Skatepark Behavior Angers Councilman

Underage smoking, litter plague parks

Two recently opened skateparks seemed like the best thing to happen in Oceanside. Now, City Councilman Jack Feller is fed up with what he sees at one of the parks and has threatened to pull the plug, according to the North County Times.

Feller said the skatepark at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Mesa Drive suffers from constant litter, underage smoking and profanity. Reports say Feller’s grandsons play Little League nearby.
“I’m almost sorry that I agreed to allow a skatepark to be built,” Feller told the paper. “And I’m ready to pull the plug on the other one that’s supposed to go in out by the drive-in theater.”
The city spent more than $700,000 to build the park at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and another at Melba Bishop Park. A third is in the works in the San Luis Rey River Valley, near the former Valley Drive-In theaters, though funding is not certain at this point.
Both recently opened parks serve a large skateboarding community, from beginners to professionals in the area and those who come from afar to check out the latest parks.
“The Oceanside parks are the talk of the county," said Miki Vuckovich, executive director of the Tony Hawk Foundation, a Vista nonprofit that promotes public skateparks and is named after the professional skateboarder who grew up in North County.
"They're attracting people from all over San Diego and a bit beyond that as well."

Alex Wilson, a 17-year-old skateboarder, said he stops by Martin Luther King Jr. Park five times a week and skates for hours. "I've dreamed of this since I was about 7 years old.”

Wilson admitted there have been fights at the park and litter was a problem.
Vuckovich predicts these problems will pass as the crowds lessen and the parks are no longer the newest and coolest thing.
Margery Pierce, Oceanside's director of housing and neighborhood services, said "no smoking" signs will be hung in more prominent spots and more trashcans are coming soon.
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