Skaters are being blamed for vandalism at park

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By The Staff

To the editor;

This is in response to the April 2 front page article on vandalism at the River Road “skate park.” The reasons for removing the skate park equipment where listed as vandalism, littering, and foul language. I agree all of these things should not be happening in the park area at all.

The problem I see, however, is the following... one of the county’s Magistrate’s was quoted as saying “I’m not going to blame them...” in regards to skateboarders. Also, the city’s recreation director was quoted as saying “I’m not blaming any entity,” and “I’m not blaming skateboarders.” If these are true statements, then the question is why is the last remaining basketball rim not being taken down as well? If skateboarders truly are not being blamed, then apparently the problems of vandalism, littering, and foul language are very possibly being participated in by those who use the basketball goal as well. By not removing that equipment, it sends a message that the skateboarders were the problem.

There should be equally fair steps taken in order to clean up a section of the park that has “a history” of “being an area in the park that is not well kept.” I, myself, do not like the idea of children playing on playground equipment hearing foul language, but this can very easily still occur due to the close proximity of a group of people using the basketball goal. My suggestion is make it fair Those in direct charge of this area should remove the rim of the basketball goal, block off the area or extend it for playground use or picnic areas. This would help to deter most of the trouble in the area.

My hopes are that if a new area is designated for the skateboarding youth, it is a safe area, a nice area. If you look at where the city of Georgetown’s skate park is located, you see it’s in a nice area, off by itself where no bystanders are being troubled by it. Above all, it’s well taken care of - no graffiti or vandalism to be seen. I believe that people, even teens and young adults, would have more respect for a nice park area and feel more obligated to cleanup and have ownership and responsibility of the area than with areas that are known for being “not well kept” and unsafe. The previous two sites for the skate park equipment, Water Street and the far end of River Road Park are both known to be problem areas of the city for various reasons, and are no place for the numerous skateboarding youth of our city.

Such nice areas are built for those youth who choose to participate in baseball, football, track, and basketball; Shouldn’t the youth of Cynthiana who choose to participate in skateboarding also have a nice area? It doesn’t have to be an area as big as surrounding counties offer for skateboarding, just give them the chance to take care of a respectable skateboarding area. These are smart kids, good kids, most of them. Don’t push them off to areas of the city that are “out of sight, out of mind” and are already in poor condition and are considered to be in need of clean up. Don’t they deserve better?

Jason Rice