Alaska mayor defends city response to illegal homeless camps

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, is defending the city in response to state lawmakers’ criticism it has not done enough to deal with illegal homeless camps.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday that Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says the Chester Creek trail area is safe even though the city is fending for itself on complicated problems with which the state has traditionally helped.

Nine Alaska legislators sent a letter to Berkowitz Monday saying Anchorage could more aggressively clear public land, while city officials said the letter did not offer realistic solutions.

Berkowitz says the city’s strategy of clearing out homeless camps by zones is working and residents can expect to see more bike patrols and camp cleanups in the coming weeks.

Information from: Anchorage Daily News,