New Hospital One Step Closer To Reality

first_imgIt will be one of the biggest construction projects in the history of the Hamptons and the largest building east of the Shinnecock Canal.Given current zoning restrictions, a project of this magnitude will probably never be seen again.More to the point, a brand-new Southampton Hospital, reborn with the name Stony Brook Southampton after a merger, is long overdue and much needed.It will also forever change the makeup of Southampton Village, where the current facility is located.The new hospital will be on the grounds of the Stony Brook Southampton campus, and that’s part of the story.It’s really a tale of two institutions on divergent paths that found each other at just the right moment in time. Southampton Hospital long ago outgrew its confined space, and while Southampton College enjoyed some glory years, it too was losing steam and stature as the millenium came and went.When Long Island University officials announced in 2004 that Southampton College was closing, the surprise decision caught locals off guard. Hundreds of jobs would be lost, and the largest parcel of land in the area faced an uncertain future.Even after Stony Brook University was convinced — strong-armed — into taking over the campus, nothing came easy. “They were a little slow out of the chute, and then the recession hit,” recalled Assemblyman Fred Thiele. Shirley Strum Kenny, president of Stony Brook University, retired in 2009 and the college eliminated its sustainability program. Attendance, never robust, slowed to a trickle.“I used to judge how it was doing by the cars in the parking lot,” Thiele said. There weren’t many. Stony Brook wanted to pull out altogether, citing budget restraints.Close It DownDr. Samuel Stanley, Stony Brook’s president, announced the decision to close the campus on April 7, 2010.Thiele, an attorney by trade, helped prepare a lawsuit on behalf of the soon-to-be-displaced students.The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court, charged the university broke state law by failing to hold a public hearing before announcing plans to shutter the dorms and most other buildings on campus. Katie Osiecki, Nicole Altimari, Tara Linton, Dean Tarulli, Kathleen Furey, and Martha Weller, the student plaintiffs, demanded, and received, an apology.The university committed to continuing sustainability education at its main campus until spring 2014, when the last of the plaintiffs was expected to graduate. In addition, the university agreed to pay $5000 toward the cost of a sustainability conference at Stony Brook Southampton in 2013, and $30,000 toward the students’ attorney’s fees, according to a copy of the settlement. Dr. Stanley was forced to make a public apology.Robert Chaloner, president and CEO of Southampton Hospital, was an anxious onlooker during the legal proceedings. “I think if you go around the country and look at hospitals and colleges, they often sit next to each other, and there’s good reasons for that,” said Chaloner. His intentions were clear: Southampton Hospital needed a new home, and Stony Brook Medical and his hospital were already sharing services and heading toward a full merger.Chaloner was armed with the findings of the Berger Commission report of health care facilities in New York State. The recommendations included possible consolidation, closure, conversion, and restructuring of stand-alone hospitals. ‘If the recommendations are approved by the Governor and the Legislature, they become law, and must be implemented by the Commissioner of Health,’ the summary stated. Clearly, the writing was on the wall for Southampton Hospital. Find a partner, relocate, or close.“Hospitals are teaching facilities where we train the next generation of health care workers,” Chaloner said, adding that the hospital, which already has a partnership with Stony Brook University Medical Center, regularly partners with different educational institutions, providing the hands-on training, while students gain their academic experience in the universities.Beefed Up ProgramStony Brook University, meanwhile, built a $10 million Marine Science building and beefed up its writing program in Southampton. Student enrollment increased markedly.In January 2015, the SUNY board of trustees approved a merger between Stony Brook University Hospital and Southampton Hospital. Dr. Stanley called the affiliation a “win-win.”“This is an extraordinarily important first step,” he told the 18-member board in Albany. “This will enhance our ability to compete successfully in a very crowded marketplace.”Chaloner called the vote “historic,” and Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, said the affiliation would “expand medicine and medical innovation by enhancing education and research” and provide clinical training sites.No one was happier than Senator Ken LaValle, who had worked not only to keep the campus vibrant but to keep Southampton Hospital vibrant. “It will bring an infusion of specialty care for the East End, and I think in a very short period of time will erase its medically underserved status,” he said.The truth was, the idea of building a hospital on campus property had already been informally broached.The two entities realized how much common ground existed almost immediately. With the hospital on campus, graduate medical students would have a teaching facility and a hospital within steps of each other. Southampton Town was on board.The current 125-bed hospital, 100 years old, is antiquated and constrained. When it was built, that part of Southampton Village was primarily marshland and farms; now it is surrounded by multi-million-dollar homes. The real estate it sits on is worth a fortune, though the cumbersome building would be difficult to convert to condominiums.A CrisisThiele and LaValle crafted legislation that would allow Stony Brook University to lease the necessary property on the state-owned campus. The Southampton Hospital Association was formed to build the new hospital. The state legislature was on board. And then, out of nowhere, a crisis.Fast forward to June 7. A number of unions, after perusing the agreement, feared the coupling of what was essentially still a private hospital with a public entity would have a negative impact on union jobs at the state level. They balked at the agreement. With the legislature facing a June 20 drop-dead date to pass it, the deal was in danger of being scuttled.It wasn’t building trade unions that objected. New York State United Teachers reps were afraid of the bargaining practice prevalent at some private hospitals. The Civil Service Employees Association voiced fears that new hires at the yet-to-be-built hospital would be allowed to bypass its union.Thiele, LaValle, and Chaloner, with only days to save the deal, held marathon meetings with union reps on Tuesday in Albany to try to address the concerns and remove the roadblock. Finally, with one day to go, the unions capitulated.“Serendipity happened,” Thiele noted. It turned out the United University Professions Union was in the midst of contract negotiations with the state. A tentative agreement was forged as part of a larger deal involving the use of Southampton campus land for the new hospital building.One more hurdle remains. Alyssa Milello, spokeswoman for Southampton Hospital, pointed out that Governor Andrew Cuomo still needs to sign off on the deal and has until the end of the year to do so. Then, the hospital must raise the estimated $250 million to construct the new building. Thiele said a realistic estimate would be five years before the project is to begin in [email protected] Sharelast_img read more

Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison

first_imgIn court before the sentence was delivered, Haley broke down crying as she described during her victim impact statement being assaulted by Weinstein. Share Lauren Young, Jessica Mann and Dawn Dunning (left to right), three women who testified against Harvey Weinstein at his trial, walk out of the courthouse after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Share Sharing is caring! “This is a first conviction, but it is not a first offense,” Burke said.Weinstein wore a blank face as he was taken out of the courtroom. His accusers cried together in the front row.Afterward, prosecutors and leaders of the #MeToo movement praised the lengthy sentence. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said it “puts sexual predators and abusive partners in all segments of society on notice.”Weinstein’s defense attorneys had asked that he be sentenced to five years in prison and argued that, given his frail health, anything longer would constitute a de facto life sentence. Judge James Burke sentenced him to 20 years in prison for criminal sexual act and three years in prison for rape. The sentences will run consecutively and both come with five years of supervision after release, and Weinstein must register as a sex offender. Harvey Weinstein spoke for about 20 minutes at his sentencing hearing on March 11. (CNN) Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Wednesday, March 11th in a New York courtroom to 23 years in prison, the culmination of a case that fueled the global #MeToo movement and encouraged women to speak out against sexual abuse.“I really feel remorse for this situation,” the former Hollywood producer said, his voice barely audible, as he addressed the court before the sentence was handed down. “I feel it deeply in my heart. I will spend my time really caring and really trying to be a better person.”“I’m not going to say these aren’t great people, I had wonderful times with these people, you know,” Weinstein said of his accusers. “It is just I’m totally confused and I think men are confused about all of these issues.”Weinstein, 67, arrived at his sentencing hearing in a wheelchair and in handcuffs. He had faced between five and 29 years in prison for last month’s convictions on first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. Defense Donna Rotunno lambasted the 23-year punishment as “obscene,” “obnoxious” and “cowardly,” and she argued that Weinstein did not get a fair trial.“There are murderers who will get out of court faster than Harvey Weinstein will. “That (23-year) number spoke to the pressure of movements in the public. That number did not speak to the evidence that came out of trial,” she said.The charges were based on testimony by Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, who both spoke at the sentencing. Haley testified that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment, and Mann testified that he raped her in 2013 during what she described as an abusive relationship. Tweet Illuzzi-Orbon read a profile of Weinstein given to hotel employees in which they were cautioned, “Do not go near the car. Do not speak at him. Do not look at him. Stay away.”Illuzzi-Orbon also noted Weinstein’s significant legal representation, saying she thought his defense team made every reasonable argument it should have and could have made on his behalf.The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued in an 11-page court filing last week that Weinstein should receive a sentence that “reflects the seriousness of defendant’s offenses.” He led a “lifetime of abuse towards others, sexual and otherwise,” prosecutors argued, and they highlighted three dozen uncharged incidents and accusations.“Starting in the 1970s, he has trapped women into his exclusive control and assaulted or attempted to assault them,” Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in a letter.Weinstein’s defense attorneys wrote in a sentencing letter that their client’s personal charitable giving, advanced age, medical issues and lack of a criminal history should lead to a lower sentence. They wrote that his life “has been destroyed” since the article in The New Yorker that alleged systemic abuse of women in the entertainment industry.“His wife divorced him, he was fired from The Weinstein Company, and in short, he lost everything,” the attorneys wrote.The attorneys also cited the “collateral consequences” he continues to face.“Mr. Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” according to the letter signed by attorneys Damon Cheronis, Rotunno and Aidala. Weinstein said he’s worried about this country and people’s rights to due process. He also told the judge that he wanted to testify during the trial but his attorneys warned him that it would hurt his case.Outside court, Rotunno said Weinstein feels “terrible” and is “confused” about the sentence, adding that she supported his decision to speak in court.“I’m happy that Harvey spoke. Harvey has been silent for years. I think Harvey could have said anything today and it wouldn’t have mattered,” Rotunno said. “From Harvey’s perspective, Harvey needed to do that, and I’m glad that he was able to do so.”center_img Harvey Weinstein faces victims seated in the front row as he makes his sentencing statement. “If Harvey Weinstein had not been convicted by this jury, it would have happened again and again and again,” Haley told the court Wednesday. “I’m relieved he will now know he’s not above the law. I’m relieved there are women out there who are safer because he’s not out there.”Weinstein also faces felony charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint in Los Angeles. Prosecutors say he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another in separate incidents over a two-day period in February 2013.The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has begun the process of extraditing him to California to face those charges, the agency said in a tweet. No arraignment has been set. close dialog Share Prison consultants: Helping Harvey Weinstein and other criminals manage their jail experience Haley felt Weinstein showed a lack of remorse or acknowledgment for his crimes, she said, and she asked the judge to consider a sentence “long enough for Harvey Weinstein to acknowledge what he has done.”Mann minutes later asked Burke to impose the maximum sentence for rape in the third degree, with sentences served concurrently.Mann wants the “gift” of knowing exactly where Weinstein is at all times, she said, adding she hopes he’ll be rehabilitated in prison.“Twelve people found Harvey unanimously guilty of raping me. That is not an easy task,” she said.Mann also referenced drug charges that she said carry longer sentence recommendations than third-degree rape.“How am I not worth more than cocaine?” she said.Weinstein has denied all allegations of “nonconsensual sexual activity” related to the New York case and other claims made against him.Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon referenced the submitted sentencing memo that she said detail additional accounts of victims of Weinstein’s abuse and show his lack of human empathy, selfishness and a life rooted in criminality. One assistant told prosecutors Weinstein threatened to kill her and her entire family, Illuzzi-Orbon said.The prosecutor also described the glamorous lifestyle Weinstein lived as a giant of the movie industry.“He got drunk on the power,” Illuzzi-Orbon said. “Young struggling dreamers were not real people to him.” InternationalNews Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison by: – March 17, 2020 Haley, Mann and the four other women who testified against Weinstein at his trial — actress Annabella Sciorra and three “prior bad acts” witnesses — arrived to court with prosecutors and sat in the front row. Actress Rosie Perez, who testified in support of Sciorra’s claims, walked in with them and sat in the second row.Weinstein was acquitted of two more serious charges of predatory sexual assault, which could have come with a life sentence.He has been in state custody since the verdict and has had several health issues. He had a heart procedure last week during which doctors inserted a stent, and on Sunday he fell while at Rikers Island jail, his publicist Juda Engelmayer told CNN. 92 Views   no discussions “I believe that when he attacked me that evening with physical force, with no regard for my cries and protests, it scarred me deeply — mentally and emotionally,” Haley said.Haley said the past two years have been excruciating, filled with paranoia and daily fear of retaliation. And while testifying against Weinstein was difficult, it did help Haley process what had happened to her, she said. Weinstein’s comments in court were unexpected.In general, defendants planning to appeal a guilty verdict or who face other charges do not speak at sentencing because what they say can be used against them, according to Michelle Simpson Tuegel, an attorney who has worked in criminal defense.Weinstein, who did not testify during the trial, spoke without prepared remarks for about 20 minutes, continuing even as defense attorney Arthur Aidala repeatedly and quietly asked him to stop talking. At one point, his attorneys asked for a pause and conferred with him; when he began speaking again, he said he’d lost his train of thought.Weinstein said he believed the relationships with women who spoke out against him were consensual, mentioning Mann. “I really, really was under that impression that I had that kind of relationship, five years with Jessica,” he said.He lamented how the allegations had impacted his personal life.“The thing for me is I have not seen my three older children since the newspaper, since the New Yorker article came out,” he said, referring to the October 2017 story about his history of alleged sexual abuse. “I have not seen them. I just have no idea what they are doing, and I’m in no communication with them. That for me is hell on Earth.”last_img read more