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Supporters Push For Skate Park in Toms River

Toms River's skateboarders rallying for township to explore the idea

Toms River is a big place, with a lot of amenities, but no skate park.

A group of and their supporters have been building momentum and organizing their efforts to have the township explore the idea of building a skate park in Toms River.

"It can be safe, secure and cost effective," said Bernard Viggiani, an East Dover resident. "It doesn't have to be a liability."

Viggiani said his son, Lee Viggiani, and other skaters in Toms River lack a place to go to enjoy the sport they love so much.

Wondering why Toms River had never built a skate park, the Viggianis began building a community of supporters — many of whom are local students and skaters — to push for the idea.

They presented a petition with signatures to the Toms River Recreation Committee, hoping the committee would put a skate park on of possible projects. The poll, available online, asks residents what recreation services they'd like to see in town.

With the votes of the skate park supporters, the idea of a skate park has surged in the poll, and is a top vote getter along with an indoor tennis facility and spray park.

"The response has been amazing," Viggiani said. "A lot of people have come forward — mostly teenagers, youth — who want to see this happen."

While the Recreation Committee accepted the group's petitions at its April meeting, the committee also said it's an idea that was explored before but never fully pursued due to liability.

Elsewhere in Ocean County, townships such as Jackson and Polnt Pleasant have opened and shuttered their skate parks, off and on, to address issues with the facilities. Lacey also has a skate park that seems to be thriving, Viggiani said, and he said having a model facility could be possible for Toms River.

The recreation committee obliged the skate park suppporters, putting the idea of a skate park on the online poll found on the township website, here.

The supporters, calling themselves the “Intensity Skate Crew,” came out to a May Recreation Committee meeting advertised on the township website that turned out to be canceled. The crew brought approximately 25 supporters hoping to continue their momentum for the skate park.

With a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight, June 4, in town hall, the supporters again are planning to attend the recreation committee meeting to keep their ideas in the discussion.

The Intensity Skate Crew have created flyers to hang around town, and have a website to further organize its efforts, here.

The Viggianis said they are simply hoping the township explore the idea, and they are willing to help by showing there's a dedicated community of skateboarders who have a demand for a park. They've compiled research of how other towns have succeeded in creating a skate park that is safe, secure and cost efficient.

"A properly planned, well constructed and carefully located Skate Park is a Town's most cost effective form of active sports recreation. Some school districts even have Skateboarding as part of their Physical Education Curriculum. Some towns even run Skate Clinics and sponsor events," said the Intensity Skate Crew's literature "In Toms River we just get chased from one location to another. It’s time to 'change' that."

Ken June 04, 2012 at 11:12 PM
@Nicole... I agree get rid of all the facilities, than maybe my taxes will not keep going up.
Ken June 04, 2012 at 11:15 PM
I was against the new softball field and I am against this. In these times where taxes are going up the town should not be worrying about adding a skate park or any other type facility. It is time to quit wasting our money.
jeff June 04, 2012 at 11:45 PM
There's more head injuries in soccer than any other sport, game or hobby.  Open a skate park for crying out loud !!!!! Not all kids play soccer , softball or baseball which there are more than enough fields for that and why not a place to ride dirt bikes and ATV's. 
billy jones June 04, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Dirt bikes are you crazy. It bad enough our children have bad role models these days. Next thing you know your kid buys a Harley gets a tatoo smokes and does drugs, just like all the rest of the big bad Harley riders. Come on...
jeff June 05, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Holy stereo type !! You also must think only black people commit crimes and Mexicans take our jobs. If you raise your kids right they'll be ok so don't shelter them from life and don't keep them under the rock you live under. 
billy jones June 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Not stereo type. It's the truth, this park will bring bad people to this community that does not need anymore degenerates. We have enough already.
Todd Mendelovitz June 05, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I dont know about black people being the only ones that commit crimes.. But your blind if you think Mexicans aren't taking any of our jobs
jeff June 05, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Billy show me the truth, you can't. Let's take roll models like you spoke about. I've been to plenty of professional ball games where I saw many people smoking pot and drinking beer around their young kids, I've also have been to many professional motor cross races where their was next to no pot smoking or beer drinking and the kids were well behaved and very interested in wanting to learn more about motor cross. So where does your truth come from ?? Soon it will be legal to possess and smoke pot in this state so now all the college kids don't have to worry about getting caught. Now what are you going to do ????? Oh by the way I do not smoke pot but I do have an occasional beer. 
i don't get it?? June 05, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Kids get hurt...they're kids!!! Stop Wussifying our children, and stop acting like you weren't one...holy crap!!! Maybe if the adults raising these Bubble Children weren't lawsuit happy, and the older people would remember that at some point their kids needed someplace to play or whatever, they would see the positive long term effects instead of just worrying about their taxes...a skatepark is not your tax problem, the politicians are!!! These people complaining about this causing tax issues are the same people who vote NO for school budgets forgetting that at some point someone else paid taxes to send their children to school...OUR KIDS NEED SOMEPLACE SAFE TO GO, and whoever mentioned that fact that bored kids do drugs and commit crime is SSSOOOO right. Basically the rest of you consider children to be invisible and not worth spending any money on...oh yeah, I forgot, you are also the ones causing after school activities to disappear...BECAUSE YOUR KIDS ARE NO LONGER IN SCHOOL...less activities=more crimes
Ken June 05, 2012 at 03:08 AM
@ i don't get it?? "...a skatepark is not your tax problem, the politicians are!!!". So are you telling me if they build this or any other type of park or field it will not cost the taxpayers anything at all? Wow I want to know where we are getting the free land, who is building it for free, and who is doing the upkeep for free?
ginger June 05, 2012 at 07:42 AM
I would support a skating rink for ALL to enjoy...and a seperate part for skateboarders...that seems fair
billy jones June 05, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Hay if its free I'm in. But the truth is it's not free. We as tax payers will be funding this park, and for what the degenerate kids can hurt themselves while skating on drugs. Cause that is what will happen.
teatleytea June 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM
And if the township decides to build this park and one of these kids falls and break their neck who is going to pay the medical bill? You guessed it, the resident sucker taxpayers. We the residents are sick and tired of being the entertainment committee for these kids. If these kids want to go and skateboard use the streets and if they want to build jumps go and visit one of the skateboard parks that is still in existence. I for one am tired of my tax dollar going towards these things. With the economy in the shape that it is and with this township raising our taxes again and again when does this council tell these people that we don't have the extra money for anymore projects. We will look at these issues again when we have the financial where with all to visit these ideas again. I just have a question to all of these people who want all of these projects where are you at the recreation meetings? Are they heavily attended? How many have you attended? And, my last question is are you only attending these meetings because you want something from the township?
Ken G June 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM
well, in my opinion, with all the skater friends i had and were kicked out of skating pretty much everywhere in Toms River they were told to go "somewhere else" when they asked security/cops where they responded "Not anywhere around here." Their pretty much right because there isnt anywhere around here! Now, I'm not a skater, but they need a place to go. I mean, if everyone REALLY wants to reject the idea, im sure they'll be fine using the mall and library steps, and Town Hall steps as usual. Also, most of the kids use the skate park in Bayville, i think they have a better risk of getting hurt/killed going to Bayville than they do at a park in Toms River. I can tell you many funny stories of my debates with polticians (and their assistants) when I was a younger teenager over this debate. The best one is the "Chipped Brick" one that a lady gave me at Town Hall. As I said, if they dont get a skate park, dont complain to the secuirity/police when the skaters hang out at the mall/library.
Ken G June 05, 2012 at 11:57 AM
"We the residents are sick and tired of being the entertainment committee for these kids." We the residents? Define "residents". Because I see residents that support it. So we the residents aernt sick and tired of this, in fact it's a great idea! We the residents support this!
Mattie June 05, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I would need a few things answered before I agreed to a skate park.... (If I was asked to vote that is): 1. We can all see skate park structures are ugly as sin - But are they loud? How do skateboards sound rolling around on that sheet metal and kicking up against the wood "guard rail" at the top, say... oh, about 10,000 times a day? 2. On the other hand if you're going to spend all that $$ you really should make sure the skate park is "open" most daylight hours, not try to limit the kids' usage to 2 hours in the morning and 3 hrs mid afternoon (like other crazy towns limit parks, etc). 3. There are so many empty strip malls and empty food stores around Toms River -- all with empty parking lots. Why not design a moveable skate park in 4-5 detachable sections, and then assemble it in these empty parking lots (even in a corner of the ocean county mall parking lot would be great) let the park stay in one place for 4 weeks and then move it to another parking lot in another area of town. Give more kids a chance to use it that way.... and no one gets permanently stuck with an ugly eyesore in their neighborhood. Hey, Just tossin' out a few ideas....
Common Sense in Silverton June 05, 2012 at 12:57 PM
There's already plenty here, apparently. I don't see how a skate park affect that. Heck, it might get some kicks out and about, who then stop using drugs!
Common Sense in Silverton June 05, 2012 at 01:01 PM
#3 is certainly a clever idea, but based off of the above pictures of some skate park features, and the one they have in Flemington, I'm not sure how portable you could make them. Then again, they pack up amusement rides from Seaside into a tractor trailer. There's a few jobs we could create! A handful of people to cart it around, assemble/disassemble it, then supervise it.
Bernard Viggiani June 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Judging from the massive numbers of votes on the Recreation Poll, the growing number of parents and teenagers that show up at the recreation meetings and the fact that Skaters gathered hundreds of “written signatures’ in just a few hours going door to door I’d say that a significant number of residents are in favor of a Skate Facility to support this Sport. To those of you who are offering “Constructive” negative opinion and feedback and questions, Thank you, because these are exactly the type of issues that must be brought up and examined so we may create an asset instead of a liability. To the professional haters, naysayers, whiners and moaners spewing venom, I ask that you post your significant contributions to society, our community or the world at large, that somehow entitles you to shoot down other people’s ideas that you neither have the intelligence to conceive nor the talent to execute. Chances are you have nothing to report. Again, thank you to the voices of reason offering negative input in a civil manner.
jeff June 05, 2012 at 02:33 PM
If everyone is so worried about kids doing drugs at a skate park (cause they don't do it anywhere else) , build it next to the police station so the "druggie" kids don't show up. 
Deborah Smythe June 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM
SB Girl - Brilliantly said!
So Much to Say June 06, 2012 at 02:56 AM
We have a RIGHT as a taxpayer in this town to point out that this is NOT what Toms River Needs, We don't need our police overtaxed by babysitting this nonscense, we don't need the vandilism, the drug and alcohol use. I have spoken with a decision maker in TR and this is NOT going to happen.
Project Bluebeam June 06, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Anyone else old enough to remember the Monster Bowl in Seaside? Long story short, it closed because of lawsuits and insurance. The same thing will happen again if you build a municipal park. Skateboarding is a not so much of a sport as it is a counter-culture clique. Unlike surfing where the participants respect the environment, skaters are inclined to fight and destroy. Can we afford 24-7 surveillance (to deter the vandalism which will most assuredly occur) and a skate patrol to check ID's, and eject the unsafe, doped-up, or violent skaters? No.
Project Bluebeam June 06, 2012 at 03:10 AM
...and tell me again why my tax dollars should pay for kids to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko8a0qJQpJ8
Bernard Viggiani June 06, 2012 at 06:06 AM
* Skateboarders can be: Recreational, Athlete, and Professional. * It is being considered as an Olympic Sport. * The majority of injuries as in that video occur "OUTSIDE" a Skate Park. * .99.99% of Fatalities occur OUTSIDE a Skate Park. * Football and Basketball have many more times the injuries than Skateboarding. * Lack of proper planning and locating is cited as main cause of problems. * There are lots of successful Skate Parks. * Police spend less time on Nuisance calls * A properly planned Skate Facility can be free to skaters but also act as a revenue generator for the Township. *School Districts have begun Skateboard training in Gym Classes. *A Skate Park is one of the most cost effective recreational facilities a Town can create and maintain. *Skateboarders tend to be lean and fit with strong core muscle groups. *Skateboarding develops physical endurance, muscle groups and certain "skill sets" that are of benefit to military service. * The Military has trained soldiers in the use of skateboards in Tactical Urban Warfare Environments. * Skateboarders are as young as five and after forty many who continue switch to the "Long Board" continuing their physical fitness benefits. *Skateboarding meets EVERY mission objective of the Toms River Department of Recreation. *Skateboarding has Arrived and come of age. No law, regulation, or ordinances are going to scrub it out, and if your community does not have a skate park, your community IS the Skate Park.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 11:01 AM
Here is an update, reporting on the Recreation Committee meeting: http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/recreation-committee-moves-skate-park-forward
Robert Bressman June 06, 2012 at 11:32 AM
The problem I have with all this is, I live across from the Girls softball field, the parking lot lights are left on all night because the town fears there will be vandalism, they have a security truck that rides through the softball fields, they cut the grass 3 times a week, they pick up the garbage cans, and the town says the field fields draw a criminal element, we paid 7.3 million for 300 registered softball payers to play and as long as the open space tax isn't repealed how much is all of this going to cost? So if Girls softball draws a criminal element, what will skateboarding bring to an area. And how much is security going to cost for a skateboard park. The expenses don't end if you just build it, the expense just keeps growing once it is built.
max June 08, 2012 at 03:38 PM
@Washer.... it's more of a sport then baseball. when you play baseball, you run around the bases, play the outfield and you sit. When you skateboard, you are constantly moving where in baseball you're not.
Ron Winterfeld June 17, 2012 at 04:07 AM
It stinks to see that my elders stereotype skateboarders as drug users. I am 20 years old and I am a tax payer. I don't use drugs. I have a full time job. I pay bills, but I would love my tax dollars to go to a skatepark, because I'm a skateboarder
Ken June 17, 2012 at 04:34 AM
What I would like to see is Toms River keep wasting money so my taxes will stop going up

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