Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What do you do in the summertime?

Summertime....ahh. It sounds so great doesn't it? I love summer. For the last 4 summers I've planned activities for every day of the month. We have park days, movie days, friend days, and the most important of all, swimming days! One thing I really loved about Spokane was their public pools. They were basic, rectangle, nothing fancy and FREE! For the 17 and under crowd that is. It was great. I would bring a nice light summer read. Find a cool spot in the shade to put my camping chair and settle in for the next 2 and a half hours. What a great place for kids too. You've got the over zealous lifeguards really watching out for the kids. Safety and foul language patrol seem to be the focus of the team. I feel pretty good about leaving my girls in their hands. Of course, I'm just right outside the gate. When they are ready to leave, there is always the same ice cream man, ready to take orders. They go as fancy as the Spiderman bar down to the humble twin pop. Something for everyone.

Those days are gone. I am so sad. Why, you may be wondering? I'll tell you. Last year they decided to tear up the old pools and put in new aquatic centers. Sounds like it would be a great idea doesn't it? I thought it was a great idea too, until I heard the proposed fee that would be tacked on to get in.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but Spokane has prided themselves for having their pools free for the youth. It is a Spokane tradition that started with the first public pool. It gave all kids, regardless of economic condition, a place to be in the summer. It's a place to belong, a place that is constructive and safe. Spokane has quite a large population of inner-city kids that need a better choice of what to do on a Wednesday afternoon in July. Not to mention that the pools were fine the way they were. They got the job done. They were busy every day. Kids would walk, ride, and even bus to get to one. It was a summer mainstay for kids with working parents and daycare groups.

I think my problem is this, they had something great that wasn't broken and they try to "fix" it and then charge more than what the majority of the costumer base can afford. I just don't know why they don't leave well enough alone.

Well, instead of just being upset about it at home or doing some other impotent act, I'm going to send e-mails and show up at the May 5th hearing. I want my voice to be heard. Maybe they can come up with something that will work for everybody. I don't think the tradition of free swimming is going to hold up, but maybe it can at least be affordable swimming, for everyone.

17 comments:

debsters said...

The perfect solution is to come swimming with us at Phyllis's house this summer. A little far, but it'll be so worth it. Private, lovely setting and free too.

Lisa said...

I like Debi's idea :)

Mike Brinkerhoff said...

Debi really does have the best solution!

I hope we get to join you at Phyllis' pool some time this summer... It would be so fun to watch Danee and Emma splashing around!

In the meantime, we'll be enjoying the still quite reasonable Fircrest Pool.

dani said...

i hope your voice will be heard, heidi... it sounds like a wonderful system your city had going. maybe if there are enough of you to speak, the city will be will be willing to compromise.
do you have the feeling that there is something more to the upgrade than what meets the eye??? i guess i'm just wondering if the city is not only upgrading but endeavoring to unburden itself of the responsibility of babysitting??? (or are there established rules that all kids under a certain age are required to have an adult chaperon???)
whatever happens, i hope you and the girls will be able to continue to enjoy your public pool!!!
have you ever read any of debbie macomber's books, she's usually my favorite, summertime, light reading authors:)
much love,
dani xxxx

KaTrina said...

Wow! I can understand why they're having to do it if they were becoming a free babysitter, but at the same time, like you said why ruin a good thing!

Just to let you know, today is the last day of my give-a-way if you want to enter, do so by Midnight! :)

Thanks!

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

You don't need adult supervision at a public pool. I think that maybe the 8 and under crowd do, but when I was little, my brothers and I would walk up to the public pool and swim by ourselves all of the time. When I was visiting my uncle last summer, Abbey and her cousins were walking over to the neighborhood pool to swim. I don't think it's a baby sitting system. I think it's a summertime tradition to go to the public pool when you are a kid.

SuzanSayz said...

I didn't know that Spokane had such a great pool tradition. I'm surprised you never told me about it. It sounds to me like they are trying to get more tourist dollars at the expense of their own residents. Shame on Spokane! I can't see any other reason for them to tear up ALL the pools. Are they going to sell season passes? If so it might be a good birthday present for the girls.
They are outgrowing toys after all and I feel like getting them clothing doesn't seem very much like birthday present fodder.

Terri said...

Give 'em heck! I think it's a shame, too, that they can't come up with a more affordable solution. Oh, and it's a small world - I got my undergrad degree in Lewiston, Id! Spokane was for shopping in those days! :)

Brooke said...

Hopefully they can come up with an affordable compromise, although free swimming would certainly be better! The pools here aren't super-cheap, but still great fun when we go!

libbie said...

that really is a silly thing to do, tear up a perfectly good pool where kids can swim for free. what a shame.

Jan the crazy lady said...

You go girl. You know how much I love a voice. Get on it and stick with it. And then go swimming at Phyllis's :)

LKP said...

my Daisy wants to know if you are related to a "Logan DeCoursey" here in TCs....??? Anyhow the bumps, (Hyper Keratosis) is a hereditary thing according to my Dr and all my research online. my doc's recommendation is that Amlactin lotion along with a good loofah in the shower (use Dove or a non-soap cleanser, that way you get clean but there's less drying that occurs---i'm now in love with Aveeno's bodywash). you can pick the lotion up at Walgreen's for like $15 or less. good stuff, its made a difference for me quickly. also, i don't know how sensitive your face is, but my doc had me start using this stuff called CeraVe (it's a soap-free facial cleanser & lotion combo specifically for sensitive skin---mine's so sensitive that even cetaphil burns, but i'm adoring this new combo!). you can get that stuff at Walgreens too for less than $13 a bottle. just FYI, hope it helps.

LKP said...

p.s. DO NOT pick at or "pop" those bumps, it just makes em worse and causes some severe scarring. Hyper Keratosis is common among people with scandinavian/northern european ancestry. (i get mine from my danish heritage)

LKP said...

what a SMALL world! daisy has 4 classes with logan. mr. cazier is in our ward, and my husband serves in the teachers quorum with him! amy rocks! she and i get along pretty darn good. we're interested in many similar things. she is one of my favorite people to have in ANY class i get to teach in at church. her son anderson was one of my husband's deacons before he was called into the teachers quorum. amy's aunt & uncle (denise & loren) i have known for what seems like forever! their kids grew up with me & my hubby. i consider denise to be one of my second mom's. good times! great people. NO WONDER I LIKE YA! alwardt, mortensen, jensen, eederson, larsen, anderson...my mom says there may be sorenson in there somewhere. she says the alwardt line is the birthline, and moretensen is the adopted line.

David said...

good luck at the hearing!

Jeanette said...

Good luck. With these economic times, I am sure your voice won't be the only one. Hopefully, the perfect solution will be made. I'm eager to hear how it turns out.