BALLARD The Ballard Food Bank has been forced to spend $10,000 of its budget to hire a private security firm after neighbors made "allegations that some of our clients have been trespassing on private property," according to Ballard Food Bank's executive director Shane Rock. The problem, Rock says, is that with "any issues around the food bank, the finger gets pointed at us," but rather than fight it out with the neighborhood, Rock has decided to address neighbors' concerns. He says the $10,000 will pay for a security guard to patrol the area on the three days the food bank is open.
The food bank, which serves 500 households a week, has a $300,000 budget. "I don't want to cut programs," says Rock, but he realizes that "this is about being a good neighbor. We know that there are times when there has been... unwanted behavior. If this provides peace of mind to the neighbors, it's worth doing." ... WOODLAND PARK The long-delayed Woodland Park skatepark is "ready to go," according to Seattle Parks and Recreation planner Kate Conner, but the process is being held up in court by several neighbors who have complained that the construction will cause a loss of "aesthetics and green space." At a meeting on May 14, Seattle Parks and Recreation's Skate Park Advisory Committee chair Ryan Barth spoke to a small group of discouraged thirtysomething skaters. "It's good that you're frustrated," he said. "That means you're involved."
Seattle skaters are frustrated after lobbying the city and state for new skateparks for three years with little to show for it. "We have elected officials saying... skateparks are great and we need to build them, but there's actually [fewer] skateparks than when we started," says SPAC committee member Matthew Johnston. Indeed, Seaskate, which was formerly just east of Seattle Center, was supposed to be relocated after it was torn down ["Skate Start," Hannah Levin, March 2006], but is on hold thanks to Seattle Center's misgivings. —JS