Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

South Park fountain shut off during concert

Officials concerned about safety of children

July 6, 2006


Children play in the South Park fountain during a recent Lawrence City Band concert.

Children play in the South Park fountain during a recent Lawrence City Band concert.

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The crowd loved the music, but Wednesday night's city band concert was more dry than usual.

Concerns about children climbing and playing in the nearby fountain at South Park caused the city to shut off the water during Wednesday's concert and to post signs warning people to keep away. During previous concerts, the fountain has been covered by a swarm of children.

"We can't keep people out of the fountain when we have an event," said Ernie Shaw, the city's recreation operations superintendent. "This is to look at, not to play in."

Shaw said it was mainly a safety issue. He said at times children climb onto the slick granite bowl in the upper part of the fountain, creating the potential for a serious fall.

In the past, city employees have found syringes left in the bowl of the fountain, he said. In addition, the water is recirculated water that's not meant for swimming.

"It's not like a water feature at the pool," he said.

The water was turned on again after the concert.

Local attorney Trey Meyer, who regularly takes his two sons to the concerts, said he'd noticed kids climbing in the fountain and thought it seemed dangerous.

"There's kids climbing all over the darn thing," he said. "It's wet, and there's water flowing out of it."

For more on the story, tune into 6News tonight at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. and pick up a copy of tomorrow's Journal-World.


KSChick1 9 years ago

thanks for making Lawrence safer for all of us


you know they're going to ban fountains next since today they banned kids from playing in fountains

rhd99 9 years ago

Let me guess who is behind this: BOOG the BANNER!?

merricat 9 years ago

I'm glad they turned the fountain off. Too many unsupervised kids have been playing on top of that thing. Somebody was going to get seriously hurt... and then probably turn around and sue the city.

Alfred_W 9 years ago

You know what you don't see in that picture? Parents!

If you're not going to supervise the kids, don't crab and complain when someone else steps in to look out for their welfare.

happyone 9 years ago

If Parents would Watch their kids and not allow them to climb all over it (its not a jungle gym afterall) they wouldn't need to shut it off....Thanks alot negligent parents

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Yep, it's always the negligent people who cause these issues. Same things with the fireworks ban, if we had more responsible people that wouldn't have gotten taken away.

KSChick1 9 years ago

were there signs posted saying the fountain was dangerous? were there signs posted saying not to let anyone climb on the fountain? were there fences erected to keep kids away from the fountain? NO NO NO then how were the parents negligent? don't lump everyone together when you don't know what the hell you are speaking about this is just another example of the city trying to control stuff to the point of extinction just like the wading pool across the street from the fountain. It used to be open to anyone, now it's reservations only or fireworks or smoking inside boy for a bunch of so-called liberals in a liberal town, I hate to try to figure out what it is that is okay for us to do

reginafliangie 9 years ago

The parents are negligent because they don't watch there children. Why must a sign tell everybody how to be safe? Where people not taught when children about what is safe and what isn't? Does every adult have to TOLD with a sign that that probably isn't the safest place for a child to play without supervison? Why post signs for stupid people. They feel they know whats best for them and others so they can just do what they want? It's public property, not their backyards, have a little respect for property. So basically if a sign isn't posted people can do what they want? Maybe if the parents watched them it wouldn't of become an issue. I just don't understand the "sign" issue. "hey kids don't play in the street, you might get run over, because the sign says so," Otherwise people wouldn't know its not safe??? Give me a break!! Common sense people.

Sigmund 9 years ago

The Lawrence City Kommission. We're making you safer, one ban at a time.

conservative 9 years ago

KSChick1 There aren't signs every 10 feet along 23rd telling you to stay out of traffic but that is dangerous too. Parents should be able to recognize dangerous situations and police their own kids. And a wet slippery surface up in the air, with hard cement below qualifies as dangerous.

Adrienne Sanders 9 years ago

KSChick- the parents are negligent b/c it's clearly not a swimming pool or wading pool, it's a fountain! Anyone with some common sense doens't let their kids play in it, and doesn't need signs or fences to tell them so.

merricat 9 years ago

"were there signs posted saying the fountain was dangerous? were there signs posted saying not to let anyone climb on the fountain? were there fences erected to keep kids away from the fountain? NO NO NO"

Are you freaking kidding me? For every responsible parent who watched over their child while they played near that fountain, there were 5 who had no clue what their kid was doing. Those are the kids who the ban is for. I'd be really curious who, of the people who are whining about this, have ever actually been to the park on concert night and witnessed what goes on near the fountain...

usaschools 9 years ago

Parents should not need a sign to inform them of their responsibility to use common sense. It is pretty darn obvious that this fountain is not safe to climb on.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years ago

maybe if it was a large ground fountain but not one that you need to climb I see the sense in turning it off maybe they should put a fountain in that kids can play in during the concert.

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Exactly merricat!

Next we should put up signs that say don't mess with the bees/hornets nests, you might get stung! Think about it, signs ALL over that park, warning people of potential dangers. How fun! Where would one sit during those concerts?

Why does everybody else, including responsible parents have to police the kids because parents don't give a crap about what dangers their child might be encountering? If you can't watch them and protect them, then go somewhere where you can.

Jayhawk226 9 years ago

Just another example of select parents who lack common sense...

...good for Lawrence for intervening!

I truly wish parents would be held to such a high degree of accountability for "parenting," as schools are for "educating."

flames_over_the_wasteland 9 years ago

"more dry"?! High quality, literate journalism.

Jayhawk226 9 years ago

On a related topic of irresponsible parents, and fireworks...

...on the way home a few minutes ago (near Zona Rosa in KCMO), I just drove past about 7-8 kids shooting off bottle rockets and throwing little firecrackers at passing cars. Of course, not a parent in sight.

Now I remember as a kid, doing equally or worse, stupid things and having fun. If we got hurt, what a lesson to be learned. "Probably won't do that again," is usually what went on in my head.

But that was it's lawsuit, litigious-happy society of ignorant Americans who profit and capitalize off their own stupidity and lack of common sense.

Lawrence CANNOT afford to lose a settlement because of a few of their constituents' stupidity.

There are round-abouts to put up still!!!!!

gaiapapaya 9 years ago

I've had people tell me to not let my kids climb in the trees, too. I replied that tree climbing is a great way for kids to get exercise and I'm not making them come down. That fountain is fine for kids to play in as long as they are not climbing up in it. I'd like to see someone try to sue the city becuase their kids fell out of a tree or slipped on a wet fountain 6 ft in the air. The case wouldn't get anywhere.

People wonder why kids are fat and lazy. It's because all of the fun things we enjoyed as kids are off limits, like climbing on the train, playing in fountains, climbing trees...

reginafliangie 9 years ago

It's one thing to allow your children to do things that might be potentially dangerous and learn a lesson. The problem I see with this is it has ruined everybody elses enjoyment of the fountain because of it. Teach your kids all their lessons on your own property that way you avoid things getting banned in public places and you can't sue anybody.

Jayhawk226 9 years ago

gaiapapaya's response makes me immediately think about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection.

Perhaps the thought of so many kids "having fun" on slightly dangerous activities such as climbing trains, playing in fountains, climbing trees, playing chicken etc. sparks this idea. Just remember, having fun can also turn into a "freak accident."

The inferior (disadvantaged) members of the same species would gradually die out, leaving only the superior (advantaged) members of the species. Natural selection is the preservation of a functional advantage that enables a species to compete better in the wild. Natural selection is the naturalistic equivalent to domestic breeding. Over the centuries, human breeders have produced dramatic changes in domestic animal populations by selecting individuals to breed. Breeders eliminate undesirable traits gradually over time. Similarly, natural selection eliminates inferior species gradually over time.

acg 9 years ago

I'll tell you what happened to responsible parents, they gave up and the kids took over. Sometime back during the early 80's all of these self proclaimed child rearing experts showed up out of the wood work and said "now don't you discipline little Johnny because you'll damage his fragile psyche". Well look where it got us. My kids go to the park all the time. My 6 year old doesn't climb the fountain anymore. He did a few times. I told him a few times to stop, he tried to ignore me as he sees all of his friends do their parents, two swats on the bottom in front of his friends said otherwise, hence no more climbing on the fountain. Problem solved. Maybe since the parents aren't allowed to smack their kids anymore, we should form a coalition to start smacking parents.

happyone 9 years ago

acg---Love the idea!!! All stupid negligent parents get smacked.

ljlook 9 years ago

Hey KSChick1:

Stop being such a whining, baby. The city wanted to protect children from getting hurt. That's simple enough. It's morons like you that insist on SIGNS EVERYWHERE to let you know something that the rest of the world sees as common sense.

You say people are whining, yet you are the biggest, more ignorant voice on here yet.

Wake up, and go find your kids. While you're blogging here, they are probably out playing in the fountain or in the road.

Jayhawk226 9 years ago

LOL.....i love the idea.

Heck, we can even incorporate that into the annual "Back to School" night held each fall in schools across America.

And then a second round at parent-teacher conferences.

Only problem with my proposal, is that the heavy majority of parents who are responsible and have common sense are the only ones showing up to these events.

Any other ideas of how to enforce and implement the "Smack the Parents" coalition?!!?

happyone 9 years ago

I am a firm believer in parents are a child's first teacher and without good parenting then there is chaos. The Good Lord put padding on little bottoms for a reason! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a firm swat on the butt to let the child know you are serious and they need to listen up. The parents of the kids climbing on the fountain are just plain lazy and need to have a good smack to wake them up and let them know that its not society's reasponsiblity to raise their hooligans!!

Linda Endicott 9 years ago

KSChick, is there a warning label on your car saying that driving can be dangerous or fatal? No? Then how do you know whether it is?

Are you really so lacking in common sense that you don't know wet concrete is a hazard, whether there's anything to climb on or not? Ask any kid who has slipped on the wet concrete by the pool in the summer and broken an arm.

Why should there have to be signs posted everywhere stating that something could possibly cause injury, when parents should be smart enough to realize it without a sign? Are you for real?

And even if there were signs, or a fence, what makes you think this would keep stupid people from letting their kids climb the fence and play in the fountain anyway? There are already fences and signs on some things. It doesn't seem to stop the stupid people.

Last night (July 5) I sat in an upstairs room at my home and watched as some people across the street shot off more fireworks. Right next door to me are two little kids, about 4 and 7 in ages. Where were they while the fireworks were going on? Sitting on the curb on this side of the street, with their feet out in the street, so close to traffic that several cars going by (and this is a busy street) honked at them. Where were their parents? Who the hell knows? I sure didn't see them outside anywhere.

How easy would it be to think that one or both of these small children could have been so entranced by the pretty fireworks that they could have suddenly darted out into the street, and been hit by a car?

And those parents who couldn't even be bothered to be outside watching their kids, and probably didn't even know where they were (and it was almost dark), would be the first ones to b*tch and moan about their poor little darlings and the evil driver who mowed them down.

Jayhawk226 9 years ago

Man, I have NEVER been able to agree with so many people on these posts...

...this is definitely gonna be a good day now!!!

; )

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years ago

mine are inside thank you but I do have a neighbor who needs to be beat in the head for letting her kids just run wild.

happyone 9 years ago

LOL that is too true Jayhawk226

happyone 9 years ago

Here's an idea for the parent smacking....when we go to school conferences (usually only the responsible parents show up) we could each be given a "smacking stick" and any time we see "Stupid parents" we can smack them legally with our "approved smacking sticks" :)

reginafliangie 9 years ago

crazyks, it's soooooooo freaky how you and I are alike in our thinking. Thanks for piping up. Good points all of them!

ljlook 9 years ago

We all agree today, how crazy. We can't agree. I change my opinion: Make MORE SIGNS.

We need signs everywhere.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

merricat 9 years ago

Amen happyone. If you want your kids to play in the water, take them to the city pool. You can probably still hear the music from there...

Darth_Vader 9 years ago

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs

breakin' up the scenery, breakin' my mind

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

reginafliangie 9 years ago

The only people I'm blaming are the lame parents.

Linda Endicott 9 years ago

And there seem to be an awful lot of lame parents everywhere anymore...

rhd99 9 years ago

Is it just me or is this fountain controversey another example where society is punished for the irresponsible behavior of parents who DON'T supervise their children the way they need to? Am I off the mark here, if so, please tell me what I am missing.

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Nope rhd99, you are right on the money, same thing I said earlier. Just the fireworks ban. Lame people making the sensible and responsible people suffer. But you know who the ones that bitch about these limitations? The same ones that caused them.

GardenMomma 9 years ago

Hello! It's a fountain in the middle of a garden. Any parent with a lick of common sense would keep their kids off the fountain. It is not something to climb (lesson #1), the garden is something to look at and admire (lesson #2), and pay attention to your kids at all times (lesson #3).

As for needing to post a sign, why should there be a need? There hasn't been a need before. If parents watch their kids and teach them better manners (don't climb all over a fountain in a garden, for one) there wouldn't be a need to turn the water off.

Also, I was at the concert last night and sat right by the fountain (my kids did not and have never played on it - I taught them better) and there were still kids climbing on it, just not as many. I'm glad there was no water on. It was just a matter of time before someone fell from it. The fountain is at least 6 feet high and very obviously slippery when wet. Imagine falling off that onto concrete!

KSChick1 9 years ago

I'm not saying we need the signs I just think it is ridiculous to expect KIDS whose parents are not around to know that they cannot play in the fountain. It is not posted or blocked off, indeed it is at ground level and apparently is inviting to kids. my kids know not to play on the fountain because 1 it is wet and 2 it is slick also I did not say anything about whining so whoever wrote that can go back and find someone else to bitch at Also, I do not think we need signs everywhere so everyone who is writing that can back off and stop putting words in my blog. I'm making the point that if you do not put it in plain ENGLISH that the kids need to stay out of or off of the fountain with things such as signs or fences and the kids parent's are stupid enough to let their kids play in the fountain, then how do you expect the KIDS to know to stay out of it??? This is the same concept as fences around pools and no trespassing signs. gee common sense people and I don't really accept criticism from someone who uses an obscure reference to make up a name that is MISSPELLED here's a sign for you learn to spell

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Some of those kids don't look old enough to read, and if they can read and there is a sign, whos to say they will follow it? It just takes one kid to think that the rules don't apply to them and the others see that he is playing on it so why can't I? Reference the people saying they need to watch their kids with fireworks, why? can't they read the labe about how to safely handle them? Sometimes yes, but they won't, why? Cause it doesn't apply to "me". Oh and since you don't have a sense of humor, the mispelling was part of the joke. Need me to post a sign?

Linda Endicott 9 years ago

Why the hell would a kid take the time to read a sign first? And even if they did, they'd ignore it.

What if it was a Hispanic kid that didn't know English? Do we need to post all these common sense signs in all possible languages?

Adrienne Sanders 9 years ago

[quote]I just think it is ridiculous to expect KIDS whose parents are not around to know that they cannot play in the fountain. [/quote]

KSChick you are missing the point- we don't expect the kids to automatically know, we do expect the parents to be around!

GardenMomma 9 years ago

I think, KSChick, the problem is, as you state, "KIDS whose parents are not around." The key words being "parents not around." That is the point. People who are parents need to be just that, parents. It's not an easy job, as any parent knows.

My children don't play in the fountain. Why? Because I tell them not to.

Would they play in it if they had the chance? Yes.

Would I give them the chance? No.

Why? Because I know better and it's my job to teach my children to know better too.

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Thank you crazyks. Once again you are speaking my mind! lol

GSWtotheheart 9 years ago

awww leave KSchick alone

and regina-you stated yourself in a prior post that your name being spelled wrong was a mistake

now you say it was a joke

here's another sign for you

get your story straight

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Maybe we should have all language speaking people on every street corner to tell those poor kids (since their parents aren't around) what is dangerous and what isn't. Do you think thats going to stop them, nope. They will do whatever they can get away with cause it's fun. Thats why you have parents, to teach and help raise responsible adults. Plain and simple.

Why does everyone else expect everyone else to protect stupid people from themselves?

reginafliangie 9 years ago

Yeah, GSW I thought that would be more simple than have to explain to others the reasoning. So you caught me. It was made out of a joke to another poster. Should you expect explinations from every poster as to what their names mean and why it's spelled the way it is? Let all get petty ok? It sure is fun!

thare 9 years ago

jayhawk 226 you have Darwin's ideas confused with social darwinism (which isn't Darwin's idea). Darwin believed that the greater the variety of species the better chance it had for survival b/c the threats you faced as a human were unknown therefore unsuspecting qualities of individuals that may not be considered advantageous actually might be in an unforseen event. And I don't feel it is irresponsible as a parent to let your child play in a fountain or shoot fireworks AS LONG AS YOU ARE PRESENT AND VIGILANT! Do your job parents so the city doesn't have to ban every last bit of fun.

amac 9 years ago

O...M...G!!! Fountains are not to play in--geez. Go to the friggin' pool to play in the water or set the sprinkler up in your yard. I often wonder why they let college kids in the fountain on campus--that's stupid too! Just today 2 frumpy frats were sittin' in there on rafts..."welcome visitors". That makes the campus look real good. DUH.

Linda Aikins 9 years ago

  1. Put in a fountain that can be used for play or
  2. Put the words "DO NOT PLAY IN THIS FOUNTAIN" as part of the actual fountain. That way it does not block the view of the art of the fountain.

Do I have to solve EVERYTHING around here???

reginafliangie 9 years ago

How about bringing items that kids can play with. Bring a ball, frisbee, ball, bat, gloves, football? The little boys could bring some truck or cars to drive around on the grass. Girls could bring their dolls to do each others hair, etc. Theres a ton of things to bring to keep them entertained. Just don't expect others to do it.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

What is the name of that bacteria that was giving all the kids the runs at the public pool?

Aileen Dingus 9 years ago

While most people do agree that fountains aren't for playing in/on etc- the South Park fountain is pretty damned accessible and tempting. If it was indeed designed for "Look but don't touch" then perhaps there should have been a defining lip or short wall around it? OR perhaps designed with less slick surfaces?

That said- it's off for what- 2 hours once a week? Get over yourselves folks. If it's that important to you to either clamber over the fountain or to keep kids away from it- you have the other 166 hours in the week to do it.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

Campylobacter! That ought to be enough reason to want to stay out of the fountain.

I'm also wondering how many of the indigent have been using the same fountain for "personal use". Ewww.

Sigmund 9 years ago

Given all the concern here for the dangerous "fountain from H-E-double-hockey-sticks", I have to wonder; in all the years that fountain has been there, and all the concerts that have been held, and all the other days where the fountain has been running, how many kids have actually ever been hurt by playing in water? Jeez, what a bunch of killjoy nannys.

Just turn it off, pad the sides, and fill it with nurf balls.

GSWtotheheart 9 years ago

personal use that thought never crossed my mind paired with the comment about finding needles in the fountain... I will make sure my dogs don't drink from it anymore I don't want them getting campytobaccer or whatever you said LOL

conservative 9 years ago

Gootsie, Great idea, while were at it I'm going to have a sign made for the front of my car warning people not to jump in front of it. LMAO.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years ago

It's call cramp-yer-butt-cheeks. For obvious reasons.

Linda Aikins 9 years ago

Thank you conservative! Now I have help saving the world! ;)

Jillster 9 years ago

gaiapapaya wrote "I've had people tell me to not let my kids climb in the trees, too. I replied that tree climbing is a great way for kids to get exercise and I'm not making them come down. That fountain is fine for kids to play in as long as they are not climbing up in it."

Not sure I'd want my kids to play in untreated, recirculating fountain water. Too much risk of from nasty things like shigella, cryptosporidium, amoebas (which can cause eye infections and dysentery), etc., not to mention whatever contamination might have come from the syringes.

Roadkill_Rob 9 years ago

I like how some folks here use this story as a platform to whine about the ban on smoking. The ban on smoking was one of the best things that happened to this town in the past 5 years...most cities and towns will soon be smoke free so I have some advice for you: GET USED TO IT!!!!! It's not like you have to smoke outside city limits...all you have to do is walk a few yards to the front door and smoke outside.

And for the water fountain, I would've turned it off too! The fountain is 4 feet off the ground and slick...not only would I be worried about a lawsuit, I'd hate to see a kid break his neck just cuz he wanted to have a little fun.

happyone 9 years ago

Pywackit I think you hit the nail on the head with KSChick1.

Oh and since you asked KSChick1 where you said about signs here you go copy and pasted straight from your blog! Posted by KSChick1 (anonymous) on July 6, 2006 at 12:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

were there signs posted saying the fountain was dangerous? were there signs posted saying not to let anyone climb on the fountain? were there fences erected to keep kids away from the fountain? NO NO NO

Last time I checked that would be you with words coming out of your own mouth (blog) that you thought there should be signs signs everywhere signs!!!

Kathleen Christian 9 years ago

The trouble is that parents ignore their children and thinks it's cute cllimbing on the fountain. Most parents expect their children to behave inappropriately, because they "think" this is how children should behave and that they will learn not have to when they get older. The only thing is if they don't learn apprepriate behavior while they are younger they'll never get it when they become older kids. Also, people are hesitate to say anything to the children. Had I'd been there I would have asked them to get down and brought their behavior to the attention of their parent(s). Some parents just need to be reminded. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE CHILDREN. We are all responsible for ALL the children and it is our responsibility to watch out for their safety, even if we have to speak up and remind them and their parents.

Berserk 9 years ago

Like I said, maybe a little electric current in the fountain...

That 'oughta fix this little issue.

KUJhk 9 years ago

This post is directed completely toward "amac." 1. We're not in any fraternity on campus, so thank you for your stereotype. 2. We were wearing swim suits, we shower, and keep good hygiene, do you? What else are we supposed to wear when we go swimming? 3. We are alumnus of OUR University and are entitled to use OUR fountain with how we see fit as long as it is in a respectful manner. 4. Do not lump our fountain in with your city problems. 5. We live in apartments and have no front yard to play in, would you like to buy us one? 6. We were sunning ourselves minding our own business, being respectful and quiet. Would you rather we go drinking and tear up the town? No! 7. "Friggin" and "geez" is great English! Learn to read and write! 8. Finally, what does it matter what makes our campus look good. The students try hard enough, yet we are constantly being put down by city folk like yourself. Give us a break, and leave us be.

Sincerely yours, The two "frumpy frats"

*Previous Posting* Posted by amac (anonymous) on July 6, 2006 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

O...M...G!!! Fountains are not to play in--geez. Go to the friggin' pool to play in the water or set the sprinkler up in your yard. I often wonder why they let college kids in the fountain on campus--that's stupid too! Just today 2 frumpy frats were sittin' in there on rafts..."welcome visitors". That makes the campus look real good. DUH. *End of Posting*

H_Lecter 9 years ago

Leave the fountain on and add an alligator or some electricity. Solutions can be fun.

killjoy 9 years ago

Fill it with gas and light it! Inspiring and beautiful at night.

gphawk89 9 years ago

"I just think it is ridiculous to expect KIDS whose parents are not around to know that they cannot play in the fountain"

  1. Yes, the kids actually SHOULD know that they can not play in the fountain. If their parents have taught them any amount of common sense.

  2. The parents SHOULD be aware of where their kids are and what they are doing.

gphawk89 9 years ago

"Like I said, maybe a little electric current in the fountain..."

When I was quite young, I stuck my hand into a fountain in front of a hotel (I don't remember where) and was hit by an electric current strong enough to cause me to go unconscious for a short time. From that point on I didn't need my parents to tell me to stay out of fountains. To this day, I still hesitate to touch water in a fountain.

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