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City Pool Blues

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Ninety-nine degree heat didn't bother Dennis Martin much as he poked and prodded at racks of ribs and chicken.

MARTIN: "Three to four cases of chicken maybe four cases of ribs."  

It takes a lot to feed the 150 members of the Martin clan who come to this annual 4th of  July family picnic held in McKinley Park.

MARTIN: "Then you have hot links, hot dogs hamburgers. So everything goes. Then you have all your sides, baked beans, macaroni salad, potato salad."

Still even with a feast like that being prepared, disappointment was in the air.  The Martin's were upset that a  big part of their  holiday  tradition,  swimming in Clunie pool was not an option.  The sign on the front entrance said it all: Closed on the fourth of July.  City park budget cuts have been drastic. Half the pools are shuttered for the summer. And pools like Clunie which are open have limited hours.

Long time picnicker Marilyn Thames Jackson says for the fourth of July, the city should have found a way.

JACKSON: "I understand that there is a budget cut, but let's be real and recognize the fact that blacks, African Americans, Latinos and some of the minorities can't afford private clubs, they look forward to coming to places like this."

One bit of good news for those seeking to escape the heat, the Clunie pool will be open today from 1-5 PM.

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