Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rant: It is too hard for me to not be insulting to council when they dare talk about aquatics and swim pools

The political will for swimming and aquatics shown by city council and the mayor in recent times has not been strong enough to float a turd in a toilet.

The vision for aquatics and swim pools from those in elected office on Grant Street has been worse than the vision of that turd as it swirls down the drain.

And to sustain the insulting metaphor, I don't blame the staff and directors, such as Dwayne Ashley and Mike Radley, as it is impossible to make chicken soup when your only given chicken poop.

It is insulting to see what could have been done, and it could have been fixed.

For me, this goes back to 1999 when the city pulled the permit for the age group competitive swim team that used to practice at the Oliver Bath House. We went to council, and nobody lifted a finger.

When SAVE-OUR-SUMMER '04 came, I was clear as to what could and should be done. Zippo came from the mayor's office and council.

If I was in charge, there would be drastic changes. Volunteers would be accepted. Interns from around the world would come to Pittsburgh as coaches. Cooperation with the private sector would flourish.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we should give more or even any money to Citiparks. The plan I put forth years ago called for the formation of a Pittsburgh Park District, http://Play.CLOH.Org. The treatment of our kids is too important to leave to the folly of those on Grant Street.

What is unlike the city vs. the suburban areas is the coordination among public schools. There is NONE in the city.

The County Parks system should merge with Citiparks. Then we'd have a Park District. There is much to talk about with ring of services and facilities that are not in the city. Let's start by talking about the city owned ice rinks, outdoors at Schenley and indoors on the South Side.

Some topic's I'd advance from drawing board to programs would include:

swim lessons (yes, some)
Water polo (boys, girls, men, women, co-ed)
Swim teams
swim meets
springboard diving
platform diving
syncro diving
distance swimming
snorkel swimming
fin swimming
open water swimming
underwater hockey
Lifesaving competitions
Jr. Lifesaving
Lifeguard camps
EMS training
toy boating
canoe water polo
science day at the pool
water carnivals
intergernerational programs
water running
jump training
hydro training, strength (tiny)
water aerobics (yes)
coaching training – teach the teacher
stroke analysis – video taping -
baby swimming
baby video tapes (very popular in Austria)
Re-opening of YWCA downtown
Re-opening of Gladstone Middle School's pool
Re-opening of swim pool at South Vo Tech, and many other pools in closed schools. And, they'd have purpose.


Anonymous said...

1:30 PM
At the request of Council President Doug Shields:
Noor Ismail
Director, City Planning
Guy Costa
Director, Public Works
Mike Gable
Deputy Director, Public Works
Tom Paulin
Operations Manager, Public Works
Duane Ashley
Director, Parks & Recreation
Mike Radley
Deputy Director, Parks & Recreation
Louann Horan
Fiscal Supervisor, Parks & Recreation
Scott Kunka
Director, Department of Finance
Chet Malesky
Facilities Maintenance Supervisor
Discussion…..City Pools (inventory, condition of equip. @ each site)

David Wheeler, Ph.D., ACMT said...

You mentioned Underwater Hockey in Pittsburgh. We have an active Underwater Hockey league in Pittsburgh. Visit our website or the Underwater Hockey Tourist Website for more information. We would be happy to work with the city to have games in the City pools.