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June 17, 2016     Post-Gazette
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June 17, 2016
 

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"m"h"'iqlt,sqtll,h,l,'v,w"d,lvl,,i,Mi,t,h.tll,, OA :O,O ,5 PAUL JEFFKO SMALL TOWN PAPERS, INC. 217 W COTA ~T SHELTON WA 98584-2263 ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 120 - NO. 25 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, JUNE 17, 2016 $.35 A COPY Sunday, June 19th by Sal G/arratani An Ass on Page One? I always thought the New York Times had a lot of asses writing for it over the years, but I never thought I would see an ass on page one. However, there it was on Saturday, June 4% in a front page story on severe flooding at the Louvre in France. The NY Times ran with a photo of several ancient Roman statues getting ready to be moved to higher ground and right there on page one, there it was, the ass from ancient Rome. Of all the photos one could use about flooding at the Louvre, the NY Times went with an ass photo remind- ing me of Kramer from the Seinfeld Show. A Revoluntary Idea Here "When government decides to take away the right of citizens to bear arms, it is time for the people to take away government's fight to govern." -- President George Washington The above quote shows just how radical our founders were back in 1775. They believed government sprang up from the people. Government rests in the hands of its citizens and not the other way around. Our fights in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights itself are rights that cannot be stripped away by government. However, today's liberals and radical progressives have turned the American Revolution upside down. What HiUary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wish for even more is the end of ourConstitutional-based Democratic Republic. The choice is dear. Even if you dislike the way Trump {Continued on Page 14) POST-GAZETTE SATELLITE OFFICE 343 CHELSEA ST, DAY SQ, E. BOSTON Tues. 10:00 AM-3:00 PM -- Thurs. 11:00 AM-2:00 PM Call 617-227-8929 for more information On Monday night, David E. Storto, President of Part- ners Continuing Care and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Net- work, attended the North End/ Waterfront Neighborhood Coun- cil meeting "to do some 'splain- in" about Partners' recently uncovered unilateral decision to close the North End Nursing Home. I will give Partners credit for sending the top guy, and not some powerless minion (al- though he seemed like one most of the evening). Storto stood up front and took everything the neighborhood had to throw at him. But he gave us nothing in return. The meeting, which had ad- vertised the Partners agenda only days before; was packed to overflowing. Several people left because they could not get in. Our elected officials, alarmed by local media coverage and no doubt hundreds of irate p ne"Calls; Were epresented by State Representative Aaron Michlewicz and State Senator Joe Boncore. Both spoke at the start of the meeting, express- ing the requisite outrage, but offering nothing in the way of action as yet. City Councilor Sal LaMattina was unfortunately out of town and the City was holding its vigil for the victims of the Orlando massacre that night, hence the understand- able absence of Mayor Marry Walsh. The North End's city liaison, Maria Lanza, was there, although she initially declined to speak, Meanwhile, Storto's plan seemed to be to repeat all the corporate-speak excuses already communicated in an open letter from Partners to the neighborhood earlier that day, and then answer ques- tions about how they plan to move forward with their done deal. But he can't possibly be that dumb. If he didn't expect the onslaught of fury that inter- rupted him before he could get a full sentence out, he would not be in the position he is in. From the specific question of whether the bathrooms are wheelchair accessible his claim tl)at they are not was quickly met with derision as people told him how they push wheelchairs through those bathroom doors every day to the general question of whether the Wingate building Partners is buying in Brighton is in better condition than our Fulton Street building-- quick- ly denounced by folks describ- ing how often that facility had to close due to flooding on the first floor, Storto was shouted down. He had no answers. Many people spoke eloquently during the evening, each mak- Battle is Joined by Jeanne Brady ing another set of damning points and reinforcing one another's testimony. Key ques- tions, in no particular order, included: Who actually owns the build- ing and the land? Why was the property al- lowed to fall into such claimed disrepair while being operated by Partners? How much is it going to cost to renovate the Wingate facility in Brighton? How does that com- pare to the estimate to renovate the North End facility? Why can't our nursing home be renovated one floor or section at a time? Why has there not been a public hearing? "Why was the North End community not part of a conversation on how to deal with the building's condition? Why did we find out what was happening through the press? What approvals are required for Partners to move forward with their plan? Is there any scenario where we can keep the nursing home, or is this meeting just a waste of our time? And my favorite -- would you do this to YOUR mother? No answers were forthcom- ing, even when moderator John Pregmon {newly elected Council president) quieted the crowd in order to give Storto a chance to respond. He claimed he was unfamiliar with the structural problems at the Wingate facil- ity, he didn't know how much the renovations would cost, or why, specifically, the Fulton Street building couldn't be renovated one section at a time. He claimed there were no plans yet for selling the Fulton Street building (although he seemed sure that Partners owned it). He claimed that they were planning to contact the families of the patients to discuss the plans, but were blindsided by the so- cial media and news articles. Hey, who's blindsiding whom here? Again, they can't be that stupid. And we aren't, either. They should have been way out ahead on this. They just didn't CARE. I can't possibly do justice to the eloquent speeches made that night, so I hope that if you were not there, and you haven't seen the video yet, you will go to nrthendwaterfrnt'cm and watch. Francine Gannon did a great job of summarizing the history, of the North End Nurs- ing Home and questioning the legality of Partners' current ac- tions given recently passed laws concerning the closing of nurs- ing homes. Joe Testa described in detail the horrible conditions at Wingate during the two years he was visiting his son there. One woman described how ex- hausting it was to work full-time and take public transportation every day to Brighton to visit her mother. Daniel Passacantilli and his daughter Alissa Tizzano gave impassioned testimony on what moving her 93-year-old grandmother with Alzheimer's after eight years in what has become her home will do to her. Basically, it's a death sentence. John GralTeo spoke with equal passion about his 99-year-old mother, another patient at the North End Nurs- ing Home. He read from Part- ners' website: "Partners Health- Care is a not-for-profit health care system that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and serv/ce to the community lo- cally and globally. ~"Well, this is locally. So, what is Partners do- ing? They are doing completely the opposite!" he exclaimed. All these testimonials were met with loud applause. And the "peanut gallery," as my father would call them, were extremely vocal throughout. The comments were not kind, but they were legitimate. One question that was even- tually answered concerned the actual ownership of the proper- ty. Over and over again, people questioned whether Partners actually owns the property, including one gentleman who insisted that Storto return with a bill of sale! Several people remembered in some detail the promise that was made to the community by the City when the Nursing Home finally be- came a reality so many years ago -- that the property would always be utilized for the benefit of our North End seniors, that they might grow old in famil- iar surroundings in the care and company of their families when they were no longer able to live at home. I finally asked the Mayor's liaison, silent until this point, how the mayor feels about all this and can the City get to the bottom of the prov- enance of the property? Lanza responded that Walsh feels this issue is very important, as evidenced by his sending her. She then went on to describe an existing LDA -- Land Disposi- tion Agreement -- held by the BRA that does indeed specify that the parcel must be used as a nursing home for North End residents or revert to the City, and there must be "community process" if Partners leaves. [Re- ally? Would she have mentioned this if I hadn't asked? Perhaps (Continued on Page 2)