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.