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View other events for the week of 3/30/2015
Oakland’s Children’s Hospital Expansion - community meeting
Date Monday March 30
Time 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details
5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
North Oakland Senior Center
Event Type Meeting
If you live in Oakland, Berkeley or Emeryville, attend this meeting. Attend the next Planning Commission meeting. At a minimum, demand all of the issues listed at the end are addressed as well as many others that I’m sure you can think of. This is not just about the neighbors even though they should be very concerned. This is a rare project that will affect and should have input from the larger Alameda County area.

from the CITY: The Oakland City Planning Commission and Office of the City Administrator will conduct a joint public hearing on the Final EIR on April 1, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in Hearing Room 1, City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza to consider certification of the Final EIR and project approvals and recommendations to City Council.

from the CITY's website, Current Environmental Review Documents webpage: Scroll down to the Children's Hospital documents for detailed information.

Some recent PRESS coverage:
– December 04, 2013 EBX By Sam Levin
Is Stanford Trying to Put Children's Hospital Oakland Out of Business? The new Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Emeryville could siphon off wealthier patients and thus make it harder for Children's Hospital Oakland to serve low-income residents. "... Children's Hospital Oakland is moving forward with its own plan to affiliate with UC San Francisco as part of an agreement announced in August [2013]."

– October 14, 2014 EBX Seven Days Blog By Sam Levin
Children's Hospital Oakland Settles Contract Dispute With Resident Physicians

– March 2, 2015 EBX Seven Days Blog By Sam Levin
Children's Hospital Oakland Plans Major Campus Renovation

An educational and cautionary tale ...

This project and review have been in the pipeline for a decent time now. The City Planning Dept’s process is such that if you are a large business or better yet, a large extractive business, you will get your way. At this point, every meeting is perfunctory UNLESS a large number of people appear. In addition to the meeting listed above, District 1 Councilmember Dan Kalb had his staff send out an invite for a last minute meeting:

“Councilmember Kalb and his staff have heard from many residents in your neighborhood through individual communications, community and planning commission meetings about Children’s Hospital proposed expansion plans. We have been working with the City staff, community groups, and the Hospital on addressing the very real concerns that neighbors in the vicinity of the Hospital have.
Before this expansion project goes before the Planning Commission, Councilmember Kalb wants to assemble with you and other community members and listen to your thoughts regarding any outstanding concerns and issues pertaining this expansion plan. Please join us next Monday evening.”

What: Meeting regarding Children’s Hospital proposed expansion plan
When: Monday, March 30th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: North Oakland Senior Center, 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Hosts: Councilmember Dan Kalb in collaboration with the Santa Fe Community Association and Neighbors (Santa Fe CAN).

This is something a city council member should do regularly regarding massive projects like this, all of the recent Specific Area Plans, questions of commercial mix in retail areas, etc. Of course, this assumes they see themselves as the resident’s representatives to the municipal corporation of Oakland. In all but a few minor instances, they do not.

Kalb is NO populist. This meeting suggests there has been a lot of push-back from the community around the already massive Children’s Hospital complex. It’s interesting to see him get involved. He has been almost whole-heartedly behind all of the extractive-oriented Specific Area Plans. He was FOR the creation of the regional & national chain store mall at Broadway & Pleasant Valley Avenue. Was FOR the rezoning of the Broadway Valdez area to include regional & national chain stores. Both will create minimum wage jobs and will destroy any chance of all the small storefronts between these projects on Broadway ever being filled by local mom & pops that will support families. The West Oakland Specific Area Plan was similar in relationship to the existing neighborhood. Kalb is FOR the rotten seismic retrofit ordinance that due to the City’s horrible Rent Adjustment Program could place ALL of the retrofit costs on the current residents of a building which will force many of those renters to leave.

Every single one of the recent giant “health” or medical corporation’s expansions should never been allowed to happen. A rule of thumb is that whenever you see a tall building being proposed, you know something bad is about to happen. Tall buildings are expensive to build. They are not “sustainable”. LEED is a program developed by big business to create a “green-washing” cover for their activities. When the power goes out, anything above the 4th floor is essentially useless space.

Most don’t understand that for the last 100 years, the ever-increasing, so-called “health” system is not about health. It is about creating repeat business. The concentration of commercial power in massive mid-height complexes (Alameda Co’s Highland, Children’s) and towers (Alta Bates Pill Hill or most Kaiser locations) is the absolute opposite of what should be happening if a city were to have a healthy economy. The only reason one should ever need to visit a doctor is on the incredibly rare occasion of breaking a bone or having a severe cut requiring more stitches than a friend or family member feels comfortable addressing. If we had a healthy economy, we would have many independent doctors spread evenly throughout the City in neighborhood commercial areas with a few evenly placed hospitals intended only for rare surgeries. Instead, there is a concentration of a handful of massive medical complexes controlled by huge, wealthy Non-Profit Organizations.

If you see a tower, you know wealth extraction and wealth inequality is at hand.

Some ISSUES that should be addressed:

NOTIFICATION: This singular massive complex affects all of the City yet only those immediately adjacent would have been notified. And, that is purely for construction purposes.

LOCATION & NUMBER of facilities: Who has been involved with decisions about consolidation versus dispersion of such facilities?

SIZE: This is a massive addition to the existing complex. It sits adjacent to detached single family homes and a limited access freeway. The existing complex is already too tall & bulky and that’s without it’s clunky, post-modern, over-scaled design.

TRAFFIC: The hospital admits the additions will increase the number of patients it can service and the number of staff positions that might be created. This will add a lot of automobile traffic in what is essentially a residential neighborhood. Elevated BART tracks are adjacent to the site but there is NO station within easy travel to this hospital. The increase auto traffic and noise/pollution from the adjacent freeway and BART tracks will require that the hospital be sealed. Doctors/medical facilities are already the 3rd most common form of death. This is due to ineptness and infection – everything most common in centralized, massive facilities.

TAX-EXEMPTION: While it may be true that this facility is known for servicing the poorer populace common to Oakland, the community should know if the hospital meets it’s minimums for service. Many do not. See a recent expose in the EBX for many other hospitals in the area. Many tax-exempt organizations do not pay certain taxes and can therefore be a burden on the community. Just because these are non-profits does not mean they don’t make a lot of money for their owners, investors, and the upper management who feign to run it.

TREATMENT: Not of patients (see note above about 3rd most common form of death) but of those who exchange labor for wages in these facilities. Recent articles provide some insight into the bad faith of the management. What of fatigue for nurses who are too long on their feet due to staffing levels. Of medical-residents who should never be subjected to their bootcamp-like early years. What of guarantees to use local Oakland labor and UNIONized labor at that? Is the General Contractor and the tradesmens to be hired local? Are the design professionals: the architects, engineers and landscape architects local? This is a big expensive project but will only mean anything to the local economy if it is 100% local so money will circulate in the City. Otherwise, it will be yet another extractive project that has been all too common over the past couple of decades.
Added to the calendar on Thursday Mar 26th, 2015 7:31 PM
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