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Undergraduate Research Papers October 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkboehm @ 6:24 pm

 

In my previous post, I included an entire research paper by Worcester State University alum, Marco Estrella.  Marco was an exceptional student who saw a real need for more research in the recreation resources offered by our cities.  He looked into the lack of access to pools within the city of Worcester, Massachusetts.

I teach our capstone course, Seminar in Urban Studies, at least once every other year.  I will supervise up to twenty five senior thesis papers in this course, spending hours with every student on research aspects as wideranging as thesis production to comma placement.  I still feel like an educated individual ought to be able to make a coherent written argument that is all their own, and know where to find the sources to prove their points.  My students have no shortage of research ideas, which I find amazing.  Some of the papers, like this written by Marco Estrella, can really be an asset to those in our city planning offices. 

Here is my initial written assignment for the capstone paper:

 

Research Paper Assignment

Research Seminar in Urban Studies

Professor Lisa Krissoff Boehm

Fall 2011

 

 

Write a fifteen to twenty page paper which explores in-depth the approved urban studies topic of your choice, being careful to link the topic solidly with the concerns of a specific urban place, or places, as is the hallmark of urban studies research.  All topics must be approved in a Formal Research Proposal by Professor Boehm.

 

Papers must meet all criteria for research set by the Urban Studies Department and be presented in an oral presentation to the department and invited guests.

 

Your paper must:

1)     Utilize at least three book sources in the text.

2)     Utilize at least two scholarly journal articles in the text.

3)     Utilize a substantial number of primary sources in the text.

Primary sources vary according to the subject that you choose.  They may include:  oral histories, government data, visual objects like photographs, field research, archival materials, and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles.

4)     Use provided guidelines for preparing endnotes and a bibliography for the paper.

      5)   Have a creative title and cover sheet.

 

 

Due Dates:

September 26:  List of sources to class

                        Formal Research Proposal First Draft

October 12: Formal Research Proposal Final Draft

 

October 24-November 9th:  Paper rough drafts due during writing workshops

            TBA:  Almost Final Draft of Research Paper Due in individual meeting with

professor

Final Paper due:  December 5, 2011

 

A Research Paper on Worcester, MA Public Pools by Marco Estrella, WSU -’10

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkboehm @ 6:17 pm

 

December 9th 2009

Marco Estrella

UR 401-Research Seminar

Professor Lisa Boehm

Research Paper

 

Funds Run Dry:

An Analysis On Keeping The Water On For Worcester’s Swimming Pools

 

Adequate public parks and recreational opportunities are a vital part of every great American city.  Aquatic facilities are found in parks where residents can enjoy the summer and stay cool.  Only eight pools remained open during the summer of 2008.  Over the last decade, normally Worcester has operated at least nine municipal pools at any given time.  In addition to the nine, there are two state operated pools.  Eleven publically funded pools in total have provided adequate access for children and families throughout the years to enjoy a number of aquatic activities such as swimming.  These are supplemented by private pools run by the area YWCA, YMCA, JCC, and other organizations.    In fact aquatic opportunities are an ingredient to a city’s existing structure of youth development.  If we do not keep the current model of neighborhood pools, Worcester’s youth will be affected.

            Raised within the city myself, I have a thorough understanding of local needs regarding recreation.  Those born and raised in the city are known as “Worcesterites.” I can recall how exciting it was to walk with friends and family to one of the city’s pools in the summer.  In some cases it served as an all day event for the family during which residents would equip an ice cooler full of food.  Public pools are a great activity that the city’s youth love.  Additionally, parks are a great recreation area for adolescent children.  More importantly public swimming areas give a vital activity of health and exercise to all.  Worcester’s aquatic facilities can be utilized as a deterrent to the increasing juvenile delinquency.  An outdoor pool helps the community’s youth by promoting healthy activities outside of the routine of home and school.

            Worcesterites now find themselves fighting hard to keep the pools open.

Worcester had to close all nine pools this year due to lack of funding.  Worcester’s Telegram and Gazette explains, “No city pools were opened because of budget cuts and their extraordinarily poor condition.”[1]  There were neighborhood advocates debating towards having the pools remain open.  This group formed the “Save Our Poolz” coalition.  Unfortunately only two state pools remained open in addition to city and state beaches this summer of 2009.  Having gone from eleven functioning pools to only two in the city creates unrest in the community.  Accessibility to aquatic activities is hardest hit among all community members.  These beaches are not easily accessible by residents especially for those who do not own a vehicle.  The city’s swim facilities are situated in the neighborhood to enhance their access to the community where as city beaches are distant from the majority of neighborhoods.  The mainstream beaches such as state operated Quinsigamond Lake and Worcester’s Indian Lake are even further away from low-income communities.  For the majority of residents, transportation is required for them to enjoy distant beaches versus walking to a city pool.  At these few existing beaches quality family time has been circumvented due to the limited schedule of public transportation.  Transportation was of little concern to the varied communities of Worcester that benefited from municipal pools because they were in close proximity to where they actually live.  Furthermore the eleven swim facilities were localized in areas that neighborhood residents found ideal for walking. 

 

            Constituents of Worcester have made a huge outcry in an attempt to restore the majority of the closed nine pools.  Over six public hearings took place to discuss ideas about what to do with existing facilities.  Residents have demonstrated their voice through the Save Our Poolz coalition.  Worcester Intefaith, an organization advocating social justice and change also supported requests by residents in restoring the swimming facilities[2].  Civic engagement was certainly measured in Worcester with over 500 residents and advocates attending public hearings.[3]  Constituents tried to make it clear that restoring all aquatic facilities of Worcester is the responsible solution.

 

Accessibility to Pools                 

            Providing fair access to aquatic opportunities for families in the community is paramount.  City government’s decision to abandon all pools in numerous districts decimates community access to public swim activities. Those hurt most by the closing of pool facilities were low-income families.  For example public pools located at Christoforo Colombo Park (East Park), Tacoma Street (Great Brook Valley), and Crompton Park benefit a significant portion of low-income families of Worcester.  Christoforo Colombo Park is known as “East Park” by city residents mainly because of its geographical location than any other characteristic.  Located in walking distance to EastParkis the Plumley Villagehousing complex.  Plumley Village is a series of apartments that provides Section 8 housing to low income families.  There are sixteen buildings with 430-units in total[4].  This complex is one of Worcester’s low income housing projects where families live in apartments that are engineered densely together.  Dr. Lisa Krissoff Boehm best characterizes Plumley Village and its respective location in her book, Making a Way out of No Way: African American Women and The Second Great Migration.  Dr. Boehm writes “Plumley Village, the 430-unit, Section 8 complex…stood at the eastern edge of Worceser’s downtown, and the interstate highway entrance ramps and overpasses circled the buildings, bringing with them a hum of traffic.”[5]  Below is Figure 1, a descriptive top view drawing of all the sixteen buildings that make up this housing complex where one can imagine how compact 430-units must be in this area:

Figure 1

 

Source: www.plumleyvillageapts.com[6]

Many families including the youth of Plumley Village traverse up Laurel Street and then down East Shelby Street to the swimming area of East Park. EastParkis one of the recreation sites celebrated by families who live here. PlumleyVillageresidents are now forced to swimming pools that require transportation.  The working class was swiftly cut off access to municipal pools by city government.  Figure 2 below illustrates the proximity of East Park to the families residing in the housing complex in addition to the surrounding community.  Plumley Village begins with Laurel Street at the top-left corner and you will find that East Shelby Street ends with East Park situated at the bottom-right hand corner of the image:

Figure 2

 

Source: Bing Maps[7]

            Many communities similar to that illustrated above are going through the same experience.  A case not unlike Plumley Village exists for Great Brook Valley (GBV) which is also a low-income housing complex.  People here are no longer able to embrace the city’s pool on Tacoma Street because it was closed this year.  By extension the low-income residents here have no access to a swimming pool nearby in the hot summer.  This facility is unique in its location becauseTacoma Streetruns directly through the center ofGreatBrookValley.  In particular GBV is infamous for juvenile delinquency and crime.  Youth development is especially important for members of this community.  Families and community youth development advocates in GBV are further challenged by city government’s decision to close swimming facilities.  The Tacoma Street aquatic facility provided a positive recreation atmosphere for children that will not open for an indefinite amount of years.

            For the city of Worcester heat waves are frequent in the summer months.  The elderly are drastically affected by hot summers.  The geriatric population benefits from swimming areas to keep cool.  Worcesteraffectionately provides senior centers, senior living communities, and aquatic opportunities to the city’s 12% elderly population 65 years and over[8].  The elderly population makes up a significant portion ofWorcester that necessitates awareness.  In various instances there are reports of how seniors succumb to heat stroke among other complications in the summer months.  Seniors living without air conditioning or cool central air are in a dangerous circumstance regarding their health if they are unable to seek refuge from high temperatures.  The risk is significantly higher to the many that do not drive a vehicle.  Municipal pools are among the few resources available to the senior community yet it was decided to close them all and not keep a single one operational.

 

Open Pools & Beaches

           Worcesteris experiencing a fiscal crisis that resulted in closing all municipal pools.  Private organizations emerged to help out the residents by allowing the public to utilize their indoor pools.  Participating organizations are Girls Inc, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA (Central Branch), YMCA (Greendale Branch), and the YWCA located in center city.  Private partnership was a catalyst to establishing the program “Wheels to Water” which provides transportation to private and state pool facilities.  In addition this program provides transportation to beaches that are distant from most communities inWorcester.  This initiative is limited to the locations from which they pick up, and if you missed the time slot in which the bus arrives then you have to wait.  A brochure released to the public by the city lists hours of operations for functioning aquatic facilities.  Please refer to Figure 3 for the Wheels to Water program flyer.  Listed in Table 1 are the six pick up locations throughout the city:

Table 1 – Wheels to Water

  1. Friendly House…………………………….36 Wall Street
  2. South Worcester Neighborhood Center……47 Camp Street
  3. Green Island Neighborhood Center………..50 Canton Street
  4. Worcester Common Ground……………….7-11 Bellevue Street
  5. East Side Community Development Corp…409 Shrewsbury Street
  6. St. Peter’s Church………………………….929 Main Street

Source: Worcester Telegram and Gazette[9]

            Efforts to increase access to existing aquatic facilities were demonstrated by the Wheels to Water initiative.  In Table 2 are the total facilities that were available to Worcester’s residents this summer 2009:

Table 2

Private Facilities

Boys & Girls Club………………………65 Tainter Street

Girls, Inc………………………………..125 Providence Street

YMCA (Central Branch)………………..766 Main Street

YMCA (Greendale Branch)…………….75 Shore Drive

YWCA………………………………….1 Salem Square
State Pools

Bennett Field Pool………………………1260 Main Street

Shine Pool……………………………….87 Providence Street

 

State Beaches

Regatta Point…………………………….10 North Lake Avenue

Quinsigamond Lake……………………..287 Lake Avenue

 

City Beaches

Bell Pond…………………………………238 Belmont Street

Coes Pond……………………………….  Mill Street

Indian Lake………………………………20 Clason Road

Shore Park………………………………..115 Shore Drive

Source: City of Worcester[10]

 

            Despite these efforts the Wheels to Water program can only transport a small portion of people.  Even without this program there were thousands of visitors to municipal pools every summer.  Robert L. Moylan is the Commissioner of Public Works and Parks for the city ofWorcester.  He oversees the operation and maintenance of all aquatic facilities for the city.  Robert Moylan wrote a memo to City Manager Michael V. O’Brien, to report the success of Wheels to Water with respect to the state’s Shine Pool.  Commissioner Moylan helps quantify the amount of visitors to all municipal pools in the statement below:

The Shine Pool opened this July 1st and has been an overwhelming success. This single facility has attracted over 10,000 users during a season that has not been conducive to outdoor aquatics. This use is in direct contrast to the average of 2,500 patrons to each of the city’s eight pools that were open in 2008. Equally impressive is that, according to the pool facilities manager, the Shine Pool attendance was made up of 70% families with ages ranging from infants to octogenarians and the able and disabled alike.[11]

 

With the absence of nine neighborhood pools thousands of youth were unintentionally neglected.  Countless families were left to no avail in the summer heat due to the limited capacity of busing scores of children all over the city.  Commissioner Robert Moylan in the statement above describes that there is an average of 2,500 patrons for each swimming facility owned by the city.  Had all nine swimming locations remained open it would result at least 22,500 visitors which better serves the community.  The action taken by city government to close all swimming areas appears unbalanced when they were originally embraced by 22,500 community members.

            Grace Ross is a Worcesterite and a long-term advocate for restoring the city’s nine aquatic venues.  In an interview with talk show host Hank Stolz on Wake up Worcester, Grace identifies with low-income families who do not own a vehicle.  Grace Ross a candidate for City Councilor illustrated the importance of Worcester’s families having access to city pools, stating “where most of the kids are is where the least of the cars are.”[12]  An overcrowded Shine pool including help of Wheels to Water is no substitute to neighborhood-integrated swimming areas.  The community favors restoring nine existing swimming locations chiefly because they are amicable to the community and accessible.

 

Abandoned Facilities

            Currently the closed swimming areas have accumulated waste and debris.  They are an obvious black-eye to beautiful parks such asEastPark.  East Park has a wonderful baseball field, basketball court, football field, and a tennis court.  Adjacent to the tennis court is the aquatic facility that has been closed this summer.  In visiting the site one can see that it now contains dark filthy water accompanied by trash, leaves, and wood branches.  The swimming pool inEastParkis an unfulfilling spectacle for visitors.  This is undeserving to a highly manicured park such as this one. 

            Another example is Crompton Park. Patrons who walk past the Crompton Park municipal pool are taken a back by the horrible condition city government has left it.  Civic activities are numerous forCromptonParkversusEastParkbecause three-decker neighborhoods directly surround the area.  Both families and organizations use the recreational opportunities offered byCromptonPark. 

            But the city pool here can be mistaken for a city dump area.  Janelle Butler is a senior at Worcester State College.  She conducted a field observation research project for her Research Seminar course.  Janelle was stationed at Crompton Park for her project where she best describes the pool’s present condition:

Inside both pools were various types of large and small pieces of rubbish and debris, such as glass bottles, a tire, garbage bags, tree branches.  I then spotted dog waste, alcohol bottles, needle syringes, used condoms and other drug paraphernalia over by where the children play.  While I was sitting on the bench by the playground located near the pool, I noticed when the wind would blow I would pick up a scent of alcohol and at other times a strong stench of urine [from the abandoned pools].[13]

 

Worcester neighborhoods are exposed to foreclosed properties and now foreclosed pools.  Families should not be required to live near a pseudo dump zone.  In Crompton Park the swimming area is heavily utilized by the community when operational.  It is they city’s responsibility to upkeep the aquatic facilities when closed or open. 

 

Youth Development and Reduced crime

            Healthy recreation is one of the fundamentals necessary for youth development.  This is in addition to skill development, education, and strengths in leadership.  In a city like Worcester with a population of over 165,000 makes municipal recreational facilities paramount for the health benefits of both children and families.  Aquatic facilities are a great medium to serve this overall purpose. 

Urban parks create a productive environment for life enriching program initiatives.  As noted in a recent Journal titled, Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development by Margery Austin Turner, she writes that “Urban parks have long played a vital role in community-based programs for young people.”[14]  Urban parks and aquatic facilities situated in them are opportunities to teach youth leadership, maturity, and problem solving aptitude for adolescents.  The Seven Hills Charter School utilizes East Park during the summer months for advancing child development in addition to recreation.  Similar to Plumley Village the park is in walking distance from the school as well.  The school is located on 51 Gage Street on the eastside of Worcester where one can observe Seven Hills Charter School faculty and staff walk elementary students to the park via East Shelby Street quite frequently.  Worcester’s school districts as well as community-based programs such as the Henry Lee Willis Center embrace parks to help teach children and adolescents ideals such as rules of behavior, values, and essential job skills.  The Henry Lee Willis Center is an organization that provides social and human services to the general public.  They also contribute in large measure to the city’s at-risk youth and operate emergency family shelters.  Margery Austin Turner exemplifies how youth job skills are developed through use of urban parks:

To make a real difference, quality matters in park-based youth programs…Recent experiences among innovative programs launched by urban parks suggest several key lessons to consider.  First, the most effective programs do not try to be all things to all young people.  No single program can or should try to serve all the children and adolescents in the community…Parks are increasingly recognizing this important principle.  [San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners] SLUG, for example, now has two separate programs for teens.  The Youth Garden Intern program is for ages 11-14.  In three sessions—spring, summer, and fall—young teens are taught such skills as beekeeping, rose maintenance, and low-flow watering systems.  As they become proficient, they are promoted to help supervise or teach in the classes.  The Urban Herbals program is for ages 18-24.  These participants, in addition to preparing jams and infused vinegars, are responsible for selling their products.  This involves traveling around the city and making presentations at farmers’ markets, enterprise fairs, and so-on—“learning how to look strangers in the eye and speak authoritatively,” as the Urban Herbals manager puts it.[15]

 

Youth development can be served as barometer to determine if in fact the youth is a priority for the city’s administration. Youth enrichment is highly important for an ever progressing city like Worcester.  As demonstrated with San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, youth leadership enrichment opportunities are also found with Worcester’s aquatic facilities.  Lisa Sciannameo served as the Aquatics Director since 2005 overseeing the city’s swimming locations during the summer months.  Lisa agreed to meet with me to talk about her experience with aquatic facilities.  In an interview with Ms. Sciannameo I learned that she started working as a lifeguard for the pool at East Park in 2000.  She began describing that her first day as a lifeguard was about learning how to effectively communicate with people.  Lisa stated that “the training involved leadership skills in upholding the rules of behavior and emphasizing safety as a priority to children and families.  It was not always easy as a young lifeguard to able to instruct other people on this.  I definitely put on a thick skin and learned to talk to people.  I am thankful that my supervisor was there to teach me, you know.”  As Aquatics Director, Ms. Sciannameo is responsible for hiring, training orientation, demonstrating safety guidelines, teaching instructive leadership, coaching and verifying CPR and First Aid certifications of over 70 lifeguards in the city.  They are mostly adolescent youth between the ages of 16 and 20.  “Managing the [lifeguard] staff is all about coaching” Ms. Sciannameo explains, and states that “I am teaching these kids the basics like calling-in if your late, resolving disagreements with people in a professional way, mediate conflicts if possible, and communicating issues to me that they can’t solve without my help.”  Unfortunately Lisa had a small staff of 18 this year due by the city closing their municipal swimming facilities.  By closing Worcester’s pools youth development was adversely affected because they have no longer the opportunity to work nor volunteer with municipal pools.  This reiterates the fact that municipal pools are a civic asset to be saved for the multifaceted benefits they provide to the community.  Last year Lisa Sciannameo had a team of over 70 and sometimes over 100 people in prior years when all municipal pools were operational.[16]

Urban park recreation and aquatic facilities help minimize the crime rate.  Worcester residents have been affected by rising unemployment amongst the youth as well as the adults.  Ample job opportunities and recreation both work in concert to help the youth sway from delinquent activities.  There has been a significant void in both areas due to rising unemployment and closing public pools during the summer months. 

Lisa Eckelbecker drafted an article for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette describing unemployment amongst the youth:

Unemployment is a distinct problem for young people in the current recession.  About 25.9 percent of U.S. workers ages 16 to 19 were unemployed in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  During the summer, when young people typically take seasonal jobs and new graduates seek permanent employment, unemployment among workers ages 16 to 24 hit 18.5 percent, the highest rate since recordkeeping started in 1948.[17]

 

Adding to the youth unemployment and closed aquatic facilities, is the rise in adolescent delinquent activity.  Headlines on local newspapers have been reading numerous crimes committed by teenagers.  The Worcester Police Department’s website reads “4 Teens Arrested for Armed Robberies”, “Armed Robbery at A1 Cellular” and “Vandalism at Doherty High School.”  These particular incidents have occurred in the last week of November and the parties involved are kids ranging from 12 years to 20 years of age.[18]  Blaming the economy for increased crime is a conspicuous element that is easily agreed upon.  The factor where city government dithers is in acknowledging that closing aquatic facilities have played a part to more adolescent crimes.

For example, the Worcester Police Department [WPD] updates crime statistics with a quarterly report or what are known as Police Statistical Areas (PSA).  This Report illustrates how the dynamics of rogue unemployment and underfunded recreation facilities led an increase in crime.  Also please note that one can observe how low unemployment and eight operational municipal pools helped reduce crime in Worcester last year, when this data is viewed in juxtaposition to recent statistics.  Scott J. Croteau writes for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and which he published an article that helped compare crime rates of 2008 with those of 2009.  Information described below helps us analyze the societal impact of closing the municipal pools which were last open in 2008:

Aggravated assaults for the first nine months of this year compared to last year are up almost 13 percent.  Motor vehicle theft has increased by almost 22 percent over the same nine-month time frame.  Theft from motor vehicles—electronics, handbags, etc.—has increased as well.  “What we are seeing with the theft from motor vehicles—low level larceny—I’m sure it has a lot to do with the economy and unemployment,” the chief [Gary J. Gemme, Police Chief] said.  A younger age group is committing these thefts and not all can be attributed to the declining economy, the chief said.[19]

 

This analysis sheds light that Worcester indeed has more teenagers playing in the streets due to closing these aquatic facilities.  Children and families last year once enjoyed expensing quality energy in public swimming pools.  Furthermore according to Public Works and Parks Commissioner Robert Moylan, we know that there are at least 22,500 residents that do not have their neighborhood pools.  Of this figure the majority are both children and adolescent teenagers that now sit idle in the summer or are becoming a variable for reports such as Police Statistical Areas.  This analysis identifies how aquatic facilities when in full operational capacity can help reduce crime in the summer months for the city; particularly so in dismal economic periods with soaring unemployment rates.

 

Saving Our Pools

Worcester’s swimming pools were once in excellent condition even after years of use from when they were first constructed.  Like East Park most of the facilities today were built in the 1970s[20].  Now the pools are a public safety issue because of structural damages. Listed in Table 3 are the facilities that were closed this year:

Table 3 – Location of Municipal Pools

  1. Beaver Brook Park
  2. Crompton Park
  3. Cristoforo Colombo “East Park”
  4. Greenwood Park
  5. Harry Sherry Field
  6. Holmes Field
  7. Kendrick Field
  8. Great Brook Valley – Tacoma Street Pool
  9. University Park

          Source: Interview[21]

Ms. Sciannameo described how the walking deck at Holmes Field located on Plantation Street, was “all caved in.”  For this reason the facility based at Holmes Field has been closed for several years now.  This is also the reason why there were only eight facilities open in 2008.  The lack of maintenance and improving these aquatic facilities was obvious.  City government has become more irresponsible towards investing in public pools so that they do not rot away.  The administration neglected the upkeep of these swimming areas and claimed that there were no funds.  Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, illustrates how municipalities grew distant from servicing inner-city recreation areas such as swimming facilities.  Jeff writes that “poor and working-class Americans suffered mostly directly from the privatizing of swimming pools,” which he states that “when middle-class Americans abandoned municipal pools in favor of private pools, cities downgraded the public importance of swimming pools.”  It could not be more accurate that Worcester’s local government has continuously chosen to overlook fixing municipal pools[22].

The city has departments that are responsible to pursue the first steps of repairing Worcester’s swimming pools.  Failing to repair minor damages in structures involving water always lead to major repair over time.  The share of responsibility involved in identifying structural damages to these facilities is both the Department of Public Works and Parks, and Inspectional Services.  Among others, the Department of Public Works and Parks also inspected the deteriorated deck at Holmes Field and made no action to repair it. Instead they closed Holmes Field indefinitely adding to the local government’s display of willful negligence.  All the pools were closed this year due to the administration’s failure to service these facilities in the past years so that they meet structural and safety requirements.   Why did city government disregard routine preservation over numerous years leading to now, where there are major repairs to municipal pools?  Worcester’s local government chose to let the pools wither away in the same fashion as it is described in Contested Waters: Social History of Swmming in America.  Author Jeff Wiltse best shows the decisions made on how the city administration allows aquatic facilities to decay.  Jeff Wiltes writes:

In addition to not building new pools, many cities closed existing ones – especially those serving minority swimmers – and underfunded maintenance and upkeep.  In Washington, D.C., for example, federal officials let McKinley Pool fall into disrepair…the “pipes were corroded,” the drainage system backed up, and the filtration system did not work properly.  According to city engineers, the pool had become “a health hazard.” Rather than repair it, which is what local residents wanted, the federal government decided to close it.[23]

 

Like McKinley Pool in Washington D.C., residents in Worcester also wanted to repair the neighborhood pools.  But the principal obstacle in having not performed the necessary upkeep is a fiscal one in which there is not enough money in the budget.  Research shows that in fact there are resources accessible to city government that would have made keeping the pools open possible.  Nick Kotsopoulos, a journalist for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, writes about the numerous topics discussed in a council meeting held in October 2009.  One subject that was discussed is how to use a $12 million dollar tax reserve that is available as a resource during poor fiscal climates[24].  In the City of Worcester Fiscal 2010 Annual Budget, it states that “since 1995 the city developed over several years an excess levy capacity of approximately $12 million”[25] which should have been utilized to fix the swimming facilities over time.  Worcester City Councilor Frederick C. Rushton stated that it would have cost “about $410, 000 to open and operate all the pools” for summer 2009 and represents 3% of the accumulated tax reserve which is a responsible community investment[26].  But this was never implemented to save the swimming pools.

In addition to the dollar reserve represented above there could have been savings realized with respect to summer temporary staff required to operate the pools.  This can be done by collaborating with the Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) where this organization have helped train and hire the majority of employees such as life guards through their YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program.  This cooperation occurred in the 1990s and one would ask why it was not implemented this year to aid in keeping the pools open to the public.  Many jobs are provided to the youth where they can work positions such as general staff or life guard.  Scott Greenberger, a writer for States News Service, describes how “the city opened all nine of its pools…thanks to a federally funded summer jobs programs that employed nearly 100 low-income youth as lifeguards and supervisors.”[27] 

The opportunity is there for city officials to have made a motion to keep the pools open.  Doing so would have helped inner-city youth development, deter youth crime statistics, and provided jobs to hedge against an absurd youth unemployment rate.  Ultimately one can observe how the benefits are multi-dimensional that aquatic facilities provide for society.  They are a civic asset which facilitates peace, health, and providing not only enjoyment but a source of employment for Worcester residents.  Recreational parks including public swimming facilities promote civic engagement in Worcester.  Local communities are fighting for the right to keep the neighborhood pools but have them properly maintained.   Residents want safe swimming areas that remain open every season.  With various resources such as the excess tax reserve, in which less than 3% could have been utilize to service structural damages and have swim facilities meet health safety guidelines, it still remains unclear why all municipal pools closed in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3

 

Source: United Way of Central Massachusetts[28]

 

End Notes


[1] Nick Kotsopoulos, “Pool issue far from being drained,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, August 13,

2009

 

[2] Worcester Interfaith – information found on website, www.worcesterinterfaith.org accessed October 09,

2009

 

[3] Lee Hammel, “Save Our Poolz’ activists claim city plan is all wet,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette,

June 11, 2009

 

[4] The Community Builders Inc, Our Projects: Plumley Village, website accessed November 24, 2009

http://www.tcbinc.org/what_we_do/projects/fp_plumley_village.htm

 

[5] Lisa Krissoff Boehm, Making a Way out of No Way: African American Women and The Second Great

Migration,  (Jackson: MS,University Press of Mississippi, 2009) pg 199

 

[6] Plumley Village Apartments, Explore Our Community, photo accessed December 1, 2009 on website,

http://www.plumleyvillageapts.com/files/000/000/035/90/sm/sm.jpg  

 

[7] Bing Maps, Microsoft mapping program accessed December 1, 2009 on website www.bing.com  

 

[8] U.S. Census Bureau, Data found for Worcester, Massachusetts on http://www.census.gov/ , accessed

September 23, 2009

 

[9] Samantha Allen, “Wheels’ Takes kids to water spots,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, July 2, 2009

 

[10] City of Worcester, Pools & Beaches 2009, found on city website

www.ci.worcester.ma.us/dpw/parks_rec/pools.html  accessed September 23 2009

 

[11] Moylan, Robert, Memorandum, re: Communication Relative to Pools, memo sent to Michael O’Brien

City Manager on August 26, 2009. Accessed website http://worcester.indymedia.org/node/56443 on October 09, 2009

 

[12] Hank Stolz, “Wake Up Worcester,” the Hank Stolz morning show program on Channel 3 local station.  

Guest  interviewed was Grace Ross, a candidate for Worcester City Councilor. September 25, 2009

 

[13] Janelle Butler, Field Observation Research Project by Janelle Butler on Crompton Park. Submitted on

 September 13, 2009

 

[14] Margery Austin Turner, “Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development,” Urban Institute Press 2004,

Washington DC

 

[15] Margery Austin Turner, “Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development,” Urban Institute Press 2004,

Washington DC

 

[16] Lisa Sciannameo, interview with Marco Estrella, Worcester, Massachusetts, November 29th 2009

 

[17] Lisa Eckelbecker, “It’s all about jobs,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, October 25, 2009 

 

[18] Worcester Police Department, Press Releases, section accessed December 1, 2009 on website

 http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us/police

 

[19] Scott J. Croteau, “City calmer since shooting spree,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, October 22,

2009

 

[20] Louis J. Salome, “Wading Pools Will Close,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, May 29th, 1969

 

[21] Lisa Sciannameo, interview with Marco Estrella, Worcester, Massachusetts, November 29th 2009

 

[22] Jeff Wilste, Contested Waters: A social History of Swimming Pools in America, (North Carolina,

University Press of North Carolina, 2007) pg183

 

[23] Jeff Wilste, Contested Waters: A social History of Swimming Pools in America, (North Carolina,

 University Press of North Carolina, 2007) pg184

 

[24] Nick Kotsopoulos, “Council candidates mix it up,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, October 08, 2009

 

[25] City of Worcester, “Fiscal 2010 Annual Budget,”

http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us/e-services/document-center/budget/budget-fy10.pdf , pg 10

 

[26] Nick Kotsopoulos, “Effort is on to open some Worcester pools,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, May

19, 2009

 

[27]Scott S. Greenberger, “Everybody out of pool, House says,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, March

21, 1995

 

[28] United Way of Central Massachusetts, News You Can Use, section accessed December 1, 2009 on

 website: www.unitedwaycm.org/nonhtml/NewsYouCanUse/WheelsToWater.pdf  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

Primary Sources

 

Bedimo-Rung PhD, Ariane L. “The significance of parks to physical activity and public health: A

conceptual model,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine,Volume 28, Issue 2, Supplement 2, Published by Elsevier Inc., (February 2005), pg 159-168

 

LeGates T. Richard, Frederic Stout. The City Reader. 4th ed. New York: Routledge, 2007

 

Mumford, Lewis. The city in history: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. Florida:

Harcourt, 1989

 

Shipler, David K. The Working Poor. New York: Vintage Books, 2005

 

Turner, Margery Austin. “Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development”. Washington, DC: Urban

Institute Press, 2004

 

Wiltse, Jeff. Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming of Pools in America. North Carolina:

University of North Carolina Press, 2007

 

Archival Material

Worcester Public Library, Worcester, MA

            The Worcester Room

 

Government Records and Publications

Moylan, Robert Commissioner. Memorandum, re: Communication Relative to Pools, (August 26, 2009)

 

Worcester Police Department, “Police Incident Statistics”, Chief Gary J. Gemme, (January 1, 2009-

March 31, 2009)

 

City of Worcester

            Fiscal 2010 Annual Budget

 

U.S. Census Bureau

 

Interviews

Sciannameo, Lisa, interview with Marco Estrella, Worcester, MA (November 29, 2009)

 

Periodicals

Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Worcester, MA

Worcester Magazine

Worcester InCity Times

The Washington Post

 

 

 

Secondary Sources

 

Boehm, Lisa Krissoff. Making a Way out of No Way: African American Women and The Second Great

Migration. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 2009

 

Butler, Janelle. “Crompton Park,” unpublished, undergraduate field observation paper. (September 13,

2009)

 

Jost, Kenneth. “Racial Diversity in Public Schools,” From Issues In Race and Ethnicity. Washington, DC:

CQ Press, 2009

 

Mathur, Shishir. “Financing community facilities: a case study of the parks and recreational general

obligation bond measure of San Jose, California,” Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Published by Academia de Studii Economice Bucuresti, (May 2009), pg34

 

Stolz, Hank. “Wake Up Worcester” television program on channel 3 local station. (September 25, 2009)

 

 

Web Sites

www.bing.com – For maps

www.worcester.indymedia.org – Local news by resident input

www.google.com/Scholar  – Journal Search

www.bpl.org – Boston Public Library, Literature Review

www.worcester.edu – Under Library link for Articles and Journal Search

www.urban.org – Urban Institute, Literature Review

www.worcesterinterfaith.org – Worcester Interfaith, local Non Profit Organization

www.unitedwaycm.org – United Way of Central Massachusetts, Non Profit Organization

 

[1] Nick Kotsopoulos, “Pool issue far from being drained,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, August 13,

2009

 

[1] Worcester Interfaith – information found on website, www.worcesterinterfaith.org accessed October 09,

2009

 

[1] Lee Hammel, “Save Our Poolz’ activists claim city plan is all wet,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette,

June 11, 2009

 

[1] The Community Builders Inc, Our Projects: Plumley Village, website accessed November 24, 2009

http://www.tcbinc.org/what_we_do/projects/fp_plumley_village.htm

 

[1] Lisa Krissoff Boehm, Making a Way out of No Way: African American Women and The Second Great

Migration,  (Jackson: MS,University Press of Mississippi, 2009) pg 199

 

[1] Plumley Village Apartments, Explore Our Community, photo accessed December 1, 2009 on website,

http://www.plumleyvillageapts.com/files/000/000/035/90/sm/sm.jpg  

 

[1] Bing Maps, Microsoft mapping program accessed December 1, 2009 on website www.bing.com  

 

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, Data found for Worcester, Massachusetts on http://www.census.gov/ , accessed

September 23, 2009

 

[1] Samantha Allen, “Wheels’ Takes kids to water spots,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, July 2, 2009

 

[1] City of Worcester, Pools & Beaches 2009, found on city website

www.ci.worcester.ma.us/dpw/parks_rec/pools.html  accessed September 23 2009

 

[1] Moylan, Robert, Memorandum, re: Communication Relative to Pools, memo sent to Michael O’Brien

City Manager on August 26, 2009. Accessed website http://worcester.indymedia.org/node/56443 on October 09, 2009

 

[1] Hank Stolz, “Wake Up Worcester,” the Hank Stolz morning show program on Channel 3 local station.  

Guest  interviewed was Grace Ross, a candidate for Worcester City Councilor. September 25, 2009

 

[1] Janelle Butler, Field Observation Research Project by Janelle Butler on Crompton Park. Submitted on

 September 13, 2009

 

[1] Margery Austin Turner, “Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development,” Urban Institute Press 2004,

Washington DC

 

[1] Margery Austin Turner, “Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development,” Urban Institute Press 2004,

Washington DC

 

[1] Lisa Sciannameo, interview with Marco Estrella, Worcester, Massachusetts, November 29th 2009

 

[1] Lisa Eckelbecker, “It’s all about jobs,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, October 25, 2009 

 

[1] Worcester Police Department, Press Releases, section accessed December 1, 2009 on website

 http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us/police

 

[1] Scott J. Croteau, “City calmer since shooting spree,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, October 22,

2009

 

[1] Louis J. Salome, “Wading Pools Will Close,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, May 29th, 1969

 

[1] Lisa Sciannameo, interview with Marco Estrella, Worcester, Massachusetts, November 29th 2009

 

[1] Jeff Wilste, Contested Waters: A social History of Swimming Pools in America, (North Carolina,

University Press of North Carolina, 2007) pg183

 

[1] Jeff Wilste, Contested Waters: A social History of Swimming Pools in America, (North Carolina,

 University Press of North Carolina, 2007) pg184

 

[1] Nick Kotsopoulos, “Council candidates mix it up,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, October 08, 2009

 

[1] City of Worcester, “Fiscal 2010 Annual Budget,”

http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us/e-services/document-center/budget/budget-fy10.pdf , pg 10

 

[1] Nick Kotsopoulos, “Effort is on to open some Worcester pools,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, May

19, 2009

 

[1]Scott S. Greenberger, “Everybody out of pool, House says,” Worcester Telegram and Gazette, March

21, 1995

 

[1] United Way of Central Massachusetts, News You Can Use, section accessed December 1, 2009 on

 website: www.unitedwaycm.org/nonhtml/NewsYouCanUse/WheelsToWater.pdf  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

Primary Sources

 

Bedimo-Rung PhD, Ariane L. “The significance of parks to physical activity and public health: A

conceptual model,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine,Volume 28, Issue 2, Supplement 2, Published by Elsevier Inc., (February 2005), pg 159-168

 

LeGates T. Richard, Frederic Stout. The City Reader. 4th ed. New York: Routledge, 2007

 

Mumford, Lewis. The city in history: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. Florida:

Harcourt, 1989

 

Shipler, David K. The Working Poor. New York: Vintage Books, 2005

 

Turner, Margery Austin. “Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development”. Washington, DC: Urban

Institute Press, 2004

 

Wiltse, Jeff. Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming of Pools in America. North Carolina:

University of North Carolina Press, 2007

 

Archival Material

Worcester Public Library, Worcester, MA

            The Worcester Room

 

Government Records and Publications

Moylan, Robert Commissioner. Memorandum, re: Communication Relative to Pools, (August 26, 2009)

 

Worcester Police Department, “Police Incident Statistics”, Chief Gary J. Gemme, (January 1, 2009-

March 31, 2009)

 

City of Worcester

            Fiscal 2010 Annual Budget

 

U.S. Census Bureau

 

Interviews

Sciannameo, Lisa, interview with Marco Estrella, Worcester, MA (November 29, 2009)

 

Periodicals

Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Worcester, MA

Worcester Magazine

Worcester InCity Times

The Washington Post

 

 

 

Secondary Sources

 

Boehm, Lisa Krissoff. Making a Way out of No Way: African American Women and The Second Great

Migration. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 2009

 

Butler, Janelle. “Crompton Park,” unpublished, undergraduate field observation paper. (September 13,

2009)

 

Jost, Kenneth. “Racial Diversity in Public Schools,” From Issues In Race and Ethnicity. Washington, DC:

CQ Press, 2009

 

Mathur, Shishir. “Financing community facilities: a case study of the parks and recreational general

obligation bond measure of San Jose, California,” Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Published by Academia de Studii Economice Bucuresti, (May 2009), pg34

 

Stolz, Hank. “Wake Up Worcester” television program on channel 3 local station. (September 25, 2009)

 

 

Web Sites

www.bing.com – For maps

www.worcester.indymedia.org – Local news by resident input

www.google.com/Scholar  – Journal Search

www.bpl.org – Boston Public Library, Literature Review

www.worcester.edu – Under Library link for Articles and Journal Search

www.urban.org – Urban Institute, Literature Review

www.worcesterinterfaith.org – Worcester Interfaith, local Non Profit Organization

www.unitedwaycm.org – United Way of Central Massachusetts, Non Profit Organization