Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Once again, Hollywood Joe Bruno has raced to the rescue, ensuring to all the rich plutocrats visiting the Spa City can bathe unscathed by the filthy tap water drawn to heat their mineral dunks at the state park. The senate majority leader headed north Wednesday to announce a plan to restore the mineral bathes to their former grandeur, just weeks after the New York Post published a damning article exposing the so-called Bathgate.

Undoubtedly, Bruno will make some front pages for his quick and assertive efforts to right the “problems” the Post’s Fred Dicker –who works for a publication known for its unbiased accuracy –exposed at the Roosevelt Mineral Bathes in March. Upstate’s white knight in platinum armor will once again ride away a hero of sorts to the very people he represents –those who can afford leaf over a few Jacksons for a quick mineral bubble in the park.

While it’s great that Bruno wants to restore the mineral baths to their former grandeur, nobody was complaining about how they were run in the first place. That is, until Dicker made a stink about it downstate, riling a constituency that has little, if anything to do with the state park in Saratoga Springs or the system as a whole.

Using words like “adulterated” and “deception,” Dicker made it seem as though the park was foisting a tub of soiled and infected water from the Loughberry Lake as some sort of purifying elixir of health. And amid the whole forged controversy, he didn’t even bother to give former New York Ranger-great Andy Bathgate a jingle to get his reaction; indeed, sloppy reporting.

Dicker’s brand of journalism, much like that of the masthead he writes beneath, is a reckless blight on the face of the media that serves only to meddle in politics and force the hand of government to expend scarce resources in ways that aren’t necessarily good for the people. There are many other areas in the state that could better use Bruno’s attention other than the quality of the bath water in Saratoga Springs.

What was also ignored by fiendish Fred Dicker’s exposé and Hollywood’s valiant effort to right the wrong is the other thousands of acres of parkland in Saratoga Springs that could always use more funding. Perhaps with Bruno’s funding, the Spa State Park could hire a few more employees to open their community pools a bit earlier this year as some have suggested; or maybe to help maintain the aging facilities throughout the sprawling plot.

Ironically, Dicker’s article may have the result of making the bathes less affordable to operate. After all, the process of heating water piped directly from frigid pools lodged thousands of feet beneath the earth is likely going to be much more expensive than warming the tepid tap water from the city. Eventually, the state will need to compensate for this cost in either their annual parks budget or by increasing the cost of the bathes to more than the $20 some crazy people pay to rinse themselves in the mineral-laden water.

Next time, maybe Dicker can cry out against the fact that New York residents often need to pay twice to enjoy the amenities in their park system –something that should be free for the enjoyment of the entire taxpaying public. Instead, state residents need to supplement the cash they already fork over each year from their paychecks with increasingly greater usage fees just to keep things such as the baths, pavilions and pools from crumbling into ruin.


Blogger save the victoria pool society said...

Saratogians need to take charge of Saratoga Spa State Park and our hard earned tax dollars that have been robbed from that park for decades.

6:30 AM  

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