By Lisa Demer Anchorage Daily News
Citations issued as squatters have 20 minutes to gather belongings
Four days after Anchorage police red-tagged homeless camps in Mountain View for shutdown, they returned Monday to find illegal campers still squatting on city land and gave them 20 minutes to clear out.
Some of the homeless said they would stay with friends or family. Others said they had no place.
The area known as Veteran’s Ridge, just east of Reeve Boulevard and near a city snow dump, is dotted with maybe 30 to 40 homeless camps. Some tent sites were neat and tidy. Some spilled over with food, clothing, bikes and food stashes. One camp had a TV, stereo and two generators. Some sites were littered with beer cans and human waste. All of it had to go.
Ed O’Neill, head of the Anchorage Responsible Beverage Retailers Association, had once proposed setting up a sanctioned tent city there. Then last week three men were arrested in a suspected arson fire and another man was hospitalized after an assault. Police said Veteran’s Ridge had to be cleared out. O’Neill brought in a crew of community service workers to do the job.
Notices posted Thursday on many camps told people to move out, though police gave them longer than the 12 hours on the signs. Now their time was up. Police handed out citations Monday for illegal camping.
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