When my family and I discovered that the Santa Rita Park playground was being dismantled in preparation for new equipment, we were excited and perplexed. The old Santa Rita playground was one of the nicest playgrounds in town. What happened to the old playground equipment? I hope it will go to good use. Elementary schools could really use updated playgrounds. Please don’t forget local children need safe and updated play equipment. – Anonymous
Action Line agrees that local kids need safe and updated playgrounds.
And that’s precisely why you won’t find old Santa Rita playground equipment at any local school. Or anywhere else for that matter. It’s junk.
Or as the kids would say, “It’s janky.”
For people older than 40, which is pretty much Action Line’s core readership, “janky” is slang for things that are unreliable, of inferior quality or done in a slipshod manner.
Thus, most of Durango’s rental housing could be categorized as janky.
Janky also describes how your neighbor piled all that stuff out back, swaddled it with a blue tarp and bungee cords and called it good for the winter.
Likewise for those old bikes in your shed. They’ve got flat tires, rusty chains and bent handlebars.
They’re janky. So is your shed.
And no, you will never get around to fixing those cruisers so you can ride to the Farmers Market.
Anyway, let’s get back to Santa Rita.
Our good friend Cathy Metz, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, cleared things up: “The playground equipment was several decades old.” (Just like those bikes in the shed.)
“The playground was loved to death, heavily used, and it reached the end of its useful life,” she said.
“The equipment was so old that if anything broke, the city couldn’t get replacement parts,” she added.
Then there’s safety and liability. Decommissioning equipment voids any warranty, Cathy pointed out.
So imagine if the city declares playground equipment to be worn out and unmaintainable but gives it to a school anyway. And then a kid gets hurt.
That would be a janky junk jinx.
Therefore, the playground equipment was scrapped. “We recycled everything we could,” Cathy said. “The metal parts went to Recla Metals of Durango.”
New equipment has been installed, and a specialized rubberized safety surface will be poured.
Instead of janky, we’ll have swanky.
Now that recycling bins have been removed from behind north City Market, what is the city going to do with the Great Wall? I miss the glass cutting my bike tires and seeing old TVs next to the bins. As Ronald Reagan said, “Tear down that wall!” – Wallflower
Our Republican president made that famous challenge in 1987.
And here we are, almost 30 years later, and every Republican candidate claims to be The Gipper reincarnated.
Yet the front-running GOP gasbags want to build walls instead of tearing them down.
Reagan’s epic Berlin speech also had this observation: “… As long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.”
These words give us pause, but they have nothing to do with the recycling station.
The Great Wall will remain until construction of the 32nd Street pedestrian bridge, a city official said. It’s part of the Animas River Trail project, and ground breaking is a couple years out.
This will give plenty of time to plan a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Maybe we can convince President Sanders to be the guest of honor.
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