VIDEO: Skateboard Park Causing Headaches for Church

The constant noise, cursing, and skateboarders' abusing church property is causing problems for St. John Vianney Church in Colonia.

is making a lot of skateboarders happy, but it hasn't been doing much for the parishioners of St. John Vianney Church in Colonia.

That's because the park, built on a former basketball court, is cheek-by-jowl with the church, and many of the kids - and adults - who come to use the park are causing a nuisance.

"I open the church for mass early in the morning, and when I get here at 7 am, they're already here," said Father John Gloss, assistant pastor at St. John Vianney.

The skateboarders, many of whom are adults, not the children for whom the park was designed, take their skateboarding very seriously. And by some accounts, they aren't even from the area.

"I've seen cars parked in our parking lot with New York [license] plates," Gloss said.

They litter the church's parking lot, leave broken bottles and glass, and curse up a storm, sometimes even aiming their epithets at some of the ladies who work at the church.

They also have been using the church for their restroom pit stops, Gloss said.

"They came into the church with their skateboards during a wedding to use the bathroom," he said.

It's gotten so bad that Gloss has taken to keeping the church locked during the day, which causes hardship to the church's elderly parishioners who like to come by the church to pray. 

The park, which hasn't even officially opened yet, is deposited on a tiny patch of land between the church and the Evergreen Senior Center on Inman Avenue.

"We used to have a basketball court there and a small park. It was peaceful and tranquil. We never had a problem," Gloss said.

The skateboard park, which was built with $500,000 of borrowed money, was to be one of the new "entertainment opportunities" Mayor John McCormac touted, along with the miniature golf course built on a former town dump behind the Woodbridge Community Center.

Despite fears that the skateboard park would create just such problems, McCormac pushed through with the bond and the park. Father Gloss said that it's not just a weekend issue; the adults who come to use the park are there weekdays as well as weekends, from as early as 7 am to dark.

The Woodbridge Police had had a camera on the park, which has since been removed, Gloss said. Now the police spend a lot of time answering calls about problems with the adults in the park.

McCormac had a row of evergreens planted between the park and the church, but it seems to have made little difference in how the users of the park behave. 

"They park here, and they take up space that our parishioners need to park their cars to come to church," Gloss said. "And if anything happens, who is going to be legally liable?"

Councilman Bob Luban, who represents Colonia, had cast the sole dissenting vote against the bonding for the skateboard park.

"It's a well built park. You can tell it cost a lot of money," Luban said. "But this wasn't a good place to put it. It's causing the church problems, and it's bringing in people who aren't from Woodbridge, but from outside the area.

"This is a problem that is going to have to be solved for the good of the people in Colonia."

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7 out November 26, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Listen, kids need a place to have fun and do something. Skateboarding is a good and healthy way to exercise. Sick of the handshakes church thinking they own the town. If there is public drinking, fine the drinkers, but why can't the rest of the people have to lose the park because of a few idiots?
Brian November 26, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Hire a small staff, and charge people to use the park. Turn an expense for the township into revenue. One or two employees monitoring the park daily will cut down on most of the problems caused by unsupervised guests.
slyfox1961 November 26, 2012 at 03:34 PM
@Brian: but then Maras won't be able to complain about the mayor on this issue.
slyfox1961 November 26, 2012 at 03:35 PM
@Maras: you have probably cost the taxpayers of Woodbridge more than 500k with your frivolous OPRA requests, as pointed out by a poster on another forum.
Irina November 26, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Nothing good comes out of these skate parks. Even worst is the amount of money spent to build and police them, Oh that right Mac likes to spend taxpayers money like a drunken sailor. WAKE UP VOTERS!
Tom Maras November 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM
@slyfow1961 Yada yada yada! Let free enterprise (capatlists) build and run miniature golf courses and skateboard parks. The tax payers get revenue (unless Mac did another of his Pilot Payment in Lieu of Taxes sheme), have insurance, hire workers and have to maintanian the facility. Wow, what a novel idea in the Land of MacBelieve! Now why don't you go take a ride on the Seaside rollercoaster! LOL
Irina November 26, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Keep OPRAing away. If there was honesty and transparency from the Mac administration then maybe there would be no need for OPRA's. Maybe Slyfox should be most concerned on WHY there is no honesty from 1 Main Street. What do they have to hide?????
slyfox1961 November 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Tom Maras = I Have Spoken. He posts under various names to his own posts to give the appearance that others have the same views. He does the same on the other forums.
Deborah Bell (Editor) November 26, 2012 at 06:38 PM
"I have spoken" is not Tom Maras, Slyfox. Please leave your dramatics on the other forum.
slyfox1961 November 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
@Deb Bell: my dramatics? Maras calling the mayor a liar and exaggerating his actions at every turn is not dramatic? The vast majority of people in this town actually believe MAC does a good job, as evident by his re-election results. Besides, how do you know who "I have spoken" is? Why does Maras need you to come to his aid? Are you in collusion with him?
Deborah Bell (Editor) November 26, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Slyfox, yes, I know who "I have spoken" is, which is why I'm correcting you. You really don't want to go around repeating something that isn't true, do you? (This would be a great time for you to drop the drama.)
Irina November 26, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Thanks Deb....UN-slyfox has been accusing everyone as being Tom at one time or another. Maybe Un-sly forgot to take his meds this morning..... Maybe Tom is not the only one that Mac likes to be "sly" with. Including the taxpayers and their $$$$
Roger Hickey November 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
They could have owned a portable modular Skatepark for less than $25,000. That way they could have folded it up and put it away when they didn't want to have Skateboarders or Scooter riders riding, and put it out during their optimal times. Greshpark Industries makes the only fold up commercial grade skateboard, scooter, and bmx obstacles. They are used by the Dew Tour, and the X-Games and are in hundreds of churches, schools, park and recs, ymca's, and boys and girsl clubs. freshpark.com
7 out November 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM
The church fair in June is an annoyance to the entire town. They are an annoyance when they tie up traffic for CCD. Well suck it up and deal with it. You want seclusion, move to the countryside
Roger Hickey November 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Tom Maras November 27, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Poor slyfox 1961, it appears you are chasing your own tail with all your tales. Just can't stand knowing everyone isn't a Mac Fan (or Donkey). You seem to think his winning re-election with a mere 10,600+ votes, out of over 50K registered voters, is stunning. Well, compare Mac's votes to the ones Danny Harris (9,600+) just got in the BOE election, and tell us it isn't just the MacMachine at work. Hardly impressive. When I have something to say or write, its got my signature on it. So rant on all you like. And I certainly haven't, nor do I need to lie about Mac. He is the gift that keeps giving, and giving, and giving; especially with other peoples' money. It is comforting to know Jon Corzine had his number, before he got voted out of office. Now do stay warm in your burrow!
Irina November 27, 2012 at 04:33 PM
@Roger.....Real cute...A plug for your crappy toys. How low can a business go.
Roger Hickey November 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM
It was more sharing a solution to solve the issues on both sides than a plug. Much like if someone had a disease and we had the cure, we should at least share that info. There is no stronger, better built, more portable, and more weather proof obstacle company in Action Sports than us, and we have spent millions of dollars and 12 years perfecting and proving our line. We don't make toys, but love your expertise.
CKS November 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Good morning! Please let us all know where you live so that we can come and hang out around YOUR property. Oh, and leave your doors unlocked so we can use your toilets, curse at you, and leave our trash in your yard.
Tom Maras November 27, 2012 at 07:52 PM
@slyfox1961 the man is what he is! Wouldn't believe him if if was standing on a stack of bibles, in a church, wearing his K of C garb! ( My dad was a knight, I have the utmost respect for the good nights and the the good works they do)! But like any other organization, the ten (10) percent does apply!
Irina November 27, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Junk plain and simple.....Go schlep your junk elsewhere.
John Michael November 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM
You obviously know nothing about skateboarding or action sports for that matter. Just because these kids do a sport that you dont approve of does not make them bad or the sport itself. Cry a river, build an arc and get over it. Skateboarding has made my life what it is and I love it and my friends. Only reason the police come and watch them is because of people like you. The reason any of this happens is because of people like you. Fight about it all you want, but skateboarding is here until the end of time.
slyfox1961 November 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM
@Marass: Bottom line is MAC won and is the Mayor. Most likely he will win again. The way our democracy works here is the person with the most votes wins, reagrdless of the percentage of registered voters. Is he less of a mayor because he didn't achieve what you believe to be the required percentage of votes? Talk about the gift that keeps on giving, are you aware that your council meeting rantings and the way you make a fool of yourself there are internet legend? That is why the WTRO threw you out of their organization. You offer nothing but anti MAC ramblings, never anything of value. YOU are the gift that keeps on giving, and are the DEMS best kept secret.
slyfox1961 November 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM
@John Michael: skaters have a right to skate at the park, no doubt about it. But urinating and cursing at the church patrons, if true, should be frowned upon. IO can't believe you would condone such actions. Perhaps people like you can start policing the park amongst yourselves, and through peer pressure change the attitudes of the few who will ultimately get the park closed down and ruined for the rest of you?
Tom Maras November 29, 2012 at 02:27 PM
@ Roger Hickey. checked out your website and found the products interesting. That said, I do not know if your products are certified by any state or federal agencies or National Skate Board organization. If they are please provide details in support of same. Certainly, the idea of being able offer skateboarding to kids in various township parks (usually empty anyway) of the township, perhaps, on a rotating basis, would be novel in the Land of MacBelieve! Few doubt that in Township of Woodbridge, Colonia gets top priority (Open Space, limited, but $$$'s real golf, skateboarding for locals and others, all out of the township's tax coffers), while folks in Keasbey get dumped on with another communities toxic soil. Sewaren got an illegally installed dog park, which is still under NJ DEP mandate to be brought into environmental compliance. And, well, the list goes on... But not to worry, McCormac will cure all (well, a least dull the pain of his administration) with his planned opening of a Retail Pot Shop in Woodbridge.
josephcheeez November 30, 2012 at 02:03 AM
There's all types of churches and some people's is a skate park you complain about people ushering your bathrooms you don't pay any taxes that water is free for you. Being a church your suppose to be understanding. Also there grown ups skating oh my what a sin , go find something better to do with your time you bunch of fairytale reading hate full selfish fakes. Do you know any of these people there parents or grand parents probably help build your churc. WWhen you start paying taxes you could complain. Till then goread that dumb book again.
Tom Maras November 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM
@josepcheeez You are so perceptive and articulate that one has to wonder, are you the illegitimate, home schooled child of Madalyn O’Hare (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair) or did you just miss too many jumps on your board?
CKS November 30, 2012 at 07:36 PM
@josepcheeez. Rather than skateboard, you should spend more time in school or go back if if you've dropped out. At least use spellcheck, or are you a total moron? Youy sound like a freaking idiot.
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nancy December 23, 2012 at 03:30 PM
The church should arrange for towing of all unauthorized vehicles in their lot. It works in NY. You'll see how fast people stop parking in your lot when they get towed !!


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