UPDATE: Drowned teen shouldn’t have been in deep end, authorities say

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2008 at 11:01 am

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Last updated: Thursday July 17, 2008, EDT 10:26 PMBY EVONNE COUTROSSTAFF WRITER

Ridgewood officials are questioning how to improve procedures at Graydon Pool after learning that a teenager who drowned in 12 feet of water did not take a test required for swimming in the deep end.

“I’m going to challenge my staff to make every use of any technology available that can assist us in our efforts to improve our procedures, our signage and our lifesaving efforts,” said Village Manager James Ten Hoeve.

After entering the pool from the shallow section, the 14-year-old swam under a rope to the deeper waters, official said.

There are signs posted throughout the 3-acre pool area that specify swimming rules. The pool office staff is also available to answer questions, officials said.

“He entered at the shallow end of the pool where the swim test is not required &hellip and swam towards the deep end &hellip where the lifeguard would never see that he did not have the proper sticker or wristband,” Ten Hoeve said.

To go into the deep water at the spring-fed pond, children and teenagers must pass a swim test, Ten Hoeve said.

“They are then given a sticker which goes on their badge, and if they are on a day pass, the date of the swim test is written on the wristlet that they receive,” Ten Hoeve said.

The teen – in the United States from South Korea for only two days and staying with family in Ridgewood – did not take a test, Ten Hoeve said.

If a lifeguard sees a swimmer in the deep-water section of the pool without that sticker or marked wristband, he or she is sent told to go and take the test before returning to the deep water, Ten Hoeve said.

“I don’t know what should have been done,” Ten Hoeve said. “We are going to hold a staff meeting to look at our procedures and, based on the occurrences in this situation, see if they can be improved in any way. Our policy is that if you are a non-adult, you need a swim test.”

The teen swam to the deep end of the pool and was trying to reach a diving platform.

“I can’t breathe,” he yelled in Korean on Tuesday afternoon to his 12- and 14-year-old swimming partners, already on the platform.

The 12-year-old jumped into the water to save his friend but lost sight of him after he dove dived in.

The teen’s 10-year-old sister was swimming in shallow water nearby and raced to shore to alert her parents that she could not find her brother.

Lifeguards were summoned, a 911 call was made and a sweeping search of the pool, its facilities, and nearby buildings was conducted.

The 14-year-old’s body was recovered in 12 feet of water about 40 minutes after he went missing by divers from the Ridgewood Fire Department.

Emergency workers conducted resuscitative procedures on the shoreline of the pool before transporting the teen to The Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 68 minutes after the initial 911 call.

The death has been ruled an accidental drowning. Officials have declined to release the name of the 14-year-old.

E-mail: coutros@northjersey.com

  1. Wow. Ten Hoeve was very quick to wash his hands of this issue.

    I would hope the village council begins plans to install a clear-water pool, sort of what Woodcliff Lake did a few years back.

  2. This is a real problem with the current system at Graydon. The rope between the deep and shallow ends must be a couple of hundred feet — that’s a huge “border” to have to patrol. I’ve never seen them check a swimmer going from the shallow end to the deep end to see if they’ve passed the deep water test.

  3. The bottom line is that this incident happened because of the language barrier. Everyone needs to stop finding someone to blame.

  4. Look this is all a bunch of nonsense.

    A teen made a tragic mistake.

    It is impossible, short of closing the pool, to make us all safe from our own stupidity. Unless of course everyone is mandated to wear a flotation device.

    Lets face it, the cold hard truth is that Darwin’s rule applies here.

  5. 7:53 Agreed, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the call for help was in Korean.

  6. Yep.. that makes sense (?).. doing nothing will clear up those murky waters quickly. 12 foot diving areas can be “fenced off” too.. just as the four foot platforms have a fence to prevent swimmers from going under the platform and getting trapped. Distress calls for help in any language is undertood by anyone. There is a legal obligation made to invitees to provide a safe and sanitary facitiy. If the town can’t… then shut it down. Lawyers are lining up this time.

  7. Mr. Ten Hoeve knows not of what he speaks. No one checks for a sticker on my child’s badge because I am the one holding the badge when she goes in the water. The pool changed the look of the badges a year or so ago and there is no longer a safety pin mechanism enabling her to pin it to her suit.

  8. We can not “lose sight of the fact” that after they knew the boy was in the water it took 40 min.to find him.

    40 min! The water conditions did not help the rescuers.

    Please, there is room for improvement.
    One childs death is one too many.

    Also, I think the Village Manager has to get his facts straight.
    Swimming in the deep water at Graydon is a matter of trust.
    The lifeguards trust that the children in there (old enough of course) have taken the deep water test and had excel it. That they are proficient swimmers, and that the parents know their children are in that area.
    I believe visitors need more information when they go for a day pass. Today I will check the signs the Village manager is talking about. I just remember signs about not feeding the ducks…

    Lets not forget this family and the pain they have had to endure

  9. Darwin’s rule, 8:12?

    Exactly how does this rule you speak of play out in this scenario?

    I’m all ears, you heartless cipher.

  10. Quite right, 9:30. I like your style.

  11. “I’m all ears, you heartless cipher.”

    Hey, thanks for keeping the discussion civil during this family’s tragedy.

  12. “Lets face it, the cold hard truth is that Darwin’s rule applies here.”

    Hey, thanks for staying sensitive to the fact that a human child was lost in Ridgewood, at least partially because of a casual approach to safety at our pool, and that the grieving parents, if they were of a mind to visit this site, would appreciate coming away with the feeling that the great loss that they have suffered in their brief visit to Ridgewood has registered in the minds of its residents.

  13. I agree with 7:32.

    In my mind, it is forseeable that a child who cannot swim could potentially follow his playmates under a rope from the shallow end into deep waters. Thus, I agree that in light of this accident a revised system of patrol needs to be put in place.

    I cannot see how his lack of spoken English language is the cause. Are there written warning signs on the rope? The bottom line is that we are talking about a child who does not have the same judgment and experience that we adults have. Perhaps he never before swam in deep water and didn’t realize he was lacking the swimming abilities his younger friends had. (Isn’t that the very purpose of the deep water test, i.e. let an experienced adult decide whether you have the right ability?)

    As to the “survival of the fittest” comment, I find that to be a bizarre statement and not worthy of a response. Again, we are talking about a child here.

    Even if his call for help had been in English, the sad fact is that during the crucial seconds of his physical distress the only observers were children. The dangerous reality is that lifeguards cannot and do not have their eyes on every swimmer at all times.

    Sadly, a combination of unfortunate events and circumstances lead to this horrible accident. There are obvious issues that need to be addressed and additional safeguards will need to be put in place to ensure that this never happens again.

  14. Ridgewood should build a cement pool at Habernickel so we could finally silence the critics of Graydon. Neither they nor their whining will be missed.

  15. 11:38 what are you thinking?
    Have some compassion and wait to show your true colors at a later time or on a different topic.

  16. Good points all, 11:20 AM.

  17. Ridgewood has a large Korean and Spanish population, why aren’t signs and information printed in multiple languages?

    Especially since Graydon is now opened to several towns, with lots of non-ridgewoodites joining, there is sure to be new members who simply don’t know the “deep water” rules.

  18. People will continue to swim in pools, oceans and lakes. If the clearwater people feel that their cause is so important they should take their clearwater message national. If it is dangerous in Ridgewood it must be dangerous in other towns too. “No one should swim in dark water.” They could make it similar to “No Child Left behind.”

  19. When you buy a badge in the badge office it has signs/flyers about the deep water test and the law that prohibits children under the age of 16 from being at a pool without a parent. One can assume that a patron must have some mastery of English to purchase a pass and thus use the facility.

  20. A 14-years-old hardly qualifies for a child.

    In some parts of this world he would be a warrior carrying a rifle.

    And he would just as soon shoot your sorry wimpy ass as look at you.

    Get real here. If he didn’t know how to swim why did he walk into water over his head?

    Darwin’s law does apply, however tragic its results may be.

  21. We all should remember that this is the first drowning in 30+ years that occurred when the lifeguards were on duty. It was a tragic, unfortunate accident with the majority of the responsibility belonging to the swimmer following the rules and the swimmer’s parents/guardians explaining the rules. The lifeguards, police, fire, and ems all did a heroic job in their efforts to save the swimmer. Although a clear water, cement bottom pool would have contributed to a quicker location of the drowned swimmer, is it fiscally responsible to invest many millions of dollars to service so few people who use Graydon. Graydon is a safe, legal pool facility which has a great safety record even with this one daytime drowning. Using this one instance as the reason to build a new cement bottom pool or to further those efforts just doesn’t make sense to me.

  22. “A 14-years-old hardly qualifies for a child…In some parts of this world he would be a warrior carrying a rifle…And he would just as soon shoot your sorry wimpy ass as look at you.”

    Man, that is some twisted thinking. A fourteen-year-old dies from a terrible tragedy, and you’re equating him with cold-blooded killers???

  23. 11:38 is brilliant!! Perfect location. After it’s built, let’s compare how many go there vs. Graydon…I know where I’d put my money on that bet.

  24. There are swim clubs that you can join if you don’t like Graydon. Why do we need to spend millions to change Graydon to suit the preferences of some residents?

    Some people refuse to look at their options. The town has a lot of amenities but it can’t be all things for all people. Graydon is already there, join Graydon or join somewhere else.

  25. Let’s stick to the issue.. “the health and safety”… on both counts it is a failure. Memberships from 6,000 to less than 2,000 … it fails to meet the reasonable desires of most citizens. It’s a high risk facility and I predict it will be shut down soon. If you want to help improve it.. help! If you don’t want to help… don’t. You will still be the obstuctist you always were. And a dismal failure.

  26. Now suddenly everybody is on the bandwagon that the pool is risky. We can’t protect everyone in life. Crossing the street in Ridgewood is dangerous too – nothing you can do about it. Exercise caution.

  27. Kudo’s to 4:48pm –

    I would just add in that language barrier and the children who the boy was with panicking going to the Relatives instead of the Lifeguard (not to blame the children) caused lost time.

    enough of the blaming and think about the sister/friends who were in the pool with the boy and our lifeguards that will always have to live with this.

  28. You will be surprise what I can do.
    Doing nothing is worse. That pool will be shut down… I promise. So, stay clear.

  29. 4:18, I’m as bewildered as you. I only hope the source of these twisted words does not live in our community. Is there any way the blog author can delete his hurtful words at 3:45 from this site?

  30. Let’s face facts, however tragic this may be, the kids was stupid for walking into water over his head if he couldn’t swim.

    I know 14-year-old boys are dumb as a box of rocks but come on now, it is not like he fell in water over his head or was carried away by a rip tide. He walked, for Christ sake, into water over his head!

    It doesn’t just drop off suddenly but rather it gets deeper gradually.

    That is what I mean by Darwin’s law. This boy lacked the common sense to know that he was getting in over his head.

  31. This was a “clearwater” pool:

    “Two teens drown at Memphis City pools on opening day for public pools
    City parks division closes pool until investigation into drownings complete” 06/2008

    Accidents happen in all types of water.

  32. 5:21 Why has the membership declined? Graydon hasn’t changed, but the clientle has. The clientle has become a bunch of “milleniels” who want society to cater to their personal needs and desires. People who want everyone else to provide a risk free enviornment for them. Why do you think a concrete pool is without risk. People die in public concrete pools every day in the US, even when lifeguards are on duty. Check out the statistics provided by the National Center for Disease Control. Concrete pools are crowded, with children jumping on top of other children causeing serious injury and drownings. Stop this madness about the pool. No one forces you to join. Don’t force your agenda on others. GO to another pool, if that is where you feel more secure. Better yet, put a concrete pool in your own backyard, or are you worred about the risks? Why is the town responsible for creating the perfect enviornment for you. This pool was here when you moved here. If you’re unhappy with the conditions, go somewhere else. The murky water did not kill this child. He demonstrated a lack of judgement,by going into the deep end, when he knew he couldn’t swim. His friends demonstrated a lack of judgement by not notifying the guard right away, when he knew his friend was in trouble, wasting at least 10 minutes of valuable time. His friend could have notified the guard that was right next to him on the dock when his friend fist said he couldn’t breathe. Instead he jumps in, tries to swim to him, doesn’t find him, swims back to the dock, runs off the dock, runs past two lifeguard stands to alert the main office. This is the reason this boy is dead.

    ” Lawyers are in line,” give me a break. Is a rail system liable when children play on the tracks and get run over by a train.

  33. Unless someone is willing to donate the 2,000,000 plus dollars it will cost to renovate which given recent events is hightly unlikly, no renovation will take place in the near future.

    The place was just renovated about 8-9 years ago. The town is obviously broke and cant spend more money it does not have.

    Is the pool perfect? No. But does it serve its purpose, absolutely. Im not willing to pay more money for a pool that was just renovated. Some people dare to confuse a cement bottom pool for a greater chance of survival when nothing is a 100% safe.

    Accidents will happen no matter what kind of pool. People drown in water is shallow as bathtubs. Lets be realistic here and for the sake of everyone who was involved, stop making this a political issue your killing your own cause.

  34. Where are the clearwater people going to get the money to turn Graydon into a cement pool? I don’t see the need to spend millions to remove a lovely summer retreat to suit the needs of some residents.

    Put a dollar amount to it and let us vote on it. Don’t forget to allow for cost overruns.

  35. 5:21 – Generations of families who have enjoyed Graydon and taken responsibility for their actions are now considered dismal failures? For the number of people that use Graydon, one accident every ten years is not a high risk facility. You are ignorant if you believe otherwise. If you are so much of a priss that you want a cement bottom pool then go build one or use an existing pool. Why must you destroy Graydon for your own selfish needs?

  36. Let’s face it: Graydon is a cesspool. Many people who used to go there, do not anymore. We have had staph infections, ear infections, etc. related to the bacteria in the water from the geese droppings. The town cannot put the amount of chlorine in the water that is required because it will flow into the Ho-Ho-Kus brook. We are paying a fortune to maintain it, yet are not getting the memberships to support it anymore. A clear water cement pool would have allowed the lifeguards to see this boy under the water. The present murky waters of Graydon do not. He might have been saved. For those of you who are nostalgic about Graydon, you need to wake up and realize that Graydon as it is today is not serving our residents well. My sympathies to his family…this is a real tragedy.

  37. Everyone I know has left graydon for other swim clubs of local towns. I was at Hillsdale’s the other day and it’s awesome. Graydon is a dump and most would love to come back if we had something safer that the lake. I know I’d pay 3x the current cost of a membership if Ridgewood had a pool like Hillsdale.

    Graydon’s numbers are down so low it’s losing money and inviting riff raff from other towns to join. If we had a decent pool, we wouldn’t have to deal with that.

    I can’t see how ignorant people are that they want to keep this death trap.

  38. Graydon Pool is no riskier than any other public or private pool. Swimming is an “at risk” activity that everyone accepts before entering the water.

    To all naysayers who believe the facility is unsafe: How do you explain the superior track record of zero incidents during operating hours since inception??

    Our lifeguards are well-trained and they handled the extrme stress of the situation well.

    Our village’s response to this tragedy was appropriate as well…although there is a somber mood, life must go on. If a teenager mistakenly chooses to follow his friends into deeper waters than he can navigate how is anyone other than himself responsible for the outcome??

    I grieve for the deceased, his family, the witnesses to this tragedy, the Graydon staff, our village council and our residents. We will never be the same.

  39. There was a lot of human error involved in this accident.

    No one wants to assign blame so the pool itself is guilty.

  40. A year ago at the Council meeting the clearwater people stated that water quality was their main concern at Graydon. Now suddenly it is the danger of the dark water. They will exploit anything to justify their desire for a cement pool. How do they propose to pay for it?

  41. I remember that some of the clearwater people were looking into a year round swimming pool. This way the Graydon Swim Team would be abke to compete year round. It was never about safety. They will throw anything out there in their dream of an olympic pool for the swim team.

  42. Sounds like 7:47 is issuing a threat…STAY CLEAR everyone!!! lololololololo You are one scary person and I for one might be a little nervous about what you can do. ok, no i’m not.

  43. What are you talking about? I’m not on the committee, but if anyone has read anything or heard one of their pool chats, their main concern is clear water for safety in an outdoor natural setting. I understand that most people cannot visualize that a concrete bottom pool can coexist in a natural setting, but there are many examples from around the country. I’ve seen them. There are sand areas and lush foliage, and would most likely be aesthetically superior to that mud pit they call a “pool”. Let’s not pass judgement until we see or hear the committee’s plans.

  44. 6:01, as one of the “Clearwater” proponents, we are not looking to throw “anything out there” to change Graydon into a pool, we are simply listing the benefits of a clearwater pool that would bring back membership to Graydon. Everyone I know in town, who does not have a pool in their own backyard, has joined a swim club in another town. Why should we pay to maintain Graydon when no one goes there? A clearwater pool would be healthier and safer for swimmers, would attract a huge membership, and yes, could be used for our swim team. Sounds like a win-win to me! What are the benefits of keeping Graydon “as is?” I can’t think of any…

  45. “Sounds like a win-win to me! What are the benefits of keeping Graydon “as is?” I can’t think of any…”

    1. Money

    2. The fact that there are people who like it the way it is. The whole town does not think that we should throw away something that works because you don’t like it.

    3. Have you ever thought about starting a swim club? That is really what you want. Ridgewood Swim Club does not need to be in Ridgewood, just close. Look at the Ridgewood Country Club – it is in Paramus. They probably couldn’t afford the land.

  46. Ridgewood can’t afford to build a new pool because some residents don’t like the current one. This is a good example of our consumer driven excess – throwing away something to buy a shiny new version of the same thing. Wants and needs are two different things.

  47. 6:01 Sounds like this new pool, with its increased membership, will be very crowded, as most concrete pools are, with children jumping on adults as they try to swim by. Children jumping on and smacking into other chldren. If it is too crowded, someone who has sunk to the bottom, might not even be noticed. That’s how drownings occur in these types of public pools.
    That is of course when the public will be allowed to swim, because the pool will be closed to the public because of swim meets.

    I say this because I use to belong to a public clearwater pool and the conditions and swimming limitations were just as I described.

  48. 6:52, I don’t need a Swim Club…have a beautiful pool in my backyard. I went there with a friend years ago, and ended up with a serious staph infection between my toes that took weeks of oral and topical antibiotics to clear up (geese poop)…have not been back since. Not sure who you are talking about who goes there, as I know no one who does? The money it would cost to improve Graydon would be supported by the increase in memberships.

  49. 6:52 People get illness from clearwater pools as well. Did you know that in rural areas of the US and in other countries, where children are exposed to animal waste have no allergies, asthma, or other auto-immune illness. These health issues are rampid here. Exposing your immune system to a microbe or two, actually makes it stronger, and better to fight off illness. Your immune system is kind of like your muscles, you have to make it work, to make it stronger.

    The money it would cost to covert Graydon into a clearwater complex would be in the millions. What kind of membership fee would support that. But what do you care, you have your own pool.

  50. “Graydon’s numbers are down so low it’s losing money and inviting riff raff from other towns to join.”

    And Hillsdale does not have Riff Raff from other towns? Are you sure that you haven’t noticed any? Do they have mirrors in the bathrooms?

  51. Will the Ridgewood Aquatic Complex have towel service?

  52. 8:49 – My child has seen at least half of the kids in his class having fun at Graydon. Maybe you hang out with an elitist crowd and should look at changing friends. There are many wonderful people who go to Graydon.

  53. Changing procedures will not make this kind of thing any less likely to occur again.
    I was a lifeguard at Graydon and it pains me to say this; the lifeguards on duty should have seen this and saved him. Even on the most crowded days there are not so many people swimming from the ropes to the high dive or 11 foot raft. Additionally, kids making that swim are exactly the ones that get “saved” or the guards take the surfboard out to stay along side once the guards see somebody that looks like a weak swimmer. I personally saved and witnessed quite a few kids saved this way. In fact, quite frequently on the Paterson swim days when we get kids that can’t swim well are heading into the deep end. All that being said, even good lifeguards can miss something. There is no doubt that Graydon is more dangerous than other town pools that are not Ponds. If Graydon was a regular clear water pool the chances of saving somebody in this situation would be much better.

    This type of drowning in the deep water is not even the kind I would have expected because I know the guards are particularly careful to watch the people making that long swim. The most dangerous and more likely drowning I would have expected is some little kid not quite 4 feet tall getting a bit too deep in the shallow end and not coming up. As a past guard, we all thought the shallow end was more stressful and difficult to watch for this reason compounded by the fact that on crowded days the shallow end is packed with kids swimming.

    It is an outrage that ridiculous and absurd “environmental concerns” prevent Ridgewood from having a normal town pool like Glen Rock, Waldwick and countless others. Especially since the vast majority of people in town want it done. Why do a minority of environmental tyrants get to overrule the majority?

  54. I completely agree with you, 11:31AM and to tree hugging 9:32 AM, a staph infection is serious, not a “microbe or two” as you suggest.(Are you in the medical profession?)You should read the following post from the previous article on the drowning that I copied and pasted:
    11:37 AM
    Anonymous said…
    Sorry to tell you this 11:14; my swim trunks are not in a bunch. I am a third generation Ridgewood resident, my kids are fourth generation and I am a lifelong Graydon villager. I love the pool and always have. My kids all swim there too. The fact that most people in town would rather see it filled in is obvious from the surveys and from the fact that such a small percentage of people use the pool. The reasons are both because it is dirty and more dangerous than other town pools. Would the kid be alive if it was clear? There is no way of knowing that, but there is no doubt there is a better chance he would have been saved. Your presumption that the only people that would like to see Graydon clear and cemented either moved here from NY or think Glen Rock has spent money and it makes us look bad is ridiculous. Sorry again, I don’t fit into either one of those descriptions. I love Graydon and I still would prefer to have it become a cement clear water pool for these reasons; 1- it would be cleaner, 2- it would be safer, 3- more Ridgewood residents would use it (not the reasons you say). Finally, I do recognize that oceans and lakes and ponds are more dangerous yet I swim in them all and so do my kids. I am allowed my opinion and it just happens to be the majority of people in town agree. I bet my life the majority of us that ever lifeguarded at Graydon would prefer if it was clear. Finally, my family and kids respect the water and swim responsibly too but that is not a reason I would prefer not to have Graydon changed.

    I wish it was as simple as vote yes or no and Graydon would be done. However, that is sadly not the case. So here we have minority rules through EPA.

  55. 11:31….as a CURRENT graydon guard, it hurts to hear you say that. I’m sorry that you feel that way and also want to point out that while you may have been a guard for many years, you were not there that day. Every situation is different and every day is a new day at that pool, you should know that by now. 6 days and sleepless nights later, it still really hurts to hear that, especially from “one of us.” If you still know anyone at the pool now, we need all the support we can get. Thanks

  56. If the staff did not notice the boy struggling what makes you think that clear water would have helped in a rescue. By the time things got going it was a recovery.

  57. To the CURRENT guard, from the old guard. I did not in any way say I did not support you all. I support you all and my prayers are with you all. I did say the kid should have been seen struggling by the guards. That is why I also said even good guards make mistakes and miss something they should not have missed. If it was me on the dock or in #1 or even any chair in the shallow end that day and I missed seeing him go down, I don’t know how I would be dealing with it, particularly if I was on the deep water at the time. I know it feels good when you go home after a day when a real save was made. We never see news saying a kid’s life was saved today at Graydon but it happens more than people know. Usually the result is that the save is made. That is what makes this one so painful. You also know if the pool was clear, we might have been able to save him even after he was missed going down. That is the point I really wanted to make. Lakes (and ponds) are more dangerous than clear pools even if you have good guards, deep water ropes, signs and good “procedures” around deep water testing. My son and his friends are all 11 or 12 and they swim there almost every day, frequently without parental supervision. Even before this happened I told him never to make the long swim from the ropes to the dock, even though I know he is a strong swimmer (but what if one kid was not). I trust their lives in your guard staff’s hands. God Bless and keep up the great work.

  58. Why is this topic still hot… Lifeguards old new, past present have our support … but for the future, if their pain can improve the quality and saftey of Graydon Pool …then that should be their legacy. The current deficient Pool just sustains the pain. Their participation for an improved facility, should be their focus now.

  59. Why does the water at the “long swim” need to be so deep? They can make that water 5 feet if they wanted.

    We don’t need a high board either. Many people in the paper and blog talked about how hard it was to dive to the bottom for the recovery. There are simple changes that can improve safety.

    Maybe the access from the shallow end to the deep end should be closed. That can be done this week.

  60. Good… now we are finally talking design ..that starts with the consultant we already paid for. Let’s hear some alternates and why. Then .. costs estimates .. and then the method of funding. Yes, rationsl planning and discussion needed now. At least this blog, tried to have it here. but, how will the new Council resolve this dilemma? They have a lot to learn… we will see.

  61. Regarding keeping Graydon as is because “there are people who like it that way.” Resident membership is down to 11% from nearly 50% just four years ago. It’s clear that those who like Graydon “as is” have fallen into the extreme minority. It doesn’t make sense to keep operating a facility that’s losing its mass appeal at an alarming rate.

  62. 2:42 – Was the consultant hired and paid for by the Village? Was a competitive bidding process adhered to or was the consultant chosen by the Purell crowd to support its design?

  63. 2:42 The consultant was paid in part by the Clearwater Org. and part by the town. The Clearwater Org. chose the consultant

  64. What is the web address? Clearwater.org is the Hudson River folk.

  65. re: “Resident membership is down to 11% from nearly 50% just four years ago”

    Got any year over year TOTAL membership figures?

  66. 7:02 It is called The Ridgewood Pool Project, not Clearwater Project.

  67. 6:39 “Resident membership is down…” Why???
    Graydon hasn’t changed, but the residents have.

    Residents who are a very vocal group of people who use inflammatory language like “cess pool” and “violently ill”, to scare people away, so they can bully the town into building the kind of pool they want.

    The arrogance of people who move here and then expect the town to build them the pool they desire, because the existing pool does not appeal to them, is appauling and self-absorbed.

    Go to the other town pools that you like better and stop moaning and groaning about Graydon.

  68. The clearwater people have not defined their project and they have not put a realistic price on it.

    There is nothing to support. Everyone’s dreams are different.

  69. 6:39, sorry your don’t like the language of “cesspool” and “violently ill.” You are obviously living in “La-la land!” Geese droppings mixed in a swimming area create bacteria that does infect those who dare to swim there. Yes, Graydon has changed. The Canadian geese were not a huge presence many years ago. You might get some education on this issue by contacting the Ridgewood Pool Project Group.

  70. The Ridgewood Pool Project web site had no information. Only an invite to another coffee.
    Don’t they get tired of talking to each other?

  71. 5:20 You might want to get some education in this area.
    “The Canadian geese were not a huge presence many years ago” WRONG. The geese population was a very big problem 15 years ago, when I first started going to Graydon. The dogs and blank gunshots they use every morning have made a huge difference. Maybe you didn’t even live here years ago, but the geese that once thrived at Graydon are no longer there. You don’t even come to Graydon, so don’t make statements you know nothing about.

    La-La land. I go to Graydon daily along with my kids, we’re healthy and enjoying Graydon pool.

  72. 7:26 I didn’t find anything about any current coffee/chats, just the ones from last year. Are you referring to a current chat, where and when. Thanks

  73. You are right. The info that I looked at from the Ridgewood Pool Project was from last year.

    The info was a part of the Parks & rec web site.

  74. The controversy over Gradyon is not new!! I grew up in this town, and back in the late 70’s, early 80’s, I would go, but many of my friends were not allowed because their parents thought the water was dirty. Even further back, my 75-year old father-in-law was forbidden to swim there.

  75. Kids are embarrassed to admit that they go to Graydon because other children refer to it as filthy. The generalizations that some people throw around are urban legend and not based on facts.

    The water is tested on a daily basis. If there is a problem the pool would close.

  76. Some people think that water that is not “clear” is not clean. They are very wrong.

    How are you measuring the cleanliness of the water?

    The writer that mentions the geese makes a good point. There are not nearly as many as there were several years ago.

    My family has never become ill as a result of swimming at Graydon. When my kids get sick in the winter I don’t blame the schools either.

  77. The total membership report hasn't been provided, but certainly the addition of Midland Park and other towns has not come close to making up for the decline in resident membership. Even if it did, surely it wouldn't be right for us to keep open a MUNICIPAL pool where the majority of attendance would be from other towns.

    Year over year Graydon membership figures for residents are roughly as follows:

    1999: 6,100
    2000: 5,700
    2001: 4,800
    2002: 5,100
    2003: 4,800
    2004: (data not available)
    2005: 4,500
    2006: 4,100
    2007: 2,800

    You can see the trend began long before the Ridgewood Pool Project came along, and they were formed under the guidance and participation of Ridgewood Parks & Recreation. The team of roughly 12 volunteers — supported by hundreds of residents — is trying to help the town to discover why people are leaving and what it would take to bring them back. After professional research by volunteers was conducted last year among a broad sample of residents, the results clearly showed that a change in the structure of the pool (be it cement bottom, sand or otherwise) would be supported by residents in theory (it hasn't gotten near to the design or cost phase yet) as long as the natural, unique aesthetic of the property was kept in tact.

    The Ridgewood Pool project is not a "let's-cement-the-pool-and-pour-a-bunch-of-chlorine-in-it" organization (and it's also not trying to make Graydon a year-round swim facility as someone in the chain suggested) — it simply worked very hard last year to listen to all the different resident opinions, is now interfacing with the town and the DEP to see what can be done, and in the future will try to help find a solution that pleases as many residents as possible so that Graydon can again be the popular community gathering spot that it once was.

    Let's stop calling each other names like "NYC clearwaters" and "cesspool diehards" and work together to find a way to improve the facility so all residents will want to be there … isn't that what a strong community is all about?

  78. 4;48 Your exactly right, Graydon WAS s a popular gathering spot for our community. That was until The Gradydon Pool Project started ranting and raving about how awful the pool is. If the membership is dwindling, we have your negative campaigning to thank.

    I have been very impressed with Graydon this summer. Maybe it has been years since some of your cohorts have been to Graydon. You should all put on dark glasses and a big straw hat, so no one will recognize you, and come down to Graydon and see for yourself. I bet you won’t even see one goose!!!

  79. It really has improved.

  80. “If the membership is dwindling, we have your negative campaigning to thank.”

    You are right. There is a lot of negative talk that is keeping people away.

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