Comments for: Safety, health issues at Penobscot Ice Arena in Brewer disturb local coaches

Posted Feb. 03, 2012, at 9:07 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 04, 2012, at 9:40 a.m.

BREWER | The Brewer High School hockey team is among the state’s elite. The Witches, 12-1 and leading the Eastern Maine Class B Heal Points standings, are 122-20-5 over their last 147 games. That includes two state Class B championships, three Eastern Maine B titles and two Class A …

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  • Anonymous

    you serious? its hockey for god sakes—dont like dont use the rink—I hope the Brewer City Council doesnt do anything ridiculous like purchase the place—

    • Anonymous

      Yeah it’s only hockey. It will be way better for the kids to be hanging around the streets getting in trouble because they don’t have anything to do. (sarcasm in case you don’t get it)

    • And I doubt you have ever laced up and ever played the game.

      • poormaniac

        I played on a semi pro league for several years, last time I remember we played outside. At least these kids don’t have to shovel the ice !

        • What year was this? I’ve been on the ice since I was 3 years of age and that was in 1973 and granted we skated at an outdoor ice rink it was covered and they had a Zam.

          I skate on a professional level myself and miss working as a pro at any local rink. Gonna have to hit Sawyer this coming weekend because now I want to skate.

          If you came out to the rink it would be very obvious who I am because not many people skate as well as I do and yes, I’m that good and make it look to easy. Not many people will skate backwards with their hands in their pants pockets, but I will.

          • poormaniac

            I gave up the game in 1968 due to having destroyed both ankles over the years.

    • Omekia Legassie

      Are you serious arodforthehalloffame….So kids should just sit around and do nothing…Obviously you are a baseball fan. What would you think of youth and high school teams playing on an unsafe baseball field? . The issue is not that it is a hockey rink but that it has several health and safety issues.  

    • Anonymous

      A Rod for the Hall of Fame?  Probably the worst handle I’ve ever read.  Cheering on a man who cheated and sets great examples for the younger generation with steroid usage.  No wonder your post was so off line. 

    • Anonymous

      what do you know about hockey? i grew up playing with and agianst over a dozen NHLers in Canada, and someof them on the old 6 team rosters. hockey is just entertainment now not a real sport anymore..sad..

  • Anonymous

    Take it for taxes. 
    Bring it up to stuff, it is regional asset, but not in compliance, then entertain bids for a long term management and operational plan.   

    • Guest

      Always ready to use government to STEAL from others to benefit yourself. 

      Which is it? Welfare recipient or state employee?  Certainly one that spends more time riding in the wagon than pushing it.

      • Anonymous

        You are weak on scoff laws, who don’t pay taxes …. 
         A conservative defined. 

      • Guest

        why not, the government STEALS from YOU to benefit themselves!! Look at the article where the Appropriations committee gave their own businesses or their wives businesses 23 MILLION this last session. If that isn’t THEFT………show me what is!

  • Anonymous

    So…. the key to having the best team in the state is freezing temperatures, mold, and feces on the floor?  Maybe Coach Cookson was onto something a few years back when she had the softball girls walking through wet moldy hay mixed with sheep dung – back when they used to be real good.

    • Anonymous

      Are you serious Agentp how can compare this story to coach Cookson she never had the success brewer hockey has had _ and buy the way did softball win a state championship a few years back and go to the eastern maine championship last year she never won a state championship all the many years she coached

      • Anonymous

        uh, not exactly my point.  They have both been relatively very successful.  I am mostly just making fun of feces, and the walking through thereof.  I do however love how your response says nothing to the seeming audacity of my poop reference and instead defends Brewer hockey as being at a level not to be compared with the slightly less successful softball team of old, and how softball should not be compared to hockey in terms of luck derived from feces.  Classic cult-of-Brewer-hockey / Brewer-youth-cult thinking there. 

        • Anonymous

           “cult-of-Brewer-hockey/Brewer-youth-cult”  haha   funny ’cause its true

  • Anonymous

    Is the owner of the arena trying to drum up business for his other operation???

  • George Venturelli

    He owes the city of Brewer $17,000, they don’t want to buy it, and they want to bring him up on code violations?  If it’s important to them that it exists in the community, why not give the guy a tax break with the condition he brings it up to snuff? 

  • Anonymous

    should turn it into a bingo palace. what a shame, best ice in the state and they turn it into a bingo place. I have no idea what kind of profits Penobscot Nation gets from their on-site gaming, but if they diverted some to a new rink….oh well. that was a loooong time ago.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t ant better when Janicki ran it.I remember once when the power went out there wren’t even any emergency lights.The Special Needs Hockey Team , I was helping to coach at the time , had some difficulty with this ( as did I ! ) . So ,it’s no worse than it was ? 

  • Anonymous

    Bangor spends a lot of public money to support the Sawyer arena.  Probably time for Brewer to pony up.  Privatization is not always the answer, especially when it comes to expensive facilities used by the community.

    • Guest

      Yes, why privatize when the council parasites can milk it for some patronage jobs and build their little empires.

      • Anonymous

        Are we done paying for the new school and public safety buildings yet?

  • Anonymous

    are you serious agentp how can you compare this story to coach Cookson she never had the success brewer hockey has had and buy the way did brewer softball win a state championship a few years back and go to the eastern Maine championship last year coach Cookson never won a state championship in the many years she coached

  • Anonymous

    Lovely…the place is a biohazard…and he’s not paying his property taxes on it…and then he says, “Well…if other people donate their efforts and do all the work then maybe I’ll make some half-arsed improvements”. Yeah, right…the only think that comes out of Lewiston is the stink. Flatten the place and play outside…apparently it’s warmer anyway.

  • Anonymous

    The Penobscot arena is among the nastiest arenas that we play.  I have an eight year old grandson that hockey throughout the area and this is the one with the worst reputations.  Brewer deserves better.

    • Guest

      Why not buy the kid an arithmetic book and let him develop a USEFUL skill instead of using the urchin to vicariously relive your own life?

      • Anonymous

         Why are you hating on this poster?  Why don’t you take a chill pill and stop judging people on 3 sentences in a newspaper comment board.  Sebec331 sounds like a proud grandparent who travels to games to support their family. No need for your vitriol here.

        Hockey, as all organized sports, can be just as useful a learning tool as any text book. Most hockey players need to learn discipline at very early ages, because ice time is often at 5 a.m.  Try rousing your adolescent or teen for a 5 a.m. anything…

        • Anonymous

          I think that what “knows” is trying to say is that every kid needs to be stuck in front of a computer from the age of 5 onward. No sports of any kind. Don’t ever let them play outside or inside for that matter. Only “useful skills” are wanted.

      • Anonymous

        Sports are important to teach teamwork and a drive to succeed as well as keeping our kids from turning into one of those 500lb chunkers you see on Discovery Channel getting their wall sawed open so they can go to the doctor.

        Of course they don’t replace a good education, but they can supplement it.  And that’s the key.  Everyone needs to be able to read, write and do math, but if they’re 500lbs and gross, they still won’t go anywhere.  

      • Anonymous

        Sam Adams had better stick to making beer!!
        School and sports go hand in hand with preparation for a meaningful and prosperous life with sports perhaps providing some of the best life lessons!

      • Anonymous

        spot freaking on ,if parents want there cherubs to play sports THEY should foot the bill not the tax payer.

  • Anonymous

    How about whenever a team destroys the restroom the coaches are contacted and they are banned from returning for the next scheduled game, that ought to screw up their season and make them grow up a bit

    • Anonymous

      amen to that. this is the simplest of fixes is when the team arrives, the manager goes through the locker room with the coach and flushes each flush and urinal and shows him that everything works and is clean and should be left like that and then go back over it with him before he leaves. very simple!  5 minutes max

      • Anonymous

        Great idea!

    • Anonymous

      This would teach respect and responsibility along with hockey. Any coach worth his salt should buy into your proposal and leave the locker rooms cleaner than when they arrived.

  • Anonymous

    Theriault should show you all his expenses for the rink.  It costs a small fortune in utilities alone for the ice. $5,000 to the city for leasing a parking lot?  He’s got an $870,000 mortgage on the place?  Theriault, I doubt is making a profit on the place.  I think all the complainers and those who rely on the facility should put their heads together and figure out a way to help him with the maintenance and heating issues.  Also coaches you might want to keep your players from trashing the locker rooms and putting tape in the thrones if you don’t want them over flowing.
    In my opinion he was trying to save the rink for the community when he purchased it from Bangor Savings Bank. He should have let if foreclose and bought it at auction dirt cheap. If it is in the red as I suspect, how much crap from people is he willing to take before he walks away?

    • Anonymous

      he bought it from bangor savings because….his previous LLC went bankrupt so he bought it again under a new LLC…so basicically he bought it from himself

  • Anonymous

    Brewer HS and Hampden should purchase it together.  We don’t expect our basketball teams to play in dumpy private courts do we?  This is a community resource, and not economically viable for a private individual to run. This is exactly the type of thing that should be owned and operated by the city.  It is no different than the Brewer pool.

  • Millicent

    Perhaps the families and teams that use the rink could do some volunteer time cleaning and repairing the rink. The owner could lower the cost of rental of the rink to those that volunteer to help out. 

  • Anonymous

    what do you mean.arod?  i think its ridiculious that  the city of brewer is too dam tight with their money..one of the best hockey teams in the state year after year and this is the crap they have to go through..they have to play in a Dump like penobscot.get ridiculed by other teams and coaches for their facility..I think the city of brewer has an obligation, but apparently they dont..

    • Anonymous

      i think he should raise his ice time rates and spend the money to fix it. brewer has a big fancy school system and after all they have won many championships so that is the least the taxpayers or family members can afford.  just have a few fundraisers or bottle drives and help the guy out.

      • Anonymous

        One thing to keep in mind is that the brewer facility is owned by someone who is in the funeral business….perhaps a owner with a bit more scruples would alleviate some of the tight wad factor.

        • Anonymous

          Disqus generic email templatehahaha good one

    • Anonymous

      Why not build a removable rink in the middle of Doyle Field?? Friday Night hockey games under the lights…I think that would be a great addition to the town of Brewer.

  • Anonymous

    Though your points are well taken Don, perhaps Sam doesn’t want to pay for a new arena or for assuming ownership and repairing the old one.  These are legitimate points also.

    • Anonymous

      I responded to the haters post where he/she said, in part, “…let him develop a USEFUL skill instead of using the urchin to vicariously relive your own life”.

      I appreciate your diplomacy, but how is that statement an objection to City ownership of an ice rink? He denigrates the grandparent, the 8 year old and organized sports all in the same paragraph while bringing little value to the overall discussion.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for being polite Don.  Well the way I read it, sebec is implying that Brewer should either build or refurbish the existing rink that is in such poor condition.  It seemed to me that Sam was saying that the city is broke, which it is, and that if there was money to be spent it should be spent on students, not parents who want to live vicariously through their children.  Perhaps he could have worded it nicer but I believe he makes a worthy point and I cannot fault him for making it.  As a matter of fact I agree with that opinion.  Honestly I’m not against sports.  Its great for kids and adults alike.  However I am strenuously against public funding of sports activities either in our schools or outside of them.  Though I cannot speak for Sam it sounds as though he is also.  That said, I am in the minority and hey, this is America.  If the majority of people want to fund outrageously expensive sports venues for their children I am bound to be a part of it through my taxes.  Majority wins!  For what it’s worth I don’t give a hang about the Super Bowl either.  If other folks enjoy it then fine, go to it.  What does bother me is public subsidizing of pro-sports venues.  I think it is a colossal rip off of tax monies.  Particularly so when we talk about screwing the elderly or healthcare shortages while billionaire owners and sports enthusiasts enjoy their pastime at taxpayer expense.  However, once again, this is America and the general public believes in supporting pro-sports at great cost to other programs.  So my tax dollars will continue to support these programs and since I believe in our democracy I guess I cannot complain.  At least not beyond this post ha ha.

  • Anonymous

    accidental second posting.

  • Guest

    If hockey had the support that basketball and football enjoy, the players and fans would not be subject to these unsafe and unsanitary conditions. The huge expense of equipment and travel at a young age simply limits the number of youngsters that can reach the high school level. A kid with athletic ability can join the football team his freshman year in high school and have a shot at success-try that in hockey, it just won’t happen. Simply put, there are not enough people complaining-till now.

  • Guest

    ….

  • Anonymous

    The city of brewer should own and maintain  a nice hockey facility  for their community…SIMPLY

  • Omekia Legassie

    As a parent of two youth hockey players and a brother that played for Brewer Youth Hockey and Brewer High School….I think it is fair to say that the place is a safety hazard. There are gaps in the boards, screws are not uncommon to find on the ice, it is freezing cold, there is mold all over the place, space heaters in the locker rooms, mice running  around…etc. I have talked to many hockey parents that have personally put hours trying to fix things at PIA and would do it again but are discouraged that they put in the time but Theriault won’t put any money back into the rink. PIA charges $230 an hour for ice, it is the most expensive ice in the area and he claims poverty. Mr Theriault maybe the community would rally behind you and help clean up the rink if they felt that you cared about the rink and the hockey players in this area not just making a profit. I agree the hockey community would take a huge hit if the rink was to close but less ice time vs. our hockey players health and safety….i pick the kids

    • Anonymous

      wow! 230 an hour is pretty steep. if theriault is not making any money he should share his profit and loss statement and put it on the bulletian board for all to see that he needs help?

      • Anonymous

        “Lou Janicki, Theriault’s brother-in-law, built the rink in 1996 and managed it for several years”.

        Janicki was qutoed back in ’96 to Sawyer Arena supporters that, “We will bury you”‘ and put you “out of business”.

        A bit of ironic and arrogant hubris.

        “Theriault is quick to point out that unlike Sawyer Arena, which is owned by the city of Bangor, and Alfond Arena, which is owned by the University of Maine, Penobscot Ice Arena is privately owned and he simply doesn’t have the money to invest in a major overhaul.”

        Both Sawyer and Alfond Arena’s were built with private money and, the last time I saw any financial data, Sawyer Arena didn’t require taxpayer support because there was no debt when originally opened.

        However, it is fair to note that both Sawyer and Alfond Arena’s have undergone substantial renovations in later years; I don’t know the funding sources, nor debt service, of either renovation.

        Bangor pediatrician, Dr. Angela Ghilidoga, deserves the greatest amount of credit for “saving” the failed, inflatable, rink cover back in the day and seeing the replacement facility was built.; along with David Hardy with Hardy Construction!

        Obviously, the area needs three sheets of ice. Too bad so many of this facilitie’s problems have been self-imposed.

        • Anonymous

          Disqus generic email templateI agree.

    • $230 and hour?

      We used to rent ice time for almost two hours for pick-up games for just over a hundred. Granted that was when I lived in Albuquerque, NM. What is sad though is Albuquerque has a ice rink that makes both Sawyer and Brewer look like a joke and it is privately owned.

      • Anonymous

        Albuquerque has a population of over half a million.

        • Population has nothing to do with it. The Bangor area just lacks a huge clue on how to manage a ice rink.

          • Anonymous

            Bigger market = more teams renting ice = more income

  • Anonymous

    The owner charges for ice time, the arena/rink should be safe, period. If I rent an apartment, regardless of how much I pay, the landlord has an obligation to make sure that the building is in a safe condition. If he cannot keep up the on the building with the rates he charges, he should raise the rates or give it up. Hockey is a good sport. It teaches exercise, discipline, and teamwork. There isn’t anything wrong with the expectation that the rink in which your child plays, is safe. All of you people who are against sports…just a question…is there no education in physical education? Get off your high horse.

  • Anonymous

    how about the players clean up after themselves and parents teach ther kids how not to be gross or just do not use this place

  • Anonymous

    I not from Brewer.
    I spend a lot of money in Brewer.

    How about ALL towns that use the rink, chip in and make a competition out of fund raising.
    Not just a one time deal. Fund raise every year for up keep.

    Sports is the heart of your community. It starts with the parents and the youth.
    Hockey is an exspensive sport.

  • Anonymous

    An unfortunate fact of life is ice arenas are major league money pits. Utility costs, insurance and maintenance simply outstrip what any groups can pay for ice time even if the management can book 18 hours per day, 7 days a week. Ask the Penobscot Nation. The Bangor Youth Hochey Program basically walked in and handed the Sawyer Arena keys to the City when they couldn’t make it work. This place has struggled since the first days in spite of the best efforts of 3-4 ownerships.

    • Anonymous

      yes they are money pits but don’t compare this to Pen. nation. The USgovt game them $$$ to build the Sockalexis Arena and they had to maintain it for 10 years and it was great. Then 10 years goes by and voila the Penobscots abandon the kids and community and the Govt that gave them the $$$ and the open Bingo year round.
      And there hasn’t been 3-4 ownerships…1 owner MR Theriault has owned this since it’s inception. He just defaulted and bought it again.

      • Anonymous

        the Penobscots were paying over $150K per year to service debt related to the arena and were bringing in about 130K per year.  They made a lot more than that with bingo i’m sure.

  • Need2 RemainAnonymous

    Private owner knowing about these issue is not exercising due diligence.  Coaches allowing their players to skate knowing of the risk to players are not exercising due diligence.  Parents allowing their players to skate despite the known risks are not exercising due diligence.  All three parties are not acting in the best interest of the kids.

  • Anonymous

    The Owner should setup a non profit to run the arena and turn his ownership over to it. That would involve coaches, players, parents, and other intested individuals in the community. It would also free up the $17,000 in property taxes he pays to the city of Brewer. Maybe then the city would realize they should helped out in the first place instead of sending in code enforement.

  • Anonymous

    OMG where do I start… 
    well the old barn is a decidedly home ice advantage since every team in the state hates to play there
    The MPA won’t play there after they did 1 year and were embarrassed by the poor lighting, crappy boards, Zamboni breakdowns and management
    Roger didn’t know it had those issues…yeah he did his brother in law Lou ran every one out and pocketed the insurance money that was paid to him when the pipes froze one year and fixed on the cheap. THAT’s why the plumbing doesn’t work, toilets don’t work and there is not hot H2O. Roger ran the Lewiston Rink the same way until the city of Lewiston made him a deal no one would refuse when they lured the Mainiacs
    It stinks Brewer doesn’t want the rink because I believe if they took it over it would do well like Sawyer ie already have city staff in place for maintenance, plowing, park and rec staff (redundancies on payroll already) etc. A better managed rink should be breaking even for the city at a minimum. And the teams dont beat on the locker rooms like they used to. they collect keys and you get back when the locker room is cleared…or if they ‘re not checking that then again poor management. But everyone keeps quiet because of the threat of closing the rink or the typical rumor of selling the rink for warehouse space.

  • Anonymous

    I played there 4 yeears ago when Lou was managing. It wasnt the best in the world, but it was warm, clean, adn hot showers. If they dont hag the money to operate it safely then something should be done on theri part. I had some good time playing hocjkey there.

  • Guest

    It would have been nice if the appropriation committee had given the 23 million to upgrade this arena instead of giving it to their own businesses or their wives businesses. This is a shame to allow this facility in such ill repair. As people of the state of Maine………we should figure out how to stop the greed/bleeding of the state monies by our own government. Too bad the owner wasn’t a minority Olympia and Collins could find you some FREE money for your business.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like this owner got in over his head and in the process has disappointed the players and the hockey-loving public.

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