Town Square

Gym gift gets council's initial support

Original post made on May 8, 2008

All Menlo Park City Council members are jazzed about an anonymous would-be donor's offer to cover the bulk of the costs to build a new Burgess Gym, and at this point, they have no problems with keeping the donor's identity a secret from the public.

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Posted by Dhyana Holguin
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2008 at 10:10 am

It is an interesting observation that Menlo Park should be the recipient of an anonymous donation to rebuild a school gymnasium and that no one finds a potential conflict of interest in such a generous contributor. Berkeley has been suffering with a crisis in rebuilding a seismically unsafe warm water pool which serves 400+ patrons a day from all the surrounding areas (including seniors, disabled adults and children, tots and school children). The rebuilding costs of this highly valuable community facility were estimated at a considerably lower cost than your mysterious contributor was offering, yet the fight continues to save this highly unusual resource, and it is likely that many very needy individuals will lose out to the political process. A true philanthropist would certainly be looking toward the need and the broader community rather than investing in a City that has resources beyond those of poorer areas. I would be highly sceptical of such an offer when it is being made to a City that already has plenty of resources at its disposal.

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Posted by no no-name donors
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 8, 2008 at 10:17 am

How many threads do we need on ONE topic? This is the fourth.

Dhyana, you might do well to read the others before posting here. Burgess is not a school, the gym serves many more than 400 patrons a day (during basketball season, it probably serves thousands a day), and many people are skeptical.

Is Berkeley poorer than Menlo Park? I doubt it. More corrupt, maybe. Our mysterious benefactor isn't going to fund a pool in the East Bay anyway, because s/he is trying to get the MP council to approve a project in Menlo Park, and donating elsewhere won't help that cause.

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Posted by Dhyana Holguin
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Sorry if I inferred any ill-intentions. I understand that Burgess is a gym, and perhaps it has no links to the school. I know very little about politics, except I believe it was designed so that communities could communicate in both complex and simple societies the needs of their inhabitants. Berkeley has for many years reflected the bigger picture of stratification between wealthy educated and poorer less educated classes. The only point I was trying to make was about the "philanthropic" intentions of your donor, and that it would be nice if communities could "share" their good fortune, or even their ideas on how to better serve the general population. But you have enlightened me. No doubt the needs of 6000 basketball fans and participants, far outweighs the needs of 400 elderly, disabled and mentally and physically challenged and handicapped children only. After all, one could hardly build a pool that would accommodate 6000 visitors/day. Just as an interesting aside, one of the visitors to the pool happens to have been a collegiate basketball player, who wrote a popular book 30 some years ago about the subject of basketball. He was injured all that time ago and has been a supporter of the warm water pool for all these 30 years, even though it required great efforts to wheel himself there. There are only participants in this instance, as very few people would likely want to see what happens to this demographic of society. But should you ever be in Berkeley, you might like to take a look.