Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Skate park face off

Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

GUY FAWKES GRAFFITI remains on a wall of the skate park in Cameron Park on June 20. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

From page A1 | June 24, 2013 | 3 Comments

A minor dustup over the skate park at Christa McAuliffe Park occurred Wednesday night between the board of directors of the Cameron Park Community Services District and several residents.

The tempest began when resident Bill Carey complained the park is frequented by youths drinking alcohol, using drugs and skating without helmets. More recently, spray painted obscene words have shown up.

To illustrate his point, Carey held up one card after another with different obscene words on them. The same words, said Carey, that were spray painted at the skate park.

Flashing the words before the board and audience, board member Scott McNeil was so offended he asked Carey to stop.

When Carey persisted, board President Greg Stanton called for a five-minute recess. He, McNeil and Sean Tucker then walked out of the room while Vicky Neibauer remained behind. Board member Shiva Frentzen was absent.

When they returned, McNeil and Carey confronted each other by trading accusations while Stanton tried to cool everyone down by asking people to ”play nice in the sandbox.”

Carey then accused the board of not doing anything about the offensive graffiti, at which point McNeil made a motion to have Carey and his signs removed from the meeting. However, he failed to get a second.

Meanwhile, resident Barbara Rogers accused the board of not caring about the skate park. “Why don’t you do something about what’s going on?” she asked.

Another resident, Gerald Lillpop, said he visited the park and saw the graffiti and didn’t want to take his grandson back, blaming a lack of supervision as the problem. “My family can’t use it because of the filth,” he said.

Commenting after the meeting about the incident, General Manager Mary Cahill said vandalism at a skate park is not atypical and she is not convinced it was actually done by kids.

She said whoever did spray the nasty words used a waxy substance which required the use of several different products to remove it. Cahill said the obscene words were gone by the time Mr. Carey brought it up at the meeting.

However, while the obscene words are gone, some graffiti does remain at the skate park.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 3 comments

  • KristinJune 23, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    My kids go to this skatepark and at first I was scared of who hangs out there but when we finally took them I was pleasantly surprised! Everyone there treated my kids with respect. My kids wear helmets because I make them... That's my responsibility to keep them safe. If you chose to let your child skate there then it's up to you to take the precautions you want for them. As far as the graffiti goes, are you not going to drive down the freeway if there's graffiti on the overpass? Give me a break! Use your parenting skills and teach your children that these words aren't to be used. If you expect your kids to live in a bubble away from profanity and drugs then I hope you have time to home school them and never allow them to go outside. This is the world we live in now so instead of sheltering them how about teaching them right from wrong!

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  • AppalledJune 24, 2013 - 7:07 am

    A minor dust up? It was quite a bit more than that Dawn Hodson. In my opinion McNeil was threatening Mr. Carey, saying things like "come on, let's take this outside". It is clear that certain members of the board just close their eyes and ears to certain members of the public. Mr. Stanton loves to gavel people down, he is very unprofessional. We were there for the first time and we could see the arrogance of Mr. Stanton and Mr. McNeil is like a bull in a china shop. He seems to have anger issues.

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  • Skate Or DieJune 24, 2013 - 8:12 am

    I find it humorous that all the pictures that you have posted with "graffiti" is the same type of graffiti that shows up at all parks not just skate parks. Next time your at a park other then a skate park i bet you will find all of the same obscene words carved in to the benches and written on the wall. For the drinking and drug use that sounds like a policing issue if it was known that drugs and alcohol were being used by underage kids across the street at the school i bet the police would be right there to do there job. if it was known by the kids that doing drugs and drinking alcohol at the skate park was a "BUST" those kids would leave, and the park would be used for its intended use, skateboarding. And as for the angry residents sounds like your just board and don't like skateboarders, because if you did you would go in there and help them understand that this is there park and they need to have some ownership. It takes a community to make something work. There is a strong skateboarding community at the Cameron park skate park they need to know that changes need to happen, and the only way that is going to happen is for you the CPCSD and local residents to work directly with the skateboarders. If you come in there telling them what to do they are going to rebel from you, if you let them have a say in the process then they will take some ownership in the park. just my 2 cents.

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