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Future of Lodi’s Kofu Skate Park in jeopardy after litter, substance abuse problems

City temporarily closed park in August; staff will weigh next step Tuesday

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 8:26 am, Sat Sep 15, 2012.

The future of Lodi's Kofu Park Skate Park is in limbo after continuing problems with alcohol, drugs, littering and criminal activity.

In late August, city staff closed the park after users refused to pick up their trash despite repeated warnings, said Jeff Hood, interim director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

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Welcome to the discussion.

11 comments:

  • Rocky Avitia posted at 11:54 am on Thu, Sep 20, 2012.

    Rocky Avitia Posts: 20

    gail, my apology in advance if that sounded rude.

     
  • Rocky Avitia posted at 11:47 am on Thu, Sep 20, 2012.

    Rocky Avitia Posts: 20

    really gail, obviously you dont get it. i wonder what else you dont understand, maybe a shorter list would be what you understand... lol. lets say it moves to another park, it would be different becuase there are actually families at other parks, not like this park where there are no families, which is why they feel safe there. let me tell you this, the problem will be gone if there safe haven is taken away. I like your idea though of random stops, it wouldnt be hard since the police fill up there tanks literally 50 yards from the park, theres a police car there every ten minutes pumping gas, but of course all illegal activity will stop as soon as the bums see them driving up to the park. The only solution needless to say is to close the park, sell the skate equipment and get what they can from it. problem solved.

     
  • Gail Irons posted at 7:42 pm on Tue, Sep 18, 2012.

    Gail Posts: 10

    Really guys, charge a fee at a city park. If you do it for one, you need to do it for all city parks. Mr. Hood indicates that he sees the substance abuse happening, but what is he doing? It sounds like nothing, just letting it happen. Lodi PD should make random stops throughout the day. As for shutting the park down, the problem does not go away, it just moves to another park.

     
  • Rocky Avitia posted at 3:21 pm on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Rocky Avitia Posts: 20

    [beam]

     
  • Rocky Avitia posted at 3:20 pm on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Rocky Avitia Posts: 20

    i guess there will be more bums on the street since they can't hang out here anymore.. lol. [beam]

     
  • Rocky Avitia posted at 3:20 pm on Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

    Rocky Avitia Posts: 20

    just close the park, simple as that. [wink] Another idea... charge admission and from the revenue the city could hire a security guard, just a thought

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:06 pm on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Jt, you are probably right about fixed cameras.

    I think I was reacted to Jeff Hood who stated, "I don't know if there has ever been a day where I've gone out there and haven't seen kids smoking marijuana, rolling marijuana joints or evidence of alcohol use.

    Seems to me if Jeff had had a camera each time he went and took pictures, he could post these pictures on a Lodi facebook account and ask the public to identify the law breakers in the pictures. Once we track them down, a $!,000 fine would go a long way as a deterrent and a funding source.
    In Japan, they do something like this to embarrass people into good behavior.
    ( public exposure of law breakers)

     
  • JT Hall posted at 11:37 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    JayTee Posts: 2

    Hi Darrell,

    While I don't entirely discount your proposal to install a camera, I would be remiss if I did not point out that cameras are no longer the deterrent they once were. ( see this article if you're interested in an example: http://wtop.com/58/3034979/Cameras-to-watch-the-speed-cameras )

    I work in electronic surveillance, and it isn't the panacea that many believe. Many small cities and towns bought into the idea of red light cameras. While they did reduce the accident rate, they've also failed to bring in the promised revenue. Now they often cost cities more than they make. Especially with incidents of vandalism on the rise.

    Your thoughts on moving the park to Micki Grove are intriguing. Perhaps, the city council should consider your suggestion.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:27 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Good point Mr Hall... however, the two city employees who work at Kofu Park spend about five hours each week picking up trash... maybe having a camera they control would be a solution. The fines and penalties would not only pay for their salaries but also the repairs to the park...

    There has to be a solution to make people pay for the damage they cause.

    I love your suggestion of requiring those who use the park to pay a small fee and purchase a permit to use the park..if you remember, Micki Grove was free to use years ago. Too many problems were happening there. They changed the entry requirements to pay a fee and that alone improved the enjoyment for families to use that park.

    In fact, maybe the solution is to move the skate board park to Micki Grove where the structure for collecting fees is already in place. Not as convenient as the current location, but that might solve the problem.

     
  • JT Hall posted at 9:03 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    JayTee Posts: 2

    Darrell,

    Video surveillance systems are expensive. To buy the equipment. Install and maintain as well. Hidden system are even more so. If you're going to point at the crap sold in COSTCO and other places, realize that you get what you pay for. Also, those systems are designed for home / small business use. Not outdoors. There's also the question of the data compression used by the recorder. More compression = more record time = less picture quality. Less picture quality = useless evidence.

    My suggestion is to require those who use the park to pay a small fee and purchase a permit to use the park. Those found on the site without the permit would be arrested for trespassing and theft of services. Those found being involved in questionable activities would have their permit revoked. Have the cops patrolling the area visit the site on a random basis and verify the people present are authorized to be in the park, or have the park and rec people do it and summon the police if needed.

    If this doesn't work, bulldoze it. The argument was made that if teens had a place to go, reprobate behavior would decrease. Obviously, this was not the case. They got along without it before, they'll live after it is turned into a memory.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:38 am on Sat, Sep 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Humm, if it is that easy to see people breaking the law smoking and drinking illegally, why can't a hidden video system be installed where evidence of the crime be recorded. Then, large fines be imposed on the guilty parties or their guardians in order to pay for the expenses generated by the actual people who cause the damage.

    Why just tax payers pay the bill whose only crime is to work hard and pay taxes.

     
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