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.