Update: Good news for people in need along the waterfront. As of Monday, the closed public restrooms referenced in this column were back in service, complete with shiny new floors. Now if only I could get the same kind of action when it comes to the Water Street sewer relocation project.

This column could use a little bathroom humor. But for anyone needing to use the restrooms at Pilgrim Memorial State Park on the waterfront, there’s nothing funny about the situation. The state-run facilities – near the entrance to State Pier – just re-opened this month after being shuttered since after Thanksgiving.

And now they are closed again.

A sign on the men’s and women’s doors say both are “temporarily closed for repairs,” with no further explanation. It adds that “portable facilities are available” and offers an apology for the “inconvenience.”  There are indeed portable toilets nearby, but if you must enter one, I suggest holding your nose (if that’s even possible under the circumstances).

In early December, I wrote about general the lack of year-round public restrooms in the downtown/waterfront area. At the time, a park employee told me the State Pier restrooms  were locked once the seasonal workers left at the end of November, an exodus timed to coincide with the Mayflower II’s post-holiday closing.

But why aren’t they open now? You might think any needed work could have been accomplished during the four-month winter shutdown. A state Department of Conservation and Recreation spokesperson said Tuesday that the restrooms were being renovated (not repaired as the signs say). The project includes new flooring, and for the material to “to bond,” she said, “the outside temperatures need to be at a certain warmth, which is why this work wasn’t done during the colder months.”

She didn’t specify what that temperature had to be, nor did she say when the renovations would be completed.

The state-run restrooms on Water Street are closed for renovations. Credit: (Photo by Mark Pothier)

On Tuesday afternoon during a five-minute period, more than a dozen people walked up to the restrooms only to find they were off limits. Some of them made their way to the portable toilets, which have been plunked down on the nearby sidewalk. If people were complaining, it was hard to tell over the din of heavy equipment on the adjacent detoured section of Water Street (yes, it’s that seemingly never-ending sewer line replacement project).

The combination of restrooms under repair and the torn-up street are getting the spring tourist season off to a less than welcoming start. My suggestion: patronize a Water Street business suffering through all this “inconvenience.” For the price of food or drink, you can use a restroom, too. And remember, this should be over soon. Where have we heard that one before?

Hospital names a new COO

Erin Yale is the new chief operating officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital- Plymouth. Credit: (BID)

Erin Yale has been named chief operating officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth. She arrives on the verge of what will be an especially busy time at the overcrowded hospital: It’s about to embark on a major expansion that will double the size of the emergency room and expand cancer programs.

Yale’s duties will include “leading, developing, and executing key business strategies and for directing and administering the day-to-day operations,” according to a hospital press release.

BID-Plymouth President Kevin Coughlin said, “Erin has experience leading organizations through complex times like the Covid pandemic and major campus projects, which will serve her well as chief operating officer.”

Yale previously worked for 14 years at the 306-bed Children’s Wisconsin hospital. She was vice president of surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutics services there for the past five years. She also oversaw the hospital’s response to Covid “and was appointed to key Covid work teams for the state of Wisconsin,” BID said. Relevant to her new gig, Yale helmed the Wisconsin’s hospital’s campus improvement plan in 2021, which included renovations of operative services, dialysis, and imaging services.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this role and am excited to join the Plymouth community, both personally and professionally,”  Yale said. “BID Plymouth has a commitment to providing extraordinary care with compassionate clinicians, and I look forward to joining the team.”

To submit your business news for consideration, see the “Send us your business news” note at the top of the Business section. Mark Pothier can be reached at mark@plymouthindependent.org. One other thing: Unlike our news stories, this column sometimes includes the author’s opinions.

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