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Ruining Flournoy Park for everyone
by Chip Latcham
Aug 24, 2012 | 1897 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Told you so.”

Critics of the city’s decision to spend $200,000 on a new skate park and many other costly improvements to Flournoy Park are sharing those or similar sentiments with anyone who will listen this week.

In Wednesday’s lead story, city officials were incensed about the graffiti covering the new picnic tables and walls in the new public restrooms at the attractive, renovated park in central Beeville.

“Have you seen what they did to our park?” City Manager Deborah Ballí asked last Friday morning.

The vandals are using permanent markers to write obscenities and other slogans on the table tops and benches, said city parks employee Gregory Gooch, who was trying to clean them from the view of families and visitors.

He and Assistant Police Chief Kenneth Jefferson were certain the damage was being done after dark, probably by someone using the skate park.

In this space just a few issues ago, we encouraged the skaters and their friends and families to make sure the sparkling, brand-new facilities are maintained, respected and kept clean of such filth.

Whether fair or not, the skaters are going to be blamed for any damage to this recreational attraction, which only has been open since Aug. 1.

Jefferson said graffiti has been a problem in every location where skaters have been welcomed. It always has been the main reason they’ve always been asked to leave, he added.

“That didn’t take long,” said Armando Musquez of the Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers. He added that the organization would be eager to offer a reward for information that could lead to an arrest of the vandals.

Police Chief Joe Treviño said he is committed to stopping more vandalism from occurring there. He hopes some adults, perhaps a neighborhood watch group or the skaters’ parents, will come forward and offer to volunteer to monitor the facilities.

Police officers plan to step up patrols around the park, but they cannot be there all the time. They are relying on the community to serve as eyes and ears to turn in these vandals. Contact the BPD or Crime Stoppers if you have any information on who is committing these crimes.

And remember: “You didn’t build that.” That phrase probably holds true for most of the skaters, park visitors and certainly the nitwits who are defacing the property.

The city’s taxpayers did. Now the latter may be wondering if this will turn out to be just another monument to government excess and waste.
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lindaunger
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August 24, 2012
Painting on property that doesn't belong to you without permission is never cool. But, declaring an area of a public park designated for artistic expression and free speech works for me. Many college campuses have "free expression" areas where anyone can paint or draw stuff as long as it isn't deemed threatening to anyone or excessively offensive. In may places skatepark graffiti is a unique urban art form. Perhaps the designers of the park should have seen this coming since it seems to be the norm all over the world.
Wurm
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August 24, 2012
I hate to mention it, but maybe we need to lock it like they do the track at the high school. I don’t want the investment into our city to go to a complete ruin, just because of some “nitwits.” We have just a few outside attractions that draw kids, and now there are a handful of individuals that want to destroy it? Invest 4-5K more put a fence around it and lock it.
HapETexanGal
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September 12, 2012
Ok first, locks can be cut! Second, maybe the parents of the children need to step up and teach there kids to respect others property!!! If the kids are left alone at the park, where are these parents? I have an 18 yr old and I still know where and what she's doing every minute of the day! Parents do not teach there children respect anymore, that is why we have such a problem with kids these days! Kinda stays with the parents... No manners, bullying, teen pregnancies and crimals! Do you know where/what your child is doing? I can say I DO!

Just shows that they fought to get this park but can really care less how it's taken care of! We as tax payers will foot the bill!