Archive for the “Press” Category

mljhead.jpgThe Stranger published an update on the current state of SeaSk8,  the feasibility study that the Seattle Center presented to Council recently, and the role that the City Council is playing in all of this.

It does not come as a shock to any Seattle skateboarder that the newest site comes with $4 million worth of baggage.  In fact, some would suggest that the Seattle Center and the Century 21 Committee, who originally proposed the Pavilion site, were simply setting the skaters up for another shot to the head.  I mean…who in their right mind would get behind a $4 million dollar, 10K sq/ft skatepark?  The City Council assures us that these buildings were scheduled for demolition someday anyway, and that we should just see this as an acceleration in the existing schedule, but that doesn’t really address the negative effects of the new budget revelations.

The overwhelmingly gargantuan budget as outlined by Seattle Center’s report, changes the focus of the discussion from  finding was to make the new skatepark successful and awesome, to simply making it happen without jarring all interested parties into catatonic sticker shock.  Suddenly, pushing for a bit of extra funding so that we can get some integrated art to make the park unique seems trivial and unimportant.  It’s as if the skateboarders are constantly being plunged into the worst-case scenario to encourage them to compromise for something less-awful.

In the end, less-awful is still awful.

It’s unclear to this skateboarder when someone’s going to realize that all of this: the $4 million, the delays, the smaller park, the hassles…would’ve largely been avoided had the corporate tenants of the Seattle Center (EMP, Space Needle, & Pacific Science Center) not been allowed to influence the final resting place of SeaSk8.

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wssk8.jpgThe West Seattle Herald published a piece this week on the skatepark advocacy momentum there.

“It would be awesome if my friends and I could walk down here every day,” said Max Sadow, 10, of a possible skateboard park in the Alki neighborhood. His father notes they have to go to Burien or Renton for skateboarding now.”

There is also a comments section should you care to leave one, and by all means, please vote in the poll.

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The New York Times published an excellent piece today on the relationship between thoughtful design, skater involvement, and the long-term success of skateparks.

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Just when you thought it was safe to get back on the internet, Crosscut Seattle ups the ante on the SeaSk8 discussion and takes arguing on the internet about skateparks to a whole new level.

The article itself, is thorough and well researched, even though the author never spoke to a single skateboarder. But the gold here is found in the comments. The academic level of the skatepark in discussion in Seattle has officially risen to unimaginable heights. Crosscut bloggers make reference to the Tri-Borough Bridge, the viaduct, and even Jesus in an effort to make various key points about the SeaSk8 debacle and the “Seattle process”.

Piper Scott wrote:

“Sometimes I wonder if but what all the worshipping at the altar of consensus isn’t praying to a false god. We elect leaders to lead, not study. Sure, you need to know what’s going on, but interminable naval gazing does no one any good least of all the poor citizenry who hunger to see things accomplished.”

Wow.

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“You build a skatepark, and every kid that’s high on drugs, has a meth problem, smokes dope…those are the kids that show up at skateparks…  All it does is attract undesirables.”

The point-counterpoint argument is actually well played, and every single caller supports skateparks and skateboarders.  Worth a listen. 

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More press from Jonah and the Stranger on SeaSk8 and the recent decision by the City Council to relocate the park at the 2nd an Thomas site.

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emp_plaza_in-the-am.jpgOnce again, Jonah at the Stranger nails it on Slog.

This time he points out, ever so subtly, how ironic it is that the Experience Music Project is citing aesthetic reasons for not wanting a skatepark adjacent to their building. Genius.

“I called SPAC chair Ryan Barth earlier this afternoon to ask what he thought about the Center’s now-scrapped plans to install the fountain at Broad Street, rather than a new skatepark. “It doesn’t surprise me,” Barth said. “I think it just goes to show that people still think skateparks are not aesthetically pleasing places. They’re wrong. [Skateparks] can be designed as a pleasing piece of public art. It doesn’t have to be a concrete monstrosity.”

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3shellvernet.jpg The P-I is reporting that David Della has announced the City Council is scrapping the plan to relocate SeaSk8 at the Dupen fountain site, and is now going with the previously discussed (and dismissed) “pavilion site” at 2nd and Thomas.

One problem with the pavilion site: the building that currently flanks it needs to be demolished to accommodate the skatepark, which could take years. Further complicating matters, is that the building is currently used by over 20 cultural groups.

One has to wonder why, once again, the Council is looking at a site that is not currently available, has the potential to pit skaters against nearly every ethnic group in the city, and will delay the skatepark’s construction even more.

Do the EMP and Space Needle really have that much power over the future of Seattle Center and the Broad Street Green?

What level of hell hath skateboarders arrived at to deserve this never ending shell game? It’s enough to make a skater feel unwanted.

Furthermore, why is the Mayor so blatantly absent from this whole debacle? Or is he…?

The Council will vote on the newly-determined “final” site in their meeting on Monday.

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Basically a straight re-cap of all the SeaSk8 events of yesterday…

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Stranger staff writer grabbed a comment from skater-hater Kris Fuller regarding the recent denial of her appeal in King County Superior Court to keep the Lower Woodland skatepark from being built, and included it in a post today on the Stranger’s Slog.

While we all know her case is unfounded, and that the Lower Woodland Neighborhood Association is a front for her personal crusade against the Seattle Parks Department, we can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen next.

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