Journal Star news article today reads, "Two skateboarders robbed at park in Peoria". Two men in their early 20's were robbed at about 5:00 PM Thursday at Becker Park, 3401 W. Woodhill Lane.
The victims told police a male robber fled with a Motorola Droid smartphone, a Gucci wallet and an undisclosed amount of cash.
As he departed, the robber fired one shot into the air with a handgun he produced after the robbery.
There were no injuries."
On February 01, 2006, I blogged the following under the title of "Exaggerators, Falsehood Tellers or Dreamers?": My blog reads, "The promised skateboard park is a joke compared to Pekin's and other cities smaller than Peoria and cities with much smaller budgets. (The PPD budget is in the $40 millions) The location lends itself to an accident waiting to happen. It is so remote that the site is blocked out so it is impossible to police."
What caring parent would allow a juvenile to skateboard at this mickey mouse skateboard facility in a location so remote and unnoticed by the public. Especially around 20 some year old adults? I suspect many a drug use and drug transaction has taken place at this skateboard facility.
The facility along with a ball diamond now covered with weeds and unused for at least two years, was built largely with public money from the State of Illinois.
Becker Park consists of a shelter, about 200 yards up a slope from the skateboard area, 3 basketball baskets, an unused ball park with a short screen backstop next to a gully where many foul balls would pass over and land in the creek, and a walking trail, mostly built with state money. (Ever notice the unused ballpark behind McClure library with the backstop backed up to a creek bed)?
And with no porta potty as of last week. Or drinking water at Becker or McClure. McClure also has a playground but I have never seen toilet or drinking water facilities.
As to the ball park, reat planning and a possible reason why it is unused if the players have only one or two balls to lose.
The Peoria Park District, still strapped by the money losing RiverPlex and now the African Exhibit Zoo, evidently has no money or desire to build a real skateboard facility. (The PPD set aside $750,000 to lose in this years budget according to a board member and the zoo's $5 million new parking lot and entrance were never completed and by the looks of attendance, may not ever really be needed.
There is another skateboard facility built by the park on the northwest side of Peoria that is so small I asked a park worker where it was located and he answered, "it is right across the street from where you are parked"!!
In the interest of public safety of our kids, the remote Becker Park Facility should be closed now and a new and more challenging one built in eyesight of the public.
As to the unused ball park? You will need to ask the park and the school that was to share it. To find the skateboard park, turn on Woodhill Lane off Molleck and walk down to the ball diamond home plate and you will see it next to a wooded ditch, perfect for all kinds of 'out of sight' illegal transactions with an easy getaway down the large overgrown ditch and creek. Not much of a skateboard park facility, either.
To find my blog of 2006, just type in the title in the search bar, upper right hand side of this blog.