We are only part time residents, so maybe this is irrelevant. My 11-year-old is an avid skateboarder, yet every time, with the exception of three times over three years, the skate park in town is closed and locked up. I understand the sheer terror skaters have on some people -which is mostly unwarranted - but what do people think skaters are doing when the place they have to go is closed? When the place they have to practice, sometimes for hours, is closed? When a place like the skate park is closed, guess what? That's when they go smoke pot, or drink, or set something on fire, or make babies. A skate park is something to do to occupy the mind of a 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-year-old. If teens are at a skate park, at least you know where they are. If that park is always closed, there will be an increased chance of bad things. I'm not sure of the reasoning for the skate park being closed regularly. Its paid for, and its there for the residents. Some say it's a safety issue. The park in Dunkirk is open late into the night and has no fence. Is the City of Dunkirk being sued on a regular basis for accidents at their skate park? Are they just a stupid city? No, they don't get sued on a regular basis. We drive the 1/2 hour to go there instead of going to the one in Westfield because the one in Westfield in always closed. So, when people start asking, "Why should we even pay for the upkeep of the skate park if nobody ever goes?" maybe they don't go because when they get there, its closed. When my kid is a teen, I would much rather know he is at a safe place, practicing, competing and getting outside instead of being in the basement of a neighbor's house with your teenage daughter.
David G. Cook