hands are tied and can only do what the law allows. We have called Ed Murray’s Office, pleading for help, but they never call back.
Our neighborhood crime has skyrocketed. We have story after story of people?s houses being broken into. I have personally watched a pickup truck full of bikes pull up to one of these campers and load them into the underbelly of the RVs. I am not saying all these campers are criminals, but clearly between the needles and the other strange activity I have personally witnessed, there is a percentage of these campers who are. ?However, dumping trash is illegal.
Everything came to a head a few days ago when one of these campers caught fire. Luckily, the propane tanks did not explode. I feel bad for the firefighters who were forced to dig through the needle-infested smoldering trash. This is simply unacceptable on many levels.
I am compassionate for the homeless and less fortunate, however even homeless people must abide by laws and not endanger others or create environments that are toxic with human waste and drug needles.
The city could easily designate one of their parking lots as an KOA-style homeless camper park where the campers can properly dispose of their human waste, trash, abide by a no drug policy, and properly rig-up propane tanks.
I ask you to do two things: PLEASE SHARE THIS POST! ?Also, if you have the time, PLEASE CONTACT THE MAYOR HERE.