Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Swimming with the guppies


One of the nice things about venerable Amherst College is that they annually provide affordable swim lessons for Amherst children; the entire AC Swim Team provides a super-low teacher/student ratio (sometimes simply a private lesson) in the meticulously maintained Pratt Pool.

My eight-year-old has patronized the program for 3 or 4 years now, and even my two-year-old is now participating.

This past year the town of Amherst did not open the outdoor War Memorial Pool for the first time in over fifty years (where lots of swim lessons normally would occur) and the indoor Middle School Pool is no longer available to average citizens (Leisure Services empire is too busy running the Golf Course.)

So this Amherst College program is now even more invaluable.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Next time you complain about Amherst College's contributions to the Amherst Community, I will refer you to this post, the house Frost Library is open to the public (all open hours), Mead Art, the Natural History Museum, Glee Club and Chorus recitals, use of the running track at Pratt Field, the Bird Sanctuary, Amherst students teaching in Amherst public schools, etc.

Anonymous said...

The pool and the golf course have nothing to do with each other. Get off it.

LarryK4 said...

Well, taxpayers spent over $1 million on operational losses at the Golf Course just over the past 10 years ("losses" on War Memorial Pool were about half that). And they both deal with recreation.

Anon: 9:33 PM
The reason I opened with "One of the good things" is that there are indeed many good things about Amherst College.

Just a few days ago I, unlike the Crusty Gazette, covered the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Emily Dickinson Museum for the strikingly splendid new fence and landscaping.

And of course I love their majestic flag on Chapel Hill.

But Amherst College also consumes about $120,000 annually on Fire/EMS calls and probably about that much on police (notice our PD had to break up a large party there last weekend for instance).

They are the largest landowner in town--almost all of it tax exempt.

Now if they could just get the (taxpaying) Lord Jeff Inn up and running, I would be happy to say even more nice things about them…

Anonymous said...

The Gazette is getting really bad. One big thing they missed was the grand opening of the soccer fields on Potwine Ln. We waited how long for that and not a single photo of the day. Plus how about a follow up on the story regarding the traffic there? So much time spent on Lincoln and not a word about the lines of cars waiting to turn back onto 116 after games.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and now that Phyllis Lehrer is retiring (with all those years of institutional memory) it isn't going to get any better.

Anonymous said...

I beg your pardon: the Monday edition of the Gazette is always excellent for wrapping up food scraps, or handling those always delicate pet accidents that sometimes occur around the house.

Anonymous said...

The College should simply write a check for its share of Fire/EMS services every year, period. That's not too much to ask.

We can't pay the Town's bills with cultural opportunities, although those are appreciated.

LarryK4 said...

Yep.

And any time they buy new Amherst property (Fiber Arts Building) should agree to pay the property taxes that the former owner paid (consider it a cost of doing the deal.)

Anonymous said...

"Well, taxpayers spent over $1 million on operational losses at the Golf Course just over the past 10 years ("losses" on War Memorial Pool were about half that). And they both deal with recreation."

You know better than that. Each year's budget is independent of another. Money that was spent on Cherry Hill in prior years is irrelevant for a very simple reason, the pool was not closed then. As you note on your own blog, this is the first year that the middle school pool was not open. Yet, this is not a year that has a massive deficit at Cherry Hill requiring decision on allocation of this year's tax revenue. You don't like Cherry Hill, which is your right, but don't try to blame an operational deficit in the past for this year's operating budget deficit for the middle school pool.

Anonymous said...

Larry,
I've been looking here for info on the plywood construction going on in Kendrick Park. Do you know what that's about?

LarryK4 said...

Not yet, but I took a photo this morning.

Sent out an inquiry.

Ry Willey said...

"or handling those always delicate pet accidents that sometimes occur around the house".

You mean its a super pooper scooper?

Anonymous said...

Nice job dodging the fact that the pool and Cherry Hill have nothing to do with each other. You're just another politician.

LarryK4 said...

Nice job being a Cowardly, Anon, Nitwit.

Fore!

Anonymous said...

Still dodging eh?

LarryK4 said...

Oh yeah, because I'm so very afraid of what a Cowardly, Anon, Nitwit has to say.

Anonymous said...

That may be, but you are a phoney. Cherry Hill didn't have anything to do with the middle school pool closing and when you got called on it you hid under a table.

--Cowardly Nitwit Anon (but at least honest with the facts)

LarryK4 said...

Well, I believe LSSE was put in charge of the Middle School Pool 4 or 5 years ago and even renamed it the "Aquatics Center".

Town Officials were told with the savvy marketing skills of LSSE that the pool would more than pay for itself (sound familiar?) Barbara Bilz was placed in charge.

The pool finances did not live up to the hype (sound familiar?) and as a result the schools told the town to buzz off.

Barbara Bilz is now in charge of the Golf Course but for a while there tried to do both.

Anonymous said...

"the pool would more than pay for itself...
The pool finances did not live up to the hype"

In other words, the middle school pool is to blame for the middle school pool closing.

Thank you for the clarification.

LarryK4 said...

Yep. Unfortunately the Golf Course continues...

Ed said...

They are the largest landowner in town--almost all of it tax exempt.

So this means that you will stop going after UMass????

LarryK4 said...

Well they are the second largest landowner in town and ALL of it is tax exempt. (although the Campus Center Hotel will now start paying for the first time in history the local hotel/motel tax, but the actual property is still property tax exempt)

So No that would be a NO you Nitwit.