Home » Opinion » Editorials
'Skin in the game': Saving Manchester's skate park
To revitalize Manchester's public skateboard park, a local parent has proposed building a more attractive facility and including an entry fee. At least one aldermanic critic says charging kids to skate would deny access to low-income children. Yet across the street from the park, the city charges kids to skate at the JFK Coliseum. It can work for both venues.
The city-owned JFK Coliseum not only charges for ice skating, it limits public access. Public skating is held only on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The city also owns a ski slope, McIntyre Ski Area, and a golf course, Derryfield Country Club. People must pay to access all of those public properties. And unlike the Adam D. Curtis Skateboard Park, the city's pay-for-entry facilities are successful.
Kids and parents say the skateboard park is dominated by bullies, punks and graffiti artists. There is no adult supervision. In just a decade it has become a place many young skateboarders want to avoid.
Jim DeStefano, a commercial real estate developer who wants to save the park, has proposed upgrading the skate bowl and enclosing it. He would like to attach the new building to the Regis Lemire Community Center. He also wants skaters to have some "skin in the game" by having to pay to enter the facility, which would be managed by a private non-profit group.
This would turn the vandalized skate park into a first-rate facility free of bullies and vandals. And it would cost the city nothing, as volunteers would raise private money to build it.
It is more sensible for the city to have a nice, year-round facility with a modest entry fee than a free park that cannot be used in the winter and that few want to use in the summer. If the entry fee is a problem for some, surely the operating charity would agree to reduce it for qualifying families.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- La. Gov. Jindal files federal lawsuit over Common Core - 0
- Central High parents reminded to use caution when dropping kids off - 0
- New Manchester school district standards to give teachers more leeway - 4
- Construction to begin on Hollis playground - 0
- New Derry school year launch honors everyday heroes - 0
- Stevens High School in Claremont to have start pushed back to Sept. 10 because of renovations - 0
- Plymouth State's $32 million health, track facility seen as student draw - 1
- Free school meals rejected as Manchester board bucks federal program - 51
- Proposed hike for Manchester's driver education course reversed - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Market Basket deal reached; Arthur T. Demoulas to return - 1
- Police mum on reported shooting in Manchester - 0
- Manchester men charged with drive-by shooting in Nashua - 0
- Multiple reports say deal reached for Arthur T. to buy Market Basket - 0
- Fisher Cats get behind early, fall to Senators - 0
- Sox downed on pinch-hit homer - 0
- Sister of accused Boston marathon bombers arrested after bomb threat - 0
- Authorities mum about reports of shooting in Manchester - 0
- Bruins agree to long-term agreement with Providence - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Weekly brother gave police wrong name