New “No Smoking”, “Video Surveillance” Signs Posted Near Markham Nature Park in Concord

August 4, 2014 8:00 am · 53 comments


Neighbors in the area of La Vista Ct. in Concord are fighting back against drugs & crime in Markham Nature Park.

For many years, people have used Markham Nature Park as a gathering spot for drug-use, and several vehicle break-ins, robberies and other crimes have been reported in the park throughout the past few years.

Now, neighbors asked the City of Concord to put a “no smoking” sign up in the park, and they’ve also placed a sign warning others that they are under 24-hour surveillance.

Do you think the signs & video surveillance will work?

Thanks to Cal for the pictures!

Signs are a great deterant August 4, 2014 at 8:28 AM

and I really hope it works to deter problems in that neighborhood. I love to walk through there and just listen to the quiet.

I hope the residents have Concord PD Dispatch on their speed dial. Keeping the PD informed will help them help you keep the neighborhood free of crime.

The Mamba August 4, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Hopefully, this will keep the body dumping to a minimum.

Friends... August 4, 2014 at 8:43 AM

I used to go to this park all the time with my friends. Until I started running in to those terrible other teens who break things and cause a ruckus.

I’ll be honest, we’d sit QUIETLY in the back of the park and smoke in a group no bigger than 5. We always minded our own business. That was back when the hardest drug at that park was weed. Now it’s heroin. Yup.. It’s a heroin park. The sign that was broken in half? Broken by an addict.

I feel bad that they destroyed that park. I refuse to go now. I was literally so ashamed when I found out people I knew broke the signs, and messed up the science center.

Dr. Jellyfinger® August 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

oh! The Panic in Needle Park”

Blink August 4, 2014 at 8:57 AM

The park should serve the purpose it was intended, a bit of nature in a bigger city. We’ve left the park numerous times because of foul language and gang style behavior……other times it’s been wonderful.

Good job city is addressing a pocket of problems
Glad residents are fighting back..

Half full August 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

I am glad the neighbors are getting involved. It is a unique area and generally well maintained. Hope things get better. Signs and cameras cant hurt and are not too expensive.

Cy Nical August 4, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Assuming the people the signs are aimed at know how to read.

Beacon August 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM

It can’t hurt, but the situation will only improve if it’s backed up with enforcement. Then the druggies will migrate over to Newhall park. I predict a future turf war between the druggies and the homeless in Newhall.

Concordejet August 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Yes, it will help. All I hope for the CPD will respond as quickly as possible to any sign of illegal activity at Markham Nature Park.

Now, for my hope to do the same thing at the Ellis Lake Park around the neighborhood of Laguna Street and Ellis Street. because the same old crap happening just like Markham Park plus prostitution still hanging around on the corner of Ellis and Laguna Street. However, the problem is that they cannot do much about it since they do not have enough evidence to evict them back to where they came from or put them under arrest. CPD still had not found the murderer that was taken place on the last week of April Thursday Night at 9pm Located 1600 block of Adelaide street. Lucky I was able to find a roommate but, renting the entire condo is going to impact all it because of the murder had happened in my neighborhood.

Antler August 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

So far, so good.

Now add 8-foot fences topped with slanted barbed wire shields around the park perimeter, and then bring in a set of K-9 officers and their officer handlers to sweep the area at frequent (but irregularly-timed) intervals.

Consider it a form of community outreach…. one with real TEETH in it.

Grob August 4, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Those signs aren’t gonna work. I barely read those signs just from the picture. Perhaps more security or police patrols in that park would be better.

dont trip August 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

This kinda stupid now i cant even smoke there and thats the most i do there

The Mamba August 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Excellent point #12.

Schmee August 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

We used to go smoke there in high school

Thatguy August 4, 2014 at 10:14 AM

It gives the police another tool to do take enforcement action for minor violations, the question I have is how many citations will they write for the smoking ordinance. I am sure if they started writing them it may deter the rift raft that hang out down there. I also like the idea of the camera not that it would prevent crime, but it does provide more evidence and if monitored by CPD dispatch can be used to dispatch officers to known problems.

I live next to Cowell Park and I hope that this trash does not migrate to our park. We already have enough of the homeless types and dirt bag teenagers who come to do their drugs and leave their trash. Maybe the city can install cameras here as well, especially at the residential footpath entrances into the park.

Even better would be to assign the officers a park as their community project to address the crime and quality of life issues at these parks. I believe we have a great police department, and community oriented residents that care about their neighborhoods. Together we should be able to take our parks back.

Five Man Electrical Band August 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

Anyway, if people would behave responsibly, we wouldn’t need as many signs. It’s not the city’s fault.

CrayZ August 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Now that i’m older and don’t do any drugs or even drink, I don’t care much, but that park used to be the best place to go to in high school to smoke. Really would only be a few of my friends and we would go somewhere slightly secluded and just do our thing…never did anything to anyones property or other people. It’s a shame that things like that happen and then people blame ALL people who smoke plain ol weed to be some kind of drugged out monster or whatever you older people think.

I do understand some might not want to walk by a group of 5 teens who are high, esp if you have little ones with you..and like I said, I could care less about this issue bc I don’t even do that anymore and have no reason to go to that park but remember not all people who smoke are bad people! Most just want to be left alone and go about their business and relax and escape their troubles for a while

PhilthyPHRESH August 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Smoking bans are discrimination.

Marissa August 4, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I think the signs are great and add a pizzaz to the park. If people will actually read them…

OnlyIftheLawisEnforced August 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM

It will work if the law is enforced and there is a police presence on location. Otherwise, it will not work. The low life druggies and craphead gangbangers will do whatever they want, so unless the law is enforced and people are arrested, it will not make a difference. Surveillance cameras are good if the footage is reviewed and acted upon. Would be fantastic to get the slime off the streets. Very very disapopinted and sad about how trashy our town is these days and how the trashheaps are allowed to win too often in the fight against crime and drugs.

Upsetjet August 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I think the signs could help and if anything give the police more leverage in being able to charge these scumbags with a crime. However it will still be up to the neighbors of the park and surrounding areas to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity. The way i see it is if the neighbors are constantly calling the police regarding illegal activity at the park they will be forced to patrol it more

Dorothy August 4, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Hope it helps the area – but anymore people don’t seem to mind being caught on camera since it’s usually means just a slap on the wrist it that much.

anonanonagain August 4, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I live close to that park and used to go on walks through Markham with my child in a stroller, until one day I saw some suspicious things going on. I have talked to some of the neighbors that border the park and they are disgusted and fed up too. Lowlifes seem to congregate where they feel hidden from view. This was the place for them. I have no sympathy for the scum that congregates there. Hopefully this will be a deterrent…….

Jack August 4, 2014 at 12:35 PM

What we need to do is snag the dealers that made Markham Park a drug trafficking destination instead of a horticultural sanctuary, and then go after all those drug users speeding in and out of the park trying to make their (missed) connection. The neighborhood is WATCHING YOU and all those frantic trips back and forth. The neighborhood is also working with a very responsive Concord PD to snag you. You may want to consider going somewhere else.

Buster August 4, 2014 at 12:35 PM

It looks like the neighbors and neighborhood are working with the PD to improve conditions. I saw a couple of officers on dirt bikes going into the park awhile back so I guess they are also cleaning up the trail.

Anon August 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM

The criminal element push people away from parks that their tax dollars fund. It used to be the worse thing that would happen would be that you step in dog poop whilst playing Frisbee. Nowadays, you are intimidated into not enjoying fresh air green grass because some hobo or drug addict is passed out in the sandbox.

Push them out of every park!

Chris d August 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM

They don’t enforce laws in Concord! People smoke all the time in downtown Concord where these signs have been up forever! And the neighborhood clean up thing is a joke! Call all the time on neighbors garbage and nothing is done. I have learned these signs mean nothing really! Oh wait unless you are walking your small chihuahua dog by todos santos and he accidentally walks in the grass ( by a sleeping homeless man) to walks by the gang banger then you get called over by the police and shown the sign about no dogs!! It is time they get their priorities straight and make the city a place safe for our families!

Z-Man August 4, 2014 at 12:56 PM

“Smoking bans are discrimination”

No…. That is like saying no alcohol in the park is discrimination. lol
Nice try.

PhilthyPHRESH August 4, 2014 at 1:47 PM

@Zman. It is, too, sir. Prohibition was unconstitutional, yet for some time it was voter approved legislation. Telling a person that smokes, that they, in fact, cannot do so, due to whatever reasons, may be of good taste to the person that doesn’t smoke, however to the person that smokes it is not of good taste. Nor, is it just to the person that smokes to be told not to smoke, by others, that do not smoke. By definition, discrimination sir.

sue August 4, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I don’t thing the signs will make a difference.It is really sad now days. I used to take my son to the parks alot when he was littel. I would not like to have a child these days, nothing is safe anymore.

Will August 4, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Well I think Bishop Markham would appreciate people being asked not to smoke in his yard

Chris August 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Step in the right direction, hopefully they will back it up with some patrols.

Rollo Tomasi August 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

@ #29:

Have it your way. It’s discrimination, and a perfectly legal example thereof.

Of course, the nature of your comment should be offensive to anyone who has suffered from ACTUAL discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Cowellian August 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

According to the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibition was explicitly constitutional.

Concord Mike August 4, 2014 at 4:55 PM

What once was were great assets for the City of Concord – our wonderful parks and interconnected bicycle pathways – have now become a liability.

We have a small cadre of bicycle enthusiasts heavily lobbying the City Council to build more trails and bike routes. The City Council needs to include video surveillance costs and the cost of increased police patrols as part of the total cost of any expansions of pedestrian or bike trails.

anon August 4, 2014 at 6:35 PM

@35 that’s right, you nailed it.

PhilthyPHRESH August 4, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Until the Twenty First Amendment ruled the Eighteenth Amendment, so unconstitutional. According to your logic, sir, using the Fifth Amendment, to define slaves as property, is explicitly constitutional as well.

harleyrider1978 August 4, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business … is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.This one you can google.

harleyrider1978 August 4, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Wow smoking in a park a crime just when you thought it couldn’t get anymore INSANE! Next they will outlaw humans from breathing in the parks as they themselves release hundreds of the same chemcials supposedly found in tobacco smoke OMG DONT BREATHE ON ME!


harleyrider1978 August 4, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Cowellian August 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

According to the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibition was explicitly constitutional.

Lets see 9 comes way before 18…………….

Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

harleyrider1978 August 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Rollo Tomasi August 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

@ #29:

Have it your way. It’s discrimination, and a perfectly legal example thereof.

Of course, the nature of your comment should be offensive to anyone who has suffered from ACTUAL discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Gee Rollo after nearly a year you show back up…………Perhaps you should quote the Nuremberg Laws of Hitler and also the Jim Crowe laws of America and simply replace colored or jew with smoker! You get the same net effect!

Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel — upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast — liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

Cowellian August 4, 2014 at 10:29 PM

The 18th amendment prohibited alcohol, and the 21st amendment merely repealed the 18th amendment. Your 5th amendment comment has nothing to do with the subject.

Your point is that 9 comes before 18? So what?

Even though I’m a former smoker, and don’t much care to be around smoke, I’m not advocating for prohibiting tobacco usage. I think grown-ups ought to be able to make those choices for themselves. But the only function served by the 21st amendment was to repeal the 18th amendment. It didn’t prohibit prohibitions in general, and it’s highly unlikely that any court would ever use the 21st amendment as grounds to strike down a prohibition against tobacco. Frankly, in this age, the anti-tobacco people wouldn’t even need an amendment prohibiting tobacco usage, since so many people are willing to let their government tell them what they should, or should not do, in the interest of their own well-being.

Rollo Tomasi August 5, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Gee Harleyrider, you want to equate discrimination towards those who have a filthy habit with discrimination towards people with genetically determined traits. I suppose next you’ll equate the gold rush era Chinese with people that pick their nose.

Before today, the last time I posted was, let’s see…oh yeah – last Thursday. Seems your powers of observation are commensurate with your intellect.

harleyrider1978 August 5, 2014 at 7:01 AM

since so many people are willing to let their government tell them what they should, or should not do, in the interest of their own well-being

Really then why did Australia kick out the nannys last summer and Tony Abbott takes over and does away with the anti-smoking groups and defunds them. The UKIP with Nigel Farage gets elected with the promise to end the Nannystate. Now La Pen in France is the favored next president who like UKIP is vowed to end the Nannystate………..Its all coming apart at the seams for every nannying tyrant around. Even in Kentucky the ban movement is DOA. Even the anti-smoking advocates here admit that!

Neverceasestoamazeme August 5, 2014 at 7:37 AM

It is good to see the neighborhood get involved. The only way to take back our areas that have been overrun by delinquents and those who seek to cause mayhem, destroy properties is for the community to work in harmony with the local authorities. While those argue about their personal rights… the amendments were never written so those could flaunt their personal rights to harm or destroy others or properties…. Yes I know there is a fine line. The attorneys have taken that fine line too far to the left…..accountability has all but gone out the door…… way to make people accountable is exactly what this community is doing…..

Silva August 5, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Smokers are discriminating against people who need to breath clean air. I was forced to take out of town guests into the crowds at Fisherman’s Wharf last Sunday, and as much as I tried to avoid the burning fags I still ended up sick at the end of the day.

Happy Smoker August 5, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I love smoking pot. At the beach,parks.mountians,rivers, lakes all over California. But do respect others air space and try to keep to myself. Except at concerts then its a different story, most shows i go to its EVERYWHERE. Have a happy day Claycord, ill keep my window closed for you.

Wow August 5, 2014 at 10:51 AM

All you people equating banning smoking in a public park to Nazi Germany are fools. You want to smoke? Go for it, I actual encourage people who smoke to chain smoke as much as possible in the privacy of your own or a friends home or any public place that allows it. But I understand parents not wanting to walk their kids through a cloud of cig smoke to get to the playground. It’s a park, not a bar. Your right to smoke should not infringe on a parents right to not have to have our kids breath it. Smoke em if you got em, just not around kids.

PhilthyPHRESH August 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I stand by all of my points.

Rollo Tomasi August 5, 2014 at 11:23 AM

@ #49:

You can’t defend your points, so by all means stand by them. Especially the one on top if your head.

Terry Kremin August 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Great first step. I know when we first moved here 6 years ago, and after youngest daughter was born I started walking her in her stroller to there, but stopped after getting eyed by groups of young people hanging out. Didn’t get close enough to see what they were doing (not by myself with a newborn!) but did ask the PD to check it out back then.

I hope this does help – if it gets followed up on.

Happy Smoker August 5, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I agree NEVER around children. and avoid bothering others. Not all smokers are unaware of their fellow breathers around them. I just dont smoke around people. its that simple. And it does bother me too when people smoke cigs in a crowd.

Happy Smoker August 5, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Unless im at a fest. where everyone is smoking something else, then in that case, well…………..

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