Palisades-Malibu YMCA Offers Plans For the New Year

By Sue Pascoe

When Palisades-Malibu YMCA Interim Executive Director James Kirtley called the Palisades News in the last week of December, we had a chance to learn what’s up at the Y going into 2017.

Kirtley alerted us to the upcoming four-week class, “Make Yourself Great Again,” which will cover how to make New Year’s resolutions stick.

The class will be led by Ellen Coleman, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, on four consecutive Saturdays in January, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Y facility on Via de la Paz. Attendance is limited to 25 and Y members will be given preference.

Palisades-Malibu YMCA employees Kevin Curtin and David Cornejo welcome members at the Via de la Paz facility.
Palisades-Malibu YMCA employees Kevin Curtin and David Cornejo welcome members at the Via de la Paz facility.

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in philosophy, Coleman earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Cornell. She lectured there while working on her Ph.D. dissertation on mental causation and the explanation of human action. She taught philosophical psychology and the philosophy of mind at Stanford, San Francisco State and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Coleman now has a private practice based on the belief that the most common reason people fail to achieve their goals and live their dreams is self-sabotage.

Kirtley told the News that Shelly Skaro, the Y’s executive director, “has taken a personal leave and is with family.” He said there’s no timeline for how long she may be gone or when she may return.

In the meantime, Kirtley is having a good time back in the Palisades. “I have a history with this Y and love the Palisades,” he said, noting he was the associate program director here from 2001-2008. He was then recruited to the Antelope Valley YMCA and is now at the Westside YMCA.

“The Westside Y has to be out of their current building in mid-January and will reopen in mid-March,” he said, which means the Palisades Y will have Kirtley’s full attention 

“We just took a carload of coats to St. Agatha Catholic Church for Christmas,” he said, adding that the Pali Y also hosted a toy drive with Palisades Cares. 

Also new this winter is a change in the sports programming. Basketball is underway at Palisades High School, and flag football is at Simon Meadow for 3- to 12-year-olds.

“We’ve changed the practice schedule,” Kirtley said. “It used to be one hour during the week and one hour for the game. Now we’ve combined it all into one day: A half-hour practice is followed by a one-hour game.”

Kirtley said the change was made because many families had expressed an interest in committing to only one day a week.

And the Y’s student government program at PaliHi?

“We have 85 in the program, one of the largest delegations in the state,” Kirtley said. “We just had bill-hearing night. Students get into groups and write four or five bills to present in Sacramento at the end of February.

“I’m really excited about everything we have going on,” he continued. “If anyone has any questions or complaints, they can stop by and see me. I’m there [on Via] Monday through Friday.” Call (310) 454-5591 or visit its website and Facebook page

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