For many of the approximately 6 million spousal caregivers in the United States, the elephant is not just in the room, but overtaking the room. On many days, the elephant of illness, disability and aging will not budge for the spouse who steps in as a home caregiver to help maintain the partner's health.
Caregiving for one's husband or wife is rewarding, yet at times daunting and overwhelming. As care needs increase and the length of illness stretches into months, years or even decades, a caregiver spouse is vulnerable to common stress-related conditions including anxiety, depression, headaches, backaches and sleep deprivation. The unrelenting responsibility fuels fatigue. Resentments also can build against other family members who are not as available to help.
In a 2010 MetLife "Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs," 17 percent of female caregivers age 50 and older reported fair or poor health compared with just 9 percent of non-caregivers. To escape and ease the overload, isolation and even anger that can stem from attending to a spouse's daily personal care, some marital caregivers turn to the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Eventually, care for an ailing loved one can lead to burnout in which the caregiver is depleted physically, mentally and emotionally.
Over time, adult home care can be too much of a burden for a spouse, yet hesitations can arise over enlisting a professional caregiving service for help. After managing the care for so long, some spouses find it difficult to relinquish their home caregiver duties to someone else. Others struggle with guilt for no longer being able to provide the necessary care. Still others are not convinced anyone else will oversee their spouse's health as well as they can.
Sometimes it's just not possible for a spouse to continue to ensure the level and diversity of care that the loved one needs. So when is it a good idea for spousal caregivers to seek help via professional at-home care?
Right at Home and other in-home elder care providers note that securing the help of a professional home caregiver is not a sign of weakness or giving up on the ailing family member, nor is asking for at-home care being selfish. Instead, hiring a trained caregiving service is actually showing greater love and concern for the spouse receiving care.
Adult home care allows more freedom for the spousal caregiver to maintain his or her own health, a job or regular daily routines. Professional caregiving support also helps the elderly or ill spouse experience greater independence for longer in the convenience and comfort of home.
Senior care support services can include help with bathing and dressing, grocery shopping, errand running, meal planning and preparation, transportation to appointments, medication monitoring, light housework, and respite relief. From a few hours a day to overnight or round-the-clock care, home care providers offer compassionate expertise and care tailored to the client's needs.
To encourage elderly wives or husbands to allow professional in-home care support, other family members and friends may consider the following:
• Ask, "How are you doing?" Many people ask about the welfare of a care recipient, but not about the well-being of a marital caregiver.
• Reaffirm that it's okay to recharge. Spousal caregivers need to refresh their own overall health. Respite breaks are excellent for going to the gym, seeing a movie or lingering with a friend over coffee.
• Help investigate home healthcare options. It's important to select a reputable, experienced in-home care company. Thorough screening and training of caregivers is vital as well as matching caregivers to the individual needs and preferences of each client.
• Involve the ailing loved one in care decisions. As much as possible, invite the care recipient to weigh in on professional caregiving choices.
• Assist with setting limits. Spousal caregivers often find it hard to say "no" and to let go of some home and care duties. It is better for everyone when the caregiving spouse eases up on unrealistic to-do lists.
"Home healthcare aides are becoming increasingly vital in our society as more and more seniors choose to age at home," Enrie Morales added. "Selecting professional home care services does help prevent caregiver burnout and still lets you maintain the control and quality of the care your loved one deserves."
For more information on Right at Home, visit About Right at Home at http://www.rightathome.net/about-us or read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/blog. To sign up for Right at Home's free adult caregiving e-newsletter, Caring Right at Home, visit http://caringnews.com.
For more information, contact Right at Home of the Bronx at 718-884-4663 or by email at Homecare@rahbronx.com.]]>
Marti's Knits: 26
The game was close at the beginning, but Marti's Knits pulled away behind hot shooting by Sam Teplitsky, who scored most of his 16 points in the paint. The Drillers were led by Joshua Hains, who scored eight points.
Loeb & Troper: 14
Hertz Dental Stars: 9
Loeb & Troper's Jack Brooks scored nine points to match the output of the entire Hertz Dental Stars team during a close contest that could have gone either way until the closing minutes. The Stars' Mike Patterson matched Brooks' intensity, but scored fewer points, netting four as high scorer for his team.
New York Bulls: 13
This game was all about the Bulldogs from tip-off until the final buzzer. Sam Weiss had a huge game for the Bulldogs, with 19 points. Ethan Batista led the Bulls with five points.
Riverdale Pediatric Dentistry: 49
Hot Shots: 17
The Pediatric Dentistry team played great basketball, absolutely dominating on defense and rebounding. Jacob Klestzick led the way with 21 points. The Hot Shots' leading scorer was Adrian Figueroa, who finished with 8 points.
Global Operations: 30
Riverdale Medicine &
Rehabilitation Center: 23
The Global Operations team and the Medicine & Rehab team kept the game close the whole way. Charlie Siper's 15 points helped Global pull away in the fourth quarter. Andrew Heft led Medicine & Rehab with 13 points.
Riverdale Pediatric Hot Shots: 14
Brown's Jewelers: 8
Can you say defense? This game was filled with it until Adin Fischer took over the game, scoring 10 points for the Hot Shots. Eli Cramer had six for Brown's Jewelers.
Kid Space: 38
Riverdale Pediatric Dentistry: 30
An eight-point difference in the final score does not do justice to the intensity in this game. The Kid Space team received a huge game from their leading scorer Akiva Schanzer, who finished with 28 points. Joel Taylor was solid for Pediatric Dentistry, finishing with 9 points.
Ginzburg Drillers: 39
Devonshire Tires Maccabi: 30
This game was another prime example of stellar back and forth basketball. Isaac Brainson led the Drillers with 13 points and played extremely well en route to a fourth-quarter comeback. Jack Gallagher finished with 15 points for Devonshire Tires Maccabi.
Riverdale Y Lightning: 34
Hertz Dental Stars: 20
The Riverdale Y Lightning led throughout the game, with Noam Siegel pacing the team with 16 points. Elijah Fingal tried to guide the Dental Stars to victory, scoring 12 points, but it just wasn't enough.
DJ Drugs: 50
Teens in Action: 28
The DJ Drugs team took off early and never looked back, dominating most of the game. Evan Kalichavan exploded for 16 points to lead DJ Drugs, while Nicholas Jimenez led Teens in Action with 14 points.
Taller Dental Magic: 28
Both teams put up points in bunches in this fast-paced game. The Exec-You-Van team got 14 points from Ely Neuwirth, while Avi Tepler led Taller Dental Magic with seven points.
Advanced Dental Care: 46
Riverdale Medicine & Rehab Center: 23
This game pitted two of the best teams in the division against one another. Frankie Gomez led Advanced Dental Care behind his 12 points and handful of steals. Adam Duitz led Medicine & Rehab with 13 points.]]>
One thing people normally do is cook with the leaves from a bunch of cilantro or parsley and toss the rest. For shame! These super flavorful, but much overlooked, fledgling parts are not to be wasted. They make an amazing flavor base.
This week, I pulsed up some herb stems and garlic in a food processor and froze them in small tablespoon-sized portions. When dinnertime came, I was able to cook up some quick skillet ground chicken burgers, add a portion of frozen herbs to the pan and throw together a pungent, tangy garlic yogurt sauce, all in under 10 minutes!
There are so many ways fresh produce can be used and stretched to maximize your dollar. Look for more ideas this month in What's cooking.
Chicken Burgers with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
1 lb. ground chicken
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. cilantro and parsley base
8 oz. plain Greek style yogurt*
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Divide the chicken into four even, thin patties and place in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden on one side, flip and continue to cook, placing a piece of foil loosely over the top of the burgers to encourage them to cook through. Add one tablespoon of frozen green herbs, breaking them apart as they begin to sizzle and defrost in the pan. Flip the burgers again to make sure they all season evenly.
Meanwhile combine the yogurt and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the burgers have just cooked through (no pink), serve them immediately with yogurt sauce on the side.
Herb Flavor Base
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
4 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Using a knife, cut the soft stems and leaves off of each bunch of herbs. Rinse, dry and reserve in a zip loc bag wrapped in damp paper towel.
Remove the rubber band from the thicker-stemmed portions of herbs, which should have some leaves remaining. Rinse well to remove any dirt and grit. Dry and place in the bowl of a food processor with garlic cloves and lemon juice.
Pulse until well chopped and divide into small containers, or wrap one tablespoon portions in Saran Wrap, winding them up into a little beggar's purse. Freeze immediately and use as a flavor base or last minute boost in soups, sauce or, for example, to finish these burgers.
Cook's note: For folks who may be lactose intolerant or kosher, substitute yogurt sauce with prepared tahini, hummus or smoked eggplant as a side condiment to the burgers.]]>
Senior Ernest Agyeman finished the 55-meter dash with a fourth-place time of 6.529 seconds, only .005 seconds behind Mitchell Fuller of Lancaster, who was third. Agyeman nearly matched his winning time of 6.52 at The Armory one week earlier.
"It was a spectacular performance in my opinion," Governors boys coach Howard Langley said about Agyeman. "He wasn't the prohibitive favorite [at the PSAL meet], but the 55 meters is like an old cowboy shootout, quick draw, and he came through."
Agyeman has been garnering interest from college programs, Langley said, and the coach believes the interest is warranted based on Agyeman's rapid improvement.
"In my 25 years of coaching [football and track], he's one of the best practice kids I've been around. He doesn't waste time getting better."
Junior Kevaughn Gordon made the semifinal heat of the 55-meter hurdles at the state meet, but his time of 7.88 seconds was .04 seconds shy of qualifying for the final. He ran a 7.79 at The Armory to finish second in the PSAL.
Junior Chevon Ramsey had a jump of 6-feet to finish tied for 14th in the state in the high jump. He was second at the PSAL meet after jumping 6-1.
The boys' team finished tied for second place at the PSAL meet with Boys and Girls High with 34 points, 16 behind champion Medgar Evers Prep of Brooklyn.
"I was very, very proud and very, very happy for the young men," Langley said. "I bring that football mentality to track, where you've got to be competitive and tough. You punish guys in football by sending them on a run. In track, that's what they do for the sport. I really respect the track kids."
The girls finished third in the PSAL with 37 points, behind Medgar Evers (73) and Cardozo (66).
Sophomore Aaliyah Regg Wajid finished second in the 1,500 (4:55.23) and 3,000 meters (10:27.53). She ran the 3,000 at the state meet and finished 17th with a time of 10:32.56.
Senior Dypna Ununakwe was second in the high jump at the city meet after clearing 5-2, and was 21st at states.]]>
The seniors' final two home games this past weekend were arguably their finest moments on their home court in Draddy Gymnasium.
Manhattan (22-7, 15-5) beat conference-leader Iona, 80-77 in overtime in front of a sellout crowd of 2,520 and a national TV audience on Friday, and then beat Canisius, 68-63, on Sunday.
The latter win, coupled with Quinnipiac's loss the same day, earned the Jaspers the No. 2 seed in this weekend's MAAC tournament at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. They will play the winner of No. 7 Saint Peter's and No. 10 Fairfield at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinals. The semifinals are Sunday night, and Monday night's final will be televised on ESPN2.
Three more wins and Manhattan will punch its first ticket to the NCAA tournament since back-to-back appearances in 2003 and 2004. The Jaspers have only participated in March Madness six times before.
"I just want to say thank you to the greatest senior class I have ever been associated with! George, Mike and Rhamel simply, you are the best," head coach Steve Masiello tweeted Sunday night. Masiello, a White Plains native, won a national championship as a player at Kentucky in 1998 and was a Manhattan assistant on their latest NCAA tournament teams.
The 36-year-old took over the floundering program three seasons ago, as Manhattan won only six games when Beamon, Brown and Alvarado were freshmen. Since then, the Jaspers have won 57 games, including the 11th and 12th 20-win seasons in school history. Beamon, Brown and Alvarado are the first 1,000 points-per-player Jasper trio from the same class.
"I'm happy to be a part of this," said Beamon, the conference's third-leading scorer at 19.7 points per game who was named first-team all-conference on Monday. "I'm glad I chose Manhattan."
Manhattan has won eight of its last nine games since losing to Iona by 12 on Jan. 31. They exacted revenge on the Gaels (20-9, 17-3) behind junior Emmy Andujar, who scored a career-high 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting, with six rebounds and three steals. Brown, a second-team all-MAAC selection who is the school's all-time leader in blocks, had nine points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
Beamon finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and tied the game at 71 late in regulation with a jumper. Andujar kept it that way by blocking a shot in the final seconds, and his three-point play with 2:43 left in overtime put Manhattan up for good, 76-73, snapping Iona's 11-game winning streak.
"This rivalry has turned into something special," Masiello said after the game. "I think it's one of the better rivalries in college basketball, regardless of level. You wish both teams could win because the kids put so much into it, and everyone cares so much."
The schools, located only nine miles apart, could meet in the MAAC final for the second straight year. The Jaspers put themselves in that position after Sunday's win over Canisius.
They prevailed despite being without Alvarado, the team's second-leading scorer and a third-team all-conference selection, who sprained his left ankle against Iona. His status for this weekend's games is unknown.
Junior RaShawn Stores picked up the slack with 15 points, and Beamon led the way with 21.]]>
But instead of providing clarity and transparency, the speakers left many present in the State Assembly hearing room feeling even more skeptical than they were before.
The testimony came after the Education Department chose in February to delay entering into a contract with inBloom until September. The move came in response to privacy concerns voiced by parents around the state.
Under the contract, Atlanta-based inBloom Inc. would store student data including suspension records, grades and personal family information with the goal of allowing parents and educators to access student information in one location. Parents of students in public schools have voiced worries about the contract between the Education Department and inBloom, fearing that the data could be accessible to unintended viewers if it were hacked into.
"We appreciate your willingness to finally testify," Assemblywoman and Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan said, with emphasis on the word finally.
During the testimony, Peggy Brookins, a member of inBloom's board, said she hoped to correct what she referred to as "folklore" surrounding the company.
But Assembly members including Ms. Nolan and Daniel O'Donnell raised concerns about the extent to which inBloom had been transparent, with Ms. Nolan saying the company's website by no means provided a clear idea of their services and privacy precautions.
Ms. Nolan and Mr. O'Donnell told representatives that parents were concerned data like suspension records could find their way into the wrong hands, potentially stymieing a student's prospects of going to college or succeeding academically.
"There are hundreds of data points in this thing, and some of them are just intrusive," said Ms. Nolan.
Ms. Brookins tried to assure the assembly that information collected about students would be secure -- she said their data is double encrypted to avoid hacking -- and would be destroyed when students graduated from high school.
"Contrary to claims, inBloom is not building a national database," Brookins said. "This project was never about storing data throughout the course of a student's life."
Meanwhile, Ken Wagner, deputy commissioner for the state Education Department, argued that contracting with inBloom was the most cost effective way for the department to store student data in its EngageNY portal.
Ms. Nolan appeared unconvinced, pointing out that seven states have already dropped out of their contracts with inBloom. She attempted to get an explanation for these states' reluctance to engage with the company and asked representatives which, if any states were still contracting with inBloom.
However, the representatives were reluctant to disclose information about the states still involved in the program, stating that they wished to respect their clients' confidentiality.
Leonie Haimson, head of Class Size Matters, -- a nonprofit organization strongly opposed to inBloom -- said inBloom's answers left much to be desired.
"They had come up with nothing that would address the concerns of parents, school board members and legislatures across the state about this issue," Ms. Haimson said after the testimony.
"They don't respect the confidentiality of our children or parents -- they respect the confidentiality of their clients," she added. "It's really kind of offensive."
Lauren Carmona, president of the Robert J. Christen School's (P.S. 81) Parents' Association, said for parents at her school concerned about inBloom, the delay itself was more important than inBloom's testimony.
"I'll take whatever reason they want to say publicly if it means my child's information is protected," she said.
Last year, Ms. Nolan and Mr. O'Donnell sponsored two bills approved by the Assembly that placed restrictions on sharing student data without parental consent along with a bill allowing parents with concerns to avoid having to share their children's data.
Mr. O'Donnell said he could not see how a parent choosing to opt out would be hurting their children. He failed to be persuaded by inBloom's Friday testimony.
"Frankly, I'm not yet convinced that the benefit is so great that we should take the risk," he said.]]>
But during an impromptu interview at City Hall last week, Mr. Cabrera gave comments suggesting funding for the community will be a key focus of his campaign.
"I'm the only one bringing funding into the district at this point," Mr. Cabrera said on Feb. 28. "I brought in over $30 million in four years. Gustavo hasn't brought a dollar."
State Senators lack the discretionary funds that city council members receive from their speaker. But a spokeswoman for Mr. Rivera said the lawmaker has, in fact, brought funding to the 33rd senate district, which overlaps with Mr. Cabrera's 14th city council district. She pointed to $6 million in capital funds that went into transforming the Fulton Correctional Facility in Morrisania as an example.
Speaking in City Hall's committee room last Friday, Mr. Cabrera also said he was pleased at the number of people and the "network of grassroots efforts" that have encourage him to run for state Senate, although he said he would unveil details over the coming weeks.
The councilman added that jobs will also be a key focus of his campaign.
"There are many other things I can't wait to share," Mr. Cabrera said. "But right now I'm focusing on meeting with people and leaders in the community."
IDC launches full-court press
State Sen. Co-Majority Leader Jeff Klein and fellow members of his breakaway faction of Democrats have walked a fine line between coming off as pragmatists and appearing to be traitors to other Democrats since Mr. Klein formed a power sharing coalition with Republicans in December 2012.
A series of developments over the past week suggest Mr. Klein is seeking to strengthen his Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) as he comes up for reelection himself.
Last week, Queens Democrat Tony Avella announced he will join the IDC, boosting the group's ranks to five total members.
Mr. Avella pointed to the IDC's ability to compromise with Senate Republicans on issues including gun control and the minimum wage as reasons he decided to join the group.
After the switch, Mr. Avella became chairman of the state Senate's Committee on Social Services and the vice-chairman of the environmental conservation panel.
Mr. Klein said in a statement that Mr. Avella will help the IDC's "Affordable NY" agenda to deal with housing costs, unemployment and other issues.
Mr. Avella's support of the IDC weakens the state Senate's 24 mainstream Democrats' chances of gaining a clear majority this year -- and state Sen. Martin Dilan is none too happy about that.
The Brooklyn Democrat called for the Democratic Party to kick out Mr. Avella, Mr. Klein and the other members of the IDC: Rockland County's David Carlucci, Staten Island's Diane Savino and Syracuse's David Valesky.
"You can't run and get elected on the Democratic line, work with the opposing party on an agenda that goes against what we put forward and then run in the election as a Democrat," the Daily News quoted him as saying.
But the IDC might go one step further than gaining a new member. On Monday, LoHud.com reported that Mr. Klein is supporting a challenger to state Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers.
The website reported that Westchester County legislator Virginia Perez is considering a run for Ms. Stewart-Cousins' seat, adding that Mr. Klein is all for the challenge.
In the east Bronx, Mr. Klein is forming a political club with Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj aimed at organizing local supporters of both officials.
A spokesperson for Mr. Klein said details about the group (a scoop by the Bronx Times' Bob "Kappy" Kappstatter last week) would emerge as it gets off the ground.
Rodriguez: Lower speed limits
Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Steve Levin are calling for the state legislature to lower the city's speed limit from 30 to 20 mph unless otherwise noted.
A joint statement by the councilmen quoted a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) finding that a pedestrian has a 45 percent chance of dying when struck by a car going 30 mph, but the rate drops to 5 percent when the vehicle is going 20 mph.
"Easily avoidable traffic deaths devastate our city and we must be given the tools to prevent them. When lives are at stake, death is the price of inaction," Mr. Rodriguez said in a statement, which added that 168 pedestrians and 100 others died in traffic incidents last year.
The proposal by Mr. Rodriguez, the chairman of the City Council's Transportation Committee, complements an initiative known as Vision Zero, which aims to reduce traffic deaths and that has support from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
If the DOT stats are right, lowering the speed limit could enable the mayor and the councilman to say they helped saved lives a few years down the road.
Schumer: Boost anti-terror funding
New York's U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling for more federal funds to guard against terrorism in the city.
The lawmakers said they want an increase to the existing $287 million in anti-terrorism funding that is proportional to a roughly 16-percent boost in federal funds allocated for state and local homeland security efforts this year.
"Under no circumstances should the funding provided to us remain stagnant," Mr. Schumer said in a statement. "We are the number-one target for terrorists, and these federal funds play a critical role in helping us successfully protect our most vulnerable targets across the city and the state. The level of funding we get helps keep millions of people safe every day."]]>
Attendees from packs of moth orchids -- the kind most commonly sold in stores -- to a clique of exotic Darwin star orchids are camped out in the NYBG's humid Enid A. Haupt Conservatory for the event, which has gained the dubious nickname "Orchid Orgy '14" since its March 1 kickoff.
"I'm pretty shocked at some of the things I've seen from some of the other flowers," a blushing sunset orchid said. "Let's just say slipper orchids aren't as innocent as they look."
Still, the plant's dig at the species known for bifurcated petals that look like light footwear did not seem to faze pulsating groups of slipper orchids. The soaked specimens declined to pause from a rave-style bacchanal concentrated in the Haupt Conservatory's long eastern corridor to comment.
A group of dancing lady orchids, which smell like chocolate, took a laissez-faire attitude to the show.
"What can I do? Everyone wants to stick their nose in me," one of them remarked.
Free love was the byword at the event bringing together orchids originally from six different continents. But some of the flowers simply viewed the event as a chance to see and be seen.
A variety of miniature orchids seemed to take the idea to the extreme, confining themselves to a glass case totally inaccessible to touch.
"I seriously can't believe there are moth orchids at this party," said an oberola, whose flowers span just one millimeter wide.
"Why do I have to be next to a disgusting jewel orchid?" the oberola added in reference to a species known for its detailed structure.
In spite of some elitist undertones, a democratic spirit ruled the event, one of the most popular of the year at the NYBG.
The garden boasts a permanent collection of more than 6,000 orchids from 2,273 different types, although the NYBG did not provide the number of specimens at the current show, which is in its 12th year.
This year's event centers around a display inspired by architect Raymond Jungles' Jones and Eaton Garden, which includes an artificial pond, a wall and a large trellis all covered in orchids.
Nestled away from the show's main display, which also has a small waterfall, a group of Darwin star orchids took a measured view of the raucous proceedings.
"Some of us took thousands of years to evolve to get this way. Others are the product of fanatical botanists' breeding," said a Darwin star orchid, named after the type of moth -- discovered by the father of modern biology -- that pollinates the plant. "We deserve to let loose sometimes."
"The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary" runs at the New York Botanical Garden's Enid A. Haupt Conservatory until Monday, April 21. Admission costs $25 for adult non-members, $22 for seniors and students and $10 for children ages 2 to 10. Children under 2 enter for free.]]>
Montefiore Senior Vice President Lynn Richmond and lawyer Jeffrey Moerdler, who is with the Simone Group, said they are on track to build a multi-use center on 3751 Riverdale Ave. and neighboring lots.
But prompting what was likely the first time Montefiore has drawn claps of approval from Riverdale residents opposed to its use of the site, Ms. Richmond appeared to provide hope that Montefiore would consider moving to an alternate location.
"We are looking and considering other options," she said.
However, the vice president appeared to backtrack when asked to clarify why the site of a former Loehmann's at 5740 Broadway -- which activists have suggested as an alternative location for the medical center -- would not work out.
"We're not actively looking for other sites," Ms. Richmond later said, prompting an audience member to shout that the representative should have "stopped while she was ahead."
While Ms. Richmond said Montefiore has taken community suggestions for alternate locations into consideration, the organization plans to move forward at the Riverdale location after Simone returns from the drawing board with plans that take into account community concerns. Those include objections that the proposed 11-story, 56,000-foot site will increase traffic and pollution as well as harm the character of the neighborhood. "It just means that we don't have a closed mind about everything," Ms. Richmond said of the process.
Withdrawal disputeDuring his turn, Mr. Moerdler addressed Montefiore's application status on the Department of Buildings' (DOB) website. Montefiore previously promised to withdraw plans for the new facility, but the application is still listed on the site as "disapproved." A DOB spokesperson previously confirmed the website would list the plans as withdrawn if that was, in fact, the case.
"I suspect what happened was a terminology misunderstanding," said Mr. Moerdler.
He added that even though the DOB listed the application as disapproved, it was in fact simply put on hold until the application was revised and ready to proceed.
Several community and board members asked the Montefiore and Simone representatives to address a comment that Montefiore president Dr. Steven Safyer made in a Dec. 12 New York Times article.He called Riverdale an "underserved" area.
The interlocutors also questioned what Montefiore meant when they described Riverdale as "centrally located."
While Ms. Richmond was unable to provide a clear response to queries regarding location, she said Montefiore was not using the federal definition of the word "underserved," but based its analysis on feedback from patients who hoped for additional services.
Community member and construction litigation lawyer Stuart Gartner, who opposes the plans, presented Mr. Moerdler with documents from the New York City Department of Finance regarding the sale of the lot to Montefiore for $35 million. Mr. Moerdler could not provide an explanation of what the figures meant to Montefiore's plans at the site.
"I can't give you an answer without talking to my client," said Mr. Moerdler. "I was not involved in this document."
Former Councilman G. Oliver Koppell called on elected officials to maintain the pressure on Montefiore until it abandons the site of the proposed medical center.
Mr. Koppell's successor Andrew Cohen gave brief remarks saying he was disappointed Montefiore's plans had not been withdrawn, but that he was glad representatives came to the latest meeting.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and state Sen. Jeff Klein who have previously called on Montefiore to scale back -- but not abandon -- its plans, were in Albany.
"It's clear now that it's not a change," said Mr. Koppell, who recalled a conversation with Dr. Safyer in which the Montefiore president shrugged when Mr. Koppell asked why he had not come to the community before submitting plans for the site.
"You've got to admit you made a mistake, and go somewhere else," he said.
Mr. Moerdler did acknowledge a mistake in Montefiore's information after residents of the homes surrounding the proposed site contradicted his claim that demolition at the property had been put on hold since the plans had returned to Simone.
Several residents informed him the house on the property had already been torn down.
Ms. Richmond said she could not respond to questions about whether Montefiore would suffer financially were they to walk away from the site, and could not say whether Dr. Safyer or the head of Simone would attend the next meeting.
Mr. Moerdler said Montefiore hopes to return to CB 8 in a few weeks with its revised plans from Simone, which he suspected would include a plan for off-site parking -- a remark that elicited groans from residents.
A tiny crack
In spite of Ms. Richmond's backtracking in regard to location, CB 8 chair Robert Fanuzzi saw Montefiore's willingness to finally attend a meeting as a positive development.
"This is a tiny crack and we are going to open that window until a fresh breeze moves through here," he said.
But CB 8 Land Use Committee Chair Charles Moerdler was less optimistic about the possibility of reasoning with Montefiore.
"You're at the stage now where there is no reasonable likelihood, in my view, that you can change the public perception of this plan," he said to Montefiore representatives after the meeting had come to a close.
Charles Moerdler is Jeffrey Moerdler's father. The elder Mr. Moerdler, who opposes Montefiore's plans, nevertheless recused himself from heading the Land Use Committee meeting to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.]]>