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Raise the Roof

Island Life

For some reason the writing of this piece has been a bit like attempting to move dried clay through a cake decorator bag, when it should have required much less effort. It seems though that for the moment I have run out of that vim and vigor that drives the bouncy cheerleader within to perform countless front and back flips while selling the soap of public good. Along these lines, I also understand the ridiculousness of pleading for people to come to a single Park District meeting to demonstrate interest in the swaying of a vote or to voice concern about bad park stewardship by certain members of the board, because I know full well from a couple of years of being there myself that saying that anyone should endure these meetings is a bit like saying that someone should take a chair out into the back yard and watch a pile of fresh dog turds crust over in the noon day sun. The sad part is that by forming that crust, those lone dog droppings have accomplished more than the park board does on many occasions.

The other side to my lack of word movement on the page is a nagging sense of uncertainty that is fueled in large part by the whims of the weather in a Pacific Northwest spring. It is one thing to invite people to a pool party of sorts- it is another thing to add that it is outdoors on Saturday, April 4th. There are a number of reasons that I and the Friends of Vashon Pool, along with pool manager Scott Bonney have decided that this is a good idea. The first is that Mr. Bonney has spent the winter months maintaining the cleanliness and the quality of the pool water so as to minimize what in the past has been a series of backwashes that are required to remove algae and decomposed leaves from the filter system after a season of non-usage. This year after a winter of basic maintenance and filtration, the water is so clean that no backwash is necessary, and all that is really needed to make the pool swim-able is to heat the water up. Since the Vashon Pool just received a set of new thermal pool covers, Mr. Bonney thought it would be an interesting experiment to get the pool up to temperature, put the covers on, turn off the heat and then see how long the pool retains its warmth.

It might be said that this open day, which is free to all, is both a teaser and a vision of what could be if the pool were covered and open year ‘round. Beyond the extra month of open time that the Friends of Vashon Pool requested and received, this open day is a glimpse  at what could be. Indeed with the retractable roof in place, the entire middle section of the pool could be exposed to the great out of doors on any warm day of the year in just a few minutes, and on any inclement day prior to July 5th or after the rain festival begins in October, the inside could be sealed from the elements for whatever water activity is scheduled and sought after.

For April 4th, the pool will be open for lap swim from 11am until 1pm, with recreational swimming from 1-3pm. Admission will be free and both the pool and the locker rooms will be heated. Hot soup, hot tea and hot chocolate as well as cookies will be available for free as well. And early bird 2015 season passes will be available for purchase. The Friends of Vashon Pool see three main reasons for doing this, the first being to thank Vashon for supporting the pool. We will also be there to provide information about the new, four month season which this year will run from May through September. A key feature in our information booth will be a rendering of what a cover on the Vashon Pool will look like. Having said all that, I’m kind of feeling all warm and fuzzy about this again. I will not be doing any back flips any time soon, but I will be there for lap swim. Vashon has been asking for a covered pool for almost as many years as the pool has been here- it’s time to show up and help us move forward with this vision.