Wednesday, May 30, 2007

posted 5/30/07 on www.isaratoga.blogspot.com

i-Saratoga
An appeal by the community for the failings of local journalism.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pool cue
It seems like every month lately, Lousie Goldstein begins pining for the Victoria Pool to open early. Just as the spring flowers begin to poke through the thawing earth, it seems like the co-founder of the Save the Victoria Pool Society hits the media circuit with pleas –even demands –for the State Park administration to add a few more weeks to either end of the pool season.And it’s high time the bastards begin listening.The Victoria Pool, much like the park it inhabits, is a treasure to both Saratoga Springs and New York as a whole. Seldom is there a person who visits the pool’s sun drenched deck nestled in a piney grove and leaves without feeling replenished in some way shape or form. It is a unique place where plutocrats freely mix with plebeians and the only discerning factor between the two is who managed to claim rights to the sparsely numbered lounge chairs.The Victoria Pool was built in 1935 as an excercise component part of the state-owned hydrotherapy resort, which also included the mineral bathes, the springs and the Gideon Putnam Hotel. Visitors were expected to drink spa’s medicinal spring waters, bathe in the mineral water and give their muscles a gentle workout at Victoria.When the spa was incorporated into the state park system in 1962, the pool started a slow descent into what many considered abject decay. By the turn of the century, what was once known as the nation’s first heated public pool became renowned for its frosty waters. Everything from the fountains to the surrounding brick work showed marked deterioration; the innerworkings also showed age, rupturing once in August 2o03 to shut down both the park's pools for a spell.Earlier that year, Goldstein and Andrew Jennings, two of the pool’s frequent visitors, formed the Victoria Pool society to lobby for marked state improvements to the structure. After six months of heavy lobbying, the parks administration announced an 18-month $1.5 million renovation project to restore “the Vic” back to its former grandeur, including the once-heated water.Now that the renovations are done, Goldstein and her organization are petitioning for a few extra days in the season to enjoy them, as well they should. But state park officials can’t seem to open the pool until late June at the earliest, and then refuses to keep it open past Labor Day. They claim this is to keep up on the necessary regiment of maintenance needed to ensure the pool’s water quality and the grounds are properly tended.While there may be a hint of truth to this, the bottom line is more likely economics. In years of running the pool, the parks administration has realized it makes no money in May, early June or September. So rather than subsidize a loss-leader among other areas of the park that do make money, the economic thing is to shut it down, regardless of the public will.Problem is the public owns Victoria; it always has, it always will. It was built by the public under Roosevelt’s Work Progress Administration and has been funded by the public for more than seven decades. So when the public is asking –rather demanding –more time to enjoy its property, the state is obligated make a concession at the very least.In this case, how much would it hurt to open the gates a week earlier than normal and keep them open a week later? Not much. Could it be done? Certainly. Will it happen? Well, that’s up to the public. As Goldstein and her organization have proven, people talk and politicians generally ignore them; but when groups shout, their feet get moving pretty quickly.
posted by Horatio Alger at 8:47 AM 0 comments
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think calling state park employees "bastards" is a particularly smart idea. Additionally, economics is exactly why the pool isnt open: the pool, when opened early, made very little money. Unless the public wants to pay more to subsidize the cost of opening the pool early (paying pool attendants, lifegaurds, pool operators, etc) for 9-10 people to show up every day, the "public" should stop whining.

save the victoria pool society said...

The above article is taken from the isaratoga blog. save the victoria pool society does not believe in censorship but it does not mean we agree with every word of what others write.

GentlemanGhost said...

On your petition, there is a woman that is signature number 84 or 85 and she left a comment saying that the bathrooms are in bad shape at the pool. How long has it been exactly since she's been there? Everything she complains about in that post has been repaired or updated since 2004. Anonymous above is also so right...that article is all opinion and is totally baron of any facts or relevant information. Don't try to sound all big and bad with your views on censorship...you just love it when people are suckered in by your drivel and you also just love to bash the entire OPRHP organization. I don't know where that sense of entitlement comes from but it is repulsive and disgusting. That "taxpayers" song is getting old and dried up! Your organization and you have probably done more damage to that park and that pool in four years than the seventy years it took for it to fall apart. The pool has been SAVED, nothing else is going to get done...! Is that all you exist for now? To complain when it doesn't open on Memorial Day and complain when it closes on Labor Day...? Have you lost what little credibility you ever had, that you have to lower yourself so low to the point where others make up lies and sling insults to defend you? Oh why do I even bother, you probably won't address a single point I've made or even post this so what's the point.

save the victoria pool society said...

we really can't be responsible for what comments people make and publish all of them unless they are completely factually wrong. the Outdoor showers are long gone lovely as they were. We have always applauded all the improvements and the dedicated employees at Saratoga Spa State Park.

Anonymous said...

once again looks like spa park is catering to the older and richer crowds demands.Is it not enough seniors get in free on weekdays and half price to pools? $6 for that pool and half the price for peerless where the regular saratogains like to hang out. Why does everyone cater to this group? I think both pools should be open so families can afford to go and these seniors shouldn't have to pay half of what we normal citizens with chidren have to pay. Tell me how thats fair? I read this in tonight's saratogian.com and if one is good enough to open why aren't both? and if only one is open the I hope the park realizes what a mistake that is.....
Janet

Anonymous said...

Wow, Louise! You are vicious! Somehow I don't think being this nasty is going to win the hearts of the Park's authorities. Better rethink your tactics.

save the victoria pool society said...

Admission to Victoria Pool has been $3 for NYS resident Seniors on weekdays and $6 on weekends.

Anonymous said...

So you don't believe in censorship, but you do, in fact, censor comments on your blog?

save the victoria pool society said...

We only censor foul language or really factually incorrect statements.