I witnessed the recent Queen Anne campsite clearances and would like to point out that the photograph of a picture on top of garbage bags that ran with Charles Brown's story was very misleadingly captioned. It said some items are bagged and tagged for retrieval for up to 60 days. This sounds quite humane.
A well-maintained campsite was entered at 7 a.m. and its resident of three years was ordered to leave. His valuable tent, which he’d carefully closed completely before going, was opened with a machete. Of his possessions, three bags were marked for retrieval. Twenty were defined as garbage. A gallery quality drawing was declared trash and placed among the items for disposal featured in the photo.
I know. I asked. “It’s trash,” they said. “Take it.”
A civilized society doesn't say to a man who has made a home in the woods for three years, "You have 72 hours to go or your life goes into a dumpster." You learn who he is, build a relationship, and find the right solution. Mayoral press flak David Takami got the close quote: "This is not a punitive thing." Oh really? Then what would you call it?