AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “I support the expansion, but the hospital needs to be a good neighbor and expand responsibly,” said Councilman Richard Alarc n, who represents Mission Hills and is fighting the expansion without an EIR. “Just because it’s a health care organization doesn’t mean (the expansion) is being done the right way.” Hospital Administrator Kerry Carmody said he has worked with community groups to address their concerns, so an EIR will just delay the project and boost the price tag by $40 million. “On a daily basis I speak to families whose loved one is waiting for a bed. I deal with physicians who need to get patients into beds. It’s extremely frustrating,” Carmody said. “The delay would serve no useful purpose to the health care of the community. None.” It’s a project everybody says they support, but the proposed expansion of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills has divided neighbors, labor unions and city leaders. This week the City Council will consider the expansion, which would add a 101-bed wing, a larger maternity ward and a new intensive-care unit for newborns. Providence has the support of the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council, county health officials and business groups, who say the region needs more hospital beds now. But community activists, rallied by union organizers in a battle with the hospital’s parent company, are lobbying to block construction until Providence completes a lengthy environmental impact report analyzing traffic and parking. While city leaders consider the Holy Cross expansion, the Board of Supervisors and health services director have already endorsed the plan because it would replace some of the 359 hospital beds lost in recent years when Granada Hills Hospital and the Northridge Hospital-Sherman Way campus closed. The Planning Commission approved the project this summer based on a limited environmental study, not a full EIR. But Community Advocates for Responsible Expansion at Providence Holy Cross appealed that decision to the City Council. Generally on land-use cases, the City Council votes with the council member who represents the district where the project is located. But Providence Holy Cross is a regional hospital, and some council members have said they don’t like delaying the expansion when there is a shortage of hospital beds in the San Fernando Valley. “I do not understand their desperate need to do an EIR when this has had a (study) already,” said Councilman Greig Smith, adding that he’s not convinced the extra 101 hospital beds will generate much traffic. “This whole argument began over a union issue. It’s not a health-care issue, it’s not a traffic issue. It’s a union issue and I have a real problem putting people’s lives aside over a union.” Indeed, CARE was organized by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, which is a community organizing group affiliated with labor. Providence Holy Cross employees voted against joining the union three years ago, but the SEIU has a campaign to put pressure on the parent company and appealed Providence’s plans to expand a hospital in Everett, Wash., earlier this year. The SEIU has spent $38,000 lobbying the council to deny the Holy Cross expansion without an EIR, according to Ethics Commission filings. Maria Loya, with the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy, said her group would be interested in the hospital expansion even if Holy Cross employees were unionized. “(Providence) keeps bringing up that this is merely a labor issue,” Loya said. “When we saw the scale of the development we felt there needed to be review and community benefits.” CARE has argued that other hospital expansions and large projects have had to complete EIRs, which offer greater scrutiny and require the developer fix any problems created by the project. Wayde Hunter with the Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council said he welcomes the union’s help to get the street widened and ensure sufficient parking, so cars don’t spill into the neighborhood. “Are we not allowed to have help?” he asked. “If Providence had worked with the community they could be building the hospital right now because everybody wants the expansion. We’re just saying do it right.” While neighborhood councils in Granada Hills, Sylmar, Pacoima and Sunland-Tujunga have all opposed the expansion without an EIR, the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council supports the project as is. “The hospital has addressed every concern we brought them, from low-sulfur emissions in fuel to dust to parking,” said David Crawford, chairman of the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council. “For another council to get involved on issues of parking, I don’t know how that would affect them.” The fight over the hospital expansion has hit the airwaves and newspaper pages in recent weeks. CARE estimates Providence has spent more than $400,000 on advertisements in English and Spanish that ask residents to call Alarc n and ask that he support the expansion. The hospital has also spent $90,000 for two firms to lobby city officials on the project, according to the Ethics Commission. And the hospital has lined up its own union support. The Police Protective League endorsed the expansion. The Building Trades Council, the labor union representing construction workers, also took out advertisements praising Providence for hiring union construction firms. “We just had to get out there. We wanted to talk about our quality and how urgently this expansion is needed,” Carmody said. The ads have only infuriated Alarc n, who said he received calls from people asking why he opposed the hospital expansion. He predicted those tactics would backfire. “My colleagues (on the council) are hyper-sensitive to how issues of development are being promoted,” he said. “They do not like those kinds of lobbying practices.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Newcastle stars Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum Newcastle have had no contact from other clubs over big names Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum, amid speculation the duo could be close to leaving the Magpies.Sissoko has been linked with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund and Wijnaldum with Tottenham in recent days, with potential suitors hoping to cash in on the club’s relegation from the Premier League.However, it is understood Newcastle, who have slapped a £35million price-tag on France international Sissoko, have not received a single formal enquiry about either player.Sissoko, in particular, has made no secret of his desire to leave St James’ Park this summer and his representatives have been busy in recent weeks.His chances of being snapped up were boosted by the 26-year-old’s performances for his country at Euro 2016, where he ended up with a runners-up medal.But, after seeing owner Mike Ashley invest over £80million in the squad last season – £14.5million of it on 25-year-old Dutchman Wijnaldum – Newcastle have no financial need to sell and are determined to do business only on their own terms.Manager Rafael Benitez has made it clear that he wants to keep both players as he plots a swift return to the top flight, and the club’s valuation of Sissoko, which prompted an astonished response from his camp, is in part intended to deter time-wasters from tabling bids they would not even consider. 1