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Skate park needs self-policing
May 22, 2012 - Jim Smith
There's a distortion of an old saying about "no good deed ever goes unpunished," which is exactly the case recently at the skate park in Parkersburg.
Many local businessmen, skateboarders and private citizens raised several hundred thousand dollars to have the skate park built, which The News and Sentinel covered through the campaign because we thought it was a worthwhile project.
Unfortunately, the skate park has been vandalized several times, which the newspaper also has covered because it was senseless defacing of public property for which citizens heavily contributed for its construction.
With the park now up and running and summer here, the newspaper thought now would be a good time to ask those who use the skate park what they thought of it, what they liked about it, what they didn't like about it and what improvements they would like to see.
So, a petite, 30-plus-year-old female reporter went twice to the park and on both occasions was run off by being sworn at in the most foul of language and threatened with having her car stolen if she didn't leave immediately.
Needless to say, she left and it leaves me wondering if the newspaper should ever send anyone back to the park. Granted, the foul misconduct of a few should not be generalized to represent the many, but it still makes me wonder about a reporter's safety.
Hopefully those who use the park will police their less-than-respectful, obscene counterparts, but we can only wait and see.
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