Saturday, August 23, 2008

join the Cobble Hill Bike Ride

Dave 'Paco' Abraham, the Cobble Hill Association's green czar, has organized the first ever Cobble Hill Bike Ride. We hope everyone with a bike will join this free, fun event. Come out and meet your neighbors.
Come join the Cobble Hill Association and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative for the first ever...


When: September 14, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Cobble Hill Park
Cost: FREE, simply rsvp to

The Cobble Hill Association and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative are hosting a 12-mile casual bike ride that will start at Cobble Hill Park and pass through the Columbia Waterfront District, Red Hook, Park Slope, Prospect Park, and Gowanus, and loop back to Cobble Hill.

There will be several scenic rest stops as we ride along mostly calm streets with some light vehicular traffic. Several Bike Marshals will travel alongside as well as a mechanic for any urgent bike repairs needed. Light snacks and water will be provided, but riders should be prepared with sunblock, plenty of water, and ready for a light pace that will include some cobblestone streets in Red Hook and the 9th Street hill in Park Slope, with an option to also ride hill within Prospect Park's car-free loop.

save LICH website

The LICH Medical Staff website has information and documents of the campaign to save the hospital. Our own CHA letter to our elected officials is there, too. (They actually have an earlier draft of it somehow, but we are trying to get the right version posted.) Here is the link.

street regulations suspended

We have the following good news to report from CB6 about parking in the neighborhood:
As reported at the May 14, 2008 general meeting, the new Street Cleaning Regulation plan for the CB6 district that was announced in September 2007 is going into effect. The project is now more than halfway done!

Beginning on Monday, August 25, 2008, Street Cleaning Regulations in Area 2(Gowanus/Carroll Gardens East) are going into effect and will be enforced.

Also on August 18, 2008, Street Cleaning Regulations in Area 3 (Carroll Gardens West/Cobble Hill/Columbia Street District) will be suspended while the City changes the signs. Street Cleaning in Area 3 will be suspended for roughly 3 to 5 weeks.

All other traffic regulations (i.e., parking meter regulations, "No Parking" regulations, "No Standing" regulations, etc.) remain in effect.

Friday, August 15, 2008

potluck dinner postponed

We have decided to at least postpone the potluck dinner announced for September 10 in Cobble Hill Park due to concerns about lack of volunteers. We will try to reimagine a park dinner for the spring, one that may be better suited to changing times. A catered dinner in the park for ten to fifteen dollars perhaps? Let us know your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

LICH statement

Murray Adams, our former president and a former trustee of LICH, spoke at today's rally on behalf of the CHA. Here is his statement:
I am Murray Adams. Until recently, I was president of the Cobble Hill Association, and I have been asked to speak on the Association’s behalf. For about 18 years I was a trustee of Long Island College Hospital, including being Chairman of its Board for two and a half years before I became its in-house lawyer in 1991. I retired in 1998 and have held no position with the Hospital since, but as you can imagine I have a strong concern that LICH survive and prosper for the next 150 years as it has for the past 150, and a strong belief that it can and will do so.

My advice to Dominick Stanzione as he begins the restructuring of LICH is that his first priority must be to reverse the public perception that LICH will continue to shrink, may be forced to close, and suffers from inadequate services and antiquated equipment. Unfortunately, the recent closing of four off-site clinics and the so-called "Doctors' Committee"'s repeated statements that Continuum has been siphoning money from LICH and wishes to close the hospital have greatly increased this perception. The inevitable result has been a large decline in patient volume, and a flight of doctors to other hospitals. In order to survive, as Messrs. Stanzione and Brezenoff have indicated, increasing patient volume is essential.

To do this, Continuum must be willing to grant to Mr. Stanzione a substantial marketing budget and that he must advertise LICH extensively in the local Brooklyn papers and must market to the surrounding community its many excellent services, such as its newly equipped, state-of-the-art radiology department and its new Women’s Center. Neither LICH nor Continuum has ever put together and followed through with an effective advertising and marketing program to show its community the many fine medical programs LICH operates.

In addition, it is important for Mr. Stanzione to meet with the top officials of Downstate Medical school, of which LICH is the principal teaching affiliate, and see what can be done to publicize the many academic programs run by Downstate, as well as LICH, at LICH and get Downstate’s help in publicizing LICH’s importance as a teaching institution. Many of LICH's departments and their teaching programs are top-notch, and they need to be marketed as such.

Lastly, I do not see how Mr. Stanzione will be able to turn LICH around without controlling his own finances here at LICH. Rita Battles, until recently LICH’s President, once told me that if she hired her own accounting people and brought in a much simpler billing system than the Cadillac system that Continuum has developed for their 1500-bed hospitals, she could save LICH at least $1 million per month. This is nearly as much as Continuum is proposing to save by closing OBGYN. Maybe Rita was wrong, but I and many others believe LICH is unfairly burdened by Continuum’s present method of allocating overhead costs among its member hospitals.

In the end, the key to the restoration of LICH’s fiscal health is to restore and then increase the volume of patients coming through LICH. This will require enlarging the medical staff, but until the perception that LICH is a troubled hospital which is about to close is changed, it will be almost impossible to increase patient volume or to recruit more good doctors to LICH.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

LICH rally on Wednesday

As you probably know by now, LICH is planning to close more of its units and sell more of its property. You can read all about in the New York Times for July 31, 2008.

Meanwhile, City Councilman Bill de Blasio has organized a rally at LICH for this Wednesday at noon. Here is the announcement:
Councilmember de Blasio to Call on LICH to Reverse Decision to Cut Vital Community Services

Councilmember Bill de Blasio will join local elected officials and community activists at a rally tomorrow urging Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to reverse its reckless decision to shut down the maternity ward and end its rape crisis intervention program.

De Blasio is calling on LICH to stop taking services away from Brooklyn families and to work with the community to create a long-term plan for combating its financial problems. Without a sound financial plan for LICH's future and community involvement in this process, Brooklynites have no way of knowing how much longer LICH's doors will remain open.

LICH is run by Continuum Health Partners, which also manages Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan.

Who: Councilmember de Blasio, State Senator Marty Connor, Councilmembers Sara Gonzalez and Tish James, and others.

When: Noon ­ Wednesday, August 6, 2008
[at noon].

Where: 339 Hicks Street, Between Atlantic and Pacific Streets.

We hope to see you there.