Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Will skating survive in Pasadena?
I haven't written about this for a while -- and I get steamed when I do -- but if nothing is done, the rink in Pasadena may close. The rink is in a converted banquet hall behind the city's Civic Auditorium and it could become a victim of civic center expansion when its lease runs out.
That wouldn't be a problem if the Pasadena City Council had mustered the votes last year to build a new skating complex with two sheets of ice. But the Council balked at the expense and location in eastern Pasadena, with some members also failing to appreciate that a lot of their constituents like to ice skate.
That's why I'll vote for a lump of coal or any other inanimate object before I vote for Councilman Terry Tornek when he's up for reelection. I found his opposition to the new rink to be shortsighted, thoughtless, irresponsible and lacking in good leadership, nor did I think he did a good job explaining himself when I -- a constituent -- emailed him. If the city can build a dog park, they can build an ice rink and make it financially work.
Cut to this year. The rink's last hope may be to relocate next door to the site of a current giant tent structure. It's large enough to accommodate a full-size rink, whereas the current ice is about two-thirds the length of an NHL rink. It would also be a chance to add locker rooms and bathrooms that don't remind you of something you might find in a bus station in Oklahoma City.*
So the meeting should be interesting to see how far along those plans are and what political strings will need to be pulled to keep the rink in Pasadena. I'm not clear at this point whether it's possible to keep going in the current venue -- which I kind of like -- but I think everything must be done to keep a rink in Pasadena.
*When I was in junior high school, I attended a summer camp on wheels that entailed sticking 20 kids on a bus and sending them from Cincinnati to Los Angeles and back. On the return trip, we stopped at the Oklahoma City bus station -- I can't remember why -- and I still recall the bathroom was disgusting. This occurred in 1979.