Saturday, August 18, 2007

Schenectady Gazette Editorial, 8/18/07

Mess at Dave Matthews concert began outside SPAC grounds It was hardly comforting to read yesterday that the 15-year-old girl who earlier in the week reported being sexually assaulted during the Dave Matthews concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center hadn’t actually been raped — but had merely engaged in consensual sex with a 15-year-old boy. Obviously, the girl was too young to be having sex, and the fact she was having it in a public place with a boy she’d apparently just met was equally disturbing. Still, it’s hard to blame her for the mess she got into given what else reportedly happened that day. According to Saratoga Spa park police, the mother of one of the girl’s friends drove them to SPAC that afternoon, and before dropping them off, stopped and bought them a bottle of vodka! (When the girl’s blood alcohol content was measured at the hospital, it was 0.17 percent — more than twice the legal limit for driving a car.) The mother, 42-year-old Lisa Vedder of Clifton Park, has appropriately been charged with supplying the girls with alcohol and faces jail time if convicted. She deserves some — for her act has to be viewed as a contributing factor to the predicament the girl got herself into. Vedder probably wasn’t the only negligent parent Tuesday. According to eyewitness reports, the SPAC and state park parking lots were full of teens who arrived many hours before the concert’s 7 p.m. start, set up grills and proceeded to hold football-stadium-style, alcohol-fueled tailgate parties before heading into the show. Where did they get the booze? Park police are responsible for SPAC parking lots, which are part of the state park. For a big show like the Dave Matthews Band, they augment their somewhat meager local numbers with colleagues from around the state, but either the 54 who were on duty Tuesday didn’t get started early enough or were too willing to look the other way when they encountered minors in possession of alcohol. They’re supposed to write tickets for violations of this law, and force minors caught with alcohol to pour it out. But as of yesterday, a state park spokesperson couldn’t confirm to what extent, if any, this was done Tuesday. Clearly it’s too easy to just blame parents who either buy the booze for their kids or pretend they don’t know they’re drinking. Police have to step up here, too. And it’s not enough to simply stop the kids with booze on their way through the turnstiles. They need to be prevented from turning the parking lots into giant tailgate parties before the shows.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

15 year-olds with beer in parking lots is completely unacceptable, but 2 week old infants at poolside bars is another matter entirely, i suppose.

save the victoria pool society said...

children at an un-enclosed outside swimming pool restaurant has always been totally acceptable at the Victoria Pool.

Anonymous said...

"swimming pool restaurants" look A LOT like a bar to me.

Anonymous said...

To my fellow "anonymous", what are you making a fuss about, didn't you read the heading...the pool belongs to Lily anyway so what difference does it make?

save the victoria pool society said...

The Victoria Pool and all of Saratoga Spa State Park belongs to the residents of New York State who are paying for it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but do all NYS taxpayers demand special treatment at the pool?

save the victoria pool society said...

dear "anonymous"---you have no idea how many pool patrons come to us looking for "special treatment" every day! Usually our voices are politely listened to but not always acted on by the powers-that-be. thanks for asking.

Margaret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
save the victoria pool society said...

The Victoria Pool has always allowed children. It is a public NYS pool open to all.

bubs said...

You always seem to comment on all the negativity in the park. How about something positive. Have you been over to SPAC and seen that the parks plumbers have been restoring all the lion spouters on the sides of the Hall of Springs. They look beautiful and they are still working on them, not that you would notice, because all you worrry about is the stupid pool!

save the victoria pool society said...

bubs----you're the best. We worry about every wonderful building in Saratoga Spa State Park, every road, tree, flower and blade of grass and piney cone. We have begged for those Hall of Springs magnificent fountains to be fixed for years and are thrilled. Look for a picture soon.

bubs said...

If you ever said anything about those fountains, I never heard of it. The only things I've heard you complain about is your precious pool and the Avenue of stumps!

save the victoria pool society said...

Mr. Holliday told us repeatedly he was too short staffed to ever fix the Hall of Springs fountains.