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In the News Index

Source: City Paper
Date: August 15-21, 2002
Byline: Rick Valenzuela


naked city Love Park Family Portrait

LOVE Park portraitPhoto By: Michael T. Regan

Last week, as we set out to take a happy family photo of Love Park skaters past and present, a few asked if they could send a little message out to the mayor. Turns out that nearly all of them had something to say.

In April, skateboarders lost Love Park. Mayor John Street had it chained up, awaiting renovations that would eliminate nearly all of its charms as a skate spot. A month after Loves grand reopening — as well as the mayors unveiling of a shabby bone of skatepark he tossed to the locals — the X-Games are here to finish their contract.

For nearly two decades, Love Park was home for many skateboarders. It quickly went from being just ridiculously good local stomping grounds to an international proving ground. One ESPN official even remarked that Love Park was the reason they wanted the X-Games here in the first place.

But the Love Park that had grown to worldwide acclaim is gone, finished off by a shortsighted mayor and replaced with the interior accoutrements of a mall. And despite an organized two-year dialogue with the city, we are no closer to having any legal downtown skate spot.

With the X-Games in town, its obvious that the city has benefited from the world renown brought by Loves skaters. And with this photo it should be obvious how this makes the city's skateboarders feel.

Front row: Brian Nugent, Metal, Josh Kalis, Cas-One, Forty A.K.A. One, Gino Spencer, unknown

Standing: Dawou, John Puca, Shane Vonhartleben, Ricky Oyola, Robert Murray, Frankie, Zeb Snyder, Ryan Moore, Hart Johnson, Richie Burkholder, Rasul Allah, Mike Fagan, Jim Mitchell, Kerry Getz, Rich Scheere, Braxton, Mark Brandstetter, Ryan Gee, Jake Lewis, Tim Quinn, Scott Kip, John Wilke, Amin, Brandon Grey, Shawn Carboy, Scott Minton, Damian Smith, Brett McKenzie, Hung Ng, Rick Valenzuela

Of course, not everyone could make it to the photo shoot. And a list of omissions, running down everyone from Roger Browne to Vern Laird to Stevie Williams, would take pages. Apologies to those who should be here but aren't.

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