Paramedics, the VA, and Eric Garner: When Deference to Authority Goes Horribly Wrong (Part 2/4)

Part 2 of 4 of the series When Life and Death is “A Matter of Policy” Annnnnnnnnd we’re back… in part one of this series, I detailed one policy driven by No Discernable Medical Purpose (NDMP), and that’s the “no foreign ventilator” policy hospitals have, affecting me in the past and maybe at points in the … Continue reading “Paramedics, the VA, and Eric Garner: When Deference to Authority Goes Horribly Wrong (Part 2/4)”

The Coler Chronicles: Collected Bloggings of the Institution Days

Dispatches from Ventboy Alcatraz From inside the walls of the institution, Coler-Goldwater, I continued to create content, to blog, and we added video blogging from the inside. I wrote the following blog posts about the institution, where I lived from August 28, 2008 to September 10, 2009: Hey everyone I almost died again – October 15th, … Continue reading “The Coler Chronicles: Collected Bloggings of the Institution Days”

New Photos of the WTC Reconstruction, September 2010

For more information on the mega-crane used to erect the Freedom Tower’s 70-ton “jumbo” steel columns that support the perimeter, click this interview with Quentin Brathwaite, the Port Authority’s assistant director of WTC Construction. These photos thanks to friend Aaron Auslender; he took them on the way to visit me near-by.

World Trade Center, 2010

WHAT DO WE WANT? WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW! My 9/11 anniversary post is focusing on the new WTC towers in the works now. Click here for new photos of the construction. We want that first tower up ASAP! (first dubbed the “Freedom Tower,” then changed back to the original “One World Trade Center” … Continue reading “World Trade Center, 2010”

Video Blog: Islamic Center on Park Place: Guy in Neighborhood Responds

I’m that guy in the neighborhood. Believe it or not, we live in an apartment only 6-8 blocks or so north of the disputed Park51 site, so this is about MY NEIGHBORHOOD and I feel I’m a direct stakeholder in this controversy, so I should weigh in. Knowledge of the neighborhood, and of the culture … Continue reading “Video Blog: Islamic Center on Park Place: Guy in Neighborhood Responds”

Please Stand By

On September 10, 2009, Nick Dupree was able to leave the rehab hospital in New York City where he had been living for approx. 378 days after moving from Mobile Alabama (well after his previous crusade), while waiting to get services and supports established to live in the community. It’s a wait that’s shorter than … Continue reading “Please Stand By”

Is The U.S. The World Leader In Disability Rights?

So, the U.S. has now signed on to the historic UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). People are saying this is wonderful, the ACLU is saying that it marks America’s return as a world human rights leader (by the way, the Senate has yet to ratify the treaty). I’m concerned that … Continue reading “Is The U.S. The World Leader In Disability Rights?”

NYC’s 19th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Event

Nadina LaSpina (NYC ADAPT) gives a powerful, stirring speech about how far disability rights has yet to go, and Elaine Kolb sings an insightful song about the medical-institutional complex at the 19th ADA Anniversary Event in Central Park, July 26, 2009.

My Story Taken To The New York City Council

The New York City Council heard testimony today regarding the  Proposed Res. No. 1783-A, a resolution urging Congress to pass the Community Choice Act. My partner Alejandra testified, and told my story. For the full text of her testimony, go here: NYC Council Hearing: June 17, 2009

More NYC Hospitals Lost To Economic Crisis

New York City’s hospitals, already strained and overcrowded, are experiencing a spree of closings, felled by the economic crisis. St. John’s Queens Hospital and Mary Immaculate Hospital have gone bankrupt and boarded up the entrances.  This leaves Queens-dwellers with few options, and those few options in an awful overcrowding situation. “It’s a real failure of … Continue reading “More NYC Hospitals Lost To Economic Crisis”

Changing The Name Of The New World Trade Center…

…to “World Trade Center.” Yep, they are reclaiming the old name. Since I’ll soon be living near the WTC site, I felt obligated to blog about this.  Personally, I don’t really care what they name it (“a rose by any other name…”) but I am interested in the outcry the change has precipitated, and am … Continue reading “Changing The Name Of The New World Trade Center…”

Observing The Economic Crisis First Hand

From everything I see in the media, it looks grim, like we’re deep into a Great Recession. There are bread lines of sorts forming at food banks, and charities send 18-wheelers to small towns whose sole employers have closed shop.  At the same time, states like Georgia have all but ended assistance to the poor … Continue reading “Observing The Economic Crisis First Hand”

Lucky Unit 13 (Long Essay on Institutional Living)

Because Medicaid makes getting on home care waivers ridiculously complex and difficult, whereas institutionalization is easily funded, I ended up here, at a city rehab hospital while I wait for home care to be set up for me in Manhattan.  This is my waiting period. Institutionalization, the most costly, elaborate and inconvenient option, is the … Continue reading “Lucky Unit 13 (Long Essay on Institutional Living)”

Living In A City of Immigrants: Dismantling Anti-Immigrant Ideas

I don’t live in Alabama anymore. I live in New York City in a rehab hospital now. This song, “City of Immigrants” really captures the heart of this city (and I love folk music). Hat tip to Mark for pointing out this video! This is a great city, and probably the most diverse on Earth. … Continue reading “Living In A City of Immigrants: Dismantling Anti-Immigrant Ideas”

Jewish Funeral For Liviu Librescu

In my last post, I covered the death of Professor Liviu Librescu in the VT Massacre. Librescu, who survived a Nazi slavery camp during the Holocaust, was given a Jewish funeral today in Brooklyn. Full story He’ll be buried in Israel. I was moved by these photos. The casket of Liviu Librescu is carried through … Continue reading “Jewish Funeral For Liviu Librescu”

September 11: Also Very Far Away

An Addendum To My Previous 9/11 Blog In my last 9/11 blog, I commented on how raw the event still feels to me. How close it feels. How fresh the wound still is. But it is also so very far away. Isn’t it amazing that the second-graders who were reading “The Pet Goat” to the … Continue reading “September 11: Also Very Far Away”

September 11: Still Too Raw For Me

Anniversary of Terror September 11, 2001 my grandmother woke me up and told me the country was under attack. I turned on the TV and saw the replays of the second plane flying into the tower. It had just hit the tower — I SAW IT. I know what I saw; planes full of jet … Continue reading “September 11: Still Too Raw For Me”