Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We're havin' a heat wave

It doesn’t take a meteorologist to tell you it’s hot out there. Generally walking in the open sunlight is an easy way to get a bearing on how sweltering the late spring weather has been. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the news media feels the need to dedicate at least a reporter, photographer and either a solid segment of footage or a decent clip of column space to explain what even the most ignorant know: It’s goddamn hot.

But for some reason, that doesn’t stop news directors and editors from dedicating all the precious newsroom resources to these ludicrous stories. Take WTEN, which didn’t even bother to start their Monday evening broadcast with news. They simply hopped right into the weather and ran with it for five minutes into the six o’clock report.

WNYT didn’t manage much better with John Craig’s report: Heat waves are tough on road crews. Gee, what tipped you off? Was it the fact that they’re laying molten asphalt in the baking sun? Still, the station at least had the common sense to start their nightly news out with news, instead of the weather, which is still the weather even with the hyper-dramatization most anchors have been giving it lately.

Fox 23’s Paul Merril pretty much reached the same conclusions as Craig; namely that it really is quite nice to work in an office with air conditioning, rather than behind a char-grill or on a city road crew. The cash-strapped CBS 6 Albany didn’t even bother to muster a weather story this morning and instead ripped off a wire story for their morning broadcast. It is day four of the heat wave, for those of you suffering heat stroke.

And then there’s print. Charging forward to take the lead was the stalwart Saratogian, which offered “tips on how to beat the heat.” Unfortunately, these tips pretty much rely on advising people how to avoid heat stroke. In other words, stay out of the heat and drink lots of water, advised State Health Commissioner Richard Daines.

Beat the heat with cool showers and baths, Daines goes on to explain. Or maybe go to the public pools at the state-owned park down the street? What a novel idea, it would have been to take a dip at the Spa State Park’s Victoria Pool over the weekend. With day-time temperatures hovering in the high 90s, chances are pretty good the state probably could have made a few bucks on the deal.

But the rumor is that park Manager Michael Greenslate is so fed up with the antics of Louise Goldstein’s Save the Victoria Pool Society that the opening is purposely delayed out of shear spite. It’s really the only explanation for the historic pool remaining closed each year as the mercury climbs. The pool remained closed through a similar heat wave last year, when word from the state was that it was impossible to find life guards for June because kids are still attending school.

The message has changed a bit this year, with Greenslate insisting the date was pushed back a few days because school schedules are running later this year. Translation: swelter in puddle of your own sweat, Louise Goldstein; I’m the captain of this ship and no amount of prodding is going to open this pool before the last weekend in June.

So summer will be ushered in with one of the city’s leading summertime amenities closed to the public. But that’s alright. The rest of us will have the evening moaning of the nightly news to cool us down will this park pissing match continues.


Blogger BlueDog said...

Mr. Greenslate should remember that a park is an area of land set aside for public use. That means a park is for people!!!

Open the pool!

Mow the grass!

The butterfly preserve is ridiculous. A park is for people!!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

I didn't watch TV or read a paper this morning: is it hot outside?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I'm still not sure. Oh well...guess we'll need to wait for the six o'clock news...


I agree. No more excuses, no more bickering, just open the damn thing up and let the public cool off. Sacandaga's a nice foray, but it's a bit far for an afternoon sojourn with a weekend twelver on board.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big deal! The pool is closed! Go to the Spa pool. Buy an A/C! These protestors over the pool are bigger complainers than the morons down at the post office over the war! You have Bronner bitching with Ken Klotz down at the post office. You get John Tighe and Phil Diamond pissing over the pool. What a bunch of ass wipes! I just hope when the pool does open that fat whales like Tighe are not allowed in! He would scare away business!

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Saratogian also instructed us morons to beat the heat by staying in air-conditioned places. Dang! I hadn't thought of that!

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it weren't for Ms. Goldstein and others from Save the Victoria Pool, Victoria Pool would still look like shit. Instead of berating her try thanking her! I don't see anyone else taking on the State Parks Admin's decision to wait to open the pool. It should be opened up not just for when the tourists come, but for the rest of us unimportant slobs.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

I've got no problem with Goldstein. In fact, I respect her in the sense she stands up for something that is important to her, and it's a lot more than many others in this community do. She takes flack from people who accuse her of bitching and moaning over something petty. But to her, it's not. It's something she believes in. She picked her hill, climbed it and planted her flag.

Her most ardent detractors are usually those on the other side of the desk, having to field calls from the irate people she stirs up. I understand their plight as well, but it seems like they could end all this by simply planning to open the pool up for a couple more weeks, even if it's next year. With the money it would take --let's say liberally $5,000 --its really a grain of sand in the beach of the Park's budget.

The fact that the park is so ardently against it was always a mystery to me, seeing as though they were VERY flexible about the opening and closing dates just prior to the renovation. For instance, one season, they curiously kept the pool open until the last weekend in September. Then this year, an insider told me the reasons have more to do with spite than anything else. And that is just simply a four-ton dumpload of horse shit. The park is not a fiefdom, it's public property. If the public wants the pool open, it should be opened. If the park loses a few dollars, it surely won't be as much as their losing at the goddamn mineral baths.

So in short, kudos Louise. I laud your effort. And if they won't budge, bitch at them even more.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Horatio I couldnt agree with you more. the pool should be open more and they should be flexible and its disgusting that they are allowed to lie to the public about this. Vicoria pool is always in high demand, if they were interested in making money which we both know they are not (its all about them not the public)the place could be open much longer to the pleaure of the entire community not just the Westchester and Scarsdale types and the "beloved" racing fans.

the state park is becoming a joke, the roosevelt spa is a rip off and there is no amount of money that is going to save the place as long as the current director is there. Although they finally saved themselves 35K a year by eliminating the Manager position, took them long enough, but you know how corporate america and the state runs things....GLACIAL PACE AND VERY BADLY!!

The fact that the people who run the victoria pool and are allowed to operate the place with virtual impunity is an insult to everyone in Saratoga Springs.

6:45 AM  

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