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A Sad Day On The West Side

Captain Safety has been my alter ego for as long as I can remember. To this day I cross only at crosswalks, but even as a kid I was cautious. If my peers suggested something that set off warning alarms for me, not only would I decline to join them…I would try to stop them. My dire warnings of impending doom usually went unheeded, but that didn’t prevent me from delivering them…in the most irritating know-it-all manner. Being called a scaredy cat, among other names, never bothered me. And, hey, I am still alive. Something I can’t, unfortunately, say for three of five teenagers…who decided to explore the caves in my neighborhood yesterday. Despite the city’s best efforts at closing them off (filling in the entrances with cement, putting up fencing, boarding them up, etc.) thrillseekers still find a way in. And once inside their risky behavior escalates. Like lighting fires when there is little ventilation…which has caused many to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. Over the years my Dad (a St. Paul cop) has been on a number of calls to those caves…and some of them were close ones. But never as terrible as last night’s tragedy.