Deana Christakes, Dana Point
I see the resistance to building a skatepark in Dana Point as emblematic of a much larger issue.
Needed change comes slowly in our fair city with much opposition. As a direct result of this our “downtown” businesses have struggled or gone out of business, our harbor has languished in misuse and disrepair and our youth are being underserved.
While the first two issues are finally being addressed, the third is still a pressing issue. In order to be a vital city, we need to provide recreational opportunities for our kids—safe places they can be active and hang out with their peers.
We currently have parks for our younger kids, but the kids that skate are forced to go out of town or to break the law by skating in areas not designed to accommodate them. Dana Point needs a more proactive approach. We need to give these kids a place where they can skate safely and where they feel that they are part of a community that values them.
As community members, we are encouraged to “keep it local,” yet we are forced to go to neighboring cities because our City Council members choose to turn a blind eye to the needs of the community. As a result, we are frequenting restaurants in Aliso Viejo, skate shops in Lake Forest and spending the majority of our weekends (and money) outside of Dana Point.
Dana Point is a great community; it’s just a shame that our youth are being ignored in favor of developers and short sighted planning.