On November 6th, 2019, TV 7&4 announced great news for ice skaters in the Ludington area:

MASON COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- A new program is bringing free ice skate rental to downtown Ludington and all residents need to get on the rink is a Mason County District Library card.
The Mason County District Library in Ludington will house and manage the rental program that provides skates that can be used on the new downtown Ludington skating rink.
The new rink is located just west of the library at James Street Plaza at the intersection of James Street and Ludington Avenue.

Engine Creative LLC and Pennies from Heaven Foundation joined forces to purchase 100 pairs of new ice skates for the program and new skate lockers were manufactured donated by Metalworks.

"The best community projects are the ones that are made by, supported by, and serve the community, making it a better place for us all,” Executive Director of Pennies from Heaven Foundation Monica Schuyler said. “The downtown and local businesses came together to sponsor and support this rink, local volunteers help build it, we are proud to support the Library, Engine Creative and Metalworks in helping make this rink accessible to all. WE look forward to seeing families make memories in our beautiful downtown.”
“Skating was a big part of my childhood and I fondly remember spending quality time with my family on the ice as a kid,” CEO of Engine Creative LLC Chris VanWyck said. “I’m proud to play a part in bringing this fun activity to our entire community.”
“Libraries have always been a part of what makes a community special, and we are excited to be part of this unique Pure Ludington experience,” Library Director of Mason County District Library Eric Smith said. “This season, bring in your library card, check out a pair of skates, and enjoy the downtown ice rink.” [END]

The article echoes what the Downtown Ludington website displays on their page, and also verbatim on the Mason County Press.  I was a little disappointed in the downtown rink last year (as recounted in Rink of Dreams).  Yet I decided I would go check it out this year, since I could rent out some skates for a couple of hours.  I could use a little practice ice skating.  I made a New Year's resolution to hit the local rink as often as I could, noting that I didn't have to worry about ice conditions preventing me rom skating in this abnormally warm winter.  

I went there on New Years Day, and it wasn't around.  I could understand that, they had their beer tent up the previous night, and besides the library was probably closed.  So I continued dropping by the James Street Plaza whenever I got the opportunity over the next couple weeks before I dropped my resolution.  I continued checking in, just in case, at least once a week, including today, over seven weeks later, but still this is what I see and have seen throughout this time (give or take some accumulated snow):

Monica, the rink is not accessible to all, it's not even accessible to anyone.  Chris VW, how can the family spend quality time on the ice rink, if it's not there in the first place? Eric, how can I enjoy the downtown rink when there isn't any downtown rink available?

The downtown merchants spent around $8000 on the original rink, determined it was about half too small to fit and skate properly and got about $8000 more worth of ice tiles.  You're looking at another couple thousand at least for purchasing 100 new ice skates.  And despite all those idle hands of the DPW in this mild weather, despite all of that promise in the marketing, despite all the hyperbole in the DDA the last two years on this project-- it's just a dream festering in a warehouse, and new skates depreciating in a new skate locker.  

As a local business may have put it:  The fake, the ice, the dream.

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Sounds about right. The DDA has demonstrated it can mismanage a small project such as this but want the locals to believe that they can run an operation 100 times larger because by God it is going to be different this time. Yet another load of runny drivel for the taxpayers of Ludington to swallow along with the West End Slab and the Copeyon Park splash pad.

Hey maybe they are having issues selling their advertising banners for the rink this year? 

Very true shinblind! You're too funny, XLFD with the new slogan! That's just brilliant:

THE FAKE, THE ICE, THE DREAM!

The fake ice is probably all warped taking space in a locker. That's the real reason why the the DDA has to build a new bigger, better, $2.1 million dollar bathroom building, so one side can be storage for this ice rink to benefit the low- to middle income of the community!

About the new plaza to come by $2.5 million dollar GRANT, it could be said:

The TAKE, it's RIFE, the DREAM!

Hey! Making fun of this is not going to build bridges or ice rinks. How about donating $500 for a panel of advertising, or getting your shovel out and filling the potholes with snow from your own backyard?

Notice in the picture above how the panel is bowed, that's probably not from unsupported weight but improper storage.  I'm sure we will soon find out where the ice rink panels are. Maybe they can set them up for the summer tourist to use on the splash pad as the water will be too cold to play in.

stump,  Not sure if the panels are bowed but it looks like the surface is stained. Could the discoloration be some sort of black mold?  Mold skating doesn't sound very appealing or trendy.

Brought to you by the Ludington Photo OPer's, the same folks who couldn't maintain the fishing dock. 

Notice the women doing the lifting with bare hands. Anything for the kids. The guy looks like he's thinking ... I'm not going to touch those things even with gloves on, looks like black mold or oil.
Thanks shinblind! Who would consider the amount of maintenance involved! Call in the volunteers. The women on their knees with no gloves first with the wax cleaner and then the dry procedure. Yeah! Right! In Michigan's winter. Or else save your hard earned money for a zamboni that is almost as large as the ice rink! Imagine the maneuvers with that!
They'll be doing the same thing with the splash pad. Have you noticed how the Parks Budget has gone up about $250,000 in the last couple of years? Quietly raising the Parks maintenance budget behind closed doors?

I feel sorry for the young people working in that picture. They could be using their time and efforts on projects that work for the community. Why is this publicly funded library involved with this? Their workers are not paid to rent skates. This entire idea is absurd. 

Good point Willy. Sounds like an appeal from the DDA to enduce the library spend taxpayer money to rent skates. Maybe it's considered "community involvement." Taxpayer money at work in subtle ways.

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