What's the buzz this morning in Pierre?

What's the buzz this morning in Pierre?

Aside from Bob Mercer writing in his column this morning that the legislature is proposing to work fewer weekdays and stretch session across more weeks (ugh, say it isn't so), it looks like the big issue for Capital City Residents is a proposal by the local YMCA to use fingerprint and photo ID's as part of new security measures effective April 1st.

Yes, as part of a letter that went out to members, Pierre will be super advanced as one of only two YMCA's in the country to use the new fingerprint system.

Are they freaking kidding me?

I had been thinking of joining again in another vain attempt to try to work out on a regular basis and lose weight. But seeing this move by the local fitness center - it's not just no thank you, but HECK NO!

I've got to be fingerprinted if I want to use the track? Cataloging me as one would a criminal will protect me from vagrant weightlifters? Who thought up this ridiculous idea?

I dont' think it's "Pierre-like" to do this. It's not even "Sioux Falls-like." In fact, it belongs somewhere between California and Leavenworth, Kansas. Except in Kansas, I'm referring to the area within that town that has all the iron bars.

Thanks but no thanks. I live in South Dakota for a reason. And that doesn't include fingerprints for the local fitness center.

Comments

Anonymous said…
No doubt! This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. They Y in Pierre is hardly the Taj Mahal as far as work out facilities go. Instead of investing in some state of the art security system we don't need, how about a decent rack for the weight room? How about a decent stereo for the weight room? How about expanding the weight room? Might be just a few things the Y needs before a fingerprint ID system. Good grief!
oldguy said…
I wonder what the cost of this system is. The last time I checked I thought the city of Pierre was having budget issues. Am I wrong?
Anonymous said…
The Community Center in Madison has had this in place for a year or two. I am not a member, but would refuse to use it if I did join. The few times I have paid the day-rate for using the center, I have noticed that most people don't think a thing about using the fingerprint scanner.
Anonymous said…
Hey it must just be another way to get some stats about the users. oops.
rich engels said…
I think, and I hope they will realize this is bad for business. As a member of the Pierre Y when I lived there, and a sometimes member as a legislator, I will not be going joining next session if they want my fingerprints.
nicholas Nemec said…
On the contrary PP this sounds very "Pierre" to me. In fact it echos back to some of the last legislative sessions where one of the excuses given for not having more open government records was the need to fight terrorism. Security and fighting terror trumps all other concerns including rational thought.

Stretching out the legislative session by working fewer days per week and more weeks total is a good idea that would slow down the process slightly and give the citizens of the state more time to learn about and respond to the issues.
Anonymous said…
I fail to appreciate your concerns. Many places use fingerprint recognition in place of user ID cards or proximity cards. It is convenient for patrons, and as the YMCA noted, more secure. Fingerprints have the "security" benefit that they cannot be duplicated--thus reducing the concern (in this case for the Pierre Y) that users will allows others access to the facility by giving them their "card" (or whatever they currently use).

I don't think cost is an issue at all--my laptop computer came with a fingerprint reader built in (a $30 option).
Anonymous said…
I can see both sides of this. On one hand I can see that this would be easier instead of having to bring a card with you but I also see the privacy issues. You wouldn't believe how many people just walk in the door, sign a name and use the facilities. People have been using without paying for years but that could be fixed by not allowing anyone in without seeing a membership card instead of using the honor system. The cost really isn't all that bad as fingerprint technology is very cheap but it's the privacy issue that gets me. I would rather see a membership card that is like a credit card that you need to swipe that logs you in and you swipe when you leave. The only information that needs to be on that card is your name and membership expiration date.
Anonymous said…
Get over yourself. There's a coffee shop in Pierre that uses fingerprint recognition to track their "buy 10 get one free" deals. It's not a big deal.
Anonymous said…
Will someone please explain wha the "privacy issue" is here?

Keep in mind that you leave behind fingerprints when you touch anything.
Anonymous said…
Sioux Falls Y has used a hand geometry entry system for years and years. Simply a way to get in to building without having to stand in line to show your card to a person. Person(s) they have to pay, everyday for the 20-odds hours a day they're open.

Systems like this save tons of money, that why they're popular.

More to the point, since when in this bastion of conservatism is the business of a private entity cause for heartburn? When are all the property-rights, "my business is my own", nanny-state haters going to chime in?

Private means private, if you don't like it, don't go. How many times have we heard pp say that one?
Anonymous said…
Cheers to 9:49! Well said.
Anonymous said…
The Watertown fitness center was using a similar system 10 year. This is not news.
Looks like it's really not fun to stay at the YMCA!
Anonymous said…
It does get a little sticky doesn't it? Suppose you had to use fingerprints to ID yourself when you go to vote. I guess we'd all have to get the ballot, the pencil and surgical gloves before we voted if we wanted to keep our ballot secret.

I bet PP doesn't like this at the Y because it will keep him from swiping candy bars out of his friends' lockers.
Anonymous said…
9:49 has it right. "if you don't like it, don't go."
Anonymous said…
9:49 and 10:51
I believe that is what PP said, he doesn't like it and he won't be joining.
And who said anything about telling them they can't do it. That is exactly our point when we complain about the nanny-state. The business is free to have the equipment and we are free to not do business there. The government does not need to intervene.
PP said…
10:27, that might work if I liked them.

I just think we're too quick to allow others to take away our privacy for the sake of their convenience.

The Y is a private organization (although their contract with the city for the pool opens up some interesting questions).

I can choose to patronize them because I support what they do, or not to patronize them if I think they're being too nosy (such as collecting my fingerprint).

Remember how Radio Shack used to ask for everything - including your first born's name - when you'd go to buy batteries? I would assert that it didn't do their reputation any good, and probably hurt sales.

As a consumer, I'm saying YMCA: make it reasonable for me, not for you. Some may say "sure, ok, you bet. Here you go." I'm not one of them.

Reasonableness for me says that registering my fingerprints is unreasonable.
Anonymous said…
This is not a privacy issue at all. You don't have a reasonable expectation of privary in your fingerprints - you leave them all over the place and anyone who wanted to could get them. It would be like saying that requiring a photo-ID is an invasion of privacy - you don't have a reasonable expectiation of privacy as to what you look like either.
Anonymous said…
The way I look at it, if Pat doesn't like it, then it must be a pretty good idea!
Anonymous said…
After paying $72.00 at gate one, we had to give the tickets to the collector at gate 2. Before gate 2 would open we were fingerprinted. This happened at Disneyland. I am sure they have our picture also.
Bob Newland said…
But you're perfectly happy to put sick, disabled and dying people in jail for using medicine that works for them.

How myopic of you, Pat.
Anonymous said…
We do leave our fingerprints everywhere, but mine aren’t in any database, and I prefer to keep it that way.
Anonymous said…
As a parent with a young child that attends the Y's "Kids Stop" program - I can't thank them enough for implementing this system. While this may be Pierre, SD, that doesn't mean we don't have more than our share of sex offenders. The current system allows people in the door by simply signing their name and the time they come in. Half the time, people walk in without signing. We have no idea who is in that building at any given time. I would think any facility with 100+ children in their care could be found negligent if something happened to a child while in their facility and a $200 ID system could have done something to prevent it.
joan said…
I fail to see what the big deal is about being fingerprinted. If you don't plan on breaking the law, what difference does it make?
If there are children present, just the ability to protect against known sex offenders would make it all worthwhile.
Anonymous said…
I see Newland is in his weed patch again.
Bob Newland said…
Good observation, Nick.

"Stretching out the legislative session by working fewer days per week and more weeks total is a good idea that would slow down the process slightly and give the citizens of the state more time to learn about and respond to the issues."

This is probably why folks like Powers don't like the idea.
Douglas said…
Now if they can just figure out a way to use fingerprints to make sure 18 year old males aren't sleeping in the same bed with a Democrat.

The information collection and sharing that can be really dangerous is what Bush,Inc. has supported that allows all kinds of databases to be mined so that health, income, insurance, food purchases, location, etc can all be plugged into a system to make it really, really tough to get a job or health insurance.

I'm surprised Republicans haven't supported fingerprinting in order to vote in an election.

I am also amazed that this issue generated so many posts...and me without coffee yet. Terrible situation.
PP said…
Nick -

Unlike Newland, I do respect your opinion on this.

I was thinking more of the parking around here..
Anonymous said…
HEY RICH E. IF THIS WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF THE Y, I'M ALL FOR IT! I'M GOOD FOR ANOTHER YEARS MEMBERSHIP
Anonymous said…
Criminals need to have their fingerprints in a database, not law abiding citizens.
Anonymous said…
Sometimes criminals commit crimes for a long time before being arrested so someone can take their fingerprints.
If taking fingerprints from a crime scene and matching it up to a data base of "law-abiding citizens" would help catch a perpetrator, I'm all for it.
I find that much less offensive than having to worry about Bush's people listening in on my conversations.
Bob Newland said…
I thought I made it clear that I did respect and agree with Nemec. It's Pat whose opinion I think is myopic.
nicholas Nemec said…
Pat, I can see why state employees dread the legislative session, the parking is hard to come by. But, the work of the legislature is too important to allow it to be crammed into as few weeks as possible. A 40 day session of 5 day weeks is over in 8 weeks. A 40 day session of 4 day weeks is lasts 10 weeks. This change would give citizens two more weekends to talk to their legislators about issues and 14 more days to read about the issues in the local papers.

Bob Newland,
Thanks for the support on this idea. I've seen too much stuff introduced and passed in the dark of night. A two day cooling off period on amendments in the final days of the session wouldn't hurt either. It would give the news cycle time to catch up to the process and report on last minute deals before they are given a final vote.

Popular posts from this blog

That didn't take long

Breaking News: After the television commercial salvo fired at them, Vote Yes For Life Fires back.