RIOC’s Sportspark Pool reopening emerges from a cloud of confusion and mistrust over an apparent drowning, last month. Never explained, the incident claimed the life of a 21 year old man., according to skimpy reports.
By David Stone
RIOC, the state agency that never makes a mistake, released an advisory, after hours on Thursday before a summer weekend. As is also its custom, the advisory uses “no-reply” formatting; so that, folks receiving the message may not respond.
Although there is no evidence of wrongdoing or negligence, RIOC’s steadfast refusal to supply basic details is troubling. Generally, people with nothing to hide don’t hide anything, and RIOC hides whatever it can get away with. And then some.
Under the leadership of president/CEO Shelton J. Haynes, secrecy thrives as a government standard. The community pays all the bills, but RIOC fends off accountability like its a nest of angry hornets.
The Sportspark Pool Reopening Advisory
Here it is in all its clumsiness and opacity:
“Please be advised that, after a previous closure, Sportspark Pool will reopen on Monday, June 7th for normal operating hours:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday, 7:30 AM – 3 PM
- Saturday – Sunday, 10:30 AM – 6 PM
- Closed: Thursday
“Kindly note that standard COVID—19 operating procedures will continue to be followed and admittance will be free for all.”
While the state agency takes a “Trust me” position without support, it leaves critical questions unanswered.
- The identity and cause of death of the 21 year old victim.
- Roles played by RIOC personnel on the scene. (We know that another swimmer, not a lifeguard, pulled the victim out of the water.)
- Why was restaffing necessary as RIOC reported in an advisory?
- Did RIOC leadership contact the victim’s family or send condolences?
- What did RIOC’s internal investigation find and why was one required?
- Who was the manager of Sportspark, responsible for safety and accountability?
Not only is RIOC’s refusal to answer legitimate question another sign of failed leadership, it signals a singular lack of responsibility.
How long with Governor Cuomo, ultimately responsible for this debacle of a state agency, look away? When will state assembly member Rebecca Seawright step up and represent constituents here instead of turning a blind eye on RIOC?
Neither has said a word about the death of this young man or RIOC’s role in handling the tragedy.
More from the Roosevelt Island Daily News
- Management Fail: Hot Dog Wars Force Summer DramaHot dog wars broiled all summer in the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza, thanks to poor judgment and absenteeism in RIOC’s management ranks. Because the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation is deeply bunkered, blocking public engagement, knowing who the genius was who decided to jam a hot dog cart into an area reduced by construction isn’t possible.
- Plan Ahead: No F Train Service Into Manhattan This WeekendStarting tonight – Friday, August 12th – F Train Service into Manhattan from Roosevelt Island ends for the weekend. F Trains will be rerouted along the E Line, starting at 9:45 p.m., until 5:00 a.m. on Monday. This presents some problems, but here are a few easy enough work arounds. by David Stone The Roosevelt
- Ivory Needs a Loving Home. Here’s Her Story. By Lylia Saurel Special to The Roosevelt Island Daily News A report from Shelter Animal Count shows that shelters have observed an overall increase in population nationwide by 9.5% over the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same period last year. The report also shows that gross intake, which represents the population of animals
- FDR Four Freedoms State Park, Cool Green Oasis in a Hot CityThe long, hot days of summer can be a brutal experience in the city. The concrete and asphalt reflect the heat back up at you, and the dry air seems to suck all the moisture out of your skin. But just across the river, there’s a cool green oasis waiting for you. by David Stone
- THE GREAT MIGRATION FAILED TO BRIDGE THE RACIAL WEALTH DIVIDE. WHAT’S NEXT?Real and lasting economic opportunities for Black families will come only through a serious national reckoning on race. By Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Briana Shelton | August 3, 2022 Republished with Permission: The Roosevelt Island Daily News During the early 1900s through 1970, millions of African Americans migrated from the deeply segregated agricultural South to the industrial, less segregated Midwest