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westofyou
07-10-2008, 10:24 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/nyregion/10towns.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin


By PETER APPLEBOME

GREENWICH, Conn.

Vincent Provenzano, 16 years old, experienced his Kevin Costner moment one Sunday afternoon in May after a thrilling day of Wiffle ball in a friend’s backyard. He came home, gazed at a field of weeds, brush and poison ivy in an empty lot off Riverside Lane, turned to his friend Justin Currytto, 17, and proclaimed: “If we build it, they will come.”

After three weeks of clearing brush and poison ivy, scrounging up plywood and green paint, digging holes and pouring concrete, Vincent, Justin and about a dozen friends did manage to build it — a tree-shaded Wiffle ball version of Fenway Park complete with a 12-foot-tall green monster in center field, American flag by the left-field foul pole and colorful signs for Taco Bell Frutista Freezes.

But, alas, they had no idea just who would come — youthful Wiffle ball players, yes, but also angry neighbors and their lawyer, the police, the town nuisance officer and tree warden and other officials in all shapes and sizes. It turns out that one kid’s field of dreams is an adult’s dangerous nuisance, liability nightmare, inappropriate usurpation of green space, unpermitted special use or drag on property values, and their Wiffle-ball Fenway has become the talk of Greenwich and a suburban Rorschach test about youthful summers past and present.

“People can remember how much fun it was to go out in the woods in the summer, build a fort, do something fun and creative, so there’s something pretty cool in what these kids did, especially at a time kids grow up in such an incredibly structured and stressful environment,” said Lin Lavery, one of three Greenwich selectmen, who inherited Wifflegate while the first selectman, Greenwich’s version of mayor, is on vacation.

“But we have a situation that’s escalated,” Ms. Lavery said. “Neighbors are upset that it’s too close to their property; building has been done on town property; there are issues of traffic and drainage. We’re hoping to come up with a compromise, but there are a lot of issues to address.”

There’s plenty of local history in Wiffle ball (it was invented up the road in Fairfield) and Greenwich land-use disputes (where to start?), but Vincent and Justin say they just wanted a place to play Wiffle ball. They got materials from a friend’s basement plus two big pieces of plywood being thrown away by a Shell station on East Putnam Avenue. They fished pallets out of Dumpsters and spent perhaps $200, mostly on green paint.

But even before they were finished, things began to get complicated. They were told the neighbors had complained, the field was on town-owned land, they needed a permit to put up their field and it would probably have to come down.

This being Greenwich, they decided not to go quietly. They and/or parents alerted the local newspaper and politicians up to Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele of nearby Stamford. Soon they had everyone in town talking about it, with most of them seemingly put off by the notion that even a Wiffle ball field needs to enlist the armies of adult supervision and legalistic oversight.

“BACK before we lost our collective minds and began shrieking with horror at the thought of kids having fun on their own (as in not part of an official league or otherwise organized activity), they used to do things like find a vacant field, turn it into a makeshift diamond and spend glorious hours in the summer sun,” the local newspaper, Greenwich Time, wrote in an editorial in support of the youths on Wednesday.

The regular players, mostly high school boys but including Tara Currivan, 15 (who swings a mean bat and brings lemonade to the field), and Scott Atkinson, 13, seem a little befuddled by the whole thing. “They think we’re a cult,” said Jeff Currivan, 17. “People think we should be home playing ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ ”

And they seem to get the fact that many adults are taken with the idea of kids’ doing something that’s not structured, not organized and not oriented toward improving your SAT scores.

“It’s just old-fashioned fun,” said Vincent Provenzano. “We did it on our own. Maybe people think that’s unusual.”

We’d all like our own Field of Dreams, but it’s worth remembering that Mr. Costner’s was in an Iowa cornfield. And, with all due nostalgia for simpler childhoods in simpler times, it’s possible Greenwich’s Wiffle version — on a lot valued at $1.25 million, according to the Greenwich newspaper — was too good to be true.

The neighbors, one an ultra-endurance athlete who does charity work around the globe, another building a house to accommodate her brother, who uses a wheelchair, turn out to be not that much different from most suburbanites seeing their backyard go from their own to a quasi park full of teenagers from near and far. They say that the land floods and that the area was designated by the town as a drainage area, a function largely undone when the youths stripped away all the greenery and undergrowth. The complaining neighbors want the field closed immediately.

The field had 40 people last weekend for a Wiffle tournament, which is something no one bargained on when they bought their houses.

“I’m all for Wiffle ball and apple pie and baseball and the American flag, but there are plenty of fields in town they can use instead of building something in people’s backyard,” said Liz Pate, who is building a new house behind what’s now home plate. “If I come home at 6 at night after working all day, I want peace and quiet. I can’t have that. I have dozens of people behind my house playing Wiffle ball. If their parents think this is so great, let them play at their house.”

The liability panic is adult nuttiness except when it’s not. It’s a fairly raw issue in Greenwich, where, for instance, a doctor was awarded $6.3 million a few years back when he broke his leg in two places while sledding with his 4-year-old son.

All kids deserve a Huck Finn summer. We perhaps have lost our collective minds about our overscheduled, overstressed young. But, in the end, maybe there was a reason that Kevin Costner built that Field of Dreams in Iowa and not in Greenwich.

top6
07-10-2008, 10:29 AM
What? You can't just walk onto property that isn't yours and build stuff? OUTRAGEOUS!

paulrichjr
07-10-2008, 11:18 AM
What? You can't just walk onto property that isn't yours and build stuff? OUTRAGEOUS!


I understand what you are saying and while it is true...it sure is a shame that the world has changed so much that kids can't just go out and have fun with baseball/wiffleball anymore. People wonder why the government is so bad...it isn't because of the democrats or the republicans. No the enemy is the attorney. We honestly can't elect anyone that isn't an attorney. They make life more difficult. It should be a law that elected officials can't be attornies.

15fan
07-10-2008, 11:23 AM
We honestly can't elect anyone that isn't an attorney. They make life more difficult. It should be a law that elected officials can't be attornies.

My governor is a veterinarian, and our mayor has a pair of sociology degrees.

top6
07-10-2008, 11:48 AM
I understand what you are saying and while it is true...it sure is a shame that the world has changed so much that kids can't just go out and have fun with baseball/wiffleball anymore. People wonder why the government is so bad...it isn't because of the democrats or the republicans. No the enemy is the attorney. We honestly can't elect anyone that isn't an attorney. They make life more difficult. It should be a law that elected officials can't be attornies.

First, these kids are 16. They did not "go out and have fun with baseball/wiffleball." They went to a vacant lot, intended for draining, and built a structure that, apparently, destroyed the purpose for which the field was designated. Talk about deluded self-entitlement.

Yes, there are some issues with liability. But it's mostly not lawyers who are complaining here. It is the neighbors, who bought houses in a nice, quiet neighborhood, next to an empty field that was zoned by the city to remain that way. How would you feel, in their situation, if all of a sudden that field is the local noisy gathering place for a bunch of 16 and 17 year olds?

Also, lawyers are the hallmark and the building block of a free society, but whatev I probably don't like what you do either.

membengal
07-10-2008, 11:49 AM
There's reasons that soccer is so much more popular with the young. Ease of play and space to play is one big part. If they are using that lot for impromptu soccer games, I bet no one says boo...

Roy Tucker
07-10-2008, 11:49 AM
I guess I'm a cranky old curmudgeon.

I'm all for kids playing wiffleball and showing initiative and all that. I think its cool what they want to do.

But, having been through lots of zoning wars, you can't just pick any old empty town lot and construct on it whatever you want. I'd be a little hacked off if I paid big bucks for a house with a zoned green space next to it and the next thing I know, it's taken over by hordes of kids playing wiffleball dawn to dusk. I know they want to play and I'm glad but get off my lawn.

I'd be all for finding a vacant lot that *did* fit in with what they wanted and chip in for plywood, concrete, and pick up a paint brush to help. But just because they're kids doesn't mean they can do whatever they want where they want.

NJReds
07-10-2008, 12:39 PM
I used to play wiffle ball almost every day during the summer when I was a kid. There was a big lot next to my house where we would all meet up. We did not have to build a replica of a stadium and have 30 people over to play tournaments to have a good time.

redsmetz
07-10-2008, 12:52 PM
My governor is a veterinarian, and our mayor has a pair of sociology degrees.

I was actually curious, because it's so simple to blame it on lawyers, but none of three members of Greenwich's Board of Selectman are attorneys, that I can see. Interestingly, the City Council of Cincinnati, with nine members, only have two who are attorneys (John Cranley & Leslie Ghiz) and our Governor here in Ohio has been a minister and a psychologist and a college professor.

I'm related to a number of attorneys, enough to staff a medium size law firm, including my oldest brother whose running for judge this fall here in Hamilton County, but it's too easy to suggest this is about attorneys.

It's not a situation that lends itself to black and white solutions.

top6
07-10-2008, 12:59 PM
I was actually curious, because it's so simple to blame it on lawyers, but none of three members of Greenwich's Board of Selectman are attorneys, that I can see. Interestingly, the City Council of Cincinnati, with nine members, only have two who are attorneys (John Cranley & Leslie Ghiz) and our Governor here in Ohio has been a minister and a psychologist and a college professor.

I'm related to a number of attorneys, enough to staff a medium size law firm, including my oldest brother whose running for judge this fall here in Hamilton County, but it's too easy to suggest this is about attorneys.

It's not a situation that lends itself to black and white solutions.

I'm not the biggest fan of attorneys, since as an attorney I have to deal with them all day, but I always like to remind people that every time you hear about an attorney doing something awful, there is almost always an attorney on the other side, trying to stop it.

redsmetz
07-10-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm not the biggest fan of attorneys, since as an attorney I have to deal with them all day, but I always like to remind people that every time you hear about an attorney doing something awful, there is almost always an attorney on the other side, trying to stop it.

Very true. My brother has a quote from Aristotle up on his campaign website that reads: Law is the pledge of a society that its citizens will do justice to one another. Doesn't always work out, but it's a noble aim.

RedsManRick
07-10-2008, 01:17 PM
Generally speaking I'm inclined to support the kids, but destroying significant foliage and building permanent structures on public land was not a good idea. A smart community would help the kids channel their positive efforts, finding them a better location, and teaching them about local government.

This thing could be turned in to a positive experience.

Highlifeman21
07-10-2008, 02:59 PM
Generally speaking I'm inclined to support the kids, but destroying significant foliage and building permanent structures on public land was not a good idea. A smart community would help the kids channel their positive efforts, finding them a better location, and teaching them about local government.

This thing could be turned in to a positive experience.

Knowing Greenwich, it won't.

RFS62
07-10-2008, 03:15 PM
The liability issues alone will bring down the wall.

If any of the industrious kids who built the field get hurt, their parents will be the first to sue.

BrooklynRedz
07-10-2008, 03:56 PM
I love the idea of a gang (murder? gaggle?) of lawyers roaming the streets looking for issues to litigate without prompting.

Highlifeman21
07-10-2008, 04:30 PM
The liability issues alone will bring down the wall.

If any of the industrious kids who built the field get hurt, their parents will be the first to sue.

I'm sure you're old enough to remember getting hurt and not immediately thinking to sue someone.

I should take a trip down to this field and play some wiffle ball, and if I do should I somehow get hurt, litigation would be the last thing on my mind.

Next thing you know, some little tyke playing bumblebee soccer (it doesn't lose the bumblebee phenomenon until HS level) will slide tackle a kid, hurt the other kid, and the hurt kid's parents will sue the kid that did the slide tackling.

Hap
07-10-2008, 05:19 PM
The whole story sounds like it could have been a cheesy 80s movie (don't destroy our fun place, you cranky, old squares....we're just gonna keep on playin, cause we ain't down with your kind).

I can hear the Kenny Loggins music already.

Caseyfan21
07-10-2008, 05:29 PM
I want to support the kids but it sounds like they really tore up the space and changed it. I mean, I built tons of forts in the woods behind my house that weren't on my property but it was just undeveloped woods that no one really used. We had a good time and my parents always told us to stay close to our property...no biggie. We all put a hammer to our finger once or twice and no lawsuits happened.

I grew up in one of the cookie cutter developments and my house was the first to be built in the new phase. That meant there was a lot of open dirt where houses hadn't been built yet. We did play ball there but we didn't build a stadium. We just took rakes to even out the ground and added some bases and off we went. I think we built a little back stop out of plywood but nothing more than 5' tall. We also didn't have crowds and no around that we could be bothering.

I have to agree with the city if this is in the middle of a developed neighborhood. I had a lot of nice neighbors that allowed us to use parts of their yards but certainly no one should expect that of neighbors.

redsmetz
07-10-2008, 08:37 PM
Wow!

http://imgsrv.1010wins.com/image/DbGraphic/200807/1003525.jpg http://img.iht.com/images/2008/07/10/10wiffle550.jpg

redsmetz
07-10-2008, 08:40 PM
Seeing the pictures, I've got to give the kids credit for creating the thing, but I can see why folks might object and from an environmental standpoint, it's impeding the intent of a drainage lot.

The Baumer
07-10-2008, 09:11 PM
Those pictures make me wish I had rich parents.

HumnHilghtFreel
07-10-2008, 09:15 PM
Those pictures make me wish I had rich parents.

Not gonna lie, after seeing that I got a bit of an urge to make a run to Home Depot. Paper mache riverboat smoke stacks anybody? :D

KronoRed
07-10-2008, 09:15 PM
That's way too much, sue em.

Redmachine2003
07-10-2008, 10:40 PM
I'm sorry but seeing these pictures it doesn't look like they tore up anything and the water will drain just fine. This is just that new culture of people that think they own everything and the only place for kids is inside playing video games getting fat and then wonder why kids or lazy and overweight. The same people who did away game rooms and batting cages and ect. leaving kids nothing to do but get in trouble. Good for these kids and I hope they come out on top.

RFS62
07-10-2008, 10:51 PM
I'm sure you're old enough to remember getting hurt and not immediately thinking to sue someone.

I should take a trip down to this field and play some wiffle ball, and if I do should I somehow get hurt, litigation would be the last thing on my mind.

Next thing you know, some little tyke playing bumblebee soccer (it doesn't lose the bumblebee phenomenon until HS level) will slide tackle a kid, hurt the other kid, and the hurt kid's parents will sue the kid that did the slide tackling.


I'd say that would be the popular way to look at this. It's pretty easy to get behind the plucky kids.

But it's not the real world. In the real world, if a kid gets hurt on public or private property, liability issues come into play.

The size of awards being handed out in liability cases these days is staggering. Would you let these kids put that awesome ballpark on a vacant lot you owned? If you say yes, you'd be accepting a level of risk that could bankrupt you or saddle you with a judgment you could never get out from under.

BTW, my grandfather had a vacant lot in the town I grew up in. We put up a basketball goal and about a dozen kids and grownups gathered there every day for years, playing whatever sport was in season. Nobody ever got seriously injured, but there's no way in todays society he would have been able to allow it again.

When you own property, you are at risk of liability suits. To ignore that risk is incredibly naive.

redsmetz
07-10-2008, 10:55 PM
It's interesting. About a month ago I interviewed my dad at the StoryCorps booth down at the Museum Center. He grew up in Price Hill and I asked him about the bootlegger who had a mansion there and how he and his friends were on his property when he caught them there. He said, "oh you mean, old man Remus" and went on and explained that kids were on the property all the time, that he let them swim in the pool for a nickel, etc. Anyway, they're building a tree house right there in one of his trees. The guy comes along and hollers up, "Hey, you kids think I can come up there with you?" They told him, if you want to, come on up. But dad says he was pretty stout and went on his way. Now there's a different time.

The guy later was accused of murdering his wife in Eden Park and acted as his own attorney and was acquited. Dad said he died a pauper over in northern Kentucky.

Highlifeman21
07-10-2008, 11:36 PM
I'd say that would be the popular way to look at this. It's pretty easy to get behind the plucky kids.

But it's not the real world. In the real world, if a kid gets hurt on public or private property, liability issues come into play.

The size of awards being handed out in liability cases these days is staggering. Would you let these kids put that awesome ballpark on a vacant lot you owned? If you say yes, you'd be accepting a level of risk that could bankrupt you or saddle you with a judgment you could never get out from under.

BTW, my grandfather had a vacant lot in the town I grew up in. We put up a basketball goal and about a dozen kids and grownups gathered there every day for years, playing whatever sport was in season. Nobody ever got seriously injured, but there's no way in todays society he would have been able to allow it again.

When you own property, you are at risk of liability suits. To ignore that risk is incredibly naive.

You're absolutely right that we live in a world full of liability. It's a shame really.

These kids had way too much time on their hands, created something wholesome, and the negative aspects of the real world will ultimately ruin their creation.

I think the most staggering figure in all of this is that a drainage area in Greenwich is worth just South of $2 Million Dollars.

Ignoring risk is incredibly naive, but I'd like to think that at the end of the day, this story could actually end up with a happy ending compromise.

But then again, it's Connecticut we're talking about, and more specifically Greenwich. A lotta people with a lot of money with time on their hands to essentially pee in the kids' rice krispies.

Guacarock
07-10-2008, 11:47 PM
I'm rooting for the kids. It's easier to do than sympathize with lawyers, environmental extremists, Yankee cranks or other pathetic fogies.

cincinnati chili
07-11-2008, 12:23 AM
Certainly Greenwich has the legal right to stop this, but should they?

Greenwich shouldn't be that concerned about the liability issues. Unlike several municipalities in our great country, which could be bankrupted by a successful tort suit, Greenwich could easily remunerate those unfortunate privileged youths who brain themselves on the Green Monster. Our own M2 aptly pegged the metro area as "underbite territory."

As for the zoning issue, I would have more sympathy for the landowner if she had already built her home right behind home plate. But she hasn't. She merely contemplates building a house there some time. Unless the town has unusual zoning rules, most residential zones allow for parks, churches, and things of that sort. As the neighbor has not been "deprived of all economic use of her land," she's SOL if the town decides they want the ballpark to stay up. And it's not like the kids put up a beef-rendering plant on the vacant lot or something. There are plenty of wealthy Greenwich families who would be perfectly happy living next door to a baseball field (translation: she can sell her property for value if she genuinely can't live with the noise of kids playing ball).

So if I were king of the town, I'd base the decision on whether the drainage situation was a bona fide problem. If not, I'd let 'em keep it up.

My prediction: the city bulldozes the place and puts up a yoga studio, then at some venture capitalist dedicates some land on the other side of town and replicates the park with all sorts of corporate advertising.

SMcGavin
07-11-2008, 12:51 AM
Very true. My brother has a quote from Aristotle up on his campaign website that reads: Law is the pledge of a society that its citizens will do justice to one another. Doesn't always work out, but it's a noble aim.

You're right, the institution of law is extremely important. I think it's possible to both appreciate that and despise the overly litigious nature of American society. The negative effects of that go way beyond kids not being able to build wiffle ball fields (healthcare and skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates quickly come to mind).

This is a pretty cool story that reminds me of stuff I did when I was younger, but the kids built something on someone else's property. It seems pretty clear cut, unfortunately the field has to go.

NJReds
07-11-2008, 06:55 AM
The field story is on the local news this a.m.

It looks a lot smaller than in the pictures. I think that if they had just cleared out the brush and not built the wall, they probably would've been okay.

There are a lot of homes that border the field, so I can see why some residents would not be thrilled with 40 kids hanging out playing a tournament.

The kids tried to get permission from the town, but got no response.

All in all, it seems like they should be able to come to some sort of solution without lawyers.

Wheelhouse
07-11-2008, 07:33 AM
I grew up in Greenwich, and the people there when I grew up would have loved the ball field. It's the social climbers who are there now, those who are trying to prove something about themselves by living there, that aren't into it. There are many of the "love humanity, but hate people" type in Greenwich.

Roy Tucker
07-11-2008, 07:54 AM
Those kids should have come to where I live. We have a park next to us that has 5 ball fields on it. During youth baseball season (April-June), they are used quite a bit by the organized MYO leagues.

But from the end of June on, the only use they get is every Sat/Sun mornings, a bunch of Indian guys get together and play cricket.

WebScorpion
07-11-2008, 12:49 PM
I say give the kids a hardball and some gloves, let them start breaking some of these whining 'property value' hoarders windows and show them how lucky they were when it was just wiffle ball. :D Truth is none of us own the land, we stole it from native americans. The land probably would prefer to be played on than being used for drainage to protect some selfish pig's property from flooding. No wonder God has scheduled the whole populace for annihilation...it's the best thing for us. :rolleyes:

GAC
07-11-2008, 07:47 PM
What? You can't just walk onto property that isn't yours and build stuff? OUTRAGEOUS!

That's really it in a nutshell.

I love the fact that the teens were industrious and such. Especially in this day and age. But that industriousness, prior to undergoing such a project, should have first led them to have checked with those who owned that lot (property) to get permission first.

And I agree with rfs too on the issue of liability. It's sad you have to consider that in this day and age....and yes, it didn't use to be that way.... but unfortunately it is now.

But the bottomline is.....they didn't own the property and had no right to build a wiffle ball field there without getting prior consent.

And maybe that is why they did it anyway? They knew they migt get turned down. ;)

Red Heeler
07-11-2008, 09:03 PM
That's really it in a nutshell.

I love the fact that the teens were industrious and such. Especially in this day and age. But that industriousness, prior to undergoing such a project, should have first led them to have checked with those who owned that lot (property) to get permission first.

And I agree with rfs too on the issue of liability. It's sad you have to consider that in this day and age....and yes, it didn't use to be that way.... but unfortunately it is now.

But the bottomline is.....they didn't own the property and had no right to build a wiffle ball field there without getting prior consent.

And maybe that is why they did it anyway? They knew they migt get turned down. ;)

'Tis far more productive to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

What teenage kid knows or even thinks about the fact that somebody might own or care about the (obviously neglected) overgrown lot?

Lucky for me, my folks had about 3 acres of unused field when I was that age. If only we had been industrious enough to build a proper OF wall. We just used the old horse fence. Hitting one over the barn was the equivalent of a Waveland Ave. shot.

redsmetz
07-17-2008, 06:06 AM
I came across this column in the Boston Globe:


Fencing out fields of dreams
By Derrick Z. Jackson | July 15, 2008

SO MUCH for romantic visions of families bicycling together, with little Johnny and Jamila wobbling on training wheels. So much for teens who actually disconnect from Facebook for facetime, community cleanup, and - good heavens - exercise.

No, no, no. Some people are so divorced from society that they see this as almost evil.

In Sudbury, a group of people rose up to oppose a rail trail. They complain, to a ludicrous point, that dreaded masses of cyclists, joggers, and elders out for strolls will scare away wildlife. Never mind that a big reason for rail trails is to get people out of their cars to stop spewing global warming gases that will destroy wildlife. One opponent told the Globe that rail trail advocates are "like a cult."

In Greenwich, Conn., some neighbors do not like the fact that a dozen or so teenagers took over a vacant half-acre town lot that was so overrun that one youth got a swollen eye from poison ivy while clearing the brush. They did it to create not an open-air drug den or a binge-drinking parlor or an orgy room.

They did it to play Wiffle ball. And bless their little Southern New England hearts. Even though they live much closer to Yankee Stadium than Fenway Park, they turned scavenged plywood into a 12-foot high "Green Monster." They hung an American flag out in left field and posted an ad for a slush drink. The teens have a rule that if a batter hits a home run, the pitcher has to buy the batter the drink. Like kids on makeshift fields of decades past, they did not mind that this one is often soggy.

"If you step on first base, it's like quicksand," Tim Bellantoni, 17, told the Stamford Advocate. "Your foot gets stuck."

But the field stepped on too many toes. Because the lot is in wealthy Greenwich, its reported value, poison ivy or not, is $1.25 million. Abutting neighbors worried about property values brought in the lawyers to create an aura of hooligans squatting without permits, breaking liquor bottles, stealing tools and - get this - threatening a wetland.

According to the Greenwich Time, the town's soil expert was brought in, who declared that the field was not a wetland.

The extent to which neighbors are trying to drive off the teens had 17-year-old Jeff Currivan telling The New York Times, "They think we're a cult. People think we should be home playing 'Grand Theft Auto.' "

What is really at play in Sudbury and Greenwich is a cult of privilege impeding some refreshing American impulses. As regards to the rail trail, Sudbury opponents are using the environment to cover up NIMBYism. I have seen fox, deer, eagles, herons, and hawks on bike trails. The trail will surely not hurt property values. Three years ago, the Globe reported that homes along or near the Minuteman Bikeway, recently named to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's hall of fame, were worth 4 to 5 percent more.

That is with 2 million users a year. Jack Johnson, chairperson of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee has said of the trail, "There is a sense of community here." Arlington realtor Brian Greely said, "The path is one of the crown jewels in the area. We're in an age where physical fitness is a high priority. Having access to a bike path is analogous to years ago of having a house across from a park or playground."

The Wiffle ball controversy cuts even more to what we have stolen from children and what these teens were trying to claim back. In a 1993 Newsday feature on Wiffle ball, a Long Island high school guidance counselor said she enjoyed the games her teenage son organized in her backyard, to the point of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for players, families, and friends.

"My son takes a lot of pride in his field and I think it's a very healthy outlet for him and his friends. I just hope my neighbors don't mind the night games."

It would be a home run if the neighbors in Greenwich did not mind Wiffle ball at all.

paulrichjr
07-17-2008, 09:50 AM
I came across this column in the Boston Globe:

Wetlands??? OK this is a joke right?

Chip R
07-17-2008, 09:55 AM
Man, I hope these kids don't wind up out on the mean streets of Greenwich. ;)