Matt Brown Speaks to Gov. Patrick About Norwood Hockey Rink

An NHS alumnus and Stonehill college freshman, Matt Brown met with Gov. Patrick yesterday at the State House.

Editor's Note: The following is taken from a press release from the office of Rep. John H. Rogers

Governor Deval Patrick met with Norwood’s own Matt Brown yesterday at the State House to hear his remarks on the public skating rink proposed in Norwood. 

State Representative John H. Rogers (D-Norwood), who secured $5.659 million for a public rink in Norwood within the state’s capital budget, said that Matt was “masterful in his testimony” and “charming in his approach.”

The Stonehill College freshman, Brown is concentrating in both business and communications.

The full text of Brown's statement is below:

Governor Patrick, on behalf of my hometown, I thank you for your great stewardship of Massachusetts and also a very special thanks for approving and signing Chapter 239, Section 58, which authorizes the state’s capital budget to expend $5.6 million for the construction of a permanent ice skating rink and recreation center in the town of Norwood.

It is my understanding that the Norwood project, like the larger-scale Jackson Square project, is consistent with the principles espoused in your 2012-2016 Five-Year Capital Investment Plan.

A public skating rink constructed and located in Norwood would enrich the lives of thousands of citizens living in communities throughout Norfolk County and the South Shore. 

Over the last two decades, the landscape of youth sports, and hockey in general, has changed dramatically.

Private rinks cater to those that have the money to spend thousands of dollars for a son or a daughter to participate in hockey and figure skating.  As a business model, these facilities have locked out the non-profit youth groups that were established years ago solely to provide skating programs to local kids at affordable rates.

Over time, the growing lack of public facilities has cut off access to ice time for non-profit groups, thus severely limiting participation from medium and low-income families within our region of the Commonwealth.

The lack of public facilities has also limited the amount of public skating.  A public rink will enable families to enjoy quality family time and exercise together. Friday nights often meant the family heading out for skating, for fun and exercise, and then relaxing at a local restaurant before heading home.  It was an inexpensive night out for families that lead to tight knit communities and energized area economies.   

Under your leadership, these times can and will return and they will usher in a new era of social, recreational, and economic vitality for our part of Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick, I close by thanking you for inviting us here to the People’s house and I cordially invite you to visit me, once again, at my house in Norwood. And this time please, stay for dinner. I would only ask... that when you come, you kindly arrive around 5:30... and with a check for $5.6 million.  Thank you.

Mr. Ragman September 28, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Why is this a foregone conclusion - John Rogers never spoke publicly to any of the residents who might be affected by this except those in favor of it and who are on the RINC committee, where is the due process, why is this being shoved down our throats? Why does Rogers pander the few at the expense of many - sure its easy to dump on South Norwood, it's a bunch of transients anyway. Never once was Coakley mentioned for this in the years of discussion - this is most likely school property and we all know how easy it is to get the NSD to transfer title of land or not, is anyone out there listening or wondering the same things? Remember the fiasco over LAX fields at Callahan and Oldham?
Stu Libidowitz September 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
This has been in discussion for several years and the Coakley had been identified as the primary site many times. I don't skate and never played hockey but still think adding a rink to the town is a great idea and Rogers regardless of what you think of him personally should be applauded for getting this done for our town and community.
Dan Krusz September 28, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Rogers is right and here's why.Some day we may be reading a note like this from a Norwood child who learned to skate at the new rink!"I put my skates on for the first time when I was four.some of the other four year old kids that were putting their skates on for the first time and are still some of my best friends today,18 years later.My friends and I are extremely lucky to have been coached by so many wonderful people who instilled into all of us a passion and respect for the game.But it all started with the foundation that was built for me by the community hockey systems.As a mite and squirt playing for Duluth, all I wanted to do was beat the other Duluth neighborhood teams.Then came high school hockey.The only thing better than a high school game against Hermantown was a win against Hermantown!All of this was done with my friends. All of this was done while living in the same house where I'd fall asleep as a four year old dreaming about hockey.No, I didn't join an all-star team of 10-year old kids in the winter and go to tournaments in Quebec City or Buffalo.I played with kids from across the alley and down the street.I didn't move away at age 14 to pursue my hockey dreams.Instead I stayed home to play the game I love with my friends, and had a blast doing it! From the bottom of my brand new Hobey Baker award, thank you!With Thanks,Jack Connolly
James Somers September 30, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Mr. Ragman, Why don't you attend Monday nights informational meeting at the Coakley and get the real facts and stand up and speak instead of hiding behind a fictitious name that makes your comments have little merit.
Zootie Maguire October 03, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Let's grow up in Norwood and put a hockey rink in a location "grown up and is on a site that is prime and safe for access. Coakley School already has safety issues, congestion, traffic and parking unmanageable. Why create a worse problem. Let's grow up and put it near Rt. 1, Rt. 128 and 95. Furthermore, who is the "go to contact" for information and status of what's going on with this "rink"..????
Josh Andrews October 24, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Why not use this opportunity to fix Coakley's safety issues and build a rink?
Zootie Maguire October 24, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Josh, if the "town" were mindful (paying attention) of daily safety issues at ALL Norwood schools this wouldn't be the subject. A rink on the grounds of a middle school? Come on....these guys can do better than that. The schools are secondary in this town as expressed in the list of 85 towns that passed the Advanced MCAS. Norwood was NOT on this list. Do our kids really come first? 90% of the residents of South Norwood oppose the rink, are you listening??
Josh Andrews October 25, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Oh, I didn't realize. I don't see how MCAS scores are related to safety, or a town's focus. Our town spends a lot of money on its schools. Many towns who spend more money on their school are having the same MCAS scores. I'm not sure how to fix that, but I dont think the people who work on improving these scores are distracted by a rink proposal. I'm not sure how a rink could possibly the school's kids anyway. The schools have drug problems and I think the police are doing a good job trying to stop that. I talk to my daughter about drugs too. But If 90% of the residents of south norwood were against the rink they would have been at the community meeting. There were only a few there and they asked questions and got answers I thought. I thought it was a positive experience, even though there were some people who arent even from south norwood cheering loudly against it and cheering loudly for it. Overall, I thought it was positive.
Scott Hayes October 27, 2012 at 01:36 PM
This rink is an investment in our community. The traffic impact would be minimal. Seriously every drive to the Roche Arena on a Friday night? I do because I bring my kids skating there. Rink traffic would be no worse than soccer and football that currently goes on at the Coakley. If you want to complain about the traffic impact then you should seriously think about removing the other sports from the Coakley as well. Our kids, the kids of Norwood need a rink to call home. No more going to Walpole or Dedham. This is our team and our town. Lets do this for the kids.


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