Sunday, November 14, 2004

New County Skate Parks, good for MDs

Three public hearings are slated for the county as it hopes to build skate parks. Skate parks are great injury zones and perfectly suited for E.R. parking lots. My kids won't be there. The county can do about a million other, better things for the kids.

This move, by both the city and county, to build skate parks is about 15 years behind the curve. Fits the trend: too late.

The other trend: one step better than worse. Perhaps it is worse to do nothing. So, let's do a step better than nothing and build a skate park.

Photo: Nice helmet dude. The photo comes from an ISP trying to drum up business. We can do your web site because we can catch some air at a skate park. Say what?

As is my regular mode of operation and style, I take that extra step. I try to go well beyond simply pointing out only the negative by offering alternative, better suggestions.

Here is what I'd do as an alternative: kayaks. Build outdoor kayak parking stalls so folks can build and buy their own boats and lock them up. Sites at North Park, Deer Lakes, Boyce, Settlers Cabin, South Park all have nice water access spots and fringe zones along with ample parking lot. Plus, the swim pools in each can be used. Toss in Highland Park, North Side's commons and Panther Hollow for city locations. Then the kids can play kayak water polo on the water.

The "canoe polo" endeavor would beat the snot out of skate parks in the minds of the kids and for overall wellness of the region.


Anonymous said...

You are about the biggest douche bag I have ever come across. Are you that out of the times or is skateboarding really 15 years too late? Are you aware that skateboarding is now the #1 activity among teenage youths? It has beaten out traditional team sports like football, baseball, and basketball. Its a good thing your kids won't be there, kayaking could use a few more losers.

Matthew Keller said...

I am disappointed when I read articles like this. I am a kayak builder, instructor, and educator. However, we don't really help our sport of kayaking by bashing another sport. Here is another perspective. Kayaking, being an option for those who prefer individual sports, draws the same people who skateboard, rollerblade, and ride bmx. Not all of us are attracted to getting bashed on a football field or hockey rink. Instead we prefer to get our thrills taking calculated risks. I suppose you also think we should stop our local kayak rolling classes? Someone could drown, right?

Remember, positivity goes a lot farther than bashing.

Matthew Keller
Fellow kayaker, fisherman, father, home-owner, retail manager, and ...oh yeh....SKATEBOARDER!

Mark Rauterkus said...

You are right. I should not 'bash' other sports.

I do -- however -- have a strong opinion about NOT using TAX dollars (public money) on the building of skateboard parks. That isn't healthy.

Likewise, I don't gamble. But I hate the idea of using tax money on a gambling casino.

If skate parks were viable -- as casinos and slots parlors -- fine for the private sector to do.

I'd even be okay with a private lease within a public space / park for such a park.

So, I need to make sure that the bashing goes to a specific focus area of the process and operation -- spending of tax money for that activity.

Anonymous said...

Atleast skating keeps the kids off drugs ... trust me, skating stoned is not working at all. But the same goes for kayaking, I guess.

And skating is not 15 years too late, it has been there are along, if you think about it there is also a reason why teenagers love it, it's a very intense, rewarding and adrenaline filled sport that on the other hand completely lacks competition, you don't have to win over someone else (and make him feel bad) to have a good time, it's just you and your board and what you do with it.

However, just out of interest, did any kid ever drown while kayaking? I certainly don't hope so, just would like to know.