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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another promise gone with the wind


Well, what else is new?  The VA Medical Center, which is right above Peter Cooper Village and which PCVST veterans, like myself, can use, was supposed to open in March, but now that timeline has being extended, despite supposed federal aid of $228 million, according to the latest Town & Village:

"VA New York Harbor Healthcare System Director Martina Parauda recently said that she expects the Manhattan VA Medical Center to be open for some outpatient services in March and for inpatients no later than July 1."  But it may take at least two years before full restoration!!!

T & V also reported that the closing of the hospital "has had a ripple effect on the local economy in recent months."  One deli has lost about 50 percent of business.

New York can build high-rises in two months (except Freedom Tower!), but fixing up a VA hospital takes an eternity.

Excellent way to treat veterans and the business community in this neighborhood. Calling Mayor Bloomberg.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a dear friend, a retired Marine, who totally depends on the VA Hospital and was hospitalized there a couple of years ago for a serious condition. Without the VA Hospital on First Avenue our ailing veterans will have to go out to Brooklyn for care. Some of them cannot manage that due to debilitating ailments and/or handicaps. If the Mayor had his priorities straight (though we know he doesn't because he's proved that over and over) he would make sure that the VAH was up and running. But there's no money in it for him and his cronies, and it only affects the "little people" (who fought for our country and its people, including the likes of him) so we shouldn't hold our breath. My friend has to go to the outpatient department on a regular 3-monthly basis for check ups and medications and has been nervously waiting for the hospital to reopen and will be devastated if it doesn't. This hospital is an absolute god-send for elderly veterans on limited incomes and is their RIGHT, not their privilege.

Brian Van said...

The city doesn't own or operate the VA center. So you're picking the wrong fight.

They did open up the city-run hospital around the corner, though! Is that not enough for Mr. Wah-Wah Deli? The delis and food shops within a block from the VA center all deserve to go out of business, with the exception of East Side Diner. Everything else is either seedy or rancid. Ask the people in the luxury rentals and condos on that block. They'd never be caught dead eating at these cesspools. I wouldn't even buy bottled water there. Probably has piss in it.

Keep in mind, the situation vastly improves once you get down to 21st Street or so. Not each and every bodega on First Avenue is great but at least there are clean fresh options!

Anonymous said...

Two years does seem excessive, even thoug it always takes longer to fix something than to build it from scratch. Still, it's a real hardship for the veterans who rely on this facility.

Work is still going on in the basement of the VA, and at the last Tenants Association meeting the assistant commissioner of the city's environmental health department stated that it's better not to rebuild too soon, in case issues like mold come back. We don't know what was in the basement of the VA. Do they need to replace equipment (a la NYU)? Do they need to make structural changes to the building to move equipment to higher floors, resulting in reshuffling of other functions? Or is whoever is in charge dragging their feet because they really do want to shut down this hospital?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>The city doesn't own or operate the VA center. So you're picking the wrong fight.<<

The city can help, certainly.

Anonymous said...

The city has absolutely no authority over federal property. It's all VA.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's not a VA priority.

I believe several years ago the VA proposed closing the 23rd Street facility until Schumer, Clinton and Bloomberg convinced them to keep it operational.

Two years from now the VA can claim veterans secured healthcare elsewhere and shut it down.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'm not saying that the city has authority over the VA or the building. But calls can be made, a "push" to the appropriate department, whether discreetly or, most likely, not discreetly.

Anonymous said...

Veterans should not have to fight for their rights to healthcare and our elected representatives should not feel like they are doing a favor by championing the cause of keeping the VA Hospital up and running in Manhattan. If we can't look after our veterans, then we should send all the fucking politicians and their kids to fight the wars. You serve your country, lay your life on the line, come back with a few limbs or marbles missing and are made to feel like a mooch. Not good enough. Veterans should be treated as returning heros (which they are) and given the very best of care. There are men and women with purple hearts being treated like shit, while Dick Cheney who never served a day in his rotten life, gets a heart transplant that would probably not be available to a vet no matter how much he or she was deserving of it. We need to get our priorities straight in this country and stop treating the returning vets as canon fodder that annoyingly rebounded.

Anonymous said...

"Two years from now the VA can claim veterans secured healthcare elsewhere and shut it down."

Why should they shut it down? Where else do the veterans obtain healthcare? Did you ever fight in a war?

Anonymous said...

But they can't make it "happen." That's all internal federal bureaucracy, that will eventually happen, but the city of NY doesn't have any influence on the VA. We are the center of the universe, I agree, but not for federal bureaucrats that operate in a whole other state.

Anonymous said...

Wrong fight is right. Like Bellevue and NYU Hospital, the Va Hospital suffered massive flood damage (electrical and mechanical systems as well as clinical equipment) from Hurricane Sandy and is struggling to get back online.

Anonymous said...

Your fight is with Schumer, Gillibrand and Carolyn the airhead Maloney. They are the people in a position to get the VA off its keister and get the job done.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, I know, but has anyone else here who has copper wire Verizon service felt harassed by Verizon to get FIOS? They scare me!

Anonymous said...

Re: copper wire vs. FiOS. Fiber optic is considered the way of the future, but keep in mind that FiOS runs on electricity (my backup battery didn't work at all in Sandy). When the power goes out, so does FiOS. Copper lines keep working. If you switch to FiOS, Verizon won't let you go back to your copper line. I wanted to keep my copper line for the phone and use FiOS just for Internet, but they wouldn't let me. I have no complaints about my Internet service, though. I've had to turn off and turn on my router only twice in the years I've had FiOS.

Anonymous said...

How come Time Warner can provide phone service and internet and you don't have to have a battery pack? Aren't they just as fiber optic as FIOS?

Anonymous said...

"Off topic, I know, but has anyone else here who has copper wire Verizon service felt harassed by Verizon to get FIOS? They scare me!"

They are harassing everyone. I have a copper landline and DSL from them. The service sucks. They all but refused to restore my service after Sandy. And now they are raising the DSL rates by five bucks for all of their trouble. What a sham!

RCN is offering speed 50x faster for $35. DSL is $20 for 1mbs--when it works! I have to reboot my modem 4x some days. Totally unacceptable. And now, totally unnecessary.

Google offers a free VOIP account (www.google.com/voice) and, if you have any kind of high speed internet connection, you can buy a device like this: http://www.obitalk.com and get free VOIP.

Bottom line, you can replace Verizon and pay nothing for your phone and actually get a better internet connection.

I'm dumping Verizon next week. I've already tested the VOIP service and it's great.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge Verizon fan but I have to say when I switched from Time Warner copper line to Verizon Fios the difference in the picture I get on my TV is palpable. I never knew I could get such a clear, sharp, vivid picture as I do now. Not just on HD either but on all channels. Well worth the switch.

Anonymous said...

They need to get the VA Outpatients services up and running as soon as possible. Why couldn't they have brought in the Reserves to fix up the VA? We have carpenters, electricians and other skilled craftsmen/women in the Reserves who could have gotten this hospital up and running in no time. Seems our veterans always get the shitty end of the stick because they are just regarded as cannon fodder. It really pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

The VAH outpatients clinic isn't up and running yet and they don't know when it will be, even though they said mid-March. This is a total disgrace. I have a friend who desperately needs to see her doctor at the VA and who doesn't have any kind of medical insurance that would cover seeing a doctor elsewhere. They tell her to go to Brooklyn, which is not possible for her. I am so sick of the way our veterans are treated like shit. The government looks on them as cannon fodder and when they are not in active duty they are seen as a liability. I am absolutely steaming mad about this.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Yup, I agree with you. It's a scandal. And, sorry, but city officials should be making some noise about it. Like Bloomberg, Garodnick.... And what about Maloney?

Anonymous said...

I think I'll email Garodnick and Maloney. Bloomberg doesn't give a damn about anything but dictating to the "little people" and turning New York over to his RE pals before he leaves his illegal third term. Besides, I think he is something of a laughing stock to everybody these days.

Anonymous said...

STR, I've emailed Bloomberg, Garodnick, Maloney and the White House. Let's see if I get any response. Oh, I should email Schumer too. Forgot about him.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'll do the same. Thanks for taking the time!

Anonymous said...

I have now emailed the gov and the White House as well as Schumer. Et al. I believe in the squeaky wheel theory. My friend desperately needs her VA outpatient services to resume.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that our Plutothug Mayor (and his dirty cronies) hasn't decided that the VA Hospital would be a good place for a luxury highrise. After all, why should he worry about veterans. It's not like he ever dirtied his efete little hands in battle. His kind NEVER enlist. Fighting for our country is for the unwashed masses/little people.

Anonymous said...

'I have now emailed the gov and the White House as well as Schumer. Et al. I believe in the squeaky wheel theory. My friend desperately needs her VA outpatient services to resume.'

I wrote the above and the ONLY one who responded was Dan Garodnick and someone from his office. I know where my votes will be going in the future. BTW, the VA outpatients will be opening soon. Dan may not have been able to hurry the opening, but he is the only one with the decency to answer my email and indicate any interest in the situation.