Skatepark debate raise questions about safety and more

Skatepark debate raise questions about safety and moreThe issue of the skatepark is a difficult one that has generated comments and valid arguments on both sides of the matter from the council members as well as the folks who live nearby and those who use it (or did until it was shut down). What has some of us here scratching our heads though is what sounds like inconsistencies. Parks staffers say that not enough people were using the skatepark to get maximum use of the facility, but when asked about the high fees and restrictive regulations, they justified those by saying that they were put in place because too many people were using it and they wanted to reduce the numbers. So which is it? Not enough, or too many?

The other thing that doesn’t seem to make sense are the repeated comments from village staff and others about liability issues with the skatepark. Sure, there’s a chance of injuries, but that’s not unique to the skatepark, is it? The other village parks have playgrounds, and if a child falls off the monkey bars or teeter-totter and cracks his head, that’s a liability issue, too. If a toddler tries to kick a soccer ball on the proposed mini-soccer field and does a Charlie Brown flip and breaks his arm, that’s a liability issue. And what about baseball or softball? If a player slides into home plate and breaks an ankle or the leg of the catcher, that’s a liability issue. All public parks have liability issues. We heard a report of a recent mugging at Coral Reef Park. Should it be closed, too? When village staffers were asked by two council members how much money had been spent replacing fencing at the skatepark, they were unprepared with facts and figures. It should be interesting to see what happens at the upcoming meetings, whichever way it goes. What do you think?

“Relay for Life” of Palmetto Bay/Cutler Bay, benefiting the American Cancer Society is an overnight music and food festival and family event for all ages.The Relay will be at the Palmetto Bay Village Center at the corner of SW 184 Street and Old Cutler, beginning on Saturday, April 13, at 5:00 p.m. and ending the next morning, Sunday April 14 at 9:00 a.m. “A live DJ will play music all night, and there will be games, food, karaoke, and lots to do. If you want to form a team to participate in Relay, call Patience Glasko at 305-278-4016.

Pitman Photo Supply, at 13911 South Dixie Highway in Palmetto Bay, is hosting a one man show of photos by Thom Elliott, a Cutler Bay resident and extraordinary photographer. His photos of Hollywood celebrities from the 60’s when he was the film production manager of a daytime television show called Dateline: Hollywood on ABC-TV feature great images of stars like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Dean Martin, John Wayne and many others. The show runs through March 31. Their hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00- 5:00 p.m. Thom’s website is at

Thought of the Day:

Don’t wait for the last judgment –

it takes place every day.

— Albert Camus

Gary Alan Ruse contributed to this column. Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to

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