Friday, April 29, 2011

Ballad of St. Vincent's : Caroline Murphy records a new single to honour St. Vincent's Hospital

Caroline Murphy's St. Vincent's Music Video : New Single : ''Waiting This Out'' is a ballad about the community's fight for a new hospital to replace St. Vincent's in New York City.

Join us for a rally at 2 PM on Saturday, April 30, 2011, to restore a hospital to the Lower West Side of Manhattan. The greedy Rudin family luxury condo conversion is not a done deal, yet. Join us in the struggle to protect the social safety net that is under attack by extremist billionaires.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Join us at St. Vincent's on the One Year Anniversary since the Hospital was Wrongfully Closed ; Rally to Demand a New Hospital

Join us at 2 pm on April 30 at St. Vincent's for a rally to demand a new hospital for our community. Register to attend our rally on Facebook.

If the Rudin real estate development company and North Shore-LIJ can find $125 million and can use a building that was donated for free to build a clinic, then, with a little more pressure from the community, we can use those resources toward restoring a hospital to the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

Community activist Yetta Kurland gave an interview about how it is possible to restore a hospital at the former site of St. Vincent's. In this video, she urges everybody to join us for the April 30 rally to mark the one year anniversary of the wrongful closing of St. Vincent's.

A year ago, we were told that there was no money for a hospital. Look at what resources Rudin and North Shore-LIJ have found, thanks to your efforts. Keep up the good work. Thank you for all that you do.

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Year After St. Vincent's Closed, Join Us for a Rally to Demand a New Hospital on April 30

Join us on April 30 at 2 pm - Coalition Rally to Replace St. Vincent's Hospital

April 30 will mark one year after the illegal closing of St. Vincent's Hospital. Join us for a mass rally at 2 p.m. on April 30 to demand that our elected officials and real estate moguls to do the right thing -- and restore a full-service hospital to the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

Meet-up at St. Vincent's for a Rally for a New Village Hospital on April 30

One year after the illegal closing of St. Vincent's Hopsital and one month after the real estate moguls announced their plan, please join the Coalition for a New Village Hospital for a mass rally at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

Let the real estate interests and our elected officials know that we will not accept anything short of a full-service, acute care hospital with level one emergency facilities.

Register to attend the St. Vincent's rally on April 30 on Facebook.

Please share with friends and show your support!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Christine Quinn dips into Retiree Trust Fund for City Employees

From Crains :

Council eyes trust-fund raid; watchdog barks

The City Council wants to dip further into a trust fund created for retired city employees so it can stave off “decimating” cuts to education, social services and public safety.

In its response Friday to Mayor Mike Bloomberg's preliminary 2012 budget, the council wrote that it would not seek to raise taxes or cut capital spending but would instead set its sights on a one-shot.

“We must give consideration to a measured additional use of the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund,” the council wrote, referring to the account it helped create in 2007. The fund was designed to offset the ever-expanding unfunded liability created by covering retirees' health care.

The city stashed $2.5 billion of surplus in the fund during its first two years, but it has since siphoned money from it to close budget deficits. The mayor will draw down $395 million from the fund this year and $672 million next year, according to the Independent Budget Office.

The council has now signaled its apparent desire to use even more money from the fund to pay for programs that would otherwise be lost. But one watchdog group growled at the idea.

The Citizens Budget Commission, which tracks the city's finances, has urged the council on multiple occasions not to raid the fund. “This is not a rainy-day fund,” said Maria Doulis, an analyst with the group. “It's not a surplus fund. It was established to fund retiree benefits.”

Doulis added, “The council is not using this money for its intended purpose.” The mayor has used the trust fund to pay pension expenses, which arguably also stretches the defined purpose of the fund.

A spokeswoman for Council Speaker Christine Quinn would not comment further on the council's plans for the fund, or say how much additional money it might seek to take from it.

As of June 2010, the unfunded liability of retiree health care was $70 billion, according to the commission.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Is ''Westside Healthcare Coalition'' A Lie ?

''West Side Healthcare Coalition is a Lie''

In a sneaky marketing ploy, the backers of the first aid clinic that is being proposed to replace St. Vincent's Hospital has been mailing deceptive brochures to residents of the Lower West Side of Manhattan. The brochures indicate that they are being mailed by a group calling itself the Westside Healthcare Coalition.

A WhoIs search on Network Solutions today showed that the website for the front group is registered to Mehigan, Bellone & Associates, Inc.

According to a press release distributed by angry residents, ''The practice of setting up seemingly grassroots groups to lobby for corporate or political interests is known as astroturfing. The stealth-style marketing technique is banned by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).''

The real group that has been fighting to restore a hospital to our community is the “Coälition for a New Village Hospital.”

West Side Healthcare Coalition is a Lie

Don't be fooled by the suspicious mailings by the front group calling itself the Westside Healthcare Coalition. They are just as fake as the claims being made by North Shore-LIJ, namely, that the first aid clinic that the Rudin family is proposing to install in the O'Toole Building will be able to treat real medical emergencies. And even in the face of all this deceptive literature that is being sent through the U.S. Postal Service, still no word from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Sarah Jessica Parker Supports A New Hospital To Replace St. Vincent's

Sarah Jessica Parker endorses a Full-Service Hospital to replace St. Vincent's.

In an interview with The Villager newspaper, Sarah Jessica Parker expressed her support for a full-service hospital to replace St. Vincent's.

''Asked what she thought of the latest post-St. Vincent’s proposal, for an emergency-care facility at the site of the former hospital’s O’Toole building, the Sex and the City star looked skeptical. 'I’m concerned, let’s put it that way,' she said. 'The community needs a hospital — and I think there’s been some clever obfuscation.' As a parent of three young children, she noted, she’s especially concerned about local healthcare. 'I would like to see a proper, functioning [hospital] — not a walk-in,' she stressed. She said she had spoken to Council Speaker Christine Quinn about the issue.''

The interview given by Ms. Parker took place before information came to light about a deceptive political campaign brochure, which was mailed to residents of the Lower West Side by a front group calling itself the ''Westside Healthcare Coalition.'' A WhoIs search on Network Solutions today showed that the website for the front group is registered to Mehigan, Bellone & Associates, Inc. Whereas Ms. Parker was not directly speaking to the example of the campaign brochure as political subterfuge, you can see how she has already been concerned with the pattern of clever obfuscation.

North Shore-LIJ have a vested interest in installing a first aid clinic in the O'Toole Building in the West Village, so that the Rudin Family can build luxury condominiums on the former site of St. Vincent's Hospital. Meanwhile, watch this video about what having a full-service hospital in the Lower West Side means to one parent, whose child was treated by the live-saving emergency room at St. Vincent's Hospital :

Slick LIJ-Rudin PR Campaign ?

The community of the Lower West Side of Manhattan are outraged over a deceptive political campaign brochure that was mailed to residents in connection with a proposed first aid clinic that may replace St. Vincent's Hospital.

Community anger has reached a new high, such that one member has launched a new blog, Every Minute Matters, to counter the hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent by North Shore-LIJ and the Rudin family, to make sure that their greedy hundred million dollar condo conversion deal goes through.

The slick mass mailer is an act of political subterfuge, community residents say, because it is being mailed by a front group calling itself the ''Westside Healthcare Coalition.'' (A WhoIs search on Network Solutions today showed that the website for the front group is registered to Mehigan, Bellone & Associates, Inc.) The intention of this fake political brochure can only be to intentionally confuse the public between the front group and the real group called the Coälition For A New Village Hospital. The real group has been fighting for over one year to, at first, save St. Vincent's Hospital from closing. Then, once the hospital closed under shady conditions, the real Coälition has been fighting in court to save the hospital buildings and zoning, so that a new hospital can open on the location of the former St. Vincent's site.

Here is an anonymous line item review of what some community members describe as deceptive advertising that is printed on the controversial political brochure, which was mailed through the U.S. Postal Service :

West Side Healthcare Coalition is a Lie

The community isn't surprised that the axis of evil (aka North Shore-LIJ-Rudin Family) would resort to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a sick and twisted public relations stunt ; the Rudin family stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars from the luxury condo conversion of St. Vincent's Hospital. Even in the face of these deceptive political advertisements that are being mailed to city residents, the community continues to be likewise outraged by the veil of silence around City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who have taken no concrete actions to save St. Vincent's.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Connecting Rainbows Civil Rights Walk Map For 2011 NYC Easter Parade

Join us for an LGBT civil rights walk
that is being organised by Connecting Rainbows. The walk will take place on April 24 during the 2011 Easter Parade in New York City. We need your help to create a mass movement to legally recognise LGBT civil rights.

Suggested Connecting Rainbows Route During NYC Easter Parade 2011

Create profiles, form and join groups, and plan LGBT civil rights actions at our social media site at : Connecting Rainbows.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Join us for an LGBT Easter Parade Demonstration in New York City

You are invited to register to participate in the LGBT civil rights demonstration that is being planned by Connecting Rainbows to take place on April 24 during the 2011 Easter Parade in New York City. We need your help to create a mass movement to legally recognise LGBT civil rights.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Christine Quinn's Temper Tantrum

Related : Christine Quinn's Explosive Temper and Vengeful Side

Christine Quinn Throws A Temper Tantrum, Then Apologises

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had a sudden outburst of anger on Wednesday by bursting into a verbal attack at Erin Einhorn, a reporter for The Daily News, who did not refer to Ms. Quinn by the courtesy title, ''Speaker.'' Instead, Ms. Einhorn had referred to Speaker Quinn as, ''Ma’am.''

“You can call me Speaker,” Ms. Quinn said in a testy tone, reported The New York Times. “It’s my press conference. I actually decide what words are necessary.”

Updated with video link !NY1 has exclusive video of Speaker Quinn's hissy fit.

After her little temper tantrum, Speaker Quinn knew she had crossed the line, and Speaker Quinn said she was sorry. “I was nasty to you,” Ms. Quinn said to Ms. Einborn. “I apologize.”

A few weeks ago, Ms. Einhorn had reported that Speaker Quinn had had trouble paying her rent on time.

Meanwhile, Ms. Einhorn could just as easily have said, ''Deputy Mayor'' instead of, ''Ma’am.'' For all the times that Christine Quinn has gone along with all of Mayor Bloomberg's horrible plans for New York : all of the school closings and Cathie Black's controversial schools chancellor waiver ; the unequivocal insistence that more and more luxury condos and university dorms get built out of hospitals, churches, and landmark buildings ; denying us paid sick leave ; the shady way that the City Council changed term limits ; the way that Quinn will most likely deny us a living wage -- she goes along with Mayor Bloomberg rather than stand up to him.

It's almost like Christine Quinn is Mayor Bloomberg's puppet.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Early NY1/Marist College Mayoral Poll Shows Weiner Leads Pack

Poll on 2013 Mayoral Race Puts Weiner in First Place

From The New York Post :

By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief
Last Updated: 7:52 AM, April 2, 2011
Posted: 12:53 AM, April 2, 2011

Just about any of the candidates hoping to succeed Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 has a shot at the job -- except Eliot Spitzer.

A NY1/Marist College poll reported yesterday that the six most-mentioned contenders are tightly bunched as of now, with Rep. Anthony Weiner slightly ahead at 18 percent and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer bringing up the rear at 4 percent.

In between are former Comptroller Bill Thompson, 15 percent; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller John Liu, both at 13 percent; and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, 9 percent. Most voters -- 27 percent -- are undecided.

"I think [the numbers] mean very little. At this state, it's primarily name recognition," said veteran consultant Jerry Skurnik. "Candidates who haven't even been listed in the polls have been elected two years later."

Spitzer, who left the governor's job after admitting liasons with hookers, remains a long shot for elective office.

Sixty-two percent of voters said they'd prefer he not run for mayor, compared to 29 percent who suggested he go for it.

The poll of 772 adults in the city was conducted March 22-24. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

In North Shore-LIJ and Christine Quinn Plan for St. Vincent's, a Fear of Union-Busting

OP-ED : Update on Community Effort to Create a Hospital to Replace St. Vincent's in the Lower West Side of Manhattan

When a deal was announced for the transfer of bankruptcy assets from the 501(c)(3) charity that was St. Vincent's Hospital to the private real estate developer tycoon William Rudin at values that may not fairly represent the full market value, the bankruptcy assets transfer was hailed as a health care miracle, because it would replace the Level 1 Trauma Center that was St. Vincent's with a first aid clinic.

But just a mere examination, at first blush, of the beneficial transfer of assets to insider creditors, the jobs that it would create, and the services it would provide, show that this deal is fraught with potential legal challenges.

The transfer of St. Vincent's principal assets -- its real estate -- to the Rudin family, who has always had an ''inside track'' on condo-conversion plans -- may be fraudulent, if the transfer does not happen at full market value prices. There is also community concern that the North Shore-LIJ landlord taking over the first aid clinic is going to hire only non-union employees for the 400 jobs that are expected to be created at the first aid clinic, and that the new clinic will forbid any efforts at collective-bargaining ; presently, only approximately 36 per cent of North Shore-LIJ employees receive union benefits. The services to be provided by the first aid clinic will not be able to treat ''women in labor, patients with severe trauma such as gunshot wounds or open fractures, or those requiring immediate surgery or cardiac interventions.'' In the face of the lack of life-saving services to be provided by the first aid clinic, and even the dishonest comparison of ambulance response times between 2008 and 2009 (even though St. Vincent's closed in 2010), predictably Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn can still be ''encouraged'' by the flimsy outpatient center.

Meanwhile, here is a video of a press conference outside Friday's appellate court hearing in connection with a freedom of information lawsuit.

Why Are They Closing St. Vincent's Hospital? (Pt. 23) - Freedom of Information from g. sosa on Vimeo.

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn try to destroy the social safety net by trying to close firehouses, shut down senior citizen centers, cut childcare, layoff teachers, pretend like votes don't go missing, build luxury condos on the hallowed ground of St. Vincent's Hospital, make money from government information, and end Progressive Era reforms, we are left to wonder. When will the focus of irresponsible real estate development at the expense of the middle class spark a voter backlash, that will lead to mass protests at the city's legislature, or a revolution of the likes that have been happening elsewhere ? What will be the spark that will trigger mass protests in New York ?

(Christine Quinn is Speaker of the New York City Council, but she has made her bed alongside Mayor Bloomberg on many controversial issues that often times she acts more and more like his Deputy Mayor than an independent voice for Democratic Party ideals.)