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Olga Park, homeless camp
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Gee & Ursula: Why did it take a murder before city took action on homeless camp?

Crews cleared out a homeless camp in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood over the weekend and posted signs that Olga Park would be temporarily closed.

This came after a 31-year-old man was shot several times in the chest in the early hours of Memorial Day while exiting his tent. Ursula Reutin’s mother lives in a condo across from the park.

People who live and work in that area, including my mom, feel much safer now that the camp is gone. Hopefully the several dozen people who set up tents there now have a safer place to live, too.

The city was able to clean this camp out with a sense of urgency. So my question is why did it take a murder to finally do it?

Gee Scott doesn’t have an answer to Ursula’s question, but has an idea of how the city of Seattle operates.

Because the city of Seattle hustles backwards? It feels as if there has to be a crisis. Why can’t they be proactive with some of these things?

We’ve been talking about this homeless camp for how long?

Since the pandemic began, Ursula pointed out. She said the same could be said for the homeless camp in Seattle’s Lake City Way neighborhood. Two people were shot in the camp at Albert Davis Park on April 29, and a fire broke out the next day. Neighbors told KIRO 7 they’ve reached out to the city over 100 times.

She posed the same question –why does it take a murder before something gets done — on the Gee and Ursula Facebook page, and so many listeners had great comments. Her favorite might be David’s.

David wrote: “The city would rather run a costly ambulance service at the bottom of the cliff than to put up a less costly fence at the top.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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