Authentic, Livable & Connected Downtown Neighborhoods
September 18, 2017 - Coming up later this month, a Rome court date that some #NoHospitalDowntown Group Members might want to attend... City of Utica, 1st Ward candidate Lou Poccia will appear on September 27, 2017 at 9:30AM to defend his signature collection process, this as Lou seeks to place his name on the "NoHospital Dwtn" party line in November. Please come support Lou and watch for yourself: Oneida County Surrogate Court, 302 N James St, Rome, NY 13440. Utica's 1st Ward includes the AUD and proposed downtown hospital location, here's the Utica, NY 1st Ward Map.
September 14, 2017 - The Utica newspaper finally realizes truth! The hospital, their board, and those behind the curtain will not make the climb, as they will not win the public who was NEVER part of the project...
The fact that ALL politicians and EVERY hospital board member (on the surface) voted in favor of this Albany-back concept, has to make one wonder why, and how?
Sadly the newspaper seems to pretend to take the #NoHospitalDowntown side. However, the UticaOD was never for the people, and they're still not looking out for the people. They just appear to be playing along, its all just optics, and so very sad.
September 11, 2017 - Let's see if candidates who spoke out against higher taxes, the downtown hospital and a taxpayer-funded parking garage, make an impact tomorrow. Here are the area races; PRIMARY DAY 2017: Oneida, Herkimer & Otsego Counties.
We've not placed too much into the primary, or the political races. It's suppose to be all about healthcare, but that's not what we've seen. Yet we know its all about Proper Downtown Development, so get ready for #WDUCB in the coming months!
September 7, 2017 - Tonight #NoHospitalDowntown offered their side to the Utica Common Council as part of the council's formal Agrenda. Many in the crowd, and our growing online group, are becoming more visible and vocal.
'No Hospital Downtown' addresses MVHS, transparency concerns at https://t.co/u3IYduNDLi More people "living downtown", NOT the sick!— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) September 7, 2017
Paul Kohan uses his 80 seconds, "Let's build it somewhere else, let's save downtown... listen to your community"...
Residents have 80 seconds to speak tonight. pic.twitter.com/TDqUwVIdrH— Melissa Krull (@MKrullTV) September 6, 2017
Thank you Melissa Krull for the reporting!
Odd that other outlets are avoiding what's the largest issue to ever face downtown. Our group is not against the hospital, but the location. What the hospital concept would do to Downtown Utica is unacceptable!
Attempts to derail potential "NoHospital Dwtn" candidate has been countered, that as another "NoHospital Dwtn" pledge signer has this headline: Zecca: Palmieri Should Be Recalled From Office
Strikeslip, so wise...
September 4, 2017 - Taxpayers and residents are not fooled by hospital, economic development, babble...
Barbara and many other writers have sent the Utica Observer-Dispatch such opinions, but for over two years the politicians and hospital ignore us. Next up, the court system...
September 1, 2017 - Utica Mayor suggests his regional congressional hopeful should call him first, so to "... Give me the opportunity to be able to show him where he may be wrong or I may be right..."
September 1, 2017 - Hear what folks are discussing in and around Oneida County on a Downtown Utica Rooftop, in the Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood.
A candidate for the 22nd Congressional District will visit Utica ... Read More
August 25, 2017 - A rally at the Utica Police Department, in front of the endangered site where bulldozers would destroy city assets to make way for a taxpayer-financed $42M parking garage. However, opposition only grows as costs and those that would pay is revealed.
More and more voices will show and prove that #NoHospitalDowntown is; 1) Absolutely 100% positive on Downtown Utica development, and 2) Only seeks the VERY BEST outcomes for our regional healthcare...
Taxpayers and residents do have a say, attend meetings to let your government know your feelings.
We're tracking the City and county's moves on their MOU & MOA activities.
Wow! As opinions flow in from community leaders who support the Downtown Utica hospital concept, healthcare facts are nowhere to be found. As are critical disclosures...
What you can do? Make a call and or write a letter to your; Utica Common Council Members, your County Legislature, and if you can do more reach these other Contacts To Stop The Downtown Hospital Concept. Your calls and letters are the most powerful steps in keeping our taxes down, preventing bulldozers from destroying downtown, and seeing that precious healthcare dollars are not wasted on bad economic development (urban renewal) schemes.
The local media would not do this for over two years! However, Payne Horning of WRVO Reports On, And Shows, Full Impact Area of the proposed inner-city hospital district:
So as we've reported and shown, the proposed downtown hospital concept would be a huge super block separating Utica's growing neighborhoods!
Should a new hospital be built in Downtown Utica, #NoHospitalDowntown offers some good news: Garage Parking FREE For All Utica City & Oneida County Residents Please join the Free Sticker Conversation on Facebook
Where is the budget and plan to handle the old facilities? They say they'd rid blight in downtown, but what happens to old hospitals?
Today, Old Main out-buildings on Noyes St. Tomorrow St. Luke's/St. Elizabeth's; shall they sit vacant? https://t.co/IINgvSkwlQ Where's plan?— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) August 12, 2017
Think back to Seward Avenue and the old Bendix/TRW plant. It sat vacant and was eventual torn down. Was that at taxpayer expense? Today it remains a big field of tall grass, a brownfield, any tax income to the city?
We are now a political force: No Downtown Hospital Group Getting Political, because there are just too many mistruths and many missing pieces to the downtown hospital concept. For example...
Hospital CEO keeps changing his numbers. Told Oneida County officials in May that the new IT System required will be $70-75 million (but didn't show the need in his budget), and yet during last week's illegal meeting, Perra shows that $46.1 million is enough for the "Medical equipment, Furniture and IT Systems...
Turn away the downtown hospital! Go with what's happening downtown today, per the Observer-Dispatch, OUR VIEW: Be part of the new emerging city of Utica. As well as new ideas from the $30,000 Downtown Startup Challenge; for example Steve Bulger on Downtown Startup Contest where Ryan Miller states, "While only one firm will win $30,000, there are probably four to a half-dozen new firms that will come out of this."
Bulldoze downtown, move around big boxes, and have taxpayers fund it... but don't make them part of it!
From New York's Open Meetings Law, where it reads:
What will our local media say and do about this?
The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica calls the downtown hospital concept "Senseless"...
We fully agree! So what do our Politicians, Hospital Administration & Civic "Leaders" advocating for it, say to that?
The very ill-conceived downtown hospital concept (and the events and characters behind it) are faltering! We are just getting started, killing the concept was not easy, however this new phase will be fun: BetterUticaDowntown
Yes, our leading economic development agency (MV EDGE) has pretty much restored to extorting Utica officials, Warning to city: No garage, no new hospital. Great! As we don't want the Downtown Utica hospital anyway, and proposed parking facilities would be very damaging to our urban setting.
Just watch the video and read the post on parking (via our recent Battle For Our City! guest) Strongtowns: Parking Has Dramatically Shaped Our Cities (And Not In a Good Way). Submitted to #NoHospitalDowntown by way of our good friend Joseph Peter Drennan...
Extortion, maybe some blackmail behind the scenes(?), just a matter of time until this Utica story becomes a national story. How embarrassed will our leaders be? How silly do they wish to look? Just pull the plug on the Downtown Utica hospital concept already!
Assemblyman and aspiring Congressman, did you hear us? "Mr. Brindisi we don't want your White Elephant!"
What's that you say, more voices talking about the Downtown Utica Hospital concept? Odd, didn't someone recently say The Debate Is Over? Do not listen to such nonsense! Why? One new voice says "It's Wrong!", Mike Galime, Utica Common Council President
What a bully! Who does MV EDGE work for?
We don't believe this is anyway to build a city, and this guy at EDGE is missing a big opportunity.
Also note, small Downtown Utica is NOT, the MUCH larger Downtown Buffalo...
John Minicozzi & Chuck Marohn interview with Bill Keeler.
All this said, #NoHospitalDowntown started out our week talking with lawyers.
We are watching our politicians work hard to create a HUGE, 10-year, demolition and construction project. This while hospital care is given a backseat, for three years and counting...
As one politician plans his escape route, he leads Utica's White Elephant into Downtown...
Join on group in tracking public sentiment and comment with over 2,000 members at #NoHospitalDowntown
Orin Domenico writes to us on June 26th, his essay begins "America's current form of government might quite accurately be called kleptocracy..." Read More
This Monday #NoHospitalDowntown will hold a press conference, and one week later two guests will be in Utica to add to the hospital conversation...
The public is encouraged to attend Monday's press conference as well as the events planned for the following Monday June 26th - event details posted here "Battle For Our City!"
The owner of the New Hartford Shopping Center, and former Hospital Foundation Board President, says the Downtown Utica Hospital Concept Makes No Sense
If you do not act, here's their next step for Utica's Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood - it will be Bulldozed Beyond Recognition!
In case you missed, Senator Griffo wrote, Thank you for sharing your concerns with my office...
If you love history and Downtown Utica, here is an event for you! Join Landmarks of Greater Utica for a Narrated Walk of Downtown Utica's Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood
Hear the history, walk the streets and alleys, as you tour buildings operating since the days of the Eire Canal. Much more to be announced around this date...
Please download a PDF version of the flyer, also invite your friends for this Narrated Walk of Downtown Utica's Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood! If you're on Facebook, then consider helping us save this same neighborhood from being bulldozed at #NoHospitalDowntown?
Perra states, "
What others said: Maureen Fitzgerald Murray (M.S., R. N.), Board President of Bassett Health Network, stated "
From Albany, Governor Cuomo stated, "
On the condition of anonymity, multiple former MVHS Board Members (the entire board was released), suggested "
Meanwhile, after repeated attempts to contact New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker, it was reported "
Subject: Chairman Marino's Economic Development Committee Minutes - Downtown Hospital Legislation
At your screening for the nomination for the Democratic endorsement, in your re-election bid, you agreed to provide a
Then at the City Democratic endorsement meeting at the Polish Community Center you once again agreed to provide those minutes.
However, several weeks have now passed and the minutes for that committee meeting have yet to be received. Is it still your intention to keep that commitment?
Respectfully, Frank Vescera
Frank, Thank you for copying us with this request for public information. This request has now been posted on #NoHospitalDowntown Group on Facebook. It will go on our website as well. Transparency and accountability is paramount in the fight to save our downtown from urban renewal and destruction. Jim G. Brock, Jr., NPA Financial, Inc.
This week the architects for the new downtown hospital visited Utica, they even Tweeted From Their Hotel Utica Perch. Our media was treated to more PR firm-scripted press releases as the public was fed more disingenuous news stories. For example, today the Utica Observer-Dispatch Prints Another False Map NOT Revealing True Study Area...
New York State offers The True Map, but one the media just doesn't wish to print, why? The Utica Observer-Dispatch keeps assigning different reporters, and hiding costs from the public, why?
We asked someone today, "Is it bad our group is so concerned about the huge unknowns of the proposed downtown hospital concept?" They replied,
"Well if you see a dog at close range, isn't it okay to question the owner about their dog's temperament? Or do you wait until after it bites you?" Exactly! The
Healthcare dollars tossed-out, spending on media ramps-up! New 30-second commercial spots seek to influence and change public opinion on the Evil urban renewal bearing-down on Downtown Utica...
A must read for Utica! Rochester native Arian Horbovetz, took a trip to Utica in January 2015. Looking to take a break from his Upstate photography business, his two-day Utica trip changed his life. What he did, and what he found, in Utica supercharged his "photo blogging" experience - and his readership! After seeing lots of Upstate towns and cities, at the street level, through his camera lens, and talking to lots of locals", Arian has penned a very important essay, its called "THE BIG URBAN MISTAKE: BUILDING FOR TOURISM VS. LIVABILITY". Go there and have a read, if you do you will understand why the downtown hospital concept is not a direction Utica should take. [Spoiler Alert: You will love the photographs!]
Arian offers many other great stories and photographic splendors - you may want to grab a drink, and get comfortable. Spend sometime on his website, and you will realize that Upstate New York cities have a lot to offer. We know there are many who have departed (you know that you know a bunch) who would love to return. Let's make sure the RIGHT paths to development are taken, so when they return, they'll find livable cities and towns... oh, and ones that they will still recognize!
Well, the easier question, and one that has lots of obvious answers is, "What Is So Great About The St. Luke's Campus Location?"
Last week Mohawk Valley Health Ssystem CEO Scott Perra and Oneida County Legislature wanted to think about a financially, "In the black", downtown hospital. However the CEO dropped a bomb saying "There Are A Couple Of Bogey's Out There". Did anyone here it, or think of the
This is very scary as the hospital has no cash, their fake budget is all "debt" and "gifts', and is largely on the backs of the taxpayer. We have our eye on each move; that our hospital, our government and the establishment trying to drive a hospital downtown is making. We are calculating the costs and impact of their concepts.
Now this week we are hearing about the Oneida County Executive's; three new buildings, a playground, walking trails, hops farm, and an ice skating rink concept opposite the targeted hospital site. However no budget, no timeline and no parking for the AUD was offered. Thus we have more concepts to consider and we are tying them directly to Fiasco General that seeks to wipe out downtown Utica first...
This past Wednesday, CEO Perra disclosed; not only are the City & County looking for taxpayers to pay for a $41,000,000 parking garage, MVHS Has The Added Cost Of A New I.T. System At The HUGE Price Of $70,000,000 To $75,000,000!
Many costs are not in the $450 million budget. And Perra added, the downtown hospital would need to budget a million dollars per year just to maintain the proposed parking garage!
More was learned about the ever-changing story. Sadly this is the first time the County Legislators have heard from the hospital, in-spite of having already spent between $250,000 and $500,000 of Oneida County taxpayer funds.
Newly emerging from the background of the "Downtown Hospital Concept Caper", the law firm who lobbied to place NYS taxpayers $300 million into debt - how much did that cost Oneida County taxpayers? - yes, none other than Former Oneida County Executive, Raymond A. Meier Ray was there today too...
So there was a lawyer present, but still no answers to our Burning Questions. Maybe they'll talk about them over dinner tonight? Oh well, #NoHospitalDowntown will present audio of today's presentation, and continue to document the falsehoods that continue to flow - please check back!
Senator Griffo is first with a response He's Busy, But We'll Be Expeditious... Meanwhile we await a reply from three other Utica-area Politicians as we try to understand who's making expensive and critical healthcare decisions that will impact the region for the next 50-75 years.
The mail took some time, but the Senator's letter arrives Thank you for sharing your concerns with my office...
Mr Scholefield's email, and the response, can be found here Robert Scholefield's West Utica Citizens Meeting Meanwhile we await the reply from Utica-area politicians; letters sent seeking clarification; for example Assemblyman Brindisi (Image) or (PDF)
Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Mohawk Valley Health System, Mr Robert Scholefield spoke this past Wednesday at the West Utica Citizens Forum. A loud audience demanded, "Why downtown? We don't want you to build downtown, build at St. Luke's 64-acre campus!"
However, Mr. Scholefield confirmed" "Assemblyman Brindisi & Senator Griffo Told Us The Money Is Only For A Downtown Utica Hospital"
You may also listen to Mohawk Valley Health System CEO Scott Perra On The Joe Kelly Show, where he confirms the same thing.
However, this conflicts with what taxpayers and residents have been told for almost two years now. It was widely reported The Hospital Searched Within A 10-mile Radius Of Utica, found 12 sites fitting their requirements, then it was narrowed to three, and finally two sites were unanimously voted on by the MVHS Board of Directors. To great fanfare, it was proclaimed, "Hospital Picks Downtown"Brindisi Confirms To #NoHospitalDowntown The Hospital Picked Downtown...
One news outlet covered the hospital "town hall"...
Joe Kelly offers listeners an Introduction, MVHS CEO Scott Perra goes first and explains the Hospital's Views On Downtown Location. Then in Part 3, our group follows-up with #NoHospitalDowntown Views...
Thank you Joe Kelly! To watch other great shows on community topics, please go to The Joe Kelly Show
For two years the hospital has been unable to answer basic questions. Strong Opposition forced the hospital to Hire A Public Relations Firm simply to talk with residents and taxpayers, and the only two sessions held with the public showed a Downtown Utica Hospital Lacks Public Support - see another view of the Faces Of The Hospital PR Firm's Efforts.
Still the hospital and politicians march along; they hoped a Utica Chamber of Commerce Endorsement would help, it did not, and the bad information keeps turning up...
What was so wrong with the large 64-acre plot at the current St. Luke's Campus, right across from the symbiotic Utica College? Politicians say the Hospital Board wanted downtown, yet today CEO Perra blames top location pick on "area politicians"...
We'd be very delighted if everyone stopped supporting the downtown concept and started focusing on another location. That way our new friends at Better Utica Downtown and 40+ businesses within Historic Downtown Utica's Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood could get back to focusing on their businesses.
Great visit to NYC, poked around Greenwhich Village, then to film, conversations on sidewalks and in theater...
Recommended Jane Jacobs, Battle For The City. Viewed yesterday, spoke to others, made great contacts, thanks April! pic.twitter.com/2keoNB4Bq5— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) April 22, 2017
Can Utica's "Fiasco General" withstand much more? Listen to the growing Voices of Dissent on Utica’s Proposed Downtown Hospital Location Next up, national embarrassment...
The Utica-area economy has fallen so far... people wanted good jobs, yet many had to leave as they had no choice. This as the world changed, but politicians did not address the problems at their roots. They created new agencies, tried endless business attraction schemes; added prisons, dangled BIG carrots at some firms (most never materialized, some did, but didn't last), buildings were torn down to make way "for the future", a distribution center added, and other businesses shuffled around and hailed as great progress... all while small local firms just chugged along.
Some local entrepreneurs took chances on old buildings, various store fronts, using modern themes and trends, they gave downtown Utica a new upswing. Then a few years ago, as Nano still wasn't materializing and Cuomo was thinking VERY BIG, huge sums were offered to Upstate cities. Teams went to work trying to find ways to make big splashes. The local Mohawk Valley team (heavily Utica-weighted) dreamed-up a modern downtown and wove-in themes of "technology", "research", and "students". To make it even better - they planned to fix a downtown area (picked by Hammes Company), one they called "functionally obsolete"and "blighted" - this location was so central to the passer-by's eyes, WOW! - what an impact it would make!
However the concept ran into trouble, many calculations were not made, and many details overlooked. Somebody outside "the team" was paying attention! Worse the "inside team" was using an old playbook, and also just assumed any companies and or people "in the way" could be dealt with. However, the "inside team's" concept, to use "better healthcare" and "great new shiny buildings", didn't impress nor fool everyone.
#NoHospitalDowntown was born, but politicians just ignored us. To this day, their plans grow ever bigger and concepts added; a beer museum, a second incubator, meeting spaces, two large parking garages, a casino, new roadways, ball fields, and a connected harbor. Yes, it's getting bigger and better in their eyes. Unfortunately in the public's eyes too, as our area media just prints the "inside team's" stories without deep questioning. Sadly the details for the short and longer costs, who's paying for it all, and what it all looks like is missing?
Yesterday we watched a business group support the inside team, but no new facts, no new insights, just the same old lines politicians have been using for over two years. This as they appear to live in comfortable insulated bubbles; one doesn't drive his taxpayer-financed black SUV, he's got two drivers who sit inside as he chats outside on the cell out of earshot; press conference over, time to call to pass the inside team's update "On up the ladder".
We feel it is time to expose the "inside team" and the politicians within it and or just playing along. Eventually they'll drop their big smelly mess...
Yesterday we heard the Utica Chamber of Commerce would hold a press conference on the downtown hospital concept. Not being born last night, we started preparing to document the Chamber Of No Commerce
This past week we heard Mohawk Valley Health System CEO Mr. Perra say, We were kinda pulled into Downtown, a lot of people thought it was a good idea. However in September 2015, Utica-area Politicians Told Us That The Hospital Made The Call!
One theory, Steve DiMeo hoping to be seen as an overachiever aiding Governor Cuomo, pulled-out all the stops to rebuild a downtown he sees as "obsolete and totally blighted". He's wrong, and his downtown hospital concept will fail.
The good news is that we'll save Utica from joining 20 Failed Projects Involving Eminent Domain Abuse, where we read: "The argument is always the same... tax-hungry bureaucrats and land-hungry developers claim that the use of eminent domain is necessary for economic development. They promise everything from high-rise condominiums to trendy shopping malls, all in the name of more taxes and jobs. There is a strong incentive for cities and developers to over-hype the benefits of individual private development projects involving eminent domain in order to garner political and public support. But it turns out that many of these projects are failures. This report details 20 prominent examples"
For over two years the region has heard of a "new and transformative hospital", one which has cast large storm clouds over 34-acres of downtown. Politicians placed it into downtown, yet today not one uses the "H" word...
So odd, largest Oneida County healthcare transformation in history of Mohawk Valley, yet none use word "hospital"? pic.twitter.com/yoIevw2Y22— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) April 9, 2017
Good, we're tracking their every move...
From the Utica Observer-Dispatch archives: Years planning changes began in the mid-1960's, on two projects that would change the face of downtown Utica, and its skyline too! This aerial photo, looking west, was taken in April 1967 and shows vacant lots just to the south of Oneida County Court House In The Center Of This Photo. A few months later, construction would begin on the $10 million, 10-story Oneida County Office Building and the $11 million, 16-story State Office Building.
For more stories from the Utica newspaper, pick from the headlines at: Ten Years Of Downtown Utica Development
Every time news pops-up about the new Utica hospital concept, emails, text messages, and social media brings more intelligence and questions to our attention. We've looked back in time and tried hard to keep up with the changing headlines, it's not very easy. However, we have mapped-out the ecosystem of players, properties and theories. Our war rooms have lots of information, for example like this...
As new voices come forth, be sure that #NoHospitalDowntown will remain committed to protecting Utica's Downtown Businesses, our Historic Buildings and small-city street grid. It's the right, and only thing to do, and any modern day urban planning firm would agree!
Please join #NoHospitalDowntown On Facebook
Mr. Cuomo failed to deliver an on time budget today. However, the govenor Announced Details of A Fiscal Year 2018 State Budget Extender
In this "Extender" Cuomo proudly announced $300 Million that's been promised for years for a new Downtown Utica hospital. Oddly the grant, by way of a NYS Grants Gateway has not named a winner, nor even informs taxpayers of the Oneida County grant opportunity.
Read about how MVHS wins the day... "$300 Million for Utica Hospital: New York State has awarded $300 million for the Mohawk Valley Health System to build a modern and efficient hospital in downtown Utica. This 392 bed, 750,000 square-foot world-class health care facility will replace the outdated and obsolete St. Luke’s Hospital Campus and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, further integrating the system of care in Oneida County. The new state-of-the-art hospital will offer emergency, acute inpatient, outpatient, primary care and other health care services in a single downtown location, improving the accessibility and quality of health care in the region. Mohawk Valley Health System’s project, awarded via competitive RFA, will strengthen the fiscal stability of the regional health care system, save taxpayer dollars, and bring thousands of jobs into downtown Utica." But where was MVHS named as the grant winner?
"No mind", is likely Mr Cuomo's attitude. What better way to show the local Mohawk Valley politicians lining up behind Cuomo, that Albany "has their backs", by jumping the gun and stating specifics of an undesigned hospital and one without a Certificate of Need (C.O.N.)!
Be it known, most residents do not support a downtown location. Also, a number of the 40+ businesses and property owners plan to fight the takeover of their property.
We have tracked what we call #Hospitalgate step-by-step and after the "Question & Answer" period first ended, the NYSDOH posted Two Pages Of Q&A's How is it that today we find Forty Three Pages Of Q&A's? And still, how does Cuomo name the fund recipient today, when we did not even hear about a grant winner?
Lastly, the original NYSDOH website said the winner would be announced at the end of February 2017. That never happened, but we now have Cuomo's message? So Mr. Cuomo, this downtown hospital concept must be all yours!
Time is now to begin to tell Mohawk Valley Health System "No" with your wallet! They are currently entering into the "silent phase" of their capital campaign to raise money for the ill-conceived downtown hospital district.
Let's tell them if they go downtown then the community will not support them financially or otherwise. We do have a say! So when they reach out to you, "JUST SAY NO!", no money until they announce they're not going downtown. Afterwhich, we're ready and committed to help raise money.
So many buildings have been torn-down for surface parking, and our Oneida County Executive "exclaims proudly" he has done more; His Announcement and Project Nears Completion This and the Hotel Utica in recent months knocked down its historic parking garage for a surface lot.
Not only do these steps destroy the character of the city, they destroy the tax base. It's like "suburban sprawl" within our city, terrible mistakes...
Utica is a small city and land is in very short supply. Utica cannot afford a fifth hospital district. Will Utica learn before it is too late?
The monthly West Utica Citizens Forum
For almost two year #NoHospitalDowntown has followed (and often generated) the much-needed debate over the downtown hospital concept... one that seeks to bulldoze 34 acres of Downtown Utica. We say, why destroy downtown streets, alleys and historic buildings - and displace 40+ businesses!! - when St. Luke's today owns 64-acres across from Utica College?
This week a Columbia-Lafayette property owner shared a letter sent by a Eminent Domain law firm called Biersdorf & Associates This firm must mine database to find potential clients, in the case of Mohawk Valley Health System's Downtown Utica Hospital, it seems that a NYS Department of Transportation alerted the law firm.
MVHS's St. Luke's Campus today owns 64-acres, yet they just do not seem to care about the 40+ businesses within Historic Downtown Utica's Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood.
Say hello to Biersdorf & Associates on Twitter @CondemnationLaw, get to know the NYS Eminent Domain Procedure Law and notes on the NYS DOT's website NYS DOT Engineering Division Office of Design: Eminent Domain Procedure Law
Today Utica has three hospitals, St. Luke's is part of a medical district near Utica College. It shares a modern $15 million dollar co-generation power plant, a "green" micro-grid. St. Luke's has lots of room, 64-acres, enough space to Keep the St. Luke's home & Construct Eight Hospitals. And as you can see, they could Build a new hospital & medical office building, while the current hospital continues to function.
Why move the hospital into the compact area of downtown? The area is very close to CSX freight tracks hauling 100-car oil trains...
Why bulldoze Downtown Utica as many new developments are taking place? With Nano we will create even more demand for a vibrant urban city downtown. This, and Utica has Faxton Hospital expanding services, it just doesn't make sense.
Shown here is the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation's CRIS: Utica Hospital Consultation Project area. Will a huge part of Downtown Utica be bulldozed for Utica New York's 5th hospital district?
A question in today's Utica Observer-Dispatch - their story headline - reads: Downtown hospital: Could it come to eminent domain? Yet the answer is in the very article, and it's "Yes", if the hospital board continues to push the ill-conceieved Downtown Utica location...
We say "Make it ALL about health care!", build at the St. Luke's Campus which is the Mohawk Valley Health Systems 2nd Unanimous Site. as they've stated:
The situation has changed. Politicians and hospital administration called us the "vocal minority", but of course they're wrong and just talking their talk. However over the last weeks, things have changed, momentum has taken hold and new members have arrived...
Prepare for the new "Better Plan", as we defeat "Fiasco General" and as more facts, people's true feelings, and stories are heard. Will anyone catch some heat? Please join us
Our Oneida County Historian writes, "One for all, and all for one is not in the DNA of Oneida County/Central New York"
Long-time resident and business owner, William Corrigan Speaks Out Against Proposed Downtown Utica Hospital concept...
Why add a 5th, very ill-conceived, out-of-scale, hospital district? Hear William Corrigan, "A Better Downtown Utica" https://t.co/OJmf0Ybs82— #NoHospitalDowntown (@NoHospitalDwtn) February 17, 2017
As does this reader of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, Joanne Sirtoli today...
Recently the founding members of #NoHospitalDowntown spoke with the Utica Observer-Dispatch's Editorial Board. We're looking forward to their take on what we shared and we'll update you here later on (see below Tweet).
Politicians had hopes, a concept, and yet they we're backed by bad community actors (sound oddly familiar New York?). Now the people are driven to their next step...
You're invited to add to our wealth of documented knowledge as we prepare our case. Use E-mail, click #NoHospitalDowntown You may also join, add your comments, on our Facebook Group: #NoHospitalDowntown and sign-up for Newsletter updates: Get Updates If you're wondering, this is Who We Are
Landmarks Society president Steven Grant pens letter to his members regarding Mohawk Valley Health System's concept for a Downtown Utica hospital...
Bottom line: 1) What do the planners have in mind at this point? 2) What urban fabric will be left if everything is razed? 3) Historic buildings are going to be demolished to create some sort of green space?
Did you miss the MVHS's "public information" sessions? If so, here's the questionnaire that was distributed at the sessions.
How did it happen? What was wrong with the St. Luke's Campus? They had 64-acres on a green hilltop! Wasn't the new police station and courthouse campus a perfect setting next to the AUD? How on earth did this happen? Yes, so many future questions, but it's just "Too sad, too bad" now...
Are St. Elizabeth's and St. Luke's Campuses still sitting empty? Boarded-up and costing taxpayers money? And what about the tremendous costs over-runs of the hospital in downtown; a new courthouse, new police station and maintenance garage, with Comets fans and hospital visitors paying for parking... and no one feels very safe! Why are all these nefarious people hanging around the hospital district?
Can't something be done? Who's idea was this anyway Mr. Brindisi?
Want to fix a problem at home? Better to get out-of-town help...
What will people of Utica do, those marching forth with their derelict concept? This, when they must answer to people wholly uninterested in who they know, and impervious to what locals thought they'd receive via our small-city's "Friends & Family" plan?
Perhaps the foolish hospital concept is just what was needed? Just the event to finally (once again) move Utica away from the politics of old?
The Utica Observer-Dispatch Captures Citizen Lou Critelli Yelling, misses audio, but it's caught here..."We don't want you to dig!"
About the only people seeking to bulldoze Downtown Utica are deaf politicians, and tainted community leaders, who seek to grab fame and make a "real estate buck" on the backs of taxpayers and our country's disgustingly expensive and ineffective health care system.
Does Cuomo even care? Or does Cuomo just want billions in construction to show that he can build, regardless if it's good, bad, or just down-right stupid.
On December 11, 2015 Hospital Board Chairman Norm Siegel said they'd "...study the re-use of our old hospitals, before a dime was spent on downtown plans". That has not been the case. We know nothing of repurposing our old hospitals. Will our old hospitals remain open for the poor? Is the new downtown hospital to only be for the rich, those who can afford private rooms?
One day in the sad future of Downtown Utica... might the poor to be placed on buses bound for St. Luke's, Faxton and St. Elizabeth's? While the rich and well-insured stay at "Millionaire's Healthcare"...
Look at the demographics of Utica, we're a poor city. The well-to-do go out of town for their health care, just ask your politician. If they're honest you will hear they do not go to Utica hospitals. This will not change with a new one, and soon - they will not go downtown for entertainment - as
Today's paper tries to wallpaper over the illegal Downtown Utica hospital concept, read it here in Architects talk about designing hospital for Utica's future
A Utica-area resident responds: "1) Will it keep existing streets and intersections open? Otherwise it will interfere with development and accessing businesses and properties blocks away from the facility. (2) Will it include "mixed use" facilities? Otherwise it will be inconsistent with the official public vision (the Master Plan) for Downtown. (3) Will it conform to the Gateway Historic District's design requirements? Otherwise it would appear to be illegal under our zoning law! (4) Will it preserve the existing businesses in the district? Otherwise there will be a loss of jobs and tax revenues. (5) Will it replicate the Police Maintenance garage? Otherwise taxpayers will have to fund a replacement. The final design can meet all of these requirements -- if MVHS is willing to spend the money needed to meet non-hospital requirements" Frank Montecalvo
And we ask further, "What's so great about the architect's other projects?" What's with Swedish Medical that they offer as a reference? What's also true about their reference hospitals they're not telling us? Don't worry, we're investigating...
MVHS Hospital CEO, Oneida County Health Department Director, and a City of Utica employee make their cases for a Inner-city Hospital District. Followed by founding members of this group...
What do you think? Head over to #NoHospitalDowntown we'd love to gain your support and comments!
While the Utica Mayor has been largely silent on the hospital concept, Mike Galime Makes A Video Statement. We hope this brings this ill-conceived, and politically-backed, concept out into the light of day.
The above video release was followed-up with Mike Galime Speaking With WUTQ Regarding The Downtown Hospital Concept Lack Of Transparancy...
The Utica OD editors say "keep moving forward", in spite of facts that make a hospital impossible!
At the Jan. 10 forum, Perra was asked about revenue loss from displaced businesses. He essentially stated a downtown hospital with its "$480 million" price tag would "relatively quickly" outpace current economic activity. He ignores that his numbers are taxpayer dollars funneled into artificial economic "growth" in an area where many did not ask for this project and remain opposed to it.
MVHS is not entitled to downtown simply because they have been given a golden goose by state taxpayers. Perra should speak with folks who have raised their geese downtown, organically. If local leaders continue to build as THEY wish instead of working with residents, I'm afraid all of our eggs may end up scrambled." CRAIG MILES, Clinton
Consider this: Per the reporting of Kim Slowey @kimslowey of Construction Dive, "...the fate of the Affordable Care Act under a new administration is up in the air and has stalled, to some degree, planning for new medical facilities. Under the existing healthcare policy, construction of smaller, community-based clinics has thrived in order to meet the ACA goals of increased patient monitoring."
We believe New York State Governor Cuomo is seeking a very visible "Temple In Downtown Utica" and thus instead of improvements to hospitals we already have, and adding new clinics or urgent/primary care facilities, Utica New York is fighting "Fiasco General"... Cuomo wants BIG:
The Utica AUD can attract 6,000 people at musical events, 4,000 for hockey. The AUD management has also said they want to expand, that's great. The Oneida County Executive is also leading a new NYS Authority in the same direction it seems, NYSSEFA
If one reads about mass gatherings, accidents, as well as the increased chance for terrorism-type incidents; why would the region's prime Mohawk Valley Health System hospital district wish to be relocated within 1,000 feet of the AUD? Meanwhile, the DOT is seeking to narrow and slow-down East-to-West traffic flows in downtown.
Attempting to place our hospital into Downtown Utica, next to large-scale public events, when the hospital currently owns 64-acres on a green hilltop - under two miles away! -
Oh, and there are those
The Mohawk Valley Health System COO Bob Scholefield and the head of his hired Marketing/PR firm looking pleased sharing a story with the CNY Business Journal. It's a tall tale about a politically-backed $600M to $1B, Downtown Utica temple - a.k.a. "Fiasco General" - or simply put "their concept for a poor, inner-city, hospital district. One that would become Utica's 5th hospital district. Which might explain the other look on the PR firm's CEO's face as she listens to taxpayers and residents...
Did the hospital administration and board of directors, the politicians backing the concept, and the PR firm (The Paige Group) hired, finally hear the news? If so, or if they had the courage to take a poll, it's very clear a majority of residents and taxpayers are squarely against their Downtown Utica Hospital concept.
An inner-city hospital is far from the best use of Utica's Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood. Adding to that, there are (today!!) 40 businesses located where the politicians have directed the hospital - making it simply unconscionable!
Downtown Utica has been on a new uptick, and to continue this trend is critical, a 34 or even a 25-acre hospital district would be pure destructive urban renewal. And the people don't want this HUGE, politically-backed, infrastructure project very sadly disguised as "improved health care"!
For months, #NoHospitalDowntown has asked, "Why does the City of Utica display false information on their website?" Mr. Ron Vincent asks it again at the MVHS forum, as he waves his research on zoning, as well his documentation showing Utica is also ignoring the City's Master Plan...
Take action, join us on Facebook and Twitter, spread the word and we can turn-away this silly hospital concept with your help! Together we can seek better health care, keep downtown authentic, walkable and a place that people want to live and tourists will visit.
The Mohawk Valley Health System has made wrong turn, after wrong turn. They started hearing from politicians early on, and then Mohawk Valley EDGE influenced their Board of Directors, did the hospital forget to read the request for funding, or did they plan to just ignore the public?
Public engagement was known to be a requirement since 2014...
Read the ten (10) questions and answers submitted in the quest for $300 Million Dollar to build an "Oneida County Healthcare Facilities Transformation"; they're posted here: Grant DOH01-Oneida-2016, Questions & Answers Posting (PDF)
We are sure there would have been many more questions had the NYS DOH truly announced the grant application with a standard media press release. Why all the secrecy? We're talking about $300 million of taxpayers' hard earn wealth!
Is Utica's hospital really ready to listen? Their website has a comment interface, but it is turned off. Why? They said they were ready to listen, but hired a Marketing, PR & Crisis communications firm.
The firm The Paige Group says, "there will be no filter". But they'll work around that, and the hospital will get what they need for their politicians, simply by using "selective listening".
Last night County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. displayed his "selective eyesight" to residents at the South Utica Neighborhood Association meeting. He confirmed he's been to St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse and walked around. When told that the area is surrounded by blight, vacant and partially vacant buildings, he replied "I think your looking at the wrong things."
Let's see how this all goes.
Per Mr. Michael Galime, Utica Common Council President, regarding targeted Downtown Utica area that the hospital seeks: "That's A Business District That's Alive & Well Now"
We agree! The ill-conceived hospital concept has to be turned-away. Allow the Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood to developed much more properly. You can help, contact your government representatives and the media Links Here
Talk to your health care providers too, let them know you oppose the Downtown Utica hospital concept. It's not good for health care, and it's also destructive Urban Renewal for a large portion of downtown.
The efforts to build will be derailed by court battles, over the very questionable use of eminent domain. Way behind now, we'll stall their bad concept for many more months, years. Join us now on Facebook at #NoHospitalDowntown
This past week we were very encouraged, the hospital had told residents Hospital Officials Ready to Listen. Next a local radio station called and #NoHospitalDowntown Had A Chance To Speak. A TV program in Syracuse called too. It was looking like a great week to debate the topic we’ve advocated against for over a year and a half; the ill-conceived Downtown Utica hospital district.
After nearly three years politicians have planned, and twice granted $300 million, to fund their Oneida County health care transformation – however no one was ready to discuss it on a TV panel? Calls to hospital and politicians revealed no one wanted to appear on WCNY; the show was canceled. Our opportunity to debate, after the hospital said it was ready to listen, and they could not listen and or defend their $300 million 3 year old concept?
One has to wonder, what is wrong with the 64 acres at the St. Luke’s Campus, which the hospital has been accumulating for expansion and is bought and paid for? Why a drive to displace 40 businesses and bulldoze a neighborhood when Downtown Utica is on a new upswing?
why do other want to bulldoze 34-acres for an inner-city hospital district? The other side will not talk, so just when will they get to work on the region's healthcare system? Three years have passed so far...
Brett Truett and Lynne Mishalanie, advocates against a hospital concept for Downtown Utica, remind WIBX listeners "it's only a concept" and that Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi says, "the downtown location is not in stone..."
The Hotel Utica Getting New Name, Upgrades but new owners will also need to protect the Hilton and Doubletree brands. We also hope that the new management, Visions Hotels will protect the building's heritage and what remains of the next door Historic Columbia-Lafayette Streets Neighborhood.
If one looks at Vision's Website you'll see modern, but almost cookie-cutter hotels - save the Adam's Mark Buffalo Clean and great service, however none look like the Hotel Utica, nor appear to share the character of Hotel Utica. Will Visions Hotels care about this and the surrounding neighborhood?
Our Facebook Group #NoHospitalDowntown has been tracking the misguided urban renewal concept backed by politicians for over 18 months. Their concept is to buy and bulldoze 34 acres in Downtown Utica for an inner-city hospital.
Take action, join us on Facebook and Twitter, spread the word and we can turn-away this silly hospital concept with your help! Together we can seek better health care, keep downtown authentic, walkable and a place that people want to live and tourists will visit.
Hospital activist group seeks answers; MVHS offers meetings. This per the Utica Observer-Dispatch as group says We want to talk about the downtown hospital
Check out this comment: https://t.co/FsDa787FTL— Donna Beckett (@DonnaBeckett8) November 19, 2016
No news to the public or newswires (we're not surprised), but today we detected New York's $300 million dollar grant- one they've spoke about for 3 years! Learn more at Health Care Facility Transformation Program: Oneida County Request for Applications #1505060325, Grants Gateway ID: DOH01-Oneida-2016
The hidden metatag "description" text on the NYS Department of Health's website reads:
"NYSDOH and DASNY announce the availability of HCFTP funds of up to $300 million: Oneida County, as established pursuant to Section 2825-b of the Public Health Law (PHL), for capital project(s) located in the largest population center in Oneida County that will consolidate multiple licensed health care facilities into an integrated system of care (including acute inpatient, outpatient primary and other health care services)."
We are tracking this and you can join us in the discussion at #NoHospitalDowntown on Facebook.
Odd, but not surprising, no conversation about why a totally new campus or where it should be located! But today we hear that the Mohawk Valley Health System is now ready to listen to taxpayers, this regarding their Downtown Utica hospital concept. Really? After two years, and three budget cycles, the Mohawk Valley Health System hires a marketing firm. Why hire a marketing/PR company "to listen"?
MVHS Announces Community Engagement Program For New Hospital https://t.co/GYmdPz7uwn— News Radio 950 WIBX (@WIBXnews) November 10, 2016
We've anticipated this "conversation" for 1-1/2 years, but as we suggested, it sounds like taxpayers will only have votes on the number and position of the bike racks and park benches. So #NoHospitalDowntown was right all along -
We have been asking questions, talking, setting and going to meetings, debating (mostly amongst ourselves), making calls, and investigating - for about sixteen months! "Why?", you might ask. We'd reply, "Because Downtown Utica is under attack!"
Just last week the Mohawk Valley EDGE & MVREDC were in Albany seeking $5.5 million to buy land for a downtown hospital, a hospital that is only just a concept, shrinking, and not even fully funded! Additionally, voters, taxpayers and residents have never had a public Q&A on Governor Cuomo's "Transformational Hospital", even though our political leaders have been working on spending $300 million of our money since the fall of 2014!
Is #NoHospitalDowntown starting to catch a break? Is our group's work & conversations paying off? Might we save Downtown Utica from being sold-off to those wishing to make handsome profits off the nation's soaring healthcare costs?
Sorry, we just have to ask since MVHS's (?) "Healthcare Consultants" offer a class called Real Estate 101 for Healthcare Executives In the video, Hammes Company explain how high-wealth individuals can target marquee locations (even if the properties/buildings are not for sale), and make big profits on "MOB" or Medical Office Buildings (Hospitals, doctor offices, etc.)
Today, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports in their Op-Ed OUR VIEW: Proposed hospital plan still on critical list
We must remain vigilant until the MVHS Board of Directors announces that 1st choice Downtown Utica location has been rejected, and their unanimously agreed on 2nd location adopted at St. Luke's
Your phone call today could make the difference, take action and Make Healthcare The First Priority & Keep Downtown Utica Walkable & Authentic!
A sad, a terribly frightening, story! A Utica doctor's words in today's Observer-Dispatch “Until then, I have to try to keep him alive and keep him from harming himself or anybody around him.”
We've heard of the terrible addiction problems in our region for years now. Today, we hear that Oneida County doesn't have a medical detoxification facility. This, at the same time although licensed for 570 beds, two of our hospitals have empty floors and are staffed for only 400 beds!
The Mohawk Valley region has wasted 3 years as "Albany's Unique $300 Million Gift" for improved healthcare has gone nowhere; this as our misguided politicians have the Mohawk Valley Health System thinking about economic development - not the region's health care!
So let's place this travesty at the feet of our Politicians and the Mohawk Valley EDGE. This as they pursue their ill-conceived, destructive urban renewal-style Downtown Utica hospital district, but not before they bulldoze a major portion of Utica's Central business district
The City of Utica, and ironically a Few Boards Of Directors Of Various Economic Development Agencies & The Hospital System have a plan to Bulldoze Downtown Utica Help us take action to stop this ill-conceived concept...
Each time #NoHospitalDowntown looks to find facts, the reasons for supporting the politically-backed downtown hospital, we find troubling information like this. Hammes is the "engineering company" that studied the site selection work done by Mohawk Valley EDGE; they studied the costs of a new hospital at the St. Luke's campus vs. "going downtown", they then confirmed that the downtown site could work as costs were comparable. Continue reading...
The Common Council unanimously passed legislation on March 16, 2005 that designates a 120-acre portion of downtown as the Gateway Historic Canal District However, today the City of Utica Website shows a false and misleading Scenic & Historic map. Why?
The proper and legal representation of the city's zoning Should Show The Correct Legal Designations!
One has to wonder why the city does not show the correct legal information. Also, what other information is the City of Utica dispensing that is false? The corruption in Albany would appear very much at home here in Utica...
As The Utica Observer-Dispatch starts to seek questions On The downtown Utica hospital from planners, please keep-up the drumbeat of letters in your local newspaper. Calling the editor(s) first will help. You can even ask for a larger letter, Opinion Page, feature if you have a significant amount of factual information to offer. The future of Downtown Utica is at stake! We cannot allow hospital and suburban sprawl ruin our historic, small-scale, downtown. Grab a pen, the phone and or email (provide your phone number so they can confirm your words are yours).
Send two copies, and or make two calls, both Mr Johns and Dudajek will be glad to have your thoughts and opinions...
This according to the Utica Observer-Disptach in their Editorial "OUR VIEW: Hospital Answers Needed"
What's an enigma? It's defined as Someone Or Something That Is Difficult To Understand Or Explain.
This reminds us of the quote by Chief Joseph "It Does Not Require Many Words To Speak The Truth" Readers comment online, they ask more and have other questions...
Ben Hammer - "The article states the biggest question surrounding this proposed fiasco is paying for it. While that is important, it is not the biggest question. The biggest question is WHY do we need it? Only after a truly identifiable need can discussion of funding begin. Instead, this entire mess has turned into the current shiny object for our band of crooked politicians to chase after. Shame on them."
Rodger Potocki - "The numbers presented already show that the primary funding for the hospital is the taxpayer. At the same time, the project is being controlled and managed by people and groups with no direct ties or accountability to we taxpayers. This is a very questionable approach which, as we've seen all to often, could have significant effects on the public purse, usually negative."
As we look for truth about the ill-conceived downtown hospital, we are confident taxpayers will get and see more of the government that they've been hearing about out of Albany and across Upstate. We agree with Chief Joseph above, and say, "If their concept is so great, why is it so hard for them to explain and finance (without the taxpayers!)?"
First clue, it's been said the Downtown Utica hospital was an effort to expand economic development in the "downtown region". Second, the MVHS Hospital leadership and the City of Utica seemed not to understand their roles, and that's why taxpayers only had the Mohawk Valley EDGE and government leaders touting their push for downtown.
Give us a few days, will are connecting the local dots in order to answer some questions that need to be asked and answered...
If Utica and or the hospital fiasco escapes the current and ongoing scandal, perhaps those involved will be glad they were not capable of getting their local "ducks in a row" faster?