The Pokemon Go craze has hit Fairhaven in a big way. See pages 4 and 13 for two separate stories on how Fort Phoenix is THE destination for PG players.
Now, I’m not one to complain because people are using public spaces. Sure, it sounds like the huge influx of people is a bit of a nuisance. But, the reality is that Fort Phoenix is a public space.
It galls me that we shut the place down at 10 p.m. anyway. Now it’s being enforced with a vengeance.
It also seems wildly unfair to paint all the PG players with one, broad and negative brush. Fort Phoenix always had a vandalism problem acccording to Mr. Lavalette. Why is it suddenly the PG players?
There are idiots in any crowd. That’s just life. But these kids (and they are mostly young’uns to me), seem to be mostly focused on their game, not beating up on the Fort.
I admit, I did not go late at night, I was there during the day.
And I totally understand that the neighbors hate the noise. It would drive me nuts if my little neighborhood suddenly had hundreds of people slamming doors and driving off all at once. But people also need to be realistic.
I’m glad the Selectboard and police chief had the sense to talk about the fort as the great public (stress public) resource that it is. It’s there a for all of us, Pokemon Go players included.
There is, however, another angle to this. It was mentioned briefly at the meeting and it looks like the town will be pursuing it.
This extra traffic (foot and vehicle), with all its headaches will cost the town money. We might need an overtime or detail officer down at the fort at some point.
That’s not in the budget.
We might have to add portable toilets and other services.
That’s not in the budget.
The onus should be on the company that created the game, not the players, not the town. This company is making big bucks, they can kick some of it back.
The profit end of this for the company did not really get discussed this week, but hopefully I’ll get around to writing about that soon. Suffice it to say that a little research showed these guys didn’t create this game as a charitable endeavor.
If they had a building in town, they would be paying taxes. They are using the fort, and that’s fine, it’s a free-to-use place; but they are, in effect, taking over a public space for private gain. And for that, there should be some compensation, and it should be enough to make a difference.
It is most definitely one of my pet peeves, and you may know it by now, that private companies are allowed to take over public spaces for profit. Those benefiting like to call it a “public-private parnership.”
I call it a crock of bull….It’s a private takeover of public space, like aquaculture farms (oh no….don’t let me go there….it’s late, I can’t…I’ll stop).
Anyway, I’ll stop now. It’s press time. This issue will not go away, so I’m sure I’ll have a chance to weigh in on it again. Those of us who love these places need to weigh in, often and in a loud way.
On another note… Senator Elizabeth Warren was in these parts last week. See page 20 for that. Okay, maybe it’s not such a different note after all.
Until next week then… see ya,