Monday, March 30, 2009

An Echo from the Past: Beverly Park

There is a movement afoot in the City administration to tear down the play structure at Beverly Park.

Fifteen years ago, I was on the Board of the group that built it. It cost more than $250,000 in donated money and services, and got the entire community together to build. And it was a magnificent structure---a dream playground built to tease the imagination, and to give kids the chance to run and play with no rules and few restraints. Over the years, the city failed to maintain it, and let it fall into disrepair---failing to provide even the minimal maintenance that would have kept it the crown jewel of the City's parks. Now, while the structure itself is still as solid as ever, it's in bad need of repair---and rather than fixing it, the geniuses that let it decay want to tear it down and replace it with a plastic playscape that looks cheap, and that few kids really enjoy.

At a meeting of the Livonia City Council, today, we had to start trying to convince a group of politicians that it makes more sense to spend a LESSER amount of money to fix it than to spend more money to tear it down and replace it with something inferior. I was the opening speaker, and our consultant followed with an outline of what the structure could be with some repairs. We made the City's plan look foolish and short-sighted...but there are no signs that the foolish, short-sighted people of the world are anywhere in retreat.

We'll see how this turns out; for now, it was enough that we did well...and by the turnout at the first of many meetings, we may have the Forces of Foolishness running scared.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.


Angelo Ventura said...

Hi, I like your blog, and, as a dedicated Science Fiction reader, ordered your book the Sirens of Space from Amazon. Can't wait!
When i get to read them, rest assured I'll review them on Amazon.

Jeff Caminsky said...

Thanks...and I hope you enjoy the book.

(Though, personally...I think that "The Star Dancers" is the better novel. And the next installment---"Clouds of Darkness"---should be available this fall)