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This one was so good it brought me out of advocacy semi-retirement! In Seattle, we just gave them the job and allowed them to sidestep the process, but this just shows what kind of people you deal with when you get into bed with Rob Dyrdek and Joe Ciaglia/California Skateparks:

Joe Ciaglia, a big player in the small world of skate park construction, has agreed to pay $65,000 to resolve allegations that he attempted to rig the bidding on an L.A. skate park project in October 2010.

It all worked out OK, and the park is probably Seattle’s busiest. But that’s after countless hours of community involvement, tons of calling of the BS by SPAC and other advocates, and construction by a trusted local builder.

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Do you want lights at the Greenlake skatepark?

The best chance of making this a reality is to attend a meeting next Tuesday, September 4 at the Greenlake Branch Library at 6:30pm.

This Seattle Parks sponsored meeting is to discuss the adjacent funded ball field and tennis court lighting upgrades.  These upgrades do not include or provide funding for the skatepark.  However, due to the direct adjacency of these upgrades, existing infrastructure, and organized skatepark user group, this is a great meeting to attend and advocate (politely since this is not even a skatepark meeting) on behalf of lights for the skatepark.  In the past, there has been opposition to anything related to the skatepark by a small group of nearby residents so Seattle Parks staff need to hear overwhelming support for future lighting improvements if it will ever happen.  Please help us provide this overwhelming support by attending the meeting and making some simple statements on behalf of lighting upgrades.  A broader demographic of support will be more effective so parents and kids are urged to speak.  Space may be limited for public comment so arrive early (meeting starts at 6:30pm) and sign up for comments.

Below are some potentially useful points to make during your public comment that would result from lighting the skatepark:

·         Synergy with surrounding lighted sports facilities (softball and soccer fields have lights closer to homes so skatepark lighting would be masked by these lighting sources)

·         Facilitate year-round skatepark use

·         Power is already installed on site

·         Other skatepark projects and/or organized funding campaigns may fund it

·         An advocacy group already exists

·         Provide increased support for skate camps and programming

·         Graffiti deterrence

·         It’s the equitable thing to do

·         Estimated 20,000 skatepark users currently only have one skatepark available with lighting

·         Increased use will promote greater community building and self policing of the skatepark

·         Upgraded light poles for ball field could be designed to support additional lighting banks for skatepark

Hope to see you (and your kids!) at the meeting.

Ryan Barth

Chairperson, Seattle Parks and Recreation Skate Park Advisory Committee

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Photo credit: Obviously fake blog.

My feelings about how Rob Dyrdek and California Skateparks operate, and how that’s played out on the Roxhill project, are well documented here.  I won’t bore you by going back over it again.  But it appears that someone that has a grudge against these guys is making their opinions known by creating fake blogs intended to slander them.

Now I’m just tossing out hypotheticals here, but let’s see… we’ve got “Celebsleaze” which contains over 50% Dyrdek/Ciaglia content, and then some other crap copied directly from other websites to make it look (to only a total moron) that it’s a legit source.  See for yourself.  Here’s the Celebsleaze post for some unknown TV dude who got a DUI, and here’s the post on the Comcast site they stole it from.  I mean…even lazy obfuscation is still obfuscation.  For posterity, here are some of the other fake blogs they created, this time going for more of a “Church Charity”” vibe:  Interfaith Charity Connection, and Family Charity Watch.  I highly recommend checking it all out as some of the editorial work is downright hilarious.

But who could possibly want to defame these guys so much that they would set up three fake blogs and spend time making up stuff like this?  Well, it’s hard to say for sure, but we do know that Aaron Spohn of questionably competent skatepark firm Spohn Ranch is currently suing them in court.  The only reason any of this is interesting beyond a few chuckles is because Spohn is suing them for fraud, which would make setting up these slanderous websites somewhat ironic.  Congrats Aaron, now I am not sure who is more insidious, corrupt, and untrustworthy, but I still hope you win!  The truth is that Spohn’s suit has merit.  We’re seeing the proof right in our own backyard on the Roxhill project.

To top things off, today I received this comment on the Roxhill thread from “Alice”.  Because, you all know Alice has been really out there following what’s going on with the Seattle skatepark scene, when not ripping it up at Marginal. Alice really has her rap down pat as it reads like it was copied directly from the Celebsleaze play book.  Hmmm….

But no one is above board here because back when we were writing about how we genuinely felt about California Skateparks and Rob Dyrdek buying their way into the Seattle skatepark system, they were posting fake comments on my website too.  It seems as though these two California companies are bringing their special brand of cloak and dagger drama to Seattle,  the results of which will be in the ground at Roxhill.

Imagine what these people could accomplish if they just spent all of this wasted time building and designing great skateparks instead…

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From this video it almost looks like the park is one rail and a death box, but it’s clear that everyone had a great time at the official grand re-opening of Jefferson park.  If you haven’t sampled Seattle’s newest skatepark because you want to wait for the hype to die down, the coast is now clear.

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Skate for Change describes themselves as “a local group of skaters committed to giving back to the low-income & homeless in Seattle”, but in my view they are way more than that.  They are taking a proactive approach to community outreach and doing positive work in the community while doing something they love.  They also have created an open framework for skaters to make a difference.

The Seattle crew was inspired by an effort that started in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Check out this video for the complete story. If this video doesn’t move you, check your pulse…you’re probably dead.

Get involved with Skate For Change.  You’ll create change in your community, but you’ll also evolve yourself. You won’t regret it.

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Parks just gave us word that Grindline is the apparent low bidder for the Roxhill park.  This is great news!

However, they were careful to note that there is no room in the budget for any embellishments, so don’t get your hopes up for any fancy Grindline upgrades to California Skateparks less-than bonkers design.

The real question is why does a skatepark this size cost $75 per sq/ft?  It seems like there’d be a lot more room for a better skatepark if it didn’t cost so damn much to build them here in Seattle.

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Have you skated Jefferson yet?

Sure, there are issues with the lights at our first lit skatepark, but there’s plenty to be happy about up at the new Jefferson skatepark.

The grand re-opening of the park is happening on July 14th, and the skatepark portion of the event will not be under-emphasized.  Marshall is in charge again, SLAG is involved, and there are some amazing skaters and sponsors lined to up make sure it’s a killer time for everyone.

Check out for more details.

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Hey everyone,

Hopefully you’re heading out to your local skatepark, since we have those now, or down to SeaSk8 at 2pm to celebrate GSD with your friends.

While we’re out celebrating our favorite sport by actually skateboarding, here are some recent updates on new skatepark construction in Seattle:

  • Roxhill is live on the city’s bid system starting today and bids are due on July 11th.
  • Judkins will be posted by Friday and it will bid July 18th.
  • Northgate (Hubbard Homestead) is in the final stage of documentation approval and is going out to bid “soon”.
  • Jefferson Park’s official grand opening party will be a part of the Jefferson Park Jubilee celebration on July 14th.  SLAG and Marshall are working on a fun program for the skatepark so stay tuned.  Also, the new lights are supposed to be in before the grand opening.


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Photo credit: Joel Lee

If you’ve tried to skate the first ever skatepark in Seattle to have lights at nighttime, then you know there is a serious problem: they don’t adequately illuminate the park.  This is in spite of the lighting designer shutting down any questions brought forth during the public meetings with quips like “I am a professional, this is what I do every day.”  There was even a bunch of talk about using LED downlighting that obviously didn’t make it into the final product.  (I almost wonder if this is why the shadows exist…)

It’s great that we finally have a skatepark that is open at night, but it adds a bit of insult to injury to have just enough light to skate, but not enough to actually skate safely.  There are shadows all over the park, and some of them could be dangerous if you weren’t familiar with those areas.  Good luck if it’s your first time skating there.

The good news is that Seattle Parks has gone back to the contractor to get a bid for adding more lights and frankly, for finishing the job they were supposed to do right the first time.  It must be nice to be a contractor with the City of Seattle…if you don’t do it right the first time, they will just pay you again to fix it later.

Anyone want to go in on a contractor’s license?

The schedule for this fix is TBD.  I will post more info as I get it.

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Skateboard Park Advisory Committee

February 13, 2012


Committee Members Present: Ryan Barth, Matthew Lee Johnston, Scott Shinn

Guests:  None

Staff: Susan Golub


Note: The November 14, 2011 SPAC meeting was held concurrently with the final Roxhill skatepark design meeting at the Southwest Library and no minutes were taken.  There was no SPAC meeting in January 2012.


The meeting began at 6:15


Roxhill Skatespot


Kelly Davidson provided the following update via email: I have sent the SPAC bullet list of suggested alterations to California Skateparks and I plan to have a phone meeting them to discuss what may be feasible within the current footprint and budget. We expect 65% construction documents to be reviewed in the next couple of weeks.


Discussion ensued regarding general dissatisfaction with the existing skatepark design and potential remediations.  Ryan noted that a number of features could be changed in subtle ways to improve the overall flow of the park, including small modifications to various transition and street features.  Susan noted that site issues have introduced additional complexity to the process.  Matt asked if there is an internal review process for vendors in the Parks system, and noted that a post mortem discussion of this skatepark project would be desirable upon completion.  Ryan reiterated the SPAC’s initial concerns with the Rob Dyrdek Foundation donation to this skatepark project and California Skateparks’ designation as its sole source vendor, noting that a similar letter to the City will be in order at this time.  Additional discussion ensued regarding the lack of a final design at the final public design meeting, and the need to document this fact for the sake of future skateparks.


Judkins Skatespot


Kelly Davidson provided the following update via email: 65% Construction Documents have been approved. Permit intake meeting will take place next week and project is expected to bid in May and start construction in July.


Hubbard Homestead Skatespot


This project should have begun construction this month, and has been plagued by delays.  Ryan requested follow-up by Susan with Patrick Donohue.  Additional discussion ensued regarding the inadequate status of lighting at Jefferson, the need for communication about this with Patrick to ensure that a quality lighting solution is achieved at Hubbard Homestead.


Jefferson Skatepark


Morris Wainwright recently attended a lighting meeting on behalf of the SPAC with the lighting consultant and Kim Baldwin.  At this time, it appears that there is no consistent standard for skatepark lighting solutions, both locally and beyond Seattle.  Discussion ensued regarding the details of various shadows at Jefferson, the level of light required at this skatepark, the lack of LED lights that were originally expected, and the quality of service being provided by this consultant.  Other than the lighting issue, the new skatepark is great and often packed with skaters.


Summit Slope Skatedot


No news at this time.


Crown Hill Skatedot


The grand opening for Crown Hill Park will occur on May 19th.  Skate Like a Girl (SLAG) and Youth Employment Skateboarding (YES) will be presenting the first in a series of skate clinics at this location in March, initially to the staff of the Small Faces Child Development Center.


Kirke Park Skatedot


Despite a full, levy-funded public process, and a complete design review process, the bids for this skatedot are too high and there is not enough money in the budget to build the skate feature.  It appears that there is something changing in the construction business as well, given that the low bid was $9K and the high bid was $40K.  Construction of the park will begin in May.  Discussion ensued regarding getting some money into this project before May in order to build this feature.  If there are savings from Roxhill, these funds might be available for Kirke.  Ryan to follow up with Kelly Davidson regarding the feasibility of this idea.


Lower Woodland Skatepark


Discussion about the lighting issue occurred, including a NMF grant, and bundling lights with the larger sports field improvement project currently slated to occur within the next 5 years.


Skatepark Activation


Susan reported that Seattle has partnered with SLAG to apply for a $100K Innovations in American Government grant to extend services currently offered by YES.  Discussion ensued regarding permitting for a skatepark clinic series, designated times for skate sessions at parks, excluding other groups of skaters who are not participating in clinics from public skateparks, size limits to clinics, life skills coaching offered by skate clinics, and the community value of paying teen skaters to be counselors at YES clinics.  Additional discussion ensued regarding vendors and commercial interests at skateparks for purposes of promotion, product giveaway, and clinics.


Future Skateparks


Discussion ensued regarding the end of Parks and Green Spaces Levy funding, the recession, the lack of a future funding source for more new skateparks, the Opportunity Fund, the Neighborhood matching fund, maintenance costs, and budget cycle timing.  Scott to follow up with Kevin Hilman regarding the next Opportunity Fund round and the Lake City skatedot campaign.


Matt noted the need to fund maintenance of the existing skatepark system, and establish a fund for future skatepark maintenance.  Discussion ensued regarding this issue, which will become a primary objective of the SPAC in 2012.


Benefit Park


Phase one is complete.  A Small & Simple Grant may also be completed by local advocates for additional features. Kelly Davidson also provided the following update via email:


Funding was from the remaining Skatedot funds. Break down of costs are…

Design $8,911

Construction of bench caps $8,790

Remaining funds $2,500


I just received confirmation that the Seattle Conservation Corps will take on all preparation for the slab on the interior of the curved benches. They have their own funding source to cover that portion of the work.  I will need to find funding to have the concrete poured and finished and to fabricate the pole jam and steel bench. I’m expecting to use the remaining $2,500 toward this and I will need to see where else I can come up with some funds.




The meeting adjourned at 7:25.  The next SPAC meeting will occur on Monday, April 9, 2012, 6PM, 100 Dexter Ave.

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