This post is slightly off topic. Still water skiing related, but the not so fun part of it. Politics. A couple disturbing things found their way into my inbox tonight. I promise that this will be as close I get to talking politics on this blog.
The first is local. Madison. I had previously heard that the Madison Parks Commission is considering a ban of alcohol in Law Park. Law Park is the tiny strip of grass just east of the Monona Terrace where the Mad-City Ski Team, which I’m a member of, holds our ski shows. I’m nearly 100% certain that the trigger for this movement is the homeless people that have setup camp in the park and drink. I’ve witnessed them do lots of things drunk including one of them beat another’s head into the rocks on the shoreline. Members of the ski team have made numerous calls to the Madison Police regarding them. The council has the right idea of trying to clean up the area, but banning alcohol in just the one location probably isn’t going to fix the problem, just move it to another public location that allows drinking.
What triggered me to write about this topic is this. I’ll let this bloggers words speak for themselves:
I run along Lake Monona through the park all the time, and I wonder if it’s less of a problem with alcohol and more of a problem with the five or six homeless chaps camped out on a park bench just down from Monona Terrace…or maybe the water skiing club is getting out of hand. The anglers along Monona Terrace itself are rarely drinking from my recollection.
– Brad V from Letters in Bottles
What I found concerning is the inclusion of the “ski club” as potentially being part of the problem. Whether or not the person is seriously including the ski team as part of the problem or just saying it sarcastically, people can definately read it the wrong way because sarcasm is not easy to convey through the written word. It is comments like this that people can take out of context or interpret the way they want that can create problems.
If this person observed the ski team for any length of time, he would notice that there is wide range of ages participating ranging from 6 or 7 years old to 50 plus, entire families that are members so they can participate in a sport as a family, single adults, college students and high school kids all participate. The ski team is a family sport and a family environment.
Another water skiing related news story that showed up in my inbox is not so local. California to be exact. It seems that they have decided to ban water skiing in a bay even though the sheriff commented at the hearing for the issue that water skiing isn’t the problem. None of the fatalities were water skiing related. Hmm, we have a dangerous strip of water way, frequented by lots of boaters, some of them probably drinking, causing issues. If I was going to water ski in an environment like this I would be cautious as I don’t like to ski when there is a lot of traffic on the water and have people that I trust with my life driving as that is how important the driving portion of skiing is and it seems that the people that have skiing there have been doing the same. Yes there were skiing injuries, but they were from people “falling” as the article put it. This is another example of poor legislation. We have a problem. Let’s ban water skiing instead of actually enforcing the laws already on the books regarding boating safety and alcohol consumption which would solve the problems if there adequately enforced.