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Teens seek space to ride skateboards

August 11, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - About 10 teenagers attended Monday's Williamsport Town Council meeting to ask for a place in town where they can ride their skateboards.

"Skating keeps me out of trouble ...," Andrew Shupp, 15, told the council. "That is the truth. That is what keeps me in shape."

Councilman Earle P. Pereschuk Sr. said people on skateboards ride into the streets and give motorists no respect.

But Councilman Monty R. Jones said that was why the teenagers at the meeting were asking for a place to ride their skateboards legally and safely.

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The possibility of converting a tennis court into a skating area was raised at the meeting.

Edith Ripple, an adult who accompanied the teenagers, suggested the town consider leasing property to a company that would manage the skating area. That way, the town could make money without having to manage the project, she said.

The teenagers were not asking to skateboard on the sidewalk because they understand that is illegal, Ripple said. They were asking for a place where they can ride safely and legally, she said.

Mayor John Slayman asked council members to consider over the next few weeks whether the town should provide a place for young people to ride skateboards.

He and Councilwoman Roxann Long said they also want feedback from town taxpayers about whether the town should provide a skating area.

"We are not going to rush into this," Slayman said.

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