Slips and falls cause breaks at skating rink

Published: Monday, December 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 30, 2003 at 11:04 p.m.

Running a skating rink can be a slippery business.

Two days after the city of Gainesville opened its holiday ice-skating rink in the Downtown Community Plaza, a skater who tripped and fell, claimed there was a chink in the ice. The fall snapped both forearm bones just above the wrist. Surgery was required to repair the breaks.

No news yet if the skater plans to sue, although she said she has contacted a lawyer.

The city has prepared for the possibility of accidents, City Attorney Marion Radson said when he learned of the incident.

Gainesville is paying $125,000 for the rink and its operations for six weeks ending on Jan. 4. The package includes a special liability insurance policy for the city and the company running the skating operation.

Individual claims are capped at $1 million, or a total of $2 million for all claims, Radson said.

"I'll make sure our risk manager knows about it," he said.

  • Look what's on the back: Sometimes the backside of a note "From the Desk of a Waste Watcher" can be more fascinating than what's scrawled on the front.

    Since the county implemented its internal recycling program, about 50,000 pieces of paper - nearly 2 tons - have been chopped into quarters and remade into 50-sheet scribble pads.

    Flipping through a pad upside down, however, can reveal old tropical weather advisories, Alachua County Fire Rescue employee names and schedules, personnel matters like sick leave and vacations, and purchasing forms.

    An occasional proprietary piece of information slips through, said Sally Palmi, the county's waste alternatives manager.

    "For us to go through every single piece of paper wouldn't be feasible," Palmi said.

  • Trying to stay on schedule: They don't bicker about it as much anymore - but Gainesville city commissioners still struggle to actually finish the people's business in a timely fashion.

    A schedule starting at 1 p.m. prepared by Mayor Tom Bussing last week allocated four hours for 15 items. The timeline was blown almost immediately. By 5 p.m., the City Commission had covered only four topics, leaving 28 issues to be discussed during the night session.

    "I'm sure the evening part isn't near as stressful," Bussing said at the time.

    The meeting broke at 11 p.m. - the agenda still uncompleted.

  • Quote of the week: "This is a weird thing for you to come to us since you are suing us."

    - Alachua County Commissioner Penny Wheat said to Sheriff Steve Oelrich last week when he presented a letter supporting a review of the jail. Oelrich is suing to change how the county funds his office.

    Janine Young Sikes can be reached at 337-0327 or Ashley Rowland can be reached at 374-5095 or

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