August 26, 2008

Looking At Gale Park Today

This morning I noticed the yellow Park District truck leaving behind a pristine, quiet park.

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Tonight a little after six o’clock on my way home…new signs were up.

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Shoes were pretty neatly lined up and the kids were playing football – one little girl made a touchdown and yes, the boys yelled hooray….that’s better than the adults can often manage!
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Here’s a sight few expected to see – soccer! Yes, there are other sports than just basketball.

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The play area was pretty clean – I didn’t see any broken glass.


This area on the Northeast end of the park has been a loitering hangout for a long time. I read that Bosworth reported seeing crap games and a lot activity around 5-5:30 pm tonight. It was relatively quiet when I walked through. The beaten up chess tables were home to a few card games and a whole deck was strewn on the ground. The other problem gathering place is the Southeast corner of the park by the baseball diamond.


But for the most part, people had not trashed the park too badly today, except perhaps on Craigs’ blog! But most comments are necessary because those ‘in power’ to make change are probably reading. Gale Park and this little neighborhood is like a garden – it needs nurturing, pruning and weeding in order to grow.

One person in the meeting last week complained that the outdoor basketball hoops were taken down because ‘certain’ neighbors said the night games made too much noise. The fact is, the hoops were down while construction was underway and remained down until the building opened as the facility it was designed to be - a public park facility.

The fact is the city park closes at 9pm and the hoops come down. There’s also this mandate known as curfew. The counter statement was that the complaints were about the night time activities such as drug dealing, prostitution, partying, dice games and the occasional gunshots. That is what brought about complaints or 911 calls. Face it, there are some people who may never set foot in the gym or the outdoor courts – they have another agenda.

What also was not mentioned is the fact that this park faces the rear of certain buildings where noise is frequently acceptable and calling 911 is an invitation to intimidation. Perhaps the trio who think the BGC would change Gale Park should spend their time and energies on getting and keeping these properties gang and drug free. It’s time to use this so-called power a little more wisely. Since the trio doesn’t even live in this neighborhood, perhaps they should either move here or make the necessary adjustments with the owners and management of these buildings. Put a stop to the drugs, gangs and child endangerment by negligent parents and guardians. Is that too much like real work? Or is HUD that frightening to work with? Or are promises too difficult to keep? Providing affordable housing is one matter – not providing contingencies or enforcing the rules to ensure the safety of a neighborhood is an entirely different subject.

While everyone is glued to the Democratic Convention where Obama is praised as a man who shows respect to those who disagree with him, as a man who seeks to find common ground rather than dividing - then perhaps our leaders should follow in their candidates footsteps.

Gardening is real work too – but if done with persistence – the results are amazing.

1 comment:

Fargo said...

A clean park is a beautiful sight! Clean and thug-free is even better.