Ceremony Tonight Will Mourn Closing of Berkeley's Warm Pool (Event)

By Gary Marquard
Wednesday December 14, 2011 - 09:24:00 AM

No decision was announced at last Friday's hearing on an injunction against closing the Warm Pool. The judge said only that she would issue a ruling "shortly.” Unless the injunction is granted, or some other last-minute reprieve occurs, Wednesday, December 14 will be the last day ever of public swim at the Warm Pool.  

At 6:30 on Wednesday, a brief candlelight ceremony and vigil will be held at the pool to mark the occasion of its passing, to underline the depth of the loss to ourselves and our community, to show and share our grief, and also our appreciation for this wonderful place we've had. Please come, with family and friends and anyone else you know who knows the pool's value and would like to support its replacement as soon as possible if it can't be saved.  

TV and other media will be expected, so take the opportunity to show BUSD and City officials BY YOUR NUMBERS that a Warm Pool is not just some social extravagance, as is commonly implied, of value only to "a few disabled people." We know better. The dozens at every parent/tot session know better, the hundreds of afraid-of-water adults who've learned to swim at our pool KNOW BETTER, the families that have swum in the pool the one hour a week allowed them--also know. City Council and staff should too. The loss of the Warm Pool is not just the end of a well-liked recreational program; it is a profound, tragic social loss that needs to be seen as just that, and remedied.  

Come show by your numbers. THE PLAN, in part, is for a large number of people to gather outside the pool and then walk in following a fake casket, like a funeral procession. So those who come just to bear witness should be part of this. Those who want to both witness and swim might consider arriving just before 6:30, and swimming after the ceremony; there’ll be plenty of time left for it. People in the pool at 6:30, who want to stay in, will not be asked to get out. But there will be an in-water component to the ceremony, so we hope you won't mind accommodating your activities to that for a short while.