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Category Archives: Schenectady

Capital District YMCA: Big Salaries, Big Assets, but Still Begging!

The Capital District YMCA, an organization operating as a so-called non-profit organization, but holding more than $50 million dollars in tax-exempt real-estate assets in the Capital District of New York (Albany-Schenectady-Rensselaer, and Greene counties in New York state) is a fraud.

The problem with all of this is that the Capital District YMCA  misleads the public, and nickel-and-dimes its membership!

Problem with the CDYMCA is that it’s a load of hogwash!

OUR MISSION
To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Nice words but they’re not backed by performance, conduct, or the facts!

Why do we write something like that? Well, an organization that pays its CEO, Mr. C. David Brown more than $335,000 a year plus benefits, and pays its numerous executive directors, directors, and managers in the high 5-figures and 6-figures salary ranges, certainly shouldn’t be considered a non-profit. Well, maybe it doesn’t operate in the black because its CEO, Mr. Brown, and its other executives hiding out at their corporate offices at 465 New Karner Road (Albany) are carrying off the major portion of any cash the organization might have.

The Capital District YMCA has amassed a fortune in real estate in the Capital District area but doesn’t pay a dime in property taxes. Imagine the taxes on properties valued at at least $55 million and what those tax dollars could do for the communities where the Y has its properties.

The Y’s executives send out all kinds of propaganda telling everyone how much they’re doing for the communities but anyone with half a brain has to ask the question: “What could we do for the community if the Y paid their taxes?” With those assets, we’d guess a good many communities could do a hell of a lot! And think of the money that could be saved by not having to pay some fat CEO almost a half-million in salary plus benefits! Add to that the fat salaries of the weasels hiding at 465 New Karner Road, and all of the 4 or 5 so-called “executive directors” pulling 6-figures, and the other “directors” running the local facilities. That’s one big pile of dough, people, yet they still cry poverty!!! Yet they still accumulate assets in the area. And they still are fully exempt on the tax rolls, and don’t pay a dime in taxes.

CDYMCA CEO C. David Brown collects more than $335,000 in salary.

We’ve already reported on how scandalous the Capital District YMCA has been but they have no shame and continue to laugh their way to the bank, while begging for more and more. Here are some examples from just last year and this year:

  • In 2019, the CDYMCA sent out a letter to all members informing them that there would be a $1 increase in monthly membership dues.
  • In 2019, the CDYMCA sent out a letter to all members informing them that the veterans savings would be changed to 25%; in other words, the CDYMCA cut veterans discount by 50%, a cut that increased some members’ dues by 50% (for example, one member’s monthly dues went from $26/month to $39/month!)
  • In February 2020, the CDYMCA sent out a letter to all members informing them that there would be a $2 increase in monthly membership dues starting in April 2020 (already in effect as of this writing).

Another great decision made by our little illiterate friend, Erin Breslin!

  • In March 2020 a form letter allegedly sent out by CDYMCA CEO C. David Brown – Yes. That’s the same scoundrel who’s taking over $335,000 in salary from the Y – asking members to become sustaining members, that is, to continue paying monthly dues while the Ys are closed.

Now. Think what would happen if a local business were to nickel-and-dime their customers the way the CDYMCA is doing. How long do you think theyd be in business? But the fact is, the local business has to pay its taxes in addition to having to pay its employees and maybe even benefits. The local business is not very likely to get any government handouts, but the so-called very profitable non-profit will carry off big-time government support, subsidies, and grants! We see something very, very wrong in this picture. Don’t you?

Here’s a test: The task is to read the message below and somehow twist it into meaning that the writer (1) doesn’t want to be charged any more, and (2) wants to cancel his/her membership:

Well, if you couldn’t find that in the message, neither could we. What the writer does say, and what Breslin seems to miss , is this part:

“I’d like to know the CDYMCA’s plans to either credit or reimburse the monthly dues collected from patron’s accounts and to suspend further deductions of dues until CDYMCA can open its doors and provide access to the services I have contracted to receive.”

We don’t see anything about “cancelling membership” in there or anywhere. What we do see is a fair question. But Ms Erin Breslin, Senior Director of Marketing and Membership at the CDYMCA did read in that message that the member didn’t want to pay dues anymore and wanted his/her membership cancelled. Go figure.

But Breslin is one of those CDYMCA executives who is probably pulling a 6-figure salary from the so-called non-profit, non-taxpaying organization. But Breslin can’t read!!! And that’s not the first instance of Breslin’s dyslexia! She played the same games when we inquired about the CDYMCA’s slashing of its membership discount offered to veterans! Sure, slash the veteran’s discounts and then nickel-and-dime members because you want to “keep pace with wages and benefits,” while offering freebies to parasites and non-dues paying members (their dues are covered by their insurance coverage)

We guess the message the CDYMCA is sending is that if you’re illiterate or just plain stupid, there is still a place where you can make a cool hundred grand and get away with it!

WHERE IS THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE, THE LOCAL TAX COLLECTORS AND ASSESSORS, THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, OUR LEGISLATORS, OTHER MEMBERS WHILE ALL OF THIS SCAMMING IS GOING ON? WHERE ARE THE VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS WHILE THE CDYMCA IS ABUSING OUR VETERANS? THEY’RE ASLEEP ON WATCH AND NOT DOING THEIR JOBS, THAT’S WHERE THEY ARE!

When the cat’s asleep, the rats play!
Who’s monitoring the non-profits, anyway?

Problem is: Breslin actually cancelled the member’s membership and, when contacted by the member, insisted that the member asked that his/her membership be cancelled!!! Unbelievable! Can this be a case of retaliation by a CDYMCA employee? Was Breslin acting out of personal emotion and not in her capacity as an organization officer?


Editor’s Note:

* In fact, the $2 per month increase announced in February became effective in April; with that $2/month increase in CDYMCA membership dues, the deduction from the member’s account for April was actually $40.50 as opposed to $39.00. The corrected total for the above would be $79.50. We have been informed that CDYMCA has since credited the member’s account in the amount of $79.50 but at the same time, cancelled the member’s membership! Is that what CEO C. David Brown meant in his begging letter (see below)? Ask for dues forgiveness during the lock-down and have your membership cancelled? This looks like another Capital District YMCA snow job to us! Or is it retaliation? A personal punishment for a particular member? Looks to us like this could blow up in CDYMCA’s face, and turn into some bad publicity and a lawsuit! Bad move AGAIN, Erin Breslin, very bad!  Breslin seems to be very good at making very bad membership decisions!


Now, remember, we noted above that early in 2019 the CDYMCA increased everyone’s monthly dues by $1/month. Then in about September or so, they slashed the veterans discount by 50%, and then in April 2020, increased member’s monthly dues by another $2/month.

Remember also, that CEO Brown sent out a letter in March 2020 asking members to continue paying monthly dues as “sustaining members,” while the Y was closed. That letter was more than 3600 words long and repeated over and again how great the Y is, and how great the love fest is thanks to the Y. It was a very cleverly written letter covering the front and the back of a page. But here’s the problem, and here’s why the member had to ask about whether dues would be forgiven during the lock-down: Brown dedicates only 23 words out of the 3600 words to say that a member who couldn’t afford to donate monthly dues could put his/her membership on hold. Here’s the text:

In a telephone conversation between a member and Erin Breslin, you know, the illiterate Senior Director for Marketing and Membership at the CDYMCA, Breslin asked the member:

Will the real Erin Breslin please step forward and take responsibility? Resign?

BRESLIN: Yes, sir. So, if we put all of our memberships on hold then when we’re opening back up, what will we use…what funds will we use to pay our employees returning?

And the member responds:

MEMBER:     That’s not my problem. You take a pay cut. Other people…What are other businesses doing? What are other businesses doing with their employees? They’ve furloughed them! They’ve laid them off! They’ve given them work-at-home opportunities! That is not my problem. If you want to run an organization, you figure out how you have to run it. It’s quite simple. Don’t ask me how you’re supposed to pay your employees. Tell Mr. David Brown or whatever his name is to take a 50% pay cut, and use that money to pay your employees. You’ve got $55 … million in assets; pledge some of them! That’s up to you! You figure out how you’re gonna run your organization. Don’t ask me! That’s not my problem. I have to figure out how I run my life; you have to figure out how to run your life … and your organization. Now, if you can’t figure out how to run your organization with your executive directors, and your, your directors, your executives, your board, then I think you’d better find a different job, to be very honest with you. Because you’re in the position you’re in figure out how to work things out, and if you’re faced with a crisis situation, I think that’s where good management, and training, and knowledge, and wisdom comes into play. Not [by] telling members we can’t figure out how we’re going to do this, so we’re going to continue being unfair to you. I’m surprised that you would actually ask me a question like that.

We are informed that CDYMCA CEO C.D. Brown and several other officers of the CDYMCA, Carl Oropallo, Mark Thurman, in addition to E. Breslin, were contacted regarding the veterans issue and the dues during closure, but only Breslin responded, albeit a bit stupidly. We are continuing to follow this Capital District YMCA story, and will be contacting legislators, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, the IRS, and members of Congress for answers and to demand an inquiry/investigation. We are in the process of contacting veterans organizations, including the county veterans affairs offices, in order to demand that they take some action regarding the cut in the veterans savings.

Good news is that it’s an election year and veterans are a brotherhood. Some of us still stand behind our veterans and will be watching how veterans organizations respond and what they do. We’ll also be following up with elected officials and hold their feet to the fire on what they do to fix these situations.

This is YOU, if you’re not holding the non-profits’ feet to the fire, and making them accountable and transparent!

What do you think about all of this stinking mess?

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2020 in * Sick Community, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, Accountability, Albany, Albany County Chamber of Commerce, Albany County Department of Children, Albany County Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, American Legion, American Legion Post 1614, Assessment Review, Best Fitness, Bethlehem Y, Bethlehem YMCA, C. David Brown, Capital District, Capital District YMCA, Carl Oropallo, Chris Tague, Colonie, Columbia Greene Media, Consumer Protection, Coronavirus, Corporate Greed, Corruption, COVID-19, Coxsackie YMCA, Crook, David Soares, District Attorney, Elected Official, Erin Breslin, Fair Play, Financial Disclosure, Fraud, Glenmont, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Greed, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County News, Greene County YMCA, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Jaqueline Whitbeck, Johnson Newspaper Corporation, Joseph Stanzione, Kristin Gillibrand, Mark Vinciguerra, Misconduct, Neil Breslin, New York, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Non-Profit, Non-profit, Non-profit, Non-profit organizations, Non-profit scam, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Ravena News Herald, Schenectady, Schenectady County, School Budget, School Taxes, Senate District 46, Smalbany, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Evasion, Tax Exempt, Tax Exempt, Tax Law, Tax scam, Taxes, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town of Bethlehem, Veterans Discount, YMCA, Young Men's Christian Association, Young Mens Christian Association, Youth, Youth Bureau

 

Congressional Bickering Costs American Lives

Months of worthless investigations and testimony, a failed impeachment investigation and proceeding, headed by a bunch of idiots elected to public office by another bunch of idiots, all while in Wuhan, China, the next killer pandemic was brewing. At the same time the US Congress was playing their backstabbing, witchhunting antics, and giving away American taxpayer’s medical equipment and supplies, while ignoring the basics for the homeland, like healthcare, the elderly, the working poor, and Congress and state legislatures were legislating abortion and pay hikes for themselves, the highly-paid executives of America’s so-called non-profits — like the Captial District YMCA and Easton Mountain sex camp — were abusing veterans or promoting promiscuous sex, while collecting six-figure salaries, WHERE WERE YOU?!?!

A body wrapped in plastic is unloaded from a refrigerated truck and handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Meanwhile, the Pentagon will Provide 100,000 Body Bags.

Now that you have learned what self-isolation, quarantine, social-distancing, empty supermarket shelves, people roaming the aisles and streets with face masks all means, maybe you’d like to re-evaluate your status as a “free American,” who is free to die as the result of government and elected official’s negligence and stupidity.

Look, people, this situation doesn’t happen in a single administration; it takes multiple administrations to create a problem like this! This has been brewing in Washington for at least three presidencies: Bush (remember 911!), Obama, and now Trump. It’s not Trump’s fault, either, but he’s the face we glue to the administration. The fault lies in the Senate and the House of Representatives, in Albany, and in Washington, DC. If you look at what’s been going on in Congress over the past two years, you might want to find a barf bag. It’s sickening, so sickening that Americans are now dying, and the Pentagon will be donating 100,000 body bags, while Nancy Pelosi and the gangsters in Washington D.C., are still pointing fingers and wagging their tongues.

Medical staff move bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to a refrigerated truck on April 2, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has asked the US Defense Department for 100,000 body bags as the toll mounts from the novel coronavirus, the Pentagon said on April 2. White House experts have said that US deaths from the disease — currently at more than 5,100 — are expected to climb to between 100,000 and 240,000, even with mitigation efforts in force. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

Is this the new Fear Factor? Is the US government trying to cause a panic? It has!

The New World Order has begun, people! You know now how you can be so infected with fear and anxiety by your government that you hoard toilet paper and paper towels; you race to Walmart and your local supermarket to empty the shelves. FEAR!!! AVOIDABLE FEAR!!!!

Businesses and government offices are CLOSED! Restaurants are CLOSED! You are told to stay home!!! See how easy it is to control you? Now we know.

Schools have been closed for weeks. Even God is put on hold! Churches are open but not for public worship! No wakes, funerals, etc. No closure for the bereaved! Thanks to poor or absent government! Incompetent elected officials! More finger-pointing and accusations while Americans are dying!!!

But the United States Goverenment has a solution for its incompetence: SPENDING! What’s Inside The Senate’s $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package, an emergency aid spending package that is spending money we don’t have, but will have to back up in tax dollars. Great planning, right? Poor planning costs us a bundle when a pandemic hits us and then, in order to take our attention off the poor planning and incompetent government, the same incompetent government passes an irresponsible aid package to cover their tracks!  Are you going to continue swallowing this shit? Are you still going to sleep on your stomach waiting for the …. ? Read what the package contains at What’s Inside The Senate’s $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package. But once again, big business gets the lion’s share of the so-called aid: $500 billion compared with $377 billion to small businesses and a stinking paltry $153 billion to public health. We can see where Congress’ loyalties are.

You all have dumped your hard-wire landlines and now are addicted to Facebook and Twitter, where you get all your information and news! How convenient for the Controllers.

People are getting fired or relieved of their commands in the military for speaking out about the government’s denials of support in the crisis. That’s censorship. That’s propaganda. That’s authoritarianism, totalitarianism, the first step towards Big Brother becoming the next fascist dictator!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) on Capitol Hill after a meeting with fellow Democrats. (Susan Walsh/AP) (Susan Walsh/AP)

You are all addicted to your electronic devices, your smartphones but what will you do when some military genius or government officials ORDER THE CELL PHONE TOWERS deenergized? What will you do when they suspend communications by microwave transmission? You’ll race around in circles like a cornered rat, that’s what!!! You’re trapped in the booby trap set by your American freedoms, your greed, and your ignorance. Stupid sheeple!!!

OK. So you won’t believe us. Denial is very effective, isn’t it? But perhaps you’ll believe a well-respected physician, the editor-in-chief of a respected source for the medical profession. Here’s his recent editorial that appeared in the online medical journal for physicians, Medscape:

Pathology & Lab Medicine
Perspective > Medscape > Eric Topol on Medscape

Topol: US Betrays Healthcare Workers in Coronavirus Disaster
Eric Topol, MD

March 30, 2020

Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

The year 2020 started with American physicians, nurses, and the whole healthcare workforce dispirited, in a deep state of burnout, with the worst rates of clinical depression and suicides that have been recorded. Indeed, this was not confined to the United States; a global epidemic of burnout had been diagnosed. But things were about to get considerably worse for the healthcare workforce.

In December 2019 an epidemic of pneumonia, with many fatalities, erupted in Wuhan, China. The pathogen was sequenced and determined to be a novel coronavirus on January 5, 2020, and was subsequently named SARS-CoV-2. The first patient in the United States with COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, was diagnosed in Seattle on January 21, which was within 24 hours of the first patient diagnosed in South Korea, a key country for comparison (Figure, adapted from Our World in Data).

Figure 1. Testing for COVID-19 in the United States and South Korea

The First Phase: “Silent” US Spread

Unlike South Korea, which quickly started testing for COVID-19 using the World Health Organization (WHO) test, the United States refused the WHO test, opting to develop its own through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the CDC test was ultimately found to be flawed and represents one of many government stumbles. Without an adequate test, there were nearly 50 days from the first patients in both countries before the United States started to ramp up testing. Why was this so critically important?

During this extended phase in the United States, there were countless numbers of patients presenting with pneumonia and respiratory tract symptoms to emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and doctors’ offices. Without the ability to make the diagnosis of COVID-19 or even suspect it, these patients unwittingly spread their infections to healthcare workers. Also, during this first phase of spread, there was likely — albeit still not yet validated — a high rate (approximately 30%) of asymptomatic carriers for COVID-19, which further amplified the chances for doctors and health professionals to be infected.

For the sake of comparison, during the month of February, South Korea performed more than 75,000 tests (versus just 352 in the United States) and adopted all of the WHO best practices, which includes massive testing, tracing every contact of a person infected and testing that person, quarantine of all known cases, and social distancing.

The United States did none of these. Instead, officials repeatedly made bad choices that put public health in jeopardy, along with the healthcare workers charged with caring for the public.

South Korea, meanwhile, got ahead of its outbreak and became a model in the world for how that was achieved. But it wasn’t just South Korea that reacted well. As Atul Gawande summarized, Singapore and Hong Kong also adopted all of the WHO practices, including providing protection for their healthcare workers. In both places, healthcare professionals were expected to wear surgical masks for all patient interactions. That practice turns out to foreshadow the second phase of failure in the United States.

The Second Phase: The War Without Ammo

Although Seattle is where the first cluster of cases occurred, it was the unchecked number of patients diagnosed in New York City in early March that led to the full realization of how ill-equipped the country is in terms of personal protective equipment (PPE), intensive care unit beds, and mechanical ventilators.

The dire, inexplicable lack of masks is well recapitulated by Farhad Manjoo in “How the World’s Richest Country Ran Out of a 75-Cent Face Mask”, and Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, and colleagues similarly describe the profound deficits in PPE and ventilators in a perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Together, a situation was set up for healthcare workers to not have masks — or to reuse them for days on end — and lack other protective gear. And this is about plain 75 cent masks, not the N95s that are better for blocking aerosol droplets.

But the required sharing of equipment is not just among doctors and nurses; it even extends to patients sharing a ventilator in some intensive care units. To put some numbers on ventilators, we will need several hundred thousand to a million but have fewer than 160,000 throughout the country.

It’s bad enough that the United States was totally unprepared for a pandemic and has such an unimaginable shortage of requisite resources. But the situation still gets worse. On a widespread basis, doctors and nurses are being gagged and muzzled by administrators for expressing their concerns, and penalized or even fired when they do speak out.

Meanwhile, the unconscionable lack of COVID-19 testing has continued in this second phase. And with that, systematic testing of the workforce has yet to start, despite being desperately needed.

The Third Phase: Healthcare Professionals Broadly Infected and Dying

Back in Wuhan, Li Wenliang, a 33-year-old ophthalmologist, was one, if not the first, doctor to alert people in China of the outbreak. He died on February 7, 2020. But he certainly wasn’t the youngest doctor to die in China. Xia Sisi, a 29-year-old gastroenterologist, also died after a 35-day hospitalization.

Yet on March 11, from the Oval Office, President Trump stated, “Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly.”

By late March more than 54 doctors in Italy had already died, and in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, one of the worst hit regions in the world, 20% of the healthcare workforce have become confirmed cases. Now, in the United States, as large numbers of healthcare professionals are getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in Boston, New York, and other hotspot cities, young doctors are writing their wills and making provisional funeral plans.

COVID-19 was not supposed to kill young people, but young nurses and doctors are dying in the United States. There are many theories as to why this is happening, perhaps the best one is the viral load — the mass of COVID-19 inoculum.

Because healthcare workers are exposed to the sickest patients — often without access to the proper protective equipment — the heavy viral load may be overwhelming even young clinicians’ ability to mount a sufficient immune response to counter the infection.

That doctors and clinicians are succumbing to the virus is beyond a tragedy, as many of these dedicated individuals are dying unnecessarily, as a result of the no-testing and no-PPE fiascoes.

Yet a far greater toll in numbers is the temporary loss of clinicians to infections and sickness. This is the other poorly recognized exponential growth curve: As each doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, paramedic, and patient-care person takes care of tens to hundreds of patients at any given time, the loss of even one of these individuals has a dramatic ripple effect on the shortage of professionals trained to care for affected patients, no less the non-COVID-19 usual patient mix. No number of accelerated medical school graduations (which are being announced) can compensate for these losses, not just by numbers but also by experience.

The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States will go down as the worst public health disaster in the history of the country. The loss of lives will make 9/11 and so many other catastrophes appear much smaller in their scale of devastation. Perhaps what we in the medical community will remember most is how our country betrayed us at the moment when our efforts were needed most.

Eric J. Topol, MD, the editor-in-chief of Medscape, is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine and frequently writes about technology in healthcare, including in his latest book, Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.

Follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

Medscape © 2020 WebMD, LLC

Any views expressed above are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.

Cite this: Eric J. Topol. Topol: US Betrays Healthcare Workers in Coronavirus Disaster – Medscape – Mar 30, 2020.

We’ve kept the links in Dr Topol’s article so you can follow the facts.

Question: Why is it that the death toll in the United States now exceeds that in China, where the whole thing started? Why is it that South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, were able to keep things under control but the United States cannot? Good ol’ American snobbery, poor planning, greed, and stupidity.

Instead of acting like a herd of cattle with mad cow disease (remember that one?), perhaps you should just sit down, meditate for a minute, collect your thoughts, clear your mind, and consider where the real problem lies, and how you’re going to face tomorrow, when this all clears up.

Think about how different you will be and how different the world will be for you post-COVID-19; sort of like the conditioning you received post-911? Is this another way of training you, conditioning you like Pavlov did with his dogs? Is that what you have become, a pack of trainable dogs? Now that’s something to be proud of, isn’t it?

Think about all of this next time you pledge allegiance to a flag; think about what you’re saying. Or have you forgotten completely how to THINK?

Think of it this way: What if you were the next one to fill a body bag. How would your survivors or your Senator explain your death to your terrified children? Think about that, won’t you?

So, enjoy your stockpile of toilet paper and paper towels. They’ll go well with that case of ketchup you’re hoarding. And wait for the next wave of fear and anxiety while you huddle in some dark corner, denying what’s going on around you.

Local Residents at Shop’n Save buying up toilet paper! How typical!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2020 in * Sick Community, 1984, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Antonio Delgado, Bethlehem Y, Bethlehem YMCA, BULLSHIT, Burning the Constitution, C. David Brown, Capital District, Capital District YMCA, Capital Region Independent Media, Carver Construction, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, CDYMCA, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Columbia-Greene Media, Constitution, Consumer Protection, Corrupt Legislature, Daily Mail, Democrats, District Attorney, Elected Official, Elections and Voting, FaceBook, Facebook, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, Funeral, Funeral Home, George A. Amedore, George Amedore, George Langdon, Government, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Greene County, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Legislature, Greene County News, Greene County YMCA, Gyms, Health and Fitness, Healthcare, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Johnson Newspaper Group, Kate Lisa, Kristin Gillibrand, Law Enforcement, Liberty Weeping, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Democrats, New York, New York State, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Health, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Nineteen Eighty Four, Non-Profit, Non-profit, Non-profit scam, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, NYSDOH, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Rensselaer County, Republican Party, Schenectady, Schenectady County, Senate District 46, Tax Exempt, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Unamerican Activity, United States Government, US Senate, Washington County District Attorney, YMCA, Young Men's Christian Association, Young Mens Christian Association

 

Planet Fitness a.k.a. Planet Failure

Health clubs and fitness centers have been around for a long time. They range from the storefront body builder dens to the glamorous health and beauty spas and resorts. But by and large, the most common since around the 1970’s have been the larger chain or franchise fitness centers. Some of our readers will remember the Jack LaLanne and the Bally franchises. Now we have such franchises as Best Fitness and Planet Fitness. While we have heard good things about Best Fitness we have personal experience with Planet Fitness in a number of locations in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. This report is inspired by a reader comment about Planet Fitness in Glenmont, New York. The stats are: 97% of the people signing  Planet Fitness “No Commitment” contract (“No commitment” contract??? What in hell is that?) drop out in the first 3 months but get to pay for 12 months! 


We’d like to thank another Planet Fitness member for sharing this new PF Failure with us:

Just yesterday, April 17, 2018, I was at the Glenmont Planet Fitness. I started my workout and saw one of the 45 lb dumbbell sets were in use — there are normally 2 sets on the rack — but I didn’t see the second set on the rack and I didn’t see anyone using them. As usual, my first thought was that someone had used them elsewhere and didn’t both to put them back — the norm at the Glenmont PF, so I spent several minutes wandering around the gym searching for the second set. Returning to the dumbbell area I asked a gym bro’ if he had seen the other set. What he told me set my teeth on edge. He told me that the Glenmont PF had sent the entire second set of dumbbells to another club until that club received their new ones. That now puts the Glenmont club in a real inconvenient situation when members, like me, need the weights. This was a very poor management decision, like so many others at PF, and showed how little they care about members, especially the regulars who take their workouts seriously. I really don’t appreciate this incident — another among many. [Preferred to remain Anonymous]


Planet Fitness sells memberships not fitness, and they don’t give a damn about members or service.Planet Fitness a.k.a. Planet Failure

Our reader sent us the following about Planet Fitness in Glenmont:

“I’ve been working out for many years and have belonged to a number of health and fitness clubs over those years. I’ve worked out in bodybuilding gyms and in the larger franchise fitness centers in several states. I usually like the chain fitness centers because I travel and like the option of being able to use my membership in more than one location. I’ve lived in the Albany, New York area for several years and watched as the Bally operations closed down one by one. Then when Planet Fitness arrived in the area, it was close, convenient, and inexpensive…I thought. Naturally, because I travel, I wanted the convenience of a larger chain and facilities in most major areas, so I opted in for the Planet Fitness Black Card. Unfortunately, there’s no uniformity between Planet Fitness locations locally much less regionally. I’ve used Planet Fitness facilities in Guilderland (Crossgates Commons), East Greenbush, Saratoga (Wilton Mall),  Albany (Glenmont), Brooklyn, Connecticutt and Massachusetts. Clearly, the bottom-feeder of them all is the Glenmont Planet Fitness. 75% brownish collar, 20% millennial zombies, 5% serious human beings. Not a very good mix, and it’s downright dangerous. Management doesn’t seem to care and the staff, well, when I write about millennial zombies, they have cornered the market with very few exceptions. All of the manager’s answers were wrong. After noting that he was totally indifferent I responded that maybe going public on the Internet would help. His response: “Do what you have to do” was not the right answer.”

Watch This Video

The comments were rather lengthy so we’ll just summarize a couple of the points made. We are including some of our own comments because we are familiar with Planet Fitness in Glenmont, so we can confirm some of the statements.

Poor Maintenance of Premises and Equipment. Toilets, urinals, showers, sinks can be out for literally weeks. I’ve actually observed some sanitary facilities to be out for more than 4 weeks before someone started repairing them. The roof is one of those warehouse metal roofs and when it rains, you’ll need a poncho, and a GPS to avoid the buckets and puddles throughout the exercise space. Equipment can be out of service for 4-12 weeks. Get used to the “Out of Order” signs. One really bizarre problem is the clocks! There are three or four clocks at the Glenmont location: In the front of the space, at the back of the space, one each in the men’s and women’s changing rooms. When in the middle or back of the exercise area you can’t see the clock in the front because of the huge fans and exposed ducts. The clock in the back was taken down during painting and wasn’t replaced for months, leaving only the clock in the front. When the clock was finally replaced, it wasn’t working. They changed the location the clock and it was working but there was about 3 hours difference between it and the other clocks. This went on for several months. They apparently finally replaced the battery or something but it took months.

Inept Management and Uninterested Staff. You know right away when someone has become indifferent to his job and uninterested. That’s the problem at the Glenmont Planet Fitness. The manager is a nice guy but totally useless when it comes to making management decisions or coping with problems. I have personally brought a number of problems to his attention but got nowhere. Most recently, I asked him to take care of an aggressive patron but got the impression he didn’t hear a word I was saying. I left my machine for a minute only to return to find someone had removed my towel and my water bottle which I left on the piece of equipment to show it was being used. He had removed my weights and made himself at home. I asked him what he was doing and why he had removed my stuff and he started to get aggressive (I actually thought he had a screw loose). Rather than get into a shouting match or worse, I took his suggestion and went to the front desk. The manager simply responded that I could not “reserve equipment.” “Reserve equipment,” I responded, “I went for a pee!” Still, he held his ground and I was apparently in the wrong, not the guy who clearly saw the equipment was being used but ignored the indications. I told the manager that there were many problems and that I had spoken to him before about dangerous conditions, including member behavior and not returning weights to the racks, working out without spotters, etc. I noted one occasion where two women had wheeled a very old woman in a wheelchair onto the weights floor and parked her in the middle of the workout area, between benches where people were working out with weights. I explained that I found that to be incredibly dangerous but that staff had ignored the situation. I told him I was so concerned, I took pictures of the situation. Rather than agree that the situation was outrageous, the manager told me that taking pictures in the club was not allowed for “privacy purposes.” When I noted that that couldn’t be true because everyone is constantly taking selfies on the exercise floor. He had no comment. Nothing was done. The pictures are shown below.

The old woman in wheelchair between Smith machines.

The old woman in wheelchair (asleep) between benches in dumbbells area.

Indifference of Staff. Management is reflected in the performance of employees. The staff at the Glenmont Planet Fitness is constantly changing, with maybe 3-4 faces that have been around for a while. All very young, all very spaced out, none interested in what’s going on. They congregate at the front desk and when they are not chatting with one another they are staring out the front doors. Meanwhile, chaos and pandemonium is rampant on the exercise floor. No one supervises members, most of whom don’t know their asses from their elbows when it comes to how to safely use the equipment, and present a real danger to life and limb, both their own and ours, when they are “working out.” Even the resident “trainer” seems not to be interested in showing members how to use the equipment properly. Everyone seems to be on his or her own. It can get really scary, really dangerous. I have even had to leave a piece of equipment because some freak was taking out his aggressions throwing weights around. As I mentioned, the staff is busy doing their own things and avoiding any unnecessary movement, like telling people to clear their weight and put them away after use, or picking up after the slobs. Instead, weights are all over the place and are a real hazard when moving around the area. [Editor’s Note: We have actually addressed this problem and the problem of gym etiquette to management, suggesting that when they sign a member on, they should give a short course in gym etiquette including such things as putting weights back in the proper place, wiping down equipment after use, leaving benches where they are, not doing push-ups, sit-ups, stretching, etc. in the weights area but to use the areas provided for stretching. Needless to say, our suggestions fell on deaf ears.]

Here’s another comment we received:

“I changed banks and went in to advise PF (Glenmont) about the change. I brought along a sample voided check because they needed to scan it to change the billing. I explained to the manager, Dan, about the situation and how I wanted to change my billing account. He told me I could do that online. I asked why he couldn’t do it just as he did when I joined 2 years before. He told me that they had to wait to submit the next bill and have the bank refuse it. I told him that was crazy. He gave some lame excuse and repeated I should do it online. So I did it online. Next thing I know, I get a notice from the bank charging me $30 for a charge made on a closed account. I went to the manager again and asked what was going on and demanded that he fix it. He told me to wait. OK. I contacted the bank and told them this story. They told me to have PF make the changes. PF told me to have the bank fix it. All in all, by the time PF woke up, they had submitted the demand for payment THREE times and I got charged 3 x $30 = $90 plus my $20.00 payment = $110.00 because the PF manager at my club in Glenmont didn’t have the balls to make a call to his manager about the situation and PF would not do a couple of mouse clicks to make a simple billing change! Monkey management and no customer service!

“Cell Phone Use is Permitted in the Lobby Only”
This is not enforced at the Glenmont or other Albany area clubs.

Cell Phones and Loud Conversations on the Exercise Floor. Bring your IPod but even that’s dangerous on the workout floor, because you can’t hear what’s going on around you. Besides, there’s music provided over the facilities’ system. But when it comes to real idiots, it’s the cellphone conversations all over the place, everyone shouting, every one in their own little idiot’s world.  Then they stop midstep to take a selfie (Note: Manager says no photographing in the workout area; privacy.) The workout area is no place for cellphones and unsecured earphones! You have to say something three or more times, finally shouting, to get someone’s attention, even to tell them to be careful, they’re getting too close. Most of them have their eyes closed and dancing to the music!!! It’s CRAZY! [Editor’s Note: I have seen this and can verify the statement. Furthermore, I have used Planet Fitness locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts and there they have signs telling people that cell phones are not allowed in the work out areas. If you need to make a call you have to go to the café area or go outside. Problem solves…at least in CT and MA. NY appears to be backward, as usual. We found an article on Planet Fitness police regarding cell phones at Planet Fitness Cell Phone Policy Seems Loud and Clear. We don’t understand Why? this policy is not enforced or isn’t enforced in many Albany area clubs.]

Club Polices?!?!?
Does PF management know about these? Does PF staff know about these?

General Free-for-all and Total Lack of Gym Etiquette. People just race back and forth to a piece of equipment and make themselves at home. They are apparently unaware of the fact that you’re standing right there between sets, but it doesn’t matter. They start rearranging the equipment right in front of you and then, when you tell them that you’re using the equipment, they get pissed! In other instances they sit for up to 20 minutes on a piece of equipment checking messages or answering texts before they even look at the weights. I have even seen them occupy a piece of equipment while I’m moving through 2 or 3 sets, then they just get up and walk to another piece of equipment and to the same thing. They just have no clue and no courtesy! In most gyms, there’s something called “gym etiquette.” If you see someone on a piece of equipment you understand he is using it. You wait. If you see a towel on a piece of equipment, you understand it’s being used. You wait. When you use weights you put them back in the proper place or you take the plates off the bar when you’re done and put them where they belong. Not at Planet Fitness in Glenmont. And management and staff don’t give a damn. You’re on your own, Baby!

Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm Sign.

There used to be a so-called Lunk Alarm. This was an alarm that when off when someone dropped weights or threw weights around, or was making a lot of noise when lifting. People tend to drop weights loudly or throw them around making loud abrupt noises. Other times they sound like a hippo giving birth. Weightlifting requires concentration and awareness; imagine you have 200 lbs over your chest and you have a car crash next to you. [Editor’s Note: Yes. I can confirm this.] Come to find out, the Lunk Alarm is activated from the front desk (see above, Management & Staff). The problem continues.

Total Disregard. Just sell memberships! It’s obvious that the franchise owner for the Glenmont Planet Fitness doesn’t give a damn, and neither does local management. The whole business model is SELL as many MEMBERSHIPS as possible, get their signatures on the contract, get their bank details, and then forget them. No orientation. No required training. No management. No one cares after you sign on the dotted line.

Sure, they’re cheap. $10 a month, $20 a month for Black Card. They do get you for a “membership initiation fee” of up to $50.00 in addition to the monthly fee. And every year they charge a continuation fee of about the same amount. Why a membership continuation fee? Who knows but it makes them money. I was very pissed when I read the contract and found out they were hitting me with that continuation fee while still collecting the membership dues each month. I just felt it was sneaky business and nickle-and-diming members but they must make a bundle doing it. To be sure it’s not going back into improving Planet Fitness services, at least not in Glenmont. [Editor’s Note: Confirming this.]

Like so many things in the Albany, New York, area, the scams and the substandard services are everywhere, ranging from local government to hospitality, to even health and fitness facilities that are anything but healthy. Our recommendation: Ask your club management if they’ve seen this article and what they’ve done to correct the issues our reader complains of. If you don’t get the right answers, try Best Fitness.

Sign appearing at Planet Fitness locations.
The only judgment-free we can find is that it is free of any good judgment.

As one reader puts it: When God created the world the angels were handing out smiles but by the time they got to Albany they had run out of smiles so they started handing out assholes. That may explain a lot of things.

Click the Image Above to Read Ratings.
Similar impressions from around the country!

[Editor’s Note: There are a total of more than 770 ratings of PF on the above “Consumer Affairs” Site, 142 of which were made in the past 12 months.]

Watch These Other Videos about Planet Fitness!

We’ve reviewed these videos and they are right on target:

5 reasons to AVOID PLANET FITNESS

This is a reasonably honest portrayal of Planet Fitness by a gym bro. Listen closely; he makes a lot of sense. This video made me want to explore the many, many exposés of Planet Fitness on YouTube.

The DARK SECRETS of Planet Fitness (Ex-Employee) Exposed

If you cut through the BS, you will get an idea of the type of manager and employees at Planet Fitness. Managers with fake personalities. Cliques among employees. You pay peanuts you get monkeys. Again we hear about employees doing their own things and not paying attention. This guy reveals some facts but is a typical Planet Fitness employee. The last several minutes are really hitting the nail on the head.

My! Second Planet Fitness Experience

This is a sequel to the “5 Reasons” video above. The narrator gives PF a second chance but PF fails again. This guy points out some obvious but over looked PF BS.

When you look around PF, any PF, you see how little they care and how arbitrary their “polices” are and how useless their employees are! One reveiwer summarized PF as:

“Planet Fitness is a business…They are making a lot of money …They don’t care about members’ well-being.”

You can check out alternative health and fitness centers below:

Capital District YMCA Locations

Best Fitness

Vent Fitness Locations

Albany Strength (Real Bodybuilders’ Gym)