Meme from the city of Imperial Beach
A SKATEPARK CLOSED meme was posted by the City of Imperial Beach Government’s Facebook moderator on September 18.
“The skate park is closed because someone broke the security cameras there,” said Cristbel Adams. “Also, I never see the police around there anymore to watch the punks at the skatepark.”
Adams works as a copywriter from home, nearby the skatepark, which is located inside the Imperial Beach Sports Park at 425 Imperial Beach Boulevard, less than a mile east of the fishing pier.
I spoke to Adams on October 5.
“My son loves playing in the playground next to the skatepark and watching the kids skate there. You can see good kids, and jerk and punk kids also.
The playground is west of the skatepark separated by a basketball court, and to the south — within “an ollie’s distance” from the skatepark’s fence — is a softball field.
“I am a coach with the IB girls softball organization,” Sa posted on Facebook a week prior to the skatepark’s closure, “and am tired of the young thugs who jump over the fence and skate at the skatepark illegally. While in the skatepark they constantly curse at each other while joking around. They smoke cigarettes and marijuana and are very disrespectful to anyone who asks them to please stop using foul language. Our young girls who are practicing softball can hear everything they say.”
Cristbel Adams: "I never see the police around there anymore."
Sa “notified the police several times” during their practices.
“I personally am tired of getting cursed at and threatened by these skateboarding hoodlums. They have been terrorizing IB way too long. They are responsible for the break-in and theft of our concession stand a few weeks ago, which we have video of the kids bragging and admitting to.”
The coach and I direct messaged one another on Facebook, but as of press time, she hasn’t responded with an update.
While some IB neighbors mentioned that the majority of the skaters here are helpful and teach the younger ones to vert, freestyle, and cruise within the 7500 sq./ft. all cement skatepark, others corroborated Adam’s and Sa’s assessments of the “hoodlum” patrons and trespassers.
“Lockdowns are tough for all of us, and that’s probably why the kids jump the fence.”
“Lockdowns are tough for all of us, and that’s probably why the kids jump the fence,” Miguel said. “But, se pasa (they passed the line) when they messed with the concession stand. To be honest, when I hear these mocosos (brats) cussing in front of our daughter, who also skates by the way — I regulate. I get it, I was a punk kid once, but things were different back then: we’d get chanclas (slippers) for disrespecting, or worse.”
Another IB local suggested, “If these skaters pose such an annoyance and distraction to the girl’s softball practices, then maybe it’s time to ask the schools or the city leaders to relocate their practice field.”
“I can’t believe what I hear sometimes,” Adams continued. “There are so many kids jumping over the fence when the park is closed, and I have seen kids smoking weed and talking inappropriately.”
The skatepark was built in 2009, partially with a $10,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. Skateboarders can navigate through the park’s smooth cement surface, enhanced with quarter pipes, banks, stairs with grind ledges, and handrails.
Monday, Oct. 6, after this story went online, the park was open.
“Without our skateparks, we are forced to hit the streets,” Miguel continued, “we need a safe place to practice our tricks.”
“I’m gonna start looking at Google maps for empty pools,” suggested another skater that saw the SKATEPARK CLOSED notice. On a Google maps search, there are over a dozen pools within close proximity of the skatepark located between 4th Street and 5th Street, but all appeared full with water.
Other IBceans wondered about the notion of having adult monitors, mentors, and volunteers, to overlook the free-of-charge skate venue.
“Our neighborhood has had numerous meetings with city leaders about this,” MS commented underneath the softball coach's plea on Facebook, “and have always been told it’s a money and/or liability issue. They claim they can’t have an attendant because of liability issues – right now it’s a “skate at your own risk” park and the city is less liable if someone were to get hurt. That changes if a city employee is in charge.”
The City of Imperial Beach Government Facebook monitor captioned their meme: “The park will need to remain closed until user safety provided by the cameras can be restored. We realize this will impact many of our residents that enjoy this facility for recreation and are hopeful the few who have made poor choices will allow the repairs to be completed so we can open the skatepark again soon. We hope after these repairs the park can remain operational for all residents to enjoy.”