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Message From SOPC Member    
Wednesday, September 28 2011 @ 02:48 PM GMT+4
Contributed by: Zippy

Opinion:) Bootsie,

Have you finished the press release for the SOPC gala fundraiser?



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  • Message From SOPC Member | 21 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they may say.
    Another Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: Zippy on Wednesday, September 28 2011 @ 10:19 PM GMT+4

    I know things are *really* different here in Brattleboro and we like to believe we live in a better world here, but we've been reminded over and again lately we don't.

    I think there is a difference between a "playground" and a skatepark? They can be compatible if developed right. This one seem so wrong, on so many levels. But we could change that if we look deeper, and ask the right questions.

    "All the right questions must be addressed in advance: once the cement is poured and formed, there is no changing it." - Tony Hawk


    In the spirit of Tony Hawk’s observation, the questions on the proposed plan keep on coming:

    “The majority of head injuries occur during bicycling, skateboarding, or skating incidents.” - Boston's Children's Hospital

    At: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1112/mainpageS1112P0.html

    “While a price can’t be put on the cost of the emotional and physical issues that arise as a result of a brain injury, a price can be put on the financial burden that results from a brain injury. The monetary cost of brain injuries varies significantly — it’s estimated that a mild head injury costs $85,000, a moderate injury costs $941,000, and a severe injury costs $3 million.”

    At: http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/recovery-traumatic-brain-injury/cost-traumatic-brain-injury/index.html

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
    • Children under age 5 years old should never ride a skateboard.

    • Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult or trustworthy adolescent whenever they ride a skateboard.

    • … Sixty percent of skateboard injuries involve children under age 15; most of those injured are boys.

    At: The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00273

    “honestly, this not the most ideal spot, but it’s the best for what the options are.” - Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte. (Source: The Commons issue #55. Wednesday, June 23, 2010).

    More on skateparks and litigation:
    "If You Build It, Users and Lawsuits Will Come."

    (At: http://www.lib.niu.edu/2002/ip20128.html)

    “After the park is built, the town will own it and will be responsible for maintenance, repairs and liabilities.” - Brattleboro Town Manager, Barb Sondag. (Source: The Commons issue #55 Wednesday, June 23, 2010).

    Head injuries
    Authored by: paulgardner on Friday, September 30 2011 @ 10:24 AM GMT+4
    I clicked this link in hopes of finding specific numbers - road injuries versus those happening in a skatepark - but was disappointed.

    This Children's Hospital Boston page did not provide numbers or breakdowns, just generalized conclusions.

    Here's a link that strikes me as being more helpful:


    And the relevant paragraph:

    "Although the most common injury resulting from a skateboard crash is a fracture, some skateboard crashes or collisions with motor vehicles can prove to be fatal with severe head injuries. According to neurosurgeon Dr. David Shafron, skateboard injuries are common among patients he sees annually, with concussions ranking highest among these injuries. Dr. Shafron also observed that head injuries resulted from not wearing helmets. Helmets and other suitable protective gear, such as slip-resistant, closed shoes, wrist braces, and other padding may help reduce the severity of injuries in case of a crash or a collision. Studies have shown that helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent and brain injury by 88 percent."

    If you are truly concerned about head injuries, getting kids off the roads should be your number 1 priority. That and making sure they are wearing helmets (easier to do at a facility where helmets can be required as a condition of use).

    Head injuries
    Authored by: Zippy on Monday, October 03 2011 @ 03:20 AM GMT+4


    I would hope we have some statement from the Brattleboro Schoolboard and Selectboard on these figures (also relevant), from "Dr. Scum" the same site you justp referenced:

    "Skateboarding is regarded as one of the 20 sports/recreational activities contributing to the highest number of estimated head injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2007.

    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 50,000 people need hospital emergency room treatment each year for injuries related to skateboarding.

    Each year children aged 14 yrs and under sustain an estimated 38,155 roller skating injuries.

    (the proposed plan allows rollerskating in the skateboard park, also)

    In 2004, an estimated number of 18,743 head injuries were treated in emergency rooms due to skateboarding.

    In 2007, an estimated number of 18,542 head injuries due to powered skateboards and an estimated 16,477 head injuries due to skateboards were treated in hospital emergency rooms. Of these, an estimated 11,848 head injuries due to powered skateboards and an estimated 10,256 head injuries due to skateboards occurred in children aged 14 years and under."

    I understand how protective gear reduces head injuries related to skateboarding, bicycling, or rollerblading (thank God), all of which are included in the proposed plan to be permitted (at the same time) in the Brattleboro skatepark. My concern about injury or suffering any child might experience certainly includes harm sustained in a public park in Brattleboro.

    If I did not have “sincere” concern for children (as you outrageously imply), I would have never sought professional employment in, or have been employed by, a national children's cancer research center treating all forms of pediatric cancer and blood disorders. One cannot provide that kind of care to children and witness the horror one must witness to do the work, if they don't have sincere concern for children, and their parents.

    But as you note, fractures are the number one injury sustained in a skatepark. Additionally, in several of the videos I have posted on here of skatepark injuries, you will see that those injured were not wearing protective gear (of any kind, including helmets), or such protective gear would have prevented the injury sustained. Can we expect there will be no fractured bones (or head injuries, for that matter) at the skatepark here in Brattleboro?

    The source you note also states that protective gear “may” reduce the severity of injury. And IF, worn (that is a big IF in an unsupervised skatepark like the one we are talking about here), "a helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent and brain injury by 88 percent.”

    Are you saying that the people of Brattleboro should not be concerned with a 15% head injury rate in children related to skateboarding? Or with a 12% brain injury rate in children incurred by skateboarding? Assuming, of course, that 100% will be wearing helmets here in Bratt. That would certainly give a clearer meaning of what “The One and Only Brattleboro” might actually refer to.

    Additionally, a posted sign suggesting kids wear a helmet, or one saying they are required to do, (likely placed not out of concern for child safety, but suggested by attorneys as a means to reduce liability costs which the town openly admits we will be responsible for after the skatepark has been built) does nothing to assure helmets will be worn or we will be an exception to national injury rate statistics.

    How will the Brattleboro Schoolboard or the town protect kids by merely suggesting they do wear protective gear in an “unsupervised” public park while playing on 15,000 sqaure feet of concrete with rails and stairs specifically for jumping from?

    I have not heard the discussions on injuries that have taken place, but I have seen the town's acknowledgment that we will assume costs associated with liabilities associated with the skatepark.
    Head injuries
    Authored by: tiny on Monday, October 03 2011 @ 10:46 AM GMT+4
    I bet the town would be more interested how some
    individuals have sued the heck out of towns even though
    those towns thought they were clear of any liability. Those
    are stats they will be interested in seeing, because it
    happens. That park is the town's, their responsibilty, the buck
    stops there.
    Living in Fear
    Authored by: FrankC on Wednesday, September 28 2011 @ 11:48 PM GMT+4

    Zippy, i commend you for your research and dedication to killing this project. You are a prolific blogger indeed.

    It's not clear from this post that actually support a skatepark, as you vigorously claim.

    I'm sorry, but i get confused what SOPC is whipped up about?

    Is it the trees?
    The poop?
    The noisy clapping and cheering?
    Sharing the park with teenagers?
    The cars parked on Western Ave?
    People coming from out of Town?
    How much much money BASIC has to raise?
    The price of their house?
    How educated SOPC is?
    Head injuries?
    Molly Stark?

    As Tiny and Rooty pointed out, i'm not real sharp. So please explain where support of a skatepark starts and your support of a skatepark at Crowell Lot ends?

    Living in Fear
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 12:54 AM GMT+4
    Frank, it is all of those things. Are we allowed only one?

    That would seem to me myopic and subsequently it could prove problematic when planning something such as a $350,000 “approximately” 12,000 sq feet of concrete “plaza-like” “world-class” spectator sport attraction intended to draw unknown numbers of people from “around the region” that will clap and cheer and that sits in a the front entrance of an old-growth tree dense area of a public park (as opposed to the open field on the other end) on a federally funded scenic byway that the Brattleboro Town Plan has identified as important to the quality-of-life to those living in Brattleboro on the only scenic entrance to an economically gasping downtown whilet the Tony Hawk Foundation notes “We do not have any specific studies on the economic impact of skateparks on communities”and that does not have (to my knowledge) a technical design proposed by a qualified skatepark designer or installer and does not include consultation with any expertise on tree root systems but plenty of authoritative sources note risks that we know will an unavoidable consequents of installing a massive concrete structure in an old-growth tree dense area of the park that also has no plans or explanations of how people will pee or poop while using or visiting the park and provides no estimate of the unknowable numbers that will result from this park which sits prominently in a residential neighborhood with many who don’t support it but know how valuable skating is and realizes how hard BASIC has worked for it and would like to see one happen but believes it is best to ask all the right questions in a town with 3 exists of a major interstate and will affect the quality-of-life of the neighborhood and exists for a sport that has a well-known very high rate of related high cost injuries associated with it and has no viable parking plan for an attraction that can only be accessed via car for most people coming to it and which God and Molly Stark do not approve of either.


    I am sorry to be redundant but I think we already made it clear that we support youth, value the benefits of skateboarding, understand BASIC’s goals and frustration, and are so tired of answering the same questions over and over and over and over again to people who continue to call us mean names and accuse us of things that they can’t even substantiate even one iota.

    PS - SOPC has no problem with how educated coalition members are as we don’t even ask any member or supporter anything about their education, or income, or religious beliefs or the price of their house. But we LOVE it when people even try to support their position and beliefs with even a modest effort to look beyond heated rhetoric and accusations that brand fine people as evil child and community haters.

    PSS – Blogging is what people do when they don’t feel they are being heard, even when we’ve been to meetings, have written letters, talked with town brass, and have agreed to talk with representatives from BASIC.

    Goodnight, FrankC.
    Living in Fear
    Authored by: FrankC on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 02:14 AM GMT+4
    Wow, this like a 'who's on first' skit.

    You really should have met with BASIC along the way, and you should view a successful skatepark, then you won't have to be redundant, because you will then have credibility.

    Until then, good luck
    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: FrankC on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 12:04 AM GMT+4
    In My Humble Opinion

    Until one has seen a successful skate park with one's own eyes, a blog post spouting expertise on the matter is nothing more than fear mongering, loaded with hypocrisy and hate.

    Once you have seen it or know the euphoric feeling of pushing your physical abilities to the limit, you too might campaign for such valuable outlet for our kids.

    Until you see it, you should Show Tolerance, Faith, Understanding instead of being Stubbornly Opposed to Progessive Change

    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: rootrunner on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 01:32 AM GMT+4
    Hey you guys, I feel like I accidently wandered into Pee Wee Herman's fun hut with your recycled comments swirling about bouncing off the walls and it won't stop spinning around and around, stop the spinning and "let me out", as the smashing pumpkins may have put it! Pee Wee's still amused.
    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: babalu on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 10:35 AM GMT+4
    SOPC and BASIC could easily both emerge winners if
    only they'd band together in finding an ideal spot for
    a skatepark. Why not show Brattleboro what being a
    community is all about in this key regard? I see
    both sides wanting the same thing.

    The argument, as arguments often do, serve only to
    create one winner and one loser when the reality is,
    only the results matter. If I were a member of either
    group, I'd already be working to bring the two sides
    together on their mutual cause and stop ignoring how
    powerful the two groups, if they'd only merge, would
    be. :-)

    Thought it worth asking.
    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 11:51 AM GMT+4

    babalu, I was just going send out your personally engraved invitation to join our exclusive SOPC "community." The cost of private membership is $80,000 a month (and you must show proof that you've been published in more than one peer-reviewed journal and have abused one or more domestic staff), but that includes the right to golf at our polo club and swim in our private black-bottom pool, secretly tucked away on the exclusive and posh Western Avenue, near the Union Hill intersection.

    Don't forget our upcoming emergency FUNdraiser (tiara required for the ladies, or men comfortable with their girly side) where we will enjoy cocktails and smoked salmon, while spit-roasting a locally grown child over the red-hot coals of burning skateboards.


    (and some think WE are the problem, here? The credentialed elite of the SOPC would never do that for fun.)
    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 11:57 AM GMT+4


    Therein lies the important value of considering all future possibilities, before moving forward.
    Far worse than you seem to know
    Authored by: spinoza on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 12:08 PM GMT+4
    Listen up SOPC--You want to be taken seriously, yet post
    often enough as kooks to nullify the value of any claim you

    Every day a skateboarder is hit by a vehicle somewhere. I
    posted a few days ago that drivers here fairly often run their
    cars at me...There were no responses to that.

    This is not amusing...The sanctuary you seek, should first
    and foremost be established for the safety of our kids...

    Far worse than you seem to know
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 12:51 PM GMT+4

    Spinoza, you are calling US kooks? In Brattleboro???


    And clearly you have not walked the halls of academia, either. (Many there believe science will sway the masses) :)

    None-the-less, as one adult to another, might I first suggest that you NOT ride a skateboard in traffic, when you apparently know full-well that there are people who have done this to you before?

    I know you should have the right, as well as the public's respect, to do so. But you don't. Brattleboro has enforcable codes prohibiting it and ...

    at the very heart of the discrimination (I realize skateboarders do experience, coast to coast and around the world) rests a an ACUTE public relations problem brought on by skateboarders themselves ... and hard facts, (like the social costs of injuries and lawsuits related to the sport) that promote and fuel many misconceptions that continue to constrain skateboarders and their claims. (but I am able to see the points you and BASIC have raised, many times)

    A willful desire to discriminate against, and harm, SOME children in our community and prevent their full development in order to protect property values is not what has constrained your progress in Brattleboro, or around the globe.

    Sometimes kooky can be fun, in the face of the truly absurd.
    Far worse than YOU seem to know
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 05:50 PM GMT+4

    Need anyone further emphasize why you are dealing with public relations problems?

    I did not make these records. Go to Google or Youtube and enter “skateboard injuries” or “skateboard head injuries” the contact Google or Youtube and accuse them of your PR troubles.

    Then go to the American Pediatric Association, or the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, or the Center for Spinalchord injuries, or similar. Give them hell, too.





    Again, for the record:

    “After the park is built, the town will own it and will be responsible for maintenance, repairs and liabilities.” - Brattleboro Town Manager, Barb Sondag. (Source: The Commons issue #55 Wednesday, June 23, 2010).
    I know a strawman when I see one
    Authored by: spinoza on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 06:14 PM GMT+4
    You google...

    Automobile accident damage.
    War Damage.
    Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Motorcycle injuries.

    What a selective kaleidoscope of gore you bring to the table.

    Let's talk again when all the above are banished too.
    I know a strawman when I see one
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 08:49 PM GMT+4


    The selective gore you refer to was almost certainly filmed and produced by skateboarders, or spectators who enjoy skateboarding, not people out to prove it a bad thing. Then it was posted on Google or Youtube, most likely by them also.

    The point was skateboarding has a huge PR problem which underlies the problems of the last 30 years, much of which stems from skateboarders themselves and facts associated with it, like those that were presented in the videos skaters themselves provided for public scrutiny, and national injury statistics resulting from stakeboarding.

    I believe this should be part of a community dialogue when considering a proposed plan that clearly acknowleges taxpayers will end up paying for (in hidden costs.)
    Far worse than the Brattleboro Schoolboard seem to know
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 09:03 PM GMT+4

    I totally agree we (including the Brattleboro Schoolboard) should consider everything; including discussion of realities and statistics and costs of injuries to the larger community when trying to assure the safety of our kids:





    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 10:12 PM GMT+4
    Note the Conclusions:

    From the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (Br J Sports Med 2001;35:325-328 doi:10.1136/bjsm.35.5.325)

    “Most children were injured while skateboarding on ramps and at arenas; only 12 (9%) were injured while skateboarding on roads ...

    Conclusions—Skateboarding should be restricted to supervised skateboard parks ...”

    At: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/35/5/325.abstract


    When we discuss keeping kids safe, this may or may not be relevant today, as it is an article from 2001. Skatepark related injuries and costs may have increased since then, or decreased? But with the rise in skateboard popularity, we keep seeing increases in injuries.

    I know that skatepark proponents understandably are concerned that supervised parks will not be successful, because skaters like the thrill of new feats of dare that those responsible would find too risky.

    That said, I did not see one adult (or any quick response from any peer present) in any of the videos I have posted here, or found in my searches. Here is an example. Note how everyone just sits and stares at the child who is seriously injured and bleeding:


    No one even gets up from the stairs. Then, when they eventually do, they have no idea what to do for him, yet someone kept filming?

    I think this is a point worth considering when we talk about how to keep our kids safe? How? Are they safer in traffic or in a skatepark?

    In this study, cruising or long-boarding is safer. So why do we ban it in Brattleboro?
    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: Zippy on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 12:15 PM GMT+4

    Too bad he wasn't in the good company of a few doctors and registered nurses?


    No doubt he now appreciates them. And probably a very skilled surgeon, too?
    Message From SOPC Member
    Authored by: babalu on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 06:42 PM GMT+4
    Like everything else that sounds like so much fun.. I
    can't pay the cost of admission !! On the other hand,
    are you hiring anyone to clean the pool or serve the
    hors d'oeuvres ... I'm looking for something part-time !