Monday, August 2, 2010

Tonight is the night we find out if the Pasadena City Council definitely hates children, figure skaters and adult beer league hockey players

Wow. Has it really been almost three weeks since I've updated this thing? My bad. I got busy with actual employment and went AWOL on Puck Boy.

Which is a shame, because there's a lot to report: my team won its first game and I actually didn't completely suck in the game. More about that later this week, now that I've settled down a bit. But only a bit.

In the meantime, there's big news waiting to happen tonight when the Pasadena City Council meets and decides whether to relocate the current ice rink at the Convention Center to a new home next to the current rink.

All the details are in the previous post, but the bottom line is this: If the Council votes yes, my team gets to skate on a full-sized NHL rink next summer instead of the current elfin configuration. If the Council votes no, the current rink will lose its lease with the city's Convention Center in Sept. 2011 and skating will likely come to an end in Pasadena after 35 years at the current rink and many more years at a prior rink that closed in the early 1960s.

Attentive readers will recall that the City Council decided last summer not to build a new facility in Eastern Pasadena, saying they didn't like the location (under power lines, near residential homes--gasp!), revenue projections or cost (despite depressed construction costs due to the current economic meltdown). At the time they said they would look into renovating the current facility.

What was clear to this observer, however, was that some members of the City Council didn't take seriously the community's interest in the sport of ice skating. They weren't aware that the rink can get quite crowded and that having one small sheet of ice prohibits giving the time required to public skating, figure skating and hockey -- which, of course, helps inhibit the sport's popularity further.

I suspect some Council members believe that in sunny So Cal ice skating is merely a fringe activity that only the most brain-damaged residents enjoy. So it was best to ignore the issue or not take a chance on it, given that the city tends to skew older anyway.

Don't believe me? Check out these Census Bureau stats on the age of the population in Pasadena versus the entire United States -- Pasadena does have a statistically larger older population. The difference is more pronounced when you compare Pasadena to the L.A. metro area; Pasadena has three percent more people age 65 or over. And that's the same crowd that tends to vote more.

So we'll see how the vote goes tonight. I'm cautiously optimistic and looking forward to a full-sized rink, albeit one in a tent structure not exactly reeking with ambiance. But it would be nice to have an actual locker room instead of changing on the benches in front of the general public. I'm not too modest, but fiddling with athletic cup placement in front of a slew of five-year-old girl figure skaters seems like a visit to the police station waiting to happen.


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