Skateboard kids “look like delinquents”

I was poking around the internets today, looking for stuff on megahouses that are supposedly taking over Seattle’s neighborhoods, (check out what Paul, a fellow HA blogger, had to say about the issue here) when I came something else.

I ran across the minutes of a Laurelhurst Community Council meeting, at which skateparks were under discussion:

Dillana Crawford emailed on 9/18 to express strong opposition to a skatepark at the Playfield (she lives across the street). She thought a skatepark would bring more traffic and pointed out that there are already parking and speeding problems. She was concerned that a skatepark would become another place for teenagers to hangout in the evening and lead to more nighttime disruption and underage drinking. She also had concerns about noise and graffiti. Stacy Graves emailed on 9/19 to say she hoped there would be no skatepark anywhere near Laurelhurst. She said that kids that hang out at skateparks look like delinquents. She is worried about property vandalism and negative role models for neighborhood children.

I know Laurelhurst to be one of those WASP neighborhoods where Jews weren’t allowed to live until about 1958. Lots of WASPs who gave birth to children, and those children turned into rich, bored kids, who spent their weekends drinking themselves into oblivion. So the idea that a skatepark might bring in underage drinking… well. I’ve probably been to house parties in these people’s basements.

While these comments are somewhat ignorant, I DO like the old folks who go to bat for a skatepark:

Fred Wemer emailed on 9/20 to say he likes the idea of a skatepark in the neighborhood. He is 68 years old and said he wouldn’t use it, but maybe his grandchildren would use it instead of watching television. Mimi Winslow emailed on the same day and said she also supported a skatepark. Debbie Jenner emailed on 9/25 to express strong support for a neighborhood skatepark. She is an ex-skateboarder and mother of three school age children (12, 10 and 7) who are avid skateboarders. The only options are skateboarding in Ballard, in Fremont where it costs $8 per person or on the street. Jenner thinks that a skatepark in the neighborhood would bring kids from Laurelhurst Elementary, Eckstein, Villa, Assumption and nearby high schools together to socialize.

It’s funny that the people who have an inkling of what skateboarding really is have no problem with a skatepark in their neighborhood. Especially that 68 y/o guy (bless his pea-pickin’ heart). Don’t sell yourself short, Fred.

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    It’s sad, Will, but far too many parents want their kids in front of a television instead of outside, because outside is deemed too unsafe.

  2. 2

    Hannah spews:

    Will,

    Great piece! Kids need an outlet instead of video games and TV/Movies. The one writer claiming them to “look like delinquents” and worried about property vandalism? My gosh, considering kids have no where to “play” anymore as the high rises take over any open space, she should be worried without a place to “play” these kids will end up actually destroying property for something to do!

    I love the 68 year old, kids need to be outside…we already have big issues with childhood obesity due to lack of exercise! Good for him!

  3. 3

    Mike in Pioneer Square spews:

    Skate parks suck. The kids aren’t going to stop skateboarding and tagging the rest of the city just because you build a skate park. Besides skateboarding and tagging are so “1990’s”. It’s a fad. Before long they’ll decide they want a roller skating rink, a bowling alley or something else. Don’t waste the money.

    Why is it that Seattle’s liberals automatically rush to the defense of the people who are destructive to the city? That’s not “progressive”, it’s stupid.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    One of those rich, bored kids was Bill Gates Jr. Because his parents didn’t get him a skateboard and Laurelhurst didn’t have a skatepark, he ran away from home to Arizona, broke into construction sites with his buddy Paul Allen, and hot-wired bulldozers which they raced up and down the streets. If somebody had given these delinquents skateboards and a place to use them, we’d all be using Macs now.

  5. 5

    ArtFart spews:

    3 It might just as easily be argued that the folks leveling block after block to build cookie-cutter cardboard condiminia are doing far more to “destroy the city”. Mind you, neither contention is entirely correct, but neither is completely wrong, either.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Baseball stadiums are a fad, too. The idea of grown men running after a ball hit with a stick is absurd! It won’t last.

  7. 8

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    The Laurelhurst people are a bunch of nimbys anyway, always have been. Just ask Children’s.

  8. 16

    spews:

    An old woman who thinks skateboarders look like delinquents? And that’s post-worthy? Wow. It must be a slow news day.

  9. 17

    Rod spews:

    I grew up on Mercer Island, where incidentally, Jews were welcome. We had a skate park, too at the old East Seattle School, in one of the Island’s poorer neighborhoods. The kids who dominated the skate park were the same kids who ended up dropping out, or in “contract” high school. I’m not saying there was causation. But there was definitely correlation. Just sayin’.

  10. 18

    Broadway Joe spews:

    3:

    People have been saying ‘Skateboarding is a fad’ for over 40 years! Clearly you’ve not received the memo that if people have been claiming something is a fad for 40 years, it’s not a ‘fad’ any more. Those who correlate skateboarding with delinquency are the ones who usually just think all kids are delinquents anyway. Kinda like the old farts who proposed once that the Sequim School District switch to a year-round schedule, to make it easier to throw up chain-link fences up around all the schools to keep the little bastards locked up for good. That was a memorable letter to the editor of the Peninsula Daily News back in the day.

    Gotta love those old Bircher bastards. You know, the ones who’d probably consider the trolls here ‘too liberal’……

  11. 19

    spews:

    Here in Kirkland we’ve got a teen center that attracts hundreds of kids sometimes, for concerts. Seems pretty cool to me! Although I hated dances, when I was in HS. I’m glad its there. But where do all the 10s of thousands of teens go, from age 16-20? Answer: almost all of them are at home, just like their parents. Usually alone, usually online. When they’re with friends they are at each other’s homes. America does it at home. Separated, we’re easy to control.

  12. 20

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    #4 Roger Rabbit says:

    …we’d all be using Macs now.

       
    And the world would be a better place.

  13. 21

    exelizabeth spews:

    Well, Laurelhurst hates children. This is a documented fact.

    Maybe they should build a Milford School there. Where children are neither seen nor heard.

  14. 22

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