I'm left scratching my head over Don Smith's Thumbs Down to Marc Wheeler and Joe Geldhof in his Sunday Empire editorial. Smith claimed Geldhof and Wheeler "tarnished" the opening of the Treadwell ice arena for lacing up and taking a couple of turns on Christmas Eve.
I don't recall a story in the Empire exploring this issue. Without knowing the facts it's impossible for the reader to determine if Wheeler and Geldhof's little skate was in any way inappropriate. A real news story, executed by one of the Empire's capable reporters, would have done a far greater service to the community. Smith should have given readers the opportunity to weigh the facts and make up their own minds whether the two skaters should be given the thumbs down.
There are a couple of facts I would like to provide readers and Mr. Smith. Mr. Wheeler has been a strong supporter of the Treadwell Arena project since day one and worked hard to keep ice aficionados up-to-date on the progress of arena construction.
As for Mr. Geldhof, I believe he has done as much as anyone to increase participation in ice-based sports in Juneau. I've watched Mr. Geldhof cook hot dogs in the freezing cold at Twin Lakes, give away elbow pads, sticks, and hundreds of yards of tape to young hockey players, and donate a thousand dollars toward the Treadwell Arena sound system. He clearly deserves a thumbs up for his community spirit, not a hatchet job from a publisher who has an ax to grind.