FOLLOWUP: Cleanup continues at encampment by 1st Avenue South Bridge, as governor visits

(Governor’s office photo)

That’s Gov. Jay Inslee, during a visit this afternoon to the encampment cleanup on what’s mostly state-owned land by the (also state-owned) 1st Avenue South Bridge. This was the second day of an extensive cleanup at the site; workers at the site this morning told us they expected to be there two or three more days.

(WSB photo)

The governor used his visit to focus on the fact that 30 people had been living there and have been placed in shelter/housing, and to repeat his criticism of the State Senate for not allotting as much money on housing as he wants them to.

53 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Cleanup continues at encampment by 1st Avenue South Bridge, as governor visits"

  • tim March 21, 2023 (10:14 pm)

    I hope this is the end of Herbold/Sawant-ville

    • Derek March 22, 2023 (9:28 am)

      Why? They’ve actually tried to help the situation that is a national problem. Not a city issue. 

      • Frustrated March 22, 2023 (10:13 am)

        You hope that the encampment stays?

      • Scarlett March 22, 2023 (11:34 am)

        Yes, we have a national housing crisis.  Housing costs have risen 4x faster than incomes since 1986.  

      • Question Authority March 22, 2023 (12:17 pm)

        Oh they helped alright, by first demonizing and then furthering the exodus of Law Enforcement who would have dealt with this site.  It ended up like Max Max down there with shootings, stolen property and rampant lawlessness, you seem to be OK with that.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes March 22, 2023 (11:57 am)

      Imagine laying the failings of capitalism at the feet of two local officials and thinking you’ve said something profound.

      • Scarlett March 23, 2023 (1:28 pm)

        It’s even worse than that.  What we have is something far, far removed from the textbook ideal of capitalism as envisioned by Adam Smith, an economy humming along with the free market ironing out all the supply and demand kinks.  What we have now is obscene crony capitalism, an insult to the principles (ideally, at least) that this country was founded upon.  

    • StuckInWestSeattle March 22, 2023 (12:08 pm)

      oh man cannot get rid of those enablers fast enough.

  • Rhonda March 22, 2023 (12:13 am)

    Inslee has ignored (and allowed) these illegal encampments for years and ALL OF THE SUDDEN he’s visiting them and applauding the clean-up efforts? Unreal.

    • D Martin March 22, 2023 (4:42 am)

      I hope he doesn’t run again, but the other choice was Culp. I just picked the lesser of two evils. And yes, it’s unreal.

      • Jeff March 22, 2023 (6:44 am)

        It’s tough, because I don’t WANT to vote for your typical sleazy politician, but when the other option is an absolute loon who’s truly disconnected from reality I don’t know what else to do.    Culp may as well have been Goodspaceguy when it comes to rationality. 

      • Carson March 22, 2023 (8:22 am)

        Agree. Too many elections we are forced to pick the least bad option. 

        • StuckInWestSeattle March 22, 2023 (12:10 pm)

          Isnt that why ranked choice got passed? Now if they would just implement it already.

    • Alyssa March 22, 2023 (11:02 am)

      I completely agree. This is 100% Inslee’s fault and the fault of the city. This crud has been going on for FAR too long!!!!

    • Derek March 22, 2023 (3:08 pm)

      And conservatives (not just Culp, Smiley, and others too) want to push the houseless to a remote island without any resources. Tell me how that is better than Inslee’s solution(s)?

      • Canton March 22, 2023 (9:24 pm)

        Why does homelessness have to be partisan? The vitriol you spew doesn’t help the cause. Try accepting differing opinions and debate as needed.

  • Neighbor March 22, 2023 (12:26 am)

    We don’t need more funding for housing.  We need to do away with restrictive zoning and issue timely building permits.  People want to build, the money is already there.

    • The King March 22, 2023 (3:12 am)

      My last check the Seattle residential building code book is over 600 pages. Penetrating the bureaucracy is tough.

  • Chris March 22, 2023 (3:58 am)

    Here Inslee is trying to make like he is doing a great thing — by touring the mess he allowed to happen. 

  • Um.... March 22, 2023 (4:03 am)

    Um. Who’s going to say it again?Insane that anyone (let alone someone in power) can look at that wreck and think the problem is simply housing. Sorry – innocent people that just simply need housing do not live this way. 

  • Pigeon pointy March 22, 2023 (5:20 am)

    These criminals get housing? They should get housing in jail! We found our stolen van getting brought there to this open air chop shop. 

  • anonyme March 22, 2023 (5:58 am)

    I agree with Um and PP. Demands for housing will not solve this problem; it’s just more politispeak. This happens because it can.

  • Lola March 22, 2023 (7:34 am)

    I am sorry but Inslee coming to inspect this encampment after it is has been here for more than 2 + years is stupid.  I liked in another article where he was quoted as saying ” This is a scurge on our State”, and I hear these people are chemically dependent.  If they get off the Chemicals they would not be homeless.  Who says stuff like this?  Then he makes it sound like the clean-up was all his Idea.  At least give credit where Credit is due to Bruce Harrell, the only person who has made a difference in Government in a long time. My son has had to work across from this for a long time and they could do nothing.  Every time they broke into his work and took stuff it is you and I who pay for new Laptops, Tools and such since it is a Government Office.  

  • Lola March 22, 2023 (7:43 am)

    Inslee is just now coming to look at this mess that he let happen?  Really?  If anything he is the scurge on this city, not these encampments that he keeps letting happen.  Don’t take credit for this clean-up either as Bruce Harrell has been the only one in our Government who has done anything about this plight that Inslee and Dow have created.  

  • WestSEAresident March 22, 2023 (7:54 am)

    For someone whose a “champion” of the environment he should also pay a visit to the encampment that’s under I-5 northbound just as you enter I5 south from the West Seattle bridge. There are multiple tents, hand built wooden structures and worst of all mounds of trash & debris. I’ve yet to hear any reporting about this encampment that’s covered with garbage and is on state owned land under I5 in between Georgetown and South Seattle. I’m unsure how you can preach about the environment yet allow mounds of toxic trash to pile up and enter our environment…

  • Sillygoose March 22, 2023 (7:55 am)

      Love the fact Gov. Inslee was there, the citizen’s of West Seattle have been voicing their frustration at community meeting’s for over a year!  Thanks to great reporting at these meetings by WSB we are finally getting some attention to an  encampment that has been the source of criminal activity for 3 years.  The  3 entities who own this property  have been passing the blame onto each other rather than finding a solution to remove it!!!  Egg on the face of City Council, WSDOT, SDOT and the Port of Seattle!!!! 

  • BIGPHARMA March 22, 2023 (8:00 am)


  • snowskier March 22, 2023 (8:39 am)

    Uuuhhh Inslee.  How about putting some weight on WSDOT to make cleanup of the state owned roads a priority?  Seems like the cities and counties always have trouble coordinating with the state to clear out encampments on the right of ways from Olympia to Everett.  That’s something that your agencies could tackle rather than blaming others for not building enough housing. 

  • A March 22, 2023 (9:16 am)

    OMG- the great Inslee has spoken! Such a joke.

  • wscommuter March 22, 2023 (9:30 am)

    I’m not particularly a fan of Jay Inslee – I find him mediocre at best.  But could one of the folks above who blame him specifically for the homeless problem please explain what he did/didn’t do wrong?  I don’t understand how he’s at fault for this particular issue.  Maybe others know something  I don’t.  Either that, or this is just more generic anti-politician-I-don’t-like ranting.  Please do explain.

  • Derek March 22, 2023 (9:31 am)

    Here come the Inslee hating sock puppets. He won by one of the biggest margins ever. This is an echo chamber here and not representative of the voting populous. 

    • Burgerman March 22, 2023 (10:39 am)

      Derek, he won because the person running against him was a complete lunatic who believed in conspiracy theories and stolen elections, and used these things to try to get elected. The number of votes Culp did get was bad enough, but it also speaks to how bad our politicians and voting choices have become. I strongly dislike Inslee for many reasons, but in the end I was forced to choose the better of two terrible options to keep an insane dimwit with a hypocrisy problem and a one-finger grip on reality, from becoming our governor. If you think this comment section is not representative of the voting populous, I’d retort that whatever the voting populous might be, it still does not agree with you on many many things.  In this case, Inslee is only giving it attention because it’s going to become big big news in a big big hurry, when we starting getting laser-focused media attention with the huge sporting events coming to town over the next few years.

    • Neighbor March 22, 2023 (10:44 am)

      I’m not an Inslee hater but he was running against a total clown in a presidential election year that drove enormous turnout in the electorate.  Margin of victory is not an indicator of competence.

  • Um... March 22, 2023 (10:06 am)

    Derek and WScommuter, I think the kicker here is his sentiment for his visit: to prove his initiative around what he thinks is a housing problem and the need for more funding for it. This is not a housing problem. So, he’s doing no noble act with his visit. Just showing how clueless he really is. Derek, winning by wide margins doesn’t exempt someone from being clueless. It can mean many things. That people support specific things about the candidate. Or, they aren’t informed and vote for name recognition. 

    • Um... March 22, 2023 (11:02 am)

      Oh, like others mentioned: maybe there were no appealing options across the board. Lots of possibilities! :p

  • WSDAD March 22, 2023 (10:35 am)

    I am glad to see Bruce Harrell is taking the lead on cleaning up the city. I grew up in Texas and if you tossed trash on the ground you would be shot. Willie Nelson was the person that came up with the campaign “Don’t mess with Texas.”  I actually hate Texas today and its policies but man they kept the cities clean. Drives me nuts to see such a beautiful city like Seattle trashed.

    • Derek March 22, 2023 (10:55 am)

      Trash isn’t because people just litter for funsies. Most time it’s poor people having no legit options around here for disposing. Especially the houseless. We need to fix HOUSELESSNESS first. Trash cleaning efforts will follow. 

      • Scarlett March 22, 2023 (11:46 am)

        True. Anyone who has taken a long road trip – assuming everyone here has – can relate to the garbage that accumulates in the vehicle because disposal options are limited.  

      • Question Authority March 22, 2023 (12:30 pm)

        When you are under the influence of drugs or mental illness, hording and littering are just part of your disconnect with reality.  A house isn’t going to fix something that requires either treatment and or enforcement, and piles of stolen bikes don’t require disposal, they need to be not stolen instead.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes March 22, 2023 (1:31 pm)

        Littering is a cultural problem. It is exacerbated by extreme circumstances like homelessness and poverty, but let’s not pretend that this isn’t an issue in broader in society.

        • Burgerman March 22, 2023 (2:21 pm)

          That was a very good take, WSBadTakes. It IS a cultural problem, exacerbated by political ineptitude and resulting public homelessness and the tendency of humans to take advantage or situations in which they’re able to get away with making no effort whatsoever.

          • WestSeattleBadTakes March 22, 2023 (4:30 pm)

            the tendency of humans to take advantage

            I am sure we disagree on who is taking advantage.

          • WestSeattleBadTakes March 23, 2023 (11:37 am)

            What are you taking advantage of?

      • Burgerman March 22, 2023 (1:32 pm)

        Derek, that is absolute baloney. Homeless, houseless, RV Dwellers, call them whatever you want, are being enabled by the city. They are PROVIDED trash bags by the city. Those in the encampments know the pickup days. They know that it doesn’t matter if they don’t even use the bags, because they’ll eventually be moved out for a bit for “remediation” and cleanup, and then they can come back and go back to whatever they’re doing, criminal or indigent or not. Even if they’re just walking down the street, they can walk to a public trash bin, a neighbor with a garbage can out, whatever, an dispose of it there. Stop making excuses for antisocial, criminal behavior. Your entrenched, closed mindset is not a solution, nor does it drive anyone toward a solution.

        • derek March 22, 2023 (3:05 pm)

          I smell generalizations. I know two houseless people who are law-abiding. They move their vehicles. They do not litter. THIS post is baloney.  Stop making generalizations about the houseless and pushing false narratives. It doesn’t help anything.

          • Burgerman March 22, 2023 (7:59 pm)

            Derek, you’ve just contradicted yourself. Either most homeless people litter because they’re homeless, or they don’t, according to your new narrative. Which is it? You can’t modify your narrative just because somebody in the comment section poked a hole in what you’re saying – you need real thought and understanding of the issue at hand.  Your latest message still doesn’t hold water if it’s supposed to glue people to the path leading to non-leaky walls of thought. 

          • Question Authority March 22, 2023 (10:11 pm)

            Knowing two who do what you say they do is not representative of the big picture of those who don’t. 

          • Burgerman March 23, 2023 (2:20 pm)

            Seems to me that you’re the one pushing false narratives here, Derek. The room would agree with me, too. Not to mention you’re making broad generalizations based on “knowing two homeless people.”

      • WSDAD March 23, 2023 (9:48 am)

        Everyone deserves a place to live that is affordable and safe. Sadly we don’t live in that kind of world. I do feel Seattle needs to have more affordable housing. But how do you do that when an apartment is 2k a month? In LA the mayor is working on a program to move the homeless into hotels and pay the rent for like 6 months to get people off the street and start a new life.  A lot of people would disagree with this strategy but at least the city is trying to help. 

  • Paul March 22, 2023 (12:53 pm)

    A note here.  First I have to think about all of the people who bash politicians.  If you think you can do it better, then run for office.  Next, if anyone remembers, the CDC said that homeless camps should not be bothered during the pandemic.  This is really what caused the implosion of camps getting out of control.  Next, if the people don’t want housing, what should happen to them?  I personally think they do not want housing because it disrupts their addition life style.  They just move to another spot, make a huge mess, and waste more taxpayer money.  And one more thing, people need to stop putting old furniture or large items outside.  Where do you think these people get all of this “trash”.  Be proactive, pay to have the old broken items hauled away, then your tax dollars are not being used to pay for so much stuff going to the dump.

    • flimflam March 22, 2023 (2:14 pm)

      I don’t think setting up a camp on the sidewalk or in a green belt or a park should be an option, ever. Some shelter space is far from perfect but if it’s available then there shouldn’t be the “nah, I’ll just set up wherever I want” option.

  • The Earl March 23, 2023 (10:54 am)

    Den of vipers. Good riddance.

  • Darryll March 23, 2023 (9:19 pm)

    Cartel encroachment and no consequences drug use need to be acknowledged and addressed. Without that, no amount of “free” housing is going to help. 

Sorry, comment time is over.