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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Minnesota Supreme Court rules against West St. Paul in nuisance neighbor fight

Alice Krengel, 58, was forced from her home in West St. Paul for a year after a series of public nuisance violations. (Pioneer Press file photo)
Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.

68 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

Minnesota Supreme Court rules against West St. Paul in nuisance neighbor fight
By Nick Ferraro
nferraro@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 07/21/2009 11:50:34 PM CDT


A West St. Paul woman left homeless after the city kicked her out of her house for a year said she was "on top of the world" after learning the state's highest court had ruled in her favor.

"I felt like I popped my head out of the water, and I can now breathe," Alice Krengel, 58, said Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a district court improperly forced Krengel out after a series of public-nuisance violations.

The justices concluded the city did not have authority to seek an injunction banning Krengel from her Allen Avenue home because she was not a nuisance at the time the injunction was requested.

The justices also concluded a Dakota County judge was wrong in issuing a permanent injunction that barred her from the home from August 2006 to August 2007.

"I feel beyond vindicated," Krengel said. "I feel totally exonerated."

Krengel would not comment on whether she would sue the city.

"I'm a poker player," she said, "and I'd rather not show my hand. A lesson I learned is that if you truly know you are right, never give up."

During oral arguments before the state Supreme Court in January, attorneys for the city said they were justified in seeking the injunction because Krengel did not comply with the terms of an abatement plan the city had set up with her after a string of nuisance calls.

Krengel's attorney argued that was not enough, and the Supreme Court agreed.

Police went to Krengel's home 29 times between September 2004 and July 2005, according to the city. In one instance, two drunken men assaulted each other with hammers. Krengel's guests were drunk and taken to detox. Twice, Krengel pleaded guilty to criminal charges of public nuisance.
Krengel entered into the abatement agreement in August 2005, which called for her to stay sober, ban alcohol in the house and allow police inside for random inspections for a year.

The agreement also prohibited more than three unrelated people from living in her house and required her to attend 90 meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous within 120 days.

West St. Paul City Attorney Kori Land said Tuesday the city was put into a "Catch-22."

"We thought we'd go after the root of the problem, which was the alcohol," Land said. "If we continued to let her drink and it rose to the level of nuisance activity, all it would do is create problems for the neighborhood. We were trying to nip it in the bud."

During the one-year abatement, city officials said, there was no nuisance activity at Krengel's property.

But they claimed she violated the abatement plan by bringing alcohol into her house, allowing someone else to bring in alcohol and refusing to allow officers inside for inspections.

District Judge Leslie Metzen granted a permanent injunction in November 2006, which Krengel appealed.

During the year away from home, Krengel lived at the Dorothy Day homeless shelter in St. Paul.

"It was one year of sleep deprivation," she said.

When Krengel returned home, she said, all her appliances, except the water heater, were no longer working.

"The city turned the water and the heat off, and the appliances broke down," she said.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous story continued said...

She also had to give her cats away.

"I was given 48 hours to leave," she said. "I'll never get back what I lost. Never."

Since Krengel has been back, Land said police have been called to her home once, over a domestic-related report.

In May 2008, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned Metzen's decision, concluding the city failed to comply with a state law that requires cities to prove two or more nuisance incidents occurred within 12 months before the injunction hearing.

The Supreme Court granted the city's petition for further review.

Land said city officials thought they were following state statute in seeking the injunction.

"I'm disappointed," she said. "I think that it was not clear that we didn't have the authority to seek the injunction."

Nick Ferraro can be reached at 651-228-2173.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I hope to like hell Alice sues the city of West Siant Paul for all she can get!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Alice Krengel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Alice YouTube said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

This case should teach Eric a lesson or two about cases that are not over until they are over.

It tells us that even if the Rico plaintiffs had some issues with their properties, the city cannot, as in the Krengel case, step over the line and retaliate with Hitler type enforcement remedies.

Now 29 police calls is alot but not the worst ever and I think it was fair for the city to have been concerned, but the overriding issue here is the underhanded way the city and court dealt with the situation.

This judge had no right to exclude a citizen from her home.

Again, an abuse of discretion that judges do hundereds of times a month causing citizens to spend more money on appeals and protracted litigation.

What gets me the most is the appellate cases I read where judges deny fathers evidentiary hearings in custody proceedings.

I think the city should not use abatement plans if those terms includes ones that will almost always result in the tenants being subjected to unreasonable terms. I would rather dispute the issue in court. Abatement plans most always favor the city so much that even a whisper or fabricated instance from another citizen or city employee will cause the city to involk the consequences violating the plan.

The city saying they were caught in a catch 22 is the most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard to justify its implementation of an abatement plan.

The cities abatement plan is proof enough that they knew what they were going to do and it's not like they haven't dealt with problem properties in the past.

The abatement terms were unreasonable to some degree and down right violative of privacy to require police to go in for random inspections.





Jeff Matiatos

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Crimes against Humanity said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue wasn't if the city could shut down a nuisance property, it can; the issue was that the city tried to evict her for not living up to the conditions of the agreement to not be evicted.

Where the City blew this was that they allowed her to stay in the house after all of those nuisance calls rather than just going for calling the building a public nuisance and demo'ing it. They worked out a plan for how she could stay there and then when she didn't live up to those conditions went to evict her from the house.

What the court is saying is sorry West Saint Paul the house wasn't a nuisance when you evicted her.

Its a lesson that City's will learn. Don't give problem property owners second chances.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

The city knows that the kind of nuisances were talking about are not structural.

I question whether the United States Supreme Court decision that allows citys to not take properties without just compensation, means cities can do so for these kinds of issues, not related to the building structure or for a public purpose.

I think the city knew that in this case, by not having an abatement plan and trying to demo the house instead would involve a court challange at great public expence and humiliation for the city.

I think a greater court would have found that the abatement plan for police to inspect the home at any time was unconstitutional.

This issue of the constitutionality of police entering the home was not argued or decided.

The city had better be very careful at crafting their abatement plans.



Jeff Matiatos

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Its a lesson that City's will learn. Don't give problem property owners second chances."

Yeah that's right Comrade.....just throw them out at the get go and be done with it. Let em try it and see what happens then.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city was wrong and the court has said so. Alice should sue the pants off of them.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Bill Dahn said...

Chuck

Did you know people like
"Ann Cook Thunderhawk" help Alice, She was working for "State Senator Sandy Pappas" and She contacted the news media to help Alice with the problem with City of W St.Paul.
Ann really tried to help Alice the first time she got screwed with, Ann Cook Thunderhawk wanted to help Alice because of her neighbors attitude against her for not selling out to the city.

W St.Paul had plans for the angled block of Allen St. and Dodd Rd.
To put up a Welcome To
West Saint Paul sign and flower garden there.

This meant the selling of the first "two or three" homes on that block, the neighbor on the corner was upset with Alice for NOT wanting to sell her home.

That was Alice's big pain, she loved her home and did not want to sell it or give it up.
The city wanted to beautify W St.Paul's main streets that enter their town.
They did it on the corner of Robert St. and Annapolis St, check it out and see why Alice and her neighbor were on bad terms.

One more thing Chuck, remember Ann Cook Thunderhawk was helping me with my home that made her and her friend from the black urban league ill, like Jesse and Dean Barkley did when they were they on July 19,1998.

Lets call this "anger by her neighbor", that's when most of Alice's problems started.

Bill Dahn for St. Paul Mayor!

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

I said the judge had no right to exclude someone from the home and I was wrong. I still maintain that it's unconstitutional.

So I guess one has to keep paying the mortgage on their home, can't stay there for a year, and has to pay to live somewhere else ?

To costly a price to pay.

Where did Alice go for a year ?



Jeff Matiatos

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff read the story. Alice lived at Dorthy Day.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the whole deal with the neighbor thing Bill. The Politicians are so cowardly that they give in to anything these neighbors want and it doesn't make any difference if it' legal or not. They don't care because they want to buy votes for the next election.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Chuck, nothing in the Minnesota Statutes at issue here ever gives the city the power to demo Krengels property. See 617.81 subd.4.

Your quick to suggest demo because maybe you would like to get your paws on her property for one of your pet projects.

St.Paul has in many, many cases, tried to impose restrictions on it's residents that don't conform to the law.

There are unconstitutional provisions in Minnesota Statute 617.81 relating to barring someone from their homestead and further implementing provisions that allow investigating officers to go into the home.





Jeff Matiatos

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

I read the story. It was an oversight that I didn't recall it at the moment I was posting. Thanks for pointing that out.



Jeff Matiatos

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

If I were Alice, would sue the city for negligent infliction of emptional distress, Abuse of process, and some other causes of action I will soon be recommending.

The city was well aware that its actions to exclude Alice from her home would result in a humiliating experience of becoming homeless and living on the street.

This law of forcing citizens out into the street is contrary to public policy.



Sue the hell out of them Alice !!!!!



Jeff Matiatos

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arrrggghhhh!!!

Folks read this again...

Police went to Krengel's home 29 times between September 2004 and July 2005, according to the city. In one instance, two drunken men assaulted each other with hammers. Krengel's guests were drunk and taken to detox. Twice, Krengel pleaded guilty to criminal charges of public nuisance.

-snip-

That was the nuisance case. She plead guilty. At that point the City had the ability to declare the property a public nuisance and knock it down, case closed good bye Alice.

What happened was that they went soft because she is a nice lady with a drinking problem. So instead of doing what the law would allow them to do they tried to "abate the problem" by monitoring her drinkig... how F'ing stupid are they????

She wasn't able to stay sober and they thought they could then go back to the original nuisance issue that she plead guilty to and take action.

Sorry, West Saint Paul, but the two nuisances in a year weren't in the last year, you missed your shot says the court of appeals and now the supreme court.

They were wrong to try to fix a housing issue by trying to fix the owner. They aren't in the CD business it is suppose to about housing and the use of the property was a nuisance in the neighborhood. If it wasn't a big enough problem to demo in 2005 they were crazy to try and get it in 2007 when she couldn't stay sober.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Dahn for St. Paul Mayor!

Where are the aluminum foil hats?

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

29 police calls and the city still can't trample on peoples' rights.

In St. Paul, they don't even need one police call. All an inspector has to be is insensitive. . .

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

They declared Alice a nuisance because of her drinking and unruly guests.

Again, Chuck you ignore the facts of the law, that do not provide that a home can be torn down in these circumstances.

It isn't in the law and wasn't part of the abatement agreement.

You calling the city " fucking stupid " is the best thing we ever heard come from you. Thanks Chuck :> .






Jeff Matiatos

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait until someone from the city hears that Chuck.

No more party favors for you .

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In St. Paul, they don't even need one police call. All an inspector has to be is insensitive. . ."

Or under orders from a certain city council person.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some low life's always speak of some aluminum foil hats!
You sound like your either a Democrat with a bad attitude or someone even lower then that.
A class or group lower then a Democrat is unheard of!
Is that your people Chris

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get Bud Shaver

The low life people in our cities government, what's WSP doing with Bud Shaver and his drugged up daughter?
Pick on Alice Krengle, then people aren't watching the Shaver family.
WSP or St.Paul, what did that lady say about then.
Not a dimes worth of difference between them.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff the law that they were working under said two nuisance convictions in 12 months and bring in the back hoes...

They can write laws like that.

They just can.

There are consequences for breaking laws and removing the offending property is a just consequence.

What went wrong here is they tried to abate Alice instead of the nuisance.... she isn't the nuisance the building is. So, the insane abatement plan was to have the house go to AA meetings... scratch that to have Alice go to AA meetings.

DUH!

West Saint Paul got what it deserved. If the community is suffering enough from a nuisance to have it removed, remove it. Don't play Bill W. Its not the City's job.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"she isn't the nuisance the building is."

And your fucking nuts! It's a behavior problem which menas people problem not a building problem. There was no nusiance at all while she was not there and that's the proof. To destroy someones home over behavior is rahter harsh and probably unconstitutional. You can't just do any damn thing you want to people because of sdome BS law Chuck. They do it granted....and they do it often, but they only do it to the people that don't have the money and gumption to fight back and every once in a while they pick on the worng guy and this time they found the wrong Alice. I hope she sues the hell of the city. They violated her right and the Court has said so. Now it should be a cake walk to the jury to see what the damage is worth.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:43 - is reading an issue for you? Can you read the story?

If she is an issue then the property isn't a nuisance. But, the property was a nuisance property by definition of what a nuisance is. So, the city had the right to demo it and the court never disputed that right of the city's to rid itself of a nuisance.

What the court said was that the law is that there has to be 2 convictions in the calendar year. Since there hadn't been any convictions since 2004 you can't do anything to the building.

They were doing it your way and that is why they lost. Once they decided the problem was Alice and not the building and they could fix Alice they were toast.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

" Once they decided the problem was Alice and not the building and they could fix Alice they were toast " Chuck


So you admit that it was not the building ?
When you refer to " they " you are talking about the city Chuck.

So then if you were a council person you would have voted to fix the person not the building.

That is what you mean.





Jeff Matiatos

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see the relevance with the failed RICO suits.

The city has ordinances, which were not ruled unconstitutional, even as Alice prevails the court doesn't strike down and comment on the legality of the ordinance.

What they did do was basically tell the city that they defeated themselves by showing that Alice could live there and not be a nuisance AFTER they declared her property a nuisance. If they would have tossed her following the letter of the law, they would not have been in the position to improperly force her out later using an arbitrary process.

The justices concluded the city did not have authority to seek an injunction banning Krengel from her Allen Avenue home because she was not a nuisance at the time the injunction was requested.

Now after reading all of this, you who claim to be friends of Alice should either probably get her some help for drinking or a lock to keep her friends in her house and yard.


Eric

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, ...

My point is exactly the opposite.

They screwed up as soon as they said the problem is the owner and not the house.

The law is designed to allow the City to demo the property if it has become a nuisance. Evidence is two convictions in a year. They had that.

What they did wrong was to "abate the nuisance" they came up with a scheme to send Alice to meetings. That was nuts.

The only abatement plan that they knew would work would be to demo the structure. Then the structure would no longer be a nuisance.

So, if I was on the City Council and someone would have proposed that the way to abate the property was to send the owner to AA meetings I would have first laughed my head off, then asked the staff that proposed it if he had been drinking and then I would have voted against that abatement plan and instead moved to remove the nuisance.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Just to make things clear for you Chuck.

Courts will only enforce statutory remedys that were available at the time of the offence and only what is permitted in the statute that is current to the offence. Ask any attorney.

Different nuisance violations require different remedys.

In this case, Minnesota Statute 617.81 Subd 4 guides the court on what remedys can be enforced in this matter. House demo is not one of them. See the statute.

The law was designed to allow abatement of the property, not the person. PERIOD ! Do you need the definition of property ?






Jeff Matiatos

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff we agree 100% and I see that the statute only allows you to nail the door shut for a year.

So, I would have moved to do that.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Good. But, there remains the question of constitutionality of keeping someone from their homestead for any period of time when that eviction ( of the sort ) does not relate to a deficiency of the property itself.

If the legislature had intended to make people homeless as a consequence, that would as our Supreme Courts have said, led to an absurd result and the court could strike it down.




Jeff Matiatos

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under Repkes senario, college kids who have 2 loud parties a year can be subject ot being homeless and having their abode demolished. Is that what you think is right Chuck is tearing down someones house cause neighbors might be irritated by a few parties. They's have to treat it the same because of equal protection and if they didn't then they'd get sued. Maybe the neighbors should just move out Chuck. Don't the renter have the right to have their qulaity of life and things important to them heald dear also? Parties are as important to college kids as peace and quiet is to the neighbors. While we're at it on the moving issue Repke, I was wondering if you may want to sell that rat trap of your for half of what it's worth? We could get together for lunch and pen out a deal.....one NOT including a commission of course.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't see the relevance with the failed RICO suits."

Those suits are not failed yet Eric. They are at Appeal

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:21 p.m.,

You don't have the right anywhere to irritate anybody.

It's against the law so if you want to party, you better make sure your neighbors are invited.

Then they can't call the cops on you.

Your irritating !!!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those suits are not failed yet Eric. They are at Appeal
7:25 PM


Which is why its failed.
Its already been judged in a federal circuit court to be without merit.

Eric

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:21 convicted of being a public nuisance...is not quite two loud partys...

Try....Police went to Krengel's home 29 times between September 2004 and July 2005, according to the city. In one instance, two drunken men assaulted each other with hammers. Krengel's guests were drunk and taken to detox. Twice, Krengel pleaded guilty to criminal charges of public nuisance.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Krengel had personal problems. That still does not mean the city can play God and jerk her around with housing codes.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public nuisance and property nuisance are two different things aren't they Chuck ?

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no they are not.

This state law codifies actions that allows cities to bar the doors of properties by declaring them public nuisances.

The problem West St Paul had is that instead of nailing the door shut when they could they tried to first do therapy on the owner. When that failed they tried to act under the original statute and couldn't.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

I wonder if Alice ever thought of using the state or federal homestead act as a defence to prevent the courts from enforcing Minnesota Statute 617.81 subd. 4
( kicking her out of the home for a year ) ?

National cases suggest and the homestead acts of several states prevent units of government from confinscating homes for violations of various drug offences and other crimes.

Holding that " The homestead act , under our public policy and law, is the one sacred place where the strong hand of the law is stayed ..... " .



Jeff Matiatos

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

I meant homestead rules, Minnesota statutes 273.124 etc.




Jeff Matiatos

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homestead exemptions Minnesota statutes 510.


Jeff Matiatos

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that seizure and sale of property of a homestead for drug related convictions per MN.Stat. 609.5311 subdv 2 2004 was unconstitutional to the extent that the seizure and sale would not mitigate the result sought from the sale or seizure.

We have to ask the question to the courts if permitting local units of government to remove citizens from their homes for a period of a year or less would also be unconstitutional. I think it is when you look at the reasons this court stated in it's decision.

Alice, this is your case. Use it.

Renvellie County Attorney vs. Real property known as 17138 880th Ave, Renville County Kent Feigum defendant A06-1507 A06-1757.


Jeff Matiatos

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Renville Co v. Kent Feigum said...

Alice has had to depend on others
Alice does NOT know how to use PC

Thank You for Case as it may help others.
Jeff put the link in your name

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Renville+Co.+v.+Real+Property+17138+880th+Ave+Kent+Feigum&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Sharon.





Jeff Matiatos

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff has opened a real can of worms with this Renville ruling in my opinion.A demolition could also be construed as a taking and often times when the city goes after a property for a nusiance prosecution it is because of criminal acts of one degree or another that irritate the neighbors.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

This Statute ( law ) of permitting local units of government to kick people out of their homes for nuisances is contrary to the spirit of the homestead act and or the constitutional rights of people to not have the government interefere with the homestead.

Current case law supports the proposition, that government takings and authority to interefere with the homestead is violative in circumstances where the defendants conduct doesn't rise to the level of severity to either take the property, or kick someone out. In otherwords, some other remedy could be used instead of taking the home or kicking them out.

I question why the city let this situation reach the point of permitting 29 violations to occur before it acted ? I think the city was lying in wait, sort of like the police setting up a speed trap.

Letting 29 violations pile up sure looks better to a judge than 1 or 2when kicking the citizen out of their home under this law.

The homestead act as we knew it was abolished in 1976. But, we have created laws and rules that govern land that has been claimed as a result of that act.

Now it's hardly ever been denied that criminals that are deserving for their crimes should be in jail and sometimes the end result means the loss of their home because of the incarceration. ( ie. they have to sell it for long periods of incarceration ).

But, what the court of appeals has said is that sale and seizure of a homestead, is to severe of a consequence and unlikely to remedy the problem.

Jail time and a fine would and should be the remedy instead in my opinion.

I believe that Krengels conduct should have been remedied with perhalps jail and or fines not eviction from her home for a year.

10-30 days jail / fine imposed or suspended would be enough to remedy the situation.

What did the legislature think it was going to acomplish by letting courts kick people out of their home for up to a year for nuisance violations ?

Sometimes homeless shelters can be full and alot of times, homeless people are turned away in the dead of winter.

Kicking a citizen who already has a home, out of that home can create homelessness such as this case did.

One less bed for a homeless person
because Krengel needed a place.

The legislature needs to get it's head out of it's ass.


Jeff Matiatos

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are on to something.
Krengels crime was being a public nusiance.
The guy in the Reneville County case had 25 lbs of dope in his house but the courts wouldn't let the county seize the home.
I would agree with you that there are just so many other ways to make people compliant than seizing homes and causing homelesness.
Tearing down homes for code violations is a violation of the homestead act.
Fines and civil penalties should be enough to persuade even the slummiest of landlords. If not, maybe jail.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Jason Klubben_Home Coon Rapids Police said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been a teen that used to frequent Alice's house, I felt the need to respond to tell what I personally witnessed. I was first introduced to Alice by 2 other neighborhood teens 1 night while looking for someone to buy us liquor. Alice had built a neighborhood wide reputation as it would seem, as "the go to person" for our underage liquor needs. At times, Alice would even "borrow" us money to get liquor which admittedly, we never paid back. Alice had 2 of her children living with her at the time that I was there, 2 young boys who's names I won't print here for obvious reasons. One of the 2 children suffered from some sort of mental disability. Alice would take myself and other teens, on tours of her home, showing us the various brand new items that she was able to purchase with money that she reported to have received from the government, including such items as, a video game console and surround sound, a computer, a television, the list goes on. You couldn't help but notice however, the piles of filth, garbage, and debris, or the foul stench of rotten food, animal feces, cat urine. (Alice had at least 10 cats at the time, not including the kittens.) A thick, pungent odor could often be smelled well outside and sometimes even across the street. There would be so much junk, that there were only walking paths through it. It was the type of place that you felt dirty for just looking at, let alone going inside. You couldn't help but notice the youngest child, running around the house completely nude, no diaper or anything, playing with dirty silverware on the floor. As a teen and not knowing better, I recall laughing 1 time with my friends as we had noticed that the child had urinated on the floor. This same child was also known to be found wondering around the house outside, at times more than a block away, naked and crying, while Alice would be passed out drunk in the house, or at times even in the front yard. There wasn't a single room in Alice's house that wasn't packed almost to the ceiling with junk. Alice had also been notorious for riding around on her 3 wheeled adult size bicycle, going to garage sales and thrift stores, buying what she would claim to be "antiques" yet, at least to us, seemed to be just plain junk. In fact, not only was Alice's house packed full of these "antiques", but so were her garage and giant barn sized storage out back. To us, Alice seemed a bit more than weird, yet, Alice's house was the place for us kids to go when we needed a place to drink or smoke pot. Many times, there would be someone living with Alice, selling the same pot that we would end up being able to smoke there. I even recall once where the older of the 2 sons, had gone into his moms (Alice) room and stole a bag full of marijuana and traded it to us for prize tickets and video game tokens from a local arcade. None of us were really surprised when the boys were eventually taken away. Everything I have just written or said, is the truth, and is the way I remember it. These are my personal opinions and observations. After having read the article here, I felt that I had to share what I recall of my time at Alice's home. I do feel that I should also add, that I recall watching the police park across or in front of Alice's house for long periods of time, daily. I do think that Alice made some bad decisions, and provided a place for some bad stuff to go on, but I think that the Police, the City, were wrong in the way that they went about handling the situation.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

continued -

In fact, some of the claims made by Alice regarding the city wanting her property, doesn't seem so far fetched at times. West Saint Paul has a program called P.A.C.E. (Pro-Active Code Enforcement) which according to them, is to maintain Quality Housing Stock and Quality Businesses, to Address Building, Housing and Property Maintenance Concerns, To Improve The Livability Of Our Neighborhoods And Viability Of Our Commercial Districts, and To Encourage Rehabilitation and Redevelopment Of Blighted Properties. Under the PACE Program, the City claims that it inspects every property for exterior housing, building and property maintenance violations within selected eight to twelve block areas called "Identified Inspection Districts". Inspection Districts are claimed to be selected on the basis on the frequency of CASE Calls and the proximity to other PACE areas, however, I am willing to bet that if you were to look at the cities low income areas, would happen to be the exact same districts targeted for pro active inspections. The City also has a HOUSING REPLACEMENT PROGRAM, which according to them, "is designed to address homes that are beyond the scope of rehabilitation." The program sponsors the replacement of deteriorating lower value housing on scattered sites throughout the City with larger, higher value single-family housing. Replacement is achieved through "voluntary" acquisition from a "willing" seller or from a homeowner "requesting" demolition assistance in order to make his or her own housing replacement plans financially possible. At times however, it seems that it is almost a way for the city to target and remove low income families within the city, in order to acquire their property, demolish their homes, and rebuild homes designed and targeted for a higher income bracket. Again, this is just my personal opinion and or observation.

For those interested, here are links to the Cities PACE and Housing Replacement Programs home pages.

http://www.ci.west-saint-paul.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_LIST&SEC={B5CEC4DA-B0C1-4774-9CDB-A9495B1DF2CD}

http://www.ci.west-saint-paul.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_LIST&SEC={85789BC4-E0CB-4D30-8C62-5DC156699ACF}

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For someone to post the kinds of detailed events and stuff that you say you witnessed inside krengels home, factor that into what I observe in your post to be propaganda, I think you are a city bafoon trying to alter the perception of the majority of posters here that disapprove of the way the city and courts dealt with this situation.

Sure, you make little mention of the way the city treated her but thats just a little ice cream for the readers.

Give us a little moretime, we'll figure out who you are.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I said in my original comment, I was just 1 of the many teens that had been around over the years at Alice's house. I do not, nor have I ever, worked for or had any affiliation with, any city, state, county, or any other related entity. I could give my name, address of where I myself stayed within the 40 acres of West Saint Paul, names of quite a few of the other teens that had been there at the time, including neighbors at the time, and even names of some of the residents at the time, however, none of that would make anything that I said anymore, or any less, true. Not sure what you considered to be propaganda, but I can assure you that I am not here to alter anyone's perception of Alice, but to only share my own, personal story involving my own experiences at her house. I apologize if what I'm saying somehow ruins the perception of the Alice Krengel that you have come to have known, but as I said many times, I am only stating my own personal opinions and experiences while at and around Alice's house. How would a city bafoon know that the video game console that I spoke of for example, was a Nintendo 64, or about the time that R. Krengel went into his mothers room and took a large bag of Marijuana to trade to another teen for arcade tokens. How would I know that the gentlemen whose Marijuana that was, was a vagrant from Texas staying with Alice at the time. How would I know about former resident Tony M.'s weird vampire role playing on the computer that she had in the dining room? Or that he had to heat up water to wash his hair because there was no hot water at the time? (Both boys living with her at this time by the way.) Do you really think that these details are things that a city bafoon would really know or have access to? Trust me, I was there. Just by the information of the 2 former residents that stayed at Alice's that I mentioned, should help to indicate a time frame for when I was there. Or perhaps I could throw in a certain pregnant teenage girl that stayed there. That also should indicate the time frame to which I am referring. Granted, she only stayed there for a week or so at the most, but I would think that Alice would remember this. I should point out that I have no ill will towards Alice. I am only upset at the way that she helped to contribute to my own teen drinking and delinquency, and allowed others to do so as well around her. I have since grown up, am sober, and enjoying life. I am glad that Alice has won her case, and I do hope that she files suits against the city and the police or anyone else that she can, however, I would hope that any rewards or money that she receives from it, that she would use in a good way. I hope that she remains sober herself, and perhaps thinks of her children and maybe send a little something their way. And contrary to what you say, I DO think that the city, the police, and the city courts, and all those involved, DID wrong in the way that they dealt with the situation. I agree 100%. They were wrong, they had it out for Alice, and cut corners and broke the rules to try to get what they wanted. I do not dispute that in any way. I again, only state what I saw, lived, and know. I am not saying that makes Alice any less or anymore of a victim. I allow you and the other readers to make your own conclusions and judgments. Everyone after all is entitled to their own opinion.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Telling us your name would help us with the credibility of your story.

Your opinions and experiences are purly speculative and hypothetical if you can't back them up.

You keep asking " How would I know " .

Well, the city has ways of finding out anything.

You mentioned police parked outside her house for hours on ends.

You could be the cop that was sitting out there casing the place for this and that, and started asking the neighborhood kids what went on in the house.

Sorry, you tell a good story that could be anyones life experiences.

All someone has to do is take any story they want and change the names of the people to suit the situation.

I think thats what you have done.

Come out with your name and let us evaluate the credibility of your opinions and experiences. Thats all they are.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

6:06, I am trying real hard to stay neutral on the topics, however, your intentions are so obvious. Many of us participating here can't spell so good, or use good grammar, but one thing for sure, nobody here is stupid.

Alice wasn't a popular neighbor, nobody disputes that. Alice hasn't been put on a pedestal here either.

What citizens are upset about is our government crossed the line and violated Alice's rights. It shouldn't matter whether Alice was a preacher , a drunk or a thug.

I am sick and tired of the elites mentality that these civil rights violations are acceptable "if" it happens to a citizen the government or an individual, can deem undesirable. This mentality will take us down a very long rocky road for the future if it is allowed to flourish. Today it is Alice's rights, tomorrow it maybe your rights 6:06.

Our government is responsible to US! When the most vulnerable among us has been violated by our representatives in government we all have been violated as a whole.

I spoke with Alice, I have encouraged her to sue the City of West Saint Paul. I referred Alice to excellent legal council.

NOW, the City of West Saint Paul is going to pay retribution to Alice. And in doing so, they will be vindicating all of us who are offended by what happened to Alice.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Bob, you didn't get my e-mail ?

I sure would like to talk with Alice and speak my mind and offer some, you know, advise.







Jeff Matiatos

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you guys completely ignored what I said at 6:07, and in both of my other comments. Our government crossed the line and violated Alice's rights, and I believe still continues to do so to others. I agree, and it DOES concern me very much, and I also worry that myself or anyone else could be next. That is also why I won't disclose my name here 10:32, sorry. I also have to live here in the city, and don't want any added problems for myself or those around me. The streets can be rough in the Twin Cities at times, but it's the local Government that happens to scare me. Besides, I'm pretty sure that Alice has a pretty good idea of who I am. Willing to bet that she remembers the time coming into R.C. Dicks where I happened to be working at the time, and running into me after I had just gotten out of Boys Totem Town, trying to get my life back together, and having the nerve to ask me if I had any of the money that I had borrowed for liquor years earlier. If she doesn't, then oh well. Whether she does or doesn't remember, and whether you believe I am who I am or not, doesn't change what happened, what I myself lived through. By sharing my story, I had hoped that people would have more background information on this situation, not that it makes anything that the city did right. To me, it seemed as though people were making Alice out to be some sort of saint that did no wrong what so ever, and that the city was just picking on her because they wanted her property for whatever reason. THAT is why I posted my comments. But again, I do agree, that no matter what she did, that does NOT give them the right to do what they did! I may not have liked some of the choices that Alice made, but I agree, that DOES NOT give the city the right to do what they did, and I hope that she makes them regret it!

The sad thing however, is that nobody really wins here. Even after this case, and after Alice (hopefully) files suits against all those involved, they'll (the city, county, etc) still be in business, doing this to someone else. I think that if they are going to have a pro active code enforcement, then it should be city wide, and not just "target areas". I think that the guy with the clipboard should visit all the homes if that's the case, not just those that happen to be in target areas, the same areas that just so happen to be the low income areas. I agree with you 200% 11:42, and I'm sorry if you took what I said in 6:06 as a justification for what the city did to Alice. That was not my intention. They were wrong, and now I'm sure it's going to cost them, which it should. Removing someone from their home is HUGE in my opinion and shouldn't be taken lightly. There should be some sort of serious due process, which they obviously failed with here. I am all for cleaning up the neighborhoods and making it a place that we can all call home and enjoy, but not at the cost of our rights.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, your trying to stay neutral alright, by runnining out because Chuck said something to you so your going to remove the opinions of others ?
What the hell kind of blog is this anyways?
I think it's time you get out of this Bob before it drives you crazy.
Please make up your mind Bob, but stop removing others postings.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you wish about Alice Krengle, it doesn't change what West St.Paul and Dakota County pulled on her.
W.S.P has been getting a lot of bad P R lately, and it doen't supprise me.
About Alice, and getting to see what they pull on the poorer people in our cities.
Point at the mayor, city council members and the police chief on how this bad press works on your town.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If some eople didn't spam the blog and other remained on subject maybe Bob would not be removing things. I for one am glad he does.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Anonymous said...
Ya, your trying to stay neutral alright, by runnining out because Chuck said something to you so your going to remove the opinions of others ?
What the hell kind of blog is this anyways?
I think it's time you get out of this Bob before it drives you crazy.
Please make up your mind Bob, but stop removing others postings.

10:12 AM

My response;
First I apologise to you and others if I deleted your comments. I was angry with myself for not having my facts straight on a topic, and Chuck served me up a platter of crow meat, with sauteed maggots. :) After careful consideration I wished I hadn't deleted the topics. I f**ked up! I am only human. Isn't the first time I ate crow. It is the first time I threw the crow meat out the window! :)

I have been here for "years" bringing the fight to the door steps of those our issues concern. Fighting for the rights of individuals and all of us in a very active public way. And it all comes from my heart. I've said it many times in the past. My conscience drives me.

This blog is the undisputed battle dome! The regulars here aren't posters, they are gladiators! From time to time I enjoy warming the bench and I need these breaks. I have a moderator and will ask this person to take over more often so I don't go CRAZY! :)

I have many days I wished like hell I hadn't taken on the responsibility of this forum. Who wouldn't? But, the A Democracy Town Hall continues on, almost 4years now!

Thanks to all of you who participate here and lurk.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

Thanks for tackling this mess.

The road is crooked and steep (like some attroneys I know :). The truth and idiocy are often mixed, and not always in proper proportion. It takes some major course corrections to keep things anywhere close to being on track.

But the stakes are high. It is important to find the truth.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kick theeir asses Alice.
Pay back, one year at Dorothy Day was HELL.
You pal

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey Alice"!
BUD SHAVER's Daulter
Anna Terese Shaver, was
"arrested again"!
The West St.Paul Police Chief Bud Shaver, was he supplying the stash for his daulter and friends.
The Biggest crooks are always inside government somewhere.

7:29 PM  

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