Malford Jeter Jr. reported his successful completion in two martial art tournaments: Muay Thai point Kick Boxing at Lake Norman and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Asheville at Open Source. If you know this gentleman, you can confirm his dedication to practical self-defense and martial arts practices. What is also consistently clear, is how Malcolm is always eager and willing to share his wisdom, knowledge and skill with interested youth and adults.

Theresa Murray-Brooke Galtieri, who was present at the Asheville tournament, shared, “I was over the moon to see an old friend at our gym competing in the White Belt tournament. Having known Malford for 20 years, I’ve always known him to be involved in Mixed Martial Arts. He has taught children and adults self-defense. He has been an advocate for our children. It was awesome to see him after 15-plus years and to witness that he is still enjoying the fight.”

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling-based martial art that focuses on practical self-defense. Muay Thai, or literally Thai boxing, uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This discipline is known as the “art of eight limbs” as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.

In other sports, to say that I was stunned about the news about the Skate Park was putting it mildly. There has been such a long, uphill climb to get to where the light felt like it was shining at the end of the tunnel. The land space in the Tannery Park property was allocated. Money was raised. Volunteers devoted their precious time and energy. Designs were presented and approved. Finally, the long-awaited goal of a skate park was within reach. You could drive through Rosenwald and witness it happening. Then, one day, the mesh fencing was erected and just like that, the project was stopped. How does something that is vetted and approved like that, get derailed? I don’t understand. I know fans and supporters do not understand and you can hear and feel their heartbreak. How does a project like this get the green light… yes, you are good to move forward… and, now, in mid-stream, seemingly the “rules” change?

I am simply a layperson who cares about this recreational resource being a reality. Like other community members that I have spoken to, our hearts go out to the crew who built what is now… wasted? I drove past the site after work. It was sad to see the ramps cordoned off. Truly a depressing sight.

From Sk8 Brevard‘s Facebook page, an emotional post, “There are few words strong enough to thank skaters, donors, builders, supporters, and families who poured body and soul into making a safe, free, and legal skate park for residents and visitors to Transylvania County.”

Even fewer words touch the deep disappointment and frustration resulting from this latest move. Skaters, friends and families have been alone in making a new skate park possible, thanks to generous private support. And they are alone again – the only ones feeling this loss in their bones, having waited so long and built something with their own hands, only to have that erased, too.

With no community engagement or discussion. None. There is a next chapter. There will be next steps.

But imagine a scenario where local government sincerely invested in addressing this need and actively pursued this effort from the start – right along with devoted citizens and visitors of all ages, instead of watching from the sidelines.

Keep pushing, keep imagining. That day will come. The day when being listened to and communicated with, being included and valued, is what skateboarding kids remember about growing up in Transylvania County. That reality is out there for kids and families to discover. But today is not that day, that year or that decade.

Various comments and suggestions have been offered by Sk8 Brevard supporters:

•”Pursue an action sports insurance company that specializes in this kind of risk. Hate to see money and time lost which ultimately keeps the kids from enjoying the facility.”

•”Very easy to release liability of risk. All you need is a sign saying user assumes all risk and have it state the helmet law.”

•”Why can’t they (skaters) sign waivers like the trampoline park in Asheville.”

•”I know what a punch to the gut this is. So much hard work and community spirit went into this. Sad to see failed leadership.”

•”It’s typical Brevard. Way too strict on anything that isn’t tourism related.”

•”What a dis-appointment. Bureaucracy at its best. Sad.”

•”This is very disappointing.”

•”I just want to reach out and hug you, hug all of the skaters… young and old… and wish that I could fix it right now and make it better. This is just wrong. I am so sorry.”

On Thursday, Oct. 17, the Transylvania County Library will present “The Power to Heal,” an hour-long public television documentary that tells a poignant chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country in a matter of months.

A discussion will follow the presentation, at which time audience members will be encouraged to reflect on advances made during the past 50 years to improve health care, where inequities might still exist, and the role Medicare plays in helping to ensure older adults receive the medical care they need.

This film comes at an important time for those receiving Medicare benefits, as the open enrollment period will occur from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. This is the opportunity to make changes to Medicare coverage for 2020. The Transylvania County Library will feature a display of resources for information on Medicare throughout October. The documentary is 56 minutes long and will be shown in the Rogow Room.

Earlier that same day, Thursday, Oct. 17, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m, in response to gun violence, we will gather under the ancient Willow Oak tree at Brevard Housing Authority to create a community art project.

Come for renewal, healing, creative expression and peace.

We will have music, refreshments, with the opportunity to do sidewalk chalk art and make prayer flags.

This event is sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, Morning Glory Inspirations, Project Empathy and SAFE. Make your way to the outdoor space at the back of the Housing Office, 133 W. Morgan St.

(Newsworthy items for submission for Rosenwald Community News are welcomed from community members, churches, clubs and groups. If you have an idea for a story or interview for me to capture, let me know at nicola@compor ium.net or call (828) 421-8615. Enjoy your week.)

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