- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2007

District officials said yesterday the city’s 19 outdoor pools are opening on schedule but left open one remaining question: Will Mayor Adrian M. Fenty carry on the “cannonball” tradition?

Five pools opened Memorial Day weekend, and the remaining 14 will open on a staggered schedule. The pools will be open only on weekends until public schools close June 25.

D.C. Department of Recreation spokeswoman Angela Harper said the pools are adequately staffed and the city will be hiring additional lifeguards and managers throughout the summer.

The Banneker pool, on Georgia Avenue Northwest, will reopen this summer. The pool, across from Howard University, was closed for repairs last summer but now has a new filtration system and a renovated recreation center, Miss Harper said.

The “official” start of summer in the District for years was marked by Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ cannonball plunge into a District pool.

What Mr. Fenty will do remains to be seen. Fenty spokeswoman Carrie Brooks said only that the mayor, who routinely swims to compete in triathlons, will welcome summer with a June 25 event.

The District operates 33 pools citywide. Indoor pools are open year round, and the use of all pools is free for District residents.

Montgomery County’s seven outdoor pools will be open daily beginning June 11 and will remain open through Labor Day.

Melanie Sasse, an aquatic-programs supervisor for the county, also reported no lifeguard shortage but said “we are always hiring lifeguards.”

Prince George’s County’s 11 pools opened on Memorial Day weekend and will be open only on weekends until June 18.

Fairfax County’s health department monitors 80 indoor pools all year and 583 outdoor pools, including community and privately owned ones, until they close Sept. 30.

Arlington County’s health department oversees 35 indoor pools all year. Beginning June 18, environmental-health specialists will coordinate 164 pool operations with 15 to 20 management companies that run the pools, officials said.

Steve Torpy, of Loudoun County’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services, described the weather on the start of the summer pool season, Memorial Day weekend, as rare but welcome.

“We had a wonderful weekend for opening,” he said. “The first time in a long time.” The county has two outdoor pools that are open daily after 4 p.m. until schools close.

In Alexandria, three minipools for children will be open from noon to 6 p.m. June 18 to Aug. 17 but closed on the Fourth of July. The full-size pools at Old Town, 1609 Cameron St.; and Warwick, 3301 Landover St., will be open Mondays through Fridays from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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