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Consecrated Land

It has been reported elsewhere that the Selectboard will do prospective skatepark site visits on Monday Aug 4th, from 5:30 to 7. They’ll be going from Elm St to Crowell, then Living Memorial Park.  It was requested that skaters attend to provide input. I am unable to attend, so I’m providing my feedback here. I’ve been thinking about this—again—lately, confounded whether to shut up, or push through to the end, come what may.

It seems to me for a fully informed view, the Selectboard has the opportunity to see three skateparks, all within an hour, that show a working model of each of the current options on the table. Keene, Northampton, Fitchburg. Respectively: a steel and steely downtown park, a new concrete plaza in a green space adjacent to homes, and a varied terrain multi-featured skate facility within the town's mixed-use recreation center, also set in a residential neighborhood. But I don’t expect these visits to happen. And besides they only provide a snapshot of what goes on in the moment. Skatepark energies and usage vary like New England weather.

One thing that continues to irk me  >>> metaphor police can suit up now if they’d like <<<  It seems that inviting skaters to weigh in at this point is akin to asking the Native Americans to come to a meeting about the siting of a reservation.  Not only has original intent been thwarted, treaties abandoned, hostilities fanned, and hopes played with, but the prospects for such vistas are daunting. Regarding at least two of those spots, the settlers have vowed retributive action, and the Cavalry is really offering no assurance of safety.

Adding to the absurdity. At the end of the process, the great white fathers (and mothers) will redistrict the land, but the tribes will have to raise their own funds in which to build and set up shop amidst such hostilities. What could go wrong?   Again, like Crazy Horse and Sitting bull discovered, the choice may be no choice. However it's sliced, it doesnt feel like a holistic vision.

Maybe history can offer us an answer?  If we can find an appropriately neutral spot—say somewhere near the river— and set up a ring of slot machines around the perimeter, riches will pour in many times over to pay for such a facility. It might even stand as a form of redress, however perverse. 

I really don’t know. I’m just cracking the window on my bound and baffled muse.

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being heard

There is great benefit to posting comments here -- broadens awareness and interest, etc. I worry, though, that people feel so disenfranchised about contacting their elected officials that they don't even bother to send a copy of their comments to them. Official correspondence, sent to official addresses, puts your contributions on a higher importance level. If enough people spoke up in official ways, including VOTING when that comes around, eventually some (not all) things will change. Please consider, especially in this age of easy "cut and paste" and electronic communications, sending your comments to the town fathers and mothers. I urge everyone, no matter what position you hold on this and any other issues, to do the same.


I will attempt to cheer you.

I will attempt to cheer you. It may fail.

For the first time, the town has gone through an official siting process, and four sites rose to the top of the list. One (or more) will be home to a skatepark. When the next round of designs are made, it will be built.

There is still a bit of time left to try to influence the Selectboard decision, so people are properly raising their concerns at this time. Once the decision has been made, we all need to respect it and help make the park as good as it can be. Wherever it goes, someone will be thrilled and someone will be annoyed. But once it is built, which could be as soon as next summer, it will simply be there. If its a good park, it will be used and enjoyed in any of the four locations.

In somewhat related news, my latest catalog of park benches, bike racks, picnic tables, and bleachers arrived this week. Next to the bike racks, they were offering a new item - a skateboard rack:

"Secure skate board rack is made of 4" O.D. axle locking tube and 2" square tube legs. Easy to install. Accommodates long boards. Ideal for schools, libraries, skate-parks, malls. Single side holds 4, double side holds 8 skateboards. Locks with padlock. Surface mount." A galvanized single side is $388, and $546 for the double side.

The catalog also has cool new water fountains that fill water bottles and have low bowls for dogs. Water fountains are in the $2-4,000 range, though.


Endeavor to persevere!

Endeavor to persevere!

'We told him about how our land had been stolen and how our people were dying. When we finished he shook our hands and said, "endeavor to persevere!"

They stood us in a line: John Jumper, Chili McIntosh, Buffalo Hump, Jim Buckmark, and me — I am Lone Watie. They took our pictures. And the newspapers said, "Indians vow to endeavor to persevere."

We thought about it for a long time. "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.'


"It seems that inviting

"It seems that inviting skaters to weigh in at this point is akin to asking the Native Americans to come to a meeting about siting a reservation."

The metaphor police want to do more than just immediately suit up call to arms, they want to reprimand such demeaning comments and make them do community service for denying and not respecting such a community process has actually taken place after all this time. I might add, had come about by those rigorous efforts from concerned citizens raising issues and dislodging the stones of obstacle once purposely set in place to trip them up, but rather managed to exposed level ground, freeing it up and clearing the slate in order to make it assessable to the community as a whole to proceed and leave an impressionable imprint, the kind that can be recognized, not so much walked over.

We would not be here now in a position to make this skate park a reality in the "best" location if not for the full/proper culmination and litany of persistent and earnest requests that made available the actual open discussion for public input advancing a better examination of potential sites. This was key, as opposed to continuing the mounting atmosphere of resentment in store when a few hand or self selected in positions of power made determination for us to live by indicative of the metaphor you pertain to. I see this as an irony at best of who led or mislead who out to barren pasture to grieve for themselves. I think the process has now been done and no it hasn't been perfect, but what is, you can only blame yourself if you felt it was not worth your while to attend and make a difference.
There have already been on-site visits warned and open to public input, a special e-mail address ect. ect. and there have been in fact a few skateboarders attending, "already" (their decision), not to mention an opportunity to attend one of the dozens of SSSC and others meetings "already" taken place with dozens attending such as at the Park & Rec board meeting aloud to express their concerns and opinions, so choosing such a pessimistic path will only allow your metaphor to trip and fall flat on it's face in a trail of tears of more regrets. Appreciate the moment I say, there most likely won't be another like it.


Crooked Arrows Fly Funny

I expected to be chastised for referencing the Sioux, and indeed that was something I weighed heavily before posting. I'm well aware of the magnitude of that genocide, and meant no disrespect in comparison. The struggle of indigenous people has been prevalent in my thinking throughout my life. So, I can only hope the invocation can be taken with appropriate understanding of my analogy.

As far reprimanding me, and a sentence for community service, I do feel I have already served such tenure, working through the Rec Board's process at the original Living Memorial Park proposal, then again sitting on the West River Park search committee, and shepherding the proposal through the near unanimous vote at Town meeting. Further service in BASIC's formation, I will add to the list...so that my effort towards communal betterment is not wantonly diminished.

One silver lining that emerges now concerns the consideration of a new parcel at Living Memorial by the Senior Center, behind the pool. This siting was initially favored by skaters, but denied. Validating this spot would bring the process full circle, a very appealing notion for devotees of both the Medicine Wheel and the skate wheel.

I hope that, as Chris indicated, whatever the outcome, opponents will be accepting of the result, and gracious in their acquiescence, in the fashion of the good community members you describe.


My apologies not recognizing

My apologies not recognizing your previous dedication and history, but why fall short with such disdain at this point when it could actually happen and people should feel the excitement brewing (let's hope we don't have to call the dream police, pipe or otherwise)?

The metaphor police hands are tied foiled again mistaken of their presumptive and shoddy detective work and gladly return you to your own recognizance but where are all the skateboarders being detained who don't come forward and who want a common voice?, If BASIC is that common voice, I would have to say they may not agree amongst each other what the best site is and possibly do not represent all the varied type of skateboarders (hardcore) who have their own preferences. Do some want to be set on a stage having collision course presented with youngsters just trying out scooters for the first time in close confines and basically in the way, ULMP is the way I think for everyone to have a spacious ride?


skate boarders who did show up.

...at a few of these SSSC meetings, skateboarders involved who did show up with their BASIC backing expressed that noise was not an issue (no more annoying than surrounding traffic (even during a lull I gather or hours at dusk, Sundays ect. I personally would have to disagree with) and others came to voice their support of Elm Street as the best location for skateboarders themselves.


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