Monday, October 12, 2009

LAPD evicts VSA Night Community Watch

VSA members were evicted from night community watch on Oct 12 @ sundown. Sgt Reyna informed VSA members that due to legal ramifications and issues such as bonding and insurance the VSA is unable to watch and or secure Venice skatepark from vandals and the like at the sk8prk after dark. VSA will consult with attorneys on the matter as well as City Council and County DA'soffice on the matter. I wish to congratulate VSA members/volunteers who have done an excellent job providing a diligent, safe, vigiliant and professional team of volunteers.VSA members and skaters are upset and saddened as within 10 miniutes of being evicated ,the skatepark was overrun by BMX and rouge skaters.It is obvious the LAPD cannot secure the skatepark 24Hours a day and I fear what carnage awaits in the morning.I want to add that Sgt Reyna said the VSA is providing a neccessary function and he appreciates what we have done but it is a legal issue. VSA will continue it's day hours skate patrol and grounds clean up as scheduled. We need you, John Q skater to join us in the fight for jobs, education and respect. Power to the People!

4 comments:

MR_e said...

Regarding the first portion of this article...

"VSA members were evicted from night community watch on Oct 12 @ sundown. Sgt Reyna informed VSA members that due to legal ramifications and issues such as bonding and insurance the VSA is unable to watch and or secure Venice skatepark from vandals and the like at the sk8prk after dark. VSA will consult with attorneys on the matter as well as City Council and County DA'soffice on the matter. I wish to congratulate VSA members/volunteers who have done an excellent job providing a diligent, safe, vigiliant and professional team of volunteers"

Please be advised that around 11 pm on October 12th, my man and I specifically dropped by Venice Beach to view the completion of the skate park and were verbally assaulted by a girl (Melissa?) who claimed representation as a volunteer for VSA. Her reasoning was that we were not permitted to have our bikes anywhere in between the signs posted around the park, whether or not we had the intention of using them while inside the park. She had no identification of being a member of VSA and appeared to be intoxicated at the time. Should this girl be a volunteer for VSA, it is important for you to know that her behavior was extremely inappropriate and unprofessional by means of using methods of foul language, slander, threats of violence and forceful attempts to remove our bikes from the premises. I generally avoid contacting the local authorities for civil disputes; however, I felt the need to do so this time considering she was claiming to be responsible for the park under your authority. Also within her threats of violence, she advised us that if we call the police, we might as well call an ambulance. I trust that these particular methods to protect the park are not the traditional codes of conduct for VSA and am hoping that you will address the issue immediately to the appropriate personnel so you can keep your valued reputation and repoire good within the community and maintain your commitment to keep the Venice Skate Park a safe and secure environment for anyone that visits with the sheer intent of respect and appreciation for the hard work that you have put into building this park for the public. Your consideration is greatly appreciated!

Vision said...

I want to tell "MR_e" that I happen to know the girl you are writing about.

In her defense, she is a dedicated person and I ask you to put yourself in her shoes for just a moment. People have fought long and hard for the park to be created. Being told the VSA can no longer protect the park overnight is going to make a lot of passionate people very hurt and frustrated. The girl you mentioned is one of the most passionate skateboarders I've ever seen in my life. I completely understand why she may have been a tad ornery after being told the park can no longer be patrolled. That skatepark isn't just a skatepark - for some of us it's home - it's a dream come true. Just imagine how you would feel, knowing people might trash your house everynight, and you were forbidden to stay home and defend it? Traumatizing, to say the least.

No one should threaten you with violence for wanting to look at the skatepark. That isn't right and I'm not defending that sort of behavior. You have every right to be upset over that. However, I simply ask that you try to see things from her perspective cut her some slack. I'm sure it was a very emotional and upsetting evening for her. Please take her situation into account and don't judge her too harshly.

Please stop by again during the day, when the park is open. I hope next time you visit the park, it remains a safe and fun environment and is an enjoyable experience for you. Despite your unfortunate incident, it truly is a paradise of beauty and good vibes.

extra garlic said...

I am a volunteer with the VSA.

I have been at the skatepark every day sweeping sand..collecting cigarette butts and trash and acting as a liason between the skatepark and the LA County Lifeguards who are the first medical responders in case of serious injury.

I apologize to any and all people who encountered "negative" persons claiming to be representing the VSA.

Everyone involved at this point is a volunteer..the vetting process in such instances is not ideal.

A VSA volunteer that is legitimate
will have an orange safety vest with VSA logos..at this point we CANNOT pretend to be able to control
random persons from claiming to be VSA volunteers..the incident described however was on the VERY night that the VSA was evicted..and
the VSA therefore can only apologize..also explaining
that until we had consulted with legal council we HAD to abandon the park that evening...
If there had been a vested VSA member there..I GUARANTEE no such altercation would have occured.
Because WE would have have called
Pacific Division the very instant
any unpleasantness..we couldnt ourselves mitigate..got out of hand.

The VSA will be monitoring the park
24 hours on a neighborhood watch model and encourage any and all community members concerned about the maintenance and safe operation of the skatepark to VOLUNTEER.
Just ask anyone of us in an orange VSA vest how to get involved.

and of course..

come out and SKATE!

d.roberts said...

I feel bad for both MR_e and the girl in question -- I love the skatepark and skateboarding culture, even though I'm not much of one myself. I can feel the frustration from here.

But the territorial nature of skateparks to skateboarders, like waves and beaches are to surfers, will always be a reality. We all know what that's like. You can say it's a necessary evil or you can call bullshit on it, but it's not going away.

We can only hope that the VSA (or anyone else give the authority to oversee the park) will do their best with the task of securing it (if there is even any security...). We all know that being given a badge or a vest, and being charged with "protecting" can be a slippery slope, but I have faith the VSA can do the job.

Does this give the girl in question a pass? No. But skaters and surfers can be a wild bunch, and quick to protect what should be protected. I just hope cool heads can prevail. It seems like Vision is one of them.

I guess I'm just really happy to see the park open and I don't want to see it lost due to lack of security, abuse of visitors, homeless, liability, etc.

I thought seeing Tonan down there all the time was great.

I want MR_e to be able to enjoy the park without harassment.

I want the VSA to continue protecting what they worked so hard to build.

I want Venice to continue to be a home to skateboarding, like it always has been, and always should be.

--Darrin