Archive for the “News” Category

West Seattle Blog posted some new photos of construction at Delridge and an update from Seattle Parks.

Check it out!

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Screenshot courtesy of WSB's video coverage of the press conference.

Now that the dust has settled a bit on the big announcement regarding Rob Dyrdek’s $75K donation to the City of Seattle for Roxhill skatepark, I want to break it down a bit and explore the details.  There are many open issues and questions still left to be answered.  So let’s dig a little into those details and come up with something a bit less circus-like, and translate it into something that might actually be meaningful information for Seattle’s skateboarders:

Dyrdek’s recognition of Seattle’s skatepark plan is a good thing. Seattle skateboarders, Seattle Parks, and the City Council have been working very hard for many years to make Seattle more skate-friendly. It’s great to have that effort recognized by someone like Rob.

Mayor McGinn comes out as in support of skateboarding facilities! On the eve of the hearing regarding the Summit Slope skatedot, this is really great news.  This is the first time we’ve heard him talk about skateboarding, and if this kind of thing is what it takes for him to come out in support of safe public skateboarding facilities, then we’ll take it.  If you peer into the much-lauded Citywide Skatepark Plan, there are no Seattle Parks logos on the pages, and the line that was left for the then-Mayor’s signature, remains unsigned.  This is because McGinn’s predecessor wasn’t behind the plan, and actively campaigned to keep it from happening.  He ordered Parks to remove the logos, and refused to endorse it.  Mayor McGinn buries this dark chapter in Seattle skateboarding history by coming out in support of the plan (or, rather…Rob’s support of the plan).  Thanks Mayor McGinn!

No one who worked on the City-wide skateboarding plan, or any skatepark advocates whatsoever, were at the press conference or even mentioned. A few of us were contacted at 1:00pm the day before the press conference, and being adults with jobs, kids, etc… we weren’t able to attend.  Rob credits “the city” for the skatepark plan, and skatedots, which really isn’t accurate.   The city has turned around and is now very supportive, but it wasn’t always that way.  We don’t do this for the credit, but the advocates and skateboarders (or even the people in the Parks Department, or the City Council who worked with us…) who had to push hard for these initiatives probably deserved to be recognized, and weren’t.  Which, in turn, made the whole thing feel a bit like a glory grab.  Less than 24 hours notice is just plain disrespectful.

The Skatepark Advisory Committee was never consulted on where this donation would be best applied. When we surveyed this location during the skatepark plan process, the committee identified some issues with the site.  One of them was that there wasn’t a lot of unused space available for a skatepark.  Currently the only space large enough that’s not being actively used, is the Northwest corner, which is peppered with some mature trees.  Whatever is built in this space is going to need to integrate those trees, because no one in Seattle is going to back tree removal for a skatepark (including the SPAC).  Dyrdek’s best plaza designs generally consist of a large, continuous plaza, which simply will not fit at Roxhill.  We could’ve raised this issue early, and helped them select a more appropriate location.  The fact that the Parks Department’s own advisory council dedicated to skateparks wasn’t consulted on this makes us wonder why we’re here at all.

The Roxhill skatepark was already fully funded by the voter-approved Parks For All Levy, and as the Mayor mentions at 9:35 in this video from West Seattle Blog’s coverage of the press conference, the current plan is to repurpose $75K from the existing project budget back into the general fund. If this happens, Seattle skateboarders actually see no benefit from this donation.  Rob Dyrdek effectively just made a donation to some other non-skate project.  This is something we’re asking Parks to clarify, but I’m having a hard time imagining even Dyrdek getting behind this one.

$25K of the donation is actually materials repurposed from the Street League event. This is good for Rob and the Earth because the stuff doesn’t end up in the garbage.  Conceptually, this is a good thing.  One assumes that without this donation, Mr. Dyrdek would have to eat the expense to dispose of this material, and this gets him off the hook on that.  But more importantly,  the stuff Rob has presumably already donated, was designed for professional skaters and is literally unskateable by the majority of skateboarders, especially kids.  Roxhill is in a neighborhood that houses a ton of kids, and (on last check) very few professional skateboarders.  Sure, rails can be cut down, etc… but the act of trying to repurpose these features into the design is an additional design challenge that we wouldn’t have had to face if we weren’t trying to incorporate these existing pieces.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually think this is a great thing. If Seattle Parks continues to work with the SPAC on figuring out the answers to some of these questions, this donation will amount to a meaningful benefit to Seattle skateboarders.  Unfortunately, due to some apparent timing issues with this all coming from left field at the last minute from the Dyrdek Foundation, and Parks not wanting to include the stakeholders to keep the public messaging machine cleanly oiled, there are now some serious open issues of concern.

One thing is for sure, the overt public message is good:  The Mayor supports skateparks, Rob Dyrdek supports Seattle’s forward-thinking support of it’s own skateboarders, and by hook or by crook, Roxhill will be getting an awesome skatepark very soon.


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Honky KO: Ballard Tribute Video

Honky K.O. | Myspace Music Videos

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With all the events of last week, this should be an interesting meeting.

Agenda is here.

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It’s time for another fun-filled SPAC meeting!  As usual it will be in the usual location in the Parks and Recreation Building located at 100 Dexter North, Seattle, WA 98109.

Skate Park Advisory Committee Meeting Agenda – October 11, 2010

*Meeting will begin @ 7pm sharp*

1.      Approval of Agenda

2.      Public Comments (limited to 2 minutes per individual)

3.      Delridge Skatepark Update

4.      Skate Dot Updates – John and Summit, Crown Hill, and 9th Avenue NW

5.      Jefferson Park Skatepark Update

6.      River City Skatepark Update

7.      Lower Woodland Update

8.      Northgate Redevelopment Update

9.      Dahl Playfield Skate Dot Update

10.  SeaSk8 Skatepark Update

11.   Sandel Playfield Miniramp

12.   Maple Leaf Skatepark

13.   Lake City Skatespot

14.   SLAG Update

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The guys at Electric Coffin have another really cool event cookin’ and this time it benefits our favorite DIY project.  GO!

Come out and Party and buy some killer art! Got some great artist lined up for the show!

Like the flier says, Electric Coffin is hosting a benefit art show for Marginal Way. Mob Grip tape has provided sheets of grip tape for artists to paint on and will be sold for no more than $50 buck the night of the event. Plus there will be a raffle including prizes from all the sponsors, Sno con, Foundry, Electric Coffin, Mob Grip, Creature, Independent, Band Vibes, and Spacecraft.

Also refreshments will be on hand for the event.

In case you don’t know Electric Coffin has moved, still in pioneer square (ish) but now on first down by the stadiums. 1020 1st ave S. So come see the new space (not in a basement).

Marginal Way Collective

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According to and the Seattle Parks Website, there will be a new skatespot up North by the Fall of 2011.

This comes at a time when Delridge is taking for-freakin’-ever and Maple Leaf skaters got straight up jacked.  I guess you can’t win ’em all.

But I tell you what, Seattle Parks project manager Kim Baldwin sure knows how to get it done.  This one was presumed to have been DOA.  With Lower Woodland, Jefferson, and now Crown Hill under her belt, she’s looking to take the title from the reigning SPD skatepark champion, Kelly Davidson (Dahl, Delridge, and the Capitol Hill skatedot).

As usual, don’t celebrate until the ‘crete is dry, but this is a great little amendment to the system up in the NW corner of our soon-to-be-skateable city.

Watch here for the meeting notices and get your ass out there. These projects have a way of going South unless there’s a solid base of support behind them.  You never know when those crafty lawn bowlers are going to sneak up and snatch your turf.

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JEff_compOnly 4 months in the making, which relatively speedy by Seattle Parks standards, the Jefferson skatepark design is to be unveiled tomorrow night at 6:45pm.

Three skaters showed up to the last meeting, which would’ve been a great time to get feeedback in, so it should be interesting to see who shows and what goes down.  It’s probably a bit late to get major changes in, but several things came out in the last meeting and in the Grindline forums that may be reflected in the amended design:

  • separating the flow area into two smaller bowls to accommodate more simultaneous skating
  • squaring off the deep end for true vert skating
  • bringing the street section into focus because Seattle needs it
  • the effect of Seattle Parks discovering a huge underground utility line that runs right across the middle of the site, making sub-grade features a no-go in the place that makes the most sense to have them

I’m mostly just curious to see who shows up.  Even though it’s billed as the presentation of the schematic design, changes have been made after the “final” meeting in the past.  They don’t really need to have a meeting to unveil a design, so it should be assumed they want your feedback.  Show up if you care.

The meeting will be held in the usual spot:  Jefferson Park Community Center.

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RCSP gravel baseIt’s happening.  Here’s an update from Mark:

“The park is being built now.  Rough grades, fill, and subgrade compaction are complete.  Gravel underlayment has been placed and Mark Hubbard is onsite this week getting the forms laid out.  One of the folks from Grindline Japan is in town and is supposed to be lending a hand in the coming weeks.  Hopefully the dry weather holds, although we are out of the woods now that the site has passed geotech inspection and properly drains so as to not create ponding in the middle of the site.  Anyone who might have a giant tent to loan would be the biggest hero in the world – let me know if you hear of anything.

We’re looking at 7-9 weeks until the concrete work is complete.  It is nice to finally follow up on the pledges that were made so long ago.  James Klinedint’s tireless work to document the park for permit (TWICE!!!), Hubbard being there for us on and off and on again, Matt Fluegge’s cool hand, Department of Neighborhoods’ cash money, SODO Rotary, NUCOR’s rebar donation, Cadman’s super-discount, and the South Park neighborhoods’ unwavering patience.”

This is huge news and the realization of an amazing grass-roots community skatepark success story.

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blog_goskt2010v2People like to hate on GSD.  Call me when Hallmark gets involved, until then, I’m inclined to think it’s a good thing when everyone comes together to celebrate skateboarding.

A nice event at SeaSk8 has been planned by the usual suspects.  Get out there and skate, then look around and try to figure out how you can make every day Go Skate Day.  You know it should be.

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