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Running for Mayor – and Boy are Their Legs Tired!

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Michael Bloomberg and Bill Thompson aren’t the only two politicians running for mayor.

Seven additional candidates – representing such groups as the Rent is Too Damn High Party and the Green Party – are on the ballot. Others, like Jonny Porkpie, the self-proclaimed burlesque mayor of New York, are campaigning for write-in votes. Some are dead serious, while others are playing the race for laughs.

(A version of this story originally appeared on “219 West,” a monthly TV news magazine show broadcast on CUNY-TV)

The Death of a Hospital

Friday, October 30th, 2009

For the past few weeks, hope that a health care provider would save Jamaica’s 108-year-old Mary Immaculate Hospital seemed to fade with each IV pole, stretcher and stack of office paper loaded into moving vans.

The Oct. 15 sale of Mary Immaculate Hospital, along with St. John’s Queens Hospital, to a developer appeared to be the end of the line for the two medical centers.

Brooklyn-based firm J. Guttman Realty purchased the hospitals at auction for $26.63 million. The hospitals shut last February after their owner, Caritas Healthcare, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

After the auction, the Guttman firm announced it plans to use Mary Immaculate for office space, educational and religious facilities.

That came as sad news to many in the neighborhood. Southeast Queens currently has the lowest ratio of doctors to patients in the borough, with 48 primary care doctors per 100,000 people. North of the area, there are 132 doctors per 100,000 people.

“The people in downtown Jamaica and a lot of other people who have lost their jobs and are fending for themselves, they don’t have the ability to go to these other locations and seek doctors out,” said Eugenia Ruddman, president of Hollis Park Gardens Civic Association and member of SQUISH, or Southeast Queens in Support of Health Services, a coalition of community groups and residents formed when Mary Immaculate first faced the threat of closure.

Some 3,000 workers were laid off when the two hospitals closed, but a few stayed on to maintain the buildings until they were sold. The day of the sale, two of a handful of workers left at Mary Immaculate Hospital paused to reflect on the hospital, and the fate of the community they have worked in for over two decades.

Podcast: Audiophiles

Friday, October 30th, 2009

This month, Lincoln Center turns 50. AUDIOPHILES explores the art institution’s history and its challenges for the future. We also go to Park Slope to hear opera – in a bar. Special guest: Justin Davidson, music critic for New York magazine.

Partying for Employment

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Elizabeth Scholander, of Brooklyn, lost her job at Citibank last year. As she began her job hunt, she stumbled onto her first pink-slip party.

“It was pretty much a job fair,” said Scholander, 25. “But in a relaxed, social setting, held in the evening. I loved the idea and wanted to start doing these ‘pink-slip parties’ myself.”

Read More

Building Outlasts Boom and Bust

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Remembered in Death, 150 Years Later

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Art Cars Take a New York Spin

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Free Drinks, Bar None

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Mom's the Word On Elections

Thursday, October 15th, 2009