Archive for the “Rusty Bearing Awards” Category

rusty.jpgThe illustrious Seattleskateparks.org Rusty Bearing Awards for 2007!

It’s predictable and cliche, but who cares?  These are the people and organizations who made an extra effort to stand between you and a safe, public skatepark in 2007:

Kris Fuller  – single-handedly stalled the Lower Woodland project for more than a year, draining more than $20K of public funds from the project budget.  She did this through litigation, paid for out of her own pocket, under the auspices of a fictional organization called “Friends of Lower Woodland”.

Seattle Center Staff – made the call to demolish SeaSk8 on January 3rd without contacting anyone in the Parks Department Skatepark Advisory group or the advocates he had toured the Center grounds with just a few months prior.  It would’ve been nice to have at least found a site for the new park before demolishing the old one.  Fast forward to one year later and we’re still looking at another year without a replacement.

The Myrtle Reservoir Neighbors – who came to the first public meeting regarding the $1.6M park renovation with a proposed skatespot, and called skaters “criminal”, “degenerate”, and “delinquent”.  Emails sent to Seattle Parks from these neighbors insisted the park be placed in the High Point neighborhood where “crime already exists”.

Experience Music Project – When skaters met with the executive staff of the EMP we were told that they opposed a skatepark in front of their facility because it would not be aesthetically complimentary.  Forget that it might have brought more local and visiting families and young people to the Seattle Center, and that there used to be a skateboarding exhibit in that building.

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rusty.jpgA sensationally spun article by reporter Sanjay Bhatt in today’s Seattle Times pits skateboarders against art lovers over the proposed Seattle Center SeaSk8 replacement site.

According to the Seattle Times, working hard, participating in the process, and going to meetings for two years in an effort to reach consensus on a new site amongst the many stakeholders at the Seattle Center has become:

“Skateboarders are urging the Seattle City Council to remove the “Fountain of Creation,” also known as the DuPen Fountain, and install a skate park in its place.”

This really damaging and poorly researched piece has the potential to negatively influence public opinion against skateboarders at a time when we were finally starting to make positive strides in the court of public opinion.

The news media’s job is to objectively and fairly research the story and report NEWS. This piece contains very little comment from skaters, and makes it sound like we’re completely insensitive to the art displacement issue. In reality, we’ve been “strongly encouraged” to take this site (or face a “long and painful battle”) by the Seattle Center and the Council, and now apparently we’re taking the heat.

As a result, Sanjay Bhatt and the Seattle Times get the first ever Seattleskateparks dot com Rusty Bearing Award.

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