Friday, June 01, 2007

Victoria Pool to open June 16, Albany Times Union

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Making waves for Saratoga Springs pool's opening
State agrees to open Victoria Pool on June 16, one week early, after hearing from residents

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Friday, June 1, 2007
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Louise Goldstein will be chilling waterside when the Victoria Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park opens on June 16. Of that you can be almost sure.
"Unless hell freezes over or there's a hurricane," Goldstein said.
The fierce advocate for the pool collected more than 200 signatures from area residents who objected to the state's scheduled June 23 pool opening. The signers wanted the stately swimming spot to open as soon as possible, preferably on Memorial Day weekend, as it once did.
But the pool stayed unfilled over the sunny holiday as workers painted and resealed it.
"It was lonely, empty and pathetic," Goldstein said.
Well, it won't be soon.
The state decided this week that, weather permitting, it will move forward the opening date of the Victoria Pool to June 16, said Eileen Larrabee, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Great Depression-era pool will close again from June 18 to 22 before becoming available for water and sun bathing on a regular basis beginning June 23.
"We have always said that if the weather cooperates, we will open earlier," Larrabee said. "We have said that in response to (Goldstein's) numerous requests."
The park's other swimming hole, the Peerless Pool, will not open until June 23.
The Victoria Pool last opened on or before Memorial Day weekend in 2003. But it averaged only 10 customers during the holiday weekend from 2000 to 2003, Larrabee said.
"The weather this time of the year in this part of the country is not reliable, so even when they've tried to open earlier in previous years, there was not interest in attending," Larrabee said.
Last year the pool opened on June 24.
The state made $1.5 million in improvements to the pool in 2004 and 2005 after Goldstein and Andrew Jennings of Ballston Spa organized the Save the Victoria Pool Society to raise awareness and pressure the state to make renovations. The work included new locker rooms, the restoration of fountains, a new clock, masonry work and roof repairs.
Goldstein has attended the Victoria Pool since she was a young girl. She says the Northeast needs all the pool time it can get.
May was warm all month, and the taxpayers of New York should have been able to enjoy what they pay for, she said. She calls the facility "the most beautiful pool in America ... magical."
Yusko can be reached at 581-8438 or by e-mail at dyusko@timesunion.com.
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4 comments:

GentlemanGhost said...

OK so this was in the Times Union but where's your apology? After all the insults and the witch hunt the OPRHP did exactly what they said they would do, open early if possible. Because they lived up to their promise you get two bonus days...I know you still aren't satisfied but a good way to save face would be to at least pretend that you are grateful. After all this media coverage and this petition what happened? Nothing! The OPRHP went along and did their job and lived up to what they said they would do. Ms. Larrabee said they would open early if possible back in April after your original mean and insulting editorial. So all your efforts did was prove that the pool has a large following...big deal! OPRHP did NOT give in to you fanatics and for that they should be applauded!

Anonymous said...

I agree! Your society is mean and ungrateful. You will never be satisfied and never be happy. I'm glad this new Parks administration isn't paying much attention to you.

Boxer said...

Well hold on now, this group may have some peculiar tactics and ideas but I think they have good intentions. They just don't project and handle themselves very well. I think if they were less confrontational they might get better results. Just something to think about in the future.

Anonymous said...

The ends do NOT always justify the means.