Franklin’s Paine Updates & other Philadelphia skateboarding drama

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’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 have​board​.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.

This is the PDF that peo­ple are cit­ing as proof.

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.

In other news…

Lil’Wayne got a skatepark opened in New Orleans.

18 thoughts on “Franklin’s Paine Updates & other Philadelphia skateboarding drama

  1. The peo­ple on the board of direc­tors at franklins paine have been col­lect­ing large pay­checks for way too long for doing next to noth­ing, and I dont think any­one can dis­agree with me. Non prof­its have min­i­mal over­sight, and com­monly only exist to pro­vide a very unde­served pay­check to its mem­bers. If I remem­ber cor­rectly, this clare per­son and a cou­ple other are get­ting some­wher around $70,000 a year, and for what exactly? Do they have work to do on a daily basis? Is it hard work? I worked at a gro­cery store from 10pm to 6am stock­ing shelves and maybe made $20,000 a year. Most peo­ple have to work hard, 5 days a week, for much less than what these peo­ple are mak­ing for doing noth­ing. Not only are they rip­ping peo­ple off and cater­ing to their own interests(or what they wrongly per­ceive as oth­ers’ inter­ests) they are hav­ing a neg­a­tive impact on the skate­board­ers here that appre­ci­ate skat­ing the city and not some dusty angle iron grind­box under a bridge. I looked into it a lit­tle, and the first thing I am going to do is file a com­plaint with the attor­ney gen­eral. I encour­age other peo­ple that feel sim­i­larly to do the same, if the AG receives enough com­plaints, the feds take over any inves­ti­ga­tion.

  2. Zeb — You’re just a bit off here, buddy. First of all, no one on the Board of Franklin’s Paine has ever received a cent in pay­ment for serv­ing on the Board. All of this can be cor­rob­o­rated online via guidestar​.com (in fact, non­prof­its have more over­sight than any other sec­tor, as all year-​​end tax forms are pub­li­cized). And $70K a year! Man, I wish, that sounds great. Sign me up! If you don’t under­stand the tire­less work that I and oth­ers have put into our work in com­mu­ni­ties all around Philadelphia — and exactly how much work goes into devel­op­ing suc­cess­ful youth pro­grams and cap­i­tal projects —  I hereby invite you to shadow me for a day so you can see exactly how hard this work is. Also, there’s an “i” in Claire.

  3. Glad some­thing is mov­ing for­ward but it bet­ter be the best park ever because it’s def­i­nitely one of the most expen­sive. I think a lot of peo­ple are still wary from wait­ing 10 years for a park design that isn’t even guar­an­teed to not suck. Are any rep­utable builders still using 10 year old plans on their plazas? No. They’ve fig­ured out what works and what doesn’t. We get a park that costs more than twice as much as other large city parks with half the area designed by a guy with zero skate expe­ri­ence and an unim­pres­sive ‘real world’ resume. Those waist-​​high kinked rails look awe­some! Yay! Brick ramps that are totally fun to skate for 5 min­utes! Are the builders gonna put expan­sion joints at the tops of stairs? $4 mil­lion (down from $6mil) for a bunch of (recy­cled) benches and 3-​​stairs? What a deal!

    Zeb’s prob­a­bly right about some of the funny busi­ness too. 33% of money raised paid out in salaries? Not to men­tion a $2000 here and there for “office sup­plies”, a $10,000 for adver­tis­ing, etc. etc. year after year? Nice work if you can get it.


  4. Zeb — Line 12 — Salaries. So now that you have indis­putable facts, tell me why you think Board mem­bers or any­one else received such lav­ish funds? As to the cost, any­one in Philly that has any knowl­edge of typ­i­cal con­struc­tions costs, union stran­gle­hold, and polit­i­cal bull­shit can explain why it costs what it does, and why its taken soo long. Honestly, Your not involved, you dont care, and your mis­in­formed. If you all also remem­ber, the design was done by us (skaters) dur­ing numer­ous town-​​hall type design get togeth­ers. The kinked rails are a fed­eral hand­i­cap require­ment, there are efforts to have that changed dur­ing build. As for all the rest of the bitch­ing, f off. Ground break­ing is fri­day bitches.

  5. Psyched to see that Paine’s Park is finally hap­pen­ing. It’s been a long 10 years, but I guess that’s what it takes to build a legit­i­mate, legally approved park in a city that loathes skateboarding.

    My only con­cern is with it being a “shared” pub­lic plaza. Alot of the PR empha­sizes that point say­ing that it can be uti­lized for events such as con­certs and fairs.

    My guess is that you won’t be able to skate there dur­ing such events. And after 10 years you can bet that peo­ple will be pretty pissed if they show up to skate on their day off only to find that the Horticultural Society is hold­ing their annual fair.

    So what’s to keep the same fun­da­men­tal prob­lems from pre­vail­ing? What’s to keep the city from say­ing that they are hold­ing a week long event there? Or to make it a des­ig­nated area for Occupy pro­test­ers? Is it pos­si­ble that they can even out­law skat­ing there? Or limit it to cer­tain hours?

    Any insight from FP is greatly appre­ci­ated. Thanks.

  6. Hey Money Man. Can you fuck­ing read a tax form? Did you turn to page 2, part IV COMPENSATION? That looks like real $ to me. Also, a lot of peo­ple went to meet­ings and got brushed aside if they weren’t down for Love 2.0 and there was an insis­tance on a ’filmable’ park for the ben­e­fit of the 10 or so peo­ple in the city who make money skat­ing (who get flown to spots any­way). Skaters who wanted any tran­si­tion were shoved under a fuck­ing bridge. Skaters that just wanted a place to skate and prac­tice got a 10 year wait. And you blame unions for the high price but NYC, LA, Chicago, Denver are all union towns that still got twice as much park for half as much money — for all types of skaters. The design and high dol­lar mate­ri­als are why this park offers so lit­tle bang for buck. The dual use idea is dumb too. Why should I care about hand­i­cap access at my skatepark if it makes the rails nearly unskate­able? How stoked are civil­ians going to be sit­ting on waxy benches?

    Don’t give us that “you didn’t help” crap. You took on a civic job and didn’t do it to a lot of people’s sat­is­fac­tion. I’ll bitch if I want. If you have com­plaints about police bru­tal­ity or pot­holes do you need to join the force or work for the streets dept.?

    Claire with an “i”, I see what you did there deflect­ing crit­i­cisms of large pay­ments with “no one on the Board of Franklin’s Paine has ever received a cent in pay­ment for SERVING ON THE BOARD”. Which is to say you made plenty of money ($86585 over 3 years) by serv­ing in a non-​​board posi­tion. There are also a lot of non-​​specific expen­di­tures which might not sit well with hun­dreds of skaters that have chipped in their free time and hard earned money for FPSP in var­i­ous forms and events.

  7. Yes I can thanks for ask­ing, lets go to the tape, shall we.

    “If I remem­ber cor­rectly, this clare per­son and a cou­ple other are get­ting some­wher around $70,000 a year, and for what exactly?”…

    It may be money, but its not $70k, and its not paid to Board Members, which are listed on page 2 as well with $0 next to their name.

    As for other cities — 1. Move there, 2. Chicago’s parks suck. LA’s were bankrolled by Dydrek, and some shady bid-​​rigging, NYC is fuck­ing NYC, with boat­loads of money, and civic-​​minded peo­ple every­where that give a shit about their city, youth etc. Thats not here.

    Try again. Thanks for playing.

  8. So, any space oper­ated by the Parks and Recreation Department (which includes all Rec Centers and Fairmount Park), can be uti­lized for pri­vate events if some­one goes through the per­mit­ting process for their event. We see this hap­pen all the time with con­certs and walks along the Drives as well as fam­ily reunions, and other events held in por­tions of Fairmount Park. If some­one has a Parks and Rec approved per­mit for an activ­ity at a site on a given day, they have pri­or­ity of the space. Otherwise, they can’t reg­u­late what any­one does or doesn’t do in a given space unless a law is being bro­ken. Note that both the cur­rent and pro­posed anti-​​skateboarding leg­is­la­tion specif­i­cally men­tions that “…Public prop­erty also shall not include Recreation Department facil­i­ties…” so this space would not be sub­ject to those gen­eral laws. Additionally, while we all hope that the park will accom­mo­date a mix of uses at once (as Love used to do so beau­ti­fully) the park is denoted as a “skatepark” in all agree­ments issued between Parks and Rec and Franklin’s Paine.

    Also, all Fairmount Park facil­i­ties are tech­ni­cally closed from 1am — 6am, although it’s harder to enforce in open areas. Other than that, there are no restric­tions in terms of hours.

    Side note: We spent the last 8 months updat­ing the old draw­ings to reflect cost sav­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties as well as fine tun­ing all skate details. Grindline Skateparks led this effort on our design team through­out the process and we also have had more recent weigh in from some local pros on the final design details. I don’t think any­one will be dis­ap­pointed with the qual­ity of the park or the skateability.

  9. Also, yes, I am the only full-​​time staff and I get paid to serve as staff — pretty typ­i­cal. I don’t under­stand why that seems so scan­dalous or hard to under­stand? And, I still don’t know what large pay­ments you are refer­ring to. I can speak to any FPSF pay­ment made over the last 3 years, how­ever, if you’re really that inter­ested. Email me at claire@​franklinspaine.​com or call me at 215 – 222-​​4300 and we can dis­cuss, anony­mous “hater”.

  10. This is awe­some. Thanks every­one who made it hap­pen. Can’t wait. As far as the mixed use, that was a vision I had a lot to do with when this started. It seemed to make sense as the spaces we LOVED so much were mixed. I guess we will see how it turns out.

  11. Naturally, all skateparks over 2 mil­lion dol­lars should include a per­fect Team Pain con­structed skatelite sur­faced vert ramp along with a flaw­lessly poured clover bowl fea­tur­ing tile, ver­ti­cal, fed­eral stone cop­ing, hips and pock­ets. Skateparks over 4 mil­lion should also include street style ele­ments. Cleveland is get­ting a park (there is not going to be a vert ramp…) with every­thing listed above for under 1 million.

    Its very good to see the ground­break­ing. But as I have said for at least 8 years, the idea that a bowl or a ramp is too “skate spe­cific” is crazy. My fear is that the city will reclaim the “park” for gen­eral pub­lic use and, as any­one can sit on a bench, turn it into a non-​​skate plaza with very lit­tle trou­ble. Between 4 — 6 mil­lion and the only tran­si­tion is a brick quar­ter­pipe? Not against Plazas per say, really, but it seems sus­pi­cious and costly. And, once its done, good luck skat­ing any­where else in town.

  12. I think Claire explained how the agree­ment btw the city/​parks and rec define the space as a skatepark. Hard to elim­i­nate skat­ing at a skatepark.

    The same “cost” drama has been going on for years. Its not going to change, esp due to posts on the inter­web. This is what it costs, fuck­ing get over it. There are zon­ing laws, and art peo­ple to make happy, and union rules, and sur­veys, and stud­ies, and water man­age­ment require­ments, and so on and so on. As I stated, its not really appro­pri­ate from an argu­ments per­spec­tive to com­pare this to other parks, or cities. This is philadel­phia, every­thing we do is retarded. Want it changed, run for office.

    And the park in Cleveland is crete, which would not fly given the loca­tion etc. Material costs for gran­ite are obvi­ously different.

    As for bowls, go to FDR and grow a set.

  13. I just two more nick­els, no three! 1. Goto FDR, pussy 2. This is a web forum, don’t com­plain, and 3. The price is what it is.

    I think youre all get­ting jacked. I think that scum­bag city coun­cil will take that park away as soon as some­one tags it or gets a pos­ses­sion ticket.

    I like hav­ing lots of ter­rain. All over, and I have never said youre design wasnt good or that one curb should be removed. Goofy, it is, for a skater to argue against ter­rain. Its incom­plete and they could eas­ily steal it back.

  14. FWIW, those two small gran­ite ledges get­ting skated at FDR are not hold­ing up great. The edges are too sharp and frag­ile and should prob­a­bly get beveled or rounded if you want to use any of that stuff at the river park. Now back to reg­u­larly sched­uled drama…

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