Tag Archives: Long Island College Hospital

BRC joins Sunday’s march for LICH as Ebola reaches NYC

27 Oct

Our City is in an Ebola scare — and our community still marches, still fights for LICH to remain a full service hospital. The paradox struck more than a few of us at the march…

Both our NYC Mayor and NYS Governor are locked in a series of national media conferences, falling over each other to be The Face of the crisis. To appear like they are in control, which we all know they are not — not of the crisis and not of their own images. Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan has what?.. one or two hospital beds dedicated to the treatment as per CDC guidance and compliance? NJ just quarantined, then let go another nurse returning from African service vs. Ebola? Yet, our Mayor and our Governor have NO TIME to visit our community — and openly take responsibility for selling a hospital that a million Brooklyn residents and visitors need. There’s now an ENTIRE HOSPITAL AT LICH that now sits empty. Capable of a national quarantine protocol or anyone entering and suspect from Newark, JFK? But neither Gov. Cuomo nor Mayor DeBlasio can mention that? (Its simply no longer on their minds?).

Sunday’s march was a focus on asking DiNapoli (our Comptroller) and Scheiderman (or State’s Attorney General) to not sign-off on the LICH deal. That a letter was penned and signed by local elected officials — in hopes that these two, that have all but ignored the LICH issue across 2013 and 2014, would now act? No mention of LICH was passed at both their local debates. No signs, but the ones held by Sunday’s protestors — are connected to their concern about our issue.

But the rally was strong, and again it felt good to see how our community can rise as one — and knows how to defend itself.

Democrats’ pettiness comes out, anyhow.

On Sunday, local reporters were told (by Democrat candidates, officials at that)… that the Brownstone Club is just showing up to use the event for politics.

Insulting, as four of our members volunteered their time to help organize the event on behalf of Patients for LICH, made and supported the production of its materials/hand-signs and contacted people to promote the event. Brownstone wasn’t mentioned in the press release (and we don’t exist for self-lauding as many in politics do). But clearly, some promoters had used the fact that Republicans and Democrats were coming together for the issue of saving LICH. That much is fine, its truthful and its always been the case.  While local Democrats also band-up in front of cameras, our members are just part of the crowd. Supportive. Vocal. Uncaring of the politics, rather for the need/vitality of the hospital and surrounding healthcare infrastructure — that’s been attacked by Governor Cuomo, SUNY and NYS Dept. of Health. The issue matters. Not using it. To us, anyway.

It was hurtful that local Democrats would whisper to reporters that we’re only there now, as if we’ve come late to the fight (with an agenda)? This clearly is not only an untruth for anyone that’s been around for the last few years — as even our blog (here) has a chronological account. We’ve marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. We’ve funded Doctors for LICH for years. Our members live and breathe all-thing for LICH, as we’re part of the fabric of this community. We’ve been to the meetings, the rallies, the many events. We’ve enlisted Mayoral candidates to the issue — long before it was used by then candidate Bill DeBlasio (last July) to gain an edge over Mr. Thompson. We’ve discussed LICH with a littany of elected officials, media members and community members. Many BRC members additionally were born at LICH (something that no local elected official can say). For 150+ years, LICH was vital to our community — and still is.

THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT we are doing all we can vs. the One Party system, that has Elected Officials playing one game in public — but doing as close to nothing by way of legislation at the State, NYC or Federal levels to address what is a CRIME (but speaking at protests for the cameras?). Our Republican candidate for Assembly, John Jasilli, said so in sharp wording. At some point, the community will understand what he meant. How could our State and Legislative members not have put across tandem legislation or a hearing?

Our community is up in arms — only it isn’t made to know that the enemy has been the duplicity of our Public officials all along?


# # #

Brownstone to march for LICH — invites NYS campaigns.

22 Oct

Protest march is set, rain or shine on Atlantic Avenue — starting 1 pm this upcoming Sunday at Nevins Street, down to LICH (at Hicks Street).

LICH is Governor Cuomo’s political Achilles Heel — and its all right-there for Rob Astorino. Still.


While scoring in the only scheduled debate tonight in the NY Governor’s race… nevertheless, Rob Astorino’s campaign missed (again) what might have delivered him the election. Astorino said early in 2014 that he needed but 30% of NYC — and that could’ve been assured, had the people of Brooklyn (and media across NYC) witnessed a GOP candidate showing how much he cared. This issue, remember, made a Mayor out of DeBlasio.. as he persuaded the locals that he’d champion the cause and fight for LICH (locals that mostly knew him far differently, as more of an opportunist for 20+ years). If this is what drives and motivates politicians: DeBlasio went from 7% to 24% in two weeks, after famously being arrested (on camera) at a protest.

On Sunday, October 26th at 1 pm on Atlantic Avenue (at Nevins Street) many 100s of local community members, including many active Brownstone members — will march to LICH. Our Brownstone members have emailed, made calls, prepared press releases, helped the organizers behind the scenes. (Dr. Jon Berall is depicted). lich-dr-jon_berallThere’s NO doubt that local Democrat officials will show, get to the front and continue the pretense they have something to do with the solution — when we ALL know they will not use the c-word. They won’t say Cuomo’s at fault, especially on camera. If people vote for our John Jasilli for State Assembly in the 52nd A.D. — he’d mentioned Cuomo’s name and be a Godsend for locals. He’d investigate and expose the connections with SUNY and NYS Dept. of Health, and why exactly it is that LICH isn’t currently an operating full-service hospital.

Rob Astorino should attend, as everyone here KNOWs the assault on our local hospital by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo is his Achilles Heel.  Cuomo doesn’t care. Astorino could have shown he does. He could have opposed the Governor, saying so to his face on television — but that chance is now gone.

In the manner that someone named “Zephyr Teachout” beat Cuomo 2-to-1 across our areas in September’s primary.. in the manner where Mayor DeBlasio’s hand-picked successor to our Assemblywoman Joan Millman was routed… both, because all across our areas, voters were treated to a campaign promise (of fighting for LICH) ignored within weeks of his inauguration. When DeBlasio sided with Gov. Cuomo, then sent mail locally about how the closing was actually a better deal for the 1,000s that have been fighting, protesting, funding court battles for over a year, etc. — people had enough with the Mayor. LICH is more important. They need a hero. Rob Astorino could have, should have seen this — and we’ve tried to reach his campaign 100 ways to Sunday.

Now, we’ll take to the streets on Sunday ourselves. Again.

Fighting the Battle vs. Cuomo.

The community’s fight has long been abandoned by elected officials, mostly local Democrats that have found some tall grass to hide in from both Gov. Cuomo and their constituents. An organization now taking the lead in this fight is “Patients for LICH”click here for a recent court try/battle — a pithy name for local neighbors that naturally understand the importance of this 150+ year old hospital, far more than our elected officials and their promises, rhetoric and back-tracking. Mayor DeBlasio? Cannot find him. Councilmembers? Assemblywoman? State Senator Squadron.. all suddenly AWOL and unreachable for quotes by our local media, with the Governor’s race at hand. All “good Democrats” for Andrew — and turning their backs on the 100,000s of us that live, travel and depend on LICH. And yet, this year they cannot blame “Republicans” as our candidate John Jasilli has vowed to shed the light on the NY State’s role in closing a viable hospital.

# # #

LICH in the balance. Nine proposals presented at St. Francis College this evening.

25 Mar


As was announced during our March meeting (last night, post to come), concerned residents of Brooklyn can visit St. Francis College tonight (180 Remsen Street) for a public presentation of the 9 proposals for Long Island College Hospital LICH). The session is slated to begin at 6 pm and is being run by 7 community organizations including the Cobble Hill Association and CGNA.

Many of our Brownstone members have supported the legal fight vs. approaches of NY State all along, and certainly will attend — as this issue is essentially ‘life or death’ to many 100,000s of residents, visitors and workers across Brooklyn Heights, Downtown, Red Hook and Brownstone Brooklyn. Our hospital has been here for 150 years, and ahead of the Bridge – and Brooklyn itself was designed with it as a foundation. It’s a vital part of our community and its well-being/healthcare, and was a ‘teaching hospital’ until beset by NY State mismanagement (recently). Baby boomers getting older is fact of American life. We will lose untold neighbors of LICH is allowed to fall to the highest bidder. The community wants a FULL SERVICE HOSPITAL — like what had existed before State agencies began managing LICH into the ground, seemingly in order to capitalize on its real estate.

Even with the $8 BILLION that’s come back to NYC for the health of our hospitals — NY State had chosen to sell the real estate in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill last year — instead of looking for a suitor to run it as a full service hospital. The New York Times has taken the bait, and supported the NY Governor’s and SUNY’s management claims – without exposing the truths that any one of a million Brooklyn residents, here can relay. Now, we are on the clock for the “best” proposal.

Our statewide elected officials (Democrats we won’t name, here) are selling out of People — and this “achilles heel” may the best hope of Rob Astorino to win the Governorship. Thus far he has been silent — most probably because our Party has overlooked the impact of a MILLION RESIDENTS/visitors/drivers on the BQE living each day within the region served by LICH. Add that many 100s of jobs (union jobs, at that), our local economy, the lives of our residents — all are ignored/belittled, despite the rhetoric of the Democratic Party.

Elected officials (of our One Party System) that had been increasingly emboldened throughout 2013 — have been awkwardly more silent, now that the standard bearers of City Hall and Albany have reached an accord on how to streamline the process of sale? It’s been our collective position for well over a year, that NY State has sought to close the 150-year old hospital — employing private security to BLOCK the emergency room entrance, turn away ambulances (!), using State agencies to bleed funds for years and actually ferry patients out in the middle of the night, on their beds.

This is an issue that shaped the NYC Mayoral race last year when the Public Advocate (that hadn’t a record to run on, in four years and scant as a career politician) was able to gain traction by being arrested (on camera) while joining what many believed was his first rally to save the hospital in mid-July, 2013. He soared from 7% polling figures. Candidates Liu and Weiner were also present, and were lost to history. They hadn’t seized the moment.


Always remember, that late as 2012… fully 100,000 patients were treated through the Emergency Rooms of LICH.. and that the total population of Albany is only 98,000.

# # #

Brownstone joins protest march across Bridge and by City Hall

24 Jul

BrownstonephotoWith Governor Cuomo assaulting the safety-net of healthcare and hospitals — from Red Hook to Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights through to the center of Brooklyn — 1000s of activists from the communities of Bedford-Stuyvesent and Downtown Brooklyn came together to demonstrate. Nearly 3,500 jobs are threatened at InterFaith and LICH, and earlier in the day letters were handed out by SUNY administrators at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) not to show-up for the next day of work. Defying court orders, SUNY each day seeks to cripple LICH, which last year attended to more patients through its Emergency Room (100,000) — than the total population of Albany (97,000). There have been 10 plans submitted to keep it running as a hospital — but the Governor seems hell-bent on selling the buildings (for unknown coffers).


Yet? Gov. Cuomo still pulls the strings — and hides from answering to the millions of people served by these two hospitals. Our NYC media is drawn to demonstrations, but still doesn’t ask the NY Governor nor NYC Mayor about management of Public hospitals, with Public funds in the interest of millions of residents?

Here’s some of the day’s energy:photo-15



# # #

Community starts to Question Cuomo’s War on LICH.

23 Jun


It was reported that each year 100,000 patients visited the Emergency Rooms of LICH or — more than the total population of Albany.

The communities surrounding Long Island College Hospital (LICH), a mainstay and safety net for 150 years — and starting to post signs wondering where (Governor) Cuomo has been hiding. State agencies like SUNY and Dept. of Health have been brutalizing this Brooklyn institution employing 2,000 and serving nearly 1 million residents and visitors. They both report to him. Many offers have been made by organization that want to keep it a working hospital.

And yet… no response from Gov. Cuomo for why the 10 offers to keep LICH open? How can a Governor not visit to our downtown streets and hold no press conferences to explain what he has in mind? Local elected officials — all Democrats — seemed reluctant to speak His Name across 2013, but lately our State Senator, Assemblyperson, City Councilmembers, U.S. Congresswomen… are shut-out themselves from communication with a Governor that doesn’t at all seem to be acting in the Public Interest.

At least 10,000 voicemails to Gov. Cuomo, letters, protests have all gone unanswered. This is an issue of great importance across our areas, from Red Hook through Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, Downtown, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill and around to the DUMBO area. Anyone can have a heart attack, get injured at any moment – what then?

PatrolsantiambLICHYet, as LICH is controlled by SUNY Downstate… its been crippled as a ‘teaching hospital’ over the past 4-5 months. The Emergency Rooms have been patrolled by a State-funded (?) private security army — in Black uniforms — that chase would-be patients away, according to many at rallies. They patrol, and keep ambulances from entering. It’s more absurd each day. Yet, the NY Times chooses not to interview or question the NY Governor — about what threatens the healthcare of any of 100,000s of residents? what of the asthmatic children in Red Hook and families with seniors that need constant care? where are their stories — put to the Governor?

It seems there’s a WAR ON LICH — an everyday assault on the hospital by SUNY (which means Gov. Cuomo). And a blind-eye turned from the NY State Dept. of Health (which means Gov. Cuomo).

The unions still seem to hold out hope that Gov. Cuomo will reverse his assault — for what many say is for the value of the real estate (large buildings in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill) estimated at $1 billion. State Senator Squadron gamely asked aloud on the floor at Albany — if the sale goes through, would the revenue be dedicated for healthcare/budget in Brooklyn or NYC? Why is the real estate sale, more important people’s health? How has Gov. Cuomo been able to avoid outward criticism from NY Media (NY Times foremost) for openly putting so many middle and low income Brooklynites at risk? For over 6 months we believed that Gov. Cuomo is not only aware of the crisis — but has orchestrated it from behind the SUNY Board (as he’s appointed them, most notably its head, longtime Democrat Carl McCall).

When will he answer to New Yorkers, about the many that wanted to BUY and/or MANAGE LICH as a hospital? why isn’t all this in the Public Eye and open/transparent?

# # #

George McDonald Announces Support for LICH (1st Mayoral Candidate to Do So).

26 Mar

Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald announced his strong opposition to NY State government’s mismanagement of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) — which threatens the immediate care for 100,000s of patients per year from Red Hook around to Vinegar Hill, Carroll Gardens to all parts of downtown Brooklyn, and pink slips for 2,000 employees.

Last Monday evening, George McDonald was guess speaker at the Brownstone Republican Club’s March meeting and listened to our concerns, updates and positions regarding what seems a higher valuation of the real estate of the physical building by the State group of SUNY officials now charged with its (mis)management, then the actual institution’s care for millions of Brooklyn residents. Today, LICH provides a safety-net of medical support for over 2 million residents.


George McDonald said:

“Coming on the heels of the closing of LICH, it is deeply disappointing that the fiscal crisis facing Downstate is being ignored by our elected officials in Albany. Downstate is critical to the health-care network in Brooklyn and an intelligent effort must be put forth to ensure its continued viability. As Mayor, I will work with the community and our elected officials to ensure we have the resources in place to keep Downstate open and thriving.”

During the meeting, BRC president Joe Nardiello reinforced both the history and vitality of LICH – and opened discussion to the general meeting attendees for their concerns, support, thoughts on the matter. For months, the community has reached out to Governor Cuomo via voicemails and letters and thus far, has gotten no reaction.

Nardiello reminded all that none of our local elected officials have called on our Gov. Cuomo by name for response, and on-record review of what his own appointed Board at SUNY Downstate is doing (headed by Carl McCall) – when they typically will line-up in unison at bus stops to protest easier targets like the MTA. Nardiello wondered if they are favoring party-lines and protecting self-interests relative to the governor’s anticipated 2016 run for the White House, over the life and death issue that’s very much at hand for LICH.


# # #

SUNY board votes unanimously to close LICH

8 Feb


Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

(read the story on from Brooklyn Daily Eagle by clicking, above)

# # #

Long Island College Hospital reportedly on brink – activists, nurses, doctors, community responds to avert its closing.

7 Feb


Short of a local version of Paul Revere riding down Atlantic Avenue — our local hospital may need a real hero.

Here are events to get involved right away (further down this page).

It’s certainly not looking like our Mayor Bloomberg or Gov. Cuomo (who is much closer to this issue, respective of LICH being under CUNY Downstate’s management), nor our Public Advocate, whatever it is he does.. will be engaged on the matter. 52nd Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D) and Borough President Marty Markowitz are impressively leading the charge.. but despite local outcry there’s not many others beside them — yet.

It will come down to our community (meaning, you an us).

The NY Daily News has gone bare-knuckles, publishing the high-end salaries of the SUNY directors.

For nearly two weeks, our community has voiced a strong and unified defense in support of LICH — after reports of pending decisions to close and sell Brooklyn’s longtime an vital medical institution. Nurses and doctors have organized, and led supporters to reach out to Gov. Cuomo for help and review. Under questionable and frustrating management with Continuum for years (which sold off many of its properties in Cobble Hill/Atlantic Avenue) and despite being incorporated into the SUNY Downstate system in order to ‘save‘ LICH from its seemingly self-destructive prior leadership — SUNY may be looking for a large, lump-sum payday. By selling off the actual buildings — SUNY may be seeing the dollar-signs, over the impact, history and necessity of LICH.

Beyond employing nearly 1,900 people, beyond its active Emergency room, and service to 100,000s of residents Downtown and across 7-8 densely populated neighborhoods (including Brooklyn Heights, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, and the waterfront from Red Hook, Columbia Heights, around to Williamsburg).. SUNY may make this terrible decision, within days. Discussions with LICH officials reveal that the hospital is actually economically sustainable on its own — but carries $100s of millions of debt saddled and associated with decisions of its prior and current management.

During our last meeting, we urged members to phone Gov. Cuomo (who is oddly still AWOL from publicly commenting or pledging to review, mediate or analyze decisions of SUNY Downstate).

Now, a Cobble Hill resident has send the following urgent email through the local web-ring of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association (CGNA). It is a communication from the Kane Street Synagogue, and demonstrates just how many organizations throughout our areas are working, quickly to engage the public to react and reach out.

 Help Save Long Island College Hospital – Today!

LICHDear friends,
The Long Island College Hospital (LICH) is a vital community institution. It has been in our area for 150 years, employs 1900 people, and most importantly provides life-saving services to people in our area from DUMBO to Red Hook. There were 122,300 patient visits to LICH in 2012; 25,900 of those were visits to the ER.
The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY), which owns LICH is expected to propose at its meeting this Friday that the hospital be closed. By law, there has to be a “Public Meeting/ Hearing” to get this process started. The hearing will take place TODAY, Thursday, February 7, from 3:00-5:00 P.M. at the Auditorium of the College of Optometry33 West 42nd Street in Manhattan.
Please join me and other religious, political, and health care leaders in opposing the closing of LICH. You can take these steps:

Call Governor Cuomo at 518 474 8390 and tell him that our community needs this hospital.

Attend the hearing tomorrow at 33 W. 42nd Street. Your physical presence is a statement of support.

 Attend a Rally for LICH on Friday, February 8 at LICH, at 8:30 A.M. followed by aHall  march to Borough Hall where there will be a press conference at 9:30 A.M and a public hearing at 10:30 A.M.

You can also show your concern by attending a community forum about LICH next Thursday, February 14, from 6-8 P.M. at the synagogue (236 Kane St). The forum is sponsored by the Cobble Hill Association, Brooklyn Heights Association, Carroll Garden Association, Kane Street Synagogue, New York State Nurses Association, and 1199 SEIU.

Rabbi Weintraub