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Curfew constricts teen shopping

Numerous students took a stand in efforts to reverse the appeal to constrict teens in the Shops at River Park, at a meeting held at Fresno State?s Satellite Union. Despite the superfluous amount of protestors, those who stepped to the microphone spoke few words to the crowd of 70 on Sept. 5.

The Rios Company representing Lance-Kashian Co announced the curfew, which stated no person under 16 would be allowed anywhere at River Park after 6 P.M. without an adult 21 or older, on July 13 and planned for instigation on Aug 3. However, the extensive debate between both teens and adults for and against the rule postponed the commencement date, which is still in the works.

?This unfair rule punishes all kids because of the actions of a few,? Howard K. Watkins, Fresno attorney, said.

Watkins attended the meeting with the constitution in one hand and his Juries Doctorate in the other, stating the curfew will cause both young and old to boycott River Park.

?I came to the meeting to express my freedom of speech,? Watkins said. ?This curfew definitely affects the rights of young people to be allowed in public places.?

An anonymous person from the Del Rey forum message board in CA joins those in support of the curfew.

?I think it is a smart idea and a fabulous way to get rid of the rude, impolite and obnoxious teenagers that hang around River Park,” anonymous said. ?I used to go into Borders until it was invaded by teenagers who don’t even buy anything. They just sit there and talk and congest the isles.?

Ashley Washington, 16, believes that the curfew will not promote mature teenage behavior, but deprive teens of a safer hangout.

?I have a problem with the curfew and them targeting teenagers,? Washington said. ?Where are all the teenagers supposed to go to be safe? They shouldn?t be able to ban us from anywhere. If you?re going to ban one group, ban everyone.?

Chanel Ruiz from the Rios Company Public Relations Firm for Lance- Kashian & Co., the managing company for River Park, attended to mediate between the community and River Park. Ruiz states the River Park administration wanted to set a venue for the community to discuss openly and freely.

?I came to the meeting to explore the issue of the River Park teen curfew,? Ruiz said. ?Our goal is to create a process that includes all the community, for and against.?

Ruiz contributes the curfew?s creation mainly from the complaints of business owners.

?Store owners were complaining kids were loitering either in their stores or right outside of them,? Ruiz said, ?deterring people who actually want to spend their money in the stores.?

Ruiz believes that the new curfew could also hurt the businesses of River Park, another controversial topic within the debate. Ruiz currently searches for another solution to the business problems.

?The curfew is stupid because it won?t be enforced by the police,? Kevin Damm, ?09, said. ?If it?s not going to be enforced, why have it in the first place? I don?t expect anyone to follow it.?

Henry T. Perea, Fresno City Council President, formed a task force to find solutions to the issue. The task force, made up of four area students, aims to solicit new ideas from those involved in the debate.

The next meeting will be held on Oct. 13 from 2-5 P.M. at the Cornerstone Church Convention Center on 1525 Fulton St., near Warnor’s Theater.

For more information, contact Lance-Kashian & Co. at (559) 438-4800 ext. 0.

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