The Shoreham Area Advisory Committee (SAAC) will hold a special meeting Monday, Dec. 9, at 7:00 p.m., at the Windom Park Recreation Center, 2251 Hayes St. NE, Minneapolis. Agenda and guest attendees:
1. Staff from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have offered to discuss how the Shoreham-area TCE vapor intrusion potential compares to the TCE vapor intrusion potential recently noted in the news media regarding homes in the Southeast Como neighborhood. How is the Northeast situation similar? How is it different?
2. David Rubedor, head of the City of Minneapolis’ Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, will attend to discuss with community members recent questions/comments about community engagement related to Shoreham Yards issues and SAAC.
All are welcome to attend this meeting. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
The St. Anthony Parkway Bridge over the Northtown Yard will be removed and replaced. The City of Minneapolis held a public meeting on October 29 to share preliminary design information for the new bridge and to collect feedback on design elements such as color, textures, lighting, and railings.
The presentation materials from the meeting have been posted to the project web site, and everyone is encouraged to view them and provide comments via the web site. Please submit comments by Tuesday, November 5th, in order to have them included in the discussion at the next Citizen Advisory Committee meeting. Comments received after that date will still be collected and shared at subsequent CAC meetings. Comments may also be submitted by mail to Jack Yuzna, City of Minneapolis Public Works, 309 2nd Ave. S., Room 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401, or emailed to: Jack.Yuzna@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Construction of the new bridge is expected to begin in autumn 2014. (Note: As of October 16, the walkway on the south side of the bridge has been closed, following an inspection that revealed one of the brackets holding the cantilevered walkway no longer intact.) A page on the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles site features the bridge, and the site overalll is a feast of information and images on bridges.
City Council member Kevin Reich is following up on residents’ concerns about the environmental impact and potential health risks related to application of herbicide along the Canadian Pacific / Soo Line Railroad tracks (a story that first appeared here in June 2012). Click here for the larger story, including photos and updates (as recent as September 2013)..
The quarterly meeting of the Shoreham Area Advisory Committee on Monday, July 8, included Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) employee Ned Brooks, a member of the PCA’s Environmental Justice Steering Team.
What is “environmental justice”? In the practice of the PCA, and according to Mr. Brooks, it is the assurance that no Minnesotan will be unduly subjected to risk from environmental pollution. The stated aim is to improve the involvement of lower income and minority groups—as someone pointed out, the demographic profile present in the crowd at the Northeast parade—in the planning and implementation of cleanup processes.
Several of those present made an environmental justice case for the issue of “vapor intrusion” into homes east of Central Avenue from the Shoreham site; that involves pollution in the form of vapors from chemicals migrating via groundwater and penetrating foundation walls and slabs into those homes—a considerable health risk.
In addition, there was discussion of the possibility of seeking a $50,000 grant that would be used, at least in part, to hire a technical expert to review and interpret the voluminous reports on the pollution remediation process that has been ongoing since 2006.
The public may review an “online repository” of much of those documents at this address. The Shoreham Area Advisory Committee’s web site is at this address.
[ Clarification from Gayle Bonneville, SAAC: The $50,000 federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grants at this point don't seem to be available for Shoreham-related purposes since it is a state Super Fund site and not a federal Super Fund site." ]
Once upon a time, after the great tear-up and rebuilding of Central Avenue, there was an effort to create a green median (in place of the previous concrete median) that included small trees. It started out well, but it seemed that maintenance wasn’t part of the plan.
Back to the drawing board. A number of people, including some from Columbia Park and Waite Park neighborhoods, got together to figure out how to do it better and include plants that would better endure salt spray and other indignities. And so it was done.
That too started out looking good, although some weren’t so sure when, soon after, mowers were turned loose to level the verdant growth. “It’s necessary,” was the word. And so folks watched for the new and better plan to be revealed in time.
Another winter has gone by, and another spring, and this is how it looks:
Central Avenue median at Columbia Parkway, 8 June 2013
Shouldn’t, by now, the median be decorated by something other than a typical collection of volunteer plants and roadside trash?
The Columbia Park neighborhood crime maps for February 2013 and January-February 2013 are now posted, courtesy of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 2nd Precinct. For answers to any questions, please contact Susan Bradshaw, Crime Prevention Specialist, Minneapolis Police Department, 2nd Precinct, (612) 673-2874, firstname.lastname@example.org
. . . in northeast Minneapolis, and no, it’s not the longed-for Lake Sandy many have talked about over the years.
This one was built a few months ago to be a pollution pit, in my opinion.
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As a Community Advisory Council (CAC) member, I would like to update Northeasters regarding the latest developments for the ongoing St. Anthony Parkway Bridge project.
First, the consulting parties (including the CAC) have decided rehabbing the existing bridge is not feasible. Therefore a replacement bridge will be constructed. However, the Grand Rounds and the adjacent track corridor are nominated as historic properties, and the loss of the existing bridge will have an adverse effect on the Grand Rounds.
The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office and the Minnesota Department of Transportation have agreed that the new bridge shall have no or minimal impact on the historic properties. To assure compliance, they have agreed to review and approve the bridge design at intervals during the design process.
They also plan mitigation measures for the loss of the existing bridge. This includes thorough documentation of the existing bridge, as well as possible sale of the whole or parts of the existing bridge for installation elsewhere. The consulting parties will entertain other mitigation ideas from the community, so please forward them to the Columbia Park Neighborhood web site at ColumbiaPark.org.
Mike Melman, Northeast Minneapolis
[Ed.: This letter was published in the Northeaster, February 6, 2013; the email address for sending mitigation ideas is: email@example.com. ]
The meeting about the planned recycling center at University Avenue and 27th Avenue NE took place on Thursday, November 15, and included representatives of surrounding neighborhoods (including Columbia Park), along with Dave McHenry, assistant director of Hennepin County’s Solid Waste Division.
Details of the project–a joint City of Minneapolis-Hennepin County project–can be seen here.
This summer, a crew from the Minnesota Department of Transportation was sent to cut down a dead elm tree near the west side of University Avenue near 36th Avenue NE. While they were at it, they cut down all the ash trees in the vicinity, since those are subject to the emerald ash borer infestation. (Read more.)