Wenatchee, Washington ( Commentary Dick Woods )|
Last week we welcomed the new Police Chief Tom Robbins
I did speak to some merchants and they said they would not confront a
Cashmere, Leavenworth Washington - 08/03/2000|
Leavenworth and Cashmere skaters may soon have a place to
go to work off aggression from past skating violation tickets.
The same cities that cite the skaters are planning
community skateboard parks in the next couple of years.
"The objective is to keep kids in the skate park, instead of downtown,"
said Cashmere City Administrator Frank McWhirter. Cashmere is working
to cultivate parent interest and allocate funds for its planned skate park,
which would be built in an Aplets Way parking lot.
Leavenworth may receive some financial help building its skate park,
which was planned with skaters' participation. Next Thursday, City
Administrator Scott Hugill will be in Olympia presenting designs
for the park to an outdoor recreation committee that helps fund
projects like it.
Hugill will compete with 100 representatives from other public
and private agencies requesting funds from the youth athletic
facilities division of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor
IAC offers grants of up to $300,000 to agencies each year for
ecological and recreational improvements and developments.
McWhirter said skate parks are important in a community like Cashmere,
where skateboarding and rollerblading are forbidden in downtown areas.
Hugill said skating is also prohibited in Leavenworth's central commercial
zones, where such activities can endanger pedestrians, disrupt traffic and
threaten skaters' safety.
But downtown areas are naturally the most appealing sites for skaters,
offering obstacles, rails and ramps for the jumps, slides and tricks that
define their sport.
Skaters caught in Cashmere's no-skate zones are issued $50 citations,
"but enforcement's a problem," McWhirter said.
"It's hard to catch them (violators) because they move pretty fast," he said.
"Besides, what do you tell kids who have nowhere else to skate?"
** No More Free-Wheeling Downtown **~~~~~~~~~~
Wenatchee to crack down on bicycles,
in-line skaters and boarders on the sidewalk
Wenatchee , Washington -- 05/16/1997
Better watch your wheels.
Wenatchee police began cracking down Thursday on the illegal use
of in-line skates, skateboards and bicycles on downtown sidewalks.
That includes the parking lot and courtyard area of the Wenatchee Center,
where skateboarders in particular seem fond of launching their boards off
benches. And it includes alleys in the case of in-line skates and skateboards.
Cyclists face up to $250 fine for riding their bikes on sidewalks
in the central business district, which is bounded by Kittitas,
Fifth, Columbia and Chelan streets. That's because riding a
bike on downtown sidewalks is considered a traffic violation.
The fines are less for skateboarders and skaters
-- up to $50 -- but they face the additional penalty of
having their wheels confiscated until their fine is paid.
"They go down the street, get up some speed and then leap with their
boards on the benches, ride the whole length and drop off the
other side," said Police Chief Ken Badgley. "In the meantime,
the undercarriage gouges the bench, but they don't seem to worry
that the seats can't be used because they've been splintered."
The police "emphasized" enforcement of the city ordinance last spring
about this time, Badgley said, and both merchants and the Police Advisory
Board brought up the issue again earlier this month. One member of the
board related a story about an elderly woman who stepped out of a store
into the path of either a bike or a skateboard, Badgley said. The impact
spun her around and made her fall. She wasn't hurt, he said, but it gave
everyone a scare.
Another reason behind the heavier enforcement is to try to clean out
the small clutches of teens who tended to congregate downtown last year.
The groups intimidated and annoyed both business people and shoppers,
and the goal is to keep that from happening again this year, Badgley said.
The "emphasis" will probably last for several weeks,
said Capt. Rick Murray.
Cyclists, in-line skaters and even skateboarders aren't prohibited
from riding on other city sidewalks outside the downtown area,
and they are all free to use the Loop Trail, but skateboarders who
hoped for their own special park this summer will have to wait even
The Wenatchee Skate Park at Pioneer Park was supposed to be
finished this month, but the $45,000 project has been delayed
because the volunteers who are doing the excavation -- Pipkin
Construction and Morrill Asphalt -- have been too busy to do
the work this spring, he said. They hope to get started on Monday.
Another frustration came after volunteer Project Manager Dale O'Neal
spent three hours staking the excavation area last month, only to have
vandals pull up all the stakes.
Largent said he's afraid to set a new completion date for the project,
but hopes to see it finished before the end of the summer.
The Friends of the Wenatchee Skate Park are still taking donations
to complete the project, which will use about $20,000 of city funds.
For more information, call Largent at 664-3392.