A new skating rink in Center Street Park between 64th, 65th, Center and Clarke Streets, on the border between Wauwatosa and Enderis Park is coming along nicely, thanks in good part to some frigid temps perfect for making ice.
The spot in the park has been flooded and frozen but it takes multiple layers to reach the required six inches of ice suitable for skating on the new Waterstone Bank Ice Rink. Milwaukee and Wauwatosa Fire Departments are supplying volunteer "hosers" for this work.
While that is going on, the park's fieldhouse is being prepped as a warming station for skaters.
"A few more nights of spraying and it will be good to go for skating," says Tosa Ald. Bobby Pantuso. "We are planning a 'grand opening' on the afternoon of the 17th."
It will mark the return of skating to the park for the first time in more than a quarter-century.
Spearheaded by The Friends of Center Street Park, the rink is becoming a reality thanks to a grant from Waterstone Bank and lots of donated labor.
Pettit National Ice Center is helping to make skates available to the public for free at the park, and the County Parks Department is working on readying the pavilion as a warming house and concession. Proceeds from the hot chocolate sales will help fund future projects at Center Street Park.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.