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Senator Clark Announces DCR Will Open Stoneham Pool This Summer

Sen. Katherine Clark visited the Stoneham Board of Selectmen Tuesday night to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will open Hall Memorial Swimming Pool this season. DCR initially didn't intend to open the pool i

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have reversed their decision to close this summer, according to an announcement by State Sen. Katherine Clark.

At Tuesday night's Stoneham Board of Selectmen session at , Clark and Laura Richter, a representative with State Rep. Jason Lewis' office, informed the board of the pool's opening.

“It will take two weeks minimum to get water and staffing up,” said Clark. The pool is expected to be open in mid-to-late July, according to the senator.

State Officials Take Action

Legislators learned of the closure following Stoneham Patch's June 22 . DCR's decision to temporarily close the local pool this summer was due in part to low attendance numbers and budgetary reasons. That same day, Clark and State Reps. Jim Dwyer and Lewis to DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert asking the DCR to reconsider its decision and open the Stoneham Pool located at 4 North Border Road.

Clark commented on the value of re-opening Memorial Hall pool when she said, “in a down economy, it's important to have something like this for families.”

Pool Costs

The cost to operate Stoneham's public pool would be roughly $100,000, according to Clark.

In a June 22 announcement by the DCR on the opening of 24 public pools, it read, “[this is] part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to modernizing its aquatic recreational facilities—an investment totaling $11.3 million in the past 12 months alone.” 

Clark thanked Stoneham resident Jeanne Craigie and all those involved in the grassroots effort that brought the attention of the closure to the legislators. Craigie thanked the Selectmen, especially Selectman Bob Sweeney, for their support on the pool issue. 

“I would like to also thank the DPW and Town Administrator David Ragucci and your Board,” Craigie said during the meeting. “I think the DPW is doing a remarkable job. I want to thank them for their hard work on painting the traffic lights, they look great. We really need to build our confidence as a town with little things like this.”

The senator also pledged that her and her constituents are soon to begin working on a “long-term solution” to make sure the Memorial Hall pool is open next summer.

Lifeguards Wanted

According to Clark, the pool needs to nine life guards who need to be at least 16 years old. American Red Cross certification training will be available for those hired, she added. Applicants can call the senator directly at 617-722-1206 to apply.

Do you agree with the decision to open Hall Memorial Swimming Pool this summer? Let us know by posting your thoughts in the comments section below.

Bill Miller June 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM
A big hand to all who spoke up and let the Patrick administration know we would not stand for this. Thanks to the Stoneham Patch for continuing to bring relevant stories to our attention. Together we were able to show that as citizens, we will not allow the services we pay for be taken away and our money spent elsewhere. Let’s not forget this lesson. No go out and enjoy the summer and your pool!
OURSTATEPARKS June 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Congratulations Senator Clark - A victory for working Massachusetts taxpayers who deserve the opportunity to utilize THEIR pool. Now, how can we get the DCR oligarchy and inept Patrick appointees to keep other state parks open?
mark stevens June 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM
The site where the "Stoneham Pool" is located,was offered to the town of Stoneham before it's construction.By accepting the offer,the town would have had to put some money into the construction of it,but it would have been a "residents-only" pool.The town declined.Some things are as sure as the sunrise.
Mark Ouellette (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Bill.
Charlie McGrath June 27, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Thank you Jeanne Craigie, Senator Clark and Rep Lewis along with our Selectmen, also a big Thank you to the Stoneham Patch for bringing this to light....Stoneham residents will now have a nice place to swim and stay cool...all thanks to you wonderful folks. Thanks Everyone Charlie
Russ June 27, 2012 at 03:50 PM
... but after all the noise for the opening of a pool we find that adequate funding for Middlesex Valley Elderly Services currently remains in limbo! Priorities people, not egos.
Bill Miller June 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Hi Russ, You are correct. There should be sufficient funding for the Middlesex Valley Elderly Services. It’s the same issue that misdirects funding from all our local services. There should be an uproar over all the funding that should go to ligament social services, but gets re-directed to services that should not be provided. It is a felony to enter the United States of America without proper documents. Yet once here, Illegal immigrants are treated as guests at the taxpayer’s expense. The countless millions of dollars that go to those services should be funding programs such as Middlesex Valley Elderly Services and local pools. We should not fight among ourselves how to divide the crumbs the government throws our way. We need to stand together to insist the government enforces immigration laws. With taxes at an all time high, we should have good solid services for all citizens, from the kids at the wading pool to the elderly who need our help.
Representative Jason Lewis June 27, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I am very pleased that, with the help of Katherine and Jim, Governor Patrick, and DCR Commissioner Lambert, we were able to come to this agreement. The DCR has committed to making every effort to open the pool as soon as possible, and we appreciate the strong showing of passion and advocacy from the community - this success would not have been possible without voices from Stoneham families, fighting for what they believe in. As mentioned above, the DCR needs lifeguards, which will be a great opportunity for local students to earn $14/hour. DCR is also willing to help with certification. Feel free to contact my office directly at 617-722-2017 if you have questions.
Mark June 27, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Thank You Jeanne Craigie and Stoneham Patch for being the catalyst in getting action from our elected officials and standing up for the Stoneham children. $100,000.00 is a drop in the bucket when compared to the $93M given to Illegals for Health Care, Countless Millions given to cities like Everett to hire "Interpreters" for children of Illegals and $68M for a shrine to Ted Kennedy! As if his family couldn't afford to pay for it themselves they have to come to the taxpayer for their Welfare!
Mark June 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Jason, stop giving our tax dollars away to Illegals and we'd have enough money for the elderly, children and veterans in Stoneham. Its our money, knock off the nonsense.
Jeanne E. Craigie June 27, 2012 at 06:26 PM
This was never about my ego or anyone else's ego...this was about residents calling me at 7:30 am last Friday to help and I did and this time it worked. I have a responsibility to advocate for families and children.I raised my voice for this issue and fought for a service this Town deserves within the confines of the DCR budget. I would ask Russ to help find a solution to the adequate funding for the Mystic Valley Elders Budget. Prioritize every effort into positive work and don't pit kids against the elderly. Thanks to Representative Lewis , Senator Katherine Clark and our Board of Selectmen they did the work I just pointed folks in the direction to get to the finish line. Go have a swim, cool off and be happy ...life is good !
Mark Ouellette (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Thanks for the comment, Charlie.
Mark Ouellette (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Thanks for the note, Jason, and the additional information related to the lifeguard positions.
Mark Ouellette (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Hi Winston, Thanks for the compliment.
Mark Ouellette (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Hi Jeanne, Thanks for your active involvement and updates related to the pool issue.
Kathy Klagholz June 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM
When I initially heard of the pool closing, I wanted to act on getting others to write to the town. It seemed that with all of the budget cuts, the pool should be the last option. This is one the few services that Stoneham provides its residents, especially for the kids in our community. I am pleaseed to hear that the decision was overturned . Thank you Senator to help in changing their mind. Kathy Klagholz.
Wallyworld June 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I'm tired of listening to the rants of people like Winston and Bill Miller who want to scapegoat everything on immigrants. This country was built on immigrants and immigrants continue to bring new energy and ideas and hard work that make the US the greatest country in the world. Half of all the valedictorians from Boston public high schools this year are immigrants -- an amazing statistic and a testament to their incredible hard work and dedication (many of them did not even speak English when they first arrived here). I'm sure we have some immigrants who are not here legally in Mass but even the vast majority of these people are hard working and pay taxes (social security, medicare, sales taxes). The fact is that 99.9% are not mooching off public welfare despite what idiots like Howie Carr spew forth. The real reason why we don't have enough revenue to provide basic services like recreation for our kids and funding for our seniors is that rich people no longer pay their fair share of taxes. We have people living like kings in this country while millions of hard working people don't even get basic healthcare and have to put their kids to bed hungry at night. This is a travesty. This is not what our country is all about. This is what people should be angry and upset about!
Russ June 28, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Bill, Thanks for your cogent comments. My point is essentially that we do have limited funds thereby necessitating prioritization of services. Obtaining more funding is an ongoing issue, eating is a 'today' issue. Wallyworld, You are truly misinformed regarding the facts of immigration and do not understand that we have no obligation to these interlopers. They have violated the law and that ends the discussion. Keep in mind situations such as Stoneham having to pay apx. $14k per student at the voc tech schools while the illegal population in Chelsea benefits from an apx. $2k tuition. My money needs to be used locally - for Stoneham residents.
mark patterson June 28, 2012 at 04:41 PM
So,Wallyworld,I guess you'll have no problem with me coming over to your house,drinking your beer,using your phone,pool,health insurance card and when I leave half in the wrapper running over and killing someone you care about? That's pretty much what is happening in this country thanks to ILLEGAL immigrants! Real Americans,we love LEGAL immigrants who play by the rules.My ancestors came from Europe and one was Native American.If you take offense to my opening statement then you are a hypocrite.If you think it's NOT true then you are a Socialist-Fascist. Im upset that I've worked since I was ten years old and now feel-good Liberals such as yourself want me to pay for the sloth and smile while doing it.Here's a great idea: all in favor of Obamacare,illegals not being deported while sucking this country dry,raise your hands.Now,reach in your wallet and YOU pay for it!
mark patterson June 28, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Ditto!
Bill Miller June 28, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Dear Wallyworld, I never mentioned anything about immigrants. I only mentioned illegal immigrants. If you want to comment on my post, it would be helpful if the numbers and facts you spoke of referred to the same people I speak of. I do not know your political affiliation, but it is a common tactic for liberals to interchange the term ‘immigrant’ with ‘illegal immigrant’. That way, when discussing the criminal aspect of illegal immigration, they can throw in comments like “This country was built on immigrants”. People are getting wise to those tactics. I don’t think I read any posts that someone had issues with legal immigration. I hope you will continue to join the discussion, but please talk about the same issue we are, ILLEGAL immigration. Bill
Mark June 28, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Conservatives LOVE Legal Immigrants! We do not want our tax dollars going to Illegal Immigrants, tax frauds be they rich or poor, welfare frauds, food stamp frauds and health care frauds. Our politicians have failed us. One dime going to Illegals or these fraudsters, is a one dime not going to our children, seniors and veterans. AND those truly in need! $93 Million in MA alone for Illegal Healthcare in 2011 $68 Million for a shrine to Ted Kennedy. As if they can't afford to build this themselves.
Bill Miller June 28, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Russ, I am trying to find a link to Middlesex Valley Elderly Services. I can not find an origination by that name. Do you have a link for them on an article about funding? I would like to see what is going on and find out what the deal is as far as their funding goes. Thanks
Dennis O'Hara June 28, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Bill, I think they are referring to Mystic Valley Elder Services: www.mves.org.

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