Skala Rides Again

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The criticism of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside has gotten to the point where it is ridiculous.

A handful of residents in East Bayside, led by Frank Skala, are complaining the new entrance to the hospital is dangerous. The entrance was moved over a few feet to make it easier for cars carrying seriously ill children to access the hospital driveway.

This should make it safer, right? The people who complained that expansion of this hospital, famous for delivering care to some of the area’s sickest children, would create a traffic problem for the neighborhood should be happy, right?

But it seems the East Bayside Homeowners Association is never happy.

“The driveway itself should supposedly make it safer after it was straightened, but that might not be the case,” said Skala, the group’s president. “People might end up driving faster, which isn’t safe in a residential area surrounded by family homes.”

Leslie Johnson, director of St. Mary’s communications and marketing, explained that since the minor change made entering the hospital easier, it follows that it will also be safer.

“Now we have a much cleaner means to drive in and out …. The old entrance wasn’t the best for traffic flow,” Johnson said.

Makes sense to us.

She added that the change was made because of community complaints.

We wish she had said, “St. Mary’s delivers extraordinary care to the sickest children. The people of Bayside should be proud that St. Mary’s calls Bayside home. If they care about children, they should do everything possible to support the work we do and stop the complaining.”

Johnson said the hospital is working with Community Board 11 and Bayside neighbors to get a four-way stop at the new intersection.

Skala was not finished. He also complained the hospital removed a tree to improve the entrance. The hospital said it will plant shrubbery to keep up the appearance of the area.

Save a tree or save a child. You decide.

We think this might be a good time for the sake of Bayside and the association that he represents for Skala to take a vow of silence.

Updated 9:27 am, March 23, 2012
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Reader feedback

Mike from Bowne Park says:
that whole hospital has no business being in that neighborhood at all; they ruined everyone's property value. There were so many more places that are better served by mass transit and other infrastructure that this hospital should be in. I will NEVER give another dime to that organization. They're stupid.
March 23, 2012, 1:18 pm
aj from bayside says:
@mike from Bowne Park... let's hope a child in your family doesn't become ill and need the care that St. Mary's provides. you should be ashamed of yourself
March 25, 2012, 1:25 pm
Amos from Bayside says:
First of all, St. Mary's does not provide care to the area's sickest children, children are bused in from all other neighborhoods and locations.

Second, St. Mary's provides mostly, and has provided for a significant amount of time, educational support and services, not hospital services.

Third, as usual, whenever St. Mary's is faced with legitimate criticism its spokespeople resort to appealing to emotion by invoking the "if you don't like what we are doing then you don't care about the children" fallacy. I find this constant dodging of legitimate issues to be arrogant, ignorant and entirely unethical. So St. Mary's and it's personnel should be absolutely immune from any and all criticism, regulation and investigation by any individual, organization or government agency because if you take action against them then you are against the children? Please, for once face the legitimate issues and stop trying to use emotion to gain support.

If you took a door to door poll of the Bayside residents who live closest to St. Mary's, and who are, therefore, most affected by the construction, I guarantee you that not one person would be against any organization helping children. In fact, the neighborhood supports the services that St. Mary's provides. However, the ends do not justify the means, and St. Mary's has used entirely improper means to needlessly expand its facility.

Finally, if St. Mary's really listened to the community, which they do not, then they would have addressed the #1 complaint levied against St Mary's - parking. St. Mary's has insufficient parking on premises for its staff. Its employees park on the local streets, clogging the roads. This has been a complaint for some time and even with this knowledge St. Mary's HAS NOT included ANY expansion of parking as part of its expansion plans.

St. Mary's doesn't care about the community or its neighbors. It is arguable if they even care about the children. They are run as any other business and care about only one thing - money.
March 26, 2012, 10 am
annoyed from bayside says:
Amos... you as well need to do your investigating because i believe some of your "facts" are not accurate. maybe you should tour the facility and see what they do because I have and you are wrong. If those are not sick children and caring staff then i dont know what is. Arrogant people need to just mind there business and stay in their huge houses.
March 28, 2012, 7:14 pm

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