Leaders put brakes on skate park

By: Penne Usher Telegraph Correspondent
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CAMERON PARK — The reasons behind the sudden closure of the town skate park remain a mystery. The decision was made last week by the Cameron Park Community Services District to close the skate park at Christa McAullife Park. Calls seeking clarification and comment to CSD General Manger Fred Smith were not returned as of press time. According to a posting on its website, CSD closed the park because of “incidents.” “After evaluating a string of incidents and complaints stemming from Cameron Park’s skateboard park located at Christa McAullife Park, the Community Services District Board voted to temporarily close the skateboard park immediately,” the statement reads. “This closure will remain in effect until a long term plan can be established that will ensure that all the facilities at Christa McAullife Park can be a safe place to visit.” A review of El Dorado County Sheriff’s incident reports did not show any calls to the Merrychase Drive park in the past 30 days. The gates to the skate park were locked Sunday and a large sign at the park entrance states that the park is closed because of vandalism. Some graffiti could be seen on a nearby wooden fence and more tagging along a concrete wall, but otherwise the skate park appeared void of graffiti and there was no evidence of anything broken or destroyed. Matt Shoquist, 15, has used the skate park for years and said problems at the park were few. “A while back there would be a group smoking (cigarettes), but they weren’t underage,” he said. “It has been a good place to hang out with friends.” Shoquist’ mother, Megan, said if there were “incidents” at the park they were few and far between. “There wasn’t anything that made me feel like he had to stay home — that he couldn’t go to the park,” she said. Mark Shoquist said the biggest problem he saw at the Cameron Park park was cursing. “There was a prevalent use of foul language,” he said. “In contrast to the Folsom skate park where there is supervision and you have to pay a small fee. You break the rules and you are out of the park.” A town hall meeting had been scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, at the CSD’s Country Club Drive office, however, that changed late Friday. “Due to the resignation of a member of the Skate Park sub-committee the skate park issue will be placed on the agenda of the Park and Recreation Committee meeting — held Thursday, April 14 at 11 a.m.,” according to an email sent out by the district at the end of the day on March 25. Those unable to attend are encouraged to send comments and e-mail recommendations to — reference the skate park in the subject line.