The panic in Powderhorn Park, cont’d

Yesterday in “The panic in Powderhorn Park” I noted that the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board was to take up a proposed resolution limiting the number of parks with encampments to 20, the number of tents per encampment to 25, and establishing a new temporary encampment permit that can be issued to an individual volunteer, volunteers, non-profit corporation, legal entity, government or non-governmental partner or agency who agrees to be responsible for the day-to-day oversight and regulation of an encampment.

The resolution was prompted by the homeless encampments that have taken root in at least 38 of the parks under the jurisdiction of the board. The two encampments in Powderhorn Park take the cake. They include some 500 tents and at least 280 residents.

Minnesota has an extremely sophisticated social service network. There is no excuse for these encampments. The encampments have destroyed the intended use of the parks insofar as they constitute a menace to residents and neighbors as well as a filthy disgrace. Everyone knows it. Everyone can see it. A few minutes before I visited Powderhorn Park on Tuesday afternoon, for example, a resident was shot.

The homeless encampments are attributable to executive order number 20-55 promulgated by Governor Walz in the era of one-man rule in Minnesota. They reflect the madness of King Tim.

At its meeting yesterday evening the park board voted unanimously to adopt the proposed resolution. Matt Sepic’s MPR story provides the necessary context and is generally accessible. Sepic quotes Commissioner LaTrisha Vetaw explaining that the encampments are out of control: “We are outside of our wheelhouse. I have visited multiple sanctuary sites. I have been offered drugs. I have been offered money for sex. I have watched an overdose happen. I’ve seen things that I’m not even sure of what they were.”

Sepic himself adds: “Park police say violence at Powderhorn is on the rise. Since Sunday they’ve responded to an armed kidnapping and robbery, a man out running who was struck by a rock, and the sexual assault of a person who’d overdosed.”

Miguel Otárola’s Star Tribune story is accompanied by Aaron Lavinsky’s skycam view of one of the two Powderhorn park encampments.

The resolution lacks enforcement deadlines and other relevant details. We will have to stay tuned in to determine what happens next.

When I showed up at the studio for the appearance with Brian Kilmeade on Tucker Carlson Tonight this past Tuesday, I was greeted by the support staff I’ve gotten to know. One is a resident of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood. She asked me what I thought about what was going on in the parks.

I told her that’s what I was there to talk about on the show and mentioned the resolution that the board took up yesterday limiting the size of the encampments to 25 tents and the number of parks with encampments to 20. She asked me, “How about zero?” I can’t find an answer to that question in the accounts of the park board meeting yesterday.

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