Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 11, 2021

Popcorn night

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Sometimes I don’t know what to do with comments like this:

I’d like to see the evidence of the ARPD claim. There might be a pool capacity issue per fire dept regulations but that would be the only logical reason. And how would making it even more public than it is now change that? And I don’t see modern housing going up in the middle of a rare and lovely Victorian park. I enjoy my visits there! It’s a great pool system as it exists today, serving MANY Alameda constituents, especially young children who learn to swim for free. Lauren, I encourage you as a fellow writer and Alamedan to do your due diligence. Take the time to learn about this subject before casting it out there as fact and consider your tone. Your careless disregard for the many years of work behind this community project is hurtful to many. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

And like this:

” Plus I hear there’s a waiting list even if you did figure out how to join” – there is not and never has been a waiting list. Yes you are required to volunteer for guard duty. It is run entirely by volunteers and they hire local kids to be lifeguards/swim instructors during the summer which comes out of the fees.
“he history behind it, as I understand and may butcher it is there were some Alameda businessmen who wanted to have pools where young Alamedans could learn how to swim” – yes you did butcher it – free swim lessons are open in the summer to anyone, member or not, Alamedan or not.
I highly doubt the city of Alameda wants to take on the cost of insuring, maintaining and operating 2 pools. The current system seems to be working fine and there are other public pools (which I believe also require fees as does every public pool I have ever seen).

The tone policing is a bit much considering the information I’m being corrected about isn’t correct itself.


yes you did butcher it – free swim lessons are open in the summer to anyone, member or not, Alamedan or not.

From a 2016 staff report:

With this founding principle, ASPA provides free swimming lessons in the fall and spring open to all Kindergarten aged children in Alameda, regardless of whether the family has a membership. [emphasis added]

Therefore “young Alamedans” I’m not sure what I wrote was in correct.

And then from the commenter:

there is not and never has been a waiting list.

From the November 2016 minutes:

Chair Tilos asked about what the waitlist is. Mr. Delle Cese said the capacity maxes out at approximately 350 families which they update each Spring.

And from tonight’s staff report:

There are also issues of residents interested in joining who are put on waiting lists and cannot access the pools due to capacity issues stemming from the membership model.

Like, look, I know that the idea of potentially losing your 350 member strong public/private swimming pool is upsetting but I’m just the messenger here. There’s a meeting tonight where the City has identified an issue with entering into a new long term lease and they’re trying to get in front of it. The best thing for supporters to do is not to try to frame this in the City doing something they shouldn’t be doing but rather getting their ducks in a row to shoot for the only option that could get ASPA into operation after the lease expires in September: the request for proposals for an operator. But, that option, according to the staff report:

RFP requirements would include operating the facilities as public pools with no membership structure allowed; all lifeguards must be Red Cross certified; and operations and maintenance must comply with industry standards. 

Interestingly enough in the lease that was recently uploaded it shows, in an amendment to the 2011 lease signed in 2014, ASPA owed around $21K in past due water reimbursements to the City that they were asked to repay over 21 months.

I will however, be prepped with some popcorn for tonight’s meeting because I’ve already watched the latest WandaVision and there won’t be anything else near as entertaining. Pro-tip, a little ghee goes a long way.


  1. The so-called free lessons for kindergarten aged kids are also not as universal a benefit as they sound. They are poorly publicized, and schedule for the middle of the workday when working families can’t attend. You have to basically have a stay at home parent to enjoy the benefit, further privileging those with means and providing no potential benefit for most Alamedans. Perhaps that model worked in a bygone era of stay at home moms and free range children, but today it is massively inequitable.

    Comment by cw — February 11, 2021 @ 9:36 am

    • People of means have always been able to afford things people of lesser means could not. Is that massively inequitable also?

      Comment by JB — February 11, 2021 @ 4:14 pm

  2. That era where moms stayed home? Was nowhere near a universal experience either. Poor women have always worked. Always.

    And even my teacher grandmother was only at home for four years. The second she could go back to her profession she did.

    Comment by Gaylon — February 11, 2021 @ 10:01 am

  3. The lessons aren’t publicized and there’s no way for anyone to get more information or details about the process. I heard about them from a parent at my eldest’s preschool, but no details other than show up at this time. If they were serious about actually offering them to all K aged children, they’d do a much better job at outreach within the community.

    They use the excuse of being a membership organization to justify why they have next to no internet presence.

    Turning them into actual public pools will be great.

    Comment by Jennifer — February 12, 2021 @ 10:04 am

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