This past week was not a good one for Philadelphia skateboarding. I haven’t been doing a good job in updating this site a smuch as I should. I don’t want to be regurgitating news I read all over facebook but it was pointed out the not everyone uses or is even on Facebook. I also have steered away from writing about anything that I consider “skateboard politics” because it bums me out. I’ve been asked by numerous people why I haven’t posted about the things below so I compiled what I’ve had in draft posts for a few months.
This post is a compilation of a bunch of things that have been happening over the past few months with Franklin’s Paine, Paine’s Park & the state of skateboarding in Philadelphia.
Title 10 amendment
On Tuesday a meeting was held to amend Title 10 to make skateboarding even more illegal. Franklin’s Paine posted about it last week & also attended the meeting to voice their concerns. The amendment was approved.
The local Metro wrote about it on Thursday.
Steve Miller of Exit posted the following over on Facebook shortly after the Metro article was online:
Fact: If you commit institutional vandalism while NOT operating a skateboard in Philadelphia you face a maximum fine of $300. If you commit institutional vandalism WHILE operating a skateboard you now face a maximum fine of $2,000 and 30 days in jail… A new legislation supported by none other then…. YOU GUESSED IT Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund and it’s co-founder skateboarder Josh Nims. Keep up the great work guys!
I reached out to Josh for more on what went down & he told me that he was “a little bummed on news coverage in metro”
The issue is the $2000 fine which I came out to city hall to voice opposition to. The legislations intent is to protect veterans memorials and other public monuments, etc for vandalism and damage, which I do agree with. But charging skaters 2k fines is a bad approach
He also added the following regarding Tuesday’s meeting which seems to be why the Metro’s quotes seemed to paint Franklin’s Paine as supporting the bill:
…discussion with the administration officials and that ended up being the thing that they were questioning in terms of whether they could support the 2k$ fine. In other words, the enforcement issue was my only opportunity to keep the 2k part of the bill from going to full council. That issue was further debated after my testimony.
If anyone else from skateboarding community had showed up or attempted to voice their opinion via a phone call or email to the members of this committee, perhaps they would have more facts about the situation or could understand how the discussion formed and where the opportunities were to turn the tide away from the big focused on skateboarders.
If I had not gone, no one would have been there to say anything to the contrary of any part of the bill.
Josh Nims on Philly.com’s One Great Idea
Josh Nims was also recently featured on philly.com for their One Great Idea segment discussing Paine’s Park which is said to be breaking ground this Fall. It had previously been scheduled to break ground in the spring.
When I reached out to Franklin’s Paine about the push back of the ground-breaking back in June I was told by Claire that:
“we are still progressing daily through our pre-construction process, but this phase has taken longer than expected due in part to added time required by the design team and additional municipal approvals needed. We will be heading back to the Art Commission in mid-July for final approvals and hope to be teed up for an early fall ground breaking, likely finishing construction on the project in spring 2013.”
Sponsor bricks, benches & plaques for Paine’s Park
You can sponsor bricks, benches & plaques for Paine’s park. A 5 year sponsorship of a granite bench from Dilworth Plaza or LOVE Park would cost $10,000, a steel bench would cost $5,000, a plaque would be $1000, & a brick would cost $225. You can find the form for this if you are interested here. Maybe I should start a kickstarter to get a haveboard.com a brick. I can’t really stand kickstarter projects though and doubt I’d be able to raise the money.
Granite from City Hall that was to be used for Paine’s Park
In regards to the granite from City Hall that was stored down at FDR, it is now being used by the FDR guys to build more of the park down there, a lot of which is being used for fill. Onefinger posted the following photo on Facebook:
Claire had told me back in June regarding the granite at FDR that:
The granite that’s currently at FDR is intended for use at Paine’s Park and is definitely not meant to be up for grabs. We weren’t able to pay for storage for these months between obtaining the granite and beginning construction and worked out a deal with Parks and Rec that we could store the granite temporarily at FDR during our pre-construction process.
I’m not sure how they ever thought that would go untouched. I even here that someone lost a finger moving the blocks. I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Street skateboarders & FDR skateboarders are a different bread & that putting any building material down at FDR would get used for FDR skatepark. There are 2 blocks set up as a ledge down there in the parking lot that I saw last weekend when I was there. I didn’t go over to the side to see how much of the granite is currently left.
Franklin’s Paine & La Colombe Collab
Franklin’s Paine & La Colombe recently teamed up for a fundraiser and made limited edition La Colombe “fresh roasted skateboards” with Formation Skateboards.
You can read an interview with Josh and Claire about it here. The had a release event & fundraiser recently to show off the new boards at their location across from the recently “destroyed” iconic City Hall aka Dilworth Plaza.
Sunoco tearing up FDR rumors going around again.
Rumors are once again going around that FDR is going to be demolished like back when this happened in 2006.
Someone wrote in response to the PDF on Facebook “all this says is that the pipeline will transport refined products from the Midwest to eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Eastern PA isn’t mentioned as part of the approved project.”
When I asked Franklin’s Paine about this they said they hadn’t heard anything about it but they would reach out to parks and rec to see what tehy knew about it. As of right now they have not gotten any word from them about it.
Given the wording on the PDF, I started to think that it was just a rumor but someone down at FDR told me last weekend that not too long ago some suits were down at the park with plans & had asked one of the locals what they were going to do when they tear it down. I don’t know how much truth there is to this story. If anyone knows any more about this, please let us know in the comments.