Tag Archives: summer fun

City of Woo parked in A.I. … RECREATION WORCESTER! Free Summer Fun for kids!!!

But first …

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Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty & City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. …

… invite you to an exciting announcement of …

RECREATION WORCESTER SUMMER PROGRAMMING
& YOUTH JOBS INITIATIVE

Tomorrow!!!Tuesday, June 21

4 PM

Vernon Hill Park
43 Ames Street

Yipee!

Summer days in private pools for Worcester’s neighborhood youth

By Christina Lenis

Smiling faces awaiting summer fun radiate from behind the green nylon seats of a yellow school bus. Outside, staff members wearing light blue t-shirts with the Wheels to Water logo on the front, hold clips boards, marking off names and checking for bright blue wristbands as children continue to board.

The bus engine starts to rumble. The excitement of children on summer vacation can be heard throughout.

The chatter soon seizes as the rules of the day are read by one of five staff members. The rumbling of the engine intensifies and the bus departs.

Unfamiliar streets aligned with three deckers pass by on either side of the bus. Suddenly, the wheels hit the freshly paved parking lot, as the bus glides to the entrance of the multi-million dollar Boys and Girls Club on Main St. The chattering intensifies, as the children quickly exit the bus, happy to have arrived. Continue reading Summer days in private pools for Worcester’s neighborhood youth

Are there no city pools this summer in Worcester?

By Pablo Soto

My name is Pablo Soto. I am 15 years old and I live on Hope Avenue. But I was raised in the Green Island neighborhood. I attend Fanning Learning Center but my home school is South High, which I will be attending next fall. When I was younger, I never really worried about there not being pools in the summer. All I hear from the younger kids when I’m at Crompton Park is “I heard there’s going to be no pools this summer?” To be honest, I personally do not use the public pools for personal reasons but when I was younger I went every day in the summer. I remember waking up on hot, sticky, humid summer mornings feeling like I was going to explode from the heat.

I feel horrible that the kids in the neighborhood that I grew up in are not going to have a pool to go swimming in the summer. I learned how to swim in Crompton and Vernon pool, mostly Crompton because Vernon was always packed. So I walked down to Crompton. Now children are not going to be able to learn how to swim in their own neighborhood. Pools are something everybody looks forward to in the summer. Maybe the rich families that own their own pools don’t really look forward to them, but the less fortunate do.

Without the pools, kids are most likely to get into a lot of trouble because of the lack of activites to do. I understand that Vernon is going to be rebuilt but it’s going to be the only pool for like three districts, meaning the Vernon is going to be packed. The pools that are planned to be closed down are located in the poorest neighborhoods in the city. People in these communities need these resources in their communities for many reasons. Youth entertain themselves being at the pool, it’s were a lot of first time experiences can happen. It’s another way from staying away from unsafe activities, such as fights, gang violence, drugs etc. Having lifeguards isn’t the issue because I know many youths willing to work as a lifeguard for the pools.

When people think of summertime in the Worcester neighborhoods, the first thing to come to mind is the pools. When I grow up and I have my children I would like them to experience what I did with the pools. I think it’s wrong to end the tradition of the pools now and put in spray parks. Spray parks seem more unsafe and less satisfactory. Spray parks are going to be slippery, unsafe and unsupervised, which is a set up for destruction.

And don’t forget … Pondering the pools

By Rosalie Tirella

My Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray patronage post (see “Hush! Hush!” post below) is missing the following important factoid: the Republican fundraiser who raised thousands of dollars for Murray – and whom Murray had to dump after grousings from the gov, his boss, and after a critical Boston Globe story – was “rewarded” by Murray, after he gave Murray the big bundle of bucks. Murray appointed the guy – a nursing home developer type  – to a board somewhere (I think) in Brockton. Murray gave the guy the position as (and let’s not be coy) as a reward because it was a position that would have enabled Murray’s fundraiser pal to do good by his biz interests. Talk about quid pro quo! Which, of course, doesn’t get talked about in Worcester, when it comes to Murray or any of our politicians, really. Which is why we get the shenanigans of a Bob Spellane (see post below).

And how coincidental is this? The $100,000 + UMass Medical School job that Murray got for his best pal Leary – after a few phone calls, no doubt – is a NEWLY CREATED JOB at UMass (just for Leary??) and IT PAYS the exact same salary  Leary is now making as Murray’s #1 aide in the State House.

The pools

What a tragedy! After all the neighborhood meetings, after all the heart-wrenching testimonials from neighborhood folks, after all the PROMISES from city officials, City Manager Mike O’Brien, with the blessings of the City Council, has closed our nine city pools for the summer. Most of the pools will most likely never have a kid cannonball into them again. How tragic!

Last year, they were fine – 8 of the 9 were opened to the public. The public being lots of minority, poor inner-city folks with not a lot of money/options for summer fun. This year, according to city officials, the pools are lethal! With killer drains, according to DPW and Parks head Robert Moylan! Killer drains that could reach up and grab a flutter-kicking leg and … Gak! It’s the attack of the Killer Drain!! Call the Ghost Busters! Or the Worcester Police Department!

Stop demonizing the drains! Fix them! And with the $200,000 set aside so far for private, non-progfit pool openings in the city, O’Brien could do just that. We do not warm to O’Brien’s contingency plan for summer 2009. Lots of the nonprofits that have offered help have just (so far) opted to expand pool hours for their members (or kids who want to join their organizations). The Boys Club, Girls Inc, YWCA, Main South YMCA have not – so far – opened their pools up to non-member inner-city kids. They must do this if they want to help …

But even if they do step up to the plate, we fear kids will not: take the city sponsored buses to the sites, have enough time to really have fun before they are pushed out to make room for Syncromaid practice or family “dip” for Y members. Our kids will just be squeezed in and made to feel second best. 

So let’s take the money that O’Brien has set aside for lifeguards, buses, support staff, etc at the nonprofit pools and call on a few fantastic blue collar guys (contractors/plumbers) to fix/spackle three or four of the city pools. The rest of the money can be used to hire lifeguards, etc.

What we think happened was this: O’Brien and Moylan (even while they were hearing the pleas/testimonials from inner-city kids!) were planning to close all the city pools – many in poor neighborhoods. Which is why they didn’t even begin to hire/train life guards, hire support staff, etc this year.  And of course they could cover their butts with: “We’re in a national, state and city recession! We have no money! We are laying city workers off left and right! Pools are an extravagance at this time!”

Bull shit. Their city-leased SUV’s are an extravagance! (and the dozen or so big wig in City Hall who have them, complete with free gas, don’t want to geive them up!) Worcester cops making more than $150,000 a year are an extravagance! (just regular ol’ patrol men/women!) Neither cops nor fire dept will join the real world and pay 25% of their helath insurance premiums. This is where the city budget fat is. This is where we could get the money to fix and open ALL OUR CITY POOLS!

Let’s be real – honest.