When the Sabres played the Ice Bowl a couple of weeks ago, the television announcers spent a lot of time talking about pond hockey and how many of today's professionals got hooked on hockey by playing outside.
That got me thinking about Ives Pond and wondering whether the City of Tonawanda still operated it.
It was reassuring to find out that - weather permitting - the city still floods the fields and turns them over to the ice skaters every winter.
Mayor Ronald Pilozzi said the city is willing to shell out the money to make the rink every year. That belief, like the rink itself, seems like a throwback to an earlier era, when communities tried to provide recreational activities for kids.
But should they be? Is that government's role, especially in this region with this economy? Or is it, as Pilozzi says, a small price to pay?
--- Bruce Andriatch