* "Roller Rink Plan Spurs Neighbors' Concerns," July 23.
As a former planning and design supervisor for the Department of Recreation and Parks from 1963 to 1974, I am appalled that the department is considering installation of a Rollerblade hockey rink at Studio City Recreation Center. It was criminal enough that the basketball hoops were removed from the basketball court, but to consider the replacement of the courts with a rink is ludicrous.
The arguments that the 4 1/2-acre recreation center is already fully developed and the parking lot is too small to accommodate a roller rink stand on their own merits.
What I find exasperating is the "flavor-of-the-month" mentality. I recall the tennis-court fanaticism of the '60s and '70s, when we couldn't build courts fast enough to satisfy the craze. Today you can visit any Recreation and Park facility or subdivision and find the tennis courts underutilized.
The Rollerblade phase will reach its peak and subside in popularity just as quickly as Baskin Robbins has to change its flavor of the month.
Recreation and Parks has a mandate--to provide open recreation areas and activities that can satisfy the overall recreation needs of the community--not the needs of a current craze promoted by a very narrow and special-interest group of parents.
Children have always found the means to satisfy their roller-skating and skateboard needs without harm to themselves or relying on Recreation and Parks to satisfy their whims.
Let private enterprise build Rollerblade rinks just as they do ice-skating rinks, and when the craze is over, let them move on to the next craze.