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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Rainmaker Wanted


This optical illusion speaks volumes to me. As it turned out, "the arrow" points to a skatepark that I came upon in my travels. It was so well done, so evolved in terms of progression and accessibility and fun, I was again reminded of what a tremendous resource it is for an area. To see the joy offered to kids of every age, even for the youngest, was inspiring.

Upon returning to Brattleboro, it was with some dismay that I saw we did not become a finalist for one of the Artplace grants, the windfall that was hoped to be the penny drop from heaven that would end our drought, and prime the pump.

You can review the Artplace finalists here. Especially difficult to swallow is the fact that the closest finalist to here is in Greenfield, MA. And incidentally, even somewhat perversely, the project under consideration there is for a skatepark. The only such kind of project among all the finalists.  Good luck to them, sincerely.

What's it going to take for somebody to make it rain here?

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brownfields

The Greenfield project is to improve a brownfield by capping it with a skatepark. The report says they are rebuilding a skatepark previously removed from town. Good plan!

Brownfield locations often need to be covered with materials to prevent the dangerous particles from being kicked up into the air. Paving over with a skatepark is a good way to do it. Brattleboro recently got lots of money to do studies of brownfield sites in town, and the Windham Regional Commission has access to funds for "clean-up" of those sites.

It might be a good strategy to have the skatepark committee meet with Planning and WRC regarding brownfield sites and the opportunities, if any, to make additional skateparks around town. For example, there is a project underway right now to figure out what to do along the Whetstone brook. One image suggested a paved amphitheater for sitting, watching, performing. It was very much like a skatepark.

Was the Living Memorial Park Act 250 amendment approved during this legislative session? If so, a loud proclaiming that the project is cleared for take-off might get the funds flowing again. Carol Lolatte, historically, seems quite good at hustling up the necessary funds for rec projects when it is their time.

(If we're still waiting for the Act 250 work... then why are we still waiting for this? It adds parks to a park. Recreation to recreation.)

 
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Cleaning up?

I had to look up what “brownfields” are. There is the issue of possible industrial contamination. I guess it depends on the kinds of contamination here in Brattleboro the sites need cleaning up from.

 
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Enduring power of flow

Speaking of Rainmakers, worth noting: Burlington opened its new waterfront skatepark officially this month. On hand was legend Tony Hawk. It was the 500th park project his foundation had given financial support to.

http://solidarityofunbridledlabour.com/2016/06/droppin-in-with-legends/.
Plenty of youtube coverage of the festivities if you are so inclined.

So, this is very much still a thing that's done, not gone away, as some scoffers had predicted.

 
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bit of an update

I asked around. Act 250 amending is still pending, but could be approved at any time (i.e., no need to wait until next legislative session). Fundraising video in progress, too.

 
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hopeless?

Each year like clockwork the custom of me getting busted skating in Brattleboro comes around, and today the annual tradition was renewed. I was on my longboard in a big parking lot, away from all cars. A security agent came over, walkie talkie in hand, with news that I was in violation of town ordinance and if I did not leave immediately the police would be summoned. There was no signage prohibiting this where I was skating. An onlooker was nearby and we were both fairly incredulous. He because the sight of a guy young enough to be my son was cracking down on this most benign moment far from any possible entanglement, and me because....because...I can barely contain my exasperation.

Of course, I realize to challenge the security guy is pointless...But where am I, where are we supposed to go? And what does it say that with regularity, whenever I try to get some exercise- and for those not aware, longboarding is gentle, smooth, rolling, rhythmic, quiet, more cardio than percussive- I am shut down.

 
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a skateboard ordinance protest

It's bad enough that the skatepark is stalled until the wind stops blowing forever, except blowin' out of you know where, but this denial of the rights of self determination is getting tedious. If I had two good feet again, I'd organize a skateboard ordinance protest. But I don't.

 

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