So you searched for information about Spokane’s pools and ended up here…

We decided to do a little update of the Spokane pool schedule as we understand it today.

Two of Spokane’s pools are set to open on July 6th at noon. Shadle and Cannon will both open with an open swim session. The fee’s per session will be $1 for kids and $2 for adults. A kids summer pass will be $15. The open swim schedule will be:

Monday – Friday from 12pm to 4pm

Saturday from 1pm to 7pm

Sunday from 1pm to 5pm

Family swim is from 6pm to 8pm Monday through Friday.

We haven’t heard any news about scholarships or passes for individuals and families living on low-incomes, but when we do we will let you know! If you know about any programs please either post in the comments section below, or call the VOICES office and we will update this site. Thank you! This article in the Spokesman talks about 500 passes for low-income kids and the procedure for applying for one.

If you need more information please call the city’s pool hotline which is updated daily-(509) 625-6960.

The Parks and Recreation Department anticipates that Hillyard and Comstock pools will be done by August 1st, Liberty Pool by September 1st and Witter Pool by September 15th. These pools will likely open to the public  a few days after they are done.

VOICES Annual Picnic will take place at Cour D’Alene Park, July 16 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Please join us for a free picnic and free childcare! There is a playground and splashpad nearby, so bring the kids and some towels! Fun for everyone! Please RSVP if you have a chance, 326-4135, this helps to make sure that we have enough food for everyone!

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Support Real Police Reform in Spokane!

On the eve of the latest protest by residents of Spokane City and County to demand police accountability and after several articles by the Spokesman about the issues surrounding police misconduct in Spokane, we can not help but wonder when the city and the mayor will get the message that only REAL reform will be accepted by the people!

Even after the news about Spokane Police Officer Thompson’s indictment by the Attorney General’s office came out, the city continues to defend its police officers and hold its defensive position in opposition to the community. Spokane is clearly in need of not only real oversight and accountability of our police force, but also in need of a reality check. The same old tactics are not going to work this time. To build real trust the city must make real efforts to earn that trust.

Building real trust means admitting wrongdoing and attempting to right it. It also means listening to the community and acting in cooperation with them. The city and the mayor have two choices, to work with the residents of the city and county, working towards a relationship of trust and goodwill, or they can wall themselves off, in such a defensive posture that the people can only assume they are hiding the truth and defending wrongdoing.

To watch the tape of the confrontation between Thompson and Zehm is to learn to fear police officers. Beating a defenseless man who was only buying a soda, is wrong, and a crime, no matter who you are. That the city defends it is appalling. The community also responded with fear and outrage after the acquittal of Olsen who shot Shonto Pete. Many in the community are afraid of police officers now. And that is the city’s problem to fix.

They have tried to fix it with an ombudsman without the power to complete independent investigations. Some think that the position is better than nothing. But the people in Spokane have demanded more. We want that clear gesture of goodwill by our Mayor and Police department. Make a better choice Mayor Verner, renegotiate the contract for the ombudsman so that it includes independent investigative authority. Earn our respect and trust on this issue.

Tomorrow VOICES will join many others in demanding that the Mayor and the city respond to our demands. Please join us.

2009-06-25 Ombudsman rally flier

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Pictures from the Healthcare March “Mothers Leading the Way” May 30, 2009.

Here are some pictures of VOICES in Seattle marching for Healthcare reform. Thanks Corom for taking pictures!Raymond, Anna, Jim, and Erica holding the VOICES BannerWe March!Along with many others!

Front of the March

Final Rally at Westlake

Don't forget healthcare bear!

Grumpy bear is sad because the system doesn’t work! We need healthcare that works for us all! Not just a privileged few. Healthcare is a necessary service for the health of our community, just like fire protection and police services. We have socialized these systems so that our communities are better protected, we can do the same for healthcare.

Health care should not be a commodity only accessed by those who can afford it, we should all have access to quality, affordable healthcare. Single payer health care would save us all money. Though sadly the insurance companies would not make a huge profit on scamming the system.

Those insurance companies better start writing up their bids for the switch over to a public payer system, because the people will keep fighting till we get a system that works!

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We were there!!!!

Story about the march on the Seattle PI website.

Check out the “more pictures” too.

We had a lot of fun. Marching through beautiful Seattle on a beautiful day for a beautiful cause. Healthcare for all!

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Press conference today, and Healthcare March tomorrow!

On Friday May 29, 2009, PJALS, the SHAWL Society, NAACP, NAMI, and VOICES will be holding a press conference in support of REAL police reform. Join us at 12 noon at the Chase Gallery at Spokane City Hall to support the movement for a strong police Ombudsman who puts the community first, and has the power to investigate and sanction officers.  Shonto Pete and  representatives from local organizations will be there to make statements and answer questions.

See our press release here.

On Saturday May 30, Mother’s will lead the way to healthcare reform  in our nation with a large show of support in Seattle for change at the national policy level.  See details about the event here. This people powered march ends at Westlake Center with a rally.  Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Jim McDermott are both speaking with entertainment and other speakers.

VOICES is planning on attending both of these events, call us if you have any questions!

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Victory on pool fees?

The park board has voted unanimously Thursday May 14th, to begin charging fees for all hours of swimming. See the whole story here. The board has lowered the fees to $1 for kids and $2 for adults from the proposed $2.50 for kids and $5 for adults. The fees are set to start when pools open, whether this summer or next. The quick decision by Spokane’s Park Board did not give the public a chance to comment on the new proposal.  This is too bad considering many people in our community feel like free swimming for kids is a priority. Perhaps the 6 new pools would not have been built if the community knew that there would be charges to use them.

The new fees are less than originally proposed, but no free swimming time will be provided at all under the new proposal. VOICES hopes that scholarships or low-cost summer passes are provided for families who cannot afford even the reduced fees.

Read what Mayor Mary Verner has to say about the new fees here.

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More Information About Spokane’s Pool Fee Ordinance

The city is proposing new fees for swimming in six Spokane public pools: A.M. Cannon Park pool in west central, Hillyard, Witter, Comstock, Shadle, and Liberty. The proposed fee schedule is below, but basically the new fees will be $5 per adult and $2.50 per child per session. VOICES feels that these fees are too high, too many people will not be able to afford to go swimming, especially when it would cost a mom and three children $12.50 just to swim for 3 hours. For people living on a low-income, this will be completely out of their reach, and will mean one less activity for their families this summer. VOICES wants some alternative proposals on the table, free summer passes for low-income families, very low cost passes, scholarships, we want low-income people’s needs considered when providing the public with swimming pools. If you want to ensure that everyone will be able to afford to swim, make your voice heard on this important issue.

Pool Fees city ordinance:Proposed charge is $2.50 for kids and $5 for adults
New Schedule and Hours Days/Swim Fee Hours Free Hours Hours/Day
Mon – Fri –
Open Swim (FEE 12 – 2 pm)  (FREE 2 – 5 pm) = 2 Fee / 3 Free
Family Swim (FEE 6 – 8 pm) = 2 Fee
Saturday
Open Swim (FEE 1 – 3 pm)  (FREE 3 – 6 pm) = 2 Fee / 3 Free
Sunday
Open Swim (FEE 1 – 3 pm)  (FREE 3 – 5 pm) = 2 Fee / 2 Free
Total Number of Fee Hours Per Week = 24
Total Number of Free Hours Per Week = 20
Total Public Swim Hours = 44

On, May 5th the Parks Board is holding a public hearing at City Hall from 6:30-8:30 pm. This will be our chance to make our voices heard on the issue. West Central Coalition will be leading the charge on this and have encouraged all of the coalition members, and anyone else who feels strongly about this issue, to turn out and testify. If you need help going over your testimony please call West Central Community Center (326-9540) or VOICES (326-4135).

Opportunities for Action:
1) Attend the meeting on May 5th from 6:30-8:30pm to tell them what you think about the issue. Show up early to sign up to testify, the doors will open at 6pm. There will be lots of support there, many people are planning on attending, but please come too! The more support the better! Even if you decide not to testify, you could carry a sign, or show your support in other ways.

2) If you can not attend the meeting please write a letter or email to the Parks Board to tell them what you think. It would be best to do this before the meeting. Send your message by email to -spokaneparks@spokanecity.org or by snail mail to Spokane Parks & Recreation – City Hall 5th Floor, 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201

3) Write a letter to the editor about how you feel about pool fees in Spokane.  Send letters of up to 200 words. All letters are subject to editing. Please sign with your full name (first name, initial, last name) and mailing address (with city, state and zip), and include a daytime phone number where you can be reached for verification. email- editor@spokesman.com,  snail mail- Spokesman Letters to the editor, PO BOX 2160, Spokane, WA  99201

4)Tell a friend how you feel and what action you took; encourage them to take an action too!

To find out more call 326-4135 or email stories@voicesspokane.org

Please also see Dave Campbell’s post analyzing the larger economic issues for  Spokane and it’s public pools.

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