National Guard is not a pooper scooper brigade - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, November 28, 2020
HomeAnchorage Daily PlanetNational Guard is not a pooper scooper brigade

National Guard is not a pooper scooper brigade


City officials are asking the Alaska National Guard be pressed into service to help clean up the city’s homeless camps, along with their attendant piles of trash and human waste, as the snow melts and we continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The request is a terrible idea on almost too many levels to comprehend, appearing to be little more than the city taking advantage of available federal CARES Act funding to deal with an expensive, chronic problem.

The notion of uniformed National Guard troops razing the camps, seizing private property – destroying this, carting off that – is mind-boggling. What happens when one or more of our recalcitrant urban sportsman decides to take them on? Imagine the pictures. Imagine the headlines: “Jackboot thugs beat homeless, mentally ill man.’

Calling out our the National Guard would, of course, be a quick, easy fix on somebody else’s dime for a social problem that has plagued Anchorage over recent years, but you have to ask: At what point did our service members become our garbage collectors and trash pickers? Do we really want uniformed troops carrying out such tasks? Their training, of course, is to break things and kill people.

Logistical support, distributing food, transporting essentials and necessities, building temporary communities. Those are all things right up the National Guard’s alley in a peacetime disaster setting, but clearing homeless camps? Hardly.

We would hope Gov. Mike Dunleavy would summarily reject the request. Using the Guard in such a manner would solve a city problem – and, yes, save it some money – but it is not in anybody’s best interest.

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Latest comments

  • And your solution would be…?

    • The solution would be for somebody to get off their — and go do it.

    • Get the mayor and his liberal cronies who made the problem even bigger than it was to go clean up their own mess with their very own hands…not someone else’s.

  • Only if the Mayor goes with the Guard!!

    • The Guard has Zero reason to be involved with this at all, even if the person responsible for the issue helps. No, this is all Anchorages problem to deal with.

  • The good mayor’s proposal to use the National Guard (NG) is simply his attempt to pass the buck. What he proposes with the NG is nothing our own uniformed services could not do and should have been doing. The mayor keeps returning to the tax well for more revenue from the law abiding citizes, and now he wants the state’s military to do what he claimed the additional taxes were for.

  • How bout we load up the ones staying at Sullivan arena on a bus and take them over to the camps to clean up their own mess . Berkowitz , this is not cool . I understand the need to clean up but I feel our National Guard is not the ones to do it

    • Great idea! Have them ditch their own sh*t.

  • So, what has he done up to this point? ( crickets)

  • Little Ethan will later brag how his administration cleaned up the camps.

    How did anchorage (re)elect this doosh?

    • Incredibly sensitive topic but there is a solution. Employ the best of the brightest of the homeless, pay them good wages, promise them good housing for the future based on merit, and the mess will be cleaned up. Some homeless people have degrees! Let them prove themselves, and we therefore endorse the hopefuls.

      What i’m Saying is… let some of the homeless go to work with the help of muni dump trucks. They will be grateful. Do promise housing to those who put in a 40 hr. work week. MANY want a job.

      We cannot generalize any group. So many want to work.

      I hope this helps.

      • Unions won’t allow it…….takes work away from union members, who wouldn’t stoop to do that kind of work anyway, for minimum wage…….Government won’t allow it because it’s over-populated with the politically correct.
        Only cure will be for someone filthy rich to begin financing political campaigns of a fresh batch of politicians who will have the heart to be politically incorrect, and come up with legislation for “workfare” and “civil commitment”.
        The rallying cries should be “No Work, No Eat” and “No Home, No Stay On Streets”.

        • Thank you


  • Perfectly stated. If the Mayor wants the camps clean, don the proper PPE and clean them himself. That way he can gain some appreciation for the task at hand. Once he experienced the nastiness and public health hazards involved he may finally enforce the law to ban the camps and eliminate the problem.

  • Wait a minute…did he not hire a homeless Zarette to take care of the homeless problem. Well Mayor Spendowitz, dawn you california spandex and you and she get the shovels going….you can finish up Obammy’s “shovel ready” project.

  • BullHorn Berkowitz has never done filthy work and doesn’t want to get his hands dirty. So, he should make himself “shovel ready” and bring the indigent to clean up after themselves. Its bad enough that dumb people decided its good to tax liquor to pay for the filth cleaning and bedding of the indigent, who refuse to go get a job and find a life of “lazy” better than earning and caring for themselves. Thanks to all the churches and the social workers in the area, the new tax will attract more and more indigent individuals to the area. Free food and beds!!! But…the National Guard? Hell NO! Berkowitz! That suggestion shows how unfit he is to manage a city, any city. Its no wonder the assembly has such low morale, that guy needs to go.

  • When the city stopped enforcing vagrancy law, started supporting the feeding, clothing, and supported putting roofs over the heads of these vagrants with property owners’ money, he perpetuated this idiocy. I think the mayors office and the assembly ought to take their ass down there and clean up what they’ve created with our money.

  • Exactly well said by many of you! I think the Muni employees that have six-figure salaries should don the proper PPE and clean the camps for the city. That way the Mayor could say that his “team” is getting the city’s money worth from them. Asking the National Guard to do it is preposterous.

    • Its not their job to pick up human crap.

      • It would be public servants doing a public service. Redefine their job description such that each nails a 20# sack a week. Make sure Standing Small for Anchorage in for a sack or two.

      • But it is the NG’S – surely even you must see the irony in this debacle?

  • Amen to all against this. This is not the kind of service the guard volunteered for. this would degrade their image and recruitment. The best idea is take them out of Sullivan and Boeke to go clean up their messes.

  • Yes. Get the homeless that made the mess to clean it up before they get a free hot meal. We learned something from the WWPA and the 1930’s.

  • “Their training, of course, is to break things and kill people.”

    Ok, not the most diplomatic way to describe our citizen Soldiers, but the jist of the statement is understood. Their primary purpose is to fight and win on a battlefield. That’s not to exclude other important tasks, but domestic law enforcement is NOT one of those. If the National Guard is necessary to perform essential duties like this, the Governor should releive the mayor of his duties and title and appoint a competent interim until the earliest possible election can be held.

  • The Muni has allowed the homeless camp problem to exist for at least 20-25 years. They need to fix it. Let those who want a free place to eat and sleep help with the cleaning. Those camps should be destroyed and no allowed to be rebuilt and the trash they accumulate be destroyed.. If the ACLU doesn’t like it, they should get out there and help with the cleaning. It used to just be a problem of the public not wanting to see their mess; now it’s a health problem.

  • A few homeless need to drop a deuce in Berkowitz’ yard. Maybe pitch a tarp too. Will that get his attention?

  • If you pull the scab off you will find many of these people are veterans. Last year the Berlin NJ flea market changed ownership. They found an E 7 living in the woods (couple of acres) who had been living there for 5 years. How, if you have a substance abuse problem the va doesn’t want to know you. Btw some Vet’s have killed themselves by jumping off the garage roof at the philly va hospital.

  • The vast majority of so called Homeless people suffer from mental illness. Over time, society has devised ways of dealing with groups of sick people which include prisons , hospitals, leper colonies and extradition. Most of the crime associated with homelessness is a result of wrongful self medication.
    Until our elected leaders recognize the facts above we will continue letting the inmates run the asylum.

  • Thank you for this article! I was shocked when I heard the request being made for the NG to clean up homeless camps. It was a relief to know I wasn’t alone on this.

    And if the NG are brought in to clean up homeless camps… can you imagine what the Mayor have them enforce next?

  • A workable option might be deploying the National Guard to clean up Anchorage’s bum camps to EPA standards
    …and billing the Municipality of Anchorage for the work.
    Precedent exists; municipal policy lets city officials enter distressed private property to mitigate the same problem and bill owners for mitigation.
    Voters were so eager to embrace new taxes in the last election, they should have no problem with a surcharge to clean up bum camps.
    What better time to do this than while the public’s all fired up about public health?
    Bums have clearly united to disobey “health mandates”, so city officials should round them up, show productive residents what’ll happen if they don’t give up their Constitutional freedoms and Bill of Rights and submit to “health mandates”.
    But not to worry… voters solved the problem already by creating a brand-new Assembly position for downtown, so things are good

  • Ya know, those firetrucks have big ol’ nozzles on em’.

  • Anchorage has an almost $1 billion dollar annual budget. They could clean the camps if they wanted to, they’ve got the money, it evidently is too low on the priority list to make the cut.

    Now here’s an idea, with schools shut down why not get all of the ASD administrators and resource officers out there in the proper PPE and have them clean it up? It would set a great example for the kids.

  • How quaint. Not being content with turning ANC into a police state with twice as many cops as are needed, our Boy Mayor wants to declare martial law using the same excuse he has used to raise taxes, repeal the tax cap, and spend at levels that would make drunken sailors blush. Well done (/sarc). Cheers –

  • Until Los Anchorage votes for people who believe in accountability this is what you will get. Trying to pass the buck on to the National Guard is beyond shameful.
    The voters in Los Anchorage have voted in people who incentivized homelessness and so more and more homeless answered the call.
    While the mayor should be held responsible, ultimately it is the voters fault. Until voters get fed up with people defecating in their streets this is what you have to look forward to.

  • The playbook is to create “Trumpvilles” for the media to churn through election. And endless committees on who new what and when.

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