Skateboarder Arrest Fuels New Bid for Skate Park

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007 9:01am  |  COMMENTS (151)

Cameron Kennon, a 15-year-old honors student at Montclair High, was arrested last Wednesday for criminal trespass for skateboarding in a bank parking lot on Valley Road. Kennon was handcuffed and taken to the Montclair Police station, where his mug shot was taken and he was put in a cell for about an hour before his mother arrived. His skateboard was confiscated. A friend of Cameron’s, 15, was also arrested.

Cameron’s arrest has inflamed his mother, Sabine, whose Watercooler post (registration required) shortly after the event has spawned dozens of replies. She’s now renewing a campaign to get a skateboard park in town, which died a NIMBY death two years ago.

“Police I understand are between a rock and a hard place,” said Sabine. “But there’s so much more going on for them to be harassing these kids for doing something harmless.”

“It’s like really unfair. It’s the only thing we really do,” said Cameron, a tall skinny boy with a shy manner. “I’m not like a troublemaker.”

Noting that the mother has threatened a lawsuit, Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh declined to comment except to say that the arrest was proper and lawful.

Cameron and his friends had been warned by police several weeks ago not to skateboard in the bank parking lot. For several days, his mother says, he was afraid to leave the house at all. But Sabine says there’s nowhere in town for the boys to skateboard legally — except as transportation from place to place, and then not on certain streets, like Bloomfield Ave and Church Street.

She likens it to a jogger being pulled over by police and having their sneakers confiscated. “That’s what it’s like to these kids. It’s like breathing.”

“Someone who jogs or dances has a passion. This is what these kids do. This is a passion for them,” Sabine said. “The town has managed to create spaces for people who play all kinds of sports.”

She says has already gotten support from Division East, the shop on Bloomfield Ave. that sells skateboards and skateboard fashions, and Steve Plofker, whose sons skateboard and who supported a park in the unsuccessful 2005 bid.

Cameron’s father, Thom, got 75 signatures supporting a skate park in an hour and a half at the Montclair Farmer’s Market. He half kiddingly talked of plans to make t-shirts that say, “Free the Montclair Two.”

In March, a 13-year-old skateboarder was hospitalized after being hit by a van in Montclair’s South End.

151 Comments

  1. POSTED BY Miss Martta  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:10 am

    I think an arrest was a bit excessive. A fine would have been more appropriate.
    There are plenty of kids in Montclair who do much worse and don’t see the inside of a cell. The parents’ anger is justified.

  2. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:20 am

    I saw a young man skateboarding down Bloomfield Ave. this past Saturday. He had headphones on and was doing a ‘skateboard dance’, weaving into the middle of the right hand lane and doing some ‘tricks’.
    He skated right past a cop who turned on his flashers and followed the guy for a couple of blocks. The skater was completely oblivious to this and kept doing his bopping skate weave dance. It seemed that after a couple of blocks the police lost interest and pulled over in front of the social security building.
    Skate on, skate on, roller dude.

  3. POSTED BY Jon Doh  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:20 am

    Maybe their anger is justified if this was a one time thing…since we don’t know the other side of the story, you don’t know if this was a continuing issue with this kid.
    BTW, on the cooler, the mother stated that they were NOT skateboarding when they were arrested, here it says they were. Which story is true? Was the mother mis-stating the facts on the cooler? If so, any other missing/incorrect info?

  4. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:22 am

    The kid has killer’s eyes. Kind of like a photo of Bob Dalton taken a week or so before the Coffeyville raid. And that defiant stare recalls the only known tintype of Billy the Kid.
    But he probably more needs a lesson in manners and respect for private property than a bust. Most skateboarders do. His mom, however, manages to sound pretty silly with all her talk about “a passion,” which just ends up sounding like a shabby post-bust excuse for her own lack of parental oversight.
    May I also remind that Clifton has a pretty nifty skateboard park, at which all are welcome if Mom will just drive them over and pick them up afterwards?

  5. POSTED BY bfblahs  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    If little Cameron had been hit by a car in the parking lot, where he was warned not to skateboard, something tells me Ms. Kennon would file a lawsuit in about fifteen seconds.
    I wonder if Cameron’s arrest, which I agree is excessive, stemmed less from his skateboarding and more from his thumbing his nose at the police officers who told him not to be there.
    I also wonder if mommy will let the skateboard park be built on her property. Then she can supervise it, too.

  6. POSTED BY jimmy229oz  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    The police used way too heavy of a hand in this case.
    A few weeks ago, when the cops were called by my wife after having witnessed a car doing doughnuts on the lawn at Woodman, the police let those teens off with a warning, because they were football players. The kids screamed insults at my wife and I as they left.
    Then they arrest these boys for skating in a parking lot. Is the answer that if these skaters were also football players, they would have been let go?

  7. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:26 am

    In 1963, my brother and I skateboarded on the East Orange footbridge that crosses the GSP between exits 148 and 145.
    Every time I drive under that stupid bridge I think of all the skinned knees and elbows I got trying to negotiate the final turn at the bottom of the bridge.
    Good times..

  8. POSTED BY Mr.M.  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:26 am

    The main problem here is that these kids have nothing better to do than to loiter around and their parents equally have nothing better to do than to spoil theirs kids even more with tax money.
    Whats really needed is that the parents needs to guide their kids better and give them direction. Supporting them to loiter around is not the way to go.

  9. POSTED BY robin  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    I agree that some of these parents need to teach their kids respect and manners, but an arrest seems a bit much.
    This, considering that the same treatment was given to that foul mouthed teenager last winter. The one that refused to let an elderly woman pass by on the sidwalk, letting her fall on the ice and snow. The one that swore and defied the officer. The one who BIT him when he tried to move her.
    This kid is an angel compared to that dreg.

  10. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    The obvious lesson resulting from arrest for any upstanding Monclarion is, of course, additional contempt for authority. Which inevitably leads to entitled protestations of “injustice”.
    Why with any luck, and a proper upbringing, this young man will, once grown, demand acceptance of his wife’s illegal parking in bank parking lots.

  11. POSTED BY Amandala  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:46 am

    These kids like to ride skateboards. It’s their right to like to ride skateboards. But there’s NOWHERE in town they can ride their skateboards that isn’t in traffic! And as someone who rides her bike up and down Fullerton every day to work and back, I will tell you that the way people driving cars treat anyone on the road who isn’t in a car, it can be terrifying. Not just on Bloomfield avenue, on every street that isn’t a dead end. People drive too fast, and recklessly, without regard for other people moving along the streets. When I was a kid, we could go out and learn to do what we were learning to do – bicycle, roller skate, skateboard, etc. – without our parents thinking we’d get run over at any moment. a quiet street, a dead-end, the parking lot of a closed business, the local playground, the local school on a Saturday. What are these kids supposed to do? It’s not like there are even roller rinks anymore!
    The town shouldn’t be so dominated by adult ideals and mechanisms that kids can’t find some place to practice rolling around on small, wheeled objects if that’s how they want to kill their free time. If you’ve seen them practicing their tricks, you can see that it’s pretty good exercise, they’re doing it for hours on end (during which time they’re not bored, drinking, graffitiing, having sex, etc.) and it’s no harm to anyone but potentially themselves, as long as their parents can afford to pay for the occasional sprain or break.

  12. POSTED BY chicken  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:48 am

    He’s cute. If only he were ten years older…

  13. POSTED BY lasermike026  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:51 am

    Thank you MPD for criminalizing youth.

  14. POSTED BY bfblahs  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:57 am

    “When I was a kid, we could go out and learn to do what we were learning to do – bicycle, roller skate, skateboard, etc. – without our parents thinking we’d get run over at any moment. a quiet street, a dead-end, the parking lot of a closed business, the local playground, the local school on a Saturday. What are these kids supposed to do? It’s not like there are even roller rinks anymore!”
    Lady, get a grip. When you were a kid, there were a lot less people on the Earth, so playing in the street was way more safe.
    You live in an urban environment. If you want kids playing in the street, move to West Virginia or Kansas. They can play in the street there all they want.
    Like I said before, if you want a skateboard park so badly, build one in your backyard. I’m sure the Montclair youth will be ever so grateful.

  15. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:57 am

    Mikey!!!! Good morning, nice to see you fuming again in public! But your comment was a bit much.

  16. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:58 am

    When the MPD allows a lunatic to endanger himself and others in the middle of Saturday afternoon traffic on Bloomfield Avenue (see my above post) and then arrests a 15 year old kid in a parking lot you have to think that some of these peace officers are just plain lazy.

  17. POSTED BY Spicoli  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:58 am

    “The main problem here is that these kids have nothing better to do than to loiter around”
    The kids are outside being active – much better than sitting in front of a Playstation video game in my book. If my kid chooses to skateboard (rather than ride a bike or play soccer) so be it. I’d rather have them doing something that they enjoy.

  18. POSTED BY Captain Vegetable  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:58 am

    Well, one thing to keep in mind about skateboarding is that some of the tricks they practice can be destructive to property. Grinding along rails or curbs damages those surfaces. That’s the fear that property owners have when they see skateboarders congregating, and that the “skateboarding is a right” argument has not addressed.

  19. POSTED BY 13%annualtaxhike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 9:59 am

    Montclair is refurbishing the Woodman field house for $4,750,000. Of that total $3,750,000 is donated. Now why wouldn’t the town just build a field house using only the $3,750,000 that was donated?
    BECAUSE THEY CAN’T STOP SPENDING MY F’IN MONEY!!!
    Stop moving athletic fields 17 feet and build a damn teen center! Watch how the budding gang issue disappears.
    Oh wait. We don’t vote on anything BOE related.
    Spend away and BOND away. Then we’ll all just MOVE away.
    Alvarez and Remsen are spineless jellyfish. Neither of them have the backbone to do what is necessary for Montclair. Why is it that Montclair hauls it’s own garbage? Because the town council is afraid to privatize and lay a single damn person off. Look at the Gonzalez-Spivey issue. Look at the sanitation workers who work a half day and I can’t throw out an unbagged branch or an appliance until October.
    Just wait until the new pension requirements kick in!!!
    I can’t wait to hear from the new town council slates who promise tax relief and then go to the mall with our hard earned money.

  20. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    “BECAUSE THEY CAN’T STOP SPENDING MY F’IN MONEY!!!
    Stop moving athletic fields 17 feet and build a damn teen center!”
    Without even the slightest bit of irony.
    I love Montclair!

  21. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:05 am

    I find it odd that we can find millions for dog runs but we can’t find some space for these kids.

  22. POSTED BY bfblahs  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:08 am

    ‚ÄúI find it odd that we can find millions for dog runs but we can’t find some space for these kids.‚Äù
    Don’t worry. Now that some white kids have been the victim of overzealous policing, you can guarantee someone will build a skate park but quick.

  23. POSTED BY thinking  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:08 am

    Bloomfield is getting a skate park in Memorial Park. The information about the budget approval was in the Bloomfield Buzz newspaper. I’m pretty sure there is a famous skateboard park designer helping with this project. My neighbors son spoke at the town meeting about it. I believe they already have funds toward it set up and everything, so a place to go might not be far off. Also Glenridge’s website lists Carteret Park as having a seasonal skate park, I’d imagine this is the season, unless they are referring to ice skating, I’ve never been to that park so I can’t say.

  24. POSTED BY CSR  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    I have frequently encountered the numerous rude and surly skateboarders (teens) at Watchung Park. I am a witness to numerous near misses of elementary kids. I wonder if little Cameron showed the MPD the same attitude as noted above. I have no sympathy for Cameron. I have no interest in financing a (another) park so that he can indulge his passion. I suggest that his mother seek to convert the under-construction dog park into a skateboarding park. Today, Cameron can go to the skateboarding park in Clifton.
    In general, I hope that Cameron has learned a lesson and will respect the MPD, private property and traffic rules in the future.

  25. POSTED BY CSR  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    I have frequently encountered the numerous rude and surly skateboarders (teens) at Watchung Park. I am a witness to numerous near misses of elementary kids. I wonder if little Cameron showed the MPD the same attitude as noted above. I have no sympathy for Cameron. I have no interest in financing a (another) park so that he can indulge his passion. I suggest that his mother seek to convert the under-construction dog park into a skateboarding park. Today, Cameron can go to the skateboarding park in Clifton.
    In general, I hope that Cameron has learned a lesson and will respect the MPD, private property and traffic rules in the future.

  26. POSTED BY jersey girl  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    “The kid has killer’s eyes. Kind of like a photo of Bob Dalton taken a week or so before the Coffeyville raid.”
    WHO needs a lesson in manners? Sheesh!

  27. POSTED BY CSR  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:11 am

    I have frequently encountered the numerous rude and surly skateboarders (teens) at Watchung Park. I am a witness to numerous near misses of elementary kids. I wonder if little Cameron showed the MPD the same attitude as noted above. I have no sympathy for Cameron. I have no interest in financing a (another) park so that he can indulge his passion. I suggest that his mother seek to convert the under-construction dog park into a skateboarding park. Today, Cameron can go to the skateboarding park in Clifton.
    In general, I hope that Cameron has learned a lesson and will respect the MPD, private property and traffic rules in the future.

  28. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:12 am

    We have been advocates for a skateboard/bike park in Bloomfield for approximately five years. I have followed the Montclair effort through any articles posted on Baristanet.
    Mr.M said these kids have “nothing better to do than to loiter around” a/k/a skateboard… first of all, you can’t skateboard non stop. It’s possible they were “loitering” as they took a break to take a drink or rest up. Second, are kids involved in school sports wasting their time, too? Cathar, the problem is that Clifton does have a *spiffy* little skatepark. My husband and I spent a lot of time shuffling kids back and forth to that park when they were younger, but as they improve, that park offers no challenges and the equipment is inadequate. And for the one who was complaining about money (to build a skatepark) do you also object to your taxes being spent to support the high school football team? baseball team? volley ball team? Does it bother you when the town erects playgrounds for toddlers? Benches and a gazebo? Running track?
    A guy on a skateboard was weaving around traffic on Bloomfield Ave. Very bad judgement. But let’s not condemn everyone on a skateboard because of that.
    Both of my sons skateboard and it has been a great thing for them. They’ve made terrific friends and remain physically fit and active. Perhaps the best part of it is skateboarding does not revolve around the school district’s ego or the adult coaches’ egos. It’s about the kids.
    At this point in time, my sons and their friends drive regularly to skateparks in Edison, Sayreville, Long Branch, Hoboken, Secaucus…
    We’ve been waiting for the Bloomfield skatepark for about five years now — and my son didn’t sit around whining “give me a skatepark” – that group of boys was involved in attending planning meetings, town council meetings, board of rec commissioners meetings. They were willing to work through the maze of government to make this happen. My son even found a grant that might or might not have been appropriate, and forwarded it to the Bloomfield town council for consideration.
    These are a great group of kids worthy of no less support than what’s given to their peers who opt for more “traditional” team oriented sports.
    By the way, how many professional athletes have all these organized sports programs in Bloomfield and Montclair produced over the past ten years? I know of one young pro athlete: He rides a bike in X-Games type competitions; graduated BHS in 2006. I don’t remember anyone going off to the NFL or the Yankess, but I don’t see too much complaining about money being spent on those sports at the high shcool level, either. I don’t begrudge those kids their opportunities to play the sports they love. My kids have never participated, but I pay my taxes (which support those programs) and buy items from their fundraisers to support their constructive activities. So why do we so often see people not giving that kind of respect to bikes and skateboards?

  29. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:17 am

    Jersey girl, perhaps it’s simply beyond your usual slipstream of knotheadedness, but there is something in the English language referred to as “irony.”
    (And if you need a date for the next convocation of folks in your league re reading comprehension, may I commend a certain lasered lad to you?)

  30. POSTED BY Amandala  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:18 am

    Believe it or not, bfblahs, Mr. M., and your ilk, despite brave attempts on the part of many people to make it so, Montclair is NOT New York City. It is a suburban town with a thriving downtown area, which is good, and people shouldn’t try to change it.
    When I was this kid’s age was only 11 years ago, by the way, and I lived in a town that was not much more suburban than Montclair.
    Most teens like to “hang out” outdoors with their friends doing what they like to do. Just because people usually don’t like to do that anymore as they become adults doesn’t make it wrong. If they like to spend time outdoors practicing tricks with some type of doohickey or another, that’s not loitering, it’s a healthy activity for them to do together. Especially compared to all the other stuff you complain about kids doing in town.
    Were you expected to spend your entire summer indoors when you were fifteen? Doing what? Did your parents “guide” every minute of your time so that you didn’t have any free time to go off and do stuff with your friends – Oh, I’m sorry, “loiter”. Did you hate it then, but now think since you had to do it, it should be good enough for every fifteen-year old?
    Clearly you are the natural product of a far superior upbringing, since you now feel like you should have some say in what other people do, regardless of whether it harms you or even affects you in any way, just because you think they shouldn’t be doing what they want to do.

  31. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:22 am

    On one hand, this seems excessive, on the other hand, when the police arrest potential drug dealers or thieves for loitering on private property, we all applaud.
    You can’t have it both ways–clearly, the boy knew he was on private property (he had been warned) and the cops let him off the first time. Seems fair, considering the laws we advocate. The cops were well within their rights. Laws are supposed to be blind, right?

  32. POSTED BY Amandala  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:26 am

    Laws, or perhaps more specifically the people who enforce them, should take into account whether or not a person is doing harm, intends to, or whether what they’re doing has the capacity to.

  33. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:30 am

    Knowing Thom (online) as I do. I must say that I am not surprised by threatened lawsuits when their son was lawfully arrested.

  34. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:31 am

    p.s.
    Has everyone missed the fact that he was warned before being arrested?

  35. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:31 am

    Er, the people who enforce laws aren’t supposed to make that kind of judgement–that’s what leads to lawsuits and violations of civil rights. What may seem harmless to one may seem dangerous to another. Think about the larger implications of what you are advocating!

  36. POSTED BY HidingInBaristaville  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    May I also remind that Clifton has a pretty nifty skateboard park, at which all are welcome if Mom will just drive them over and pick them up afterwards?
    Posted by cathar | July 31, 2007 9:22 AM
    Oh, I guess ALL Montclair moms should be at home moms per cathar.
    Montclair needs a Rec Center that has space for a skateboard park next to it!!
    Kids have nowhere to go and hang out except the little park at Watchung.
    It looks like skateboarding will be added to the Olympics in 2012!!!

  37. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:37 am

    There is no problem that spending a bucket-full of tax dollars won’t fix!

  38. POSTED BY HidingInBaristaville  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    Per Cameron’s mom (on the Watercooler) there were 4 other kids “tresspassing” with canmeron- only those with skateboards were arrected.
    So it’s ok to “trssspass” with a skooter or bike but not with a skateboard. Is that how the ordinance is written in Montclair?

  39. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    We, the undersigned parents of Montclair, demand that the township entertain our children and lower our taxes!

  40. POSTED BY Liz  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    Went for a walk last night around 9 pm. Watched a couple kids skateboarding on the sidewalks on Valley Road near Bellevue who actually ran into two people walking their dogs. It looked like they were having a lot of fun. I wonder if kids will use a skateboard park, or is it more fun to be near pizza, Cold Stone and other stuff…

  41. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:42 am

    Hiding there was very likely a complaint from the bank. Obviously Sabine and Thom like lawsuits. Imagine if Cameron was injured severly on Bank property and the bank (with full knowledge of his activities) and not tried to stop him.
    “your Honor, they did nothing to stop our son from this dangerous activity on their property…”
    Really, aren’t there any adults in Montclair?

  42. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    I have no preference for at-home domestic engineeers or working mothers, HidingIn… Merely a feeling that driving one’s little darling to an already open skateboard park(perhaps even while another is built!) is a far, far better solution than the dumb threatening of that ultimate act of suburban sabre-rattling, a lawsuit. And then the kids can call to be picked up when their sprain session is through! Isn’t this where those cellphones the little rascals all seem to carry in Montclair can prove their true value?
    And I’m so sorry all this was too complicated for you to grasp. (Perhaps YOU should partner with jersey girl.)

  43. POSTED BY jersey girl  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    Cathar–I got your irony. Still thought it was rude.

  44. POSTED BY appletony  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    The money should be allocated to a dog + skateboard park!

  45. POSTED BY cathar  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    I shall forever wonder if you really did, jersey girl.

  46. POSTED BY Amandala  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:52 am

    Whippersnapper, think about what I’m advocating? That someone who isn’t doing any harm to anyone should not be treated the same way as, as someone said above, someone dealing drugs or otherwise causing harm?
    Yeah, that’s what I’m advocating. Do you actually have a problem with that?

  47. POSTED BY appletony  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    Oh, and it’s not like totally unfair and you are like totally a (like, petty) criminal when you like repeatedly trespass in the face of like a total police warning to like not keep y’know, trespassing.
    like.

  48. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    The main problem here is that these kids have nothing better to do than to loiter around and their parents equally have nothing better to do than to spoil theirs kids even more with tax money.
    and then
    Like I said before, if you want a skateboard park so badly, build one in your backyard. I’m sure the Montclair youth will be ever so grateful.
    Let me guess, your kids play “real” sports like football and baseball, right?
    Why don’t you build a football field in your yard and pay all of the maintenance fees? I think you’ll find that field (with score board, lights, etc) costs a lot more to build and maintain than a skate park.
    A pair of shoulder pads cost around $80 on average, a good football helmet costs $100, and uniforms usually run anywhere from $50 – $200 depending on quality, size, etc (in 1995 money).
    Skaters buy their own boards and protective gear.
    How many kids are on the Montclair HS football team? Maybe 50? I’m willing to bet there are way more kids who skate in this town. Why are you willing to pay for that sport that less kids in town play (yet still costs much more), but not this one?
    I played football and skated in HS. It never ceased to amaze me how much my football team mates could get away with (drugs, drinking, speeding, etc), but my skater friends were constantly being hassled simply for having boards on them (not even skating on them).
    As the mantra of my youth goes “Skateboarding is not a crime.” But, people like you and the town make it one by not providing a safe, legal place for the kids to skate. It is a sport, as legitimate as any one the town sponsors, and way more physically demanding than some (There are more overweight professional baseball players than there are overweight professional skateboarders).

  49. POSTED BY MsSumida  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:59 am

    just out of curiosity…what is it with bank parking lots in Montclair??
    Its like the wardens are watching and waiting to pounce. Parking tickets after hours, skateboard arrests, don’t these banks know anything about communities?

  50. POSTED BY bfblahs  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:05 am

    ‚ÄúLet me guess, your kids play “real” sports like football and baseball, right?‚Äù
    I’m childless, thank you.
    “Why are you willing to pay for that sport that less kids in town play (yet still costs much more), but not this one?”
    I’d rather not pay for football either, thanks for asking, but I’m willing to wager big bucks that there are more people willing to watch football games than skateboard, uh, matches.

  51. POSTED BY Amandala  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:05 am

    Ms. Sumida: Thank you!! Right?
    Appletony: Dogs riding skateboards? In our town? It smacks of entitlement.
    Those dog owners need to give their dogs better guidance instead of supporting loitering.
    Seriously, though? I think you might just have combined the two most ridiculously criminalized accoutrement of suburban life of late: dogs and skateboards. Put dogs on skateboards and I wonder how many town ordinances would apply to you at the same time? 15? 50? (Make sure that dog isn’t skateboarding in a bank parking lot! Keep him on a leash while he skateboards, but don’t keep him on the leash for more than half an hour!)

  52. POSTED BY appletony  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:06 am

    The banks know about liability — as well they should with seagulls like this skater’s mom coming into the picture.

  53. POSTED BY whippersnapper  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    Amandala,
    If we make a law against loitering on private property, then it should be evenly and justly applied to all found loitering on private property, regardless of what activity they are participating in. In some cases, this law helps us net some “bad guys” who are up to “no good.” In some cases, the so-called harmless will be penalized for trespass.
    If you don’t like the law, seek to change it, but don’t expect the police to make judgment calls. Their job is to enforce the law. It’s really downright crazy for you to suggest that the police determine who is and isn’t harmless on the spot (for sometimes, it’s not possible to determine), nevermind illegal in and of itself.
    Are you really advocating for the law to be applied to some and not others? On what basis should we determine how the law be applied?

  54. POSTED BY robin  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:15 am

    I agree that some of these parents need to teach their kids respect and manners, but an arrest seems a bit much.
    This, considering that the same treatment was given to that foul mouthed teenager last winter. The one that refused to let an elderly woman pass by on the sidwalk, letting her fall on the ice and snow. The one that swore and defied the officer. The one who BIT him when he tried to move her.
    This kid is an angel compared to that dreg.

  55. POSTED BY Amandala  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    Whippersnapper, the law IS applied to some and not others. The problem is that in cases like this, as many people have attested to above, it is often being applied more, and more forcefully, to people who really aren’t hurting or bothering anyone than to people who are really causing serious damage or danger. That is unquestionably inappropriate.

  56. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    If we make a law against loitering on private property, then it should be evenly and justly applied to all found loitering on private property, regardless of what activity they are participating in.
    Agreed, except that it is not the case here. If it were, then people taking a shortcut, riding bikes through, or standing and talking in that parking lot should receive the same warning and then arrest for criminal trespass as this young man and his friends.
    As another poster pointed out earlier; there were apparently four other people there on bicycles and none of them were arrested. This is not an even and just application of the law.
    The solution is simple and less expensive than either the upcoming dog park or re-turfing the field in GR: Build a skate park.

  57. POSTED BY 13%annualtaxhike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:35 am

    I volunteer your backyard!
    The solution is simple and less expensive than either the upcoming dog park or re-turfing the field in GR: Build a skate park.

  58. POSTED BY Kay  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:37 am

    Uh, here’s a dumb question. Aside from all the other issues such as who pays for it, and in whose backyard will it be situated… WHAT exactly is the liability exposure to We the People? i.e. if it is a town-sponsored park, or even if it’s run by a 3rd party but located on town property, and heaven forbid a skater breaks his neck, do We the People) get sued? Or do the skaters and their parents and their successors, assigns, relatives, beneficiaries, etc. sign an iron-clad release before they step foot in the park? Will they lock up the park at night so that people who haven’t signed the release can’t get in and then sue We the People? And when the fence is broken so that some skaters can sneak in at night, then what?
    As to whether or not kids can use the school parking lots… does this mean I can’t take my kids to the H.S. lot on a Sunday scooter and learn to bike ride ?

  59. POSTED BY Spicoli  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    While arrest might seem a little heavy-handed, the fine is probably equal to the cost of a ticket/summons. MPD is sending a message, and as we see here the word is out that if you are trespassing, your family will face the inconvenience and embarrassment of picking you up at the police station.
    This reminds me of the stink that was raised when NJ Transit started handing out tickets to people who crossed the train tracks when the gates were down. After the initial complaints, the realization “Oh sh*t, they are enforcing the rules” followed. Guess what – people are more likely to follow the rules when the penalties are enforced. If you don’t like the penalty, lobby to change the rule.

  60. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:47 am

    13%,
    No problem. As soon as you pay for the new football field in your backyard so I can stop paying taxes for all of those holligan jocks to play their sport of choice.
    Kay,
    Typically, the people using the skate park need to either pay for a useage permit (as is the case in Jersey City) that helps cover liability or they sign waivers and provide proof of insurance before being allowed into the town skate park (as is the case in Hoboken). If they break in after hours, well then they can be charged with criminal trespass. :-P
    As for your other concern; if we are going to charge skaters with criminal trespass under the argument of “even application of the law,” then yes, I’m affraid your children will just never be able to learn how to ride a bike (or practice their driving skills when they get older) in the HS parking lot.
    Spicoli,
    The big diff here is that there is a designated place and time for the commuters to cross the tracks legally. There is no place for these kids to participate in their sport legally.

  61. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    “MPD is sending a message,”
    Yes. The message was listen to our warnings and take us seriously. I think more kids who flout the police should spend an hour in jail.
    Obviously, that’s not what the Kennon’s heard. Their message is “How dare they?” followed quickly by “What can we get from them”.
    Just remember, dear citizens, who the “them” is that will have to pay. And all because they don’t think their kid should abide police warnings about private property.
    Ahhh… “activism”!

  62. POSTED BY Goober Peas  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    “Uh, here’s a dumb question.
    WHAT exactly is the liability exposure to We the People? i.e. if it is a town-sponsored park, or even if it’s run by a 3rd party but located on town property, and heaven forbid a skater breaks his neck, do We the People) get sued? Or do the skaters and their parents and their successors, assigns, relatives, beneficiaries, etc. sign an iron-clad release before they step foot in the park? Will they lock up the park at night so that people who haven’t signed the release can’t get in and then sue We the People? And when the fence is broken so that some skaters can sneak in at night, then what?”
    UH OH- better close the basketball courts, no ice skating for anyone, close that archery field, and ALL of the little kids playgrounds had better close immediately!!!
    Oh- do you walk on Montclair’s public streets? We’ll be around to ask you to sign a waiver. Do you bike as well? That’s onaother waiver.
    We also have to pass an ordiance that says if we catch you without your signed waivers it’s a $1,000 fine per hour…..
    In other words- it was a DUMB question.

  63. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    What happens if a kid on the football team, God forbid, breaks his neck, Kay? What if the stadium is locked up at night but someone climbs the fence and then gets hurt on the property? What if a kid falls off a sliding board at a play park and gets hurt?
    Should we ban all those activities because someone might get hurt?
    Gary Iacobacci and councilwoman Janice Maly made a great presentation to the Bloomfield Board of Recreation Commissioners a couple of years ago and addressed this type of issue as it relates to the Bloomfield project. In fact, sports industry statistics show that skateboarding is not as dangerous as outsiders are led to believe. My boys have skated for about 8 years each. In 16 years of skating we’ve had a broken foot and a broken arm. My neighbor’s son has played football for 4 years and already needs surgery for a destroyed knee. My other friend’s son was injured playing tennis. Should we ban tennis and football because someone might get hurt?
    To whomever mentioned it – yes the Bloomfield project has been designed by and will be built by Nate Wessel – the best. He was involved with Woodward in Pennsylvania! Nate is a friend of the late Joe Tiseo, a BMX rider, and is doing this as a tribute.

  64. POSTED BY Goober Peas  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:58 am

    “I find it odd that we can find millions for dog runs but we can’t find some space for these kids.
    Posted by State Street Pete | July 31, 2007 10:05 AM ”
    The MPD has found space for these kids- first it’s in the Montclair jail and then onto the Youth House.
    “Sorry Cameron, no college for you with your deviant record” says the Montclair Police Department.
    Amaxing that they can catch the “tresspassing” boarders but can’t seem to enforce the yield to pedistrians in a crosswalk law.
    I guess it’s because the people driving are speeding and it’s easier to catch a kid who’s hanging around talking with his friends.

  65. POSTED BY Goober Peas  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

    Roc- interesting- so I guess we should close the basketball courts, no ice skating for anyone, close that archery field, and ALL of the little kids playgrounds had better close immediately!!!

  66. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

    Goober,
    what a strange conclusion. Perhaps you ought to try and read the article.

  67. POSTED BY Kay  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    Thanks for pointing out how dumb I am. Maybe the years I spent working in law firms has jaded me. However, if that’s the case, why doesn’t the town also build a hang-gliding port off the top of the mountain? How about a town sponsored bungee jump off the municipal building? When does something become an attractive nuisance? Can we build anything we want and invite everyone, and then be sure that our taxes won’t double again in order to pay out huge judgments?
    By the way can we see a link to those statistics that skateboarding is safe?

  68. POSTED BY appletony  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    Should we ban all those activities because someone might get hurt?
    That’s the godawful reasoning behind our existing fireworks ban — one moron out of 25,000 blows off a fingertip & we all pay for it.
    Bring back Jarts, too!

  69. POSTED BY Goober Peas  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

    Lets first take a look at the stats on Bike riding and how many bicyclists are hit by cars and injured.
    And how many pedestrians are hit by bicyclists and injured.

  70. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

    No, Kay. I can’t give you a link. Do a google search. I did not present the information to the commissioners. As I said, Gary Iacobacci and councilwoman Maly presented the data. If you are truly interested, a link I can provide is bloomfieldyouth.org – call the phone number on the home page and ask Mr Iacobacci for information or call the Bloomfield Dept of Recreation and ask to speak to Mr. Nesto.
    I can tell you that a high percentage of skateboarding injuries (I forget the percentage, maybe 1/2 or 1/3) occur due to skating on inapproprate surfaces and/or not wearing protective gear. Therefore, the injury rate would be lower “in” a properly constructed skate/bike park than it would be in parking lots, etc.

  71. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Surely to be exceeded by the rate at which people don’t think rules apply to them or their progeny (prior warnings aside), in Montclair anyway.

  72. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

    From http://www.reason.com/news/show/32309.html :
    There’s been a resurgence in construction, but Skatepark Association of the U.S.A. head Heidi Lemmon says liability remains “a huge deterrent” because lobbying by trial lawyers prevents skateboarding from being classified as “inherently hazardous” in most states.If the possibility of negligence suits limits the number of private, supervised parks, more young skaters are likely to turn to unsupervised public parks–which frequently enjoy statutory liability protection–or to the streets. That may not be safer, but at least there’s nobody to sue.?
    Well, thank god for lawyers and their lawsuit happy suburbanite clients.
    /sarcasm
    Thanks for the article, ROC. Kind of supports my argument that if people would start treating skateboarding more like the sport it is and provide a safe / legal place to do it, we would see a joint drop in injury and less social ridicule for skaters in general (as they would no longer need to trespass to do what they love).

  73. POSTED BY ackme  |  July 31, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

    I’m sure this Joe Tiseo, friend of Nate died of natural causes in his old age.
    You know, I saw a half pipe in a yard in Erwin Park…

  74. POSTED BY ROC  |  July 31, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    And Generic, I can’t think of a better way to spend the surplus…

  75. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  July 31, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

    You can google that fact, too, ackme. Tragically this young man died in a motorcycle accident in the early 2000′s. He was loved and admired by many. My husband and my boys knew him thru the owner of the (now gone) Intense Energy skate/bike shop on Prospect Street in Nutley.

  76. POSTED BY mandy939  |  July 31, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

    I live right by Watchung Plaza and have nearly hit skateboarders who skate right by the tressel. There is no way to see them if you are coming from Park Street – you have to wonder where their parents think they are. There is a paved section at the Watchung School park that they could safely use a few hundred yards away. I have resorted to calling the police on two recent occassions and I HOPE they are arrested. Perhaps then I can drive past Watchung Plaza with only the fear of hitting commuters wearing iPods and reading a book while crossing the street.
    Montclair PD- please patrol the area more often and arrest if necessary.

  77. POSTED BY Jerzee Giant  |  July 31, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

    There are a bunch of reasons why a skateboard park is a bad idea:
    1. the cost — let’s fix up the exisitng courts, pools and playgrounds before embarking on another new project
    2. space — what little green space in Montclair needs to be preserved.
    3. a “trouble magnet” — a skateboard park will attract more than skateboarders. and that’s the problem. i have already witnessed drug use and drug dealing in and around Essex Park and Clary Anderson Arena — in broad daylight and in the evenings.
    I would be a very active opponent of a skateboard park.

  78. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  July 31, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

    My nephews were both ‘in-line’ skaters but wouldn’t use the skatepark in their Colorado neighborhood due to the proliferation of low-lifes and drugs.
    I think alot of the hard core skaters engage in other risky behavior besides their sport of choice and some of them are stone thugs.

  79. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

    Jerzee Giant,
    1) Then why not convert one of these apparently dilapidated tennis courts into the skate park? Surely, there are enough tennis courts in this town and putting one of those in your backyard for private use is more realistic than telling a parent to build a skate park in their own yard to eliminate the problem of teens skating in the streets, parking lots, etc. They did something similar in my hometown of Montville in an effort to keep kids from using the tennis courts for roller hockey and it worked wonders.
    2) Agreed. But, try getting the tennis players in town to give up even the worst condition court in town as suggested in rebuttal part 1.
    3) Then keep an active eye out for skaters in the street and don’t be surprised to read more pieces about kids getting arrested for trespassing, etc.
    If you’re afraid that drugs are going to be a problem, the simple solution would be to have a cop patrolling the area near the skate park. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind getting a few more of the local dirt-merchants off the street.

  80. POSTED BY whatever  |  July 31, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

    As much money as there is in this town..why someone hasn’t privately purchased property and built a skate facility is beyond me. It would more then pay for itself….lessons, skate time fees etc.. The ones I am familiar with in the Boston area are extremely successful.
    As far as kids on the street…the mainstay of Montclair does not welcome anything really different in town.
    They just don’t…people should know that by now.
    (and has nothing to do with the saftey issues excuse that comes with skateboarding).
    Remember a few years ago when that artist (Vallay or something I forgot) installed some artistic tile out on to the sidewalk from his gallery door and the town made him take it out because it was “unsightly”?
    (yep, this great “arts” town we are in)
    Well… I’m sure there are many residents who feel that by letting skateboarders skate in town that their property value will completely go to hell!
    lol
    Sad but true…

  81. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 31, 2007 @ 3:43 pm

    The ethos of skateboarding is very much rebellious–hence all the skulls and crossbones and so forth on the expensive designer-made skaterboarding attire that many of these kids wear. I’m convinced a big attraction for many kids is this edgy urban outlaw chic. I suppose it’s typical of suburban parents (and I count myself in this group) to want to bring it into the legitimate and mainstream. But Cameron’s behavior–ignoring police warnings–is very much in the spirit of the sport.I imagine he’s now got a ton of street cred–the next best thing to having a Wanted poster hanging in the post office.

  82. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  July 31, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    Cameron looks to me to be a very respectable young man with no trace of an insouciant scowl and no discernable musculature. He is definately not an outlaw skater, just some kid trying to have some fun.

  83. POSTED BY MISTALUKE  |  July 31, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

    Frankly, he looks rather dorky. Is that his bicycle in the background, with the pink rims?

  84. POSTED BY sav  |  July 31, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    Does anyone realize that these boys were arrested for trespassing, which is a criminal offense. The judge can make these boys do time in a detentioncenter not to mention that they have a record if convicted. Don;t you think this is a little extreme?? There were other boys there that day and yes the ones with bikes & razor scooters were not arrested. I guess it’s ok to trespass as long as you don’t have a skateboard! The cop told me that these boys should join a sport. Well here’s a little FYI, there are 12.5 million skateboarders. Ther are also events like the X games where these atheletes compete. Skateboarding is a sport of agility, creativity and skill. Not all kids are cut out for ball sports. These boys didn’t know that skating in the parking lot was trespassing. They were told not to skate off the stairs, which is understandable! All they know is that they want to skate & there is nowhere to go! We need a skatepark!!! This town is making criminals out of these kids. By the way these boys don’t wear skulls & crossbones & they pride themselves on being “STRAIGHT EDGED” which means they don’t drink or do drugs. I know this because my son John was arrested with Cameron. I wonder how Clifton feels about their skatepark and the kids that skate there.

  85. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

    Sav,
    Good for your that your son doesn’t do drugs or drink. But, make sure he’s not straight edge. That scene has a very violent history:
    Wiki Link
    I barely avoided quite a few fights with straight edge kids in my day because, while I didn’t smoke, I didn’t actively beat the crap out of my friends who did.
    Also, you may want to tell your son’s friend’s parents that suing the town is a really bad way to get their point across as anything other than money-hungry and lawsuit-happy yuppies.
    If the kids really were just told to stay off the steps and there are witnesses to this and the other kids besides them being there and not getting arrested, then you will probably just walk away with a loitering fine, not actualy time in juvie.
    legal disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form offering legal advice… just recounting from my own past experiences.

  86. POSTED BY Sven  |  July 31, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

    How about if the Montclair Police focus on all of the crime around town. Maybe thats just too dangeruous for them and they feel safer abusing their power on a 15 yr old kid.
    lets see……armed rober vs skate board kid.
    Not sure our cops get the picture.

  87. POSTED BY appletony  |  July 31, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

    These boys didn’t know that skating in the parking lot was trespassing.
    Didn’t they? They had previously been told by the cops not to trespass, but were not arrested at that time. If my kid were told by the cops not to trespass, then they later did exactly that, I would be pissed at my kid! Stop blaming the cops for the delinquent behavior of kids.
    By the way, I am in support of having a skate park (paid for with donations), so don’t think this is some anti-skater rant.

  88. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    Sven,
    You must be new to Baristanet… or you have a very short memory.
    Just earlier this month Montclair’s finest arrested 3 individuals with long arrest records who were in possession of an illegal firearm.
    They have also arrested several individuals suspected of the Park Street string of muggings, a person suspected to be the one who broke into Grove Liquors, and a suspect in a local convenience store shooting… all within the last six months – year.
    I’d say they’re spending a pretty good amount of time on the “real” criminals, as well as giving local skaters a hard time (probably at the behest of the bank where they were skating).

  89. POSTED BY sav  |  July 31, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

    generically named Mile thanks for the info about straight edge. My son & his friends aren’t violent.
    The police office spoke to me & my son together the first time he took them to the police station. He told them not to skate on the stairs of any public building. Yes I was upset with my son for not using common sense. My husband & I also took his skateboard away from. When he was arrested in the parking lot of the bank on Valley, he was waiting for a friend who left his skateboard at our house. I had just drop my son off and was only a block away when he called me to tell me that he was going to be handcuffed and arrested. I got to the police station before he did.
    These kids accoring to the town can’t skate anywhere. I asked the police officer who arrested the boys if they could skate in the park. He said he didn’t know because that is county property. I called the county & I think everyone must be on vacation because I called 3 days in a row & left about 8 messages to various people who were not at their desk. Needless to say no one ever called me back. A phone call & an e-mail was sent to the mayor, again I got not reply. It’s very frustrating,
    Appletony it sure does sound like your anti-skater. You also sound angry, You should should chill….! Maybe you need a hobbie. I know…. Skateboarding!!!

  90. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  July 31, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

    Sav,
    I totally sympathize with you and your son (see my 5 posts in this thread saying we need a skate park in Montclair).
    But, I think you need to realize there is an inherit risk in what your son does (safety wise and legally) and keep pushing to find a place where he can skate legally.
    I also hope that you (and definitely Mrs. Kennon) suing the town is not going to accomplish anything useful.

  91. POSTED BY brendanm  |  July 31, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

    To people who think that skateboarding being a passion is a little bit excessive, then take a look at what you grew up doing. the montclair police are doing there job ofcourse, but maybe taking it a little too far. It almost feels like they have absolutely nothing better to do than find a bunch of kids having fun and actually getting exercise and use the authority they don’t get to use on things like shootouts and drug busts onto teenagers.
    It’s the same people that are calling the police on skateboarders that signed the petition against the skatepark.
    It’s sad to think about but there might be just as much maybe more drug dealers than skateboarders at montclair high school, and the police know that.
    Also, the clifton skatepark costs 15 dollars plus if you dont have pads that cover every inch of your body you must rent them. The park consists of 3 ramps that actually are considered safe and the rest splintered and soggy 24/7.
    Us skaters are thugs and neither do we start our day set out to ‘break the law’ or destroy property, but only to have a good time and maybe learn something new.
    I don’t know what skateboarders some people were talking about, but most of the time it keeps me and my friends like cameron and john out of trouble. If you don’t have any knowledge about what is actually going on and have this one view upon skaters who cut you off in traffic, then maybe you should read the monctlair code for skating, which simply states that Skateboarders have every right as a car does on the roads.

  92. POSTED BY brendanm  |  July 31, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

    aren’t thugs* :)

  93. POSTED BY Ana.  |  July 31, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

    Montclair is so big on sports and activities. Look at Montclair High School, there’s so many clubs for every interest and passion imaginable, to make the students feel a part of something. I know Cameron, and his friends, and I believe 100% that there should be a place for them to go to and not be punished for what they are passionate about; skateboarding. Montclair is supposed to be open to every persons range of hobbies, and to respect them. So, why are we not respecting this hobby?
    There’s a football field for the football players. There’s a soccer field for soccer players. There’s tennis courts and a gymnasium. There’s a swimming pool at Montclair State University and the YMCA. There’s dance studio’s all over…
    Yeah the Police are doing their job, but they are going a little over board. They are doing nothing wrong, it isn’t changing or affecting the way the property looks or the way people see the store, or whatever it may be. So, let these kids have somewhere to go without feeling like they aren’t wanted!

  94. POSTED BY DoOd404  |  July 31, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

    what you people dont understand is that skating is a way of life. you go out there and do your little jobs. thats your way of life. skate boarders go out and skate board. like basketball players go out and play basketball. if youd just shut up and get the poles out your asses youd see that it is better than most things kids would do instead of skateboard. it is excercise. its better than playing video games is it not? and yeah you get hurt skateboarding but its all worth it just to continue having fun. the pursuit of happiness right? the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. thank you

  95. POSTED BY DoOd404  |  July 31, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

    i love you cameron

  96. POSTED BY brendanm  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:17 am

    generally named mike- i dont know if you have kids or if you wuold have the time to drive them 45 minutes away to the next decent skatepark. maybe you have the time and energy to build a skatepark in your backyard becuase nobody is doing anything about it.
    there is an inherit risk in most of our daily activities. get a clue, if you grew up learning and loving skateboarding then once you got old enough to actually get out there and do what you saw your childhood idols doing, but realized you didnt have $300 to pay off a department store owner, where else would you turn. Let me remind you that we’ve been trying to get a skatepark for over 10 years in the town of montclair. I’ve been happily involved in the last attempt, but crushed by a god damn petition by mothers who don’t want us ‘hoodlums’ hanging around.
    it all comes down to whether or not people want to start taking drastic action towards it. And if that means a law suit, or maybe even to continue doing what we love to do to get the point across, then be it.

  97. POSTED BY brendanm  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:24 am

    i am not trying to come across as attacking you in any way mike. my last post was for every one on this blog who has any thoughts against what me, ms. kennon, john’s mother and everyone with us are trying to do.
    I think im gonna go skateboarding tomorrow…in bloomfield.

  98. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:29 am

    Guys… is this really a big deal? He is 15 years old…. how many of you know him?
    if you knew him you would see that he is a very good kid…. He is one of my good friends…. What his mom said about how this is their passion is very true…. Cam is very passionate in all the things he does whether it be skateboarding,music,drawing…anything….

  99. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:32 am

    “I agree that some of these parents need to teach their kids respect and manners”
    ahahahah that made me laugh… i am always there when Cam skates…. i do not skate myself but i’m always there as a friend supporting them… they have mannors… like i said get to know them…

  100. POSTED BY brendanm  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:34 am

    dunban, i think this is turning out to be one of the bigger deals in montclair currently. what’s the difference if we know him or not. I think your comment suggested something about a hidden homosexuality in you.

  101. POSTED BY brendanm  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:36 am

    just messin with you dunban ;)

  102. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  August 01, 2007 @ 7:22 am

    Brendanm,
    I first picked up a skateboard when I was 8 and stopped only 3 years ago (at the age of 24) because of cumulative damage to my knees and ankle… in other words: For longer than Cameron has been alive, let alone skating.
    During the 16 years I spent skating, I’ve seen more than one of my friends get picked up on criminal trespass charges (and if my Mom didn’t work for the town we lived in, would have myself).
    A few of their parents sued the town. A few won, a few lost, but none of them helped further the cause of getting a skate park built in town by doing so.
    If/when I ever have kids and if they decide to follow in the family footsteps, I will absolutely build a mini-skate park in my back yard (as one of my friends parents did for us when I was a kid). At the same time, I would be pushing the town (especially if I’m living in one as well off as Montclair) to get a skate park built.
    As it stands (that is, without having kids), I’d be willing to contribute to a private fund to get some land and build one… I’d go even one step beyond that and volunteer some of my weekend to work at the damn thing!
    How many of the parents asking the town to build it for free are willing to say that?

  103. POSTED BY sav  |  August 01, 2007 @ 7:43 am

    what’s happening here is our kids are being pushed out of the town where they live & their parents pay BIG taxes. sad!

  104. POSTED BY Curmudgeon  |  August 01, 2007 @ 8:30 am

    The kids aren’t being pushed out of town. It’s just that what kids do after school has never been a concern.
    PLANNING is the operative word. If you look at the town’s master plan, which has absolutely “ever” consideration under the sun do you think you’ll find ANYTHING that says “space for kids?”
    There are other towns that think about these things. We should too.
    Locking up the school and school yards, chasing kids out of the parks and from the sidewalks doesn’t help.
    Maybe we can bring back stickball?

  105. POSTED BY Curmudgeon  |  August 01, 2007 @ 8:32 am

    “ever” = “every”

  106. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 01, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    Brendanm, DoOd404 and dunban, based on their posts above, might profitably spend more time with their noses in an English grammar textbook than skateboarding. Ditto for some other posters. What, for example, is an “inherit risk?”
    What I find especially interesting, after some years reading this site, is that NO parent who posts here ever says, okay, my little creep did it and has been punished accordingly for it. (We of course never hear from the kin of those local juveniles who are arrested for such adult offenses as rape and murder, probably because most hail from family environments not conducive to the use of computers.) He/she has been grounded, no computer, no TV, no skateboarding, etc.
    Yes, it’s nice that parents are so defensive of their loved little darlings. But it just seems as if there’s so little acknowledgement of, dare I say, discipline. (Instead, lawsuits are forever being threatened, and the traditional dynamics of the parent-child relationship are either obscured by self-serving blather or ignored altogether.) Everything is really the fault of authority figures or of “society” in general, no sense of anything other than rank entitlement is ever conveyed. Were Baristanet’s posters truly representative of society as a whole (I’m sure they’re not), this impression would be a chilling one re the future.
    As it is, it is merely dismaying. The kids are usually “alright,” even today, but they aren’t always right. Some admission of this would be refreshing. Especially of late from the parents of marauding skateboarders.
    And Clifton’s skateboard park isn’t as bad as someone claims above (by way of predictably but weakly explaining why kids don’t go there), nor should the non-resident $15 fee to use it prove an absolute bar given both the possibility of a part-time job and the cost of skateboarding gear, let alone of well-heeled, generous parents.
    It should also be noted here that Clifton’s park in fact had to re-pave its surface before it opened, because skateboarders had broken in and used the park before its official opening date, and thus before the surface had been allowed to properly “set.” The few who couldn’t wait screwed over those who could in that instance.

  107. POSTED BY HelpMeRhoda  |  August 01, 2007 @ 9:51 am

    Da mom is a whiney parent.

  108. POSTED BY Miss Martta  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:11 am

    “Were Baristanet’s posters truly representative of society as a whole (I’m sure they’re not), this impression would be a chilling one re the future.”
    No, I’m afraid this is not just a Baristaville phenomenom. Be afraid. be very afraid.
    Anyway, yes, the kid was wrong. Yes, he deserves to be punished but I still think an arrest is tantamount to killing a mosquito with an elephant gun.
    I think a fine is in order but more importantly, the fine should come from the kid’s pockets and not Mommy’s and Daddy’s.
    An arrest goes on one’s permanent record. In this case, I don’t think that’s warranted. As I mentioned in earlier post, there are kids in town who do much worse things than ride skateboards (steal cars, rob/assault people) on private property and they seem to get off with a slap on the wrist.

  109. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:30 am

    Miss Martta, Cameron’s brief detainment will be expunged from his record when he reaches the age of 18.

  110. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:33 am

    Yes, what is an inherit risk?
    Surely it cannot be a risk that comes part and parcel with a certain condition or activity, or a risk that one “inherits” by taking on said condition or activity.
    I know I make mistakes when typing on the fly at work, but come on.

  111. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:49 am

    alright…
    1) like i stated before i do not, and i repeat DO NOT SKATEBOARD! i am with Cam and John when they do… and so what if i have good grammar? i can’t have good grammar and talk about skateboarding? you’re an idiot for trying to get on me for my grammar…
    2)in a post above someone mention “STRAIGHT EDGE”…
    The straight edge, ir edge, or sXe, scene is not affiliated with violence… The great Ian MCkay of Minor Threat fame started Straight edge in the late 70′s early 80′s… it’s roots come form the punk hardcore scene.. in no way does it repesent violence… listen to any real straight edge band.. Gorilla Biscuits, Good clean fun and the likes of them…
    please do not sully the good name of Straight Edge or Hardcore/Punk
    and do not call Cam’s mom a whiney Parent… in my brief encounters with her she was nothing but kind…. She is just concerned like a good mother should be… and please tell me you wouldn’t defending your children if they were in this situation
    -Trevor Maguire

  112. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:49 am

    alright…
    1) like i stated before i do not, and i repeat DO NOT SKATEBOARD! i am with Cam and John when they do… and so what if i have good grammar? i can’t have good grammar and talk about skateboarding? you’re an idiot for trying to get on me for my grammar…
    2)in a post above someone mention “STRAIGHT EDGE”…
    The straight edge, ir edge, or sXe, scene is not affiliated with violence… The great Ian MCkay of Minor Threat fame started Straight edge in the late 70′s early 80′s… it’s roots come form the punk hardcore scene.. in no way does it repesent violence… listen to any real straight edge band.. Gorilla Biscuits, Good clean fun and the likes of them…
    please do not sully the good name of Straight Edge or Hardcore/Punk
    and do not call Cam’s mom a whiney Parent… in my brief encounters with her she was nothing but kind…. She is just concerned like a good mother should be… and please tell me you wouldn’t defending your children if they were in this situation
    -Trevor Maguire

  113. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:51 am

    alright…
    1) like i stated before i do not, and i repeat DO NOT SKATEBOARD! i am with Cam and John when they do… and so what if i have good grammar? i can’t have good grammar and talk about skateboarding? you’re an idiot for trying to get on me for my grammar…
    2)in a post above someone mention “STRAIGHT EDGE”…
    The straight edge, ir edge, or sXe, scene is not affiliated with violence… The great Ian MCkay of Minor Threat fame started Straight edge in the late 70′s early 80′s… it’s roots come form the punk hardcore scene.. in no way does it repesent violence… listen to any real straight edge band.. Gorilla Biscuits, Good clean fun and the likes of them…
    please do not sully the good name of Straight Edge or Hardcore/Punk
    and do not call Cam’s mom a whiney Parent… in my brief encounters with her she was nothing but kind…. She is just concerned like a good mother should be… and please tell me you wouldn’t defending your children if they were in this situation
    -Trevor Maguire

  114. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:52 am

    alright…
    1) like i stated before i do not, and i repeat DO NOT SKATEBOARD! i am with Cam and John when they do… and so what if i have good grammar? i can’t have good grammar and talk about skateboarding? you’re an idiot for trying to get on me for my grammar…
    2)in a post above someone mention “STRAIGHT EDGE”…
    The straight edge, ir edge, or sXe, scene is not affiliated with violence… The great Ian MCkay of Minor Threat fame started Straight edge in the late 70′s early 80′s… it’s roots come form the punk hardcore scene.. in no way does it repesent violence… listen to any real straight edge band.. Gorilla Biscuits, Good clean fun and the likes of them…
    please do not sully the good name of Straight Edge or Hardcore/Punk
    and do not call Cam’s mom a whiney Parent… in my brief encounters with her she was nothing but kind…. She is just concerned like a good mother should be… and please tell me you wouldn’t defending your children if they were in this situation
    -Trevor Maguire

  115. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    alright…
    1) like i stated before i do not, and i repeat DO NOT SKATEBOARD! i am with Cam and John when they do… and so what if i have good grammar? i can’t have good grammar and talk about skateboarding? you’re an idiot for trying to get on me for my grammar…
    2)in a post above someone mention “STRAIGHT EDGE”…
    The straight edge, ir edge, or sXe, scene is not affiliated with violence… The great Ian MCkay of Minor Threat fame started Straight edge in the late 70′s early 80′s… it’s roots come form the punk hardcore scene.. in no way does it repesent violence… listen to any real straight edge band.. Gorilla Biscuits, Good clean fun and the likes of them…
    please do not sully the good name of Straight Edge or Hardcore/Punk
    and do not call Cam’s mom a whiney Parent… in my brief encounters with her she was nothing but kind…. She is just concerned like a good mother should be… and please tell me you wouldn’t defending your children if they were in this situation
    -Trevor Maguire

  116. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  August 01, 2007 @ 11:05 am

    Dearest Cathar,
    That’s my post you’re referring to: And Clifton’s skateboard park isn’t as bad as someone claims above (by way of predictably but weakly explaining why kids don’t go there).
    So among all your other talents (grammar, spelling, obscure literary references) you’re an expert on skateparks now?

  117. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  August 01, 2007 @ 11:21 am

    D&T’smom,
    Cathar is pretty much an expert on just about everything except for the reduction of Canada geese populations in Essex County parks. He’s working on that right now.. ;)

  118. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  August 01, 2007 @ 11:27 am

    Dunban,
    While I can appreciate your enthusiasm (if not your repeated clicking of the “post” button), I think you missed the valid part of Cathar’s rant: Good grammar is important when trying to make an argument in a text based forum. Without it, you run the very probable risk of your post coming across as uninformed, unintelligent and illegible. Which is exactly what you are doing in your posts here by not using good grammar. Let me repeat that for you: You are not using good grammar.
    re Straight Edge:
    You may not be violent and the bands you mention above certainly don’t advocate violence.
    But, that does not change history (especially of the NY/NJ Punk scene circa 1995 – 2002 of which I have extensive first hand knowledge both on stage and in the pit). I have been witness to and almost caught up in many parking lot jumpings by straight edgers because they didn’t like the fact that someone, sometimes over the age of 18, was smoking near the venue.
    Much like religious zealots can soil the admirable ambitions of the founders; straight edge zealots have forever tainted the image of their genre despite the intentions of the bands that brought the ideology to the forefront of the Punk scene.

  119. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    hmm you’re into hardcore… i dont wanna mess with you now
    =(
    but are you sure they weren’t crew related jumpings? per say F.S.U or D.M.S??
    remember what happened at tenfly?

  120. POSTED BY Ambidextrous  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    If you don’t realize what a hot issue this is just from the number of posts here, check this out.
    “Catholic dean on leave after YouTube outburst” on Reuters oddly enough.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSSYD1415720070801

  121. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 01, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    D&T’s mom,
    While I am by no means an “expert” on skateboard parks (neither, I’m positive, are you), I know enough to tell a whinging, drippy post when I read one. But you have a grand day anyway.
    Generically named mike, c’mon there. There is typing on the fly and then there is typing the wrong word entirely. (And then there is posting in a defensive posture because you still can’t think of the word “inherent,” I suppose.)
    Now to those geese, Mellon Brush! I have in mind the reintroduction of the Hungarian strain of the bustard, because it has been known to eat other birds and remains damn cute (however large), to these parts as one partial solution.

  122. POSTED BY Taxpayer  |  August 01, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

    Just a sidebar anecdote:
    A few years ago some teen skateboarders (about 4)decided that my gently sloping front walk with 3 stairs at the base and an accompanying brick course down the side capable of grinding on would be a good place to try their technique out. My son pointed it out to me and I politely opened the front door and said “yo guys, you’re kidding me right?” They then quietly (and sensibly) dispersed.
    My point – sure they’re just teens interested in some fun – but that shouldn’t mean abandoning all your common sense in your “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”, especially having been given prior fair warning in Cameron’s case. Clearly, in the litigious-happy mecca of Montclair, had one of these teens been hurt while grinding on my private property I surely would have been ‘victim’ (everybody’s a victim these days no matter what the circumstance, as Cameron’s mother has already shown us) of a lawsuit for not having posted a lawyer’s discourse of trespassing notices on my front lawn specifically forbidding skateboarding.
    It is perhaps unfortunate that we can’t pursue our hobbies with all the youthful zeal we can muster but to me it’s just a matter of practical limitations and not contempt for skateboarders in general. My brother and friends spent many of our teen years racing our 2 Hp/50cc mini-bikes along the GSP South gully opposite Upper Montclair Country Club, through the WPAT radio tower ‘Woods’ (before it became Alonzo F. Bonzal Park), over the remainder of the golf course that once stood in Lummus parking lot and later through the Lummus parking lot in Bloomfield. We knew it was clearly illegal and half the fun was being chased by an angry neighbor, Phil Axt (the former owner of that large tract) in his aging Cadillac or a Lummus security guard with a rubber gun. We, as 13 year olds, unsuccessfully lobbied Lummus for permission. But it never once crossed our minds that a park ought to be built to accommodate us or that ‘the Woods’ ought to be legally accessible. We understood as 13-year olds that that request was certainly too much financial burden to foist upon the taxpayer. How is that fact so easily lost among adults today? And that was also at a time when filing a lawsuit almost always cast the suitor in disgrace and not the other way around.
    As others have written, solicit some private donations or ask Dad/Mom to break open the 401K, the Education IRA, or sell some stock options to build your own park on private property but certainly NOT on the taxpayer’s dime. I’m still reeling from the $1.2 million Brookdale Park Dog Run and have yet to open my estimated tax bill.

  123. POSTED BY HidingInBaristaville  |  August 01, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    “I’m still reeling from the $1.2 million Brookdale Park Dog Run and have yet to open my estimated tax bill”
    not 1.2 for the dogpark- 450,000 for the dogpark the rest for the tennis courts!!
    get your numbers straight please

  124. POSTED BY Taxpayer  |  August 01, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

    Sorry, $450,000 for the dog park that includes some benches and a run. What do you suppose it’s paved with to warrant $450,000? The dogs didn’t look so enthused about the proposed accoutrements when I last passed there. I think they’d be content with a simple enclosure and the existing area but I can’t say the same for their ‘masters’. The remainder, presumably, for the tennis courts which were in good shape with the possible exception of the 2 northern-most courts and the fencing damaged from the ‘microburst’ which has turned into a macroburst of unnecessary taxpayer expenditures.
    Do you have a link to the breakdown of the $1.2M?

  125. POSTED BY jimmy229oz  |  August 01, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

    “hmm you’re into hardcore… i dont wanna mess with you now
    =(”
    Want to buy some 45′s?
    I have the 1st pressings of the 1st YOT, Warzone, GB, SBS, SOIA, Lifesblood, Project X, Straight Ahead and some other interesting albums.
    I guess you guys are too young to remember Rock Hotel? The CBGB Hardcore matinee? The Pyramid Hardcore Saturdays? The Old Ritz? The Anthrax?
    Ahhh memories….

  126. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

    im only 14 but old school punk hardcore is my favorite!!! i would love to buy them

  127. POSTED BY Miss Martta  |  August 01, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

    It’s scary to think that I have the same musical tastes as a 14 yo boy (I am assuming you’re male, correct me if I’m wrong).

  128. POSTED BY dunban  |  August 02, 2007 @ 1:28 am

    I’m a male.. how is it scary?

  129. POSTED BY Miss Martta  |  August 02, 2007 @ 5:32 am

    Scary in a good way. Scary in a BudK catalog sorta way.

  130. POSTED BY exit 151  |  August 02, 2007 @ 6:15 am

    are you on the edge?

  131. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  August 02, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    My boys enjoyed skating at the Clifton skatezone when they were in their early teens. However, as they progressed in skill, they “outgrew” this park, as did their friends. While not an expert myself, certainly I have spent enough time listening to my two resident skaters’ opinions (and their friends’ opinions) about various skateparks, and I had the opportunity to sit in on some planning meetings for the proposed Bloomfield park. However…..
    Uncle. I give up. Obviously Cathar knows more about this than I do… Clifton has a fabulous skatepark.
    In fact, the Olympic Committee is considering holding the Summer 2012 Olympics in Clifton New Jersey simply because word of this skatepark has spread to the international community and everyone is chomping at the bit to sk8 Clifton’s “Extreme Scene”.

  132. POSTED BY jimmy229oz  |  August 02, 2007 @ 8:31 am

    “However, as they progressed in skill, they “outgrew” this park, as did their friends.”
    So I guess Clifton should now upgrade their park too now huh?

  133. POSTED BY D&T'smom  |  August 02, 2007 @ 8:41 am

    No, Jimmy. I’m sure there are a lot of kids who enjoy it very much and that it is well suited to their needs, as mine used to. Mine prefer to go elsewhere, and they do. Cathar was “asking” why local kids don’t congregate at the Clifton park, and I offered a reason.

  134. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 02, 2007 @ 8:45 am

    D&T’s mom, your attempt at irony and/or sarcasm might work better if you didn’t pander by using a “word” like “sk8.” More dignity!
    You also note your children “progressed” past Clifton’s challenges while in their early teens. Which I suppose means they’re now in their mid-late teens? If so, perhaps they can now drive themselves to better skateparks than Clifton’s modest venue. (Or even move on to a better appreciation of both motorcycles and automobiles.)
    Anyway, skateboarding basically remains a province of white males of a certain age and background. Therefore, building a facility specially for them sends an odd message in these days of heightened concerns about diversity. At the least, should Montclair opt to build a skateboard park, there’ll have to be outreach programs to the community, a “diversity coordinator” (I suggest walleroo, he’s already “trans-species” based on his posting name) and even days devoted solely to the transgendered, the bisexual, etc.

  135. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 02, 2007 @ 8:53 am

    Even though you speak of your sons’ “needs” for a more challenging skateboard park as if they were a virtual moral imperative, D&T’s mom, why do you apparently expect others to help pay to meet those needs? If your sons are already going somewhere else than declasse’ Clifton, after all, you’ve already solved this “problem” for your offspring.

  136. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  August 02, 2007 @ 8:58 am

    Anyway, skateboarding basically remains a province of white males of a certain age and background.
    “Basically” being a key word in this statement.
    Take a walk in the Lackawanna Plaza area or parts of the 4th ward and you will see a large number of skaters, many of whom are not white.
    Of course, these kids could be the rich neighbors of the rich white kids who also like to skate in these areas. But, I like to think that skateboarding is one of those sports that transcends economic background. My parents (and most of my friends’ parents) weren’t in a position to live in Upper Montclair, anyway.

  137. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 02, 2007 @ 9:20 am

    GNM, if you’ve seen more dappling of diversity than I have among the skateboard set, I will accept your word for it.
    But again, I used the word “basically,” and I can’t see that situation changing much. The idea of entitlement hangs heavy over any discussion of skateboarding, as if because some people do it, then they should automatically be granted the skateboard park of their dreams. As I learned during my own childhood re several sports (amazingly, some might say, I grew up in a town without so much as an outdoor public pool or tennis courts), however, it is often a “tough darts” kind of situation. And then I went to college and actually met people who’d played lacrosse and rowed crew in h.s. (well, in boarding school, actually). But so what, you know? Life is full of disappointments and probably should be, even in affluent Baristaville. This is even, to a certain extent, what camps are for.
    That situation does not, however, give skateboarders license to, ah, “improvise” on private and public property alike, as so many do. And I suspect that the search for public land on which to build a skateboard park and then the building of it may well prove ruinously costly in an age when fiscal responsibility is called for.
    So I still maintain that walleroo’s backyard should simply be declared an open play zone for the community, and that the ramp he uses to climb up when he goes after tasty bark high up on his trees could be easily adapted for skateboarding.

  138. POSTED BY Goober Peas  |  August 02, 2007 @ 10:08 am

    cathar,
    Please just shut up!

  139. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  August 02, 2007 @ 10:24 am

    There’s a small skate park in Mullaly Park near Yankee Stadium (or at least there was before they started the new stadium construction) and it attracts a very diverse crowd, as you might expect from the neighborhood.
    (I’m surprised that this subject has generated 140+ posts)

  140. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  August 02, 2007 @ 11:37 am

    Lot’s of posts from people who never spent more than a few ungainly moments on a skateboard.
    I skateboarded my ass of as when I was a kid over 40 years ago.
    Walter Iooss, later to become a world famous sports and swimsuit photographer took photographs of my friends and me skateboarding down Summit Ave. in East Orange in 1964. We were probably some of the first people on the east coast to skateboard. We built our own boards from wood and rollerskate wheels. Later some fiberglass models with compound wheels became available commercially and we used those.
    There should be some kind of municipal referendum regarding the allocation of public $ for a skatepark.

  141. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 02, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    Goober peas, go eat yourself.

  142. POSTED BY John Leizear  |  August 02, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

    This young mans situation is not unlike 100′s of thousand of boys, girls, and adult skaters around the country. Skateboarding is a crime! Sounds pretty silly, but it is reality. His situation, skating on private property after being warned not to do so is unfortunate, but is an associated risk for those that want to persue a healthy active life, skateboarding. I have been riding for nearly 30 years, and have seen it all when it comes to skateboarding. We are not in uniform shouting the schools moniker, and that must mean we are not athletes? I know little of Montclair, but know enough that a worthy, meaning,a concrete skatepark is needed. A recent survey showed that nearly 4% of teens in the Northeast ride a skateboard, however they are ignored and made to be criminals. Some as young 8 years old have had their boards confiscated, and been detained. That is outrageous IMO.
    Skateboarding has become curriculum in schools, including skateboard teams that compete against other schools. Skateboarding, much to the dismay of some older riders will be part of the 2012 Olympics. What? Districts around the Country are actually supporting their youth and their progressive athletic endeavors, that’s crazy talk, right. Skateboarding was born here, and belongs in our communities, in a safe environment, for riders, and the general public as well.
    Nearly all skateparks are built with donated monies! Not many football/baseball/basketball/tennis/soccer or other like sport venues are built with donated monies, to the extent skateparks are. However the statistics have shown each and every one of those sports have declining participation levels. Skateboarding is the fastest growing sport in the country, and it is proven, time and time again. Our kids sport, is not what our sports used to be. The Nation is now in the clutches of childhood obesity, but we want to only allow certain types of healthy activity. Why is that? I did a report on skateboard fatalities last year. I was amazed at the frequency people were being killed by cars, 27 to be exact. In comparison, only 1 died at a skatepark. The youngest killed was just 7 years old, the oldest was 49 and teaching his son to ride when he was struck by an elderly driver. Lets get behind these kids and their desire to be active in our communities. They deserve our support. The next Tony Hawk, or Olympic Gold medalist could be right there in Montclair.
    John Leizear
    Skaters for Public Skateparks.

  143. POSTED BY John Leizear  |  August 02, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

    Cathar,
    You speak of diversity amongst sports. I give you Tennis, Soccer,Basketball and Baseball as examples of sport that has little cultural diversity as well. However, they are funded and accepted. The skateboarding community welcomes all types, as long as they skate, because we know what it is like to be stereo typed and outcasted. I spent last Saturday skating with a young African-American woman. Some of skateboardings most talented athletes are African-American, Latino, and Asian. You can take your foot out of your mouth now, and don’t worry we are used to people like you assuming you know about skateboarding!

  144. POSTED BY cathar  |  August 02, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

    John Leizear, it is my turn to remind you that tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball are in fact very diverse. You’ve never read, for example, that over 20% of the NBA’s players are foreign-born? Even that former French tennis pro Yannick Noah’s sons are college hoop stars in America? How players in the minors and major league baseball come from Australia, Canada, Japan, central and south America and the sandlots of Nebraska and Connecticut and so many other places. And let us not get started on the rainbow that is professional and collegiate soccer in this nation of ours…..
    You may now proceed to take your teeth out of your dumb ass, John. Instead, try biting your skateboard.

  145. POSTED BY John Leizear  |  August 02, 2007 @ 7:24 pm

    I will now remind you that we are not talking about professional or even collegiate level athletes. We are talking about your average participant, members of your community. Your ignorance is funny, if not sad. I hope to God you don’t have children, if you do, they are sorely lacking a knowledgeable parent. You give me a few meager examples, and I suspect you think you got it nailed. Skateboarding is a worldwide pursuit, knucklehead. Skateparks are everywhere! Except Montclair, NJ. How many white kids are on your basketball team? How many black kids are on the tennis or wrestling team? I bet there are some, but the diversity isn’t such that you could be proud of it. Here are just a few Countries that boast large enough skateboard populations to build skateparks. USA, Brazil, France, Germany, China, Japan, Mexico, Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Israel, UAE, and on and on. So tp you I say, you couldn’t be more wrong about the diversity of skateboarding. I have no problem continuing to debate you, and showing everyone the fool you are. I think most already get that though. What the he** does “You can take your teeth out of your ass” mean anyway. Why don’t you just call me a dumb dumb head or something? Seems to be more along your intelligence level….at least on this subject. You are way over your head on this topic dear soul.

  146. POSTED BY Bill Helene  |  August 02, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

    There’s a public skatepark in Bay Ridge Brooklyn (Owls Head Park). Its been there for 7 years. Its got a big street area and a expansive bowl section. Because of this mix of features, Owls Head enjoys a broad appeal. Skaters of all ages and colors flock there, interact, recreate, and respect the facility. I know, I’m a 44 yr. old parent and skate there regularly. There are no grafitti problems, no crime problems, no lawsuit problems … WHY?
    1) because skateboarding is statistically safer than many sports we’ve embraced for generations.
    2) because Owls Head was properly sited and built by an experienced skater-contractor and offers a compelling alternative to the streets
    3) because a good skatepark generates respect and stewardship
    4) because a good skatepark is a springboard for getting youth active and involved in fundraisers, contests, improvements.
    This same Owls Head formula is playing out all over the country.
    The wrong formula is also playing out by way of inferior portable ramp layouts, poor site selection, gate fees, and excessive rules.
    But ANY skatepark is exponentially safer than the streets. Making sure its a good skatepark: skater-built with trowel formed concrete – ensures its longevity, appeal and value to the community.

  147. POSTED BY chrisnm203  |  August 03, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    Anyone opposed to the idea of a skatepark should play in traffic like skateboarders are forced to. Now, go play football, redneck.

  148. POSTED BY Nick English  |  August 03, 2007 @ 7:25 pm

    cathar:
    1.)Skateboarding is not diverse? But Baseball and basketball are because the pros on tv seem to be? Wow…I don’t really need to respond to that.
    Like every town, you will find a lot of empty tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields and football stadiums-and yet you see skateboarders out having fun getting exercise regularly?
    2.)Did you really just suggest someone build a skatepark in their own backyard?
    Actually building a private park would probably make someone a lot of money-but it is the cities responsibility to provide a free public area to practice this wildly popular activity. You would feel silly telling a kid to build a football stadium in his backyard would you not?
    3.)And the comments about encounters with dangerous skaters should only re-enforce the need for a safe place to practice this sport.
    Okay time to face some facts:
    There are around 13 million skateboarders in America alone.
    13 million.
    NEISS (National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – a division of the Consumer Protection Safety Council) injury statistics for 1998 show the following sports ranked by number of reported injuries per 100,000 participants.
    Basketball – 223.5
    Baseball – 115.7
    Soccer – 62.0
    Skateboarding – 20.2
    Oops, better get a waiver/helmet/pads on everyone one of those little punks/sue happy freaks with their soccer balls of hell and date-raping footballs(kidding!)!
    They can do all that dangerous crap in their own soccer fields in their backyards, or whatever thats their problem right?
    Sure, skateboarding may be more popular and safer than all those sports, but lets continue to make ourselves look foolish to the rest of the world and keep our attitudes about how little freedom we should actually have.
    It’s just a board with some wheels on it-seriously.
    It can be fun.
    We really need to change our attitudes in this country. We are all part of the same community are we not?

  149. POSTED BY Goober Peas  |  August 03, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

    “Goober peas, go eat yourself.
    Posted by cathar | August 2, 2007 11:49 AM”
    cathar,
    does that mean that you can no longer perform?
    Your tongue twirling was the talk of the Columbia football team.
    What a shame!

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