One small, maybe only temporary victory for adequate hospital coverage in NYC: For now Long Island College Hospital (LICH) will remain open! Here is a message from District Leader Paul Newell:
I am thrilled to inform you of a huge victory for public health and community activism today. SUNY Downstate has officially withdrawn its closure plan for Long Island College Hospital in downtown Brooklyn. Much work remains to ensure a long term future for this important hospital, but the decision from SUNY today removes the immediate threat of closure, and is indeed cause for celebration.
I am proud to have been a small part of an incredible coalition led by the Cobble Hill Association, the New York State Nurses Association, 1199 SEIU, the Concerned Physicians of LICH and many others. The incredible work to save this vital hospital would not have been possible without the smart and dogged effort of State Assemblymember Joan Millman, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steven Levin, District Leader Jo Anne Simon and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, all of whom deserve our gratitude today.
A few months ago, many had given LICH up for dead. Having worked on similar fights at St. Vincent’s and elsewhere, I must also confess to some doubting moments. This is a powerful reminder that communities and workers, working together, can make a meaningful difference. The thousands of community members and healthcare workers who attended long meetings, held signs at rallies, and signed and carried petitions have proven this so.
The fight to ensure access to quality healthcare to all NYC communities obviously continues, and will not get easier soon. But I wanted to share this important victory with you.
Every hospital closed in NYC means more people dying because of inadequate health care and more hospitals put in danger of closing. The dynamic is a complex one. Hospitals almost all run at a loss. This is not because of mismanagement usually but because the cost of care in emergency rooms and ICUs is so hugely expensive that it tends to lose money at a huge rate...in order to save lives. The more people who don't have health insurance, the more people who have to depend on emergency rooms for basic care...and the more money it costs the hospitals. Reduce the number of uninsured people and spread emergency visits over more hospitals and the burden on each hospital is reduced. But leave lots of uninsured and close hospitals and each remaining hospital gets an even higher burden on their emergency rooms...driving them deeper into a financial hole.
Closing a hospital just increases the burden on every other hospital in the area putting them in further financial danger. Of course Healthcare reform is a key way to improve the financial strength of ALL our hospitals by cutting down on emergency room visits by people who rely on them for basic healthcare. But closing hospitals really doesn't help!
It is simple natural selection, one of the most fundamental laws of biology. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics are directly responsible for the antibiotic resistant bacteria that are starting to increasingly harm our health, sometimes even killing people.
Keep Antibiotics Working is an organization that is fighting to do just that. They are (according to their website):
...a coalition of health, consumer, agricultural, environmental, humane and other advocacy groups with more than eleven million members dedicated to eliminating a major cause of antibiotic resistance: the inappropriate use of antibiotics in food animals.
For a general overview of the issue, see the Campaign's fact sheets: Antibiotic Resistance - An Emerging Public Health Crisis (PDF)(an annotated version is also available) and Antibiotic Resistance and Animal Agriculture (PDF). read more »
Upcoming events at the Center for Anti-violence Education, the Dojo my wife trains and teaches at:
All classes at:
The Center for Anti-Violence Education
327 7th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11215
FREE 2-Session Self-Defense Course for LGBTQ Adults (PDF) on Saturdays May 11th and 18th from 1pm to 3pm.
FREE 5- Week Teen Self-Defense Course for teen women and transyouth (PDF) (ages 12-19) Saturdays from June 1st to 29th, 12:30-2:30 pm.
Sliding-scale: 5- Week Adult Self-Defense Course for women and transpeople (PDF) Saturdays from June 1st to 29th 3pm to 5:30pm.
Check out our ongoing classes on our website and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-788-1775 to RSVP!
Well, it looks like Vito's kid will get a challenger even though Lincoln Restler decided to give it a miss. Just to be clear, Steve Levin is good on policy, but his continued refusal to face up to the corruption of his former boss, Vito Lopez, suggests he is unrepentant for Vito's corruption...or too scared to say anything. Bottom line is he was chief of staff for Vito and to me that implies he either knew what was going on or was merely a lame figurehead. Neither looks great. Yet Levin has done his best to ignore that connection in hopes people will forget.
I think he's better than his former boss by far. But I still cannot trust him as long as he doesn't face up to his past.
Here's the announcement from Levin's challenger:
WHO: Stephen Pierson, founder and director of a successful not-for-profit organization, will be a candidate for membership in the New York City Council from Brooklyn’s 33rd District. He will be competing against the four-year incumbent, Steve Levin.
WHAT: Stephen Pierson will announce his candidacy for City Council. He will highlight his own record of accomplishments and also target the problematic relationship between Steve Levin and disgraced former Democratic County leader Vito Lopez and the impact of that relationship on the 33rd Council District. Other speakers will include individuals familiar with Stephen Pierson’s record as well as individuals involved with the local communities included within the 33rd Council District.
WHEN: This Sunday, April 21, 3:00 PM
WHERE: Brooklyn Borough Hall
– Main steps next to the plaza.
Not much info in the press release and no hint who is backing Pierson. He is a Brooklyn community board member and has hired Brooklyn reform district leader Chris Owens for his campaign.
And just to be clear...so far I see no reason to endorse in this race.
It has been awhile since the Caucasus region has made major headlines. But now, with Chechnya and Dagestan being regions where the Boston Bomber suspects are being associated with, the region is back in the news. But it isn't the first time. Russia fought two fairly tough wars in the region awhile back, and a number of my Russian colleagues spent their military service there. Also, there was the war between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia back in 2008 (a major effort on Russia's part to re-exert its somewhat faded superpower status).
Few Americans realize the history of this area as a major crossroads of history, ancient, medieval and modern.
Interestingly, Chechens are distancing themselves from the Boston Bombers, saying they are from Kyrgyzstan. However, their uncle does say that the family are ethnic Chechens. And it should be noted that from Stalin on there have been policies of majorly relocating ethnic minorities (particularly Chechens) around the Soviet Union then Russia and replacing them with ethnic Russians. So it is quite likely that they are ethnic Chechens from Kyrgyzstan.
But why is this area such a flash point? Some background below... read more »