There is a lesson to be learned from the NYPD’s dramatic water rescue off the shore of Beach 146 Street on November 27. While dozens of locals watched from the beach, two police officers jumped from a helicopter into the chilly Atlantic Ocean to pull out a Brooklyn man who had been fishing from his kayak about a mile off shore. The two officers from the aviation unit placed the man in a rescue basket that brought him up to the hovering helicopter. Experts say that the man should not have been that far into the ocean in a skimpy kayak in the first place and that those craft are made more for the bay than for the ocean.
The question of who actually runs Peninsula Hospital gets stranger by the week. According to the state, the deal that the hospital’s board made with Revival Home Health Care was a financial one only and that Revival has made a loan to the hospital to keep it afloat. Under such a deal, Revival would have no say in actually running the hospital. When the Revival people put in their own handpicked CEO and the husband of the owner of Revival started showing up at board meetings, however, it was clear that Revival was, in fact, operating the hospital. That means the deal has to be vetted by the state’s Department of Health, and officials of that agency are now investigating the governance of the hospital. In addition, as part of the deal to get the $28 million from Revival, all of the present PHC board members, mostly local residents, had to sign resignation letters that will become effective as soon as the bankruptcy petition filed with the federal court is approved. That would put Revival in control in law as well as in fact. Revival is a for-profit corporation, and there is a long and detailed process for a hospital to go from non-profit, as PHC now is, to for-profit, which is where Revival wants to take it.
The homicide at 1360 Beach Channel Drive on Thanksgiving day was the eighth in the 101 Precinct this year, one more murder than the precinct saw all of last year. In addition, the violence seems to be escalating, with several more shootings, assaults and stabbing incidents during the month of November. Perhaps the violence will serve to get political, civic and religious leaders in Far Rockaway to get off the couch and get active in working to get guns and drugs off the street.
Congratulations to City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who was recently chosen to lead the Mitt Romney presidential campaign in New York City. It is an honor for one so young and so new to public office to be chosen as head of such a major campaign.
A new report from the Citizen’s Union shows just how much our lawmakers in Albany have rigged the election game to the point that some in Albany are calling state elections a “Soviet-style joke.” The study from the Citizens Union shows that nine out of ten state electeds cruise through their elections by a comfortable margin of ten points or more. About onethird of both the Assembly and the Senate face either a candidate who is not from a major party or have no opposition at all. In 1968, just one percent of legislative races were uncontested. Last year, that number skyrocketed to 19 percent. The reelection rate for state legislators was 96 percent over the last decade and 100 percent in 2006. Those numbers beg for the same kind of term limits that city legislators face.
Bob Levine, the former CEO of the Peninsula Hospital Center, is blamed by many for the near-demise of the facility. There is certainly evidence that the hospital did not thrive under his leadership. That did not matter much to MediSys, the giant healthcare corporation that operated the hospital up until the end of this summer. Despite his record at PHC, Levine was just named the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Flushing Hospital, another in the MediSys stable. While nobody is talking about Levine’s new salary, records show that all of the heads of the MediSys hospitals make at least $350,000 a year.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is becoming more and more Napoleonic the more he gets towards the end of his term. Speaking to a conference at MIT in Boston, Bloomberg said, “I have my own army, which is the seventh largest army in the world.” “I have my own state department, much to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance.”
On Sunday, November 27, the Daniel M. O’Connell American Legion Post held its annual “Three Kings” party for 74 residents of the St. Albans VA Hospital. The event was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Beach 90 Street in Rockaway. The event included a meal, games and entertainment and each of the residents was presented with a number of gifts.
Congressman Bob Turner has opened a new district office in Middle Village, at 82-20A Eliot Avenue. The telephone number is 718-426- 5000. That will serve as his Queens office. His staff says he will open a Brooklyn office right after the new year. No word yet on whether he will have a Rockaway office to serve his local constituents.
Channel 7 News had an interesting segment on the economy last week. According to the news show, all it would take to create 200,000 new jobs in America would be for each American to spend $64 on a holiday present that is made in America. The show tracked presents bought by a number of families and found that most of those presents were made in Asia or other parts of the world.