Waterfront: September 2008

Safe Harbor

Pool and Spa Safety Week wrap-up

Ojj 908 AqThe Association of Pool and Spa Professionals recently wrapped up its first Pool and Spa Safety Week, which ran May 31 through June 6. Many activities, proclamations and public displays were put forth during the week:

  • Albert Rizzo and Gordon MacGregor of Rizzo Pools in Newington, Conn., joined Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell during a press conference to raise awareness about new pool and spa regulations and enforcements.
  • Paragon Pools in Las Vegas celebrated the fifth anniversary of its "Float Like a Duck" water safety program. They distributed coloring books to children that featured prominent figures in the community explaining all the facets of pool safety. Paragon also hosted a daylong event where children learned how to float.
  • A library in Chesapeake, Va., displayed important safety information and brochures in its window throughout the month of June while Outdoor Concepts in Chesterfield, Mo., held a children's poster contest with the theme, "Be sun savvy and be cool in the pool."
  • The APSP created safety packets that included safety brochures, a Pool Patrol visor for adults and a wristband for children that read, "I'm a safe swimmer."

"We have worked hard to get the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act passed by Congress; now it is time to ensure the safety message gets across to the consumer," Bill Weber, APSP president and CEO, said in a statement. "It is our hope that the education and awareness of pool and spa safety will continue even after safety week has passed."

The APSP is already working to make the 2009 Pool and Spa Safety Week bigger and better than this year's. For more information, visit www.apsp.org.

Party Crashers

Who needs an RSVP these days?

Eee 908 AqThanks to Google Earth and Facebook, United Kingdom teenagers are having amazing pool parties . . . in complete strangers' pools.

The tech savvy youngsters use satellite images on Google Earth to find houses with swimming pools and then arrange a mass meeting through the social networking site Facebook, inviting any and everyone to the party. Too bad the only ones who aren't invited are the homeowners.

Reports state that residents have woken up to find people "dipping" in the pools or have come home to a pool full of beer cans.

The rules are simple: arrive in fancy attire and bring a bike for an easy escape. Dipping organizers apparently list a specific meeting time and place, as well as a mobile phone number to contact.

Officials are warning homeowners to be on the lookout and be more cognizant of what's going on outside. They are also warning anybody thinking about dipping that using someone else's pool is trespassing and illegal.

What A Quack

Family of ducks moves into the pool

Oss 908 AqA Moss Point, Miss., couple decided to share their pool and hot tub with a family of mallards and newly hatched ducklings after the ducks made their home in the backyard and were found traveling between the two water sources.

The ducks had been seen throughout the neighborhood, and residents would throw out bread for them to enjoy. But one homeowner found the ducks making themselves a little too comfortable.

"They seem very content and are not afraid of us at all," Dobbs Dennis told The Mississippi Press. "I guess they are cohabitating with us."

A male and female mallard were the first to nestle, then came more drakes, said Dennis. Then the female disappeared for a few days, and next thing Dennis noticed was the mother with nine ducklings cruising in the hot tub.

To make life easier for the ducks, Dennis propped a board against the hot tub to serve as a ramp to the yard so they could get out of the water easier. He also keeps a life vest draped over the side of the swimming pool to serve as a ladder.

Isn't that just ducky? (Wink.)

Word Up!

Guess what's in the newest edition of the dictionary?

Ddd 908 AqIn•fin•ity pool n. an outdoor pool with one lower edge that allows water to gush over making it look like it flows into the horizon

Merriam-Webster recently released its list of new words that will be added to the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, and one of the hottest trends in the pool and spa industry has made the cut. "Infinity" pool was just one of nearly 100 words to be added.

According to the Associated Press, the wordsmiths at the publishing house in Springfield, Mass., pick new entries after years of monitoring their use in publications.

"As soon as we see the word used without explanation or translation or gloss, we consider it a naturalized citizen of the English language," Peter Sokolowski, an editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, told the AP.

"If somebody is using it to convey a specific idea and that idea is successfully conveyed in that word, it's ready to go to the dictionary."

Mainstream Outdoor Living

By Jenna Elliott

4 J 908 A QjennaNot everyone has the means to invest thousands of dollars in backyard living. I, for one, at the moment, don't even have a backyard. My little apartment balcony is perfect for me now, but one day I'll have a yard and when I do, I'd love to be able to entertain, relax and just be outdoors.

While researching for my casual furniture feature this month (page 70), I came across an e-mail (thank you, Kirstin) inviting people to come to their local Pottery Barn for a class on designing and entertaining outdoors. I called my store, reserved a spot for my fiancé and myself and got ready to see what a mainstream lifestyle retailer had to offer in terms of designing an outdoor space.

Needless to say, I wasn't surprised on that Sunday morning when we arrived and met seven other women that my fiancé wanted to bail. Being the only guy, he wasn't too keen on the idea of learning how to design and entertain for guests. But we ladies loaded our plates with fresh fruit and muffins, opened our notebooks and started to learn all about outdoor living, Pottery Barn-style.

Our instructor used all the right buzz phrases that I'd been hearing since starting to write my article: "Nice indoor touches brought outdoors," "Define the space," "Set the mood" or "Make it an extension of the home." She went over the company's summer collection of outdoor furniture, showcasing deep-seating sets with fade- and weather-resistant fabrics, umbrellas, pavilions and rugs.

Questions were encouraged, and their answers received collective "oohs" and "ahhs" from the group. Many of the women didn't realize that there were a multitude of fabrics available for their favorite lounging set or umbrella. Some didn't know that the furniture was sectional and could be rearranged into basically any creative configuration. And the fact that the outdoor furniture simply needed to be covered for minimal protection against the elements came as a surprise.

Because I was there for work, I was more interested in seeing how Pottery Barn understood the whole outdoor-space phenomena and how the other attendees took to what the company offered. (But let's be real, I did find myself daydreaming of hosting an outdoor party and hearing all the compliments on my trendy outdoor furniture.)

The mainstream stores are definitely in the know with the trends, and while they may not be able to compete on quality with high-end designer furniture, they can compete on price and reach those who may want to spend more of their budgets on their pools than their furnishings.

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