Monday, April 21, 2014

So much to say!

There is so much to say about the "State of" the Northside Skate Park effort.

The property is settled: Location couldn't be better.

The City of Cincinnati is fully backing the project, and has green lighted our fundraising.

We are ready to engage donors this year!

This means we are looking at breaking ground WITHIN the next 2 years, on a park that will, frankly, make history as the first fully urban-accessible park in Cincinnati.

This is not just a "game changer", whatever that is supposed to mean... This park will literally be a "life-changer" for the youth of our neighborhood.

Needs Today:
Donations can be made to the C.R.C. (Cincinnati Recreation Committee), memo'ed/earmarked "Northside Skate Park".

We need a Very Good Website! Something that can communicate effectively to corporate donors.

We need YOU to go to the Sidewinder Cafe and buy a sticker for your car or wherever!

And we need volunteers to canvas Northside Businesses for involvement and help to organize the next leg of our race to the finish, here...

As Always, Many Thanks!

Lew

Monday, January 13, 2014

CRC chimes in

The last piece of movement was a good one! The Cincinnati Recreation Commission put their seal of approval on the project. This was a big deal because it got us in the books as a Cincinnati Official project. Long story short, we can collect funds with complete integrity, very soon. Thanks to Tim Jeckering and a ton of other folks who are likely to be mentioned in a future edit of this post.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Great Meeting with Vice-Mayor Qualls


Many thanks to Vice-Mayor Qualls and her office staff, who met with us last week. We enjoyed a chance to pass on a tee shirt and discuss the proven benefits that properly constructed skateparks will bring to urban youth. Thanks to Caleb Nash and Marcus Caswell, our Youth Advocates, for your input.

Northside Farmer's Market!!!





The Skatepark Committee was delighted to receive a kind invitation to put our mobile halfpipe in the farmers market! Here are some pics of Northside Locals getting gnarly. All said, about 40 skaters came to visit during the process. We hope to have even more come out and represent for GETTING SKATEBOARDING FACILITIES CONSTRUCTED IN URBAN AREAS, WHERE THEY HAVE THE MOST IMPACT ON THE YOUTH WHO NEED THEM THE MOST!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Present Site-Boundaries

here is a view of the site boundaries. We are working on getting full consultation from a professional firm, with detailed design services following. This will answer all the engineering and construction questions, as well as provide us with tools to get donors on board for a fully urban skateboarding facility for the kids of Cincinnati.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

these are some sample drop-in concept drawings from James O'Loughlin of Suburban Rails. These give you a view of some possibilities for the park. See the area set aside for the Children's play area? Full Line of Sight on the whole park.



Monday, January 26, 2009

January Meeting/Mission statement




Vision Statement:

To create a skatepark that educates, empowers, and inspires urban youth, while stimulating Northside's business and community growth.

To enrich our community with a skatepark that stimulates local business, enriches the diversity of Northside, and empowers urban youth with alternative sports and cultural opportunities.


Provide positive opportunities inherent in skateboarding through educational advocacy and fundraising.

Develop plans to revitalize and sustain unused/unuseable land to provide healthy lifestyle opportunities to urban
youth and the community at large.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, May 19, 2008

Northside Community Council: May Report

Tonight I shared with the council that we've made progress:
One grant-hunter
Two PR Gurus
two good leads on grants, with people ready to try writing them...

We already had:
a site
community council support in a written resolution

Our Goals:
this month
--to set up a financial "container" for fundraising through the Northside Community Council
--to get one or two more committed grant hunters
--to begin applying for grants in earnest.

Next Directions:
Corporate Sponsorships
Broaching the subject with the City Council for their support

I can't say enough about the pleasure it is to work with the Northside Community Council. I have the feeling that a movement to build neighborhood skateparks will develop out of this, affecting OTR and West End, Corryville, and Clifton, South Cumminsville and many other neighborhoods. Heck, Sedamsville has a proposed park!

We're looking at great possibilities for the youth and young adults and young-at-heart-adults of Cincinnati to have equal opportunity, without regard to economic status, to use skateboarding facilities! As it is now, you have to own a car or live in a nice neighborhood to use a park. Skateparks are for everyone!

until next post...

Friday, May 16, 2008

This is DELHI, people. DELHI!!! Please send me grant-hunters!!!

DELHI OH. Delhi has had a park for a YEAR now. 600 people at the opening. at least 20 per day during the WINTER!!! 100 per day easily.
Cincinnati governing people: listen up! Skateparks are GOOD FOR COMMUNITIES!!! Grumpy old Delhi has one and the stores around it can tell you about how many drinks they're selling, how much gas gets guzzled... the cops can tell you that skaters aren't half as rowdy as the basketball ganstas. Seriously, get me a team of grantsters and let's get funding that can get CRC adn the Gov't to HELP US share the wealth!!!!

Grant Hunters!

We got our first Grant Hunter this month! Melody Wolf! Nobody hunts as well as a wolf, you know...

maybe a lion. but i think wolves are really better. Keener sense of smell. it's a toss up, really.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Why Concrete?

I won't belabor this issue. Concrete is the ONLY medium for the construction of a municpal skatepard. It retains a "due care" state, without the kind of maintenance that is necessary with other media. Your skatepark will WORK at acceptable safety levels for YEARS.

Look at Columbus' 20+ year-old concrete park. This is the ONLY way to create a park. Not to mention sculptability, durability, and the undeniable popularity of the medium. A quality, concrete skateboarding medium in our neighborhood will ensure a constant flow of people to our business and idea-pool.

A quality concrete skatepark in several neighborhoods on the bus routes will slingshot Cincinnati into a brighter future. There is no doubt that a city that creates media for this culture is going to be in the travel plans of people from many states and countries.

Research is solid: Skateboarding is Safe! (relatively)

I've been holding off on posting on the issue of the relative safety of skateboarding because I have no background in statistics or medicine. In my own 22 years of skateboarding I have seen several broken bones--wrists and ankles--and innumerable bruises and scrapes... I have never seen a head-injury happen, outside lacerating my own forehead in a backyard pool in the 22nd year of my own skateboarding carreer. what a dope.

anyway, I want to share with you this research. Just click the word "this" in the previous sentence. It is significant, reliable, and typical of all the other results I've viewed.

The bottom line is, skateboarding in concrete parks is not as dangerous as basketball.

Another consideration I'd like to share is the strong possibility that skateboarding youth are less prone to repetitive stress injuries, since there are usually no parents or coaches pressuring them.

I worked with high school youth for years and it was sickening to watch adults pressure them into horriffic injuries. I saw a sixteen year old with his knee unzipped twice to repair destroyed ligaments--all for touchdowns. This kind of injury is quite rare in skateboarding; especially at that age.

Some thoughts.

A taste of possibility: some very rudimentary drawings of Northside's site plan...


Northside Community Council Meeting January 2008

We did a quick presentation this month. We'll be presenting a drawing and kicking off our major political push this next meeting, Feb. 25.

Thanks to Tim Jeckering at Jeckering Architecture for the site plan drawings. We've already formed up a few initial drawings.

Thanks to the World Famous Matt Dyck, of Byrneside Skatepark fame, who has graciously offered to give us design advice and drawings for presentations. Matt is, as I said, world famous for his skateboarding and concrete park design. Any park he does is a work of art.

Our park is forming up around an artistic aesthetic. There will be trees and lighting that create a "Park-like" feel. No Post-soviet era monolithic skateparks for Northside. This'll be a park for everyone and their kids and dogs and probably even their bikes on the periphery.

Looking forward.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sign the Petition

Click Here to sign a petition, eh?

Northside Community Council: December Meeting

Lew attended and presented for a minute, fielding questions from the floor. Northside remains the most supportive and energized neighborhood in all of Cincinnati. We are now working to form a base of local skaters to design and push for the park, while scanning for local businesspeople and neighbors who can vocally/politically push for the park.

Thanks for the overwhelming support. We look forward to presenting our design in either the February or March meetings. Hopefully we'll be deep in fundraising and final tweaks on design, with full support of the CRC, by April.

Overarching Goal

development of quality skateboarding parks that lie within easy access of Metro routes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last Northside Council Meeting

Well, Ali had to cover the meeting without me. I missed it for the coming of this little dude. Some of you know I'm a pastor, right? So that's what's getting in the way sometimes with making the meetings: people before stuff...

At the meeting, Ali presented a cad drawing and fielded questions, the best of which was, "Where are all the skateboarders?"

Odds are, there will not be a serious presence of skateboarders at the meeting. This initiative on behalf of the Northside Community Council needs to be founded, not on demands made by the skateboarders (although design should be managed by competent skateboarders), but on the desire of the Council to incorporate the energy that skateboarding has consistently brought to everything it touches into the fabric of that needy area of the community.

Skateboarders will get involved, as they always do, as the process gains momentum. Looking at the skateparks around us in communities like Delhi, Florence, St. Bernard, Wyoming, Lawrenceburg, Fairfield, Middletown, Kettering, Georgetown, Lexington, Dry Ridge...
Looking at these other skateparks (...Anderson...) we'll see that the benefits of a skatepark are worth the work that go into them...

Looking forward to the next meeting...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Northside Community Council considers drawing

This coming monday there'll be a sketch of the proposed skatepark. Come see Ali Calis present it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Picking up again...

Well, it's been months since my last posts...

I'm still in the game, with a more finely honed vision for what I want to see happening with skateboard facilities in the city I live in.

In short, to be elaborated later on, I'd like to see skateboarding facilities embedded in "at risk" neighborhood as a positive alternative to the "Big Three Options" that face most kids I know here in Northside:

1. Pro Basketball Player
2. Rap Star on BET
3. Dealing Drugs on the corner with my cousins

Let's face it. There are parks available in the Cinci Area, but how many of them are even on the bus lines? Those that are are not within an hour of these kids. Skateparks are going up like wildfire in the midwest, but they are a SUBURBAN, AFFLUENT, PHENOMENON.
Adding insult to injury, most of these fine skateboard companies and people who push for parks are drawn in by some amalgam of "hardcore", "outlaw", "urban rough" cultural trappings. Dressed as something revolutionary, yet truly available to only the richest americans.

You have to have access to a CAR to use the Skateboarding Facilities around Cincinnati.

So let's do something really cool. Let's get grants and scrape together philanthropic donations to get high-quality, durable, low-maintenance, concrete skateboarding facilities incorporated into the city-scape of Cincinnati. We can do this in neighborhoods and properties that would otherwise breed crime.

Frankly, skateboarding will provide "Option 4", plus exposure to people from all walks of life. Skateboarding will become a vehicle of exposure for people from all over to meet and interact with kids and people in the inner city.

Racial Barriers
Social problems
will be exposed and eroded...

Potential Help
will be discovered
as people come to enjoy the park and meet children there who exist on social programs...

advocacy can be generated by such exposure...
crime can be reduced in neighborhoods as higher population ofusers "hardens the target". And Skateboarding is a perfect vehicle for it, as skateboarders tend to be willing to take small risks lightly... a park in a difficult neighborhood will be heavily trafficked, provided that it is high-quality.

Some thoughts with more to come.

Anyone want to coalesce? drop me a comment.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Philosophical Question:

In this month's (May) issue of SLAP Magazine, a skateboarding publication, there is an article on p.12 that is worth considering. It is a short piece that simply asks:

Why is it acceptable, even commendable, to receive injuries in school sports? Why is it Okay for my young friend Cliff to blow out his Knee in football? Nobody minded.

And in juxtaposition:

Why is it so unacceptable, almost universally condemned, to receive injuries while skateboarding?

Please comment.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Skateboarding Injuries

Does anyone know what perspective a comparison of injury rates between skateboarding and school sports?
You will be surprised!

I will give you some anecdotal material right now, and will supply more stats, as time allows:

On Saturday, I enjoyed the Grand Opening of the brand new Delhi Skatepark. a Great park, well-designed, and worth the gas money for Cincy residents...

600 people showed up! Packed in, skating together, there were somewhere between 2-400 people participating at once! It was incredible.

There were two injuries!
one-a head injury--a little boy, about 8 years old riding a bike. Looked like a bruised orbital.
the other--a typical ankle twist--probably a break. More time for homework...

There was a twisted shoulder and a bruised palm as well.

600 people.
NO FIGHTS

600 people.
2 injuries worth mentioning...

All while SKATEBOARDING!!!!

2 visits from the paramedics!

Meanwhile, the Women's softball league had 3 visits from the paramedics! That day! yet one person had the perspective, "This skatepark was a big mistake. A big mistake." Upon the second call to paramedics...

Pish Posh. That's what I say.
I confidently assert that, after seeing the stats, you'll agree that Skateboarding is healthier and safer than School sports!
Prepare to be surprised.

500+ skateboarders packed in like sardines, taking turns, sharing, helping each other out... and we're surprised at a couple of injuries!
Why is it that wen a kid gets injured in a football game he's a hero?
...and when he (or she--girls are allowed on the skateboarding team) gets hurt skating, he or she is an IDIOT?

This mentality will be destroyed by simple facts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Skateboarding Saved My Life

Skateboarding, and the diversity of its practicioners, has expansive potential to affect inner city youth. Please enjoy this little clip that shows how Skateboarding positively affected one young man.

Positive Aspect:

The McKee Center's dude, Don, called me the other day, asking if I was interested in helping with the youth leadership programs. (I have a ton of experience and background in that stuff)

Yes.

I'll start an initiative that will get at least one great skatepark built in Northside. Then, I'll be available to work with tons of youth in that skatepark. There, they will discover alternatives in life that they would never have, outside the power of skateboarding to bring together people from all walks of life.

Artists
Accountants
Lawyers
...not too many doctors...

There are skaters who will be there whose lives are easily shared over the waits between runs. The kids of our neighborhood will be exposed to PEOPLE. Good people. there are so many.

Besides that, the facility will be a wide open opportunity for camps and classes!

Think about that and leave comments.

Northside Community Council: April 16th

Here are the notes I spoke from at the council meeting.
A motion to send a letter to the City of Cincinnati, urging them to give "Sector A" to skatepark use, was passed unanimously (with a LOT of members present).


What a Skatepark is:

Concrete

Prominent

Open


Where they go:

Skate-able terrain

Neighborhood SkateParks

World Class City SkatePark

Proper placement for maximum positive impact....



What good they are:

enrichment
-local business (food, gas)
-Neighborhood


popularity and Reputation
-establishment of new levels of commerce (tattoos, Punk Rock, Hip-Hop)



Crime prevention

-a properly placed Skate Presence will run out crime.






OUR PROPOSAL:


"Northside: The First Skate-Friendly Neighborhood in Cincinnati/The Midwest/America/The World"




1. Skate-Able elements/areas incorporated into strategic areas
-American Can
-Children's Park
-Streetscape
-Not marginalizing, but embracing the 40+ year art/sport phenom of skate culture



2. Establishment of a Quality Local Park in "Sector A"
-secure neighborhood
-impact crime
-create great reputation



3. Nurture and Development of Skate Culture/Art in Northside
-Skate Shop
-increase visibility of Northside as a "Skate Mecca"



De-marginalizing Skateboarding in Cincinnati, starting in Northside, can't help but enrich our community way beyond the costs.





Practical Action Points for Northside Community council:

1. N-Side CC to get behind it and push!
-guide fund raising
-press
-politics

understand value versus cost:
Positive
supportive
"can-do" attitude


2. Secure Sector A




3. Interface effectively with CRC.

We want this.

We don't buy into the "Liability" misunderstanding.

We push through "conservinertia".



Thanks to every member who voted (unanimously) for Sector A to be given to SkatePark use. We know that the city will hear you, and we will soon (=er or later) have a great park for the betterment of our youth and community.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Skatepark Profile: Sessions

Skatepark Profile: Louisville, KY

Here's what you get when a city awakens to the potential of skateboarding: a world class park, downtown, incorporated into the banks project. Awaken, O mighty giant Cincinnati!

SkatePark Profile: Florence, KY

Friday, March 30, 2007

Park Profile: Dry Ridge

I'll be posting the footage I'm collecting. Dry Ridge is my first ever video editing job, so please just sit back and relax. Get the big picture. Parks are made of concrete. Parks are open. Parks are empty during the early hours of the day, when I'm free to take footage... with my five year old, seth, in tow.

Dry Ridge, people. Little, tiny, Dry Ridge--GETS IT. A good skatepark is a magnet for good things.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Venice Beach, CA





Here is your example for a city that has accepted skate culture to it's benefit. From VB to Santa Monica, there is skateable terrain, and skateboards are a common mode of trans- portation. I skated a full 15 miles that day, meeting people from all over the world who had come to that area to enjoy that open culture. I skated most of the day with Iggy, a young man from England who had come to skate Venice Beach.

The photos here are of some of the simple street obstacles that VB provided for the skaters. Besides this, there are numerous parks and spots. It is a great feeling to be able to jump on my skate and fly, without wondering about a 400 dollar ticket.

Clifton Hills Improvement Assoc. May 10th

Thanks to Peter and all the folks at the CHIA. You are a great example of seeds that grow into hair when stuck to terracotta animals or heads... no. wait. That's "Chia". Only one capital letter.

Well, we've been invited to the CHIA meeting, and we'll be there on the 10th of May. It was great to hear from Peter through the blog. Thanks to everyone who is reading and interested.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

2004 Article Begs Question: Why Not, Cincinnati?

"Greater Cincinnati" boasts (in 2004) Eleven Skateboarding Parks! Why are there no plans for providing a quality (world-caliber) skateboarding attraction in our City Limits?

Click here for an article that Begs it hard

Way back in 2004 this was going on. I moved into Cinci in 2004.

Northside, where I live, understands the importance of Skate Culture. It is not a subculture anymore. The influence is in fashion, music, art of all media. The Skate-Culture has soaked into commercials and youth culture.

Hopefully N-side will lead the City in the incorporation of Skate-able terrains in the Limits. Everyone knows that Louisville had the foresight to include a World-Class park in their city plans. They're not sorry, either.

Park Profile: Anderson/Beechmont






Click Here for the Anderson Park District's Website description of this Skatepark

Local Park Profile: St. Bernard Mini-Park





This park is located in St. Bernard, about 10 minutes outside of Northside. It can't be more than 1500 square feet. Maybe less than a thousand.
It is concrete, open till 10pm, and has recommendations posted. That is the practice. Post recommendations. Nationwide, that's enough.


It is part one of a phasic proposal. We hope they'll build the rest. I skate this park, personally, a LOT. I go there in the mornings to practice, being an old guy. Consider it like a morning run.

Here's a 2004 Enquirer article on the parks in the area:
Click the text for the full article:
St. Bernard Skate Park
Ross Avenue Park
St. Bernard
(513) 641-3137

The details: The first public skate park in the Tristate, this small concrete park is a haven for those seeking a simple skating experience - if you can use it. The park is restricted for use by St. Bernard residents only, so you might want to be prepared to flash an ID.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

March 19: Northside Community Council Meeting #2


We appeared for the second time, having been told we'd be on the agenda, to sit through the agenda-ed items of business (this time NOT boring) without being announced. Grabbing a copy of the agenda, we realize, again, that we're not on the agenda.

interesting.

Not a problem at all. We got a chance to talk for 2 minutes and hi-five the crowd. Hopefully we'll be on the agenda for real, next time, and get to show our presentation that will convince the folks in government and finance that a skatepark will affect this community and this city in really dynamic, positive ways.

Our presentation is going to answer definitively any questions about what kind of park to build, how they're managed, how many cities are doing it, and how to finance it.

Liability
Rules
Access
Location...

the works.

We also handed out "the card". for 2 dollars and a buck fifty for cutting, you have in your hands the contact info for discussion and update of the Skatepark Initiative.

next N-side Community Council Meeting: Monday April 16th.
The presentation's on.
We'll have a video and some art.
5 minutes
many man hours.
just the right information.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Feb. 26 First Presentation: Northside Community Council

Ali Calis and Lew Ross (me) got to do a quick little plug for our upcoming presentation to the Council. We'll have the whole 5 minute dealio next month. Needless to say, we were hard-pressed to match the breakneck speed of business there, but everyone was pretty kind with us new guys.

Ali and I will both join the council next month. 3rd Mondays.

It was really interesting that a local Scout troop was there--my son's. We didn't know, and he didn't go, but they are totally behind it. In fact, when their campout was cancelled, I took a couple of them to Ollies, in Northern Kentucky.

That meeting was on Feb. 26th.