Politics

Come to the CASE Annual General Meeting!

Notice of Annual  General Meeting
7 PM, Wednesday May 2
Community Room
Eau Claire Market
200 Barclay Parade SW

Fuse Fest, August 2011

Every year CASE invites all of our members as well as everyone else in the Calgary skateboarding community and those who support skateboarding, to our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Our AGM is an opportunity for CASE to share  what we have accomplished, what we are working on, and what we have planned.  It will also be a chance for us to answer your questions, and hear your ideas and suggestions about what we can do for skateboarding in Calgary. If you want to get involved in  any of CASE’s efforts, you can check into that opportunity as well as CASE needs more people to contribute, a little or a lot, to help push skateboarding forward in Calgary

We are making progress towards getting  more skateparks in Calgary, and in making our city a more skate friendly place.  The progress is not as quick as we’d all like, but the progress is definite.  We’re making a difference for Calgary skateboarders and we hope you can make in on May 2nd so you can hear about developments first hand!

If you have questions, comments, or need more information before the meeting click “Contact” in the menu bar.

See YOU May 2nd!

City Council Funding 4 New Rec Centres

A few months after the federal government denied the city’s application for funds for four new recreation centres (two of them which have skateparks in their plans), the city has announced that provincial infrastructure money will be used to build them.

Read more about this great new from council here.

Calgary’s pathway network

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A busy Calgary bikepath from Flickr user Vicapproved

Calgary is recognized for its network of some 700 km of bike and pedestrian pathways across the city which are enjoyed by citizens of all ages and from all walks of life.  Pathways are well used, with an average of 149 users per hour  and  almost 27,000 users per day in a recent study. Calgarians use their pathways for recreation, fitness, and transportation with cycling, walking, and running the most popular ways of getting around (1).  Today we take the bike paths for granted, but it is interesting to look back at how the bike paths got started and the parallels to where skateparks are today.

 

The Calgary Herald’s Tom Babin reported that in 1971 a group of 40 U of C Physical Education students received a $56 800 grant from the Federal government to build the first bike path from the zoo to the Glenmore Reservoir along the Elbow River.   Those pioneering Phys. Ed students wanted to see Calgarians live a more active and healthy lifestyle, and as many supporters as there were, not everyone understood.   One critical comment quoted in Babin’s article was concerned that  “Some areas of the river are dangerous because of deep water, I wouldn’t want to see young kids going for a bike ride there and ending up drowned.”  Not much of an informed or reasoned argument against the bike paths as the bike paths would not have been planned for the water’s edge in the first place.

Go-Skate-day 2011-0292

Go Skateboarding Day 2011 at Millennium Park

Fast forward to today when CASE has picked up the banner from the Fellowship of Calgary Skateboarders who had advocated to see Shaw Millennium Park built.  Like the Phys Ed students of long ago, CASE has had to advocate for our cause with City Council, and we hear some ill informed, baseless, and at times irrational arguments against skateparks.   There are those that think skateparks are noisy, messy, expensive wastes of space and money that only attract crime and violence to their communities.  None of those objections are true of course, but like the individual that thought kids would be drowned on the  bike paths, those who object to skateparks have a right to be heard too, so we need to respond positively and constructively to address their objections. The best way to respond to the concerns of those who don’t understand skateparks is with good factual information, rational explanations, a positive attitude, and hard work to advocate for the skateparks Calgary so badly needs. Contact CASE if you need information to advocate for skateparks, or if you want to help us push for more skateparks in Calgary.

 

(1)  City of Calgary (2011). Pathway Safety Review Report 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011 from http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/TP/Documents/cycling/Cycling-Strategy/pathway-safety-review-report2011.pdf

(2) Tom Babin’s article in the Herald:  http://www.calgaryherald.com/homes/Path+popularity+creating+planning+problem/5839722/story.html

 

 

Final Push for Skateboarding Survey

The City of Calgary skateboarding survey closes on July 31, 2011. If you haven’t yet taken 5 minutes do complete it, please do so by clicking below.

What have YOU done?

A lot of people ask, “What can I do to help get a new skatepark?”
Well, the short answer is, “Lots.”

First of all, register on www.calgaryskateboarding.com
The statistics tell of an estimated 40,000 – 60,000 skateboarders in Calgary. Sure, maybe not all of them check out this site (we hope most of them are out skating) but we hope the ones that do are registered. If we had even half of that registered to our site, we’d have a lot more pull in the eyes of some politicians. The old saying, “power in numbers” holds true when lobbying government.

Email your alderman. Email the Mayor. These people were elected by the citizens of Calgary, the citizens who pay taxes for services. When it comes to recreation, citizens decide what services they require. It would be great if the mayor said, “Millz is gettin’ kinda beat, dudes. We should build a few skate plazas, along with some bowls, and maybe a couple of snake runs too,” but that’s probably not going to happen. We need to tell our city’s leaders what we need.

Obey the Like us on Facebook. This goes back to the first point about quantifying our membership. At the end of the day, the people involved with CASE are volunteers. We meet regularly and invest a lot of time into trying to do what’s best for skateboarding in Calgary. Email us if you have any suggestions or comments. If you can donate, that helps us a lot. Being a non-profit society, we rely on donations to throw events and fund things like this site as well as insurance so we don’t get sued personally.

Come to our benefit show on April 15th. We’re ramping up for a big Summer of events and talks with the City about skateparks. We could use your help.

City of Calgary Seeks Budget Input

The City of Calgary is looking for feedback before they develop this year’s budget. Go to this site or the Facebook and Twitter sites to respond. More outdoor skateparks, an indoor skatepark, and more skate-friendly laws would be two great suggestions.


Articles in Calgary Newspapers

Today both the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun have articles about the need for more skateparks. Here is the one from the Herald:

“On a sunny day, Shaw Millennium Park will draw skateboarders from every corner of Calgary.

It’s not just that there’s no finer place for the kick-flip crowd. Beyond downtown’s skateboarding haven there’s virtually nowhere else in the city to skate, at least legally.

That made it a half-hour drive for Steven Hall and his trick-loving 10-year-old son from Sundance in Calgary’s deep south. Or longer, for those who rely on transit.

“It might have been smarter to put in four smaller parks in the four corners of the city, like in the leisure centres,” Hakl said.

More than a decade after opening Shaw Millennium Park, the city is acknowledging in a new report the skater-filled suburbs deserve one new mid-size skate park in every city quadrant.

The document notes that Calgary also has two smaller skate parks at McKenzie Towne and the west-side recreation centre – as well as three portable parks it shifts around the city. But that’s a dismal tally compared to smaller prairie cities such as Edmonton (11 parks), Winnipeg (8) and Saskatoon (6), to say nothing of Greater Vancouver (18).

Calgary has only one permanent skate park for every 360,000 people, compared with Medicine Hat’s two large parks for its population of 61,000.

“The development of skate parks in Calgary has fallen behind demand, and given the rapid increase in population in the past five years, this gap has grown exponentially,” says the report, which goes to a council committee Wednesday.

In addition to four “regional” parks each nearly a half-acre large, the paper suggests smaller community-sized parks throughout the city.

It recommends private fundraising and partnerships to help the city afford new parks. But instead of offering a price tag or timeline, the paper proposes a fuller strategy by the end of 2011.

Ald. Andre Chabot, whose daughter grew up an avid skateboarder, agreed the limited number of parks has been a disservice for young skaters.

“So they end up using all kinds of different places that were not designed for that and probably not safe,” he said, listing Olympic Plaza and business’ staircases as those venues.

Skate parks would be a great fit in new southeast and northwest recreation complexes that are in the works – if there’s money to pay for them and other high-demand sports facilities.

“We are deficient in so many aspects, and it all comes down to dollars and cents,” Chabot said.

Hakl, who now lives in Okotoks, is trying to address the skate park shortage himself. He’s buying the old equipment from the former 403 Skate Lounge indoor park, and is pursuing investors and property to resurrect it.

But zoning rules will largely restrict his options to a warehouse in industrial areas, and demand a lengthy permit process, the aspiring entrepreneur lamented.

“If this was Vancouver, I could have had it up already,” Hakl said.

jmarkusoff@calgaryherald.com
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald”

Gian-Carlo Carra – Candidate in Ward 9

Gian-Carlo Carra is a candidate for City alderman in Ward 9. He’s helped CASE in our discussions with a private company to try and secure a building for an indoor skatepark. Gian-Carlo is a forward-thinking politician who supports skateboarding in Calgary. Even if you don’t live in Ward 9, check out his campaign platform on his website.

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