Friday, June 28, 2013

LICH updates

The fight to save LICH continues and the community's relentless advocacy now has a small, but promising hope. Check out the Red Hook Star Revue and Brooklyn Eagle articles below for some of the latest right here -

Legislators propose new bills aimed to keep LICH services alive.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 Cobble Hill Concert Series Line Up announced

(c) Lukasz Gorcyzynski, June 2009
There's just too much good music to limit it to only 4 nights, so this year's series has expanded to 5 with the generous support of our sponsors Ted & Honey, Ridgewood Savings Bank, and Brooklyn Bridge Realty.

Look for the big billboard in the park in the coming weeks, wbut for now just mark you calendars for Thursday nights at 7pm in Cobble Hill Park to hear these wonderful sounds.

July 18: Amelia Robinson 
Founder/Creator Mil's Trills a series of live interactive performances introducing grown-ups with young children to the world of instruments through original, quirky and whimsical songs on the electric ukulele. Mil’s Trills has also appeared with Sesame Street’s Elmo & Gordon at South St. Seaport’s Children’s Day in 2011 and has been recommended by New York Magazine, Time Out Kids, The New York Times, AOL’s Patch, plus Brooklyn Parent Magazine, A Child Grows in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

July 25: The Bodega Tall Boys 
A gang of barnstormers from New York City and Brooklyn, The Tallboys have been at it for only a year but their sound is the timeless kind, born of lost highways and deep woods. Collectors of roughhewn country and soul tunes, rambling ballads, original barnyard stompers, and classics turned on their heads, this five-piece heart-on-its-sleeve outfit of guitars, mandolin, banjo, harp, sax, and percussion, plays musical chairs every time they take the stage. They swap instruments, trade off vocals, and always deliver a high-octane performance and their infectious brand of urban Americana 

August 1: Kenn Lowy 
A marathon swimmer, former Green Party candidate for State Assembly, and owner of the beloved shoebox Brooklyn Heights Cinemas, Brooklyn mainstay Kenn Lowry also adds talented singer-song writer to his resume and will be sharing his sounds with the Cobble Hill crowd this summer. What type of music you ask? Imagine Elliot Smith meeting Rod Serling and deciding to form a band with David Lynch and Chris Carter. For a taste, check out this little number. 

August 8: Nadim Silverman 
The Cobble Hill Association welcomes its youngest performer to date, 17 year old musician Nadim Silverman. He mainly plays folk music himself but also has loads of sonic experience organizing concerts for teenage performers with his organization called Teen Concert NYC.

August 15: Adam Smale 
This Canadian native has played jazz worldwide but now calls the Big Apple home sweet home, and we're lucky enough have him as a local closing out this year's concert series. With a masters in Jazz performance, Adam Smale, will delight the crowds his unique, self-built seven string performing exciting jazz standards beside his fantastic Quartet.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Governor Cuomo, we need your leadership"

Our local hospital is on life support. SUNY has defied court orders to keep it open, the community has rallied to save it, and all of our elected officials are stepping in to help. However, the fate of it truly lies in the hands of just one person who has been completely absent from the conversation thus far - Governor Cuomo.

At yesterday's rally, many leaders made this point. Check out the video below to hear local City Councilwoman and Public Advocate candidate Tish James make this same point. "Governor Cuomo, we need your leadership."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A weekend of #SaveLICH advocacy

Taken by Cobble Hill Blog
As many in the neighborhood know, the illegal LICH closure has moved forward at a rapid pace. SUNY Downstate, who has been mismanaging the facilities and aim's to sell off the property to pay other debt, has defied court orders and this weekend began diverting ambulances from the hospital and moving current patients out of the facility. This stirred not only many calls and emails aimed at Governor Cuomo, who has still yet to act in any way, but rallied the community and our local elected leaders to action.

For details of some of this weekend's rally, check out this article on the Cobble Hill blog.

Also, always find the latest LICH updates on the CHA facebook and twitter accounts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thanks for the Hicks Street enhancements

The Cobble Hill Association would like to give a big, resounding 'thank you' to our local City Councilman Brad Lander, The NYC Department of Transportation's Downtown Brooklyn Coordinator Chris Hrones, and Bonafide Deli owner Kameel Kassis for their efforts in helping create a safer Hicks street.
L-R, Jerry Armer (CHA), Councilman Brad Lander, Roy Sloane (CHA), Kameel Kassis (Bonafide Deli), Dave 'Paco Abraham (CHA), Chris Hrones (NYC DOT)
Pictured above, you can see each of these key players standing beside the sidewalk bulb-out that began transforming the dangerous intersection Hicks and Kane Streets, as well as the very recently installed painted neckdown with flexible bollards that have expanded the pedestrian space.
Advocates, Engineers, Electeds, and Deli Owner looking down along the safer street.
This helps daylight the corner, giving drivers and pedestrians alike more visibility of one another while also helping slow vehicle traffic on what has far too often simply been a speedway. The Cobble Hill Association has long fought for these types of changes and is grateful both NYC DOT and Councilman Lander helped make it happen along the entire Hicks Street roadway, and that Bonafide Deli owner Kameeel Kassis has agreed to be the maintenance partner at this Kane Street corner. He'll be sweeping the area of any debris and watering planters filled greenery that will arrive in the coming weeks to help beautify the neckdown.
Hicks Street, as it was last year without pedestrian enhancements
As part of this package, alternate side of the street parking regulation have been returned to the neighborhood which removes the 'No Standing' restrictions and gives local residents approximately 100  new parking spaces to use more regularly. Without question, these collected improvements have made the roadway safer for all users; but is not yet done. We are aware the crossings from west to east are still problematic and that there are still too few overpasses across the BQE trench. Thankfully, all parties involved continue to work together seeking other means to enhance the travel through Cobble Hill here and hope to one day utilize more ideas brought out by the community in our 'Fix the Ditch' workshops.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Contact Governor Cuomo - DEMAND LICH BE SAVED

The Cobble Hill Association continues its fight to save our local institution, Long Island College Hospital, and now sends the below note to all concerned about the fate of our community's health.

Dear Neighbors,
We are at a critical time in the life of Long Island College Hospital. Last week, SUNY Downstate announced its Sustainability Plan. Under the plan, Downstate will either close or sell LICH.
SUNY Downstate claims that seven suitors are interested in LICH, the result of an RFI (Request for Information) that SUNY issued last month. Sale of LICH to a professionally managed hospital organization would be a cause for celebration. After years of indifferent management, at best, documented in the NYS Controller's 2013 report, professional hospital management offers the best opportunity to operate a full-service hospital to serve residents from the Red Hook Houses to Dumbo as well as the area's thriving business and student population.
However, SUNY Downstate has failed to turn over the LICH financial records parties have requested. Moreover, SUNY Downstate has made representations about LICH finances that are simply not true. Without open books, potential suitors cannot evaluate LICH's economic viability -- and there is no assurance that the disposition of LICH will be a fair one. SUNY Downstate's actions have revived fears that its real goal is to sell the land to a real estate developer.
The Governor needs to take charge. So far, he has refused to meet with our local elected officials. We need to show Governor Cuomo that we expect him, as our elected representative, to act in the best interests of the western Brooklyn residential and business community.
Write to: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224 

Call: (518) 474-8390
Email:  Use the link below today and next week and every week until this matter is resolved in the best interests of our community. 
For your convenience, the following message has been inserted in this email link to send to the Governor's office now. Just open, sign, and send:
Governor Cuomo, 
As a constituent, I urge you to develop a plan to save Long Island College Hospital so that it can provide needed health care for the fast-growing residential and business communities of western Brooklyn.
As Governor, you must act to insure (i) that the process is transparent, (ii) that Downstate makes current audited LICH financial records available to all interested parties, and (iii) that a 150-year-old teaching hospital is not summarily closed without a full assessment of the community's needs by the NYS Department of Health.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

State Senate Hearing regarding LICH

Last Tuesday, June 4th, there was a five hour state senate hearing regarding the SUNY downstate sustainability plan, or rather lack there of. Julie Semente, an RN at LICH intensive care unit, a founding member of the Save Lich Coalition, & an elected leader of the New York State Nurses Assoc, not only testified at the hearing - but also gave us this video link with highlights of key points listed by timecode below.

- SUNY is first questioned about LICH at 0:30:46
- Senator Kevin Parker questions Dr Williams at 1:22:43
* Senator Parker questions SUNY Chair HC McCall about LICH at time 1:36:17
* Senator Eric Adams grills Dr Williams & SUNY about LICH & Continuum at 1:40:42

- NYS Dept of Health testimony is at 2:13:08
- Downstate's labor union officials present their joint proposal for an alternative to the sustainability plan at 2:49:06
* Downstate's labor union officials discuss their proposal for future use of LICH & its real estate at 3:17:35
- Downstate's physicians' union, UUP, testifies at 3:25:23
- 1199 SEIU testimony in support of LICH at 3:37:08
* NYSNA nurse testimony in support of LICH at 3:47:38

LICH's latest - seven potential bidders?

Thursday of last week the local blogs picked up a Daily News article regarding potential suitors of SUNY's Downstate's mismanaged but crucially important Long Island College Hospital. Please check out the article in full at this link below.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Atlantic Frantic Fundraiser June 14th to Save LICH

The Concerned Physicians of Long Island College Hospital and the Nurses Association invite everyone to a fundraiser next Friday.  See below for details. If you can't be there, send a donation.

Downstate Sustainability Plan Update

Thanks to Jeff Strabone of the Cobble Hill Association for producing a breakdown of the eighteen-page Downstate Sustainability Plan, released last week by SUNY. You can download it here. It will be part of the next edition of the Cobble Hill Association's LICH-SUNY Factbook, but we thought you should it have now while we are all trying to get a grip on the Plan and what it means for LICH and Downstate.

On a related note... concerned Cobble Hill citizen Julie sent along this summary when she attended a recent public hearing regarding SUNY Downstate's Sustainability Plan. Read her thoughts pasted below...
It became apparent at the hearing that LICH closure is still a real possibility and that eyes are still on the real estate value. Another plan was submitted by Downstate labor representatives suggesting that LICH become a free standing emergency room, with the sale of the hospital real estate to be used to fund 4 new primary care satellites tied to Downstate hospital's emergency room, staffed by the 600 employees being downsized from jobs at Downstate hospital & transferred to the payroll of the satellites while "two thirds of the net asset value of the LICH real estate will be devoted to subsidy of UHB operations during a three year transition period."  LICH's community members and LICH doctors were not given an opportunity to speak at the hearing. A LICH nurse & NYSNA representative and a representative of the 1199 employees did speak for LICH. The community must make its voice heard. Written testimony may be sent via email to the committee chair Senator Ken LaValle:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hicks Street gets new neckdowns

With Cobble Hill Association advocacy, support from local Councilman Brad Lander, and NYC Department of transportation.... the safety improvements continue along Hicks Street. The rush hour highway that dangerously cut through our neighborhood has been tamed by returning alternate side of the street parking regulations to Hicks Street Northbound, and now each crossing has been vastly enhanced with painted neckdowns as pictured below. Is it just paint on the ground? Yes. But does it help pedestrians? Absolutely. And when funds are available, it can be expanded because these are essentially perfect blueprints for concrete build-outs in the future. Residents and Hicks Street visitors should all be pleased with these additions to our neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Signs of new Cobble Hill crosswalk at Congress/Bergen Street

Every day, scores of local residents cross Court street where there is a ADA accesible curb cut but no pedestrian signalization. As part of the Court Street corridor improvement plan which the Cobble Hill Association advocated for last year, a new crosswalk will remedy this danger and bring a signalized intersection to the pictured spot where Bergen becomes Congress Street. Latest word is that the safety enhancements should be installed by early summer, but fortunately you can already see the gray metal box in the ground which will soon house pedestrian signals. It's a small but significant improvement and one we are thankful to the Department of Transportation for taking action upon our request.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mayoral Forum on Transportation, Wednesday 6/19

There's been general forums, education forums, healthcare forums, and now another critically important one... PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Can you get to a bus or train safely? Can you even cross the street safely? From 10:00am-12:00 noon on Wednesday, June 19 at Baruch College you can ask the candidates yourself!

Thanks to Maria Pagano at Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association for the notice alert.

New York City Mayoral candidates from all major parties will answer questions on a wide range of topics affecting the NYC riding public, the business community and industry stakeholders.
Event Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
LocationWilliam and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center at Baruch College, located at 55 Lexington Avenue (corner of 24th Street), 14th Floor, New York, NY 10010

For Directions, please visit the website at: 
The purpose of this forum is to give all candidates for Mayor an opportunity to address a wide range of issues that affect transportation policy, community sustainability, safety and livability in NYC.
Moderator: Matthew W. Daus
Former TLC Commissioner
Distinguished Lecturer, UTRC/CCNY 

The Space is limited, please RSVPnow at:

UTRC's NYC Mayoral Transportation Forum Committee, in formation
Committee Chair:  Matthew W. Daus, Esq. - Former NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner/Chair; Distinguished Lecturer, UTRC/CCNY
Joel Ettinger - Executive Director, NY Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC); Former Federal Transit Administration Regional Director
Tim Gilchrist - Former President, Moynihan Station Development; Former Senior Transportation Advisor to the Governor
Dr. Camille Kamga - Director, University Transportation Research Center (Region 2, NY, NJ, Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands)
Dr. Steven E. Koonin - Director, NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP); Former Under Secretary at U.S. Department of Energy
Dr. Robert Paaswell - Director Emeritus & Distinguished Professor, UTRC Region II; Former CEO, Chicago MTA Transit Authority
Gene Russianoff - Senior Attorney, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
Elliott G. (Lee) Sander - Board Chairman, Regional Plan Association; Former NYC Transportation Commissioner and MTA Chief Executive Officer 
Sam Schwartz - Former NYC Traffic Commissioner
Paul Steely White - Executive Director, Transportation Alternatives
Chris Ward - Former Executive Director, Port Authority if NY & NJ