107-degrees, with no pool, and looking for someone to blame

Maybe it’s not the responsible thing to do, but I’m hot and I’m looking for someone to blame for the fact that our community pool is dry this summer, as we’re living trough the most brutally hot season in memory… Like I said, I realize that it’s not terribly responsible to want to assign blame. I know that the pool will be back next year, and that I should just be thankful that, somehow, thanks to the tireless work of many in our community, we were able to secure a grant to save the pool, but I still can’t help but think that it didn’t have to happen in such way that the people of our community were left without a pool for a year. And, from what I’m finding online, I may be onto something… There may be someone to blame… The following comes from an AnnArbor.com article earlier this spring.

…After a nearly two-year fundraising effort that saw supporters raise $642,000 for a rebuild of the aging Normal Park Neighborhood pool, plans stalled because state grant money is being delayed in the legislative process.

Barring any other unforeseen changes, the pool will reopen in 2013.

On behalf of the Friends of the Rutherford Pool, the City of Ypsilanti was awarded a $300,000 grant through Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund.

But the state Senate and House of Representatives must approve the appropriation of that money, and several lawmakers delayed the process. Additionally, there are several administrative hurdles that must be cleared before the grant money is distributed, and Friends director John Weiss said the group isn’t expecting to receive the funds until July.

Previously, the plan was to begin the bidding process in March and have the rebuild complete by June 15. Groups receiving the funds aren’t allowed to move forward with projects beyond initial design work, so a 2012 season at the pool is out of the question…

Anyway, I’m curious as to who these “several lawmakers” are who “delayed the process,” and whether or not they might have pools that we could use while we’re waiting for ours to be rebuilt. I’d love to arrange for busses to take a few hundred of us to their homes, in our bathing suits.

And, again, I realize the whole premise of this post is probably stupid. The administrative issues, as far as I know, were likely legitimate, and these funds weren’t being help up purposefully, for political reasons. Still, though, I’d like to know more about what actually happened, and why it is that I can’t take my kids to swim at Rutherford Pool this summer.

update: OK, it looks as thought political gamesmanship on the part of the Republicans may have played a role after all. The following comment was left earlier today by State Representative Jeff Irwin.

The Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund bill has been held up in the legislature because of a broader debate about public land instigated by northern Michigan Republicans.

Specifically, Sen. (Tom) Casperson has been pushing for a bill that would permanently cap the amount of land that the state could own. Naturally, the MNTF appropriation – which would acquire a good amount of acreage – complicates his strategy to limit public land in Michigan. Sen. Casperson represents a good bit of the Upper Penninsula where the state owns huge tracts of land. It also bears mentioning that the state has welched on its PILT payments to these communities (similar to the revocation of fire protection grants for communities with large public universities).

The interesting paradox here is that the MNTF gets its funding from the sale of oil and gas leases on state land. Sen Casperson and the UP reps are very much in favor of resource extraction and want to drill on every available parcel. However, all of the sales of oil and gas leases have left the MNTF overflowing with revenues. Now, the proposal is to authorize the DNR to acquire more public land with those dollars.

So, presumably we’ll be taking up the bill to appropriate the funding necessary to expand Michigan’s inventory of public land and to finish other important projects around the state including Rutherford Pool today. In the past, Michigan’s legislature has refrained from amending MNTF recommendations or holding them hostage for other political goals. This year, we seem to be setting a new, unfortunate tradition.

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38 Comments

  1. Mike Shecket
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the “several lawmakers” have pools at their houses.

  2. maryd
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    this really irks me too. The pool is the only recreation available to many kids in the community. And it was my place for swimming after work each day. It is really missed. Here is to hoping the new project comes to fruition next year.

  3. anonymous
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    If it doesn’t come to fruition, I say we fill it with the blood of our elected officials.

  4. Pete Murdock
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    The State Legislature is scheduled to approve the Narural Resources Grant appropriations today and with the Governor’s expected signature later this month, we can move on with the project.

  5. MarkH
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I heard city council turned down the grant to “punish” voters for rejecting the income tax.

  6. Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Point well taken. I did notice a sign up in a window on Michigan Ave. though, that the EMU intramural pool (I think that’s the one) is available to Ypsi residents for a reduced fee all summer.

  7. John Galt
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    That’s just like you people, always wanting something for nothing. Today it’s a hole full of cool water. What’s it going to be tomorrow, breathable air? You people are pathetic.

  8. Mr X
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the update, Pete. I’m happy to see that this post prompted action by our elected officials in Lansing.

  9. Eel
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Yes, there may have been a legitimate reason why this was held up, and I suppose it’s possible that some of that delay was on our end, but it’s worth noting, I think, that there would have likely been a greater sense of urgency had the men and women in Lansing lived in this community, without access to a pool or air conditioning.

  10. Bob
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Dear John Galt,

    Ayn Rand was a complete asshole with low morals, extreme paranoia, inconsistent ideals and the worst fucking haircut ever seen on a woman. She chain smoked cigarettes for decades while bashing federal aid, retirement benefits and Medicare.

    When she was broke and couldn’t afford treatment for lung cancer her theology went out the window. She applied for Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security benefits. And she was bitter because no one would fuck her anymore.

    Why don’t you stop hiding behind the moronic John Galt moniker and use your real first name at least.

    She abhorred Libertarians as much as liberals and would likely have despised the Tea Part by most accounts of her decrepit, aging minions.

    Her writing was dull as fuck too.

  11. Meta
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Here’s the info on the EMU pool:

    Due to the Closing of Rutherford Pool The EMU Rec/IM Facility would like to extend the use of our Club Pool to the Ypsilanti Community for a discounted fee.

    The Club Pool hours are*:
    Monday through Friday 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
    Saturday and Sunday 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

    *SUBJECT TO SPECIAL EVENTS

    – SEE POOL SCHEDULE AT:
    http://www .emich.edu/recim/documents/open_swim_hours_june_2012.pdf

    Cost per day will be $2.00. Adult sponsorship will be required for those under the age of sixteen.

    Learn to Swim Classes are also available. For more information about learn to swim, go to:
    http://www .emich.edu/recim/learntoswim/index.htm

  12. mark k
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I love swimming at Rutherford Pool, I’m a little pissed off it’s closed this year too. In fact I may look at refinancing my home and putting a pool in the back yard, then I wont have to depend on anyone else for not having a pool. You guys know Ann Arbor has many public pools that do allow folks from Ypsi to enjoy, Fuller and Buhr are close. At what Rolling hills charges I wouldn’t steer anyone that way, and the last time I was there I had to pay to park, plus pay for each person to enter the pool, and it was so packed you couldn’t even swim. One more thing, if you need to blame someone for Rutherford Pool beling closed, blame me, I didn’t one frigging thing to help, didn’t lift one finger. Clearly this is 100% my fault. Probaby be why at this time next year I don’t have a pool in my back yard too. I womder what would work better, blaming everyone else for not having a pool, or getting off my ass and doing something about it. What do you guys think will work? Maybe Thom the thinker will show up and help me with this.

  13. Elf
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Yes, MK, the poor should get up off their asses and have their own pools installed.

  14. Dan
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    You can get one of those semi-constructed/semi-inflatable pools with a filter (like 3 feet deep) for under a hundred bucks. If I didnt have access to our community pool, I’d probably put one in the back yard. Quick and cheap.

  15. Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund bill has been held up in the legislature because of a broader debate about public land instigated by northern Michigan Republicans.

    Specifically, Sen. Casperson has been pushing for a bill that would permanently cap the amount of land that the state could own. Naturally, the MNTF appropriation – which would acquire a good amount of acreage – complicates his strategy to limit public land in Michigan. Sen. Casperson represents a good bit of the Upper Penninsula where the state owns huge tracts of land. It also bears mentioning that the state has welched on its PILT payments to these communities (similar to the revocation of fire protection grants for communities with large public universities).

    The interesting paradox here is that the MNTF gets its funding from the sale of oil and gas leases on state land. Sen Casperson and the UP reps are very much in favor of resource extraction and want to drill on every available parcel. However, all of the sales of oil and gas leases have left the MNTF overflowing with revenues. Now, the proposal is to authorize the DNR to acquire more public land with those dollars.

    So, presumably we’ll be taking up the bill to appropriate the funding necessary to expand Michigan’s inventory of public land and to finish other important projects around the state including Rutherford Pool today. In the past, Michigan’s legislature has refrained from amending MNTF recommendations or holding them hostage for other political goals. This year, we seem to be setting a new, unfortunate tradition.

  16. Lynne
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    @Bob re: “And she was bitter because no one would fuck her anymore.”

    Thanks for proving that even liberals can be sexist jerks whenever they find themselves criticizing a woman. *rolls eyes*

    Re: the pool – it is a shame that it isn’t open this year. I am glad that it will be open next year though. But at least in this area there are lots of opportunities for swimming including the river. I have wondered if there isn’t some park on Ford Lake which allows swimming. I worry more about people in other, poorer areas like Detroit where people can’t afford A/C and the urban heat island effect makes everything hotter.

  17. Anonymous Mike
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Bob, you might want to look up the definition of satire. John Galt is probably the most liberal guy among us.

    And thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Jeff.

  18. mark k
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Jeff Irwin blaming the Republicans is so last year. Please come up with new material. Maybe your new trick could be telling us how you got it done dispite the Republicans.

  19. mark k
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Elf the poor better figure something out for themselve, Jeff just said he can’t do a thing because of the Republicans.

  20. It's OK
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Mark K, it’s OK with me if you want to use the n-word. I can sense that you desperately want to, and I give you permission. It’s harmful to keep stuff bottled up inside. Just let it out. You’ll feel better.

  21. Dan
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    “It’s OK”

    thats probably the worst post in this blogs history. This ridiculous bullshit from you and Peter and others that incessantly look for racism speaks a lot more about you guys than it does about mark k or EOS or anyone else. good fucking lord.

  22. mark k
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s OK, that hood is mostly white well to do liberals, what N word do you want me to use? Numskull? Cause that work would fit the following statement perfectly. “The pool is the only recreation available to many kids in the community.” Really, is the Library closed, how about the ball diamonds are they closed too, basketball courts closed too? What about a good game of stickball in the streets, or are the streets closed too? Are swimming pools now a civil right? Yep It’s OK, I want to use the N word on you, you NUMSKULL! There I did it.

  23. Bob
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    @Bob re: “And she was bitter because no one would fuck her anymore.”

    Thanks for proving that even liberals can be sexist jerks whenever they find themselves criticizing a woman. *rolls eyes*

    Lynne,
    How am I being a sexist jerk? *scratches head* I’ve been reading a ton about her in an effort to educate myself about the mindset of the Libertarian and Tea Party movements.

    By most accounts this seemed to be a reality of her bitter final years. Ayn Rand had long affairs with married people. Her sexual history and her general manipulation of her followers was core to her philosophy. There are books and movies about this aspect of her life alone.

    I wasn’t trying to be sexist or offend anyway. It was satire.

  24. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    In previous years, I understand the Legislature cleared funding for Land Trust Fund grants much earlier in the year. This meant the projects the Trust Fund was helping bankroll could send out bids for construction over the late spring, summer and fall. This means lots of construction jobs.

    This year, if appropriations from the Trust Fund are realeased by late July, it may be hard or impossible to schedule the building of non-motorized trails, recreational improvments, etc. this year before winter comes around. That means jobs that could have been created this year will have to wait until next year.

  25. Jules
    Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Dan, we have one of those pools you’re talking about and they cost about 500 bucks now. We got ours 9 years ago and it was 300 bucks back then.

  26. Dan
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Jules, you must have a really big one. This one is $82 at Wally World.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Summer-Escapes-12-x-30-Quick-Set-Ring-Swimming-Pool/19340407

    They do have bigger ones for more money

  27. Knox
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Is this what our world is coming to? Are we really at a place in our nation’s history where a post about the fact that kids in our town don’t have access to a community pool, on days where the temperature has risen to well over 100 degrees, is met with angry comments about how the parents of these kids should buy their own pools? Is that what we’ve become?

    What’s behind it? Is the idea of a community pool too “socialist”? Or is it that we think that the “lazy poor” aren’t deserving of cool water? Whichever it is, I think it’s vile.

  28. Dan
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    If you are referring to me comments, none of them have been angry. I was simply suggesting a very cheap alternative. I have no problems with community pools, we have one where we live and use it quite often

  29. It's OK
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s public pools they mind. I think it’s the fact that they’re no longer segregated.

  30. Dan
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    True, personally, I am offended that I am not segregated from racists like you

  31. mark k
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I have no problems with the pool, or kids, love them both. My family uses Rutherford all the time, for years. It’s the idea that this is some how of a travesty, like the kids have all been grounded to their rooms for the summer. A sprinkler set up in someones yard should do fine until the pool is complete. Of these people complaining how many were involved in the process,

  32. mark k
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Oh crap I hit post before I could call “It’s OK” the N word. Hey! Hey! “It’s OK” you Numskull!

  33. Lynne
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    @Bob In that case I apologize. But let me explain why that comment offended me. I have often heard men dismiss arguments by women by stating that the argument isn’t valid because of the woman’s lack of physical attractiveness (or bitterness that men don’t want to fuck her). A really good example of this is a George Carlin joke where he says, “Have you noticed that most of the women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place?” as if that had any relevance at all.

    Anyways, it sounded to me like you were saying that Rand’s loss of physical attractiveness in old age had anything to do with her ideas or thoughts or really anything at all. I am still not convinced that such a thing would make her bitter but if it did, it surely was because women often enjoy increased status when men find them attractive and the loss of that status can be a difficult adjustment even for a woman who accomplished so much on her own such as Rand. It is quite a statement about culture actually more than it is about her.

  34. Eel
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    All good points, but, the truth is, men did still want to have sexual relations with her, even when she was a bitter old woman on welfare.

    Case in point.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iAeN8qi5mT4/T1aZ9rNgFoI/AAAAAAAAE9w/vpr_mdwucBg/s1600/alangreenspan60s+-+Copy.jpg

  35. Lynne
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, given the obsession so many dudes have with her, I would be surprised if there was ever a time, even when she was a bitter old woman, when she couldn’t get laid. But, as I said, that doesn’t matter even one bit.

  36. Meta
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    The money was finally approved.

    http://www.heritage.com/articles/2012/08/10/ypsilanti_courier/news/doc50256b859a62c854049070.txt

  37. Kris
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    I prefer my pools to have glass pool fences perth. I would be irked if our community pool was suddenly unavailable, too, pool fences or not. Hopefully this issue will be fixed soon.

  38. HHT
    Posted June 14, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    How about an update now that the pool is open?

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview: Josh Chamberlain on September 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    […] point than with the City itself. One of the things that was important to me as a kid was the Rutherford Pool, though, which hasn’t been open for some time now.MARK: I don’t know if I’ve ever […]

  2. […] been working diligently to raise enough money to rebuild our City’s public pool, which was decommissioned in 2011, after 40 years in service. Well, yesterday, having successfully raised over $1 million, we […]

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