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Newton News: No Swim at Your Own Risk (April 25, 2012)
There will be no swimming at your own risk at Crystal Lake, says the Parks and Recreation Commission. At their recent meeting, the Commission unanimously voted not to accept a proposal from the Open Crystal Lake group to allow for a public hearing so residents can express their desire to swim at their own risk. The Commission also would like an ordinance created that falls in line with the Law of 1924 which imposes a $20 fine for anyone who violates the swim at their own risk rule. Currently, if one violates the rule, they are criminally charged. The commission wants to make sure the fines are civil and not criminal. And the Commission went one step further and will ask the Alderman to seek a home rule petition from the State to increase the current fine of $20 to a possible maximum of $500 for those who frequently violate the rule. But the Open Crystal Lake group isn't giving up their fight. An email sent to Newton News from Open Crystal Lake Group Deborah Fogel wrote: "While we were very disappointed in the Parks & Recreation Commission's decision on Monday night, we are hopeful that we have galvanized other city officials to look at this issue again and try to resolve the situation in a way more satisfactory to the hundreds of Newton citizens who want to enjoy swimming at the lake beyond what the bathhouse offers. Our group is willing to discuss any constructive suggestions to move the rules in our favor, and we are not locked into any intransigent position from which we are not willing to budge." According to Commissioner of the Parks and Recreation Department, Bob DeRubus, There may be talks about those constructive suggestions between the Ward 6 Alderman, the Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Arthur Magni and a few members of the Open Crystal Lake group in the near future but no date has been set.
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