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 SUNY Downstate has officially withdrawn its closure plan for Long Island College Hospital in downtown Brooklyn.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!
The latest at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema:
70 henry street | bklyn, ny 11201 | 718 596 5095
SPECIAL EVENT: Brooklyn Heights Cinema Celebration Event
Sunday April 28th: 6 - 8pm
A special event to celebrate 40+ years of movies at 70 Henry Street
Tickets start at $60.00
With a special performance by the host of NPR's "Ask Me Another" Ophira Eisenberg
And some other cool surprises [silent auction, raffle...]
Bring your ticket to Bavacco after the event and enjoy a free glass of wine and some snacks with us
The money raised will go towards keeping the cinema solvent
The Place Beyond The Pines |
2 hours 20 minutes (R)
For the first time in 31 years - nominated in all 4 acting categories!
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes
Fri - Sun: 1:45pm | 4:30pm | 7:10pm | 9:40pm
Mon - Thurs: 5:30pm | 8:15pm
The highly anticipated new drama from director Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine") powerfully explores the consequences of motorcycle rider Luke's (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling) fateful decision to commit a crime to support his child. The incident renders him targeted by policeman Avery (Golden Globe Award nominee Bradley Cooper), and the two men become locked on a tense collision course which will have a devastating impact on both of their families in the years following.
Ginger & Rosa | 1 hr 29 min. (PG-13)
Starring: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Annette Bening & Oliver Platt
Fri - Sun: 2:00 | 7:00pm
Mon - Thurs: 2:00 | 7:30pm
A look at the lives of two teenage girls - inseparable friends Ginger and Rosa -- growing up in 1960s London as the Cuban Missile Crisis looms, and the pivotal event the comes to redefine their relationship.
Admission | 2 hrs (PG-13)
Starring: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd & Lily Tomlin
Fri - Sun: 4:45 | 9:30pm
Mon - Thurs: 5:00 | 9:00pm
NO 9PM SCREENING Wednesday
A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption
Wednesday: 9 pm
Hosted by Shelly Colman
with David Finklestein, Dave Lester Dean Masello & Katherine Williams
My wife and I got involved (perhaps way TOO involved) in local Brooklyn politics thanks to a high school friend of hers who ran for a judicial position. At about the same time we were recruited into the brawl that is Brooklyn politics, I was organizing protests to "welcome" the 2004 Republican National Convention to NYC. In the end these two things led to my becoming a well known blogger in Brooklyn (primarily at Daily Gotham) and my wife becoming an officer (currently 2nd Vice President) of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID).
So every year we attend the CBID annual dinner. And blogging about it since 2007. 2008 was a particularly good dinner, noted for Chuck Schumer giving a rousing speech which I wrote about and titled "I'm Not Afraid of John McCain!" In that speech Schumer predicted the huge victory of Barack Obama. The 2009 dinner not only honored one of my favorite members of Congress (Nydia Velasquez) but also gave one of the best rundowns of single payer healthcare I have ever heard, thanks to Dr. Oliver Fein (who I believe I saw this year as well but he didn't speak). Can't find my write up about 2010 but my 2011 coverage included some videos of some of the speeches (thanks to the efforts of Raul Rothblatt). Not sure if I blogged the 2012 dinner since Daily Gotham was dead at that time and I was focused more on work and family than politics.
But last night's dinner was another good one and had many elements that would have been huge shocks 4 years ago.
CBID is the most reform and liberal of the Brooklyn "reform" clubs and is well known for asking the hardest questions of politicians at their monthly meetings and for many years stood up to the corrupt local machine led by the now disgraced Vito Lopez. They have sometimes put ideology before practicality, but have become more united and practical in recent years and so have become more effective without losing their reputation, often repeated last night, of being some of the most active and hard to please of Democrats in Brooklyn. I believe most speakers last night gave some version of the line "CBID sets the bar very high for elected officials."
Chuck Schumer was there, as always, and gave one of his usual excellent speeches. He continued a theme I first heard pushed at the community swearing in ceremony for Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez. Coming from that event I was one of the first people to blog that Comprehensive Immigration Reform was about to be a major push by the Democratic Party. I think it was FIRST mentioned at Nydia's event by NYC Comptroller and (very) likely mayoral candidate John Liu, but then reiterated quite deliberately by speaker after speaker. Last night both Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman (my Congresswoman) Yvette Clarke emphasized Comprehensive Immigration Reform as a must pass plank this year, practically daring Republicans to commit political suicide by opposing it. Again, this kind of strong progressive rhetoric by Democrats is quite welcome and I am glad it is continuing. Schumer and Clarke also both emphasized gun control as a major plank in the Democratic agenda for this year, again practically daring Republicans to sacrifice themselves on the altar of NRA fanaticism.
Four mayoral candidates also attended last night. Missing was Christine Quinn...perhaps remembering that she was once the recipient of CBID's "Tarnished Fork" award (a tradition they sadly have given up and really should bring back!) for her central role in the seemingly now ignored slushgate scandal.
Bill Thompson gave a short speech (a great tradition many more speakers should follow!) basically congratulating the honorees and praising the efforts and high standards of CBID, messages conveyed by every politician who spoke...in a more long winded manner. I am warming to Bill Thompson's relaxed style, and I am reminded by
more and more people that despite his boring reputation, he came far closer than anyone expected to defeating Bloomberg and he may have a better chance than I have given him credit for.
John Liu gave a rousing speech as always. A brilliant man who highlighted his excellent record as Comptroller. Honestly, his record as Comptroller reaffirms why I endorsed him. He did NOT officially announce his candidacy, but he did seem to be semi-officially announcing that he will officially announce very soon. Of course even though he has not announced, most people are treating him like a candidate for mayor. As usual he directly acknowledged the investigation against his campaign, again welcoming the scrutiny and emphasizing his transparency. CBID in the past worked closely with John Liu and his campaign and was impressed with the care his campaign took verifying donations. In fact, his campaign was one of the MOST cautious and this was long before the investigation. If what we saw was typical of his campaign, then I am sure he will be absolved with no problem. I personally always find it amazing that Liu's campaign gets all this scrutiny from the media while Bill de Blasio's past shady campaign practices (which involved SEVERAL candidates in addition to Bill, involved the entire Working Familiies Party, and WERE ACTUALLY FOUND ILLEGAL but not prosecuted as long as money was given back), and Quinn's massive slushgate scandal are being ignored. Of the three, there is no doubt in my mind that John Liu is the most honest and transparent. Maybe damning with faint praise comparing him to Quinn and de Blasio, but this is NYC politics and these are three of the front runners and so it is an appropriate comparison.
Sal Albanese also attended and gave a speech. I apologize to Sal for missing his speech. I was talking to John Liu during it.
Bill de Blasio came late and so spoke to only the last of us to leave. As always he gave a good speech but with little substance. As my wife says, he can talk a good line but has never really done anything. I tend to point out that for all his talk about supporting Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project ONLY because of the affordable housing, it is amazing that he hasn't said a word about it since the affordable housing part was dropped...as many predicted to de Blasio's face when he was such a supporter. If he is that easily fooled or that much of an enabler for unscrupulous developers, I don't want him as a mayor.
Scott Stringer also came. Let me just say he needs to tell different jokes when he comes over to Brooklyn. First time was funny, but we already know you're from Manhattan and you don't need to tell the getting your visa stamped joke every time. Stringer also gives a good speech but my wife remembers his role enabling Columbia's land grabs so we are somewhat skeptical about him as well. Still, when challenged about Columbia's land grabs he once did give me a somewhat convincing explanation for why he felt it was the best possible deal...somewhat convincing, I say, but "best deal possible" has been an excuse used by many for many really lousy and rather corrupt real estate deals in NYC and I think our politicians may need to redefine for themselves the words "best," "possible," and "deal." Too often people like de Blasio and Stringer (and let me be clear I consider Stringer MUCH better than de Blasio, but in this they seem similar) are like my former City Councilman David Yassky. Yassky, as my wife used to comment, seemed to surrender to developers before the negotiations even started, calling the surrender the "best possible deal." At a bare minimum it is a bad bargaining technique yet is too often used by NYC politicians when faced with developer money. read more »
Japanese Music Program in Brooklyn: Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe, and Sumie Kaneko Play Taiko, Fue, Koto and Shamisen
My family's Taiko instructor, former Kodo member Kaoru Watanabe, will be performing in Brooklyn at the Shapeshifter Lab along with Kenny Endo and Sumie Kaneko:
Tuesday, March 5 @ ShapeShifter Lab (NYC)
Music From Japan presents Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe, and special guest Sumie Kaneko (koto and shamisen)
7:30pm, $12 at the door
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215. R train to Union
Honestly this should be an excellent show. And the train stop is near some excellent restaurants like Oaxaca Taqueria, Palo Santo and Fort Reno BBQ. Kaoru is an amazing musician and all around good person...and a very patient teacher!
We are no longer officially an "Eating Liberally" Group...so we can just be a Liberal Eating group. Okay not so clever but it works for me. Since the Central Brooklyn Eating Liberally group didn't meet in December (holidays) and January (John Liu's Birthday), the higher ups in Living Liberally suspended the group. So we will go independent since I never found their organization that helpful.
The February meeting of Central Brooklyn Liberal Eating will be on Darwin Day (February 12th) at 7:30 PM (half an hour later than usual) at Fort Reno BBQ:
669 UNION ST, BROOKLYN, NY
It is a tiny place with a bar and great BBQ smoked in their own kitchen. Owned by the same people who own Palo Santo across the street (Palo Santo is great but more expensive).
Hope to see you all there!