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Vandalism

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opinion Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

It’s come to this: Most folks have pretty much given up on eliminating vandalism in today’s society and would be satisfied if the occurrences took place at a manageable level. That’s the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves faced with in the wake of the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Board’s decision this week to shut down Jaycees Skate Park after repeated vandalism and graffiti at the south Brainerd park.

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Few people went to this week’s parks and recreation board’s meeting to offer ideas on how the problem might be solved. Maybe they’re stumped like the rest of us. It’s a shame there hasn’t been more of a public outcry against this wasteful and stupid behavior that has jeopardized the healthy activity of skateboarding. The vandals have repeatedly spray painted vulgar graffiti at the park; toilets and sinks have been busted; equipment has been damaged and signs have been stolen. The park had been so seriously damaged that the city faced potential liability issues if it had kept the park open.

Now, with nowhere else to go, the law-abiding skateboard enthusiasts may seek out other less desirable locations for their activity such as the downtown.

There has been talk of relocating the skate park to a more open, visible area and the use of security cameras as a preventive measure. Perhaps more vigilance by the public when they witness vandalism will help curb the growing problem. No one has suggested there’s any fool-proof way to eliminate the vandalism — at least not until the stupidity of their ways becomes apparent to the vandals.

— Mike O’Rourke

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