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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nazareth Skate Park Dedication This Saturday at 10 AM

It takes a village, right?

We all want our kids to be better than we were. I spent most of my 12 years of grade school in detention. Something about not listening or something. I don't know. I wasn't paying attention. But we're always looking for a "healthy alternative" to keep our kids out of "trouble." If we stumble across a healthy alternative they actually enjoy, we all win.

This is where Nazareth's skate park comes into play. It will be dedicated this Saturday at 10 AM, and is even accompanied by a blog-like website, designed by Richard Strucke. Our goofy cops have already demonstrated their disdain for the sport, which is bound to make it more popular.

All the biggies will be there, from Nazareth officials to a possible appearance by Congressman Charlie Dent and sons. If he comes, I hope no Democrat gets the bright idea of suggesting that his kids try skateboarding on the cool basketball court.

I'm glad they're all coming. On Saturday, Nazareth will feature one of only seventeen skateparks in Pennsylvania. A unanimous borough council supported this project with $30 thousand in cold, hard cash. They should all take a bow. So should Northampton County Council, Bushkill Township, Tatamy Borough, Upper Nazareth Township and state rep. Rich Grucela. They all kicked in.

In addition to these public grants, private businesses and individuals have also contributed, and they should be recognized: Rob Mertz and Syndrome Distribution; Alexandria Manor - the Negrao family; Amateur Athlete - Joseph Yoo; Brian's Professional Cleaning Service - Brian Schmidt; Cool Treats - Norman & Michelle Roell; Mr. & Mrs. George Daransky; Mr. & Mrs. John Fulciniti; The Java Lounge (Nazareth News Agency); the Herbst family; the Karch family; Smart Cents Notary; Richard Strucke; Mr. & Mrs. Les Walters; and Mr. & Mrs. Ed Yunkes.

But the lion's share of the credit goes to Nazareth councilman Jack Herbst. He's spent nine years of his life making this dream a reality.

Now, as always happens after I say too many nice things, I have to hurl.


Anonymous said...

Whoopdee damn doo

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank you, officer.

Anonymous said...

This quote from a TWENTY-TWO year old pretty much some up the mentality if these kids ...

"It's all I do," said Walls, dressed in brown corduroys, a black T-shirt and an off-kilter baseball cap. "It's basically my life."

Hey the world needs ditch-diggers, too. And, I guess, skateboarders.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey the world needs ditch-diggers, too. And, I guess, skateboarders.

... and a little less intolerance. What a pathetic little person you are to sneer at someone who enjoys what he does. Even I remember what things were like when I was younger.

Anonymous said...

"Blogging is all I do," said O'hare, a 56-year old loser who befriends skateboarders because people his own age detest him. "It's basically my life."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon, You've already established your own "mentality." I don't really give a rat's ass whether you or anyone else detests me.

You want to launch a personal attack against me for writing a positive post about skatebarding? Fine. But hiding behind a cloak of anonymity to smear youing kids is pretty low. You just prove my point about this place being too intolerant.

Anonymous said...

Ya know Bernie, this isn't an issue I'm really drawn too but I am somewhat amazed at the reaction these kids are getting. In my advance middle-age I try to be honest about my youth and remember 'crusing Nazareth' in cars burning rubber looking for girls and just being young people. Why the hate for these skateboarders. They dress different they aren't into 'traditional sports', so what! give 'em a break, Christ there not out robbing stores or beating up widows. Come on people lighten up.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Herbst almost did a good job with the skate park the only thing he forgot to do was..... THINK it through. There are many questions, too many to list but here are just a few.
1. Who is in charge of the skate park?
2. What are the rules at the skate park?
3.What safety equipment is required? By the looks of todays paper none! (not a helmet in the bunch!)
4. I there a minium/maximum age at the skate park? (there should be)
5. Who will pay for the maintence and repairs at the skate park.
6. Are skate park users required to sign liability waivers.
7.What are the hours of the skate park?
8. Is the skate park open year round?

Like I said the park seems like a good idea,but it's half baked like everything else the Borough coulcil members do.

Bernie O'Hare said...


You need to get over it. I drive by several times yesterday and it was packed. The kids can't get enough of it. That must drive you nuts. And all of your concerns were addressed.

1) Park manager.

2) Look at the website I referred to in this blog. The rules are there and they're very clear.

3) Look at the rules.

4) I guess parents can't decide for themselves.

5) The minimal maintenane and repair can be paid from a fund in whuch developers are assessed. Tax $ should not be used for that.

6-8) Look at the rules.

Stop pretending. It's obvious you detest the very idea. You should at least be honest about it.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of this skatepark but the Borough is absolutely setting themselves up for lawsuit by not requiring safety gear. I can't fathom how the state has laws requiring us to wear a seatbelt but kids don't need helmets to perform a sport that is synonymous with falling on asphalt/concrete/steel/wood surfaces.

Unfortunately, this will probably only change when a kid falls and suffers from some sort of serious head trauma. Anyone who reads this please do not take my comments out of context, although I see a future lawsuit happening, I am much more concerned with with a child having a serious head injury.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon, Go to my first artcile about skateboarding. There is a link there that explains it is very safe, safer than just about anything else kids do. If I thought you were right, I'd be the first to agree with you. But the statistics just don't support you.

Anonymous said...

Nowhere in you earlier link is is stated that skating is "very safe, safer than just about anything else kids do". Next thing you know, you'll be blogging about how youngsters running with sharp objects are statistically safer than running with stuffed animals based on the number of emergency room incidents.

First you tell us that the Popo are harassing skateboarders who in no way, shape, or form, provoke the police; and now you write that skating is safe. You've now lost all credibility related to skateboarding.

Here are some statistics and here are some horror stories. Hopefully, no gullible kids read your blog and buy into the notion that they are "very safe" riding without a helmet in a skate park.

Anonymous said...

From personal experience with my son I can tell you that there are many injuries associated with skateboarding and I don't care what the statistics say. He has had a broken wrist, a chipped front tooth not to mention multiple bruising up and down his legs from trying to perfect certain tricks. He always wore a helmet when he went to the Indoor Skate Park in Allentown but often snuck out without one when skating around the neighborhood. He was never allowed to skate in town. We required him to stay in the driveways of neighbors or in circles in the neighborhood that had little traffic. He gave up skating last year mainly due to the "loser kids" that he was hanging out with and these are his words and not mine.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:22 & 3:31

Nowhere in you earlier link is is stated that skating is "very safe, safer than just about anything else kids do".

I don't care what the statistics say.

By all means, don't let the facts get in the way of your opinions. In my post dated 7/9/07, I have a link telling you 26,000 shateboarders per year enbd up in an emergency room. That's less than one-tenth of the bicycling injuries. Many of those cycling injuries are fatal. Few skateboarding injuries are.

You are speaking about anecdotal evidence, the same kind of evidence used by snake oil salesman. The statistics I provide come from a nonbiased government source. The stats you provide come from helmet salesmen.

You challenge my credibility? I challenge your gullibility.

Anonymous said...

Bernie ... slow down your spin is making me dizzy.

There is a whole show on MTV called "Scarred" dedicated to action sports injuries - especially skateboarders. Please don't tell us how safe the sport is.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:27

I'll save Bernie the time to even reply to your ridiculous comment.

MTV Scarred is merely an anecdotal effort by helmet manufacturers (A.K.A. snake oil salespersons) to lure gullible parents into spending their money on unnecessary equipment. Statistics don't lie, drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children under the age of 15. You heard it here first, riding a skateboard is safer than swimming in your pool.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:36,

Thanks. I only watch PBS and 69 so I never saw that show.

My figures are based on government studies of the relative safety of various consumer products. My reasoning is not emotional. I have no children or grandchildren who skateboard. I could understand a parent's concern.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ohare ,
You are a very defensive person.
First off. I never said it wasn't full so I don't understand your first comment about it being packed.
Who will be in charge when the pool closes in August, after that there will not be a park manager present?

Safety equipment should be required, not "highly recomended"
Kids skating on equipment that is way beyond their skill level is going to get kids injured.

Anonymous said...

Small point concerning safety, you need to take into consideration the number of injuries per active participant to see how dangerous it is.

"I have a link telling you 26,000 shateboarders per year enbd up in an emergency room. That's less than one-tenth of the bicycling injuries."

If there are 10x the number of bicyclists, then they are even.

I don't know the figures, but if you or any other person commenting is making claims on safety they ought to be statistically supported for or against.

Anonymous said...

Every skaters summer essay entitled "How I spent my summer vacation" as adapted from Cheeck & Chong


Young man in the first row, stand up, state your name, and read your essay.

Who me?

Yes. Read your essay, please!

Uh, I don`t have it finished yet.

Well then, read what you have, young man!

Okay. The first day on my vacation, what I did on my summer vacation, the first day on my vacation, I woke up. Then, I went downtown to look for a job. Then I hung out at the skatepark. The second day on my summer vacation, I woke up, then I went downtown to look for a job. Then I hung out at the skatepark. The third day on my summer vacation, I woke up...

You get the picture.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:32,

Still not even. The bicycling statistic was just for kids under 14. The skateboarding statistic was for everyone.

I'm sure kids in skateboards would be more safe w/ equipment and don't wish to get into a strenuous argument with people who make that point. But they're not arguing with facts.

Some of what are classified as skateboarding injuries are actually pedestrians who are injured by boarders. With a skatepark, that should not happen.

Helmets might be a good idea for younger kids, who are not as coordinated. Sixty per cent of the injuries occur w. kids under 15.

Fortunately, there are very few fatalities involving skateboards. According to USA Today, most of them occur with boarders hitting cars. That's another reason why the skatepark is a good idea.

As far as who will manage the skate park after summer, I imagine it will be the same person who manages the tennis, baskeball and volleyball courts. They don't get shut down, and no one is raising an eyebrow about that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:27,


Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie,
Using the site that you provided (17 Skate Parks in Pa), I discovered that every single one that is still open-several are no longer in operation, require Helmets and most also require pads and parental wavers. Hmmm, makes you think.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Fair enough. Like I said, I'm not going to put up a big fuss about this. There's no question that kids who wear helmets will be safer than kids who don't, even if skateboarding is safer than many other activities. I certainly would not oppose a helmet requirement for kids under 15.

It's like Stoffa always says, "How can we do better?"

But it does seem to me that many people go out of their way to find negative things to say about what should be a positive thing. They don't do this about organized sports or more mainstream activities, like bicycling.

The park opened Saturday, I write a positive post, and some folks ar just chafing at the bit to tear it down. It's unfortunate that such a negative attitude exists about a physical activity for kids. A lot of folks simply fear skateboarding because it is not something they grew up with. That's what bothers me.

Unknown said...

I'm really getting sick of people disrespecting skaters. I am a skater myself, and just because some skaters give us a bad name, it doesn't mean every skater is a bad person. I'm a full time college student and I have a full time job, but I still enjoy going out on a sunny day and skating with my friends. So any skaters that are reading this, keep doing what your doing and don't let anyone tell you that it's not ok to skate. Do what you love to do