Sunday, December 31, 2006



Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"You've never been a potted plant, Milo,"

I've been having writers block. Or something.
Perhaps nothing has been going on that intrests me much. I was going to write more on the sign code, but find I just don't have it in me today.
Had a few jokes I was gong to post, but they weren't really that good. Have no babysitter 'till later, so I can't go to work.

Well. Just tried to switch to the new blogger. It says it worked, but I don't agree. I cannot get to anywhere I can post anything. I am going to go mess with it some more. Any tips or info would be helpful.

Oh, bonus points for identifying that quote up there.

Monday, December 25, 2006

154 things because I haven’t traveled out of the US and a couple others were kinda stupid.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink--damn right I have. Luckily, there weren’t many folks in there.
02. Climbed a mountain--many of them
03. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive-- never, although I want to.
04. Been inside the Great Pyramid-- no, but I want to.
05. Held a tarantula.—Oh hell no.
06. Taken a candlelit bath with someone--Nope.
07. Said ˜I love you" and meant it--- yes.
08. Hugged a tree—Possibly, for support, but not because I had feelings for the tree
09. Done a striptease-- Heh. Possibly.
10. Bungee jumped--Nope, and I don't want to.
11. Watched a lightning storm at sea—Nope, and I don’t wanna
12. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise—Oh, yeah, many times.
13. Seen the Northern Lights-- Yep.
14. Gone to a huge sports game—No.
15. Grown and eaten my own vegetables--Yes. Plenty of them.
16. Slept under the stars-- Too many times to remember.
17. Changed a baby's diaper-- Yes. Didn't like doing it, but I did it.
18. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon--No.
19. Watched a meteor shower-- WOW! Several times.
20. Gotten drunk on champagne-- Yes.
21. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope--Yes.
22. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment--No. Not really a giggler.
23. Had a food fight—No, unless whipped cream counts as food.
24. Bet on a winning horse--Yes.
25. Taken a sick day when you're not ill-- I plead the 5th.
26. Asked out a stranger—Not that I can remember
27. Had a snowball fight-- Of course.
28. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier—No
29. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can--Yeah.
30. Held a lamb-- yes.
31. Taken a midnight skinny dip-- Once.
32. Taken an ice cold bath--Yeah, see #37.
33. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar-- Yeah.
34. Seen a total eclipse-- Yeah.
35. Rode on a roller coaster—NO!
36. Hit a home run--Yes.
37. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking? Yeah
38. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors—Sorta-what is considered an ancestor?
39. Visited all 50 states--Nope.
40. Loved your job for all accounts—Working on that.
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced-- Yes.
42. Had enough money to be truly satisfied-- Yes.
43. Stolen a sign-- I plead the 5th.
44. Taken a road-trip-- Yeah. MANY of them.
45. Rock climbing--Yep.
46. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice—Nope
47. Midnight walk on the beach—Depends on what constitutes “Beach”
48. Sky diving-- No, and I never will jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
49. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love--Nope.
50. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them--Yes.
51. Bench pressed your own weight-- Nope.
52. Milked a cow--Yeah.
53. Alphabetized your CD’s—No.
54. Pretended to be a superhero-- Yeah, with my kid.
55. Sung karaoke—Sorta.
56. Lounged around in bed all day—Not all day. But a good part of a day.
57. Posed nude in front of strangers-- Nope.
58. Scuba diving--No. But I want to.
59. Got it on to Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye--No.
60. Kissed in the rain--Of course.
61. Played in the mud--Damn Right.
62. Played in the rain--Damn Right.
63. Gone to a drive-in theater--Yeah.
64. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it.--Yep.
65. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to known about your blog has discovered your blog--Yep.
66. Started a business--Yes?
67. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken--No.
68. Toured ancient sites--Kinda.
69. Taken a martial arts class--No.
70. Swordfought for the honor of a woman--No.
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight--No.
72. Gotten married.
73. Crashed a party-- Who? Me?
74. Loved someone you shouldn't have-- Nope.
75. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy--I think so.
76. Gotten divorced--No
77. Had sex at the office--Never.
78. Gone without food for 5 days--No. Don’t plan on it either.
79. Made cookies from scratch--Yep.
80. Won first prize in a costume contest--No.
81. Gotten a tattoo--No.
82. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on—Yes.
83. Rafted the Snake River—No and I don’t plan on it. Now fishing the Snake can happen.
84. Been on television news programs as an "expert"—Sorta.
85. Got flowers for no reason-- No, but I have sent flowers for no reason.
86. Got so drunk you don't remember anything--I don't remember doing that.
87. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug--nope
88. Performed on stage---Hell no.
89. Recorded music-- Nope
90. Eaten shark--Yes.
91. Had a one-night stand---BWHAHAHAHA!!! No. Never.
92. Seen Siouxsie live--Never heard of whoever that it.
93. Bought a house—Just one.
94. Been in a combat zone—No.
95. Buried one/both of your parents-- No.
96. Been on a cruise ship--No, not yet.
97. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone--Yes.
98. Bounced a check--I may have, but it was the banks fault. Really.
99. Read - and understood - your credit report—Yeah, that’s a good time.
100. Raised children-- Well, I’m trying.
101. Created and named your own constellation of stars--That's just ridiculous.
102. Found out something significant that your ancestors did--Yes.
103. Called or written your Congress person--Yes.
104. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over--Yep
104. ...more than once? - More than thrice?—Just twice.
105. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking--Hell, yes!
106. Had an abortion or your female partner did—Hell no.
107. Had plastic surgery--No
108. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived—Ah, sorta!
109. Wrote articles for a large publication—No
110. Lost over 100 pounds--Hell, no.
111. Held someone while they were having a flashback—Not exactly.
112. Piloted an airplane--No.
113. Broken someone's heart-- Yes.
114. Helped an animal give birth--Yes.
115. Been fired or laid off from a job---Nope.
116. Won money on a T.V. game show--No.
117. Broken a bone-- Yes
118. Rode on a motorcycle--Yes.
119. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph—Pretty likely.
120. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced-- Only by surgeons.
121. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol-- BWHAHAHA!!! Of course not.
122. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild--- Yes.
123. Rode a horse—Many times.
124. Had major surgery--- Is two C sections "major?"
125. Had sex on a moving train-- Not yet.
126. Had a snake as a pet—No.
127. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours--I don't remember. I was asleep.
128. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days--No.
129. Eaten kangaroo meat--Not yet.
130. Eaten sushi-- No.
131. Had your picture in the newspaper--- Yes, a few times.
132. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime—No.
133. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about--Yes.
134. Gotten someone fired for their actions---Yes.
135. Gone back to school--No.
136. Parasailed--No
137. Changed your name-- Does being "firefly" count?
138. Petted a cockroach--FUCK NO!!!
139. Eaten fried green tomatoes—No, and I don’t want to.
140. Read The Iliad-- Yes. and The Odyssey, too.
141. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read--No. Didn’t miss one.
142. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them--No.
143. ...and got 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you--No.
144. Taught yourself an art from scratch—depends on what is considered “an art”.
145. Killed and prepared an animal for eating--Yes.
146. Skipped all your school reunions--Yes. And I'll probably skip the rest of them.
147. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language--Yes.
148. Been elected to public office--No.
149. Written your own computer language-- HELL NO!
150. Built your own PC from parts--No.
151. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you--No. Well, maybe sorta.
152: Dyed your hair--Yes.
153: Been a DJ--No
154: Been arrested---I plead the 5th.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Our electric utility.
Rooting around in the City's websites I have noticed a few things.
Electric City Power has it's own site. But no real information is posted on it. I have yet to find one link that directs you to anything. The minutes of the meetings are up, but they are very bare bones, telling you what was discussed, but giving no actual information of any of the issues.

From a March 6th meeting "The Board reviewed the December 2005 Financials from SME." I would be interested in seeing these. There is no link, no other information at all. Where do I find them?

From the same meeting: "The Board briefly discussed a draft of a Development Agreement between the City and SME. Executive Director Balzarini explained the purpose of and need for such an agreement. She noted that City staff and the City's bond counsel would be discussing the Agreement with SME officials on March 13th."
O.K. March 13th, 2006. City staff and bond counsel were going to discuss a development agreement for a project that is supposed to start next spring, and which the City has just now (December) decided we need a new feasibility study for.

Public comments from residents are there, but there seems to be little reply to concerns raised.
"Stuart Lewin asked the Board questions about the City’s plans to supply electricity to residents of Great Falls and about its role in the proposed Highwood Generating Station." So, what did the board say? How did they respond to this very important question?

Perhaps I am nitpicking about little things. However a few answers would go along way.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Every time I log in they ask if I want to sign up for the beta Blogger- except tonight, it says they are out!

On my stroll home tonight, I watched the cars in rush hour traffic-It took about 5 minutes longer to walk than it does to drive the same distance. (But my ears really noticed the temp difference over the bridge!)

My sisters and I have, for years, told each other what we want for Christmas. This year, we are taking that a step further - we are going shopping together for our Christmas gifts!

(My dog likes plain saltine crackers. She is strange.)

Well, I am going to go work on another post, which will, hopefully, have correct references to relevant parts and which will be tempered by the thoughtful words of those more cognizant of literary and legal propriety than I.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Collected a bit.

Under the First Amendment, courts are most concerned when sign regulations seek to restrict or regulate content of signs. Content based codes are subject to the strictest judicial scrutiny and will be upheld only if a court finds that the regulation is justified by a compelling governmental interest/and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. This could become an issue when content determines definition of a sign, as in commercial vs noncommercial signage.

We have a content based code.

Example: Signs advertising a product, service or business that are carried worn or otherwise supported by a person are prohibited. However, "ideological" signs, defined by the City as “anti abortion signs, peace signs, anything guaranteed as freedom of speech by the U.S. Constitution” appear to be exempt from this prohibition as long as they meet the size requirements. This creates a content based restriction that implies that "ideological" signs do not create the same safety risks as sale or car wash signs.
The city’s answer to the question “What is the definition of an ideological sign” also bothers me. “Anything guaranteed as freedom of speech by the U.S. Constitution”.

But a local governments sign code must comply with the 1st Amendments guarantee of freedom of expression, because every sign, including a business sign that does nothing more than identify a business or advertise a product is a constitutionally protected form of expression.

Another provision requires that similarly situated individuals receive equal treatment and protection of the law. As applied to sign codes this mean that if the business activity is legal the code must be equally applied to everyone.

Therefore, it is discriminatory to require a permit for one type of sign and not for another based on content.
This would come into play when anyone can put up a construction or real estate sign (or perhaps a daycare?) with no permit or inspection and a different type of business owner cannot put up the same size and type of sign at his business without getting it permitted and inspected, and installed by a licensed sign contractor.

Also exempt from permit are “Flags, emblems, crests, or insignia of any nation, political subdivision, corporation or any other entity or business”. Again, the content of the sign changes how the Code regulates the sign. Specifically, how the City defines and permits the sign. Is this equal treatment?

Abandoned signs. It states that if a sign no longer advertises a business it has to come down. This was part of the old code. It does not seem to apply to certain persons or businesses. Once again, lets give everyone equal treatment. If you force someone to take their sign down you need to make sure you force everyone in the same situation to take their sign down.
And now the City is amending part of the section that addresses the Cities right to remove an unpermitted sign. They can’t even enforce their own abandoned sign requirements, and they are talking about how they are going to take signs that advertise for legitimate businesses? This is what they felt was important after a year and a half?

Nonconforming signs: Copy changes are what I would like to address here. July 2002 a District Court judge ruled “The triggering of conformity upon altering the message or content of the sign is unconstitutional". He went on to say “a prior restraint exists when speech is conditioned upon the prior approval of public officials. Requiring official permission to change a sign’s message is suggestive of authority to sanction the message itself.” (page 10, see link below) On a legal, nonconforming sign, why can our city require an inspection/permit for changing just the copy?

Another consideration is how the code relates to its Intents and Purpose section. When the code requires things that in no way affect the stated purpose of the code, it leaves itself open to legal challenge. Safety and Liability issues should be a part of the intents and purposes. Simple wording changes would fix that.

In our Code it states: Any person engaged in the installation or repair of electrical signs, including neon, must have an individual sign electrician/journeyman certificate, or be licensed as an electrician by the State.
In our Code it states: A person or firm engaged in the business of fabricating, installing, altering, maintaining, or repairing and or modification of electrical wires, apparatus, raceways or any other portion of electrical sign must adhere to the following requirement: Sign contractor Class A-Must show evidence that at least one member of the corporation or firm holds a current sign electrician certificate.
So others can do the work on electrical signs but only one person must have the license. This is not fair. It is also contradictory of the preceding statement. The person doing the work needs to have the license, or we need an actual apprentice – journeyman system as in other states, governing this as a trade. If you are going to require a license you need specific criteria governing acquisition of that license. The code states you must have proof of 2 years experience, but does not state what kind of experience. The sign code guy, whoever he is, gets to decide if you have the proper experience I guess.

If a person of reasonable intelligence, which I consider myself, cannot know with adequate precision what a sign ordinance mandates or prohibits it is considered impermissible vagueness. The absence of clear standards in the code guiding the discretion of public officials, leaving the interpretation of the code open to ambiguous or subjective reasoning is considered impermissible vagueness.

I wrote most of this post about a year and a half ago. Here is a link to court cases etc. since I suspect someone will want them. I have made minor changes to this post it today, but I am curious, what do you think. Could there be other issues that could possibly be addressed besides the ones Ordinance 2957 addresses?
I know for a fact that most of these issues I mentioned have been questioned since the new code took effect.
How will these issues under review "further benefit the public"?

Up next I will discuss permit fees, inspections, and where your money goes. Wait, no one knows!

Ordinance 2957 to Revise Sign Code.

right here.

SYNOPSIS: The ordinance would amend Chapter 60 of the Land Development Code which governs signs in the City of Great Falls. The current sign code has been in effect since May 2005. The proposed revisions are primarily to address minor housecleaning items, to provide additional clarification, and to add a provision to address signage if a premise is subsequently subdivided.

BACKGROUND: A rather extensive and time consuming review and development process was conducted by an appointed sign committee to prepare the current sign code, which became effective on May 5 2005.

With over one and one-half years of working experience with the new code, City staff has identified a few items and issues that warrant further consideration and or clarification.
Briefly, the proposed changes include:

1. Signs for home occupations, family day cares, adult group homes and other approved home uses would not require sign permits, provided size and location standards are met.

2. All references to specific dollar amounts for fees, costs, etc. were deleted and instead payments of fees and costs would be as set by the city Commission.

3. To be consistent with the narrative description of the code, exhibit 60-6 was revised to note that one free-standing pole sign would be allowed per premise frontage for premises exceeding 50,000 square feet in area.

4. Reference was made to the appropriate section of the code that addresses signs for home occupations, family day cares and the like.

5. Clarification was provided that on-premise signs are authorized for approved commercial uses in residential zoning districts, neighborhood commercial zoning districts, and central business periphery zoning districts.

6. A new provision was added to address signage if a premise is subsequently subdivided. Specifically, the provision states, “If a premise is subsequently subdivided after a freestanding sign allocation has been established for the premise, the subsequently created parcels shall share the freestanding sign allocation; shall share the same freestanding sign pole or monument; and, the owner/subdivider is responsible for allocating the signage amongst the separately created parcels at the time of each sale or lease.”

7. If a sign permit is revoked and the sign is not removed, the City may remove the sign and the sign owner may then reclaim the sign within ten working days. After that time, the sign may be destroyed. The requirement that the owner pay a $50.00 fee to reclaim the sign was removed.

It is offered that the proposed amendments will further benefit the public and will assist staff to more clearly enforce the revised sections and to provide an additional signage provision to address subsequently subdivided premises.

All emphasis is mine.

Well. This was approved at first reading, and will be approved by the City Commission on the 19th. It is nice to see that Randy Gray was right, the City will be willing to revise the code if needed. And oh, boy, they really zeroed in on the problem parts didn't they! Note the bold italicised parts. They will be addressed.

Now let me collect my thoughts.
Wow! That's Impressive.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quick update for y'all

I originally had the idea for the In my Kitchen posts quite a while ago. But I never did it-we have great conversations, tell jokes, etc, and I usually forget the things I want to post about before I get a chance to sit down and write it. But the opportunity arose one evening, and I ran with it- and it appears someone liked it. Cool.

It also appears the City has managed to hire(?) a new sign code dude. I'll be keeping you updated on that. Ohh, yes, a new target for my sign enforcement effort (or lack thereof) posts! Just joking, I wouldn't pick on the new guy! Yet.

Went to the mall this weekend. Ugh. Didn't buy anything. I will be returning however, to the only good part of the mall-Scheels! The rest of that @#$ place can wallow in it's own misery without me.

Well, I'm off to do stuff. I've been workin' to much, and not at laundry, dishes, housecleaning.....But it never goes away!

Monday, December 11, 2006


Wonder if those furry ones would really keep your feet warm.

I'm going to keep looking.

So I was looking for shoes.

Not any of these.

I gotta say one more thing..

O.K maybe more than one.
1. I never said the City is wrong for not allowing sledding.
2. I never said it was safe.
3.The City must assume it is safe.
Why then, did they post signs saying "At your own Risk"? Perhaps to signify there was a risk.
4.I do not believe the City encouraged sledding. People did it, the City attempted to make it safer, and in the end the City, and everyone else, paid for peoples decision to go sledding on this hill.
5."Isn't it amazing that we can't have sledding on Flag Hill, but the City actually created a dangerous skatepark?" Excellent point. I was wondering if anyone was going to point that out.

I was just throwing out a general post about risk and responsibility and others choose to run with it. I appreciate the intelligent discussion this has sparked, but rather frown upon senseless sarcasm and overzealous diatribe in my comments. I am not advocating sending our kids out to be injured and maimed, rather I was pointing out some of the activities that benefit kids, but may have risks involved, which I think could be overcome with a little public participation and the realization that almost anything can injure us, and it is not always someone else's fault.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I think it would be tough to end up on 10th Ave.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Volenti non fit injuria

We live in the best city in the best state in the best nation in the world, and we cannot let our kids go sledding on Flag Hill.

Our wonderful City built a beautiful skate park for our kids, in a park with the Missouri River flowing by. With the Rivers Edge Trail, that the people of this city built with their sweat and money, with dreams and a dedication to our community.

And we worry what will happen when someone gets hurt and sues the City. When. Not if.

I have talked before about talking responsibility for our actions, whatever those actions are. In the specific examples here, if you go sledding out on the family farm and get hurt, you are responsible for what happens. But if you go sledding on a City hill, with signs that state “at your own risk” someone can always find a way to sue. If you let your kids go skateboarding or roller skating at the skate park, is there a chance they will injure themselves?
Is it your responsibility as a parent to understand that risk and decide if it means your kids can’t go? How many adults out there remember jumping your bikes off loading docks, every hill and gravel pile you could find, the steps of your buddys house. If you got hurt, what did your parents tell you? When you wiped out did you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and be more careful next time? Were you a kid who learned from your mistakes, or did your Mommy make you stay home and do safe things because you might get hurt?
How much fun is being a kid then.


Ok, how did that happen?
Anyhow, go vote. And thanks.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Scientists working on a drug to cure obesity!

“A nationwide epidemic”

I saw Richard Simmons on Letterman the other night. Now, I cannot stand Simmons. But he started talking about Physical Education in our schools, how important it is. And I found myself agreeing with him.

I started thinking about this.

I looked at all the kids walking out of school for the next few days.

I considered the adults I see everyday.

I think my son needs to get more exercise.
He has gym, roller blades daily, (when that crappy white stuff is not on the ground) rollerblades at Hauers about once a week, goes to the skate park regularly, runs around with his friends, and is generally fairly active-when he is not sitting around playing video games.

He ended up on the ground panting and exhausted, begging for a break, after hunting for just a couple hours with me and his Dad. I know several other kids who are much more sedentary, and they are becoming overweight.

Wonder why?

In my kitchen...

with 3 twelve year old boys, I ask:

so guys, what's up with the graffiti at the skate park?
B1: It's cool!
Me: don't be a dork, it's your skate park, I'm asking this seriously. This is something you guys can be involved in. I ever find out any of you do something like that I'll make sure you get in so much trouble. I know your parents. And your principal.
B2: Why don't they just leave it?
me: The city has an ordinance that says graffiti must be removed in 72 hours, the city should have to follow its own rules dontcha think?
B2: It's already been up way longer than that.
Me: So they get it cleaned up, how do we stop it from happening again?
b3: It's the older kids who do it
me: the ones who bring the bikes?
b's x 3: Yeah, they show up with bags and big coats with stuff in the pockets, yeah, big duffel bags, and throw them down all over, we' ve tripped on them and stuff, they are kinda mean to the younger kids.
me: how old are these kids?
b2: older than us, like high school
b3: yeah, probly 15 - 17, and they stay later than us, after dark.
me: does anyone ever run them off?
b2: theres an older couple that sits down there sometimes that says something once in a while, and sometimes if there's a parent around they will say something but the kids don't pay them much attention
b3: yeah till they see someone on a cell phone, then they take off for a while, but they come back.
b2: the cops should come by and run them off.
me: do the cops ever stop down there?
b2: some times they walk up on the tracks, and look at the skaters, and we see them drive by, but the kids on bikes watch for them
b3: sometimes we'll be in there and we'll hear "cops" and all the guys on bikes take off for a few minutes, but they come right back.
me: so what do you think should happen to them?
b3: they should get banned
me: but how does that get enforced?
b2: well if there was like an attendant or something to make sure there weren't any bikes coming in
me: see, now we are back to having someone there, (we talked about that part before) and that is what is going to end up costing you. The city isn't going to pay someone to enforce the rules with out that money coming from somewhere.
b1: a robot would be cool, you could put him on wheels and-
me: focus boy, this is real life! the city isn't going to get a skate park robot! (It would be cool tho.)
b3: maybe they could get like volunteers, the guy at zoomiez in the mall might do it, he is really nice.
me: so you think an adult just being there would make a difference? I don't think the zoomiez guy can do it by himself, either.
b's x 3: Oh yeah, if there was just someone hanging around, and kids knew they would get in trouble for breaking the rules, it would make a difference.
me: but you guys know there are cameras there, doesn't that make a difference?
b2: they don't work
me: what do you mean, they don't work?
b2, b3: someone put grip tape on the poles and climbed up there and snipped the wires, yeah, long time ago, and the lights too, everyone knows.
me: so you're telling me the cameras and the lights don't work and everyone down there knows.
b2: oh yeah
me: so if the cameras worked, do you think that would help with the graffiti?
b2: yeah, well if kids knew people could see them they wouldn't want to get in trouble
me: so say the cameras worked, and someone got caught, doing that, what should happen? should their parents get called, or the cops or what would make you not do it again?
b2: the cops, that would scare me
b3: yeah, if kids knew the cops would get them they wouldn't do it
me: so, you don't think kids are worried about the cops down there?
b2: no, they never do nuthin', just drive by once in a while or look in. kids run but they come right back.
me: you guys know what a webcam is?
b's x3: oh, yeah, those are cool
me: think if kids knew their parents could watch them on the computer they would behave? (You should have seen the looks on their faces!)
b2: well, yeah, but...
me: would fencing it do any good?
b3: only if there was a gate, and someone to make sure they didn't bring bikes in
me: ok, but we are back to a person there
b2: maybe they could put up those pillars like at school, so a bike couldn't fit through, and tall so you couldn't toss it over
me: that is actually a pretty good idea. but, we have to be fair and not discriminate here. how do you make it so a bike cannot fit through, and a fat kid can?
(unfit for print. these are 12 year old boys.)
me: so you think it will help if they fix the cameras?
b2: yeah, until they get cut again. maybe they should hide like nanny cams around that no one knows where they are

We talked for quite awhile. I told them to think about it, and talk to other friends, and let me know if they come up with any ideas.
One idea I have discussed is a small concession stand, where a guy could make a little money selling them soda and candy, and with the authority to kick kids out or call for backup if needed.
However, there would still be times when no one was around, for the artistes to create masterpieces.

I think one of the main issues here is that these kids see that there is no one getting caught for doing things wrong. The boys that I was talking to are good kids. They know there are not so good kids at the skate park and that those kids are not worried about getting caught for breaking the rules.
The City talks about self policing, but how do 10-14 year old kids make 14-18 year old kids follow the rules?