The Thursday June 24, 2010 edition of WINA’s The Shilling Show featured an interview with Carson Raymond Foundation’s Fund Raising Chairman Dana Alston. During the interview, Mr. Alston answered questions on a number of topics relating to the Foundation’s plans to construct dugouts at Woodbrook Elementary School.
We’ve done some fact checking on Mr. Alston’s statements. Our analysis follow his comments which are show in italics below.
“We had four meetings, now, with the Woodbrook Community — we’ve amended [the design] after each meeting.” While it’s true there were four meetings, only the second and third meetings resulted in amendments to the design.
“As a board we’re kind of surprised and confused – we’ve made every change that they’ve asked for.” Woodbrook Community leaders requested an open, wooden framed design at its third and fourth meetings. The Foundation has so far declined to consider any proposals other than its own split-faced concrete block design.
“I don’t know why they felt [the dugouts] was a new nuisance [for crime].” For reasons not fully understood by us, dugouts, particularly concrete block dugouts, are a magnet for vandals and graffiti. A Google search for “dugouts AND graffiti” produced more than 25,000 hits, the majority of those are related to vandalism.
|The photos in this slide show were collected from an Internet search under in ten minutes. There are many other stories of dugout vandalism for which photos were not available.|
“There’s not going to be anything older than a t-ball child playing in there, anyway, so we can’t have big massive games and older kids there anyhow.” In a December 6, 2009 interview with this blog, Carson Raymond Foundation President John Raymond said, “The first part of the plan is to tear down the existing backstop, which we did two weeks ago, it was old and not really useful for a Little League field.” According to Wikipedia, t-ball is a game played by children from 5 to 8 years of age, Little League is for children aged 9 to 12.
“Athletic programs have proven that it reduces crime that children have another activity to be involved in.” Reports from Woodbrook residents suggest that it’s teenage children that are committing the current rash of crimes, not t-ball aged children.
“A field of that size only holds a t-ball game.” While it’s true that the field is not usable for softball, it will have 60-foot baselines making it suitable for both t-ball and Little League games.
“As many people that are opposed, we have that many people that are for [the dugouts].” According to a straw poll conducted by this blog earlier this year, Woodbrook residents are opposed to the screened, split-face concrete block dugout design by a factor of almost 3-1.
“I think that there’s a small contingent that are really opposed to it but they seem to be carrying the loudest voices at this point.” The Woodbrook Community Association’s Board of Directors, the duly elected representatives for the community, are unanimously opposed to the construction of concrete block dugouts at the school.
You can listen to Mr. Alston’s interview in its entirety on the WINA website. As always, your comments are invited.