Camp Hutchins preschool program to close in July - News - Mobile

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Camp Hutchins preschool program to close in July

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Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan: Miranda, no where in any of my posts have I "blasted" the City of Lodi. In fact, as Mr. Chaney will attest, I have been a great supporter of the City Council. The City asked LMH to take over the program 15 years ago. It's a service to the citizens of Lodi. I would be willing to bet that LMH has not been making money on this venture. It more than likely is costing them money. With an increase in their expenses it would be costing them even more money. LMH is non profit and don't have a money tree planted anywhere. If you read their Annual Reports you will also learn they have been losing money. Most all hospitals have been losing money and it will get only worse under Obama Care. I have no problems spending money on children that help them become responsible citizens. Children are my soft spot. It's not something I will apologize for even though my children are long gone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 6:35 pm


Malmarez: Let me get this straight Josh. Lodi Memorial Hospital has paid $15 in rent and no garbage or electricity bills for the last 15 years they have run the Camp and you are blasting the City of Lodi. The deal they had with the City sounds pretty sweet to me. I wish my landlord had been that generous with my rent. My question to you and all the others that are tied up in a knot of this is, when should Lodi Memorial Hospital take some RESPONSIBILITY in all of this? If this program was such a great success as so many of you have stated, then geez, I would certainly think Joe Harrington and his crew, would come up with a noble idea to keep the Camp up and running. After all, isn't he the CEO of this hospital run program?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 12:57 pm

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan: And let me be the first to thank you Mr. Chaney for the work you are doing with these organizations. But please realize that there are other worthwhile organizations out there that need our help and are just as important. Hutchins Street Square being one of them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 9:28 am

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan: Hell has frozen over. Mr. Chaney is defending the actions of the City Council and admonishing those who criticize for "being over the line". Now I just saw a pig fly by my window!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 7:04 am


advocate: Ms. McCune, never did I say this program was for the "elite". Just who are you referring to when you say "elite"? I merely expressed my opinion that this program didn't appear to reach out to all Lodians, especially the poor, low income, needy and minorities of the eastside. And I still amintain that there's plenty of favoritism, nepotism and connections involved with some of those Camp Hutchins clients. Just who chooses the "lucky" ones and how often are their assets monitored and how long are they allowed to stay in the program? And blaming the city council and parks and rec director? That's way out of line. How about pointing the finger at the director, board members and decision makers at Lodi Health for balking at paying their fair share of the rent/lease cost? And they just started paying their own utilities this year? A large, money wasting non-profit such as Lodi Health, especially being a non-profit organization wanting something for $1 a year? They throw money away constantly for their fancy banquets and awards programs at the ritzy good ol'boy owned facilities and don't even bother to use the finer and larger facilities at Hutchins Street Square. And why should any of you think that the COL is beholding to anyone for their personal childcare, especially when money is tight everywhere? If you want to point the blame at anyone, you should be questioning those at the "new" Lodi Health board of directors or Mr. Harrington, CEO.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:45 pm


advocate: Jackson, I thought you once said there were no good ol' boys in Lodi? I also serve Mr. Scott. I am a board member Of A Hand Up, a not for profit homeless and needy outreach organization that work with those that are truly needy, mostly low income, poor, jobless, without enough food to feed themselves or their family and many eastside minority residents who have neither transportation nor bus money to even travel to the westside of Lodi. I work closely with the SJ county community center, having taken the driving exam to be allowed to operate a county vehicle, and the Community Partnership for Families located on the east side in the old EDD building with Worknet. We resource and reach out to many who have nothing but a cockroach infested apartment to reside in and they are all thankful the smallest things that most Lodians take for granted everyone like themselves has on a daily basis. I also thank you for your service, as it is your choice who you volunteer your time to. I do invite you to attend our open to the public Hands Up meetings, and if you have time there will be a meeting at 4PM at the Lodi library, which are held the first Wdenesday of every month at 4PM-5PM at the library.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:00 pm


D2: This is absurd! There is always some program related to our children the city is trying to elimimnate or reduce to nothing, all in the name of a dollar!
Please tell me where else we are to send our children during the summer months when public school is out? It's not like this is a free program, the summer program has very reasonable rates and is worth every cent.
Just like the city's ASP (after school program), the first reaction is to threaten to close it down, then the already struggling working parents agree to pay more and thus the program is reinstated! CITY OF LODI, why not come up with solutions to a problem or issue rather than closing a program. I am sure there are details we the public do not know as to the real reasons for this, but, rest assured Mrs Mounce and Mr Johnson, OUR voice will be heard and YOUR vote will not be forgotten on this issue!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 4:40 pm

Jeanna Christy

Jeanna Christy: "With Hearts and Minds, Helping Build Caring Communities, One Child at a Time."
-Camp Hutchins

Camp Hutchins not only provides extremely experienced and committed staff that are highly qualified, but they also provide compassion, trust, and respect for their students and parents. The staff is truly a reflection of helping to build a caring community through each individual child. The "community" you are planning to close is Lodi's future!

Our son and nephew recieve an amazing educational experience at Camp Hutchins and it is thanks to the staff. The early childhood years are crucial to a child's trust and confidence and maintaining stability can be key to success. Camp Hutchins provides that stability for both child AND parent. We are saddedned by this news and will continue to support and fight for this safe and caring environment!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 2:48 pm

Jackson Scott

Jackson Scott: If Camp Hutchins does not find an alternative site this will be a major loss for Lodi. My kids, now 18 & 21, both attended their "off track" time at CH. The staff was very caring, generous, and friendly. They still reminisce about staffers Penny Goehring & Cheryl Wright - ???? (now married) to name a few. They all were awesome!

Contrary to Mr. Chaney's conspiracy theory, we never saw or heard of any favoritism regarding to what family/child was given an opening spot on the roster. Sure, my wife & I are white, college grads, middle class, and both work 40+ hours a week. We needed quality daycare for our children, just like all parents We were proud that our kids could attend Camp Hutchins since we attended high school on the same site many years before. We also were volunteers for the old "Field & Fair Day" fundraising event. Did that get us moved to the top of the list? No, we had to wait our turn for almost 2 years for and opening.

Doug, I am a REAL Lodian. My wife & I volunteer, carrying on the legacy set by our grandparents & parents, who between the 12 of them have served on the LMH & HSS Boards, as well as several others worthy organizations like WID, LUSD, two wine co-ops, & three churches. If all of that gets me called a "Good Ol' Boy" (GOBs) in Mr. Chaney's book I am proud to wear that name badge. As I've written to Doug before, to reap the benefits of a community one must participate in the community.

I have my own opinions, theories, & questions just like Doug. IMHO Mr. Hood's main task must be to increase revenue & reduce the HSS deficit. My own theory is that Hood wants to move Parks & Rec into HSS from their established location on Stockton & Locust Streets. If Mr. Hood wants to cut expenses perhaps he should increase the annual maintenance budget for the small things. Improper maintenance has resulted in the current unusable condition of the pool. It is the same story as to why Fire House #2 on East Lodi Ave needs to be demolished and rebuilt at a new location. The City of Lodi does not take care of their assets with routine maintenance.

Once again Mr. Chaney takes the subject of a closing day care facility and twist it into a discussion of unionizing the nurses at the hospital, inflated incomes, foreclosed homes, etc etc. STAY ON TOPIC!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:48 am


DeniseM: I'm a parent whose child attends Camp Hutchins. How dare you say this is for the "elite”. Have you compared the rates of the very few facilities within the Lodi community? Do you have children? Really their rate is comparable and their program is far beyond those in our community. In addition, we are very limited to what facilities can help with before and after school programs for those of us who have to work. As a single parent working two jobs to support my family I am not wealthy nor do I feel this decision without regard to the Lodi community. In addition the community was not given the chance to look at alternative funding options, like grants. Congratulations for not supporting your community Lodi City Council!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:31 am


FrankRod: My wife and I are hard working parents raising our kids in Lodi and Camp Hutches has been a blessing for us to continue to live and work while being parents. As I read these comments below I feel a lot of us are in the same boat, and I also read this "Only for the Privileged" comment and don’t know about that because we utilized Camp Hutchens as a resource that we pay for not a Privilege. Our kids have been on the Elementary School after school program waiting list for 3 years yet I see parents taking up needed spaces with their kids and they don’t even work and just use that program as a free baby sitter so they can get a break while the real working parent households are on waiting lists for years. I see the activities that Camp hutches has provided for our Children and others who have used the program - these kids are bright and full of the core skills to be a success in life and yes our kids will be the future of this community and world - We fail to see the big picture in this which is the Kids and the need for a SAFE place that has been instrumental in their development into productive members of our community- so I Say if there is any possibility to SAVE the Camp Hutchens program we should all do our part to make this happen - for our futures

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 8:11 am

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan: Well Mr. Chaney, after that rant I think you're about to hear from the "real" Lodian's that you refer to. The one's where both or single parents are working one or two jobs to provide for their families. The one's who don't receive government hand outs but are doing their very best to raise children who will be responsible and productive citizens. Oh yes, the "real" Lodian's are about to be heard from.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 6:48 am


advocate: I'm glad that my name garners attention from the good ol' boys fan club. Thanks, Josh and Jackson. My only other comment is that it's time for new faces to be injected into both the board of directors, leadership and management team that can bring some new ideas to Lodi Health and let the nurses finally have a vote on organizing so they can have some representation and a voice in how this organization is operated without having fear of losing their job simply for wanting to unionize. The stellar reputation that LMH once had seemed to be taken for granted and has slipped down many notches and is in need of desperate repair under this present administration and board. Why would Lodi Health not be willing to pay its fair share of the Camp Hutchins program? There has to be some underlying circumstances for their refusal to pay a fair price for the lease?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 6:47 am


advocate: I'm only disgusted only because this program denied the needs of the REAL Lodians that really needed help and were actually struggling in these economic times, many that have lost their homes to foreclosure, some due to local relators/lenders that inflated their income levels only to qualify them for loans the realtor/lenders knew they could ill afford. When HSS is floundering and writing off nearly $1 million in the red each year, and as much as $1.5 Million in the past few years, it's time the COL started charging their "preferred" customers at least a break even rent/lease contract, especially at HSS. The beautiful structure, with it's spacious meeting, ball and banquet facilities seems to be bypassed in favor of one of Lodi's "preferred" customers, Wine & Roses at a much higher cost and all city functions should be mandated to be held at HSS to bring this nearly $1 million loss to a minimum, especially with the shuttering of Camp Hutchins. to me this program seemed to be based on favoritism and to those from wealthy and influential well connected that were far from struggling with high income levels and not extended to the very poor and struggling eastside, especially the minorities, many Spanish speaking, that truly needed the help. And such a large asset to Lodi, Lodi Health, a non-profit, could well afford to offer a program to ALL Lodians by paying their fair share. Their property on Lower Sac, LH West has more than enough room to accommodate this program, with the health club/excercise wing having seperate rooms for many individual excercise programs that are very seldom even used. Why don't the other large health organizations, Kaiser, Sutter, BC/BS, etc. offer any similar program? This seems just another feel good program that got out of control and those who learned to game the system brought it to an abrupt halt. There are many fine child care programs at most churches in Lodi that are set up using a pre-school program with capable teachers or those that just offer certified child care for those who need it and with no discrminatory practices, such as race, nepotism, name recognition or financial status. In these still dreary, hard financial times with homes losing half their value and wages and hours shrinking, the COL needs to reign in their spending as well and HSS just cannot be used as a red money pit that absorbs many city dollars that constantly affect the programs at parks and rec, where most of the cuts are pawned off to, including a bare bones budget that can't afford to maintain and repair the park system, but can find $50k to hire a special law enforcement officer to patrol the parks for those taggers and vandals. It's time the COL gets its priorities straight and stop worrying about how much campaign cash they can raise for their next "run".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 6:31 am


Jackie: Unbelievable!!! Todd Oesterman, you said it!! One less safe place for us to leave our children. Where will the after school children go now??? The gang-bangers will take them in. Camp Hutchins is one of the only programs that offers after school transportation to the children of this community to make sure that the kids are brought to a safe place. IN ALL AREAS OF LODI. Wealthy and well-connected, I am NOT. What kind of trouble will our kids get into without the Summer Camp program?? Cut another program so that the kids can sit in front of their video games all Summer. Bob Johnson, you don't appear to care very much about your health, go figure.

You asked Lodi Health to take over this program, they have been more than successful at taking care of the heart of this community, our kids!!!

Parents of this community will not go down without a fight. How convenient that Lodi Health was notified only 10 minutes prior to the December 19 city council meeting that the topic of this Lease renewal would be addressed....Wonder why??? Can't wait for the full story. Perhaps the City Council didn't want Lodi Health to be properly represented? Perhaps they knew that the hall would be filled with outraged parents?

You are killing a part of this town. You are doing the wrong thing. Staff, children, parents, COMMUNITY! Heartbroken is an understatement.

Monday, February 4, 2013, 10:29 pm

Todd Oesterman

Todd Oesterman: Our family is saddened and shocked. I hope all the powers that be can find a way to keep Camp Hutchins open.

I recently was reading President Obama's speech shortly after Sandyhook and he mentioned "this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community . . ." Camp Hutchins is a true community of teachers, parents and friends that have done their part in providing a safe and enriching environment for hundreds of our children.

To wipe out a highly respected, trusted place for parents to leave their kids over a few dollars is disappointing. That's one less safe place for a parent to leave a child in town. I hope the City and Lodi Health will provide a valid, detailed explanation.

Caring for children is our number one job. If official$ worry about losing money there, we better stop letting kids swim at Blakely Pool, cancel any unprofitable reading programs at the library and get rid of fireworks at the lake on July 4.

Wanna save money, Lodi? Turn out the lights at those city council meetings.

Monday, February 4, 2013, 8:21 pm

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan: This is extremely unfortunate. Jackson, you are correct, in spite of allegations from Mr. Chaney that this was a program for "the wealthy an well connected" in reality it was a program that provided for wonderful parents who worked hard to provide for their children.

Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:49 pm

Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt: Maybe folks will finally see fit to give Joanne Mounce the boot she so richly deserves.

Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:49 pm

Jackson Scott

Jackson Scott: The ******** is hitting the fan.

I'm sure Doug Chaney will be happy however.

Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:20 pm


laurenh: Shame on Jeff Hood, Joanne Mounce, Bob Johnson and others!!! This is a program the city asked LMH to take over and run which they have done with great success. To cut a vital community program that benefits the youth of Lodi is a disgrace!! Council members and city officials should be ashamed of themselves!!! Lodian's are going to work hard to fight to keep this program going!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013, 7:16 pm