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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Allentown's Irving Pool To Open Two Days Per Week, Starting Today!

If you take just five minutes to google "lifeguard shortage," you'll see it is a national problem this year. It is affecting Raleigh, NC; Springfield, Ill; West Palm Beach, Fl; and Syracuse, NY; just to name a few places. Yet when Allentown cited this national lifeguard shortage as the reason why Irving Pool would remain closed this summer, Michael Molovinsky on his eponymous blog snarked that this was just a "convenient excuse," without bothering to explain what the hell he meant. We were left knowing only that those "looking for a little truth about Allentown to sprinkle on their early morning gruel are pretty much limited to [Molovinsky]."

He made this pronouncement right before he and I appeared together on Alan Jenning's Lehigh Valley Discourse. He had been promoting his upcoming radio appearance, but has been strangely silent about it since the show was taped. You can listen to the show yourself on Thursday at 6 pm to learn why.

On the show, I took Molovinsky to task for lots of things. But for now, let's stick with the lifeguards. Molovinsky resented being told he had failed to do even five minutes of homework. He was also miffed when I slammed his cryptic "convenient excuse" argument.

The very next day, Molovinsky doubled down. He still refused to tell his readers that there is a national lifeguard shortage. The bastion of Allentown truth instead claimed that Allentown never planned on opening Irving Pool at all. The lifeguard shortage was just an excuse.

He also posited an explanation for the lifeguard shortage. He published this comment from failed school board candidate Scott Armstrong: "It's my guess that those who do would rather not lifeguard at an Allentown pool where discipline would be hard to enforce and attempts to make people follow the rules would likely be met with the usual in your face, f*** you response." That sentiment was echoed by other Trump-loving followers.

This, of course, is thinly disguised classism or racism.

As it happens, the sole source of Allentown truth got it wrong. There was no secret agenda after all. No deep state. Mayor Ray O'Connell has announced that, starting today, Irving Pool will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the season. Why? He has lifeguards.
.
Cedar Pool is open seven days a week through Labor Day.

Mack Pool is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and Jordan Pool is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

 The pools are open from 12:00pm to 7:00pm.

“We have been evaluating and re-evaluating staffing and the allocation of those resources throughout the season,” said Allentown Parks and Recreation Director Lindsay Taylor. “We have hired some more certified lifeguards and we are at a point now where we can add Irving to the schedule two days a week. We will keep taking a look at the entire schedule through the end of the season.”

The city plans to close Irving for the season on August 9, Mack on August 17 and Jordan on August 25. This has been the practice over the last few years.

Allentown is still hiring lifeguards. In some communities, senior citizens are in those lifeguard chairs. Interested persons can apply through the city’s website at https://www.allentownpa.gov/Human-Resources/Employment-Openings.

Bucky Boyle Park and Old Fairgrounds Playground Spray Parks are open daily from 12:00pm to 7:00pm.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the lifeguard problem were new in Allentown, the "national shortage" might be a believable excuse.

However, the lifeguard excuse is nothing new, since every year the City comes up short despite having an ever dwindling number of pools (they used to have at least 7). In addition, just across the city line a large water park is able to operate year after year without the national excuse (sorry, shortage) affecting that park.

The fact that, after a little bit of political pressure from East Side residents, the city has now miraculously found enough lifeguards to open Irving for two days a week is further proof that the "national shortage" isn't the issue.

Instead, it's just a lack of attention and will to fully staff the pools on the part of City Hall. It's time for O'Connell to do the right thing and open all of the remaining pools every day. It's not just hot two days of the week in summer, and City Hall needs to stop trying to save money on the backs of residents.

If O'Connell and his Parks Director can't get it done, they need to go. But don't worry about them finding another job, there might be an opening at Wild Water Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Race Card!!!

Yawn.

Another weak attack by the guy who somehow conspired to lose his license to practice law.

Anonymous said...

Lindsey Taylor is a hold over from a criminal administration. Why is she still employed?

Dennis P said...

The East Allentown Neighborhood association and its predecessors have faced aquatic battles with the City as early as 1976 to save the swimming pool at Irving Street Park … The City threatened regularly over the years not to open the pool because of staffing reasons --- 1987, 1902, 1905 and 2005 and other years …. The truth is for years Daddona claimed that in comparison with other cities of our size, Allentown had far more swimming pools … We had eight … So gradually, for whatever reason of closure, pools were closed for good. There was a failed attack to close Irving … Followed by the closure of Keck, the newest pool in Allentown, which closed due to real foundation problems … If the City succeeded in closing Irving and if Keck Pool closed. the East Side would have been left without a pool a long time ago …. And would they have built another pool here … I can't say …. Then they closed Roosevelt and Boyle --- citing attendance issues … And then Fountain … Leaving 4 operating swimming pools daily … Now this year citing staffing problems more severe than in past years, Allentown is down to 2 operating pools on Sunday … 2 operating pools on Monday, three operating pools on Tuesday, two operating pools on Wednesday, three operating pools on Thursday, two operating pools on Friday and two operating pools on Saturday …. Bethlehem this year has 4 operating swimming with Memorial its biggest pool closed for repairs … Last year Clearview and West End Pools were closed. … This year they are open … Donchez cited staffing problems for the West Bethlehem pools being closed … Now as I said Daddona said that Allentown had too many swimming pools in comparison with other cities … Using that criteria Allentown this year has too few operating swimming or Bethlehem has too much. But as President of EARN my job is to protect the infrastructure and institutions of our side of town from unneeded shutdown… We have listened to what Recreational have said on this issue …, And, we have talked to them … They promised to work with us on this issue … And so, did O'Connell … So, what we got is a pool on the East Side that will be open two days a week … And that is better than a pool that opens no days a week … As a neighborhood we have respect for Ray …We protested the original intent to keep the pool closed this season because we look out for the interest of the kids in our neighborhood whom want to swim … Hopefully with the opening, I hope our kids take advantage of the opportunity to swim relatively close to their homes … The pool at Irving Street being basically in the middle of the East Side … for at least one last year

As far as the Spray Park …We accept the construction of a spray park with the addendum that a pool for recreation swimming for upper elementary kids, Middle school kids, high school kids and the older population be included … And a three-foot-deep wading pool does not cut the mustard on those specs …

The North East side of Allentown once had two recreational swimming pools with a deep end and two junior pools, now we are down to one recreational swimming pool with a deep end on a limited basis, If I would do the planning I would construct the Spray Park at Keck Park to replace the swimming pool and junior swimming that was lost there … And construct a new swimming pool at Irving where the macadam area now is to allow the expansion of the Softball field …

When Don Marushack was Director of Parks he promised us that a Junior Swimming pool would be built at Keck Park … But that was never done … The proposed Spray Park with a wading pool satisfies that promise except it is not proposed for Keck Park, and it should.; and, keeping a swimming pool for recreational swimming at Andre Reed Park is the right way to go also.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If the lifeguard problem were new in Allentown, the "national shortage" might be a believable excuse.

However, the lifeguard excuse is nothing new, since every year the City comes up short despite having an ever dwindling number of pools (they used to have at least 7). In addition, just across the city line a large water park is able to operate year after year without the national excuse (sorry, shortage) affecting that park."


It is impossible to argue with someone who rejects facts. This lifeguard shortage exists on a national level, and it has existed for years. The fact that the pool is open two days a week now is an indication that Allentown kept trying to hire lifeguards and is hiring even now.

You can have your own opinions, but not your own facts.

"Lindsey Taylor is a hold over from a criminal administration. Why is she still employed?"

I would get rid of anyone who was part of Fed Ed's inner circle, and i believe she fits that bill and needs to go, along with Ismael Arcelay and several others. ray should have his own tem in there, I agree.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Ah, the Race Card!!!"

The hatred manifested by MM's readers and MM himself for Allentown's struggling citizens is classism at best. I think it us also racist. You don't call people "animals" simply bc they double park and add two minutes to your precious time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history Dennis. For many of us who grew up in Allentown, those public pools were where we learned how to swim. This is sad and pathetic to read about. Once upon a time, the pools were staffed by lifeguards recruited from high school swimmers at Allen and Dieruff. This looks like a symptom of the disconnect between school district and community. Why can't the Parks Director work with the swim team coaches to train and recruit lifeguards?

Anonymous said...

Fed Ed has the summer off, forward him a whistle !.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:34 There are a lot of employees still working with the city from the Pawlowski administration. Why hasn't O'Connell gotten rid of them yet?

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:34, Any housecleaning should be limited to people in Fed Ed's inner circle. You're not going to fire a city parks worker simply because he worked under Fed Ed.

" Why can't the Parks Director work with the swim team coaches to train and recruit lifeguards?"

It does not help when people are misinformed that there was some hidden agenda to close the pool when there is a very real lifeguard shortage that is not disclosed. That's just dishonest.

Anonymous said...

"Blacks aren't good swimmers because they don't have the buoyancy"

Al Campanis 1987 or MM 2018 ?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jennings has done a look of good things for the Lehigh Valley over his long career, he has also been among the most prominent and consistent enablers of Ed Pawlowski.
It’s time for Mr. Jennings to go into a dignified retirement and turn the leadership over to other, fresh, leadership.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Maybe you should go into dignified retirement. I find nothing wrong with someone who stands by a friend. That is all Alan did, and i respect that. i said so on the radio show, where Jennings did talk about this matter. there is no evidence that Alan has ever been anything but completely above board. If he were part of the fed Ed cabinet, I'd want him gone. But he is an independent operation. You were yourself probably a Fed Ed enabler at one time.

george schaller said...

Bernie, I see the hemrodal assklownZ are out here telling you black is white and white is black¿¡)$ The unsurmouting redd Zone left from the thft of services that city officialz have been dancing around about theze facked factz put to print, that are butt aticipated suposid revenue that will never be in accounting for claimed as misfortuned.

As Hannibal Lektor informed Starling, "There are deep diverz" still under assklownZ tootalage thereof still hampering progress?!
republican redd
humanist by design
not a party favor

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:51 said:

"Once upon a time, the pools were staffed by lifeguards recruited from high school swimmers at Allen and Dieruff. This looks like a symptom of the disconnect between school district and community."



That's true.

You'd think that someone who ran for Mayor touting his extensive ties to the school district wouldn't have that kind of a problem.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Ray's just been too busy fighting the "unconscionable" rate hikes that LCA imposed on City residents.

You know, the ones he voted for while on City Council.

I'm still waiting to read about the promised lawsuit being filed against LCA.

Jamie Kelton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Jamie, looks like your pool is open (lol).

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jamie Kelton, you are a rank partisan and have no business commenting here.

Anonymous said...

Jennings wasn’t a Fed Ed “enabler at one time”, he was a Pawlowski enabler until the end.
You can stand by a friend without tacitly supporting criminal behavior, as you well know.
Agreed-Alan enabled an administration that caused incalculable harm.
Time to move out of the way.
#AtCleanSweepAllentown.

Canary_In_Coalmine said...

"You don't call people "animals" simply bc they double park and add two minutes to your precious time."

Exactly, Bernie. Molovinsky has done this repeatedly around double-parking and littering. He applies the term "animals" to people of color, but never to white people. If anyone calls him on it he indignantly proclaims himself a brave speaker of uncomfortable truths, which is such a giant crock of shit. Plus he allows certain of his followers to make overtly racist comments. It's a shame what the blog has become -- it used to have significantly more value.

Jamie Kelton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Araceli has what has been essentially a no-show job, when not doing overtly political work for Fed Ed with the “faith community”, at 3X’s the wage of the average Allentown resident.
To fire this empty suit risks raising the political ire of Randy Landis and the Church on the Take On The Take.
This is a lingering scandal.

Anonymous said...

Love the "Jamie Kelton" picture. Problem is it is not her/him. The picture looks like one of the many leggy Fox News anchors that are used to keep old men glued to their TV's. "Jamie", is probably a heavy set man in his 50's.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Every pool should be open every day.
This is a scandal they can’t be easily dismissed.
Absolutely disgraceful no matter how one spins it.
Disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

‘Tis a pity the host of the radio program did not use his time and talent to mediate this unfortunate and tedious ill will.
Mend the fence, please.

Anonymous said...

White people don't double park. They were raised to be courteous to others and to respect the law. And 80% of the double-parking nitwits have open spaces just a few feet away. They are too lazy or stupid to park their cars.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don’t know how many times I need to say this. You are not welcome here. You use the photo of a beautiful woman but are an ugly person who is uninformed, ignorant and partisan. I have very low standards on what I’ll allow but you don’t meet them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:24, you are being repetitive. Once is enough.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:30, you must have mistaken this for MM’s blog. The racists belong there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don’t make nice with racists and bigots. I confront them. And after that radio show, Ivan proclaim that MM now has a new asshole.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:04, like you give a shit. I know what’s going on here and it has nothing to do with the pools. You are trying to marginalize Ray O’Connell.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Consider this Bernie , your a young person that can pass a lifeguard test - well that s CPR ,swimming and boarding a patient in the water for transport all the stuff you don’t need and you have to pass a child criminal background check to see that your not a child molester . Well for 8 bucks an hour you might work at the shore or do something else if your that good. So why hang around Allentown in the heat?

Anonymous said...

Don't see too many blacks or people of color at Oktoberfest or St. Patrick's Day events. Even though they would be more than welcome to join us!

Anonymous said...

6:13 In Munich the chicken is roasted on a spit, not fried. The Oktoberfest beer steins and the girls in the Beer Maiden outfits would be great as well.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon 7:00 I could care less you say I never go to Allentown unarmed and they or you get what you deserve. I’m not smart enough or motivated for any game . I don’t know , or have never met ,or seen the mayor .I sign my name here.

Anonymous said...

Ask Lindsey Taylor how far the bid rigged criminal and criminally incompetent $3,000,000 plus repairs at Cedar Beach Pool would go to up the pathetic $8 lifeguard pay
to something remotely resembling a competitive reasonable rate.
Allentown, the third largest city in the state, is circling the drain.

Anonymous said...

Loyalty supersceeds ethics in every criminal enterprise. It’s a hallmark of corruption.
In private life it’s a choice.
In public life it is a derilection of duty.

Anonymous said...

"...MM now has a new asshole."

He hired you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I deleted numerous OT comments by troll Rolf Oeler, who is not welcome here or pretty much anywhere, for that matter.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Look city already owned the property , you can’t justify a repair at 3 million bucks when a new tech pool in the same grave would be less . They are eather taking advice from whom ever prompted Easton Area SchoolBoard to put that much into a stadium that has 10 uneventful events a year?Hoursecrap, no law of diminishing return on any descion making .So it’s about somebody getting a fat contract . Get rid of these polictical hasks. The people that told you they to know all we voted for or there representing agents should have their retirement pay assessed and taken back as the result of any found malfeasance. I would take it all and send it back to the pool project to offset costs if found negligent. They retire and everybody forgets.

Peter J.Cochran said...

There you go again .Get over your high school mentality,seek help from paid professionals in psychology,that are MDs and can help . Irish names are not an asset but neutral . However you insist on picking on a judge in Northampton County ,and at the rate you do so Sir, you present yourself as a candidate for treatment. I understand well ,have had experience with the issue while escorting incarnated inmates.Its like by they time we would leave the “sally port” . So please take my advice. Good night.

Canary_In_Coalmine said...

"White people don't double park. They were raised to be courteous to others and to respect the law."

If you are white, then your statement about white people being courteous obviously isn't true.

If anyone of color is reading this, please accept my apologies for the comment by the ignorant racist @ 5:30. And know that plenty of white people including me believe that this person's racism says more about him/her than about you.