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June 20, 2012 - 4:18pm

People swimming in pond at Dewitt Recreation Area, Batavia

posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Four subjects are reportedly swimming in the northeast corner of the pond at Dewitt Recreation Area off Cedar Street in the City of Batavia. Police are responding.

Lisa Falkowski
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Quick! Arrest these terrible criminals!!!

(I understand the concern for safety. Just find this a gigg-able bit of news.)

Rex Lampke
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I know more than a few of us have swam there when it was just the sandwash.

Destin Danser
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Great, so stop them from cooling off on a hot day so the ambulance crews can pick them up an hour later due to heat exhaustion. Some rules are just stupid. I understand the liability end, but it's still ridiculous that the police are getting paid to enforce ridiculous rules like this. Find something better to do. Go eat another donut or something.. Seriously. It's 90 out and you're gonna yell at people for swimming in a pond in a public park?

jeff saquella
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should have never closed the city pool.....should have invested the money to keep it open....god knows they have invested tons more on other rediculous things

John Roach
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You just know that if anyone gets hurt, some lawyer and/or family, will be looking to sue the County for failure to prevent swimming without a lifeguard.

Billie Owens
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I'm told the pond is very deep. Same with Canandaigua Lake -- they say no one knows how deep it really is. It would be interesting if a diving group put one of those little submarines down there like they did with the Marianas Trench to see just how deep it really is and what kind of stuff is down there.

Hey Destin, word up on the cops -- they don't choose which calls to cover, they are dispatched to all complaints, silly or otherwise. Since I have my ear glued to the scanner, I can tell you law enforcement around here works unrelentingly. The hackneyed idea that they cool off in coffee shops and scarf donuts is stereotyping and sounds unappreciative of what they do and how dangerous their jobs can be.

David Andersen
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In the leftist police state of Batavia the online "news" service reports and defends every search and arrest. I am use to it by now. Readers: get use to it.

Doug Yeomans
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....used to it... (twice)

Billie Owens
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David, what a hoot. "Leftist police state of Batavia"? I'm not defending "every search and arrest" -- I simply wanted to clarify that cops can't decide which calls are worthy of responding to and which ones aren't. They have to check them out first. What's the big deal?

Billie Owens
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I'm confident that the majority of our readers like what we do and how we do it and so do our dozens of advertisers. Mr. Anderson, you, too, have choices.

Michael Bishop
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Wow David, good job bringing up politics in something as simple as a posting about kids swimming in a pond.

Kyle Couchman
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Can I as a citizen just ask for a patrol car to sit outside Mr. Anderson's house for a week? LOL just for grins and giggles.

Kyle Couchman
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Billie, Canandaigua Lake has a bottom I have been there in dive gear.... It averages about 110ft deep, The deepest hole is 270 ft though and has a wreck probably a steamboat used for mail back from the early days. There are 3 other steamboats in various areas as well. I'll see if I can dig up one or two.

tom hunt
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Back in the early sixty, I spend my teenage years swimming at the old Sand Wash. It didn't cause any problems other than a healthy tan all over my slim teenage body. We had a raft anchored in the middle and never had any problems with the police or other people.

Gary Spencer
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GOOD CALL DOUG!! LOL

David Andersen
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Yes, used to it. Thanks.

David Andersen
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Why would you want a unit parked by my house? Our law enforcement service is so busy jailing every z-misdemeanor suspect on up that there's little time left for such Tom-foolery. Perhaps you too, Mr. Couchman, could join the service and add to the effort! That is, if maintaining your utopia is worth it...

dennis wight
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always big crowds at the sandwash in the 80s...got shagged out of there only a few times...what a fantastic place to hang out on a hot day

Mike Corona
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Glory Days Wight!!!

Kyle Couchman
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Gee David I'm not the one on here criticizing or characterizing their work or effort. I'm happy with the job they do. In my experience those that complain about police are those who have far to much interaction with them. If you think you can do better then you can join up and show us how it's supposed to be done rather than volunteering others.

C. M. Barons
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Alas, the good ol' days when innocence and personal responsibility trumped liability and lawsuits. The unanticipated outcome of public ownership of the sand wash: no more pond parties and swimming. I can think of umpteen places I swam when a teenager. The vast majority were neither designated swimming areas nor did anyone make a stink about using the pond, creek, lake or quarry for taking a dip. Cooling off with a swim should not be reserved for the few who have access to private pools or public swimming areas. I don't underestimate the risk involved with unsupervised swimming. I don't underestimate the right of owners to restrict access to bodies of water on their property. I question the need to send law enforcement after bathers on a 90 degree day. What if instead of judging the unauthorized swimming as a violation, the county dispatched someone with lifeguard certification, allowed the swimmers a reasonable swim time and then sent them on their way. That approach would be far more reasonable than forcing the kids to seek out another unsupervised area where hazards and remoteness might lead to a casualty. If I'm not mistaken. GCC, BHS, OACS, BBCS, PHS, among others, have pools. Why doesn't the county arrange with those public entities to host open swimming during the summer. ...Work out a deal with Dial-a-bus or Attica Bus Service to shuttle the kids to a pool. Turn off the air conditioning at the next meeting of county legislature and see what comes up!

Kyle Couchman
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LOL Cm shutting off the Air at County Legislature meeting..... "First order of business, I move that we move the meeting to the Spraypark and turn on the water, then continue w county business.....all in favor?"

RICHARD L. HALE
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Any of you lose a friend at the sandwash? I assume if you did, you wouldn't be making all these smart ass comments. The place is off limits for a reason.

Oh, of course it will never happen to you.

Brenda Ranney
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I was there Memorial Day, a group of children wading by the boat launch without a care in the world unsupervised. I told them they needed to go ask their mother if she knew how deep it was ... they all ran up to the main pavillon where the adults in their group were enjoying adult beverages.
If their mother or auntie or who ever had come over to speak to me I would have told them about a very strong young adult swimmer who found out the hard way just how deep the sandwash is.

As a Batavian I have the right to go to DeWitt Park and enjoy myself without having to bear witness to a drowning. Go use the Spray Park or better yet swim on the backside of the Sandwash behind Blondies.

John Roach
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CM,
The idea of schools opening up the school pools should be up to the individual school districts, not the County. But with the 2% property tax cap, laying off workers and cutting back services, I doubt the voters will pay for your idea.

Kyle Couchman
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Richard and Brenda......what reason is swimming off limits for? People drown in every body of water, Should we outlaw backyard pools because someone has drowned in one? I'm sorry that people have drowned but the myths about swimming holes really irritate me to no end. The sandwash/dewitt pond is not bottomless, there are no evil currents that sweep people under, its simply a quarry that filled up with water. I have dove in several quarries across the us and they all have this reputation cause people fill in the blanks. Swimming in Lake George, Cayuga Lake, Canandaigua Lake or any other Lake in NY outside of a designated swimming area is just as dangerous.

Brenda since when do your rights as a Batavian trump the rights of all others as well. I as a Batavian have the right to wade in the pond if I desire to stalk fish in the bays and shallow areas, its not swimming. Yes you do have rights but it really is the height of self righteousness to assume that your rights supercede all others. Why be shy tell us all of a strong young adult swimmer how deep the sandwash is?

Timothy Hens
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Just for clarification purposes; even if the County could afford lifeguards, there would still be no swimming allowed at the DeWitt Recreation Area as the pond does not meet the minimum requirements of the State Health Department relative to the water entry and slope of the pond bottom. Being a former quarry, the pond has several steep drop-offs and many obstructions on its bottom. At its average water level the maximum depth of the pond is about 35 feet.

The entire pond is off limits to swimming, floating in tubes, rafts, inflatables, etc... This includes the areas behind Blondies and off the tracks.

You may enjoy the pond in kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized boats; or just enjoy fishing from the shore of one of the docks or piers.

Have a safe summer!

Kyle Couchman
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Wow only a 35' maximum depth....thats a really small quarry

C. M. Barons
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John, I didn't suggest that the county arrive at the outlying districts' pools with 30 busloads of kids and armed with assault rifles and a battering ram. "Why doesn't the county arrange with those public entities to host open swimming during the summer." My use of the word "arrange" was more along the lines of negotiate a deal rather than commandeer.

Is it the caffeine that gets you all-ornery in the morning?

John Roach
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CM,
The question is where does the money come from?

Doug Yeomans
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I've had a swim in quarries from Hulberton, NY to Old Town, ME. I'm pretty sure that swimming in all them was prohibited but the rules were routinely ignored.

Weirdest quarry swimming experience: Summer of 81 I was swimming with my GF, her mother and her mom's BF when suddenly someone yelled out "SKINNYDIP!"...and everyone did. To put it into perspective, though, Old Town is part of Orono and that's where the University of Maine is located so the quarry had many college students present.

Quarry swimming will continue to be a generational rite of passage until all the old quarries are used as landfills.

Beth Kinsley
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Everyone? Including your GF's mother? That would have been awkward.

Kyle Couchman
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LOL Doug or put to other uses, Dutchman Springs in PA was turned into a dive training center, they even sunk cars helicopters and boats to help with advanced training for shipwreck and salvage diving.

Doug Yeomans
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Beth, it was bonfire night. Everything we saw had a warm glow..HAH!

Daniel Jones
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Batavia is a "leftist" place? Heh......heheh.....hahahahahahahaahahahahaahhahahah! Whooo! Hahahahahahhahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

C. M. Barons
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I can't vouch for where the money will come from. I would reckon that most school district's pools are comparatively under-used when school is out of session. I would also reckon that unoccupied kids are more likely to get into mischief than those in recreation programs. The likelihood that the money saved by lowering the number of nuisance cases and the money gained for school districts picking up some extra revenue would make this a win-win proposition. If municipalities do not want to pay for pools and pool maintenance, optimizing the use of existing facilities presents a less costly alternative. I presume the county and towns have recreation budgets?!

John Roach
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It would be interesting to see if any districts, with the 2% tax cap, and a pool, would do it. It would not affect the City of Batavia since none of the schools have a pool. And while the County budget has a youth program in it, shared with the City, it is already very tight, so the schools districts would have to fund it almost 100%.

Teddy Ruxpin
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Hey, here's an idea...instead of arguing with each other on the internet, why not go for a swim on this hot summer day? I know of a great place...it's called the Sandwash! I thought this was the land of the free? Since when are we not allowed to swim because another moron human being isn't watching me or because the scary quarry is too deep? You people are pathetic.

Kyle Couchman
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Says Mr. Ruxpin whom is also on the internet and hiding behind a pseudonym making statements he wouldnt make with his own name. Nothing like internet bravery. So who would be the real moron acting pathetically????

David Horning
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And they wonder why kids are obese today!

Ed Hartgrove
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Thank you, David Horning, for the trip back in time (the article you commented on was from 2012).

I had a good laugh after reading the comments from back then (which probably occupied 100 times (or more) of space to print than the original article).

The comments, as usual, ran the gamut - from cops eating donuts, to people skinny dipping in Maine, to likely sunken steamboats in Canandaigua Lake.

Is it true that, at least by 2012, none of the Batavia city schools had a swimming pool? Yet, 54 years before that, we swam in the O.A.C.S. pool. Interesting!

Ya just never know what you're gonna read, when it comes to "thebatavan". Perhaps, someday in the distant future, Howard's "hard drive" will be "re-discovered", taking up space in the cornerstone of Trump Batavia Downs.

Linda LaPorte
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I guess I have always been a cautious, more following the rules (aka, no fun person lol). While I am enjoying the posts, I am taking Timothy Hens side on this one.

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