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Pools Open: Dive In!

Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) was all smiles today because for the first time in recent memory the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation will open all 19 of the city's outdoor swimming pools this holiday weekend to mark the beginning of the summer season.

"This Memorial Day weekend, starting Saturday, all of the outdoor pools in the District of Columbia will be open for the first time ever," said Fenty. The mayor, along with acting parks and recreation director Ximena Hartsock and Councilmember Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5) opened pool season with a race among a group of life guards at the Anacostia Pool in Southeast Washington.

Fenty also announced that all District residents will again have free access to the city's pools because of a $60,000 grant from the Kaiser Foundation. He also announced that the city is in compliance with the new Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named for the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, who died after she became stuck in spa drain in 2002.

"This is just the beginning of the summer, there is more to come," said Harstock, a former D.C. high school principal, who is awaiting confirmation from the D.C. Council for her new post. Harstock said she is a big proponent of the pools because, "Swimming is one of the most complete sports and you can prolong your life. It is good for everyone."

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Vanessa Williams  |  May 21, 2009; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  City Life , Hamil R. Harris  
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Open pools!--navigating the maze of Aquatics and DPR nonsense is an absolute nightmare for those trying to come back as lifeguards!

Posted by: quandermom | May 21, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

not warm enough to go swimming yet I know that water is cold!!!

Posted by: wstclair | May 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

As a longtime resident of DC, I am thrilled to hear that all of DPR's pool will be opening this weekend for the summer season. Just in time for the warm weather!

Posted by: swm51889 | May 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to recently fired DPR Director Clark Ray; it was his good work over the past year that made this happen today.

Posted by: Postnote01 | May 21, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Fenty should have jumped into the pool with his shirt and tie on, Blackberry(s) included.

Posted by: CrestwoodKat | May 21, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Lifeguard at the Anacostia Pool, there is one job I don't envy. Do they man a machine gun turret on their chair?

Posted by: BurtReynolds | May 21, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Isn't today a SCHOOL DAY? Why wasn't this press conference held on a Saturday or Sunday? Doesn’t the press work 24/7?

The fact that D.C. public high schools have a 42% drop-out rate, and taking these students out of school to accommodate Fenty’s weekend plans illustrate this administration’s priorities.

Fenty’s and Rhee-Rhee’s swoop for “No Child Left Behind” is a mere masquerade for national media coverage and the privatization of D.C. public education for their personal gain.

Posted by: dcnatives | May 21, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Ximena Hartsock was not a high school principal. She was an assistant principal at Tubman ES then appointed principal at RossES. She then moved to 825 to work directly with Rhee in the office that oversees summer school, after care and a bunch of other things.

Posted by: chelita | May 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

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