Plan to ban tents in Tacoma parks divides people over safety vs. shelter

Plan to ban tents in Tacoma parks divides people over safety vs. shelter

Larry, what’s your last name?>>Stearns.>>Can you spell it for me, Larry?>>S-T-E-A-R-N-S.>>Okay, and how old are you?>>I’m 58.>>So you’ve probably heard the city
council is considering an ordinance which would make it a fine to put up
any walled structure in a public park, including a tent. What’s your feeling about that?>>It’s gonna put a lot of people into
a lot of more dangerous situation. I’ve seen it. I was just down on I Street,
and I is getting pretty bad. And I couldn’t handle it,
fighting every night in the alley, and yelling and cussing. I just couldn’t handle it. So I came up here hoping it’d be peaceful,
but I didn’t realize we were gonna
be shoved around like we did. But they left us alone,
because what I understand, from the middle of that sidewalk
to the edge, it’s a easement. And nobody can own a public easement,
what I understand.>>So that’s why the folks are on
this side of the sidewalk.>>Right.>>Okay, as opposed to being in the park?>>Right,
we’re technically not in the park, we’re on the easement of the park,
but we’re not in the park.>>Okay, so they have to allow that?>>They don’t have to, but we’re hoping. Because all they keep doing is shoving
us into really dangerous situations, like there used to be
a place called the jungle. The jungle was between the tracks and
under the bridges, and you could follow it just
by the garbage left. We try to keep our area clean. Some of us like our area clean, and
then there’s others who don’t give a darn. They’d rather just throw
their garbage everywhere. But it attracts rats and everything,
and I don’t want that in my tent.>>Right, how long have you been here?>>I’ve been here, what,
going on three years now.>>Three years at People’s Park?>>Yeah.>>Really?
>>I been here, on the outside round, but
always stayed close to the park.

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