CRETIN: /kret'in/, /kree'tn/, n.
Congenital loser; an obnoxious person; someone who can't do anything right

CONCRETIN: /kahn'kret'in/, /kahn'kree'tn/, n.
Cretin who loves to skate concrete

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's about time...

The city is going to clean up the graffiti at the skatepark. BF Deal! Shall I tell you how I really feel? Ok, here it goes... (This is in response to the newpaper article on the front page of today's newspaper, because I doubt they'll publish such a long letter to the editor.)

Surprise, there's a bunch of graffiti at the skatepark. That's what happens when you let it continue for months. The "artist" see that nothing is being done, so it continues. I'm not saying graffiti needs to be cleaned up every week, but leaving so much for so long isn't a good idea. And I use the term "artist" VERY loosely, because if you've seen the work, you can tell it's all done by no talent hacks and lame taggers who don't skate or ride bikes. They simply couldn't, because I'm sure their pants are hanging at their knees.

The city is going to close the park for a week to clean it up. Because that's how slow the city workers work. Come by some weekend morning and see how the clean up crew works. They do a great job of air sweeping the pedestrian areas, and emptying the trash cans. That's it. The trash left IN the skatepark, remains. Until the skaters (usually the older ones) take it to a trash can. The debris in the bowls, which sometimes includes glass is removed, but never by the city workers. Skaters clean it out. (Derby Festival weeks not included. The city workers do a nice job then. Can't let the world see how little we care about the park now can we?)

I'm glad the police are driving by on a regular basis, but there's a reason most of the vandalism is in the "deep end." You cannot see this area from the street. You can't even see this area from most of the interior of the park. I do not blame the police for the delinquents actions, but they shouldn't try to tell me they are doing everything they can. An officer driving by a seemingly empty park does nothing. Absolutely nothing. Even if it's crowded, a drive by does nada. An officer(or two, or three) actually IN a crowded park, on a Friday or Saturday night, now THAT is something I'd like to see regularly.

Did you know there ARE video cameras partially installed at the park? But the installation was never completed. Why? That's an excellent question. I remember a news conference with Mayor Armstrong touting the ability of park users (and parents) being able to go online to see the goings on. I remember thinking how great it would be to see how crowded, or wet, the park was before I ventured downtown for a session. I don't see how a camera witnessing a crime invites any additional liablity as a police officer witnessing it. Though, I probably shouldn't say that, because now there's a reason to stop the patrols. If you want us to police ourselves, be prepared for this skater to get his conceal and carry permit. Again, not a good idea.

People need to stop complaining about "their" tax dollars being used for maintenance. I don't use playgrounds, baseball diamonds, basketball or tennis courts provided in virtually every public park in Louisville, but I know that people do. I don't get to determine where my percentage of tax dollars goes, neither do you. Deal with it. Shut up and vote. Moving on.

Maintenance of any park is essential. If the feelings of the community are hurt because of the money spent to remove the graffiti, then leave it, and spend the money on more important maintenance, such as the chips in the concrete in the pipe. Non-skaters have no idea how dangerous this truly is. Currently, the city has left it up to the users to patch these holes, as they have done on at least 3 different occasions over the past 4 years. Also, there was apparently $45,000 expected to be spent on shade structures. The clean up costs $10,000, so that leaves another $35,000, but I'm willing to bet that will not be spent or even earmarked for the skatepark any longer. We'll not discuss the hundreds of thousands initially approved for Phase II, that was quickly dispersed among other parts of the community a few years ago. We are still waiting for that thank you note.

So, AGAIN, I commend Mayor Armstrong and Wormhoudt, Inc. for providing a stellar facility. But I give no thanks to Mayor Jerry or most of the citizens of MetroLouisville. I feel the pedestrians that backed the park, only did it so the skaters would (hopefully) stop coming to their street. Complain about the clean up all you want. The park will close in several years anyway, never to return I suspect. When the pedestrians have a more important reason... new highway construction. Until then, I'll see you at the park every weekend.


  • At 9:07 PM, Blogger Skidzilla said…

    A Note I sent to a buddy who asked for my opinion:

    I'm definitely concerned about the whole situation. I personally don't care about the graffiti, other than it is a constant reminder of how little is earmarked for the park and the maintenance therein. Disneyland (big stretch analogously, I realize) has a team of people who cruise thru the bathrooms everyday all day long to deal with graffiti. It is covered shortly after it is crafted and the perps cannot brag about it or show it off - it's gone before they return to the site. A bit agressive, but the point, I suppose, is 'a stitch in time saves nine.' Had the graffitti been dealt with early and often, people would know the park is not their canvas. Instead it was allowed to flourish and expand for months.

    The conspiricist in me believes it was intentionally allowed to go unchecked to garner public outcry. Now citizens are pissed because they see $10,000 of tax money going to a cause they don't support. I have several thoughts on the rage about the money; 1) Millions of dollars are spent on things people don't use/want all year long, we just don't get to see it itemized, 2) $10,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on something that only mentally bothers people (the graffiti is not preventing anyone from using the park for its intended purpose), 3) $10,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend, when, if asked, the bike/skate community that uses the park would gladly volunteer time and effort to cover the graffiti with paint and/or city approved graffiti - especially if it meant allowing the park to stay open and rideable. I also think some a request from the administration for community help will instill a sense of ownership for the park users will be more vigilant in self policing the area.

    I am also concerned that a method of 'cleaning' will be used that will render the park unrideable (to skaters anyway) by destroying the surface.

  • At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Spend the money on more important maintenance, such as the chips in the concrete in the pipe. Non-skaters have no idea how dangerous this truly is".

    Yeah, just ask Bam.

  • At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's alex, My aunt works for city parks She was so mad when they put the cameras up because they weren't real cameras they were just models of cameras. I guess the real thing just isn't good enough today


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