Skateboarding at James Bay Square

It’s right there in red, white & black – two notices posted on the pillar at the corner of James Bay Square. It reads: No skateboarding, roller blading, scooter or bicycle riding and yet either people can’t read or choose to ignore it. And it’s not just youngsters but grownups who should know better. There was even a “gentleman” last weekend teaching a group of teenagers to do tricks on their skateboards!

This is not only annoying but dangerous. The noise of the skateboards monotonously slapping on the cement is enough to drive a person to distraction. Not only this, but they ride up the very pillar on which the signs are posted and then slam down – over and over and over again, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning. There are numerous older folks living in the area who either cannot move very quickly or are using walking aids. I have seen many close calls in this regard.

The office staff in James Bay Square usually address this problem during the weekday hours. However the office is not staffed in the evenings and weekends, the times when this activity usually occurs. Is there something that can be done to stop this dangerous and annoying behaviour other than calling the police who I’m sure have better things to do?

Perhaps we could ask the City to provide a skateboard park, preferably away from a residential area. Maybe a remote corner of Beacon Hill Park would be an option. As one young lad yelled at me, “Hey lady, are you going to drive us over to the skateboard park in Esquimalt?

Elizabeth Roberts

What a difference five years make

 When I had just turned eighty years old, and people asked me my age, they couldn’t believe I wasn’t much younger…and said so.

Now that I ‘m eighty-five and tell anyone my age, he or she will say “Really, is that right?’ …as if I must be older.

Five years ago, I was very active, serving as a Board member for a local charity, volunteering on three committees, taking my dog twice a week on pet therapy visits, enjoying regular aqua-fit exercises and often attending various sessions for seniors at UVic and the Hillside Health Centre.

In addition, I made sure that I took my dog, Gingergirl, for three brisk walks each day around the neighbourhood.

Today, we leisurely stroll only far enough so that she can check her pee mails and leave her own. We’re fortunate that the weather here in Victoria is usually great so that we don’t mind taking our time. Afterwards, we have a short rest.

And until recently, my only volunteering was at the Community Library at James Bay Project, but now even that has finished with the opening of the wonderful new public library.

In fact, most of my time these days is spent at home knitting a garden, which is actually turning out to be quite challenging. The patterns for each flower, plant and leaf are very intricate and difficult to follow, at least for me. I hope to finish it all by the time I’m ninety.

I must admit that I’m enjoying my new-found liberty and surprisingly, not feeling guilty about it.

Perhaps that’s why my age is not important anymore…either looking younger or older really doesn’t matter…since I look and feel content.

 E. Patricia Mortimer

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James Bay Community Project - Girls Group