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.
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posted Friday, August 28, 2009, 12:00 AM