The City is Poisoned. No, Not Figuratively.

When I'm by the Tenleytown station, I like to cut through Fort Reno Park to get home. It doesn't even save me a block. It's just prettier, obviously, than Wisconsin Avenue.

The park has been closed since Wednesday for grossly unacceptable levels of arsenic. Some soil in the area had over 25 times the safe limit of the deadly chemical. If I were to make a pointless and nonsensical analogy comparing this to the legal limit of intoxication, this would be the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 2.0%. I know that number is meaningless, but sometimes it's fun to abuse numbers.

Anyways, 25 times the safe limit for arsenic. That is shocking.

Wait, no, it isn't. I had to deal with the same bullshit at American University when their Child Development Center was found to have contaminated soil. The Army Corps of Engineers had to tear parts of the campus apart to fix the problem. Why should Fort Reno be any different?

Of course Fort Reno's closure is a bit more inconvenient than American University losing its baseball diamond. The Mount Pleasant types aren't going to be able to catch the free outdoor concerts that have been part of Northwest Washington summers since God knows when. I'm sure this disrupts activities at Wilson High School and other youth leagues in the area. One of the biggest draws in a quiet neighborhood has been reduced to nothing. Hopefully it's temporary, but it certainly wasn't temporary over at AU.

Oh, and the park has a water reservoir. That's awfully disconcerting, isn't it?

This is supposed to be the nice part of Washington? The part with the hopelessly poisoned ground? Yay, DC!


  1. Sir Oliver MartextMay 16, 2008

    Those idiots still haven't cleaned up all the garbage at AU. I guess that's what we get for offering our campus to the Army.

  2. One thing keeps nagging at me throughout this whole arsenic fiasco.

    Sure, this is a problem. But it would be a problem mostly if it was in your backyard where your kids ate dirt on a regular basis.

    Is there some particular health risk to standing around for a couple hours on soil that's got a lot of arsenic in it watching aging punk rockers once a month? I'd think there's more of a problem with the arsenic getting into the groundwater - but what does that have to do with safety while watching a concert?

    Not trying to say that it's a problem, I'm just not getting how this puts occasional concertgoers at any more risk than, say, drinking DC tap water or crossing the street on a bus route.

  3. whatever. you took a dump in rock creek park.

  4. note to self: stop eating ttown dirt immediately

  5. AnonymousMay 19, 2008

    Rusty is a douche ... don't delete my posts indian giver

  6. AnonymousMay 19, 2008

    Wow...DC is such an "indian giver" for having the park open for so long and now suddenly taking it away.

  7. AnonymousMay 19, 2008

    YEAH!!! All those little kids at Ft Reno every week are SOOOOOO Mount Pleasant. They think they're so cool. Fuckin hipster brats with their soccer balls and their ice cream and their naps. "Look at me, I liked the Wiggles back when they were indie!"

    You tell em, Rust!

  8. AnonymousMay 19, 2008

    Not as poison as previously thought...


  9. AnonymousMay 19, 2008

    ha ha...have to love it. Freak out even though it was said there is no real danger, and then realize...oops...sorry the tests were wrong! I'm going to miss DC for reasons like this.