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Hazleton Councilwoman: Let's Take Down Basketball Nets At Playground, Put Locks On Fence

Hazelton Council Vice President believes the city needs to crack down on a park that's been the reason for some recent complaints.
Hazleton, Luzerne County - Living right across the street from the James Street Playground, in Hazleton, it's not uncommon for Donna Massa to lose a little sleep because of the basketball playing that happens at night there.

"It sounds like they're on the roof bouncing their balls," Massa said. "Something has to be done at night because it's rough!"   

Council Vice President, Jean Mope said she's gotten multiple complaints from people who live near the park who are sick of basketball players who use the park late at night and leave it a mess.

Mope is suggesting taking down the basketball nets for now and putting locks on the fences at night. She said it would be a temporary fix until cameras that monitor the park are replaced.

"It's like being a parent so to speak," she said. "If your children abuse something then they lose that privilege."

Mope told Eyewitness News that most of the people who leave the trash behind are in their late teens or early 20's. She said it's unfortunate younger kids would suffer, but she believes they have no other choice.

"We are very short on resources so this would be like a common sense approach," Mope said.

Israel Pagan, who uses the park when visiting friends, said he doesn't know where he would go to play basketball if they took the nets down.

"We always come here to have fun, play games, and challenge each other," Pagan said.
For now Mope's idea is only a suggestion. She said she's open to any other ideas to keep everyone happy.

"It's something that you could consider," she said. "What else are you going to do? "

Recently the Mayor of Williamsport took down the basketball nets there because of similar complaints.
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