I was surprised to see a photo of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams's cannonball into a public swimming pool [Metro, June 30].

On every visit I've made to city pools this year, diving would have been impossible. At the three pools closest to my home, the deep ends have been closed because of a shortage of lifeguards. Most of the time, in fact, the pools have been closed. The city only began to open them regularly in late June, well after 90-degree days became the norm. Even then, shortened hours and unexpected closings leave few opportunities to escape from the summer heat.

Instead of welcoming residents for swimming, diving and lap swimming, as Mr. Williams found on his visit to the Anacostia location, the city's pools remain off-limits to most residents, especially for those who want to do more than wade in shallow ends and children's play areas.

This is disheartening considering that many D.C. pools are in relatively good shape and feature ample space for laps and diving. With some local politicians insisting that full summer employment for the city's teenagers be a priority, it's amazing that interest is so low at the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation in fully staffing pools and allowing residents to use facilities the city has paid to build and maintain.

But if the city is content to keep deep ends roped off and empty even on sweltering days, I hope Mr. Williams lets me know the next time he is going to swim, so that I can use the diving board, too!

JOHN SPYKERMAN

Washington