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Posted on Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

An outdoor skating rink in downtown Ann Arbor? While group pushes idea, mayor pushes back

By Ryan J. Stanton


The city-owned Library Lot on Fifth Avenue in downtown Ann Arbor, as viewed from the downtown library, where Alan Haber and others want to see an outdoor skating rink happen yet this winter.

Ryan J. Stanton |

If it's going to be a while before any kind of development happens on the Library Lot in downtown Ann Arbor, why not test its potential as a community gathering space in the interim?

More specifically, what about an outdoor ice skating rink? What about a Spring Party in March? What about an Earth Day festival in April? What about another block party in July?

Those are all ideas longtime community activist Alan Haber is asking members of the Ann Arbor City Council and the Downtown Development Authority to consider.

In collaboration with other members of a grass-roots group called the Library Green Conservancy, Haber plans to deliver a proposal for an outdoor skating rink to the DDA in the coming days.

"We're very close to putting the proposal in their hand," he said.


Alan Haber

Ryan J. Stanton |

Supporters of the idea have privately raised about $25,000 in pledges, Haber said, and they're hoping the DDA will agree to chip in a matching contribution of $25,000 to make a synthetic ice rink on the Library Lot (the surface parking lot above the city's new underground parking garage on Fifth Avenue) a reality yet this winter. He said it would be between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet.

An overall budget of about $50,000 would cover all costs, including at least one staff person at all open times, along with volunteers, and liability insurance to protect the city, Haber said.

"This would be open skating in downtown Ann Arbor on artificial ice," Haber said. "A place where people could bring their ideas about ultimately what they would like to see on this property."

DDA Chairwoman Leah Gunn said she hasn't yet seen a formal funding request from Haber's group, so she didn't feel comfortable commenting.

Gunn said the DDA was directed by the City Council to make the top of the underground parking garage a surface parking lot, and so that's what it did last year.

"We're doing what council has told us to do," Gunn said, suggesting doing anything different with the site likely would require council approval.

Gunn recalled when Ann Arbor-based Dahlmann Apartments Ltd. in 2009 offered to give the city at least $2.5 million to develop a town square/urban park on the Library Lot, including an outdoor ice skating rink, and the city turned down the offer, saying it didn't meet the city's goal of seeing a positive financial return from the site. City officials also cited concerns about ongoing maintenance costs.

Mayor John Hieftje said the idea of a skating rink on the Library Lot sounds nice in concept, but it would be expensive and couldn't happen without an extensive planning process.


John Hieftje

"It doesn't seem like a good use of resources," he said. "I wouldn't vote for that."

Haber said the rink — comprised of interlocking plastic panels on a level platform — could be assembled within two weeks and would take up only a portion of the 33-space lot, which is nestled between Earthen Jar and the Ann Arbor District Library on Fifth Avenue.

He said it could operate through the winter, and because there's no need to worry about ice melting, it could continue into the spring and summer if it's working out and people like it.

"After the winter changes to spring and summer, maybe this would be a neat thing and people would want to keep it, or we could take the ice off and it could be a dance floor, or the whole thing could be disassembled and we could maybe plant grass," Haber said.

The DDA recently completed a roughly $100,000 planning process called Connecting William Street that resulted in recommendations for private development on five city-owned properties downtown, including high-density, mixed-use development with a lodging or office focus on the Library Lot.

Haber said it looks as though in the short-term there will be no sale or request for proposals for development, so he doesn't see why it can't be used as a public gathering space for now.

The Library Green Conservancy, which Haber is working with, has pressed city officials to consider transforming the Library Lot into a downtown central park complete with grass and trees.

Hieftje and DDA officials have pressed back, saying they're not certain that's the best use of the site, though they say a public plaza likely will be developed on the southwest corner.

"But if we want a larger 'green' park downtown, there is a better place than the roof of the parking garage," Hieftje said. "Why not a site where trees aren't set in pots so they can actually grow tall and where there can be more than a few inches of soil?"

He suggested transforming the parking lot at the corner of Main and William into a green space with outdoor seating, and having the Palio restaurant open up to it.

Hieftje said it seems unrealistic to think that if the Library Lot was made into a temporary park that it ever would be possible to do anything else with the site after that.

Haber agreed with the mayor.

"Once you let people onto it, they won't want to go off," he said.

Hieftje thinks there are plenty of green spaces on the State Street end of downtown, such as the University of Michigan's Ingalls Mall where the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is held, another park on Washington Street next to North Quad and the Central Campus Diag.


Ann Arbor-based Dahlmann Apartments Ltd. in 2009 offered to give the city at least $2.5 million to develop this town square/urban park on the Library Lot, including an outdoor ice skating rink, and the city turned down the offer, saying it didn't meet the city's goal of seeing a positive financial return from the site. City officials also cited concerns about ongoing maintenance costs. The proposal is no longer on the table, but a grass-roots group now has hopes of making a smaller-scale artificial ice rink happen on the site.

He agreed Ann Arbor needs more parks/plazas in the Fifth Avenue and Main Street areas of downtown. And in a more perfect world — without financial constraints and no need to prioritize — the city could move forward on making that happen right away, he said. "But of course there are financial constraints on our parks," Hieftje said, suggesting the city's general fund dollars are needed elsewhere.

Hieftje said the city's parks system has been steadily expanding for years, and the city now has 156 parks covering about 2,200 acres.

"The feedback I have been getting from many residents is we need to take care of the parks we have now," Hieftje said.

"That said, there are already a couple of other new parks in the pipeline ahead of a big new park downtown. There are three in the Allen Creek Greenway right along the edge of downtown. We are finally seeing some progress on the greenway and now is not the time to step back."

The city hopes to develop its first major greenway park at 721 N. Main, and it's planning on applying this year for grant funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Other greenway parks are planned for 415 W. Washington and the corner of First and William.

Given the city's experience with Liberty Plaza, a mostly concrete park at the corner of Liberty and Division that regularly attracts drug users and homeless people, a new large downtown park is something the city needs to make sure it gets right, Hieftje said.

Appropriately, he said, the city's Park Advisory Commission is now in the process of examining the issue of where to put more parks/plazas downtown.

"The parks commission is studying this issue and they have a subcommittee assigned, and it think we need to let them do their work," Hieftje said, cautioning against creating another public space downtown before it's fully planned out. "We can't afford another Liberty Plaza."

Hieftje proposed this instead: "I wonder if Mr. Haber and friends would be willing to work with parks and the DDA to take on Liberty Plaza for a year or two and see what they can do to make it vibrant and inviting beyond the Sonic Lunch days when a couple of hundred people are there. The plans they have to make a parking lot function as a vibrant park should work even better in an actual park."

Haber's response: "I only have so much energy. And I think what we need is to create a community space, and Liberty Plaza is not really large enough."

If Haber can get approval from the city, he wants to hold a Spring Party for all Ann Arborites March 21-24 on the Library Lot, followed by an Earth Day festival April 20-22. He also proposes rerouting the Fourth of July parade to end at the Library Lot for a community gathering and picnic.

"Take the cars off and let the people on and see what will happen," Haber said. "Until you do it, you can only imagine. I imagine it would be really beautiful."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

A skating rink? What's this hippie smoking? More mixed use restaurant/office space! Or a high rise condo that's not for students like 111 North Ashley!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

I propose a strip club and/or casino! The center of it can have palm trees and shuffle board which will be a hit in the elder community.

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

What was Haber smoking when he thought that the DDA would contribute $25,000?

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

This is a waste of money, there is already an outdoor ice rink in Ann Arbor: Buhr Park. If you haven't been there I highly suggest going, the employees are wonderful, and it is easily the best ice I have ever skated on. They have a great Zamboni staff. Also synthetic rinks are very low quality, and if it isnt cooled from underneath this rink would only be able to be open a handful of days out of the year.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Anyone who could oppose this idea for this city does not have the city's best interests in mind, or is simply completely out of touch with what ann arborites really want.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 2 p.m.

I'm an Ann Arborite and I definitely do not want an ice skating rink. Older townies need to get on board with Ann Arbor's expansion and development or get out of the way. There are already a number of parks in the city that need more funds and attention. Besides, there is already an outdoor rink in Buhr Park!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Ice staking in the winter and maybe roller skating in the summer or lawn bowling.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

Ann Arbor doesn't have any adult entertainment? I propose a strip club!

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

you need a lawn to lawn bowl on...


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:12 a.m.

Thanks @Phew for the correction that the proposal is for an artificial ice rink. Anyone have any idea on the cost/maintenance, replacement frequency, etc? Even with artificial ice, the library lot is a poor choice for a community gathering place and it wastes the investment and planning for that space.

Dr. Rob Borer

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

An outdoor skating rink is a great idea and already being done in Saline and Dexter. No need to spend big bucks on a study - simply have Ann Arbor officials talk to local government in Saline and Dexter. There are no major costs other than the rink itself. The biggest factor is mother nature. Many days in an AA winter temps are too high to keep ice frozen - so instead you have a pool. But, the days that do cooperate are great family fun. We love using the rink in Saline. I think having one in AA would be a great idea.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

Alan Haber for mayor!!!!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

Let me guess, Haber's child alias username?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

An outdoor skating rink downtown is basically live, public art. And certainly more beautiful than what we have at our public buildings now. The DDA should be happy to support it.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

Lousy idea for that space. There's nothing surrounding the lot that faces it - even the library opens away from the plaza. It's totally inappropriate for that space. Read Doug Kahlbaum's article a few days earlier. There are better choices for pocket parks in AA. I skate and I've skated at Buhr for years. The number of people who come out to skate now has declined a great deal in the last 25 years. Most who come rent skates. Are you going to have a skate rental vendor? The park rinks are mostly funded by hockey rentals. Who's going to pay for the zamboni to resurface the rink? 2000 sq ft is a joke. Do you really think Ann Arbor will be an attraction because there's a dinky rinky downtown that is sometimes frozen in January and February? We're reading all the time that there is no office space downtown for large companies. How about a large mixed use building with a few large office floors, residences or hotel, first and second floor shops, and a second floor plaza connected to the library - like the Gehry designed performance center in LA.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

Really, resurface artificial ice?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:22 a.m.

Mr. Mayor, can you ever think outside your box??This was suppose to happen when City Hall was rebuilt !Never happened. Why is everything high rises with no green happening? Where are the gardens on roof tops? This man raised private pledges he not asking for much accept to allow children, teens and families and students to come together and have fun. What happened to fun in Ann Arbor like when I was a child,Wow we have very little in the way of entertainment .We use to be able to swim at Gallup windsurf at Gallup, Ice skating rinks with real beef Hot Dogs/ chili and snacks. Even though Food sales are highest in the summer and were a money maker at the pools you took those away then we seemed to have all kinds of problems . What really does the city have to offer teens and disabled families , We children accept asphalt and highrises and parking garages . Woooooooo !! Face it it really belongs to U of M .


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Ah, sailboarding at Gallup! Nobody believes I used to do that there!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Real Beef Hot Dogs!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

Permanently block off 2 or 3 blocks of Main Street to automobiles, and put the ice rink there. That would be a big pedestrian friendly location, unlike a barren parking structure roof top. Lots of room for dining and events, also. See if that money for the ice rink from private sources is still available when it doesn't block a competing hotel.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

That's a great idea! Skating as a new form of transportation, who would have thought.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

Cars drive there.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:55 a.m.

Sounds great, I wish Ypsi would do something like this.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Ypsi can't maintain its one public pool. Good luck.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:09 a.m.

I'm would bet money that Haber is an environmentalist and subscribes to the theory of global warming. My question is why would he want an ice rink?


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

The ice rink takes up space that mother earth would like to be natural. If it is artificial it is carbon based. How can that be good for the environment. They should tear up all pavement and return it to it's natural state of weeds..................that would also reduce run-off, create less carbon from construction workers driving there, etc.......

Alan Haber

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:52 a.m.

Of course i believe it is basic human responsibility to be stewards of the environment, to care about the consequences of human actions, and to do everything possible to leave the world livable for the next generations. The reality of climate change is hardly a question here. We are proposing a relatively modest and very practical project for the next 2 months or so, to see how it works and whether people want to continue it. As for the question, why would i want an ice rink: because i think it would be fun. because this is land owned by the people, of which i am one, and i object, as do many, to it being turned into a parking lot when so many better uses are possible, and because everyone, everyone, i have talked to about it gets a big smile on their face, except for the dour politicians on the City Council and DDA who sit impassively when i address them in the public time at their meetings and seem schooled in caution and the wish i would do something else, somewhere else with my time and energy.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

"Synthetic ice rink", @Mike. Actually the perfect ice rink choice in times of theoretical global warming.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 12:46 a.m.

I don't think this is necessarily a bad idea, but I strongly oppose the idea of using DDA funding or any public dollars to do it. I am tired of public funds being used on great ideas but driving every day over huge potholes on the roads . If it is that great of an idea, continue the private fundraising and enough people will come forward to join....


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

In my opinion have roads that cars can actually drive on is "developing the city".


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

But if the DDA were disbanded then those property tax dollars that they are skimming could go into the general fund and be available for the entire city. You could even fix awful roads with it.

Alan Haber

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:18 a.m.

The DDA mission and its funds are for the improvement of downtown. They have many partnerships with downtown businesses, the transportation authority (about $600,000) and other worthy works. A skating rink and associated activities are a worthy work deserving of public support to match voluntary efforts and contributions of individual Ann Arborites. The knowledge gained from the actual experience of this experiment would be worth far more than the theoretical imaginings of markets and future demands from high paid professional consultants. The city streets and their maintenance, other than downtown, are a whole different pot hole of money, with its own problems not related to this project at all. Any individuals willing to contribute funds, or help, please give me a call, 734 761- 7967 or write,


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

It's not a crazy idea. Kids don't know how to skate because there aren't enough places to go. As a kid, I learned how to skate down the street from my house at the Burns Park of the best parts of my childhood. There is something different about skating outside - it's magical. I'm sure it won't happen, the powers that be can't quite seem to make anything worthwhile work. Which is terribly sad.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

If you want magical, take your kids to Disney World. Skating is luxury, not a necessity. Having a program to teach kids to ride their bikes is more important than knowing how to skate.

Scott Reed

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

Anything is better than a parking lot. But what we really need is more people living and working in the downtown, not this kind of gimmick. We need dense, mixed-use development there, not an ice rink.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

The postage stamp size of downtown because of all the historical designations means sites like the library lot need to be high density. I don't see Alan actually saying where the other properties are. There really aren't many.

Alan Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

other property downtown can be more densely developed, with residence and shops, etc. but this need not, should not be everywhere. these new residents and workers deserve some amenity too. the question is, do you want to pave it all? or, in the all, do you want an open place inviting to all people of ann arbor, and visitors? that is what the campaign for a library green, community commons, town square is all about.

Alan Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

I am glad for the many positive comments about a skating rink and other public uses for the top of the parking. The City Council is delaying any decision about their ultimate final decision and is waiting to hear advice from its commissions: parks, energy, sustainability, environment. While they wait, people could experiment with various public uses. Artificial ice is a modern plastic material widely used for year round skating. Advantage Sports on Stadium as a small rink of the stuff, if people want to see it. It does not require expensive refrigeration systems. While the city does have (real) ice rinks at Buhr Park out Packard, and Veterans Park by Maple, and the Cube on Scio Church is a private facility, our inquires at these 3 places have indicated that most of the ice time is taken by teams for hockey and very little time is available for open skating. The wide smiles wherever we have inquired indicate a wide desire. The purpose is not simply to provide a recreational activity, it is to provide it downtown, to make downtown more interesting and vital. Skating is fun to do; fun to watch, if you don't want to do it; and the hot roasted chestnuts would be good for all. The creativity of the DDA is narrow at best. Their $100,000 year long, consultant rich process to develop an integrated plan for the 5 downtown city properties has done no better than say build big everywhere. Even the Mayor's maybe good idea of a public place at Main and William. by Palios was beyond their imagination. They discounted all public comment for a central multi-use park and commons on the surface of the library lot underground building. It would seem an experimental, interim public use would be a good idea, to see what people liked and how it worked, a no-brainer as they say. If the leveled platform and artificial ice didn't work out, it could be disassembled and moved for use somewhere else. No loss. The great gain would be many new ideas and good fun learning.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Alan, ever consider running for mayor?

music to my ear

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

hi Alan, it would be great for local businesses too they also could start an annual winter-fest in A2 I feel it is a awesome idea.

music to my ear

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

I think this would be a great place for families, young couples ,However A2 ice cube wont be too happy if it were to be built. actually everyone would love it


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

When I look at that drawing of the Dahlmann proposal, it breaks my heart. It is criminal that the city turned that proposal down and I'm thinking it's because they had already promised Valiant that they could build their conference center. Clearly not the will of the people.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

When I was little, my church flooded a low- lying section of land with water, and it froze naturally. I loved skating there for free, with my hand-me-down skates. It cost the church almost nothing, too. We got shut down when too many people used the church to warm up. I thought coming in from the cold was okay, myself. To keep costs down, don't use refrigeration; just flood an area, and then people can skate --weather permitting. Use private donations as much as you can. Just beware that skaters will look to warm up somewhere, and plan for it.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

Alan - is the warm up place you propose covered under the $50,000 budget? Do you plan to use firewood as a source of heat or rely on donations of energy from DTE? Or an even more colorful idea is to have solar panels. Or we can have citizens pull their Prius' up to the hut and use their engines for a battery.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

Kate - if your church turned into a warming hut, what do you propose the library will be used as? Should we just shut that down too when it gets too crowded?

Alan Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

many people remember the old days when the city or individuals could just flood a flat field and, presto a winter skating rink. this winter we actually have cold days in a row. last winter there were few such, and the future seem likely to be warmer than colder. the downtown library lot is not flat, it would need to have a level platform built to support the ice, artificial or real. we would certainly have a warm up place

Jon Wax

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

not a bad idea, but not a good one. sort of abland one. i suggested before we would do better with an amphitheatre for live performance/speaking. between music, stage and speeches alone, i think that place would be booked solid for years. ice skating? sounds like a wast of money to me. ask yourselves which would do better during art fair: an amphitheatre with live performances or an ice skating rink? i'll even go one step further: dog park. i'm sure that many dog owners would LOVE that spot for a dog park where the kids could roam around off leash and do their yada yada. and it would be within walking distance of the rest of the city proper so i date say it would be full ALL the time. or a grocery store. really... kroger? buschs? anything? i dunno man, skating rink seems very specific and very limited. there's tons of small parks with ponds in the area. i don't see anyone skating on thurston pond the way we used to when we were kids. anyway you guys don't let your kids out of the house as it is. not really sure having a skating rink would change that. Peace Wax


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Low cost experiment of $50,000? I'm scared to ask what your idea of a high cost experiment is. And as for the people you asked that like ice skating, where did you take your poll? Let me guess an ice rink or an elementary school? Obviously those people like skating otherwise they wouldn't be there.

Alan Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

i don't know what "abland" is on the spectrum of ideas. This is a low cost experiment. i never knew there were so many people who liked skating until i started asking. In the long run, performance space and meeting space and other good ideas are what i hope the City Council will come to embrace, but that is all waiting for them to make up their minds. These things are more permanent and more expensive. The skating is relatively simple, with volunteers putting it together, asking for private donations to be matched by city, DDA demonstration grant funds. For something like this downtown, i bet many of those parents you speak of would let their kids out of the house, and come with them too.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

In building this skate rink, does the city hope to draw the homeless away from Liberty Square?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

I like stores, offices, and jobs but I'm a crazy person.

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 10:01 p.m.

@genetracy finaly a Democrat that relizes that having a job is a Republican trait


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

Realistic, not republican. They both have a bunch of r's, e's, a's, and i's so I can understand how your confused.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

The things you mention are just so, well Republican.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

got enough already. turn it into a eating area for people whom want to eat outdoors. just put in tables and trash cans. keep the begging people out or it will be a waste of money.

An Arborigine

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

Let's take a look at that photo. What would be replaced, a silly parking lot, parking spaces that downtown is already short of? Oh, how about we all ride our bikes downtown and go skating, as if!

G. Orwell

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

I still think a two tiered park would be a good idea and resolve the park vs. high rise battle. You can have a high rise on the site and a good size park by building the second tier of the park next to the open space (southwest corner) and extend it above library drive. By doing this, you could have a park twice the size.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

I love the idea of a skating rink, however synthetic ice is worthless. I grew up in A2 and like someone else said, there used to be ball diamonds and such which were flooded with warming was a great place for kids to go growing up.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

Why do you say synthetic ice is worthless? Do you have a reference? Why do you love the idea of a skating rink? There are lots of ideas I love but I wouldn't saddle the DDA (the downtown business owners) with my loved ideas.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

This is an amazing idea! I am terrible at skating, but I think it would be fun to go and do this anyway! I really hope this passes!

Odile Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Yes this piece of cemented land is very ugly and sad. It is public land, that means people own it. People want a park, a festival area, garden, benches, playground, chess tables.... Let the people decide, empower the imagination for beauty, and shared activities. Also children should have a playground or something to do in town. A skating ring is a good place to start. Cars have four floors to be parked, do we need them in top too? Care for your town, get involve!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

The structure is a place for visitors to park while bringing money to local businesses. Would you suggest that we have all of them use public transportation on a Friday night from Pioneer High School to get downtown? I'm sure they'd love that. Great idea!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

Haber for Mayor. He has more concern and a better feel for the heartbeat of this town. The mayor is in la la land buying foundation farmland and trying to add more neighborhood parks we cannot afford to maintain. Downsize the farm program, close unused neighborhood parks. Unbelievable an offer of 2.5 was ever turned down when no clear head had a better idea. Was the offer not made public when it should have been?


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

Let me guess, this is Haber's alias username?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Buhr Park, outdoor skating rink. Done. Townie Party though not in March, done. Earth Day celebrations at Gallup Park each year, done. And this is a "new" idea?


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.



Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:02 p.m.

Another great idea that once built, our town's corps of professional bums will do their best to make unusable except for other bums, like both other public areas there(AADL. Liberty Plaza) there.

Barbara Clarke

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

The time has come for those of us in the Ann Arbor community to communicate to the elected officials that there is immense support for the proposals articulated by Alan Haber and his colleagues. I, as a member of the Gray Panthers of Washtenaw, know that our group is in favor of the community use of the "Library Lot". I would be willing to add to the funding already collected for the skating rink . . . I call upon others who want to see the "Library Lot" project reflect community usage and community input. Come on Ann Arbor, we, the concerned citizens, know what we want.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

We already have an outdoor ice rink: Buhr. It is wonderful!


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

Buhr Park is near Cobblestone farm as well as rolling green pastures. Are you not able to think of any activities to engage in at an actual park, or must you be surrounded by concrete structures and obnoxious liberals to tell you what is fun and social?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:35 a.m.

@Phew, There are many things that would be nice.... but I don't see an ice rink downtown as a very compelling or wise investment especially on the little bit of land that is not historically protected - or owned by the UM.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

It is wonderful. But, it would be nice to have one downtown near other activities also.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Mayor John Hieftje said the idea of a skating rink on the Library Lot sounds nice in concept, but it would be expensive and couldn't happen without an extensive planning process. Translation: We would have to hire a consultant from Switzerland at $50,000.And it was not the mayors idea so forget it!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Oh no, they wouldn't be from overseas. More like from Burns Park.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

My thoughts exactly. Also..on GR least that City is not dominated by Democrats!! Maybe that is part of A2's balance!! :)


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

Whatever. Just, please, no consultants. No endless planning for aneasily removable experiment. Thank you.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

Encouraging people to bike to work isn't the only way to promote fitness in downtown Ann Arbor. I love the ice rink idea.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Bums don't skate... perfect !!!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

But, the bums might steal your shoes while you are skating.

Tim Hornton

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Sounds like a good idea but AA shouldn't be hasty in doing this. Plan this thing out right and it could be another feather in the hat for michigan's second best city... Behind Grand Rapids of course.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

He is right, GR has much more to do then AA and is a real city. The big employers in GR are not exempt and they still contribute to the city.

David Paris

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

Tim, nice jab, but the last time I was in G.R., I couldn't wait to get back to Ann Arbor, it wasn't much better than Toledo, or Jackson.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Hieftje is the real problem. We don't need studies or pay a firm millions in consulting fees. I drive by an ice rink just about everyday on the corner on Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd. & Wagner And it's in a back yard. I bet they didn't do any "studies or pay a firm millions in consulting fees" they just did it. Do they still have the rink next to the Northside community center?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

No they don't. It was a great neighborhood gathering place, but it disappeared around the same time Heiftje became involved with City Council, curiously. Probably felt that there was too much chance of a lawsuit or some such nonsense. The city used to flood my schoolyard when I was a kid ( different city) and it was awesome. I wiped out and got four stitches in my eyebrow, and my parents would never have dreamed of suing. We live in different times, that is for sure. But we can't let this mayor and council plan and scheme all the fun out this city. I say yes to this downtown park idea, and bring back the Northside ice rink, too!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Back in the 70's staff of the parks department would come to your house and put in ice rinks in the backyard. I learned how to skate, play hockey and figure eights while growing up in the "Crescents".


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

too expensive ?? wasn't building a huge underground parking structure cheap?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Who will pay for the skates needed for the homeless?

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.


Ron Burgandy

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Let's solve two issues at the same time.....How about a combination Dog Park/Ice Rink for those dogs who like to skate? You would definately double the income on skate rentals. Just make sure it's not located next to a church.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Hmmmm...well, I thought it was funny. Perhaps you went too far when you mentioned the church. You have to remember the vast majority of Ann Arbor residents respond how they think they should...not with how they really feel. They probably thought it was funny, too, but are afraid to admit it.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Why not let the dogs use the alleged art fountain that the city wasted so much money to build.

Michigan Man

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

RB - Multi-tasking in your brain! Very solid idea!

Tim Hornton

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

Ha ha worst and most unfunny comment probably ever.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

An outdoor skating rink downtown? Yes. Absolutely. It's a fantastic idea. Ann Arbor doesn't get a lot of snow (skiing sucks), but it is fairly cold during the winter -- so skating seems like a great idea.

Kai Petainen

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

racerx.... there are other skating rinks in the city.... yes... ... but... i've been to quite a few towns that have downtown skating rinks... and it can be a nice benefit to a city. students could easily walk over, skate... go out for a bite to eat....


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

Guess you've never been to Buhr Park.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

he used to have a lot of snow

glenn thompson

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Here is the location of a good video on public spaces: It is a bit long but anyone interested or involved in planning public spaces should watch it. It is bit disturbing how many of the DDA proposals and those by local architects seem to ignore the observations and conclusions of this study.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

And we could host the first-ever urban pond hockey tournament - the Garage Mahal Classic!

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

the rink will be no where near the size of a hockey rink, so unless this is a tournament for ants its not going to happen


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

Yes! the Basement Boondoggle Blast!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

No money for parks, but the city can start a bike sharing program for the U of M students. (look at where the kiosks will be)

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

if you want there to be more money for parks, than go out and support the parks that we already have in Ann Arbor, like maybe one of our many pre-existing ice rinks.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

This is a great idea. I don't know of any community that has a year-round outdoor skating facility. It would draw people all the time. It could be a central area for festivals and events for the downtown. It would be diverse, cosmopolitan and lively. Surrounding businesses would benefit, the community would benefit, children would benefit. So why is Hizzoner opposed? Must be he won't turn this piece of land over until he can get a piece of the action through taxes and other fees from another cold steel and glass monstrosity in tribute to the ugly thing they now call city hall.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

Alright Ann Arbor, its time to pat ourselves on the back! We must be full of creative people that have such colorful and inventive ideas to have come up with such an original idea! We must have gotten so caught up in dreaming to consider that the reason that no community has a year-round outdoor skating facility is because it is clearly a horrible idea that not only makes no sense financially, but doesn't generate enough interest among the public due to the horrible "ice" surface associated with synthetic ice. I <3 Ann Arbor.

David Paris

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

A nice idea, if not a bit Utopian. A park is always nicer than a parking lot, but is there demand for an ice rink? Are current ice rinks operating profitably? Is there a sector of the population that sits home on weekends because there is not an ice rink downtown? Not likely. I understand the Mayor's concern for revenue, but what about all the high-rise apartment buildings that have gone up, or are under construction, just since Pfizer left town? Let's see: Zaragon, Zaragon West, 411 Lofts, Forest Street; plus, under construction on Catherine st., Washington st., Ashley... have I missed any. And, lastly: $100,000 for a planning process? I'd think you could "plan" an Olympic event for $100,000, just seems like the DDA is a little frivolous.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

Fun Fact: Ann Arbor currently has 6 ice rinks, all of which have actual ice, not plastic. Information for each is available online through a simple Google search! Imagine that.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

RE: Anti-Thug: Maybe those homeless could be "hired" to maintain and keep the area clean...give them a job, and get them off the homeless/welfare rolls!!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

I could image it being a great place for the homeless to hang out at.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

Ketchup on the table, is better than ketchup at the store.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

A great thing in Grand Rapids we have, is a ice rink in what is call Rosa Parks Circle. During the summer, it's an small stage, and during the winter it changes over into the only free skating area in GR. It's free, but skates are about $2 rental, and they utilize a small space in the art museum right next to it for rentals. I would say, that has been a fantastic use of the space, at least in GR. It is small, and can get a little crowded, but every time I have gone the people running it have kept enough people on the ice and off to keep lines moving etc. It's not a park, but it's something that has worked in GR really well :)


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

Why is it that government leaders are always opposed to any idea/project that brings citizens together in an open area? What does the government fear?


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Interesting thought, however I can't remember attending the Art Fair or Top of the Park without witnessing a bunch of people.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2 p.m.

I'd love to skate outside in the summer. That would be a great use. Which means it will never happen.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

My suggestion, move to another continent.

glenn thompson

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

A few points that I think several people are missing. I believe Mr Haber is suggesting synthetic ice; i.e. a plastic surface. This is much less expensive than refrigeration to maintain natural ice. It seems a very reasonable way to test the appeal of a rink in downtown Ann Arbor without the major expense or installing a refrigeration system. I do not know if the Mayor recognizes this difference or not, but I do not believe his objection based on cost is well founded. Mayor Hieftje recognizes the problems with Liberty Plaza, but the DDA seems determined to repeat it. Most of the problem is size and little activity. Any park, plaza or whatever you want to call it needs to be large enough a few guys in the corner do not seem to 'own' the park. And the space needs other activity, like the sonic lunch program or a skating rink. This space in Ann Arbor should be a 'performance' space. It can and should have some green, but I do not think that is the most important aspect. Activity is the most important element. Skating fits that well. It may be late for this year, but let's start planning for next year.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

There might be less use in the spring since most people are not thinking about it, but we love to skate all year long. I am not a fan of synthetic ice though because of the wear on the blades. The trade off of being able to skate outside all year could be worth it, though.

glenn thompson

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Technically I agree, but in spring my interests turn to gardening not ice skating. I think there is the risk that. if started late, it would see little use and would be 'proven' impractical.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

Since it is artificial it does not matter when it is started.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

No. Next idea.

average joe

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Based on the mayor's reaction to this, I assume Boulder doesn't have one.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

Glenn, are you sure? When we were in Boulder I was told that there was no local rink. I couldn't believe that we had to leave Boulder and go to a nearby city to ice skate. It was incredible. Maybe the one that you reference was just in such rough shape it wasn't recommended? The rink that we went to was very nice. I can't remember the city we went to, but it was about 45 minutes away!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

But Chicago does!! ..and with all the new Highrises in downtown, and the covered "subway" entrance to the underground...just like Chicago...why not have an ice rink?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Although a bit easier to maintain than the proposed rink, Madison, before the turn of the 20th Century, created Tenney Park Lagoon. More than 100 years later it's still one of the favorite spots in the City - summer and winter, especially winter for ice skating. Outdoor skating is the only way.

glenn thompson

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

I think Boulder does have one. It is on top of an underground parking structure in the downtown. They offer free parking with skate rental. Maybe that is what the DDA does not like.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.


Pamela Bethune

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Greenville NC and Spartanburg SC both have temporary rinks set up in public areas in downtown that are quickly and easily converted back to city parks for concerts, etc. I am sure that if they can do it affordable, so can we. Lets run the numbers.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:31 a.m.

So does Dexter, MI.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

Buhr Park has an open rink and a few other amenities. Use that.

Random Citizen

Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

@sh1 it is a local business...


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Did the local businesses pay for that structure? If not, then they get one vote just like everyone else.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

It's not free; nor is it a draw for local businesses.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Unfortunately, this mayor cannot make up his mind about anything unless there has been tons of funds spent on one consultant or another to see if any idea would work. Personally, I think some of the ideas presented are good ones.

Jamie Pitts

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Great idea... let's go for it. All of this hemming and hawing really gets in the way of those of us who want to go and have a some urban fun with the family downtown. An attraction like a rink will pay for itself and police itself, especially if some food stands are involved. Speaking of money, didn't the city just spend 50 mazillion dollars building on that library parking lot? This ice rink idea will cost about as much the stairway EXIT sign. Actually it is more like 1/2 a parking spot. We can spare the 25K. And darn right we won't want to leave if we form a public space in that perfect spot next to the library. That what we're supposed to do as we attempt to bring more people to live downtown: create places that we don't want to leave.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

An attraction like this ice rink will pay for itself? Hilarious thought. Perhaps your thoughts could be put to good use in a circus.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

I would absolutely love an outdoor ice rink in downtown Ann Arbor. However I am opposed to a synthetic one, I would rather it be real ice.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

I also question the reported cost of the synthetic ice. I think to get 2000 to 3000 square feet is going to cost substantially more than $50,000. A real ice rink as a gathering spot downtown during the colder months would be fantastic, though. It would bring in business to nearby restaurants as well.

Alan Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

artificial ice does not melt under the weight of the skate blade and so self lubricate. blades need to be sharpened more often. the resin in the plastic makes it slippery, but not as slippery as real ice, and it requires a little more of the skaters energy to move and is not recommended by the figure skating pros for their high art. for recreational skating it is fine. so i was told by skaters who know.

Atlas Shrugged

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

I think it should be genetically engineered ice.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Fake ice kills the blades. So if you think about skating on fake ice? Don't. Ann Arbor has a real rink.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

The idea of a park is splendid, but I'm unsure if skating rink comprised of artificial ice is really the best attraction as Alan Haber eludes. Instead, why not a pavilion or performance space? For example, allowing Zingerman's to do food demonstrations or have other merchants showcase their products? May free concert series by local bagpipe enthusiasts, but a seasonal ice skating rink seems a bit unrealistic.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

The bagpipe thing killed ya!

Alan Haber

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

a pavilion and performance space are also good ideas, not contradictory or incompatible.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3 p.m.

good idea, it will go well with the ice ring!!!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

Of the mayor is against it, it's something the citizens want not what he wants. Just like the despots we see in totalitarian countries that Ann Arborites rally against but this one they keep re-electing.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

Unfortunately, we never have a decent contender running against Fearless Leader. I only hope and pray he retires soon.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

Just like a dictator, except for that whole democratic election thing! Seriously, does Stephen Colbert post some of these comments?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

Just want to reiterate that you are comparing the mayor of Ann Arbor to actual dictators.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

Maybe those robot minuions will awake soon, and reason will be restored to our City!!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Where is the poll? Did our mayor close it?

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

Sorry, it should be working now!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:47 p.m.

I think the success of Bill's Beer Garden shows people's willingness to gather in places like these, even in cold weather. Plus, Dexter has a skating rink; I would think it's not that complicated to get one here.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

The city already has there own beer garden. Check out Liberty Plaza. Community gathering place that's BYOB.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

Good point. I have been surprised at the times I've seen what looked to be like hundreds of people gathered at the outdoor Beer Garden on a chilly night. There is something naturally inviting about something so communal right downtown.

average joe

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

But the good mayor stated that it "couldn't happen without an extensive planning process" So the A2 government will make it 'complicated'.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

Off topic here.But did anyone else notice the two cars parked facing the wrong direction in the top photo ?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

thinker....I they are talking about the lot above the underground parking structure


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

Didn't notice until you brought it up, but I live nearby and what I do notice is that nobody ever parks there.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Yes. Also, I haven't been there, but is that really a parking lot? There are so few spaces. Is this just for library workers to park? Can anyone elucidate?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:28 p.m.

Of course our mayor is opposed. It's a good idea that will benefit the people of the city. It doesn't fit in with his vision for the city. Therefore, he and his cronies will oppose it.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

Brian, I'd rather have my city become a college then planet of the apes.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

I was going to say, he has his bike lanes going into downtown, why can't we have our skating rink in downtown...?!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

I bet the mayor would love to turn the library lot into a bicycle parking and storage area though.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

Of course the mayor doesn't like it, it doesn't involve the U of M. Pretty soon the citizens won't have a city, just a college.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

It's a nice idea. We paid for the outdoor city rink in South Haven (or maybe just the skate rentals??), and would pay a couple bucks to skate at an outdoor city rink here. It was a nice gathering spot and we noticed that the coffee shops nearby had quite a few skaters as patrons.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

The Rec Dept. charges $4 for residents and $5 for non-residents to use Mack Pool and has passes for frequent users. Surely this would offset some of the maintenance costs.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

There are similar ice rinks in DC at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden and at Campus Martius in Detroit. Looking to the management of those facilities will give a good model of the management of the cost involved. Making it FREE skating is probably not tenable, but a nominal admission per session could offset maintenance costs and limit overcrowding.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

The Campus Martius rink is real ice and is only available during the winter months.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

Campus Martius is a refrigerated rink with real ice.

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Isn't there one in Grand Rapids, too?


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

"Hieftje said it seems unrealistic to think that if the Library Lot was made into a temporary park that it ever would be possible to do anything else with the site after that." Oh, I dunno Hieftje, that Fuller park was turned into a parking lot for U of M, right? And you want so bad to put a train station there, too, right? THAT was a park, wasn't it? "'The feedback I have been getting from many residents is we need to take care of the parks we have now,' Hieftje said." Yeah. So enough with the hundred-thousand dollar chandeliers inside a secured city building. Enough with the studies to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for sketches of buildings and re-do's of cartoonland public transportation amusement rides. Take care of the parks. And if there's any money left after that, fix some of these roads. And try to address the ones in the worst shape with the highest traffic first, how's that for novel? I love how perfectly willing the city is to just sit and sit and sit on valuable land and do nothing. Or, even better, pay huge interest-only payments on it and do nothing. A synthetic ice rink would probably be kind of ugly and not that popular, but in terms of something being super temporary and easy as heck to put down and take back up, you don't get any better than that. And you're so inisistent on straddling and squatting that area, you don't even want that to happen. Childish. Ridiculous.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

The city really blew it on the Dahlmann offer. Sadly now it's just one of many missteps for the history books.

Dave Bass

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

Great idea.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

Why is the pole closed before it was even started? I think this is a great idea. I suck at skating, but wouldn't mind going to one that is free to the public.


Wed, Mar 13, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

The pole was closed before it was even started because Alan and his lollipop guild weaseled there way into having it shut down once they had their friends and family click "Let's make it happen" enough times in the wee hours of the night while everyone else was asleep. Cheers to corrupt liberals!

Ryan J. Stanton

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

The poll is working now. Chime in!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

Perfect idea! This is the best idea for downtown AA I have heard in years! Excellent!


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

The City used to set up neighborhood skating outdoor rinks with "warming sheds" for people to skate at. I think there were 5 or 6 of them and in addition, the U of M opened their now "old-former" hockey rink to the public on week-ends...they were always filled with skaters..young & old!