Since I was mentioned in a Coastline News article last week (“Curves thrown at speedboarding” 02-04-2011) as introducing the idea of a speed boarding competition on Park Avenue, I’d like for Indy readers, (some of whom also may read the Coastline), to have my comments in context:
My live remarks to the City Council centered on their authority to act and what those actions should be, namely that their authority to require the rider of a skateboard to wear a helmet at all times was their only legitimate concern in this matter, and further, that “To consider any other regulation or regulations (plural) that attempts to restrict skateboarding on any street in Laguna Beach, is entirely antithetical to the purpose of why this body convenes.”
I went further and said, “Your purpose as governing officials, at all times, no matter what the issue, is to protect, preserve and uphold our freedoms as U.S. citizens and residents of Orange County and this city. That’s it, period.”
I continued to say that skateboarding is a “pursuit of happiness” (just ask any skater). It is not a crime. It’s a healthy sport. It is not this body’s place to outlaw, restrict, or regulate this sport in any way, shape, or form.
Then my time ran out (which I’m sure they were happy about). However, my prepared comments, which I distributed, focused like a laser on the absurd city staff recommendation that the council might “close off specific streets or locations to skateboarding in the future,” at which point I somewhat sarcastically reminded the council (in my text), that they already have the authority to close off city streets, as is the case with, for example, the Patriots Day Parade, and if they’re going to close down any city street for skateboarding, they ought to do it to hold the first annual downhill skateboarding contest to be held on Park Avenue. First place is a $5,000 scholarship. The public is invited. Seating is available up and down each side of the street…right behind the hay bales.
Peter J. French, Laguna Beach