Whether it's the bottom-feeder scumbag attorney ads we see on TV, urging people to sue over every little physical or societal issue, or right in our backyard, we're seeing more and more effects of a politically correct, lawsuit happy society.

Most citizens in Pendleton were not even aware this was happening, until the East Oregonian ran a letter May 24th from a man named Bill Young, calling attention to the fact that seemingly overnight, playground equipment began to disappear from public parks.

Young took the time to notice the park in his neighborhood, May Park, suddenly had a construction fence around it, and shortly thereafter, the monkey bars, swings and see-saw toys were removed. He also said Aldrich and Rice Parks reportedly met the same fate.

After talking with a Pendleton Parks and Recreation official, Mr. Young learned the reason the equipment was being removed, without public notice or input, was the result of an insurance audit. It reportedly showed dangers of "uncushioned falls" from monkey bars, which could leave the city liable for costly lawsuits.

However, Mr. Young rightly questioned why virtually ALL the equipment was being removed, and that the public was not notified or given a chance to provide input. City officials said an informational mailer was planned to go out about the removal, but had not been sent yet!

Apparently the cost of installing shredded wood chips as a safety cushion in these parks would be about $1,500 per park, plus the cost of installation and maintenance. Apparently it's cheaper for the city to simply remove the equipment, rather than install the safety precautions.

Mr. Young offered some sensible suggestions for the city to keep the equipment, and hoped a solution could be reached.

But the real sad message here is, across the county, and in our own backyards, more and more public facilities are being modified or even removed, because officials and businesses are afraid of costly lawsuits over potential accidents. And, sometimes even providing safety precautions don't stop some people from trying to sue, just so they can get the big cash payoff and not have to work for the rest of their lives.

With the mentality we seem to have today, it's a wonder some of us can get out of bed in the morning and dress ourselves....just sayin!


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