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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, July 20, 2007

Nazareth's Bad Skateboarding Attitude

Yesterday's Express Times slams Nazareth Borough Councilman and Skatepark Inspector Conrad Bowers. He's the village idiot who nearly caused a riot on Monday at Nazareth park when he padlocked kids out of the skatepark ... twice. Amazingly, he has no regrets and actually thinks he has the unilateral authority to do these goofy things.

It must come from God because it sure as hell doesn't come from the Borough Code.

Here's what's really going on. Like many others in the Nazareth community, Bowers knows skateboarders are snotty, disrespectful punks. I've seen plenty of that attitude here and at Ross' blog over the past week. "The world needs ditchdiggers, too."

Frankly, it's disgusting. For the most part, these are our children.

Many Nazareth adults are delighted when our kids are out on a football field, bashing heads, or on some baseball diamond, where the pitcher's dad always happens to be the coach. Skateboarders just can't cut it. Here's what one local woman condescendingly tells me about boarders. "Many of them either weren't talented enough (not their fault) or didn't enjoy or want to work hard enough to play the stick and ball sports."


She elaborates. "[T]hese are kids who flamed out in other sports for whatever reason. It's not that they weren't encouraged and in many cases, coached, by their parents. They just weren't good enough to continue in those stick and ball sports."

I can see why most of us Nazareth residents are considered snobs. We really think we're something, as long as we're not skateboarders.

Most kids (70-75%) lose interest in organized sports by the time they are in middle school. Slackers? Maybe they're just tired of the goofy parents, coaches and pressures associated with most structured sports. Let's look at two organized sports a moment. In baseball, we have steroids galore. In football, role models like Michael Vick promote a gang mentality, even to the point of hanging and electrocuting dogs that refuse to fight aggressively enough to suit their National Felony League tastes.

And what do we do? We flock to watch them, swilling beer and burping. Hell, why don't we just slap some armor and a pitchfork on our kids and throw them in the arena?

Are 'ya ready for some football?

We just love it!

Kill! Kill!

It's enough to make me want to buy my grandson a skateboard. But he still thinks he's a football, baseball and basketball star. And when he grows up, he wants to be just like ... Michael Vick? Kobe Bryant?

Boys will be boys. And girls? On the sidelines, dude, with the skatebaorders.

I'd like to see a few more skateboarders, not less.


Blah Society said...

Actually, the thing that got me into aggressive skating (i.e. rollerblading) was playing hockey. I played hockey for many years, and still do on occasion.

I use to skate to and from school, to and from work, etc. My skating had nothing to do with not working hard enough to play the stick and ball sports. The woman who wrote that, whoever she is, can suck my stick and wax my balls.

Bowers, however, is just the prime example of a douche bag. Why does the city continue to tolerate him?

Anonymous said...

Yo, a.j. in my day I played Ice Hockey. I agree, if you want a real workout put on hockey skates and even with pads, the checks and a rock hard rubber puck can leave a mark or two.
I still remmber one loud mouth guy who played football made the mistake of saying Ice Hockey was like figyre skating . He and some friends accepted an invitation for a pickup game on Green Pond. They never came back for a rematch.

Blah Society said...

The "actual" green pond, or the green pond when it's flooded over the road during the day and refrozen overnight? LOL!

Unknown said...

That Vic Pic should read..

"Its official, January 1st @ Nazareth Skate Park — The Bye Bye Bowers, we ain't gonna miss yo punk ass, Party.

Don't say I didn't invite you. ..hahah"

Anonymous said...

Hey, why don't you post a pic of this bowers idiot so we recognize him when he's out and about.

By the way, sports isn't about the kids. It's all about the fat ass ego-maniac parents who think johnny is going to be a football star.

LVDem said...

can we host that on the 2nd of Jan. I always plan on recover on the 1st.

RossRN said...

I think one thing that tends to get lost specifically with blogs is the small number of people who comment compared to those who read and in relation to the population at large.

To generalize that the community feels one way or another about these kids based on two or three people's spoken or posted comments really isn't fair.

Hear them and consider them, yes. Believe they reflect the entire community, probably not.

I've tried to say over and over on the site that I believe most of these kids aren't 'bad'. They won't wind up in jail for most of their adult life, but right now they are kids being kids.

Maybe some of them didn't get good guidance, maybe they don't know any better than to use people's private property as their own skate park.

Is it all of them, not by any means, and since the park opened I haven't seen them doing the things I've complained about, so that is good and I hope the novelty doesn't wear off.

Not sure why you need to now bash people who watch sports and assume everyone who does is represented by one person who posts about skateboarders.

BethlehemDem said...

I am surprised by the attitude of the local women you quote in your post. The extreme sports market is one of the fastest growing areas of sports. There is big money in it, too. There are many corporations involved. NBC is part owner and regularly shows a extreme sports tour, the AST Dew Tour. ESPN has the X-Games and Winter X-games. Many of the athletes that compete on the tour are millionares.

The "mainstream sports" are actually scared that the extreme sports will hurt them due the extreme sports growing popularity. Little League is one sport that has already suffered. Little League particpation has gone down over the past 20 years.

And the kids that do these sports are very athletic, probably too athleticly talented to play football or baseball.

People just need to realize that skateboarding, BMX, snowboarding and motocross are not fads and are here to stay. And I welcome the variety.

Blah Society said...


There are certainly a lot of people that read and don't post comments. I get a decent amount of fresh hits on my blog daily, but barely anyone leaves a comment.

However, it's the people that do leave comments, send e-mail, write letters, etc. that we have to reply to. In a way, they are representing themselves as a resident of a community. When a person speaks out of line, sadly, it can reflect the entire town. When people start commenting and posting their opinions, they sometimes take a role in representing their community amongst others.

When people are quoted making such lame and false accusations like "Many of them either weren't talented enough (not their fault) or didn't enjoy or want to work hard," they need to be addressed.

It's the morons like that - the people who actually believe the crap that comes out of their mouth and try to preach it on everyone - that need to be questioned before everyone starts thinking that way.

In general, I think Bernie's post was more compare and contrast than just bashing EVERYONE. But regardless of what you think, it made sense. If you want to blast anyone for defaming your community, go find that woman and slap some sense into her.

Bernie O'Hare said...

NewsOverCoffee, I did not generalize. Read the blog, dude. I stated many folks who have commented on this and your blog have a condescending, snobby attitude when it comes to skateboarding, and they sure as hell do. There are plenty of examples of that. The comment I posted is what is called "an example." About the only place I generalize is in the headline, and i think it's a fair styatement. I've seen enough ecvidence. i don't look at this town through rose colored glasses.

You yourself have made some biased remarks, especially w/ respect to the child arrested for skateboarding on a basketball court. I have mentioned this to you before Ross, although you deny it and have tried to be nicer to skaters in your posts. Your bias gave you an excuse to launch into a tirade about the skateboarders you resent. You want R-E-S-P-E-C-T, you say, in reaction to what is happening to skateboarders. You did not post the opening on your own calendar of activities, even though I reminded you and noted it in a comment. You never even had the courtesy to respond.

Please don't confuse what I'm saying as a suggestion that you are a bigot or biased persopn. We all have biases. I probably have a bias against authority figures, and should try to be cognizant of that when I write aboutr them.

I also made no generalizartion about organized sports, but point out they, too, have their problems. And they do. And if you think the politics in Nazareth, NCcouncil, or even congress is intense, wait until you see how it is among coaches and parents and athletic groups. I pointed out the absurdity of our love affair with violence games, and we push our children in that direction.

We might as well get them little gladiator outfits.

Nazareth has the reputation of being intolerant, very odd for a community founded by Moravians. But there it is. Althougfh I don't agree w/ what Esther Lee says about Nazareth having a load of bigots, I know this is a lilly white community. I remember when i did the radio show that a woman from Nazareth called and told me I should move and claimed she would only sell her house to another American.

Certainly the insider mentality and distrust of outside ideas contributed to a community about 20 years behind everyonme else when it comes to the Sunshine Act.

We've got problems, Ross, and it's time to put away the rose colored glasses.

Anonymous said...

The skate park seems to be working the way it was intended now so give it a break and lay off the negative posts.

Unless you LIKE to keep dredging up the sludge.

Let it die so the positive can now take over. It's a good thing.

I'm personally getting tired of people calling Nazareth a bunch of snobs. Nazareth has no more snobs than any other town. It does have alot of people who care deeply about their town. Maybe this loyality sometimes causes some kneejerk reactions to a situation. But...in the end they care, which is certainly better than apathy or blind faith.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Yeah, actually it was a little more "compare and contrast" to generalize. And the example I did select was just one of them. Ross knows this. There have been a lot of nasty, mean-spirited comments about skateboarders both here and on Ross' blog. He knows this to be true.

One of the commenters on Ross' blog went so far as to condemn the sentence structure of a young person who made a thoughtful post about skateboarding. I won't get into what some others have had to say,but if I were to generalize from that, I'd conclude Nazareth is a collection of bigots.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:31,

If you're tired of seeing Nazareth poeople called snobs, then you should actually be encouraging me to point out people who manifest that snobbery.

The comments I posted about today were just made yesterday. You want me to brush it under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist? I'm not going to do that. I'm tired of the negative undercurrent, and have not addressed it specifically. It is time.

Anonymous said...

Skating is one of the only activities where adults are not hovering over kids. In most ritualistic cultures, there is a healthy degree of risk inherent in coming of age. Skating creates a scale of calculated risk while affording creative latitude to young men - mainly - whose lives are often micro-managed well into what was once considered adulthood.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:13,

I don't and never had any political ambition, but I do like to write. I'd rather be right than popular.

Anon 9:31,

There are plenty of positive things about Nazareth, and you should be proud of them. But I'm really troubled by a dark undercurrent that occasionally manifests iteself in the form of intolerance.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I am more disgusted by the fact that you people are forgetting that the skate park was being destroyed 2 days after opening or the disgusting picture of a "Role Model" Michael Vick which you are allowing on your site. If that park wouldn't have been locked the trash would still be piling up. It is only a matter of time until it is destroyed. There are no safety rules for this place and anyone is allowed to use it. The first kid to bash his head off the ground will be the first to sue the borough and they probably will live in one of the surrounding communities who are not contributing to the cost. Oh and before you go bashing the parent/coach of the star athlete maybe you should keep in mind Herbst who is only behind this park because of his own interests.

Anonymous said...

Hey boro native, you just proved Bernie's point.

Jane Hathaway said...

Nazareth is provincial, with sports and even marching band tribal and political beyond belief. Go to a few schoolboard meetings and you'll come away shaking your head. Skateboarders have been a target of jerks like Bowers for years. When my son and his friends would skate at Washington Park, the neighbors repeatedly called the cops on them. More recently a neighbor called the cops on my son for playing his electric guitar, during the day, in our back yard. The cop on duty couldn't cite an ordinance that we had violated, but she just knew it was wrong. Turns out the only noise ordinances in Naz pertain to barking dogs and megaphones in the street. A$$holes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jane, Thanks for your input. I'm tired of the constant slurs at skateboarders.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Borough Native,

The skate park was not destroyed, but there was some litter. That's just the typical hysterical rant.

And I got my pic from the Onion. I'm glad you like it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure intolerance is a bad thing. It is relative to the issue.

Sometimes intolerance keeps people from being sucked into the majority just to be one of the guys.

Intolerence can sometimes set the standard for right and wrong.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 5:05,

I agree with you. It depends on the context. In the context of racial diversity, intolerance is a bad thing. In the context of differences between generations, intolerance is a bad thing.

But in other contexts, intolerance is obviously good. We can't tolerate people who think they don't need to stop at lights or who think they can hunt on Broad Street.

My concern is that I see a little too much intolerance in areas where we could benefit by being more understanding.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading through some comments, and figured I'd inform "borough native" that I was one kid who knocked his head on the cold hard steel during the rainstorm cause a majority of everyone else left or hid under ramps and I chose to be an idiot and skate. Skating is enjoyable, so I figured I'd do it in the rain since I only get to skate something legally once in a while. I seized the opportunity and slipped and crashed. I actually ended up bleeding out of my head, as well as cough up a mild amount of blood. Not to mention all the other bails I had down the 6 stairs and other things. Writing this simply cause I just proved you wrong, we didn't sue. Any real skateboarder or their family would not sue foran injury. Pads are recommended on the sign outside the park, but not required. If a person goes in, I see no reason for how they could file a case unless the ramp ended up collapsing on them because of faulty workmanship, which I doubt will happen.

PS: I also doubt anyone is "bashing" people with team sports kids. I grew up as one and moved on to something I enjoy. Parents gotta let the kids try what they want to try, and the government needs to step up and also support all walks of life; whether its baseball (I played when I was younger, my last coach was an arse), soccer (played when I was younger, I was forced into it by school), basketball (same as soccer), football, riding a bike (tried BMXing one day, went off a ramp, crashed; had a peg go in my side, blacked out, and stopped), or riding a skateboard (love it to this day). I choose what I choose. There is nothing wrong with some kid choosing baseball over skating if that is what he/she really wants, but giving him/her the opportunity to do their thing and having a prejudice against the ones like me who choose skateboarding in the end turns out to be completely wrong. On a moral level as well as a civil one. Living in the USA of all places skateboarding should be able to be accepted (especially concidering it is so fricken used and abused commercially. Ex. Watch your tv commercials, you always see skateboards in some ad. I haven't seen the "Bratz" Go baseball star yet, but I've seen the stupid completely idiotic "Bratz skateboarder" dolls being sold to little girls. This is what my choice of life gets me? Skaters are used and abused by many people in ways not even fully noticed by all, it is no wonder skateboarders come to dislike government and community members.....

Blue Coyote said...

Two thoughts I would like to share:

1. Does everyone remember "Leave it to Beaver" or "Dennis the Menace" or "Back to the Future". Remember how we saw children riding skateboards on TV/movies and thought, "How wholesome American children were playing". Hey Nazareth! What changed to now make you prejudicial?

2. To A.J. Cordi - "The woman who wrote that...can suck my stick and wax my balls" and "go find that woman and slap some sense into her". A.J., I agree with most of what you say, but, the aforesaid sexually violent words are uncalled for and out of line. Let this type of verbage be spoken by Bernie K and Lisa Boscola. You are an articulate and bright writer. We don't need this crap, man. Don't you agree Bernie?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Blue Coyote, I agree completely. I should have said something, and thank you for doing so.

Blah Society said...

The woman who wrote that...can [beep] my [beep] and [beep] my [beep]


Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ, Blue Coyoyte was looking out for you, buddy. From what I've read of your well-written blog, you're no sexist. Far from it. But someone who doesn't know you might get the wrong idea. Now please don't tell me you work for a state senator.

Blah Society said...

If i were involved in politics, I don't think I would be allowed to post on your blog, lol.

Blue Coyote said...

Thanks for the acknowledgement AJ. You're a great blogger. It appears that you're passionate. I'm not perfect either and I never pretend to be. I'm not a prude and I try to not to let my biases and prejudices reflect in my writing. Your reflections on the skatepark are right on.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Whew! But the lady was a snob.

Blah Society said...

I wish I could interview her. I would love to call her on her statements and how she came up with them.

Blah Society said...

...and I try to not to let my biases and prejudices reflect in my writing."

I agree and I try not to either. However, it's some of those biases prejudices that allow for great blogging. The only difference is that the prejudice is backed up with reason and a source, so it's not looked at like a prejudice.

If that doesn't make sense, look at my most recent post on PETA and Michael Vick. I despise PETA and let it be known. Also, Bernie is bias against anyone who isn't "pro-kid." See what I'm getting at?

Newspaper journalism, however, cannot be bias or prejudice and if in that sense I would completely agree with you. But blogging is a different medium - more opinionated and certainly more personal.

river said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blah Society said...


You obviously didn't read my blog posts, and you misread my comments here.

I said "if I were involved in politics..."

If you would have read this post on my blog, you would know I'm completely against torturing animals. And if you read this post you will better understand why I hate PETA.

Did you read anything that was posted anywhere?

river said...

I didn't read anything on your blogs Thanks

river said...

A.J. CONDI SAID "If that doesn't make sense, look at my most recent post on PETA and Michael Vick. I despise PETA and let it be known. Also, Bernie is bias against anyone who isn't "pro-kid." See what I'm getting at?" " " A J, How can protecting animals from the likes of Michael Vick be a bad thing? I wonder what happens to a guy who goes to one of Vick's dogfights and bets $10,000 and looses. What happens to him if he can't payup?? Does he get beaten, maybe. Does he get electricuted?, maybe. Does he get murdered and dumped by the side of the road?... Probably. Just like Michael Vicks animals. And for the "proKid" comment. A.J., you are only 24 years old. Once you get to be 50ish you will learn that your kid years were the best years of your life. A.J. Condi... I read your blogs on sunday. It is a good looking web page but it is absolutely dead. One comment here, 0 comments there. It is just DEAD.

Bernie O'Hare said...


The number of comments on a blog do not correlate w/ its popularity. Many popular blogs have virtually no comments.

river said...

perhaps bernie. But if the Blog has no comments, why bother go back and look? Thanks

Blah Society said...


First, my name is AJ Cordi and I'd appreciate if you would type that from now on - or just type "A.J."

I'm completely for protecting animals from people like Vick (note: he hasn't be found guilty so everything until then is alleged.) But I'm against an orginazation that uses lies and hypocrisy to do so. I'm against an organization that rejects and kills more adoptable animals than Vick & Co. could ever dream of. And also note - PETA wasn't protesting outside NFL Headquarters to protect animals, they were protesting to have Vick suspended from the NFL for his alleged crime.

As for the when I'm 50ish comment... I'm not sure what you're getting at or how that fits in here. And if your going to keep attacking me I'd appreciate some truth and respect behind your complaints. I think Bernie can agree; this is just getting silly.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ, River,

You are two good guys who share a passion for current events and who have seem to have gotten off an the wrong foot. It happens with me, too. I guess it's the price of being opinionated. Since this doesn't really have very much to do with the topic of my post, I'd suggest that River could comment on AJ's blog with his complaints, or he could just take it back channel and email him at ajcordi@yahoo.com. I'd call this a lovers' quarrel. I get into them all the time so I'm in no position to admonish anyone.

river said...

I just did. Bernie Did you read what AJ said about PETA last friday? Perhaps it was a want of publicity on his part, so i'll leave it at that

Blah Society said...

Thanks, River... those comments were not only false (again) yet rude. Bernie was wrong when he refered to you as a "good guy".

Anonymous said...

skateboarding saved my life and it should stay underground so it would bring the bad apples into skateboarding who ruin it for all the ones who respect what they skate

river said...

Hi A.J.Condi I wnet to your Blog a few days ago and I left 4 comments. However you deleted every one of them. That is pure censureship. Now I see why perhaps you always have 0 comments or 1 comment. Have you been deleteing a lot of posters comments on your blog? Freedome of Speach wasn't meant for just a choice few.

Blah Society said...

Freedom of speech is for everyone. However, libelous comments and harassing statements are NOT welcome on my blog.

river said...

AJ perhaps you "thought it was harassing". But I only used the exact same words you yourself used to discribe PETA. If those words offended you perhaps you shouldn't use them in the first place. Its like you can dish it out but you cant take it. Thanks and goodbye

Blah Society said...

River -

You make yourself sound so innocent. You fail to mention the harassing remarks about how you claim I hate animals (which isn't true), how you compared my name to scum, and so on - in four posts, two of which you posted as "anonymous."

You're posts posed no argumentive points or facts at all. They were simply harassing.

If you'd like to post in defense of PETA, be my guest. You're more than welcome to and I encourage any mature argument and/or discussion backed up by facts. But all you've done thus far is act like the very group I described.

Bottom line, you've done nothing but insult and lie in your posts. Whether or not you simply hate me or love PETA, your posts are wasteful and not necessary. So when you have something to dish out that is backed up by facts and warrants a relevant response, I'll be ready.

Until then, I'm sure Bernie would appreiciate it if you (we) would stop this nonsense on his blog.

river said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
river said...

A.J.Cordi says "your posts are wasteful and not necessary". .

river said...

Freedom of Speech is a wonderful thing A.J. Please don't let it die.

Blah Society said...

Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing, so please don't abuse it.

Having the first amendment doesn't give you the right to harass someone.

river said...

aj im not harrassing anyone,

Blah Society said...

Not anymore. And thank you for using my name correctly. I do appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

a skatepark in nazareth is years overdue, years ago they paved the whole park except for where the park currently exists and gave that section to us. yeah thanx! a non paved section, then continued to treat us like second class citizens. skateboarders have it much easier now! even though the true skateboarders will still seek out spots on the streets regardless of the law! we cant be stopped ! should have hooked it up w some concrete though,people are gonna get sick of your 5000 dollar quarter pipes in time! better then nothing i guess