Our youngest son, now 28, skateboarded growing up and then, as now, there was no place to go to skate after the skateboard shop and small park on Second Street closed.
These kids don't need a huge place, just a “safe” place with a few rails, some concrete stops like you find in parking lots, and signs that say, “Skate at your own risk. This park will not be held responsible for any injuries.” It could be fenced in for added safety. Let the kids help design the park as they know what would work. If they have a say in the process, they would be more likely to take good care of it.
A lot of people are judging these kids by the way they dress and look. The majority are good kids. They don't drink, smoke or do drugs. All they want is to skate but they are run off everywhere they go. Stop and think - these young people are the future of Portsmouth. We have lost so much, don't lose them, too.
Don't get me wrong. I've lived here for 64 years and love this town, but it's a city of talk and promises - most of which never happen. Case in point, the bike and walking trail down by the river. Citizens get their hopes up because of big headlines in the paper, then nothing ever comes of it. This time, “make something happen” for these young people. A few donations of time and material could give Portsmouth something to be proud of - an investment into our youth.