Mar 31, 2009

Is planned fitness center the new Livingston County YMCA?

The recent news that the private Cleary University in Genoa Township is planning to build a $3 million 30,000-square-foot fitness center featuring aerobic exercise machines, climbing wall, basketball courts, racquetball court and a lounge area in a former plant/warehouse in a nearby industrial park in partnership with the Livingston County Family YMCA has left me more confused than anything.

Is this the YMCA building the community has hungered for since 1978, or is this a country club-type, for-profit fitness club? That seems to be unclear. According to the Daily Press & Argus, “Cleary President Tom Sullivan said, roughly $300,000 has been raised for the project, which would be a joint effort between Cleary and the Livingston County YMCA.” “The university would be responsible for building the fitness center, and the YMCA would operate the facility, according to Sullivan.”
“He said discussions began 18 months ago, and the university reached out to students and community recreation organizations on what they would want in the fitness center.”

I have been advocating for a YMCA since I moved back to the county in 2000 when I was a reporter, and I’m proud to say I had a very small, tiny hand in getting the effort off the ground. Cleary has been instrumental in the YMCA effort from day one, but I don’t understand the relationship, based on my great experience with the YMCA in the past.

I have been critical of Cleary in the recent past because of its embrace of hatemniongers like Ann Coulter, Steve Emerson and Dick Morris. But I have a long relationship with the school, and my late mother-in-law helped establish the Livingston County campus.

The Livingston County Family YMCA is an affiliate of the Metro Detroit YMCA. The YMCA is the largest not-for-profit service organization in the U.S., and the mission of the YMCA is “Putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build spirit, mind, and body for all.”

The Livingston County Family YMCA began very small back in 2000 when a group of five people did a feasibility study for their required public service project for Cleary’s Leadership Livingston class.

After gradating from the program, the group stayed together and continued the grassroots effort of establishing the YMCA, and that included forming several study committees, forming a board of directors. In 2003 the board decided to affiliate with the Metro Detroit YMCA instead of forming an independent YMCA. In January of 2006 the public portion of the Livingston County Family YMCA Founders Fundraising Campaign officially got under way. In August the board hired long-time supporter and founder Dawn Palmer-Van Camp as The Livingston County Family YMCA’s first Executive Director.

The YMCA requires three years of programs before it will allow any fundraising for a building, and programming began in late 2005 with youth sports. The YMCA has been visible at all of the county's festivals and other events, but there has not been a lot of news about the campaign.

Is the $300,000 raised that Sullivan talks about part of that building fundraising campaign? Is the fitness center the start of a building?


kevins said...

The community has "hungered" for a YMCA since 1978? Then why don't we have one.

It's the same old story with you. You think something is a good idea so you think someone should provide it for you. If they don't, they are somehow evil or anti-something.

From 1978 until recently, this was a rapidly growing county with great affluence. Had there really been a "hunger" for a YMCA, there would be one. But there hasn't been a "hunger", and so the support--both with people and money--has not materialized. That's fine. If people don't want it, that's their choice.

But not for you. Just like with WALLY, if a handful of people want it (especially if you are one of those people), then you think that society owes it to you.

For 30 years, no YMCA has materialized. That tells me that there is no "hunger." There is no demand.

So Cleary steps into the void and you are struggling to find a way to criticize it. How terrible. It may raise money to provide a service that people actually want. I can see how that offends you.

Communications guru said...

That is correct, the community has hungered for a YMCA since 1978. If you would have read the references, you would have read that a group called the Citizens for Organizing the Livingston
County Family YMCA began the effort in 1978. Why don’t we have one? Because too many people who live here see this as a bedroom community. Just about every surrounding county has its own community college, park system and a YMCA. We have none of the above.

It's the same old story with you. Because I support it, you attack it, even when you have no idea
of the facts. I’m not the only who thinks it is a good idea. I was there when they did the community surveys.

What void has Cleary stepped into? You just said there was no demand for a YMCA. There are lots of gyms in the county, so what void did they step into? I was also there when the planning for the Y was going on, and no where did I ever hear this scenario.
I don’t see this post so much as criticizing as scratching my head wondering what is happening.
The public was involved and kept informed on the initial progress, but this does not fit.

The plan in 2003 when the YMCA board of directors was formed, the plan was to begin fund-raising for a building after three years of programs. I have no idea what is going on. In the article,no one from the board is quoted,nor is the Y director.

Since you know so much, perhaps you can tell me if this is the YMCA building.

kevins said...

Still waiting for you to explain how you can say the county has "hungered" for a YMCA since 1978. How many people? 5? 8?

If there was a great groundswell for a YMCA, there would be one. If people wanted to pay the taxes to support a community college district in Liv Co, there would be one. But there isn't that level of support. So those who want to take community college classes can take LCC classes in Howell at a rate they agree to pay. And people who want to join a gym in the county do that. And people who want to help pay for Cleary's project will do that. If there aren't enough, it won't come to fruition.

But it's clear there hasn't been sufficient support for a YMCA because, after 30 years, there isn't one.

You are the one who criticizes Cleary because they brought in a speaker that you don't like. However, it also had the highest turnout by far of any speaker they series has sponsored. People who didn't like the speaker didn't have to come; people who wanted to hear her, did attend. You had a huge problem with that freedom of choice. You call her a hatemonger while you are the one who deals in vicious name-calling. (e.g., you called Dick Morris a toe-sucker, while you have failed to use such derogatory terms to describe Bill "Cigar Boy" Clinton and Elliott "Thousand dollar hooker" Spitzer.) Coulter uses inflammatory language because it gets a reaction from people like you. I get far more angry at Democrats who propose tax increases and then fail to pay their legally owed taxes until their cheating is revealed when Obama appoints them to a key post. I detest those folks. But if you wanted to bring them to the county as a speaker, that would be fine with me. I would just choose not to pay to hear them.

You have a huge problem with free choice. You are one of those who believe there are people who are annointed in a way to tell the rest of us how to live. I choose not to buy into that line of reasoning.

Communications guru said...

I already explained how the county has hungered for a YMCA. Community colleges enhance the community, but we have zero services so the county GOP can put up billboards on I-96 bragging about the low tax rate. They, of course, never tell you we have none of the amenities that surrounding communities have.

“And people who want to join a gym in the county do that.” What about the poor and unemployed people who can’t afford it? The YMCA does not turn anyone down for membership. As for the Cleary project, I’m not even sure what it is.

Yes, I am the one who criticized Cleary for brining in a racist hatemonger like Ann Coulter and a criminal like Dick Morris. I don’t ever recall every denying that. It is sad that a racist like Coulter had the highest turnout, if that’s true. I guess that’s one reason Livingston County is still perceived as a racist county. Freedom of choice has nothing to do with condoning racism.

You are wrong; I didn’t not call him a toe-sucker. I called him a prostitute toe-sucker, and that is true. He was forced to resign because of his involvement with a $200-an-hour call girl, allowing her to listen in on phone conversations with the President and to have advance looks at speeches.

Those people are your heroes? That is just sad.

kevins said...

Once again, I catch you in a lie. I never said either was my hero. You lie a lot.

More pathetic is the way you throw out crap and then ignore it when you were caught...or just "say" you made a point when you did no such thing.

Again, if the county "hungered" for a YMCA for 30 years, as you claim, why isn't there one here. Are people who support a YMCA just plain inept? Or, more likely, is support low to non-existent? 30 years is a long time not to be able do accomplish anything...although considering your life, I guess you might not see it that way.

You ignore your hypocracy because that's all you can do. You are so proud of calling Morris a prostitute toe sucker, but that's only because you disagree with him. If he were still a Clinton guy, you would be defending him. Proof: You criticize Morris but ignore my references to Clinton (who stuck a cigar up a young girl's vagina and performed other sorts of oral sex while talking on the phone to world and national leaders...and then lied to the nation. Oh, that's right, you have a man-crush on Spitzer who, when forced to, sort of admitted he used a prostitute. So is Clinton dirt because he didn't come clean? (Pardon the pun).

That's the difference between you and me. I find the actions of Morris, Clinton and Spitzer to be repugnant, regardless of their politics...but I can separate their nasty habits from their political positions. You use personal attacks because you don't have the ammunition to sustain a fact-based discussion.

It's so easy for you to call Coulter a racist hate-monger. Then you don't have to deal with any facts.

Your community college comment is stupid, even for you. Republicans have nothing to do with the county not having a community college. Taxpayers here don't want one. But you have never had much use for the opinion of just want to use their money.

Communications guru said...

You have never caught me in a lie and never will, brett.

Only someone like you can criticize an organization like the YMCA. Why do you hate Christians? A fundraising effort began in the 1970s, and we currently have a Livingston County Family YMCA with programs, I would say that is hungering for one.

You not only can’t spell hypocrisy, brett, you apparently don’t know what it means, either. I ignore my alleged hypocrisy because it doesn’t exist. I’m sorry, but your hero is a prostitute toe sucker, and it has nothing to do with the fact I disagree with him. It’s because that’s what he is. I also don’t understand why anyone cares what he says; even if he wasn’t a prostitute toe sucker. He rarely, if ever, has been right on anything. Some pundit your hero is.

Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair. I have no idea why that bothers you so much, when rightwing hero Newt Gingrich did it as the very same time he was impeaching Clinton for the same thing.

It’s funny. You claim Spitizer is my hero and I have a “man-crush” on him, but when I do the same thing with Morris, you claim I’m a liar. Once again, brett, a long time ago here you made the ridiculous and false claim that Democrats do not take responsibility for their actions, and I gave Elliott Spitizer as an example as someone who did and resigned. That is still true.

You find the actions of Morris to be repugnant? Since when? President Clinton is a great man, but a human one. Elliott Spitizer is an accomplished man, but a human one who made a mistake and owned up to it. I’m not sure what Morris has accomplished; other than writing a few lie-filled books bashing Hillary Clinton and he appears on Faux News every night getting it wrong.

You are right about one thing: it is easy to call Coulter a racist hatemonger because she is.

Let’s see if I got this straight. The Livingston County Board of Commissioners has been al Republicans since 1996 when the lone Democrat passed away while in office, but they have nothing to do with the lack of a community college in the county? Wrong. It’s called leadership, and we have no leadership and no services or amenities because of it.