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L.A. opens public pools for summer

June 19, 2009 12:38:31 PM PDT
The city of Los Angeles is celebrating the start of summer with "Operation Splash," the opening of city pools.The newly renovated Jackie Tatum Recreation Center opened Friday.

"The opening of the Jackie Tatum/Harvard pool and Waterslide in South Los Angeles kicks off the summer pool season with a splash," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The neighborhood around the Jackie Tatum facility has not had an operating pool for nine years.

The rest of L.A.'s seasonal pools open Saturday and will remain open through Labor Day.

"Through the city's partnership with Kaiser Permanente, there will be a multitude of pools open this summer across Los Angeles that will create a safe oasis for children and encourage families to be active together," the Mayor added.

Kaiser Permanente is donating the money to provide free swimming classes to more than 6,000 low-income kids at 48 pools citywide.

"Kids and adults today need to exercise more. Operation Splash pulls more young people into a healthy activity in a fun way. By getting into the water regularly, they will improve their total health, something Kaiser Permanente wants for everyone," added Benjamin Chu, president of Kaiser Permanente's Southern California region.

Registration for the free swim lessons is on-site at participating pool locations. For more information call the Aquatics Office at (323) 906-7953, or visit the Department of Recreation and Parks' Web site.

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