How weird. PUSH's site no longer calls us the Houston DePressing.

Skating By

Barry Blumenthal was at it again today, beating his drums for the proposed public skate park in Houston proper. He and his group, Public Use Skateparks for Houston, aka


, have been trying to raise money to fund the park.

To date, they've raised $600,000 and need $1 million more. And they need that million before June 30, by which time if they don't have it, the word "downsize" comes into play.

The appeal for funds goes like this: Houston doesn't have AstroWorld anymore. Skateboarding is the third most popular sport for kids behind soccer and basketball. But Houston has no public skateparks. And police harass kids who skate out on the street and/or save them from being hit by cars on those same busy streets. Ergo: Houston is starting to suck as a place for kids.

But if we had a park for local skateboarders, not only would they be really happy, but all sorts of people from the "surf skate community" would descend upon Houston and a chance to skate at its park, Blumenthal says. People like Jason Lee, star of My Name is Earl, who just happens to be a pro skater, according to Blumenthal.

So what can you do? The city has donated land but as Blumenthal puts it: "The city's got a lot of land." Clearly unimpressed, he'd like a little cash, too. But he'll take money from you. Cash, credit card or check. Check-writers can make it out to the Houston Parks Board and in the memo line put: Central Skate Park Project. Send it to Houston Parks Board/2001 Kirby Dr./ Suite 814/ Houston, TX 77019.

It's tax deductible, too. $5,000 will get you your name on the donor wall. Come up with the missing million and they'll do just about anything for you. — Margaret Downing

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