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Glassell Park Rec Center Pool to be Closed Starting August 12

The City’s budget cuts claim a popular community resource families rely on to stay cool during summer.

Summer is a time when many families in and around Eagle Rock splash around in swimming pools. After all, the kids aren’t in school, there’s time to kill—and it’s hot.

But there’s some bad news around the corner for anyone who enjoys swimming at the Glassell Park Recreation Center, the closest community swimming pool in the Eagle Rock area: Starting August 12, the pool will be closed—yet another victim of the City’s never-ending budget cuts.

The Olympic-size pool has long been used for competitions by students, who also use a City pool on the outskirts of the , across from the school campus.

“August is our hottest month and we’re devastated,” said Claudia Estrada, the manager of the pool, which is located a stone’s throw from the crossing on Eagle Rock Boulevard and Verdugo Road.

“That’s awful,” Gina Biehn, a Glassell Park resident who visits the pool regularly with her preteen son, told Patch Monday when informed about the pool’s impending closure. “Soon, people are going to have no libraries, no schools, nowhere to go—what are kids meant to do on all these [vacation] days?”

Visitors can sign a petition against the pool’s closure at the reception area for the facility at the recreation center. An online petition can also be signed by clicking this link and pleas made to the office of Council Member Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor and under whose jurisdiction the Glassell Park Rec Center falls, at (323) 478-9002. Click here to join an 'Occupy Glassell Park' Facebook campaign to oppose the pool's imminent shutdown.

The City of Los Angeles' Citywide Aquatics Division, where Aquatic Director Jon Kopitke and Acting Principal Recreatiion Supervisor I Trish Delgado have their offices, can be reached at (323) 906-7953. The division's e-mail address is citywide.aquatics@lacity.org.

Elijah H June 26, 2012 at 03:42 PM
In the midst of an obesity epidemic, they shut down resource that provides free fitness for a low-income community. In the middle of an area of struggling with gang-violence, they give an open invitation to taggers to claim the pool surface, increasing blight, and endangering patrons of the Community Center. This makes no sense... once again, our City Council proves to be penny wise and pound foolish!
Elijah H June 26, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I spoke with Trish, and she noted she's received several calls, but explained that there's not much she can do on her end, the decision-making authority rests with the City Council. Other numbers to call: Eric Garcetti's office 323-478-9002, Mayor's office 213-978-0721, Jose Huizar's Office: 323-254-5295
Eusebio June 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Why can the pool not be run by the city but have the city over see volunt. neighborhood member . All voluntries are fully screened and pass city requirments.
Eusebio June 26, 2012 at 05:04 PM
can we not , not replace some jobs now with pools and recreation / with replacement as qualified to fill position but given to a volunteer . Cut aquatics staff in half or less by using volunteer help .
Maggie Freed June 26, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I'd be interested to know which pools are closing, and which staying open.
Andrew Hindes June 26, 2012 at 05:30 PM
This is a completely crazy decision by the City. Programs like this do so much good for the community--help kids get exercise , stay out of trouble, learn a healthy lifelong activity, stay cool. It gives sweltering moms a break that doesn't involve plopping kids in front of the TV or a video game (no judgment: most of us have done that one). It's a great family activity. If this really is a City Council decision, Huisar should be ashamed.
Elijah H June 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The Eastsider has more information, "Budget cuts will force the Recreation and Parks Department to close three year-around, municipal pools in Glassell Park, Pacoima and San Pedro for much of the year" : http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2012/06/summer-will-be-cut-short-at-the-glassell-park-pool/#comments Elsewhere I've read that there are 16 year-round facilities, so it appears that only these 3 were targeted for closure? How were those three chosen? Path of least resistance, maybe?
Elijah H June 26, 2012 at 05:41 PM
This article may also want to mention this campaign as a central resource for organizing the community: http://saveglassellpool.com/
alisa June 26, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Please join the Facebook page and help spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/events/453169931362726/
Alicia J June 26, 2012 at 06:03 PM
A friend of mine has set up a petition to keep the pool open. Please sign it! http://www.change.org/petitions/los-angeles-city-council-president-eric-garcetti-keep-the-glassell-park-swimming-pool-open-year-round#
preemero June 26, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I work for rec&parks that pool needs major improvements that the dept. Doesn't have the funds for. The only funds we can use are prop k and quimby funds the quimby funds have to be used within a five mile radius of the project they were collected from such as a retail store or large condo complex that has been built quimby funds are paid by developers. The amount of money it takes to keep a pool open is more than volunteer lifeguards can overcome. You have to remember the chemicals to keep the water clean everday the power to run the pumps the cost of the water itself the security to patrol the park and the paint and painters to finish the pool before it can be filled. I know that the paint is a 100.00 a gallon usually takes 50 gallons to paint a pool that size. Not all pools are opening this year because rec& parks budget has been cut 40% over the past 3 yrs. Not to mention the golden handshake they gave to 2800 of our employees plus those positions will not be filled anytime soon most positions have been eliminated. The only solution I see is to come up with a significant amount of money maybe Huizar could eliminate the 4th of july circus at eagle rock park and open the pool.
Ajay Singh (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Thanks, Elijah—I added the website as well as Council Member Eric Garcetti's office phone number to the article.
Ajay Singh (Editor) June 26, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Thanks, Alisa—the Facebook link is added to the article.
Andrew Hindes June 26, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Thanks for the insider's perspective Preemero. Isn't the pool already filled and painted for the year? Would keeping it open require another paint job?
preemero June 26, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Im not sure if it was painted this year I can find out when I go back to my shop and ask what's really wrong with that pool. I know a lot of the pools needed to be cut open to have the supply lines and drains repaired and the swim lake at hansen dam park took up a lot of the budget for this year.
Elijah H June 26, 2012 at 07:35 PM
It would need to be painted regardless of whether it's open 3 months or 12 months, wouldn't it? Unless the department's intent is to close it down year-round... Assuming that's not the case, and it's still left open for the summer, wouldn't more painting be required if it were drained and targeted by taggers the other 9 months?
Ruth Ellen June 26, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Due to distrct changes effective Jul 1, Councilman Ed Reyes inherits this issue. His # is 213.485.0763. Point person for this issue is daniel.andalon@lacity.org. If you want to get more involved in solving this probelm yoy can also go to saveglassellpool.com or call Wendy @323.804.4456. More details to come...
Andrew Hindes June 26, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Thanks Ruth. I called Huisar's office and Eric there told me it was now in Garcetti's district. Confusing!
Ruth Ellen June 26, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Preemero, pretty sure the pool was painted last winter. Every year seems like issues w pump delay filling once it's painted. Do you know where to get pool assessment for Glassell pool? Seems latest year online is 2009 @ lacity.org. Rec & Parks budget detail as well? Website only seems to have top-levrl numbers...nothing @ pool level.
Elijah H June 26, 2012 at 08:32 PM
It is right on the border of Garcetti's district, but this pool is used by many members of Huizar's district. It's a shame his office seems to think their advocacy stops at the border on issues like this.
preemero June 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I only know aquatics would be the people to contact for the reason of the closure. And everypool has to be painted before they get filled so every year they get painted unless its not going toopen. The paint fails when its exposed to the elements and they can't leave water in them for liabilty issuse. I asked our painters today why its closing but they didn't work in that area when pools were painted a month ago. Ill keep asking maybe 2maro ill get a answer
Maggie Freed June 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I followed the link to the eastsider article, which included this note: "Department spokeswoman Andrea Epstein said the three pools join others across the city that operate on a seasonal schedule, which means they will be open only when surrounding public schools are closed for the summer months." So I'm guessing that school starts around Aug. 12th in Glassell Park.
Andrew Hindes June 27, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Actually, it does. LAUSD changed its schedule to start Aug. 14 this year.
Andrew Hindes June 27, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I agree, although it's my understanding that the Councilmembers set the priorities on issues like this within their own districts.
preemero June 27, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I didn't know that was a year round schedule pool. They all close around that time give or take a few weeks. They have a year round pool in echo park and its indoors.
Mindy Schulman June 28, 2012 at 03:12 PM
great

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