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The Emmaus Ice Rink

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The Emmaus Ice Rink

Post  CyclingRoberto on Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:07 am

Did you know that Emmaus has an ice rink? Well it does! It's located on the basketball courts on Williams St. The Borough has spent countless man-hours and dollars to bring ice skating to Emmaus. This is the third year the rink has been in operation. I will post daily ice updates and rink conditions, since I can see the thing from my window. So far, in three years of operation, the rink has been open a total of 5 days. This year the rink had problems holding water, but the engineers at the Borough figured out the leak, and the rink is now ready for skating. It was open one day so far, but despite cold temps the rink is closed. No skating for now. No basketball either.

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Rink Update

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:04 pm

Well in spite of two visits from the Emmaus Borough Rink-Meister, the rink did not pass inspection and remains closed. The Rink-Meister did employ two assistants in evaluating the rink. They used the age-old testing technique known as "foosstompin" to determine whether or not the rink was fit for skating. While it is true that the water depth used to create the rink is less than one foot deep, the Borough obviously wants to avoid any possibility that a skater could fall through the ice and perish. What other reason could there be for not opening the rink? The ice is frozen, but to the sad chagrin of countless carloads of unhappy skaters, it did not pass muster. For now, keep your skates sharp and handy. Basketball remains out of the question.
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THE RINK IS ROCKING

Post  CyclingRoberto on Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:43 pm

Well, at almost exactly 5 PM, the gates to the rink swung open and the Emmaus Ice Rink Gala was under way. There's music and exhibition skaters, hot chocolate and a bonfire. The lights are on and the place has at least 40 folks shivering in their boots. A few brave souls are soaring along just inches from the asphalt to the tunes blasted out by the DJ. There are signs up too. The crowd broke up within 30 minutes, and it looks like the few die-hards that have hung in are either parents, relatives, or friends of the couple of young skaters that are still scraping around. Now if only some hockey thugs would show up... Toasted marshmallow anyone?
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The "Heat" Shuts Down Pee Wee Day at the Rink

Post  CyclingRoberto on Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:24 pm

The rink is open and has a decent amount of youngsters out enjoying the ice. It's fun to watch the mom's slide along in street shoes while their kids do their best to stay upright. Ice is a bit gummy, there are a few holes, but everyone seems to be having a good time. At least they were until the "heat" showed up. The Emmaus Police showed up around 3 and chased everyone off the ice, and locked up the rink. Maybe they are closet basketball lovers...??
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Back to Normal

Post  CyclingRoberto on Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:46 pm

Things at the rink are back to normal. In other words, it is closed and leaking. So much for hockey...
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You could fill it with sand for volleyball...

Post  CyclingRoberto on Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:03 pm

Well, the rink has melted, and what little water didn't leak out might be replenished by the rain. So far this year, the rink has had two days of operation. We only have a few weeks of weather that might result in freezing ... that is if the water in the rink stays in the rink.
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They emptied the trash...

Post  CyclingRoberto on Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:08 pm

Well, the Borough guy emptied the trash, and then locked up the rink and drove away. I should mention that every day people show up, get out of their cars, look through the locked gate, and then glumly drive away. That is by far the saddest part of the whole rink thing. Forget the waste of money... what about those little skaters' broken dreams? They could be scarred for life. Some young Michelle Qwon could get her tiara tarnished before she ever gets her skates wet. If it's frozen, it should be open. Remember, if you build it, they will come...
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And they serviced the Porta Pod

Post  CyclingRoberto on Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:13 am

Unless you do a lot of riding out of Rodale Park over by the Velodrome, you probably don't realize that Lehigh County removes the Porta-Poddy from the parking lot around the middle of December. It doesn't reappear until March. This causes lots of scampering into the bushes for guys and uncomfortable drives to the mini-mart for women. The common misconception is that they do this because the Porta-Pod would freeze if left out all winter. Yet the Emmaus Ice Rink has a Pod. (So do local ski areas for that matter.) So I guess Lehigh County is just too f'n cheap to make those of us that still use the park (and surrounding roads) comfortable. Thank god the folks at City Hall here in E-moss don't see things that way. Even though the rink remained closed all weekend (and frozen solid I might add), at least if you had to take a piss, you could climb the fence and pee in relative privacy and comfort. Hey, maybe next year they should build the rink at Rodale Park! That way, we could have a pod to piss in.

Rink open to date less than 2 whole days. But at least they serviced the Pod today...
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Sorry for the gap in coverage...

Post  CyclingRoberto on Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:23 am

Let me bring you all up to date on the rink. I know you have been waiting with baited breath to find out, so here you go:

NOTHING.


The rink has been closed since my last report, and as such has not had to be serviced or cleaned. This saves the Borough a great deal of money. The cars have dwindled to just one or two now and then hoping against hope that due to bitter cold weather there will be ice to enjoy. Alas, there is ice alright, but nobody is enjoying it. Why? Beats the hell out of me. At least the basketball courts are protected under a couple of inches of uneven asphalt that is covered by a leaking tarp that is semi-filled with a huge block of ice. Oh, and don't forget the hay bales...

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Re: The Emmaus Ice Rink

Post  bstraus on Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:27 pm

Son of a bit$h... It damn near brought a tear to my eye thinking of all those little ones with no where to skate... I'm sure your mornings are filled with sadness running to that window only to see an empty place where all the fun had taken place... Now the kids are left to purchasing handguns or getting scooted off of local parking blocks trying to pull off their first board slides... We can only look to the future where the ice will reign again... Thank you Rob for your diligent work in bringing the stories to us... With me living only blocks away seems like I'm on another planet, but you Rob, you put me right there and I can't thank you enough... clown

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RINK FROZEN SOLID

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:30 pm

Yes, it's been a fairly cold winter. This past week we have had snow and low temps. Perfect skating weather. The surface of the rink is perfect. Just like a mirror. The firewood is neatly stacked. The benches are all in a line. The Porta-Poddy is ready for action. There's just one small snag. The Borough after sparing no expense and amount of manpower have only had the rink open twice all winter. For some god only knows reason it has remained locked tight. This hasn't stopped the local hoodlums from throwing all kinds of shit over the fence, or from tearing holes in the fence to sneak in (maybe to use the Pod?). However, I'm quite sure that as soon as the temps rise the Borough will dispatch the troops to come out and once again dismantle the rink and put it back in storage until next season. After all, what else do you expect these guys to do all winter?

You know it just occurred to me that maybe this is all due to a break-down in the manual Zamboni machine they use... nah!

So Brian, you got skates? Shocked
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Any Day Now...

Post  CyclingRoberto on Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:00 am

Well, it's obvious that the Borough has changed its focus from the rink (open a grand total of 2 days) to things more spring-like. The ground crew began the first phases of prep work on the baseball/softball fields today. The rink sits flapping in the wind, some of its hay bales askew, and only puddles remaining. It won't be long now. The porta-poddy is gone, and I'm sure the fire pit and wood pile will go next. It's going to be funny to see how they handle the added pad of asphalt that was laid down in advance of spreading the plastic tarp that is the heart and soul of the rink. Not going to very good for b-ball...

Now the real question will be: Will the Borough be stupid enough to spend the time, money, and manpower to erect this absurdity again next season. So far, in three years, the rink hasn't been open a full seven days... in total! Stay tuned. I'm going for a bike ride.
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The Rink Is Dead

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:41 am

Well with girls softball practicing on the field (no, I do not use my binoculars... I own a telescope! Twisted Evil ), it was inevitable that the rink would be put to rest. Today is the day. So how many Borough workers and how much equipment does it take to dismantle the rink? (Keep in mind that this is Emmaus, which makes little old ladies walk on icy sidewalks, stand out in the cold without the benefit of a shelter to wait for the bus, and can't even manage to have a SINGLE BIKE LANE despite being the home of Bicycling magazine.) It takes 5 men and a back hoe, a front-end loader, a pick-up truck, a dump truck, and a car. They will be working most of the day... might even stretch it out to two days. Which would be the exact number of days the rink was open this season. Much better usage of Borough tax dollars then wasting money on paint and signs for a bike line or few bucks for a bus shelter across from the old folks home on Ridge and 3rd.

Does any of this folly disturb anyone else? This is just as funny as the big sign posted on the fence of the basketball courts/ice rink that says, "NO PETS AT ANY TIME IN THE PARK." By the way, watch out for the dog shit if you decide to use the park.

I hope you all have enjoyed the view from my back window this winter. It was meant to stir things up, and maybe it has done that. As the hay bales are dumped into the dump truck, and the tarp is folded and warehoused, keep your eye out next winter for any signs that they are going to go for a fourth year of bullshit. Write a letter to the Borough Council. Complain about the blatant waste, and while you're at it, mention that Ridge Avenue is much prettier without allowing the tractor trailers to park up and down the street by the cemeteries. But that's another thread altogether.

CyclingRoberto over and out from the rink. Hoops anyone?
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RINK WRAP UP

Post  CyclingRoberto on Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:47 pm

Well, the rink has been been disassembled and removed. The Borough spared no expense in washing the tarp, folding it up, and then scraping the asphalt pad into a pile that was removed by dump truck. The courts were then scrubbed down with the Boroughs state-of-the-art street cleaner. Today, the rink space saw its first good use in over several months; somebody brought their kids to ride their bikes! No hot chocolate, no sequined clad skaters, just a dad a couple of kids with training wheels. Let's hope the Borough wises up, and the rink remains in its box.

One other note. While discussing the rink with a neighbor, I was told that BITD the basketball courts were simply flooded by the Fire Department and allowed to freeze over. No tarp, no asphalt, no hay bales, just water. He told me it was like that for years and years. So who took a fairly simple concept and junked it up so bad that it resulted in a farce? Beats me, but I'm sure somebody decided this would be superior. WRONG. Have a great summer skating fans!
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It's Back

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:46 am

Despite two seasons of uselessness, the Emmaus Ice Rink has returned. So if you were planning a game of hoops this weekend, forget it. I will revive my updates and commentary to keep you informed of any news about this vital community asset. Pass the s'mores.
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One Month to the Day

Post  CyclingRoberto on Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:19 pm

Well the waiting is over. Exactly one month to the day, the Borough has finally attempted to add that magic ingredient that makes the rink an ICE rink: water. Yes, thanks to not one, not two, but three Borough employees hard efforts, a hose was inserted into the rink from the local hydrant and water was flowing. Key word here: was. Within minutes, the hose was shut off. Could the old leaks have returned? Did the crew need a break from this soul-crushing work? Whatever the reason, the water is flowing once again.

Any day now...
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The water is flowing

Post  CyclingRoberto on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:19 am

Two able-bodied Borough guys showed up today and the water is once again flowing (and leaking) into (and out of) the rink. Just in time for the weekend! Sharpen those skates.
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What was once water in the rink...

Post  CyclingRoberto on Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:01 pm

Well, that didn't quite go as planned. The water was hosed into the rink, but sadly it didn't stay where it was supposed to stay. Water being water, it found the hole in the tarp that the makes the rink a rink, and it almost entirely leaked out into the adjoining yards. This has created a lane of ice, but not a rink of ice which I believe was the goal of this pointless exercise. So now, there's no ice where it should be, and there's ice where it's not wanted. Bravo!
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They are buffing what they've got!

Post  CyclingRoberto on Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:27 pm

Out come two Borough guys, one with a leaf blower to remove the snow, and the other with the portable Zamboni machine to smooth out the surface. So the glaze of ice on the asphalt should be ready for skating any time now. At least if you fall through the ice you don't have far to go.
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Coldest Day of the Winter So Far

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:30 am

This morning, two Borough men showed up, set up the hose, and attempted to fill the leaking rink. When they realized that the water, despite a temperature of 6 F, was not freezing as fast as it was leaking out, they stopped. Now there are 5 Borough me, a little mini-CAT, two trucks, and a supervisor there. They have removed some of the hay bales (remember the rink is formed by stretching a vinyl tarp over hay bales), and then shoveling out the masses of broken ice that were clogging up the rink. They are setting up the hose again in what looks like an attempt to refill the now drained and sagging rink. These Borough guys are sure earning their money today, if for no other reason than to be out in such brutal cold. And while it's true there are most likely countless more worthwhile projects the Borough could waste your tax dollars performing, at least they are providing me with some much needed distraction and entertainment. Thanks Mayor Winnie!
Don't throw your skates away yet. However, if you really need a skating fix, maybe helping Beth Strickland shovel off her pond will get you there sooner. I have a feeling these guys will have the Emmaus Rink ready just in time for the thaw.
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Calling All Borough Employees!

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:54 pm

The work force has swelled to 4 trucks, a car, and the mini-CAT. There must be 10 guys working on this vital project. They are shoveling, sliding, and pointing. At this point, it is quite ambiguous on just what the goal is. Are they trying to remove or repair the Rink? Could they have picked a better day? Are the donuts really that bad today?
Question of the day: How many Borough employees does it take to make an ice rink? Figure each of these guys gotta be at least $10/hour. When the tab for the rink approaches the thousands of dollars, wouldn't be cheaper to just give anyone who wants to skate a taxi ride to the nearest REAL ice rink? Meanwhile, these guys look frozen to the ground they are standing on, and very little "work" is being accomplished.
Stay tuned.
Live from the Emmaus Ice Rink, back to you in the studio...
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Honey, They've Shrunk The Rink!

Post  CyclingRoberto on Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:42 pm

So what do you do when the already pint size rink springs a leak? Make it smaller, and that's what they've come with now. Will it hold water? Wait and see. At least now you can come over a shoot a game of hoops. Just don't fall into the rink.
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Fire and Ice

Post  CyclingRoberto on Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:56 am

True dedication is one of the strong points of the Emmaus Rinkmen. Today, with the temperature hovering around zero degrees, three brave Borough guys showed up to evaluate the Rink. Two trucks (left idling of course) were deployed with the men. They must have determined that the ice needed some grooming, because they broke out a weapon from the Rink Arsenal: a propane powered flame thrower. Looks sort of like a weed-wacker with a large ball of orange flame on the end of it. They used this Weapon of Ice Destruction to melt the lumps that resulted in water freezing at different levels in the Rink. Pretty tough assignment given the temperature. It's a two-man job, one guy holding the flame thrower and the other guy holding the propane tank (picture your backyard BBQ grill type tank). All this before the sun has come up over South Mountain. At least their trucks will be nice and warm when they finish this grueling task. Pass the marshmallows.
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Recipe for a Rink: Add Water and Freeze

Post  CyclingRoberto on Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:06 am

So now the surface seems primed, we've added another idling truck (total at 9 AM 3 idling trucks) and another 3 Rinkmen for a total of 5. They've unfurled the hose, connected it to the hydrant, and they seem ready to begin the topping o' the ice. The water is flowing into the now reshaped and shrunken rink. Hopefully it will freeze before leaking out. The crew as I finish up here has been reduced to one sorry soul whose job it is to be hose tender. Nice day for making ice. Shocked
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We Might Be Getting Closer

Post  CyclingRoberto on Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:02 pm

Today's Rink-Force is made up of a couple of trucks, two Bobcats equipped with rotary snow blowers, and some Rinkmen sporting shovels. They've cleaned of the new snow, gotten out the propane flame thrower, and have removed the snow from the Rink sidelines and parking lot. They still haven't installed the fire pit or Porta-Poddy, but I'm sure any day now, and the sounds of happy kids skating will be filling the air. For now the beep-beep-beep on the Bobcat each time it goes into back-up mode will have to suffice.
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Re: The Emmaus Ice Rink

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