Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Positive changes abound at Skate Park

By Eli Cohen
Trash, graffiti, noise, hoodlums and drugs — that’s how many non-skaters in town view the Ojai Skate Park. Most folks simply drive by the park on their way through town, only seeing the negatives, making the park an excellent candidate for ridicule and lack of public interest.
But don’t be so quick to judge; the roots of skateboarding run deep in America. Skateboarding holds a certain appeal for male youths from lower middle class broken homes. Kids coming from those situations find a place and some meaning to their lives through the positive aspects skateboarding has to offer. Skateboarding is way more than just an outlet of expression. It provides an important life lesson, teaches kids that regardless of your race, color or financial background, everyone can participate.
It bonds people who would have otherwise never met and, best of all, it provides a place of common ground for the people who need it most: the youths.
Instead of taking those thoughts into consideration, authority has continuously punished skateboarders for pursuing their passion for skateboarding. That negative vibe that authority brings to skateboarding increases the mistrust between skateboarders and authority figures.
(Eli's solutions for a better relations between skaters and non-skaters may be read in Wednesday's OVN)

Click for video of January 2006 repairs to the Ojai Skatepark.

1 comment:

Rae Hanstad said...

Thanks to Eli (and the OVN) for a great story and for staying on top of this important community issue.

I hope Eli will rally the skateboarding troops to attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:30 PM. The past, present and future of the skate park is on the agenda; the discussion will be improved by youth and skater input.

Thanks also for the link to the skate park work party: required viewing for all interested parties!