Fwd: Fiends of Bellevue Sobriety Garden - Help Needed!
- Subject: [cg] Fwd: Fiends of Bellevue Sobriety Garden - Help Needed!
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 20:06:23 EDT
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 19:44:11 EDT
Subject: Fiends of Bellevue Sobriety Garden - Help Needed!
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This email is part of the campaign to save Bellevue Hospital's Sobriety
Garden. Please circulate this email to your networks.
From: Deborah Huntington
Friends of the Bellevue Sobriety Garden
Hi - I am writing to ask your assistance. There are TWO IMPORTANT MEETINGS
this week at which it would be important to have members of the public,
specifically folks who would identify themselves as a Friend of the Sobriety Garden.
I have to leave town on Wednesday morning and am unable to attend either
The most important of the two meetings is on Thursday evening, June 22,
(6:00 pm -- NYU Medical Center, 530 First Avenue at 32nd St., Lecture Hall "B" --
the security guard at the door can direct you). It's the Subcommittee on
Human Services of Community Board 6, and the future of the garden is the big
agenda item. The meeting will be attended by the top Bellevue brass plus
representatives of many local politicians. It's the place where the hard questions
will be put directly to Bellevue's decision makers. We are looking for 1)
garden supporters to attend; and 2) a volunteer to read a brief (half page)
statement (which I am happy to write) on behalf of the Friends of the Sobriety
Garden. Patient-gardeners will be present and will speak, but the staff of the
recovery programs are not allowed by Bellevue, so a good showing on their behalf
would be important. Please contact me if you can read the statement or help in
some other way!
Also important is the Wednesday June 21 meeting of the Bellevue Community
Advisory Board, which will meet at 6:00 pm at Bellevue Hospital (462 First
Avenue, at 28th Street, in "the Rose Room," 12th floor.) We are also on the agenda
here and hope to have supporters in the audience. There may be a chance to
speak as well.
The good news is that we've gotten a lot of support from local politicians,
including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Community Board 6, Council Member
Garodnick and others. There are people on the Bellevue Community Advisory Board
who support the Garden, and more than 150 people have signed our on-line
The bad news is that the Bellevue administration insists that there is no
negotiating room, and they are twisting the arms of many administrators to fall
in line behind the decision. Staff are still afraid for their jobs and can't
speak out; Bellevue has put up a firewall on its internet system to prevent
people from going to our website (www.saveourgarden.org). They have launched a
public relations campaign claiming that they the Sobriety Gardeners are
supporting Bellevue's alternative proposals (see below), which is not the case.
Bellevue wants to pave over most of our therapeutic garden (leaving us only
the area on top of the diesel tanks, which we can't plant!) to create up to 64
parking spots to help compensate for the loss of 250 parking spots due to the
nearby construction of the East River Science Park (NYC's Economic Development
We do not believe that Bellevue has approached the parking issue in a
systematic way, and urge them to:
* Undertake a census of exactly WHO is parking in the current lot to
determine whether they are in fact Bellevue employees and whether their job
necessitates having a car;
* Publish staff guidelines clarifying who is eligible for subsidized parking,
and apply these criteria across the board in a consistent fashion, without
* Explore other parking options, including closing petitioning the city to
keep the block on East 27th Street between First Avenue closed and the FDR (this
street has been closed off for several years due to nearly -finished
construction), and contracting with local parking vendors.
Bellevue has offered our garden alternative space which is not acceptable.
* Two non-contiguous strips in the front of the hospital which total 6% of
our present garden's area, in a landscaped, public venue;
* The area in our current garden which is over the emergency generator diesel
Come See the Garden for Yourselves!
The Friends of the Bellevue Sobriety Garden join with the patients in the
recovery clinics to invite you to a Garden Party on Wednesday, June 28, to come
see why so many visitors, patients and staff love this garden. Visit our
website for details -- www.saveourgarden.org.
And again, thank you for your support.
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