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My Christmas stocking saw its first visit from Santa a couple weeks early this year.

It arrived in the form of a press release from the National Swimming Pool Foundation with a progress report on its Step Into Swim campaign, which started in 2012 with a mission of creating a million new swimmers by 2022.

The program, which should be familiar to

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Designers and builders tend to think about water as a beneficial feature, an artistic medium, a resource for exercise and hydrotherapy and beauty and awe.  You all experience that water at its contained, controlled best and know exactly how much joy and delight flow when people are in or around water as part of their daily lives.

But this material, as has often been stated in

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I’ve just returned from the 2016 International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo – a bit tired but, as usual, satisfied with the experience.  As I had hoped, I enjoyed lots of conversations about future articles and an unusual number of chats about advertising and sponsorships.  Also, the show took place in New Orleans, so I had a

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This edition of the WaterShapes newsletter is appearing on the opening day of the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo.  By that Wednesday, I will have been in New Orleans for two days – and will have landed late enough on Monday evening that I will have missed all of the Hallowe’en festivities.

That’s fine by me:  I’ve been in New Orleans for three

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My bags aren’t quite packed yet, but I’m already excited about hitting the road for New Orleans and the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo during the first week of November.  As I’ve written in previous blogs in advance of the show, I always look forward to these events – and I have to confess that I’m particularly pleased when

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I’ve been up on my “river pools” hobby horse for a good while now, which is why I can’t believe I missed a great story from the online version of Outside magazine when it appeared on May 19, 2016.

Written by Erin Beresini and headlined, “Why Urban Swimming Pools Are Raising Millions on Kickstarter:  Inside the revolution to reclaim

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When I wrote about the trend toward floating “river pools” in my July 13 blog (click here), I had no idea I’d pick up quick editorial support from TravelandLeisure.com, the web site for the grand magazine of the same name.

In an article entitled, “Absurdly Scenic Floating Pools to Add to Your ‘To-Swim’ List,” Erika Owen flashes through five of the

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I’ve been an avid fan of the Olympic Games ever since I can remember.

It all started with the 1960 Games in Rome, which I watched with my brothers and sisters through some of the few hours of available television coverage.  Mostly I recall Rafer Johnson’s and C.K Yang’s duel in the decathlon, with the mere concept of competing in ten separate events blowing my young mind.  And I recall watching Cassius Clay in boxing

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Where do you stand when it comes to people using off-limits public fountains to beat the heat?

With the arrival of the dog days of summer, I’ve spotted a generous selection of news items about people getting in trouble (or at least being chased away) when they’ve sought cool comfort in the waters of

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I was chatting with a high-school friend a couple weeks back – someone I hadn’t spoken with in quite a while, so we had lots of catching up to do.

Once we passed beyond kids and grandkids and a brief discussion of the vicissitudes of advancing age, he asked how I was spending my time these days and let me know he’d heard through another of our shared friends that I wasn’t in the magazine business

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I grinned from ear to ear a couple weeks ago while reading a press release from the National Swimming Pool Foundation.  It was about a request for proposals to create a “Learn-to-Swim Index” – a system designed to track how many people are completing formal swimming lessons in the United States – and I’m still smiling today.

What NSPF is after, I believe, is

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Through the past couple years, I’ve followed with great and growing interest a collection of news items about international efforts to bring safe, spacious swimming facilities to urban waterways.

If memory serves, the first stories I noticed were about the Flussbad (“river pool”), a proposal to transform a section of a canal into a

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The news wasn’t great for public pools, hot tubs and waterparks in the days leading up to Memorial Day and the start of the 2016 swimming season:  In five big states (Florida, New York, Texas, Arizona and California), a series of aquatic-facility inspections by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) found widespread violations and in some cases closed facilities pending remedial action.  

News of these inspections went viral

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