Tuesday, January 05, 2010

5 JAN 10: Good Skate, Bad Skate

Heritage Park may be the most unusual park in Columbus. It only covers one-third of a city block. It doesn't have a lot of green space. And it has two large signs telling you what you cannot do - which probably shouldn't be surprising, since it's located near several law offices.

But scofflaws may be taking over Heritage Park on Seventh Street. A Columbus resident was on TV Monday night, describing how he was assaulted there by someone wielding a skateboard. And the alleged victim is an attorney - which means Ken Nugent will be even more inspired to sue for that big check.

Richard Hagler lives across the street from Heritage Park. Hagler says when teenagers started riding skateboards Sunday, he decided to remind them of the "no skateboarding" rule on the signs. In that moment, he may have forgotten something - if teenagers are breaking a rule on the signs, they might not be able to read.

Richard Hagler says one of the skateboarders started cursing at him, and then another one whacked him on the side of the head with a board. Wow - I don't think professional wrestlers do this, much less pro skateboarders.

Richard Hagler appeared on TV with a serious gash near his right eye. He says he needed 15 stitches to close the wound from the attack - and if the doctors knew Hagler was an attorney, you can be sure they didn't use one stitch more or less than absolutely necessary.

The strange thing is that Columbus has a skateboard park now - and it's located within a one-mile drive of Heritage Park. Some might wonder why teenagers wouldn't use a park specifically set up for skateboarding. But then, I'd also ask why a business specifically named Dunkin Donuts has stooped to selling sausage biscuits.

I'll give the teenagers credit for one thing - they were outside skateboarding Sunday, when the temperature in Columbus didn't climb very far above freezing. They were exercising and getting fresh air, instead of sitting at home playing video games. Unless, of course, the teens annoyed their parents so much with the video games that they were pushed out the door.

But Jonathan Hatcher Skateboard Park can be a busy place on weekends. Perhaps these teenagers needed a private place to work on their moves - you know, before the big scene at the end of the movie where the winner gets a date with Miley Cyrus or something.

Yet there are other places close to Heritage Park for working on skateboard moves. The Christopher Columbus statue on the Riverwalk was popular for years. And there's an even bigger place downtown, which would be perfect for doing downhill jumps and stair climbs. Let's face it, the Government Center plaza isn't used for much else these days.

WRBL reports a $1,000 reward is being offered in the skateboard attack on Richard Hagler - only it's being offered by Hagler's wife. If you see a middle-aged woman walking around the Historic District wearing a crash helmet, it might be her.

-> There's a new downtown nightspot for playing weekly live poker. Read our thoughts about it at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <--

E-MAIL UPDATE: Our "Super Speeder" Sunday topic made one reader slow down and think....

I think the new super speeder fines will result in more speed traps in GA...It could become the largest money making scheme for poor counties...If you think some of our neighboring counties have operated speed traps in recent years hang on to your hats...or should I say wallets..Oh,you said the money was to go to trauma centers..If they operate illegal speed traps do you really think they are going to turn the money over to the state?

Now hold on - first of all, what do you mean by an "illegal" speed trap? Is that one where officers actually pull over people driving above the posted limit?

But to answer the question: a fact sheet on Georgia's new Super Speeder law says fines now will be paid in two parts. One payment will go to the city or county, while a separate $200 check must be paid to the state Department of Driver Services. So if Deputy Fife demands a 200-dollar bribe up front, read HIM your rights.

We need to check the facts on one other e-mail, so we'll hold it for another day. Let's move on to other Monday bits and pieces....

+ The high temperature in Columbus was only 37 degrees F. Evening newscasts showed the backyard of Lee County minister Alan Jones, which he's converted into a small sled run using artificial snow. Isn't this amazing? The Opelika-Auburn Winter Olympics might be possible after all.

+ The Macon Telegraph reported the U.S. Postal Service is considering a consolidation of mail sorting. Items currently processed in Columbus would be sent to Macon. But why stop there? The Ledger-Enquirer's presses have been printing the Macon Telegraph for a couple of years - and the newspaper drivers could use some extra money from an extra mail run.

+ Cheryl Renee replaced Zaneta Lowe as WTVM's 5:30 p.m. news anchor. I presume this is because Lowe is about to have a baby. It can't possibly be because Columbus stores are offering half-price specials between 5:00 and 7:00.

+ Instant Message to the new Eighty-Five club on Ninth Street: Did you really replace the only Quizno's Subs shop south of Airport Thruway? At least you could have kept their toaster, to warm up the drinks on cold January nights.

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