Proposed Miami Skate Park Pits Skaters Against Preservationists | Feature | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Proposed Miami Skate Park Pits Skaters Against Preservationists

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Ten minutes before 7 p.m. on October 15, Stack parks his Chevy next to another white van in the driveway of a single-story house in Pompano Beach. A thin, middle-aged man with shoulder-length brown hair and bushy eyebrows greets Stack and Levy as they put on their helmets and grab their boards. "Wait till you see what is in the backyard," Kurt Massinello says. "You guys are in for a treat."

The trio strolls through the home's wood gate to find Massinello's 15-year-old son, Titus, riding the walls of an empty kidney-shaped pool. "Oh, man, Paul is going to be so disappointed he stayed up in Fort Pierce," Levy remarks. "This is going to be the highlight of the road trip."

For the next half-hour, Levy, Stack, Massinello, and his kid take turns catching air. The home's owner, Claude, who asked that his last name not be used, watches the skaters have their fun. Massinello informs that Titus competes in national invitationals. "We are forced to find empty pools or travel outside of South Florida because there are no proper skate parks for him to practice at," Massinello says. "I knocked on Claude's door four months ago. He let me pump the dirty water and scrape the sludge out so we could skate it."

Stack and Levy give the pool their seal of approval. Once the session is over, Levy reveals that the skate-park controversy had him contemplating leaving his new hometown. "Now this was fun," Levy says. "Finding this pool may convince me to stick around."

Rebecca Dittmar contributed to this report.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.

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