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Editorial

Original post made on Aug 28, 2009

Homeowners along First and Second streets and others in the area called Old Towne voiced concerns last week over plans by a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks to operate a holiday ice rink at Delucchi Park within eyesight and possibly earshot of their usually quiet neighborhoods. The proposed rink, which has the approval of the City Council, although in a different location, would be open in the afternoons and evenings most weekdays from mid-November to mid-January with longer hours on weekends and during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Those who objected to the Delucchi Park location are not curmudgeons trying to stop a wintertime recreational amenity long favored by downtown merchants and many others in the city. Far from it. They're longtime residents, some as long as 40 years, who have been active in community affairs but simply are disturbed that the city would allow a major ice rink that could attract 30,000 people to the site over the busy 60-day holiday season without telling them. Over the years, activities along the First Street corridor have increased with Farmers' Market, concerts and movies in the park, First Wednesday street parties that now extend on side streets toward First and soon a Firehouse Arts Center that will attract a regional crowd. An ice rink close to the heart of their community seems just too much, especially when no one knows how many will use it, how much noise it will generate from skaters and nighttime ice cooling machines and how many more cars will end up parking on Old Towne streets.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2009 at 9:05 am

The Civic Center and library area is not a good place for an ice rink. There would be too much chaos, and people who go to the library would have to deal with lack of parking and crowds. An ice rink does not belong next to a library.


Posted by SteveP, a resident of Parkside
on Aug 28, 2009 at 9:39 am

SteveP is a registered user.

What about the parking lot next to the old Dolmus store? Was this location even considered?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:34 am

Stacey is a registered user.

When I first read that the ice rink was going to be at Delucchi, I wondered what happened to the Civic Center location. Sure, I'll admit that the word "NIMBY" came to mind, but the hinge for me is the idea that the location got changed seemingly without notice.

I agree with this editorial that it should be moved back to the Civic Center/Library because that was what was approved and that was what the public had been given the opportunity to comment on.

The fact remains that there's no big plaza area in Pleasanton for events unless we knock down some buildings so location becomes problematic for this kind of thing. I wonder, could part of Main Street be closed off and put the rink there? Maybe it could be at St. Mary's between Main and Peter's. The Civic Center is really still within walking distance of Main so it should be suitable. If businesses downtown want the foot traffic from the rink to be closer to Main (i.e., at Delucchi) then putting the rink right next to the businesses by closing off the street seems reasonable.


Posted by not that location, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

The big deal for most of those who objected to the park location was the fact that there is no safe crossing at that corner to get kids across the busy cut-through traffic -- which will be happening in the dark during that time of year.
Before you scream NIMBY, think about what the city did. They allowed public comments and got approval for the parking lot location. With no comments or approval they decided to move it to the park. They had a "solution" to the parking issues. They planned to prohibit ANY parking on First and Second Streets. Sure, punish the people who live there by putting traffic, 24/7 noise, lights, etc, etc in the neighborhood and then tell the residents that the mitigation for parking problems is that they cannot park in their own neighborhoods. Those residents already deal with those issues on a short term basis and none of them that I know object to any of that. (So stop with the argument that they all want to kill everything downtown). With the Firehouse Center coming there is much trepidation about the parking issue but again, it will not be for 24 hours of every day during the whole holiday season. Yes 24 hours, the chilling equipment runs around the clock.
It seems that the perfect solution would be to use the fairgrounds or the Bernal property and have the merchants provide carriages as they propose to do now. I am not aware of any Main Street merchant who lives on First or Second St yet they were all willing to hold those neighborhoods hostage for more than two months. Their tune would change if the First and Second Street residents closed Main St for two months without even giving them a chance to comment.
Jeb is right on this one, that location was just not appropriate for many reasons.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:06 am

Stacey is a registered user.

not that location wrote: "So stop with the argument that they all want to kill everything downtown"

Who you talking to? There's no comments here (yet) along those lines.


Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:18 am

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

This is an interesting post to read. The statement "no one knows how many will use it" but earlier in the post you claim that a possible 30,000 people could at the location at any given time. I find this number to be exaggerated beyond belief. If you have gone to one of this outdoor skating rinks, such as the one in SF or downtown Sacramento, you'd know that there is maybe a couple hundred at most. In addition, these numbers happen on Friday evenings and weekends. This rink will not generate 30,000 people on a Tuesday evening at 7pm.

As for the first Wednesday street parties, maybe patrons walk on the public street, but the part itself does not extend beyond downtown. If you want to ask that the party be kept downtown, fine, but don't tell people that they aren't allowed to walk on a public street- it belongs to the city.

As I've stated before, why don't these people that are complaining about give the city council suggests as to where it can be moved, as something such as this could be great for the city. Do people have an objection to the large park next to the aquatic center? If not, then suggest it.


Posted by not that location, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Stacey, read the previous posts beginning with Jeb's article on Aug 19th. I don't know how to post the link but it is currently on pg 4 of the forum. I believe, from reading your posts, that you can listen to this debate and not jump to the conclusion that because we do not want THAT rink for THOSE hours with the attendant problems does not mean that we are "against everything downtown" as many posts hav stated.
PToWN94566, there are at least 5 suggestions for alternate placement in the posts on this page -- did you not read any of them?
The rink is to be at the parking lot this year but you can be sure that the merchants, the PDA and the city council will be trying to get it somewhere else next year. Perhaps they will be wise enough not to try another bait and switch to place it where it does not belong.


Posted by Mary, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Maybe the city has just moved too fast on this ice rink. The parking in the Civic Center really isn't any better than around First/Second Street. The library parking lot is full everyday from opening to closing, where will they park? You will have to add them into the mix of the ice rink participants. The downtown streets, Harrison, Augustine, Division, Rose are impacted by all the downtown events and the events held at the Fairgrounds. I have lived in the downtown area for 30 years. Back in the day this was not the ideal place to live, Since the upgrading of the downtown it seems everyone wants to be down here. That is fine, I am not complaining about the one day/few hour type events, but think of this ice rink, 60 days, 30,000 people expected...I think the city has moved too fast with this and maybe needs to pull back, plan a little better and try for the 2010 Holiday season.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Maybe we could put the ice rink in a nice park in the Amberwood/Wood Meadows area. If people want to go to the downtown we can contract with Black Tie and bus people to the downtown area.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 28, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Kate,

Think of the children who will suffer if this community doesn't support an ice rink at Delucchi Park!


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Aug 28, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Don't allow anything! Its a "quality of life issue" for God's sake.

Maybe we should put the ice rink in San Jose?

Put it in my back yard or in my neighborhood park. That would be great, we could actually use it and have fun.

Of course these people are not "curmudgeons" they are just really old and would never use an ice rink.

Ok, that sounded bad, but I guess maybe I'm not sure of what curmudgeon means, because that certainly sounds like one.

Ok, maybe there are real concerns, and maybe this issue has a real complaints, but let's face it, Pleasanton is well known for small groups of people getting their way base on being "vocal" and declaring "QUALITY OF LIFE." At least I can say that in Pleasanton our capitalist society is at work (pay for those votes please).


Posted by Kate, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Stacy-You are so right! I would hate for our children to suffer by not being able to ice skate during the winter months! However, why does the downtown get all the action? Most children live in neighborhoods so why can't we build the ice rink in a neighborhood? Just off the top of my head, we could put it at Kottinger Ranch, Kottinger Park, Tawny Park, Aquatic Center, Woodthrush Park, or Hansen Park. Seems to me that the downtown is a little over-rated. There aren't any NIMBY's in any of these areas, are there?


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Aug 29, 2009 at 12:09 am

Kate,

The problem is with your sarcasm. You are almost too logical in your argument, which makes your sarcasm seem almost ridiculous.

When you are in message boards, your sarcasm has to come over the top, like "if only the ice rink could be in kottinger park, then there would be absolutely no problems, everyone would support and welcome the rink....Kottinger park would probably pay a hefty sum to have the ice rink in their neighborhood"


Posted by Tom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 29, 2009 at 10:54 am

I am just wondering how much the downtown will get from this ice rink. I know if I bring my kids to the rink we would probably go to the yogurt shop or Cold Stone. We wouldn't be eating dinner at any of the restaurants. I am thinking most families would be the same. Also how many families will be going on school nights? Ice rink is a fun idea but maybe it should be in a more central location to families like ours. I didn't hear the sarcasm in Kate's post as Me Too, I think one of the larger parks might be a good idea.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 29, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The problem isn't with Kate's sarcasm. I'm curious why she chose to target my neighborhood for her poor attempt at trying to prove a point about NIMBY-ism. Did she even read what I wrote? Yes, Kate, it does look like NIMBY-ism, until the facts of the matter were reported better in the news.

Also, it would be pretty funny if the rink were in my neighborhood. Kate probably doesn't know that I play ice hockey. My family would be there every day since we could walk there. Hell, we could probably even make a little money selling parking privileges to our driveway.


Posted by Paulette, a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I like having a green patch of grass in the park just where it is, the way it is. It's a very pleasant place for people to meet and it just looks nice. Why change it? It adds to the peaceful quality of that whole area, just a few steps away from the downtown. It adds to the ambiance, I think. A rink would completely change that peaceful quality in that area. Although, I think the rink is a fun idea, It seems to me that there are plenty of others areas where it would be more appropriate to place an iceskating rink. As a child, I often went ice skating with my girlfriends. We'd take the bus up to the old rink at the Cliff House in San Francisco as well as another one that took us out to another rink in the avenues of San Francisco. I do wonder how much energy it takes to run an ice rink in a city with 100 degree weather at times; but, I suppose they could rig up energy efficient ways of doing that these days; and, knowing our city council and how concerned they are about the environment, I'm sure they've taken all of that into consideration too. So, I agree with the neighbors on 1st St. and in that area. It's way too much for that spot and would ruin the ambiance; but, it's still a great idea! They just need to find a better spot for it. I'm all for it, even though I got rid of my ice skates a few years ago.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Paulette,

You got the punchline. Having an outdoor ice skating rink in California capitalizes upon a highly emotional attachment folks may have with their childhood in another climate. It is like having a fireplace in a home that doesn't need a fireplace for warmth. People just like having fireplaces and sitting in front of the occasional fire to curl up with family. This is some sort of fad that came to California with the infusion of all the East Coasters during the dot com boom years.

Personally, I don't care. I'm more interested in the indoor ice rink at Staples Ranch.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

(You know, the same folks that brought Lacrosse...)


Posted by Jetson, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 3, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Why don't they put it by the Stoneridge mall in part of the parking lot, closer to families or even at the fairgrounds and have some sort of transportation to downtown via carriages, trollies or something. The person who said he would probably not eat or shop downtown with his kids except maybe hit the ice cream shop is right. Parents with smaller kids will stay with the kids at the rink, they are just not going to leave them and then they will just head home afterwards, stores close early. Parents with older kids will probably just drop them off and pick them up later. Not sure having an ice rink at the park is going to bring in more money. Downtown seems pretty busy to me. The stores there are mostly on the higher end and they are not the type of stores most families would shop at for everyday things, but at the mall that is another story.


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