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Boston to offer free swimming lessons, puts out call for more lifeguards

Toddlers are instructed to kick their legs in the water while holding onto the wall. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Toddlers are instructed to kick their legs in the water while holding onto the wall. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

TGIF! Doesn't it feel like everyone joined Threads this week?

The new social platform is Meta's attempt to replace Twitter. Apparently, 30 million users joined in less than 24 hours, according to the parent Facebook company. You can learn more about how it all works in this explainer from NPR. And if you're on the app, come check out our account and say hello.

One PSA: Don't sleep on the fine print this time. “You may deactivate your Threads profile at any time, but your Threads profile can only be deleted by deleting your Instagram account,” the Threads Supplemental Privacy Policy reads.

Now, to news outside of cyberspace:

Just keep swimming: That's what Dory and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu want you to do. On Thursday, the city announced a new "Swim Safe" program to promote water safety and increase access to swim lessons, especially among communities of color.

  • The deets: Boston will offer up to 500 free swim classes in partnership with local YMCA's and Boys & Girls Clubs. The city also hopes to increase swim staff by recruiting and training lifeguards for free while promising them a pretty decent starting wage of $22 per hour. Plus, Children's Hospital donated 1,000 life jackets to parents with young kids ready to splash about Boston beaches. Learn more about the program here.
  • What Wu's saying: "For a long time, swim lessons have been inaccessible to families and communities of color because of cost or because public pools didn't exist in their neighborhood or were closed or were too far away. That disparity has spanned generations."
  • A nice upgrade: The BCYF Paris Street pool in East Boston officially reopened yesterday. Visitors will now be greeted with a new entrance and lobby, as well as renovated changing rooms. Beyond other mechanical and electrical upgrades, a new pool filter room was installed.
  • Zoom out: The push for more lifeguards comes after a national shortage last year. And this year, Massachusetts still fell short with 800 open lifeguard slots, as of this June. State officials say the shortage won't be as drastic as last year, but so far, only two of the state's public pools are fully staffed.

Some good news: Massachusetts has plenty of space to plop down the solar panels it needs to meet its de-carbonization goals, according to a report released yesterday by the State Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

  • Tell me about our solar potential: WBUR's Miriam Wassar explains there's enough state land and rooftops that could be developed to increase our current solar power by 10 times!
  • Why this is good news: Well, Massachusetts needs to triple or quadruple the amount of solar it installs every year to meet its goals, according to the study. With plenty of land available, it means Massachusetts can be aggressive with its solar policy moving forward.
  • What's different about this report from those past? This is the first time the state looked at every individual property and assessed whether it is a good candidate for solar power. It also looked at what type of solar setup might work best, from rooftops, to over parking lots or atop larger ground-mounted installations. You can use this interactive map to see if and what kind of solar is most appropriate for your home.
  • Your homework: Put in your address to try it out and check out Wasser's full story on this new report and tips for reading and understanding the map.

We have the official lineup for this month's NAACP national convention in Boston, and there are some well-known women topping the program. Speakers include former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Rep. Ayanna Pressley. See the the full speaker list for the July 26 event here.

A sign of the season: The Boston Symphony Orchestra kicks off its summer season at Tanglewood tonight. If you're going, expect music by Tchaikovsky and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis.

P.S.— A Harvard Business School professor known for researching dishonest behavior was recently accused of what? If you think you know the answer, take our Boston News Quiz to find out.


Meagan McGinnes Assistant Managing Editor, Newsletters
Meagan is the assistant managing editor of newsletters.



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