Letter: Keeping Kids Off the Streets and Out of Trouble

Signs are posted at all 23 Dana Point city parks informing visitors of rules that include no skateboarding. A recent movement has revived the debate about building a skatepark in Dana Point. Photo by Andrea Papagianis

Signs are posted at all 23 Dana Point city parks informing visitors of rules that include no skateboarding. A recent movement has revived the debate about building a skatepark in Dana Point. Photo: Andrea Papagianis

Oskar Lindstrom, Dana Point

My name is Oskar Lindstrom and I have loved to skateboard since I was 5 years old.

Dana Point needs a skatepark because it would keep kids off the streets and provide a great place for exercise.  I have skated around Dana Point and gotten in trouble several times. If we had a skatepark then this would not happen.

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2 Responses to “Letter: Keeping Kids Off the Streets and Out of Trouble”

  1. Emily
    June 11, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    I really don’t think a skate park is a very good idea for a variety of reasons. While I understand that young skateboarders feel they have no place to skate, encouraging a group of largely young, adolescent males (pardon the stereotype, I realize children, girls, and older males skate as well) to gather in one place and engage in a dangerous sport is unwise for several reasons. First of all, there are statistics to support adolescence is a time to experiment with drugs and alcohol. It is also a widely publicized, promoted, and encouraged trend for young skateboarders to smoke marijuana. I am in NO way saying that they all do. But with drug and alcohol use comes poor reaction time, lowered inhibitions, affected motor skills- put those young people on a board with wheels down a steep ramp and logically, what is the outcome going to be at some point?
    I acknowledge the same risk is there when kids are just skating around the streets. But having a place outdoors that invites these kids to congregate increases the risk of not only injury, but also drug dealing, drinking, disturbing the peace, fighting, and accidents on the way to and from the park, if as I suspect, these kids will be traveling to the park in droves. Just my 2 cents.

  2. Dino
    June 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Emily – With all due respect, I would suggest that boredom may actually contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, there are individuals in any group who have tendencies to abuse chemicals. It’s just a sad fact of human existence,whether young or old. As for the skate park developing into a place where drugs and alcohol are abused, I’m not sure this would occur given that our diligent law enforcement professionals would ensure it did not. Most of the kids looking for this kind of action will hide either near one of our beaches, along the river trail, at some kid’s house where the parents are not home and so on. Oskar’s suggestion, in my opinion, is a good one that has been implemented by many cities in California, including Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo to name a few. Skating is a healthy sport and should not be viewed as a crime regardless of how many bans have been put in place to prevent skating. Admittedly, some of these bans have been implemented due to the destructive behaviors of a few who seem unable to control their urge to skate on surfaces that are unfortunately damaged by their boards. The few bad apples have brought this on to the group as a whole and created the tension Oskar is experiencing. Building a quality skate park with set hours, lighting and in a very visible location would allow skaters to enjoy themselves in a setting designed for the sport. Perhaps if they had a place to call their own, some of the more obnoxious skaters would spend their energy riding vs inadvertently damaging private property. I know this will surely show my age, but there was a time when we left our homes as kids in the morning and only came home when it began to get dark. Many of us did not get into trouble, but created memories and friendships that last today. I think it’s time we supported all sports our kids want to engage in, not just the “approved” sports such as Soccer, Baseball, Softball and so on. Those of us who continue to surf and skate into our middle age enjoy it because it is a passion. We need to allow that passion to continue with the next generations.

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