L3SO in EP

Johnny Northside has been blogging the heck out of North Minneapolis’ level 3 sex offender scene. As he’s made very clear, a small area of North has become something of a dumping ground for L3SOs. At its worst, one block has five L3SOs on it (including a “rapist village” documented by the Irving Inquisition).

Things do seem pretty concentrated in a few neighborhoods in North. The concentration of cheap rental units offered by slumlords may be appealing to guys who have a hard time functioning in society.

So, imagine my surprise when I saw this flyer on the kitchen table at my office in Eden Prairie this week:

Eden Prairie Level 3 Sex Offender

A Level 3 sex offender in Eden Prairie within walking distance of Buca. How about that?

EPA: 56% Higher Arsenic Levels are OK for South Minneapolis Residents

The EPA has decided how clean is clean enough when it comes to arsenic levels in South Minneapolis. The verdict: 25ppm (parts per million) in residential soil: 56% higher than the naturally occurring 16ppm level – a level the EPA has previously cleaned residential soil to in other areas of the country.

Another way of putting this: up to 25 milligrams of arsenic found in a kilogram of soil is considered safe for South Minneapolis residents.

For background, check here, here, and here.

This is a vast improvement over what the EPA has done to date (cleaned up yards to 95ppm), but falls short of what the EPA has done in other communities around the United States.

Here is a reminder of where we are to date. The proposed clean-up standard would move just to the left of El Paso, TX where the EPA decided 24ppm was acceptible.

Arsenic Clean-Up Parts per Million (PPM)

Southside Pride reports the EPA’s position:

EPA’s arsenic cleanup criticized

Concluding that a “background” arsenic level of 16 kg/mg was normal for the area and citing other sources for the presence of arsenic in the soil, such as ashes from coal-fired furnaces, use of fertilizers and pesticides and presence of the substance in nature, EPA said that removal of a threshold 25 mg/kg arsenic contamination on 488 properties would meet appropriate requirements for the protection of human health and the environment.

The naturally occurring arsenic level in South Minneapolis is 16ppm. The EPA has cleaned properties in other parts of the country to that level, explaining that “Arsenic contamination would be cleaned up to naturally-occurring levels, with a calculated cleanup standard of 16 ppm.” (PDF link) Yet they’ve decided that Minneapolis can be 56% more polluted than other areas of the country?

The EPA’s Tim Prendiville explained why we shouldn’t get worked up about the difference:

“You’ve got to look a lot deeper and do some critical thinking,” said EPA project manager Tim Prendiville. “It’s not going to decrease the risk factor to clean those additional properties,” Prendiville said.

Which doesn’t explain why the EPA has decide that there was enough risk to clean properties elsewhere but not here.

Money?

This is an easy problem to solve with money. How much? $5 million is the projected difference between what it would cost to clean properties to 25ppm vs 16ppm. Minneapolis City Council member Gary Schiff, who represents the area, is going to push for the EPA’s own higher standard at the next full city council meeting on June 20th.

Gold Medal Park Update

The Deets has been fielding a lot of questions from readers about the status of Gold Medal Park next to the Guthrie Theater.

In my effort to figure out what’s up, I did some Googling, and dug deep into the Minneapolis Park Board’s website to figure out what’s going on. Surely an opening ceremony must be in the works. And there was no mention of the park among the list of parks on the Park Board website.

As The Other Mike pointed out on our run across the Stone Arch Bridge the other day, the geese have already moved in.

A quick email conversation with a park board member helped explain things a bit: the reason there is no open date on the park board website is because it isn’t a park board owned park. Apparently, it’s entirely private.

That’s news to me. I was under the impression that the park board received donation from William McGuire, CEO of UnitedHealth to the tune of $500,000 per year for 10 years to cover the development and maintenance costs. I also remember hearing that the park was going to be called the McGuire park, but that may have been before he resigned on short notice last fall.

So, does anyone have any information about when this will actually open? The people building the StoneBridge condos across 2nd Ave would probably like to see an open park rather than fencing across the street.

Will a private goose control company come in before the park opens? A division of Blackwater security, perhaps?