Neighborly response occurs in advance of skateboard contest

KAPA‘A — They were supposed to be up early, but thanks to a quick response from community volunteers, the “do gooders” services weren’t needed.

Mason Chock of Leadership Kaua‘i said the skateboard park in Kapa‘a was taggedwith graffiti over the weekend, and with a skateboard contest scheduled for tomorrow, he arranged to have students from the youth program come to paint over the malicious markings.

“The community saw the graffiti and reacted quickly,” Chock said. “This means the students don’t have to ruin their Spring Break by coming out to clean up.”

Chock said Leadership Kaua‘i is one of the groups organizing the skateboard contest starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Kapa‘a skate park.

“We’ll be here early,” Chock said. “Our students will be helping with the registration and doing other things in preparation for the day-long contest.”

But silently, Chock was afraid they would need to clean up more graffiti that might occur.

Nearby, “One Man Can,” his preferred name, was preparing to wipe out a smattering of graffiti that appeared on the inside walls of one of the dugouts at the New Kapa‘a Ball Park.

“We have guests coming?” One Man said. “That means I’ll spend some time cleaning up the skate park so the guests can enjoy the place.”

Chock was pleased that the community responded to the vandalism so quickly.

“This shows that the community is taking ownership,” Chock said. “That’s good.”

Chock said the upcoming skateboard contest is a collaborative effort between the County of Kaua‘i, Meyvn Clothing Co., and Leadership Kaua‘i.

“I’m really glad to see that Leadership Kaua‘i has taken the initiative to plan a skateboard contest for our keiki,” said Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste in an e-mail. “We need people to be involved with our youth so they can learn that this is what community is all about — taking care of each other.”

Registration forms are available at the Meyvn Clothing Co. store at the Kukui Grove shop, although none of the shop leaders were available for comment on the contest.

Chock said from what he knows, Meyvn was trying to get some professional skateboarders to the event for some demonstrations as part of the offering to skateboard enthusiasts.

Iona Lo‘i, a sixth-grader who lives near the skate park, said he didn’t see who did the graffiti damage and is still not sure if he wants to enter the contest tomorrow.

Other boarders were already determined they were going to be in the contest and took advantage of the clear skies and cool morning conditions to get in some practice before the park got crowded.

“With the resurgence of interest in skateboarding, we’re now looking at re-designing the Kapa‘a skate park,” Baptiste said. “We’ve have meetings with a volunteer group that expressed interest in handling this project so we asked them to put together a plan. Once that’s done, we can then move forward and formalize the process.”

In the meantime, leaders at the county, Leadership Kaua‘i and Meyvin Clothing Co. have a contest to run tomorrow.

“We’ll be here all day,” Chock said. “The contest starts at 9 a.m. and we’ll be here until it ends.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com

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