Public Comment

New: The Warm Pool Situation: Dona's Last Wish-- How the City of Berkeley Fails again

By Lori Kossowsky
Tuesday March 13, 2012 - 09:46:00 PM

Each morning when I wake up, one of the thoughts in my mind is "Oh no, the warm pool is gone." And I feel a thud in my chest and a yearning to swim in those warm waters again. Then comes the realization that my community I cherish has no where to go. The BUSD and the COB could have easily prevented this, but they refused. 

Last Tuesday I attended the city council meeting to remind them to put a pools initiative on the ballot. 

Mayor Bates, when interviewed on television said the warm pool is a vital part of our community and they do great work. On his campaign promises from 2008 he promised to have a warm pool built. So, where is it? 

When I asked at a previous city council meeting, before the holidays, if they could take an hour of their time, to convene a meeting to keep the warm pool open till March, saying it would mean so much to all who depended on the pool, it was denied, the reason being that the building was seismically unsafe. Yet the city hall building where I made this request is far more hazardous. 

At the February 28th city council meeting I asked them to poll the community in an honest poll, not like the one they did in 2008, when we should have been on the ballot. And certainly not like the poll which was done for the ill fated Measure C, which said we would win, although this was statistically impossible. It is to our credit that we did as well as we did. 

The COB, has said that they are providing similar programs for the warm pool at other pools. I believe it was channel five who reported this news. They have a disabled swim at King pool in the evening hours, from 5-7. All I can say is i wish they were joking, but they sadly are not. The Aqua Chi class which I attended for many years and was a huge help for my nerve pain, was supposed to be replaced at, yes, you guessed it, King pool! Though when I called to find out who they hired and when did this "class" met, the people I spoke to at Parks and Rec had no idea what I was speaking about. 

The Y is not working for many. The little pool which is supposed to be 90 degrees to 92 degrees is often lower and there are not enough hours to accommodate the influx of warm pool people. The air temperature in that room is very cold. Gracie's pool which was supposed to be raised to 88 degrees to 90 degrees, is often lower; I've rarely seen it above 88 degrees. Again, they didn't add any extra hours for warm pool people. If there are more then 25 people swimming in Grace's Pool, one can wait till someone leaves which is difficult for people with mobility problems, or give up and go home. 

Many of the city council members and the mayor are up for reelection. Please tell them they won't get your vote unless a decent pools plan is placed on the ballot-- one which can win! 

Sad to say, that while we wait again for a new warm pool, it's " Pie in the Sky" for many.