Where should a public skating rink go?

Jam session is an opinion forum offering comments on issues from a group of Plymouth residents. It appears on the Forum pages in the Weekend edition of the OCM.

The newspaper poses a question to the group each week, and participants choose whether to comment. This column is designed to bring the voices of well-informed residents into the Forum page to address issues, one at a time.

Participants cross the local political spectrum and live throughout the town. Some are current or past Town Meeting representatives, and all are active in the community. We hope their diverse points of view will encourage discussion of the issues Plymouth faces.

 

Question of the week

The Plymouth Youth Foundation has purchased a portable skating rink and wants to set it up each winter for free public use. Its latest desired locations are Siever Field and the Training Green. What do you think of those sites and of the idea itself?

 

Pat Adelmann

Wow! This skating rink subject brings back memories. I grew up next to a playground where the football field was flooded in the winter. No going around in circles like today's skating rinks, we could skate anyway we wanted and do it all day long. It was so much fun. Then the MDC started building skating rinks and regrettably the flooding stopped.

An outdoor skating rink would be a great service to both young and old. Skating provides vigorous exercise, promoting healthy lifestyles. Siever Field seems like the perfect location, offering the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor activities and to engage the community. If Siever Field's neighbors are amenable to the skating rink and all the town agencies agree, then I support the Siever Field location. Good luck to the Plymouth Youth Foundation and thank you for your efforts to bring good old fashion fun to the youth of Plymouth.

Pat Adelmann has been a Plymouth resident since 1977and is a mother of five Plymouth Public School graduates, a proud grandmother of 12, a former School Committee member and a former Town Meeting representative.

 

Ed Angley

I don't think much of the idea. Find a private field somewhere.

Ed Angley is an attorney specializing in zoning and land use. He is a former Scout leader and coach.

 

Jay Beauregard

I would recommend that it be placed where there are the most young children that could walk there and use it. Older children can drive to a pond or bog to skate. Young ones have to walk or have someone drive them. The idea is a good one. As long as it isn’t put in an area that the children can’t get to on their own.

Jay Beauregard, born and raised in Plymouth, served four years in the Marine Corps and has worked for 38 years at a local company. He is a Libertarian who served three terms as a Town Meeting rep from Precinct 6.

 

Karen Buechs

A free ice skating rink for Plymouth at first seemed like a wonderful idea. A gracious gift, yet many wonder why the rink hasn't been erected. To our detriment, the world became a more complicated place. It stops good people from doing good things. I have no inside track, so my remarks are just a guess. Perhaps there are continued concerns over liability such as safety, environmental issues and responsibility. I thought these questions were addressed in the beginning satisfactorily but it seems questions remain. Too bad. If this gift is not realized it is our townspeople who will lose out.

Karen Buechs is a Town Meeting representative and serves as Chair of Precinct 7. She sat on the Manomet Steering Committee, Manomet Village Common Inc., Capital Outlay Committee and the Revenue Idea Task Force. She also served as Charter Commission member and on three Charter Review Committees. Along with her husband Ken, Karen has been a resident of Plymouth for 46 years.

 

Rick Caproni

Selectman Betty Cavacco has worked long and hard to get the already purchased (and paid for by the Plymouth Youth Foundation) portable skating rink installed somewhere in Plymouth. She is spot on trying to get a location in the downtown area.

The feckless school committee wanted armed security guards on site and has resisted many good proposals. I was horrified by the negativity of the school committee towards Betty and her committee a few weeks ago. Nathaniel Morton School grounds is a perfect site. The school committee has been obstructionist and uncooperative throughout the process. I am embarrassed for all Plymotheans for the poor behavior of all our school committee representatives. The administration seems silent and lacking in solutions.

This is an example of lack of leadership from town officials, boards and other speed bumps around town. Plymouth needs some people to get behind this initiative and make it happen. I want the entire BOS, Fincom, COPC, CPA, PACC and others to pick up the pace and make this skating rink a part of the fabric of the thriving community all of us desire.

Rick Caproni is a Town Meeting representative from Precinct 15, a retired equipment leasing executive and a self described political activist.

 

Birgitta Kuehn

And I'm free, I'm free fallin'

(Free fallin', I'm-a free fallin')

Yeah I'm free, free fallin'

Tom Petty’s classic song blares as the skaters lose themselves in the the incomparable feeling of gliding on smooth ice – and suddenly on their xxxx, “fallin’, free fallin.” We used to call it “payin’ the ice gods.” Once you paid enough you stayed on your skates.

I know I’m dating myself, but skating was a big, big, part of my life. It’s magical. It’s got it all – family, friends, hard work, athletic skill, dreaming, ambition and outdoors – cold, crisp outdoors. Think of New England tradition and outdoor skating. The oil paintings with mufflers and woolens, kids, spired churches in the background. Our ponds don’t freeze winter-long any more and our Zamboni-air indoor rinks are missing that critical component. Thanks to Betty Cavacco and the Plymouth Youth Foundation! Plymouth needs an outdoor rink – one that’s, at times, monitored so that hockey skaters don’t push out the little kids and families; so that tweens and teens sliding on their soles don’t bump the little learners. Come on, Plymouth, make up your mind! Let’s give our kids the place to have some winter fun!

Birgitta Kuehn is a recently retired clinician and healthcare executive. She serves as chairwoman of the Board of Health and alternate to the Planning Board. Her commitment to volunteering spans local conservation and environmental groups, PACTV “The Plymouth Show” and the League of Women Voters.

 

Mike Landers

I can't imagine that the slope of the Training Green would allow it, but Stevens Field would be perfect. I am very supportive of this; I just hope that the weather will be cold enough, long enough for it to be completely successful. Still, a great Idea. My grandkids will be there.

Mike Landers is a Town Meeting representative and is the founder and producer of Project Arts of Plymouth. He is also the owner of Nightlife Music Company and is a performing musician.

 

Gerry Ouellette

The skating rink would be an excellent addition to the town’s winter activity for all residents and especially for the town’s youths. Of the location choices, Forges Field is too far from the town center, rendering it in some ways an impractical choice. I am not familiar with the Training Green, but I do drive by Siever Field quite often and it is very accessible from the town center. The idea of the skating rink is one that should be supported whole heartedly by the town. I remember in my teens when the town of Adams’ DPW would built temporary berms every winter and flood regions in all of the ball fields for use as public skating rinks. Perhaps some aspects of the “good old days” are much better than todays' “days”.

Gerry Ouellette is a retired aerospace engineer and serves as a member of the Cable Advisory Committee. He is also a member of several local fraternal clubs.

 

David Peck

I love the idea. Kids and kids at heart will really enjoy having a community rink. As to locations, they need at a minimum to be large enough, be flat, and have available parking. Therefore, Siever Field is a good candidate (flat, good size, parking) while the Training Green has none of those advantages. Your article also included Forges Field, which clearly has plenty of flat open space and nearby parking. An advantage of this location is more geographically central to serve all of the town with no nearby households who might be bothered. I still think Stephen's Field could be an option (if the rink will fit on the softball field); it doesn't flood that often. Brigg's Playground in Manomet might fit, but has no adjacent parking. I don't think any school recreational areas should be used, as those should be primarily available to the kids during school hours. But Plymouth Youth Foundation, do not be discouraged! Find a location and give it a try...we certainly will lace up our skates and take a spin.

David Peck is the retired director of Facility Planning at Boston Children's Hospital. He serves as the chairman of the Plymouth Building Committee and vice-chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a Town Meeting representative from Precinct 4.

 

Roger Silva

Siever Field would be a good location. It’s underutilized as it is! I don’t know about the elephant that got loose, but that field was certainly utilized in the ‘50s and ‘60s .

Roger Silva is a former five-term Plymouth selectman who began public service as an elected Town Meeting member. He has served on the Advisory and Finance Committee and two charter commissions.