SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re: Skate Park
By Keith Woodard


July 26, 2010

Although I haven't really followed the skate park issue, I can sympathize with you Vicky. I know what it was like growing up as a bored teenager in this town with seemingly little to do. And I'm really saddened that as much community spirit this town has and as much as people would like to help the youth here, there still hasn't been a new skate park built among other things.

However, I'm wondering - Why wait for the city or anyone else to build one for us when we could do it ourselves? Let's get all the skater kids and supporters together to discuss how we could go about it. Maybe throw a benefit concert and use the donated funds to get the lumber and supplies needed? Maybe a hardware store in town would be interested in sponsoring/donating supplies for a great cause? Maybe there are some retired carpenters out there that would offer their time and knowledge to help teach kids a new skill? Now there's a beautiful idea - Helping kids build their own skate park. Imagine the joy and self-accomplishment they would feel completing a project like this, knowing their community really is interested in them.

Another idea came to mind while walking an alleyway downtown, I noticed all the unsightly graffiti on the walls and thought it would be great to sponsor a beautification project to paint murals on those walls. Instead of berating kids who may be trying to find an outlet for their creativity or frustrations, why not give them their own space to express themselves? Is it really too much to ask for the city to give a section of a wall where they could go at it and 'tag' away? I know there are a lot of artists in this town who would probably like to help share their skills on stenciling, spray painting, etc. And I think we all would agree that some new color would be a nice addition to the dull gray we're so familiar with.

No wonder kids just want to get high and drink or sit inside playing video games all day. Although I don't condone it, I don't blame them either. But instead of punishing them or chastising "Don't do that" .... we need to give them some healthy alternatives and listen to their voice. Offer a positive outlet and show some compromise and let's see what transpires. Just some random thoughts.

Keith Woodard
Ketchikan, AK

About: Former Ketchikan resident, currently visiting.

Received July 22, 2010 - Published July 26, 2010


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letterSkate park By Vicky Campo

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