Ice arena, patrons at odds |

Ice arena, patrons at odds

Susan Wood, Tribune staff writer

South Lake Tahoe Parks Commissioner Jerome Evans wants to thaw a cool relationship between the city and a group of citizens which has been complaining about how the ice arena is run.

“We’re looking into it — talking to parents, players and employees,” Evans said.

The commissioner will meet this week with Victor Insera, a representative of the concerned group.

“We felt the management was not addressing the concerns of parents and players of the people using the rink,” Insera said.

A petition, spearheaded by Insera, has been taken to the city. It essentially criticizes the allocation of ice rink time and the attitude of management during hockey games.

The complaints came to a head after a confrontation between adult league hockey player Mark Pardo and arena Recreation Coordinator Curtis “Chris” Perry.

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Insera said Pardo, who was charged with misdemeanor battery, was unfairly singled out for punishment. A pretrial hearing is set for March 20 and the jury trial is slated to begin March 24.

Perry recovered from being slugged in the face, but Pardo’s attorney, Scott Freeman, said his client has taken the brunt of the blame.

“Mr. Perry has a history of violence. It’s very unusual to hire an employee like that,” Freeman said.

Perry — who has elected not to participate in the recreation leagues — declined to comment on the accusations, turning instead to city Recreation Superintendent Judy Crawford to respond to the criticisms.

Crawford stands by her employees and the arena’s operations, asking hockey players and parents to be patient as the city irons out issues at the 9-month-old facility.

Other issues, including those related to locker room use at the ice arena were raised by parent Bonnie Betts, during meetings with city senior management.

Signs have been put up to alleviate any confusion over who is supposed to be in which locker room.

— Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at