Saturday, September 12, 2015

Weather Illustrates Turf Issues

The Council's decision to eschew artificial turf in the Parks bonding referendum has been on several residents' minds with this past week's high heat.

The school's athletic director, Elisha DeJesus, told The Courant that the heat index on the High School's artificial turf field was 132 degrees in the morning, and the football team's practice was moved inside.

Another football program in the state was not so wise. According to WTNH, several Stratford High School football players received 2nd degree burns on their hands, after being forced by their coach to crawl on artificial turf that was as hot as 150 degrees.

Council member Seb Giuliano was adamant that artificial turf was a better option for the city. When one of the opponents of artificial turf, resident Ana Pérez-Gironés, emailed Giuliano the Stratford story, he replied:
Thank you for your e-mail. I would, however, appreciate your clearing something up for me: Are you blaming the field for the actions of an idiot coach? 
Giuliano went on to argue that there are inherent dangers on any kind of field:
You don't play on grass fields when they get so degraded that you can tear a ligament, or strain a tendon or break a bone because the footing is bad. Everything has its downside.
Pérez-Gironés wasn’t convinced, “… grass turf does not heat up to reach a temperature of 150ºF, but artificial turf fields can and do."
Disclosure: At the recent Council meetings, I testified that soccer should be played on grass, and I testified that some fields could be artificial, as long as they were tested and subject to approval by all appropriate regulatory agencies.

1 comment:

John Milardo said...

I've lost complete faith on this issue of fields...not artificial vs. natural, just the field issue in general. A month or so ago, there were nothing but accolades during a Common Council meeting for Public Works Director Bill Russo by Mayor Drew, Councilmen Jim Streeto and Gerry Dailey. Everyone was of the consensus that Middletown's fields and parks have NEVER been in better shape.

The following month, the Director, Councilmembers, Mayor, and general public are stating how terrible the parks and fields are, and that you cannot play on them anymore. We have to have $34 million to fix the problem. What happened to the fields being in great shape? I guess that was just a smoke screen to cover-up the unsuccessful merger of departments, which did nothing to improve facilities and parks. Productivity improvements don't happen without cross training and/or combination of workforces; and that wasn't part of the reorganization.

What is the TRUTH on this issue! Is it that athletic leagues were promised artificial turf fields and won't be satisfied until they get them? Is there a need for more fields, or just fix existing fields? What was everyone promised and by whom! Votes count on this!