Vandals damage City Park’s Storyland, Carousel Garden, write racial slurs on rides

Surveillance cameras captured images of the vandals in the act.

NEW ORLEANS — Vandals broke into City Park’s Storyland and Carousel Gardens, breaking windows, damaging the carousel, and writing racial slurs on the rides.

Photos from City Park show broken glass, graffiti and tails ripped from carousel horses. Officials say it also looks like someone stabbed the antique band organ and one of the carousel horses with a screwdriver.

The racially-charged graffiti includes the N-word and the phrase “Hitler Salute.”

Images of the two vandals were captured by security cameras set up after their first break-in. City Park officials say the names “Alex” and “Justin A” were written on items in the park and shoe prints were left on the carousel doors where they were kicked in.

City Park’s Storyland received a big renovation in 2019, adding new exhibits. The carousel is more than a century old and is on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

“This hurts my heart. The Carousel and Storyland are such traditional iconic parts of the Park. The Carousel is over 100 years old. To have them survive Katrina only to then be disrespected in this way is a true travesty. The people of New Orleans love City Park and we’re so grateful to them. It’s sad to see a few people destroy so much,” says Bob Becker, City Park CEO.

City Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact City Park Chief Operations Officer, Rob DeViney at 504-419-2832.

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Bancroft Park’s self-cleaning restrooms a finalist in bathroom competition | Colorado Springs News

The TikTok-famous, $300,000 self-cleaning public restrooms in Old Colorado City’s Bancroft Park are once again gaining attention after placing as a finalist in America’s Best Restroom contest.

Among 10 finalists, The Bancroft Park bathrooms includes ADA-compliant options, lights that indicate stall availability and hand-wave activated appliances. Plus, park maintenance is alerted by an app when supplies are running low. But above all, the bathrooms are automatically self-cleaned after every 30 uses.


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Not only are the restrooms tidy, the doors open with the push of a button. But be ready — once you enter you have 10 minutes to do your business before the door starts a final countdown and automatically opens.

Other finalists in the competition include restrooms across the country at hotels, airports, and restaurants. 


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“As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the importance of clean restrooms to the forefront, we’re proud to spotlight these unique and well-maintained restrooms that provide comfortable spaces for guests,” Sean Mulcahey, marketing manger of Cintas, the competition’s organizer, said.

The competition’s winner, which will be decided by a public vote at www.bestrestroom.com/us, will receive a Cintas UltraClean restroom service and $2,500 in cleaning services from Cintas.


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Rosa Parks’ house going on display in Italy

The run-down, paint-chipped Detroit house where U.S. civil rights icon Rosa Parks took refuge after her historic bus boycott is going on display in Italy in a setting that couldn’t be more incongruous: the imposing central courtyard of the Royal Palace in Naples.

It’s the latest stop for the house in a years-long saga that began when Parks’ niece saved the tiny two-story home from demolition in Detroit after the 2008 financial crisis. She donated it to an American artist who rebuilt it for public display in Germany, and now Italy, after failing to find a permanent resting place for it in the U.S.

As racial tensions seethe across the Atlantic, the exhibition of the home starting Tuesday has taken on fresh relevance. The display is being accompanied by a repeating soundtrack entitled “8:46” and lasting that long. It’s the time it took for a Black man, George Floyd, to be killed by white police officers in a May slaying that has fueled the Black Lives Matter movement and protests around the nation in a reckoning with America’s history of slavery and racial injustice.

Artist Ryan Mendoza has been campaigning for more than five years to draw attention to the historic value of the home, where Parks lived for a short time after her 1955 defining act of defiance: refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama.

The yearlong refusal of African Americans to ride city buses that followed is regarded as the first major U.S. demonstration against segregation.

In an interview ahead of the opening, Mendoza said he hoped the grandeur of the Naples debut of “Almost Home” would draw attention to Parks’ legacy and help America “remember a house it didn’t know it had forgotten.”

Parks lived in the tiny house in Detroit with her brother and his family as she struggled to make a new life for herself in the northern U.S. after receiving death threats following the bus protest. The family says Parks, who died in 2005, lived there with 17 other relatives.

The house was abandoned and slated for demolition after the financial crisis in 2008 and Detroit’s dramatic decline, but Parks’ niece, Rhea McCauley, bought it from the city for $500 and donated it to Mendoza. After unsuccessful efforts to persuade the city to help save the building, Mendoza in 2016 dismantled it and moved it to the German capital, rebuilding it on the lot of his studio for public display.

In 2018, Brown University announced it would feature the house as part of a planned exhibition on the civil rights movement organized by its Center for Slavery and Justice. But it backed out at the last minute, citing a legal dispute with the family.

Earlier this year, Mendoza approached the Naples-based Morra Greco Foundation, where he had worked for a year in the 1990s. The Foundation agreed to help organize the exhibit with the backing of the Italian culture ministry and Campania regional government.

For

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