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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More on the Laurelhurst duck poop dump in Cully

The folks who are going to be on the receiving end of the nasty stuff being dredged out of the duck pond at Laurelhurst Pond are getting some more information about what's about to happen to their "park" site. The Cully neighborhood association has announced:

The Bureau of Parks and Recreation working with the Bureau of Environmental Services is proposing to do a Laurelhurst Pond Restoration. The pond will be drained and dredged and the sediment is proposed to be transported to the Thomas Cully Park site at 75th and Killingsworth St.

The material will be combined with compost and utilized as topsoil at the site. Metro will assist in the landfill maintenance and supervision which will include: peeling back the vegetation; mixing the (tested and dewatered) dredged sand and organic materials with compost; and setting grade stakes for leveling approximately 4 inches of soil amendments on top of the capped membrane. Vegetation and topsoil will then be replaced and the area will be reseeded.

There will be a noon meeting with the Park Bureau and Environmental Services on Friday, July 23rd at Thomas Cully Park at the 75th and Killingsworth entrance to discuss this action and ask questions. This is an open meeting and everyone is welcome to attend. Parking is very limited.

If noon on a July Friday doesn't fit into the neighbors' schedule, maybe they could just drop by at Commissioner Nick Fish's office. I'm sure he's looking forward to getting lots of feedback on this one.

By the way, the city got a bid in the high $300K's for the project. Without the hazardous waste cleanout and with the el-cheapo Cully dump option, the price is right, and the green light is very much on.

Comments (20)

It's cheaper to truck hazmat duck droppings on a low-brow park than to mitigate the hazards? Somebody ought to tell Hanford. We're lucky poor people don't vote.

I wonder if that membrane is the same one the was supposed to be used to cover the water reservoirs years ago. It was put on Ebay and some PWB people got into hot water. They never told the public where it ended up. Over time those membranes deteriorate and allow contamiants to leach through into the soil below. Even now the membrane does not provide an absolute barrier, so the stuff will end up in ground water. These people are really not too bright. Out of sight, out of their minds.

Good job Nick. Four more years of your mini-Leonard leadership.

I just hope Parks wait till Autumn before they do the job. Imagine being downwind of that on a hot,sultry day!

I don't think anybody really knows for sure what's going to be in that slop. It's not supposed to be hazmat, but a lot of things aren't supposed to happen. To dump it on the Cully "park" without so much as a hearing, much less an environmental assessment, is pretty rude. But hey, screw the neighbors. It's Portland City Hall.

Interesting. I wonder what the relative political influence is between Laurelhurst and Cully. Probably about equal right?

Gee, if it's such a good deal for the Cully neighborhood (i.e., parque de la ciudad en barrio de Cully), I wonder why Mayor TramScam Adams didn't arrange for the dredge tailings to be trucked to Kenton Park (in his North Portland neighborhood)?!

But wait, that might have seemed inappropriate for him to "gift" his own venerable neighborhood with the valuable "fill" from the Laurelhurst Pond clean-out.

Will wonders never cease?


Laurelhurst Pond, also known as Firwood Lake, is the 2.39 acre body of water in historic Laurelhurst Park. The lake has become acutely eutrophic, meaning its oxygen content is depleted by organic nutrients. The result is that the lake has accumulated a layer of organic sediment that has reduced the average depth of the lake from 13-15 feet to only 18 inches.
The growing layer of sediment reduces the depth of water in the lake. This very shallow water heats up quickly, creating a condition that produces large quantities of blue-green algae each spring. Blue-green algae produce a toxin capable of causing chronic liver damage and promoting tumors. Because of the blue-algae blooms, the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Public Health Office of Environmental Toxicology has recommended that PP&R cordon off the pond and post health advisory signs.

What kind of a Parks Commissioner is Nick Fish?

I would say this does not bode well for those who want respect for all of our city parks.

This in addition to his late support of Lents Park after the citizens had to work so hard because he did not step up to the plate right away to say NO to Randy.

We need to be watchdogs with this Parks Commissioner.

So to all those in poorer neighborhoods, will your parks be used to dump toxic
materials? This may just be the beginning of one dump after another.

The people in Cully need to say No to this cheap plan. Do not be sold by illustrations and examples of these type of parks in other areas of the country. No matter how good they might look, what really counts is are they healthy? Where are the years of data to support that these playgrounds are healthy?


"Who knows what is in the slop from the pond"...
My guess is lead, PCBs and a bunch of other stuff I can neither pronounce or spell.
It should probably be taken to that mountain in Nevada, but is is SO much easier and cheaper to truck it across town and dump it in someone else's park.
And of course the money should be used for trams, trolleys and trains for the rich folks on the other side of town.
Nick Fish is SO disappointing. I thought he might have more courage, but he has just fallen into line with the samrand mob.

Doesn't BES sell treated sewer biosolids to Eastern Oregon farmers for fertilizer? Or maybe it's that they pay a modest fee for the farmers to take it off their hands.

Either way, why hasn't Parks explored that as an option instead of foisting the noxious goo on Cully residents? Is duck poop different from human poop? Seems like the pond sludge would be safer than sewer sludge, since it doesn't have tampons and Prozac in it.

Considering many Cully residents are Hispanic, isn't this some sort of environmental racism? Where's Martha Perez? This would be a much better use of her time and temper than forcing street renamings on people who don't want it and hounding PPS for not having school secretaries who can speak Spanish.

Born and raised in Laurelhurst many years ago and we understood then that if your face caught fire smoking cigs. next to pond you were to use grass to extinguish. NEVER EVER touch that water.

If the stuff's so great, why not save the diesel and compost it right there in Laurelhurst Park? Doesn't seem to fit the "religion of green" to truck it somewhere, oh, the horrors.

The toxic algae are there because there is so much nitrogen, etc. The deep sediment makes a great place for bacteria that produce toxins, found in such environments, to have a negative health impact.

Thanks Nick and Zsa Zsa. Que bueno for the 'hood?

An opportunist might take a sample to the lab and get the entire list of HazMats. Then, after dump in Cully is complete, contact a law firm.

Uh I gotta second Umpire! Let's all do the math Fish , if it is acceptable to place this toxic material in a public park , then
YEE HAA , it is already in one.

Throwing the toxic label around regarding this stuff is misiinformed. This would in no way meet EPA guidelines for regulated wastes. It is neither corrosive, toxic, reactive,flammable or an oxidizer. It presents no threat to health or the environment.
When I moved into North Portland several yeas back, a local composter accepted several shipping containers of lentils destroyed when accidently dropped into the river at the Port. Come August, anybody within 5 miles was treated to an aroma that would make your lunch dislodge. This was a violation of their DEQ permit as to what kind of material they could accept. At the end of the day, they were fined about $60K and I was not surprised that several years later they were out of business. A $60K hit is hard for a small business to swallow. At the same time, the aroma was hard for us within 5 miles to BREATHE.
My biggest worry about the Citys plan is a) it run afoul...literally, of DEQ and end up costing the City a large amount of money. And while experts might say it wont be noticed by those near its dumpsite, my best guess is it will be a foul smelling, nasty situation.
I hope I am wrong. I don't expect to be.

Because of the blue-algae blooms, the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Public Health Office of Environmental Toxicology has recommended that PP&R cordon off the pond and post health advisory signs.

Why would they cordon off the pond and post health advisory signs if as you stated it presents no threat to health or the environment?

Joe Adamski- Sorry to disappoint your expectaions, but you're completely wrong. Laurelhurst pond is a cesspool full of toxins. The following is one of the most lethal known. Say hi to Nick and keep misinforming us.

"Botulism - Ducks that have access to stagnant ponds or other areas where decaying organic matter (animal carcasses, in particular) is found may consume toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This happens when temperature and other conditions are right for the growth of this anaerobic spore-forming bacterium. Botulism causes a progressive flaccid (limp) paralysis of the neck (limberneck), legs and wings. Affected ducks usually die in a coma within 24-48 hours." Cornell University

Another way to look at this.

The city seems to have no compunction about causing this division between Laurelhurst and Cully neighborhoods. I consider this creating an unhealthy relationship along with the unhealthy transference of materials.

I find it difficult to believe that the people of Laurelhurst approve of this.
Would the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association be willing to make a position statement that they need to have their pond cleaned but do not approve of that material being taken and put in another neighborhood's park?

What would Nick Fish and the city do then when this and other neighborhoods are opposed to this?

We must recognize the value of all human beings no matter where they live. It may be that in this case, some in the Cully community may not have the experience or knowledge to deal with this or if they do, they could use help. Then it is up to those that can, throughout our city to assist this community along with others in a united front that our parks are unacceptable for dumping no matter where they are.

Why aren't they considering doing this on the fields of Laurelhurst Park itself? They wouldn't even have to truck it anywhere. If it's as safe as they claim, why can't it be re-used right in the park it comes from?

"If noon on a July Friday doesn't fit into the neighbors' schedule, maybe they could just drop by at Commissioner Nick Fish's office. I'm sure he's looking forward to getting lots of feedback on this one."

Maybe they could just scoop some poop and leave it in front of his office.

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