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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Seattle Center Skatepark: 199?-2007

posted by on January 3 at 13:51 PM


The skatepark marooned in the middle of the parking lot across the street from the Space Needle—the only skatepark in the center of Seattle—is being bulldozed today to make way for the offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What is wrong with this city? What’s with Seattle’s inability to get off its freakin’ butt and build some decent, centrally-located skateparks already? The best skatepark design/build firm in the country—Grindline—is headquartered right here in Seattle, but the city absolutely refuses to tap them. It’s perverse. (Click here to read Stranger alum Amy Jenniges’ excellent feature on Grindline.)

Seattle has created—wait for it!—a task force. To, you know, study the issue. The task force released a report last month, which got some play in the dailies, and will soon be forgotten. (Sarah Mirk reported on the task force for us here and here .) In the meantime, we’re tearing down (or digging up) one of the two skateparks we have. There are vague plans to build a new skatepark somewhere at Seattle Center sometime later in the year.

If the city is having trouble finding a spot for a new skatepark, I have a suggestion: How about we tear down Seattle Center’s depressing, decrepit, and privately owned “Fun Forest” and build a huge skatepark right under the Space Needle. (Click here to read an excellent feature by Megan Seling about the “Fun Forest,” AKA the emptiest place on earth.)

I’m serious. There are 20,000 skateboarders in this city, and they deserve a skatepark. Every time the city proposes building one in a neighborhood park the NIMBYs freak out. Parks are for goose poop, you see, not for teenagers—they’re especially not for teenage boys. (Teenage boys make up most—not all, but most—of the city’s skateboarders.) But there are no neighbors to annoy around the Space Needle—just parking lots, busy streets, and KOMO. Building a huge skatepark in such a prominent spot would would put Seattle out in front of the growing international skateboarding phenomenon. Hell, if snowboarding is now an Olympic sport can skateboarding be far behind?

If the city hired Grindline to build a massive, state-of-the-art skatepark under the Space Needle—what a freaking beautiful spot!—it would instantly become a stop on the national skatepark circuit. And it’s not like that space is being used for anything right now anyway. The Fun Forest is always deserted. Making that space into a skatepark once the Fun Forest’s lease expires wouldn’t require taking anything away from anybody or imposing anything on anybody.

So let’s tear it all out—the crappy carnival rides, the indoor video arcade, the seen-better-days miniature golf course—and build a huge, indoor/outdoor skatepark under the Needle. We wouldn’t even need all the space currently occupied by the Fun Forest to build the biggest and best skatepark in the country. That could be done with the space to the west of the Monorail tracks. The space behind EMP—currently home to a log flume, a roller coaster, and a pirate ship—could be used for something else.

Like maybe a BMX bike course.

RSS icon Comments


Dan, I'm a 25 year-old woman and I skate. If you want to advocate on our behalf, (which we supremely appreciate by the way) please remember that just like all gay men are not promiscuous, all skaters are not teenage boys.

Posted by Anna May | January 3, 2007 2:03 PM

The new park under I-5, between Eastlake and Capitol Hill, so memorably celebrated by Charles Mudede in your pages, would be a perfect site for a skatepark, as it's already noisy there. Not a lot of kids live in Eastlake or Capitol Hill, but not a lot live around Seattle Center either, and the park is a few blocks from several major bus lines. The pillars suggest, to anyone who's seen the Burnside ramps in Portland, a skater's heaven waiting to be built. Also, despite the lovely dog run and the nice-looking off-road biking trail, I never see more than a couple of people in the park, even on weekends. A skatepark could help the park succeed.

Posted by Eric F | January 3, 2007 2:11 PM

Does the phrase "wish in one hand, crap in the other" ring a bell?

Posted by PHENICS | January 3, 2007 2:14 PM

Sorry, Anna May. But most skateboarders are boys, and some people fear skateparks for just that reason. Didn't mean to negate your existence... post updated.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 3, 2007 2:16 PM

I agree with Eric F. A skate park would be good, and the kids and non-kid-skaters might cheer of that sad, sad, strange palm tree.

Posted by Jude Fawley | January 3, 2007 2:28 PM

As far as I can tell, most skaters are 25-35.

Posted by chris | January 3, 2007 2:36 PM

I am sure that the city will set up a task force to study the feasability of a task force to look at starting a task force to look at the Skate Park. However, that is totally contigent on the ability of the task force to put an initiative on the ballot to determine if Seattle wants to spend the money to fund the task force.

Posted by Andrew | January 3, 2007 2:38 PM

I skate, too.

Posted by Mark Arm | January 3, 2007 2:43 PM

wait, why does the public even need to subsidize skating anyway? dan, why don't you start your own skate park. you can even make it a non-profit if you want to.

I know, I know, soccer fields and whatnot, but you've got to draw the line somewhere.

Posted by chris | January 3, 2007 2:43 PM

Does the skateboarding community have a group like COLA? That's C___(?) for Off-Leash Areas. Without them, I'm pretty sure that nice new park under I5 wouldn't have had a dog run.

Posted by Tiz | January 3, 2007 2:43 PM

That Dan's sure an idea guy. Unfortunately, most of them are really really bad.

Posted by Strangerdanger2 | January 3, 2007 3:01 PM

Draw the line somewhere?

Soccer is great. It gives kids confidence and exercise. It builds skills and teaches them life lessons.

But not skateboarding. There's nothing to be learned or gained from such an activity. If the city is going to fund basketball courts, parks, soccer fields, baseball fields, and dog parks, perhaps they should also fund an activity with a large following.

I understand why they're bulldozing Seaskate, but there should be another park built around it. And not another bowl. Those are great, when there's a park surrounding them, but alone they're pretty lame.

Posted by move_it_by_bike | January 3, 2007 3:23 PM

If ever a Vic Morrow reference was to be made, it's in regards to my feeling of impending decapitation on Fun Forest's tiny, rickety "Windstorm" roller coaster.

Mark@8: Is it true that the word on the existing skate park at SeaCtr is that it's too small for older (bigger) boarders?

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | January 3, 2007 3:33 PM

Congratulations, seattle parks. you just took our only centralized skatepark and left the entire quota of innercity youths and adults without a public place to skateboard. I remember Cathy Tuttle (Parks dept) promising us a replacement spot by the time the old park was eventually demolish. Oops, you dropped the ball yet again gang.

Grindline is not the best skatepark company by the way. There are many of their projects that have serious flaws in the workmanship and design. Mukilteo for example has a permanent puddle in the deep (11ft) skatepark bowl. That is not a good thing to have. Dreamland, SDC, Benchmark, Wally Hollyday, Breaking Ground skateparks and a myriad more can all get the job done - get your facts straight next time Dan. An all girl skate group "Skate Like A Girl" is also based out of Seattle and boasts a large membership of ripping ladies.

Posted by bobcat | January 3, 2007 3:53 PM

move_it_by_bike I totaly disagree with your comment. Skate Borading is a sport that teaches skills, gives kids confidence and is great exercise!

Have you ever tried it? I am not a skate border but I know its challenging and teaches kids lots or the above. Just like soccer, basketball ect.

Don't knock it till you try it!!

Posted by Laura S | January 3, 2007 4:02 PM

Skateboarding is clearly one of the stupidest, most pointless activities to ever strike our youth. It consumes lives and turns ordinary pedestrians into non-pedestrians in the blink of an eye.

It's dangerous, too, like many things. I've been injured at least once and maybe as much as one bazillion times due to falling off my board while trying some feat of insanity (e.g., skating while thinking about my mortgage payment).

With all due respect to the sarcasm expressed at the Task Force, I believe (and I've been wrong more often than not) that ALL avenues should be explored. A task force, even a stupid one, is not mutually exclusive to other just going out and skating the UW parking garage like our fathers did, and their fathers did, and know. Forever ago.

Or you can build it yourself. Or you can give your skateboard to some drop-out kid with nothing better to do with his life and get a good job with some wives and stuff. It doesn't really matter because at the end of the day, skateboarding still sucks.

But we STILL need to see about 15 or so skateparks in Seattle because skateboarding is still OUR thing. Anyone who doesn't realize it is a perfect idiot.

Posted by Peter Whitley | January 3, 2007 4:50 PM

It seems like most parks activities are pretty "useless." What are those people doing playing soccer, watching their kids run around, or just sitting and hanging out on the grass? Go do something important! Like shopping or working to afford the shopping. Morons.

Posted by keshmeshi | January 3, 2007 5:09 PM

I've noticed skateparks get used year-round even in the rainy Northwest. The moment the concrete dries, skateboarders start showing up and riding.

Contrast that scenario to the unused acres of baseball fields and tennis courts that sit empty 75% of the year and skateparks begin to look like a great value for the public recreation dollar.

Posted by timebomb | January 3, 2007 5:12 PM

Sorry move_it_by_bike but more kids skate these days than play baseball. Ultimately seattle has two choices: the city can build quality skateparks or skaters can skate in streets, parking-lots, business plazas, ect. I'm a 30 year-old skater and i've been at it for a while , in the late 80's/early 90's skateparks were few and far between and streetskating was the only option. Now, i have to admit that i have some fond memories of fighting cops,security guards, and business owners, as well as vandalizing public and private property to make more skateable landscapes, but maybe it'd be a good idea to stop pushing tweens into the outlaw side of life just to practice their sport of choice.

Posted by dead_jim | January 3, 2007 5:23 PM

It is truly a sad day seeing such a unique skatepark (even when it was just a parking lot with few jump ramps and flatbars), which contributed so many years of positive outlet for skaters--flattened in a matter of hours. I will definitely cherish my memories of: hanging out with all of the regulars and who ripped that park to shreds, witnessing terrible bails and wincing at broken bones, smoking, drinking, laughing, heckling, and everyone in general just feeling fucking good about themselves and about their place to go--regardless of age, race, economic background, or gender. Skateboarding is truly an American sport and culture that, much like our music and art, is hard to understand the impact of until you see the range of people all over the world that are actually influenced by it; from some kid in Barcelona excited about his first real kit, to some fat clueless slob in a mall somewhere eating at Sbarro wearing an Element t-shirt. R.I.P. SEASKATE.

Posted by Nicolae White | January 3, 2007 6:17 PM

After Bobcat posted about the demolition, I ran down there this morning to take pictures of it. As a mother of an almost 9 yr old boy, who has FANTASIZED about skating that park, I am truly upset about the demise of the Seattle Center skatepark. My boy isn't good enough or confident enough to skate with the big boys, but I would take him to Seask8 all the time to watch and learn. Now that he is getting his chops somewhat from skating at MARGINAL WAY, he had been asking me to take him to Seask8. I guess that's not gonna happen now is it?

Marginal Way is fun, but do I REALLY have to drive 30 miles away to let my son practice in a bigger park?
Seattle is doing a very good job of removing any kind of fun for the youth of this city.
First the Ballard spot, now this.

Good job. Can't wait to leave.

Posted by bridget | January 3, 2007 7:43 PM

I have to say that Seattle is the most family-unfriendly city my family has ever lived in. We live in Belltown where dogparks outnumber playgrounds 10-0, you treat animals better than you treat kids... and now they're getting rid of one place where I can take the kids outside to teach them something I used to do as a kid and let them work off some steam in a reasonably safe and productive manner?

Thank you Bill Gates and the city of Seattle, for driving another nail into the idea of a family oriented city and for giving my kids one more reason to convince me to relocate far, far away.

Posted by Pack | January 3, 2007 7:54 PM

Hey morons, move_it_by_bike was being sarcastic. That said, it's obvious that a lot of kids and adults in this city skateboard (some would argue more than play tennis or soccer, which have lots of dedicated neighborhood spaces). It's obviously time for the city to stop dragging it's feet and for the kid-hating-yuppies to start welcoming skateparks to their neighborhoods instead of stopping them.

Posted by Dan10things | January 3, 2007 8:10 PM

Thanks for the feedback via other facets, folks. We need to mobilize again and it will not be pretty. We will consist of all races, all ages, and all genders. We will be heard. Ultimately Seattle Center is responsible for this sudden action and their lack of desire to have a skateboard park on their property. We need a fucking undercover skateboard park in the downtown Seattle area. No more closing our indoor park down due to Seahawks parking (Rain City Skateparks). No more moving a wooden paradise open 24/7 because the Sonics practice arena needed to be constructed next to it (1990's Seask8).

Any interested parties can contact me. I don't want to be the speaker of the house, just need to be the person to spark the flames of discontent.

Posted by bobcat | January 3, 2007 8:15 PM

Move to east Capitol Hill if you can swing the mortgage -- if you're truly living in Belltown, you probably can. Brats rule here. They make the rules. Restaurants cater to their whims. I have to go change a diaper.

People, we're going to build more skateparks.

Posted by j | January 3, 2007 8:16 PM

A suggestion. Activists need to start showing up at city hall, kids in tow, skateboards under their arms, and let them skate IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS, during meetings. Tell them you'll keep coming back until at random, unannounced times, UNTIL THEY BUILD SOME FUCKING SKATEPARKS.

Come to think of it, the lobby of city hall would be an awesome skatepark. Protests work—they helped get the TDO repealed. It's time to up the ante. Don't let them "task force" you into submission. Make it uncomfortable for the city council and the mayor. And forcing the city to arrest minor skateboarders and their parents, well, that would make 'em very uncomfortable. It would also get their attention quick—you'll see skateparks funded so fast your heads will spin.

Just tell the TV news folks when you're showing up—but make 'em promise not to tell the city. And they won't, because that would ruin the video. Then barge in every available door all at once and let 'em tape ten or twenty or thirty kids skateboarding around city hall. Video will be shot—and video is all they understand & fear—and a spokesperson says, "Well, we got tired of waiting for the city to build a skatepark so we've decided to let our kids skate here."

Do it, do it, do it. It will work.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 3, 2007 8:36 PM

If there's this much demand for skate parks, wouldn't it be worthwhile to somebody to build one and charge a couple bucks to use it? 20,000 skateboarders, $5 per entry. If they each came just once, it'd be $100k per year in revenue. Anyone wanna line up an SBA loan?

Posted by Gitai | January 3, 2007 8:55 PM

So long as we start charging bikes to ride on the street—and charging people to use the city's tennis courts, soccer fields, jog on the city's sidewalks, play baseball on the city's diamonds, etc. That would be fair.

Posted by Dan Savage | January 3, 2007 9:02 PM

Yeah Gitai, there is Innerspace, an indoor park in Fremont.
They charge $6 per session if you are a member. I had my boy in skatecamp there over the summer.

Maybe you could ask them if they pull in 100K per year.

Skaters aren't going to pay, unless mommy or daddy does it for them. And most skaters are too old for mommy and daddy to do such a thing.

Posted by bridget | January 3, 2007 9:05 PM

Seaskate was originally pay-to-play then made free. You can't make money off of skateboarders, just the kids who wanna look and dress like them.

Rain City skatepark also existed right by the stadiums but the city of seattle made it a total bitch for them to stay in business with permits and the like. ended up shutting down so they can build more sports parking. great.

Dan, we've been organizing and attending city hall meetings for over 10 years. This isn't a news flash for us on the wheeled sword.

Posted by bobcat | January 3, 2007 9:23 PM

Excellent article, Dan. Thanks for covering this important issue. Just a few points of clarification on some of the issues raised thus far:

1. The City Council has already directed Seattle Center to find a location on its campus for another skatepark of the same size to replace SeaSk8, recently passed a budget proviso on money from the Lot 2 sale to the Gates Foundation as an incentive for them to act on this directive, and there has been $850K available to build a new skatepark for over a year and a half now. Those of us who regularly advocate for free, public skateparks in Seattle are eagerly awaiting action from Seattle Center. This is not a Parks Department issue or a City of Seattle issue anymore. It is now a Seattle Center issue.

2. The plan created by the Task Force deals with the contentious issue of siting skateparks, specifies many places in Seattle where skateparks should be built in the future, and attempts to balance the needs of skaters with the needs of neighbors. This plan was funded with $100K from the City Council, took a year to develop, and involved an extremely rigorous public involvement process. In the end, and assuming that the City Council approves the final version of the plan, the idea is that there will be lots of dots on a map of Seattle where neighborhood-level skate advocates may pick up the torch and get something done themselves without having to deal with yet another skaters-versus-NIMBYs battle like we saw with the Ballard Bowl, Lower Woodland, and now SeaSk8. Although there was no funding in the Task Force's charter to build the actual skatedots, skatespots and skateparks, the PEL&L Committee recently recommended funding for several new skatedots, skatespots and skateparks in the 2007-08 budget. As a member of the Task Force and an advocate for the legislation that created it, I am hopeful that the full Council will adopt this recommendation when the final plan comes up for review later this month or in early February.

3. If you want to become an advocate for a skatepark in your neighborhood, please feel free to dial into the citywide skatepark plan, pick any dot on the final map where you'd like to focus your energy, and just do it. You can wave your own banner for this purpose, or join forces with any of the existing skate advocacy groups and organizations around town, many of which are shown on our Partners page:

4. The Fun Forest is indeed a preferred location for the replacement skatepark. Those of us who met with representatives from Seattle Center and the City Council last Spring recommended this site, and that the new skatepark would cater to the needs of street skaters, not vert/tranny/bowl skaters. We have been advocating for a "skate plaza" next to the EMP, under the monorail tracks, and/or in the Fun Forest since the Lot 2 sale was first announced in December 2005. Your article renews my hope that we will actually see one there soon.

Thanks again Dan,

Scott Shinn
Parents for Skateparks

Posted by Scott Shinn | January 3, 2007 10:39 PM

WTF? Who's writing us a check for the $50K that we donated towards SEASK8? I know where we could spend it and they might get the job done right: Portland.
...I skate, too.

Posted by jeff ament | January 3, 2007 10:42 PM

I'm reposting this for NadaMucho.. clicky my name here for the link.
I posted with major editing of pics from the blog, I might have cut a few things mistakenly, please click my name here for the full effect. It's GOOD and worth it!

One of my favorite aspects of Seattle's ongoing quest to be The Most Asshole-Friendly City in the United States is its firm dedication to crapping on the kids. Sure, they're planning a new public skatepar or two to replace SeaSkate over by the Seattle Center, boys and girls... be patient! These things take time... kids? Why don't they wait until they build a new one for you before they tear up what you've got? Ha ha ha! BILL GATES needs this piece of land, you stupid children! He needs it to build for highly paid people to sit in comfortable chairs and decide who to give his money to. No, he doesn't have time to just write a bigass check to Northwest Harvest. Maybe you'll understand when you're older. It's complicated. You're moping around, waiting for a centrally located public skatepark that will never happen in your youth, hop on the bus and go to Ballard... they built you a bowl out there, reluctantly. Just keep the noise down. You don't want to upset the jerk who came storming out of his overpriced apartment to yell at everyone in the middle of the afternoon during a picnic last summer. What kind of dangerous element skateboards, listens to rock music and grills hamburgers in a public park at the ungodly hour of 3 p.m. on a Saturday? Hoodlums, that's who. Don't even get me started about the park you kids built. Yeesh.
In short, kids... screw you. Go skate in Kent. Screw all you teenagers who like to go to all-ages shows at adult venues, too... including you teenage losers in bands. The city let you have Vera. If you don't like the way things are up here, ask your mommy and daddy to move to Portland. Those crackpot hippies love skater trash like you.

What harm are a bunch of skaters gonna do to Seattle's power structure, anyway? They don't get involved in the community... they don't vote... they're harmless. They've already lost.

We, the affluent adult majority, rule this town. NadaMucho supports the city of Seattle in its bid to become The Most Asshole-Friendly City in the United States. Rock on, Emerald City.

R.I.P. SeaSk8.

Posted by bridget | January 3, 2007 11:43 PM


Thanks for the advice about moving to Cap Hill, but it's not a matter of catering to kids.

Seriously, we moved to Seattle about two years ago when I had to do a lot of convincing to get my family to agree to the change. We got here and I told them, "Hey look, this is great, we can take our kids with us to see bands that we all like!" To which Seattle tells us "Fuck you, kids, we don't want ya." and takes that away.

I told my kids, "Hey look, a skate park in walking distance, it makes up for the fact that there are not playgrounds anywhere near here and lets me share my experience with you!" To which Seattle says "Go to hell, kids, we don't want your kind here." and wrecks it for people who could have built an office anywhere or even rented existing space, (there are four floors of which in the building across from us.)

So, come next month when my landlord asks if we want to renew our expensive lease, we'll say, "no, Seattle does not want families". When I tell my employer, to whom I've brought much new business with my hard work, that I have to move away I'll say "Seattle didn't want hard working parents." When people don't see us at shows, when the bands we convinced to tour here don't come around, and when the people we helped in the community and the local shop owners who we patroned don't benefit from our business don't see us they can figure out for themselves that maybe it's because Seattle isn't the place that likes that sort of thing.

We honestly wondered why it seemed like we were the only people who had kids around here. Well... Wish I knew then what I know now, that Seattle hates families. I'll make sure all my friends and peers who think about moving here or investing here understand that.

Posted by Pack | January 4, 2007 4:36 AM

Just looking back through some notes this morning and noticing that this thing has actually been in the works since December of 2004, which underscores the point noted above that skateparks take a long, long time to happen in this city. My, how time does fly.

And ditto on Dan's "protests work" point too. We've already done two of them for this skatepark. I also wish they could've built a new skatepark before they tore the old one down, but in the end, I'd rather take my kids to Seattle Center than the King County Combined Sewer Overflow Facility on Elliott Avenue. After almost two years of political wrangling with Seattle Parks and Seattle Schools, I was glad to see that the Seattle Center had been chosen as the location for the new skatepark over the site at Elliott, and over other alternatives that were proposed along the way. I applaud the City Council for voting unanimously to make this decision, even after the Mayor spent $40K on a consultant who eventually decided on Elliott Ave again.

But that's all just water under the bridge at this point. Right now, the challenge is to make sure this skatepark gets designed and built right, stays the same size as the old one, and that this happens in a timely and diligent manner. So, if you feel like protesting about skateparks in the meantime, just be sure to head for Seattle Center, not City Hall or the Parks Department Headquarters for this one, and be sure to call me so I can skate along with your parade.

Here is more old news than you probably care to read about the slow death of SeaSk8 over the last two years:

...and a more recent article about the status of Seattle Center, where the new skatepark will be located:

Posted by Scott Shinn | January 4, 2007 7:47 AM

Hey Pack,
I sympathize, and I have no interest in convincing you to stay in Seattle, but there are kids here - you are just not in a kid neighborhood. Don't all cities have neighborhoods like that? That is just how it is in Belltown for now. Seattle is a big city with lots of different parts, and playgrounds, with kids in them, do exist. Just so you know...

Posted by Jude | January 4, 2007 8:58 AM

One thing that has not been mentioned here yet, is that unlike most public sports fields and courts, a skatepark is a social hub. It’s a facility that facilitates COMMUNITY.

The same skaters show up day after day to see friends, support each other, and stay connected. Tearing down SeaSk8 without building a replacement first, disperses that community and could very likely destroy it. When the Ballard Bowl was torn out and replaced, the community around it changed drastically. This revision of skateboarding culture by destroying and rebuilding these public gathering places, thus ‘pressing reset’ on the community that forms around them, should not be dismissed as trivial or unintentional on the part of city planners.

This loss of community is why skatepark advocates in Seattle browbeat the City Council into putting language in the land sale agreement with the Gates Foundation, that required a new skatepark be built before the old one was torn down. They have fallen back on this promise and it should be strongly protested, because the city is showing no greater sensitivity to this issue than they exhibited in Ballard.

Last night I went by SeaSk8 to see the destruction for myself, and there were 5 or 6 kids standing in the rubble trying to skate the tiny piece of the bowl that was left. This is the community I'm talking about. The congregation showed up, only to find that the temple had been decimated, but they worshipped anyway.

The City of Seattle didn’t just tear down a skatepark yesterday, they broke up a family, which was totally avoidable. All they had to do was build a replacement park before they tore the old one down, like we asked. Instead they spent two years talking about it and hiring a consultant. This blatant mistake is unacceptable, and we should do everything physically possible to let them know how we feel about it.

Posted by MLJ | January 4, 2007 10:32 AM

Something else to chew on (passed along from another skateboarder)

"yeah well that sucks for the sk8 community, but think about that kid who died of ecoli poisoning that the park was dedicated to. I guess sense its been a couple years his life and his death are no longer of any importance to this fine city any more.looks like the bureaucrats are running low on holiday spirit "

Posted by Bobcat | January 4, 2007 12:22 PM

Hey, I was in a rush and didn't type correctly. I've been skating for years and years and I do believe it teaches all sorts of confidence and coordination.

Whoops! My sarcasm was killed by my lack of typing and/or thinking skills.

Posted by move_it_by_bike | January 4, 2007 2:29 PM

Seattle hates kids.

The mayor sucks. And he lies.

Parks lies.

The Library Admin and Library Board lie.

The School District and School Board lie (except Sally and Mary).

I think I'm seeing a pattern.

Makes it hard to be anything but skeptical, cynical, or both.

Posted by Kate Martin | January 4, 2007 3:25 PM

MLJ, you mean by not siting the replacement park the City might have destroyed the skate community based out of SeaSk8?

Pretty clever.

I'm curious if the City and Parks realized that they were going to radicalize this issue. Are they prepared for that? Do they want it?

Posted by Peter Whitley | January 4, 2007 5:44 PM

Has anyone seen the grand opening of the skatepark in Missoula, MT? I know Tony Hawk went to do a demo but over 10,000 people showed up for it (he says at the end of the clip that they cancelled little league that day) Pretty amazing for a town so much smaller than ours.
Check it out:

Posted by MT | January 4, 2007 6:20 PM

Pete - I used to think the immense equity failures that Seattle suffers under its elected and appointed leadership (for lack of a better word) meant that I had to find a way to get ahead of their curve. After many years of activism in Seattle, I can't seem to dumb myself down or numb myself down to the point where I can be effective in their context. I wish that Seattle was as radical as I want it to be and as it could be. It's amazing that so many folks from here and those who come here seem to get watered down. I remain fired up and wish that rallying an army was as easy as Dan calling us to arms for a skate-in at City Hall. That's right up my alley. Protest happens, and it needs to happen, and I'm often there, but why is it such a struggle?

Posted by Kate Martin | January 4, 2007 6:21 PM

kate holler at me - we have a couple 'surprise' skate movements in planning. Both Seattle Center and Microsoft have some very nice stuff to skate and i'm sure they'd be more than happy to have us bring some junk to skate on there.

Posted by bobcat | January 4, 2007 6:53 PM

Jeff A makes a good point, what about all of the folks who donated time and money to see that this park got built? And wasn't it supposed to be sited "permanently"? Now the city will have to finance building something to replace this (or so they say...)? Is that a wise use of tax dollars? It's good to see that our elected officials can be trusted to make sound decisions and to keep their word.

Posted by BoBo | January 5, 2007 9:16 AM

Well, for what it is worth, the Skate Park Advisory Committee to the Parks Department is meeting to talk about how to respond to the Seattle Center situation on Monday, 7:00PM at 100 Dexter.

This is basically a once a month sit-down between a representative of the Parks department and a bunch of skatepark advocates. So far our success rate with the City is mixed, but you are at least guaranteed that there will be somebody present from Parks to hear all input.

We will be dealing with all kinds of skatepark stuff on Monday, but SeaSk8 will be first on the agenda.

This is a public meeting and all of you are invited.

Posted by Slowskate | January 5, 2007 4:46 PM

Hey everyone.. talk to other people and publicize your ideas, and they will be heard.

Posted by Cody Chaussee | January 10, 2007 9:45 PM

All of you that are responding to this need to publicize your ideas, and let your voices be heard.

Posted by Cody Chaussee | January 10, 2007 9:45 PM

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