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In the News Index

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: August 25, 2003
Byline: Editorial

The wheel thing: Affairs of skate in Phila. are improving.

Philadelphia's new skateboarding advocate took a public stand last week, talking about his love of the sport, his appreciation of its athletic skill and its vast commercial potential.

That would be Mayor Street.

Not entirely beloved by skateboarders for giving them the ultimate boot out of LOVE Park, the mayor redeemed himself somewhat Thursday by kicking off planning for a new skate park at the Schuylkill River Park near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The city is paying for the design; skateboarders — who will be knocking on corporation, foundation, and state funding doors — will have to raise the remaining $1 million-plus required for construction.

But the mayor's wholehearted support of the project was always critical. He deserves applause for sticking by a project that, over the months, some feared would fade to nothing.

And Street gets more praise for appearing agreeable to letting skateboarders return to LOVE. In a welcome shift of attitude, he and other city officials, as well as City Council members, are now saying that a proposal to limit skating to later hours at JFK Plaza might actually work.

Just as important, Street and other officials say they realize the new skate park, no matter how great, can't replace LOVE in the eyes of skaters in this region and around the world.

Is it possible? A super new skate park — and both lunchers and skateboarders being able to love LOVE?

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