Archive for the “West Seattle” Category

ciagliadyrdek

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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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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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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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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..and…I dunno…they feel pretty uninspired.

Parks has this scheduled to go out to bid in late May, with construction beginning in July.

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Technically not Seattle, but close enough, this report just came in from Brenden in SeaTac:

” New skatepark location is at the Seatac Community Center (13735 24th Avenue South, SeaTac, WA) near the basketball court. Skatepark will be about 6,000sq feet with a 250K budget. The skatepark is being designed by Grindline and while small looks to be really impressive. Last nights meeting had Micah from Grindline  to talk to use about the park and get some ideas on what we would like to see and that park and changes for the final design. About 10 people were there 8 rollerbladers and two younger skateboarders all had really good input into the park. They want to finalize the design this winter and put out to bid early next year so it can be built next summer.”

Even though this is in SeaTac, Seattle skaters should take note because the budget and size of this park is very similar to that of Roxhill, but there is a clear and distinct difference in what Grindline is showing here compared to the 3-5 ideas California Skateparks has been showing throughout the Roxhill process.

My advice to the kids in Gatewood is to start researching the bus routes to SeaTac.

 

 

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Newsflash!  There are six skatepark projects currently in development in Seattle! Holy crap!

Roxhill skatespot (West Seattle – link): the fourth and final public meeting is this coming Monday the 14th, from 6-7pm at the Southwest Library (9010 35th Ave SW), which you should attend because the design process thus far has been problematic and has not provided anyone with a clear picture of what exactly will be built.

Jefferson Skatepark (Beacon Hill – link): the park should be open in the first part of December and confirmed that it will have LIGHTS!!!  It is unclear on how late the lights would be on but fingers crossed it is until at least 10:30 or 11pm.

Hubbard Homestead Skatepark (just north of Northgate Mall – link): design is complete and contractor selection should be occurring any day.

Judkins Skatepark (link): design is final and contractor selection should be occurring soon.

Crown Hill Mini Ramp (Crown Hill: link):  The miniramp and adjacent small bank/rail, ledge and perimeter rocks are fully installed and OPEN FOR SKATING.  Grindline did their usually incredible cement work and the miniramp tranny and coping is perfect.

Kirke Park Skatedot (7028 9th Avenue NW – link):  The design is complete and construction should be starting soon.

ALL OF THE ABOVE SKATEPARKS SHOULD BE SKATEABLE BY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR!!!

 

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Hey everyone,

Due to the troubled state of the Roxhill design process, we have decided to move this Monday’s SPAC meeting to the Soutwest Library branch instead of having it at the usual location.  We feel that it’s important for everyone who can possibly make it to attend this third and possibly final design meeting.  So far things have not gone well, and we have yet to see a design that remotely reflects the needs of the site or the feedback presented in the previous three meetings.

The meeting will be from 6-7pm at the Southwest Branch Library:

9010 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126

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I’m afraid Roxhill skatepark design process, but more specifically California Skateparks/SITE Design’s approach to designing it, is quickly becoming the disaster we were worried about.

The meeting last night wasn’t super packed, but the skaters that were there were clearly underwhelmed by the California Skateparks offerings.  You can check out most of it by looking at West Seattle Blog’s comprehensive coverage of the meeting.

For one thing, SITE’s Colby Carter brought a single design to the meeting.  Typically the second meeting involves 3 alternatives which encourages dialogue, as opposed to one option which really feels more like “this is what you are getting.”  I also wonder if all the time spent with Joe Ciaglia up to this point (1 public meeting, 1 SPAC meeting) was really well spent as the design shown last night didn’t really feel like an evolutionary step in the process but yet another total reboot in a series of disjointed iterations.

The one positive thing I’ll say is that they did move the design toward a pure street plaza, which is something we did suggest at the last SPAC meeting.  I still think that we should simply focus this design and make a great park for street skating FIRST, and not try to water it down by adding some token transition elements, because that won’t serve either audience very well.  The site is too small for a hybrid design.  But it seems that Colby has taken that direction as permission to get out his skatepark construction kit software and phone in a boilerplate design that doesn’t go far enough in terms of making the best use of this challenging site.

I think what we’re seeing here is the difference between a designer that’s “donating” their work, as opposed to what we normally see, which is a designer working hard to earn the precious and rare revenue (especially these days) that is coming from public funding.  We kept hearing from Seattle Parks that they couldn’t afford to turn down such a generous “donation” from the Dyrdek Foundation/CSP in these financial times, even if the firm donating these services wasn’t being vetted through the typical public process.  I think now we’re seeing the real cost of subverting the public process that requires competition and public input for designer selection.

(BTW:  I keep putting donation in quotes because really, the value of the design services in question have been grossly misrepresented by both Seattle Parks and California Skateparks/Dyrdek Foundation.  One letter from Parks and the Mayor claimed a valued of “over $100K,” but Seattle Parks has since adjusted that number to +/- $30K, a small price to pay to win the contract for a skatepark project in a city that has a city-wide skatepark plan with 27 more parks in it.)

I see several issues moving forward that need to be addressed immediately:

–  So far the process and California Skateparks hasn’t shown that they’re respecting the input from the skateboarders.  They say they are, but situations like last night where we’re showed only one option leave us with the (possibly incorrect) impression.   We haven’t seen a whole lot evidence of input feeding back into the design process.  Which, real or not, makes these meetings feel like window dressing.  The difference between last night and recent meetings for Delridge, Jefferson, Northgate, and Judkins couldn’t be more pronounced.  This doesn’t feel collaborative at all, which sucks. Honestly, at this point, I don’t know what to do about this other than getting the design presented last night posted on the web as soon as possible and get more feedback via the internet channels.  (See below)

–  The current design doesn’t flow and there are obvious areas where lines conflict.  For one thing there is no way to get back up, so effectively what we have here is a ski hill situation with everyone riding downhill and then walking back up to take another one.  We know the site’s elevation changes are presenting a challenge for this designer, and we’re not expecting them to reverse gravity, but last night we got an excuse and some finger pointing at the city and Seattle Parks.  This seems unacceptable as a skatepark designer’s job is to solve these problems through great design.

–  There was very little variance in the features in last night’s design.  Lots of duplication.  I thought the idea that the youngest skater in the house last night, to vary the heights of the features, was a good one.

What do you think?

Post your comments here about the design and we’ll make sure they get recorded and considered in the process.  Also, if you care about this park enough to post a comment, you should also consider showing up to the next meeting on Monday, November 14th at the Southwest Branch library (35th/Henderson), 6PM.

To be fair I think Joe/Colby are in a tight spot with a very challenging site, but the fact that they are “donating” their services is contributing to a situation where we need to push them a little harder to get a quality product.  Even they would say that they need more input, so let’s give it to them.  Post up.

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The 2nd Roxhill meeting is tonight. Show up to hear me grumble for more street!

6 pm tonight at Southwest Library, 35th/Henderson.

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