SUNY Downstate Won't Fire 500 People at Long Island College Hospital After All -- For Now

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Photo by Wlliam Alatriste; Image via Public Advocate's office
De Blasio speaks at an October 28 rally outside LICH.
Since the summer, the fight over Cobble Hill's Long Island College Hospital has dragged on and on and on, with its parent company, SUNY Downstate, saying the hospital is losing millions and must close its doors. On the other side is the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and Public Advocate/in all likelihood your next mayor, Bill de Blasio, who like to point out that people need hospitals. Sick people mostly, or the ones who might get sick. It's kind of a specialized group.

In July, de Blasio won a restraining order to keep the hospital open, and in August, a judge ruled that SUNY had to restore services to LICH . By September, ambulances, which SUNY had barred from LICH since June, were once again delivering patients to the emergency room . And on September 13, Judge Johnny Lee Baynes ruled that SUNY's closure plan for LICH was "unconstitutionally vague" and told them it couldn't proceed.

At that point, SUNY Downstate took a different tack. On October 25, as Crain's was first to report, the company issued layoff notices to 500 employees, effective October 29.

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Pilates Ate a Breast Implant

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This is reason #137 that we don't quite trust Pilates. (Yes, we know, some swear by it, but when we work out, we want to do more than make those weird little flappy motions with our hands, and "make a corset with our ribs," not to mention, there's the distinct sense that we're doing it all wrong.) In any case, a 59-year-old woman who'd had breast cancer and a bilateral mastectomy, and had gone on to get breast implants, was in a Pilates class. She was doing the "Valsalva maneuver," which involves "moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one's mouth and pinching one's nose shut."

Suddenly, she reported, her "body swallowed one of the implants." WTF? But, really, it happened, it's all in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Blowfish, a New Over-the-Counter Hangover Cure, Will Soon Be in Your Duane Reade

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Have you heard of "Blowfish"? It is not a fish. Nor is it something that you buy on the streets from a shady-looking guy whispering your fake name. It is a tablet that will be available over the counter in New York City drugstores come January. (Apparently it's already in Ricky's -- we're investigating and will report back.) Blowfish combines aspirin, caffeine, and an antacid to fight the symptoms of having imbibed a bit or way too much. According to the hangover gurus at ABC News, "When dropped into a glass of water, it fizzes up a lemony brew that packs the hangover-fighting power of two extra-strength aspirins, three espressos and a greasy breakfast."

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Tomorrow, Tell Someone About Your Experience With HPV (Hashtag #HPVDay)

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Yesterday, we proposed a plan. In an effort to increase communication about a virus most people don't know enough about -- and many women are too ashamed to talk about, even though pretty much every woman we know has dealt with it at some point in her life, maybe more than once, and even though it can cause cancer, and therefore we should know as much as we can about it -- let's open up a little on Twitter. Because if we all come out and say it, how ashamed can we possibly be? We're talking about the sexually transmitted virus HPV, which has been in the news a lot lately regarding a certain vaccine that Michele Bachmann is very much against. (More about HPV here.) But this post is not to debate the politics of the vaccine or anything else: It's simply to get the word out. Tomorrow: Tweet, Facebook, or simply tell someone -- we don't care how! -- that you have had, or currently have, HPV.

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We Would Like to Make a Motion to Institute 'Tweet That You Have Had HPV Day'

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HPV: Have you heard of it? You probably have, because in the last few days and weeks it's been talked about a lot -- often incorrectly -- by people like Michele Bachmann and, most recently, tweeted about by Ayelet Waldman, wife of novelist Michael Chabon. In Bachmann's case, she's using HPV very politically (and this makes her suck more) to do battle against Rick Perry, Texas governor, her competitor for the GOP nomination for president, and the guy that, as governor, signed an executive order mandating that 12-year-old girls get vaccinated for HPV, which is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. (In fact, it's the PRIMARY way that women get cervical cancer.)

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Groupon Would Like to Offer You a Deal on Life-Altering Surgery

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Hey kids! Got bad eyes? Wanna fix 'em, cheap? Check out the Groupon Deal of the Day, which offers surgery ON BOTH EYES for a mere $1,895, compared to the average cost of $4,200. Sound good? Wait, there's more. If you're not willing to do this for your poor children, they will endure years of torment and be destined to sub-par lives with sub-par people. Or as Groupon, which is offering this in a deal with NY NJ Lasik, puts it, "Children who wear glasses endure wisecracks including 'four-eyes' and 'Einstein,' while those with perfect vision bask in compliments such as 'two-eyes' and 'Oppenheimer.'" Do you want your kid to be called an Einstein?

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Diane McCloud, Long Island Woman, Denied Heart Transplant After Stealing from CVS

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Earlier this year, Judge Francis Ricigliano showed sympathy for ailing 47 year-old Diane McCloud, who was serving 15-months in jail for petit larceny. He suspended her sentence in order for her to get on a heart transplant waiting list. The Daily News reports that McCloud appeared in front of Ricigliano again this Friday for stealing $500 worth of items from a CVS in July. The Judge rescinded the original suspension and sent her back to jail, tacking on an additional 6 months to her prior 15-month sentence. While in jail, McCloud won't be eligible for Medicaid, which means her hopes of getting a heart transplant are over.

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Andrew Cuomo Reconsiders Medical Marijuana

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After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave the state's medical marijuana program the green light on Tuesday, our own Governor Cuomo is reconsidering whether or not to implement a similar program in New York. A group of New York politicians recently co-sponsored a medical marijuana bill, and yesterday Senator Diane Savino sent Cuomo a letter begging him to pass this legislation. "As someone who has lost both parents to cancer, I know first-hand what it is like to see a loved one in pain and not be able to do anything about it," she wrote. Cuomo told reporters yesterday, "We're talking to both sides of the issues...and we're reviewing it but we don't have a final position." Back on the campaign trail Cuomo said, "The dangers of medical marijuana outweigh the benefits." When a reporter pressed him about whether he's changed his stance, he denied it, insisting that he has "not changed [his] position," but stated he's "always learning and listening, talking and growing." [Gothamist]

Minxy Morris, the Tiniest, Saddest Pony, Needs Money for an Operation

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Today the Daily Mail has a story that will tug the heartstrings, should you have a heart, and/or strings. It is the tale of a rare miniature pony born prematurely with twisted legs, whose owner needs money to pay for his surgery. This Falabella pony, named Minxy, is best friends with a dog, and may be the smallest male pony in the world. World, please help the pony! Says his owner, Joanne Morris, who has launched an appeal to raise £6,000 to save Minxy, "He is such a strong willed little fella -- we want to give him the chance of a normal life." Whether you give money or not, this is the saddest, most adorable tiny pony we have ever seen. Also, he has a Facebook page. One really must, nowadays. [Daily Mail]


Anthony Weiner's Constituents Don't Want Him to Resign; Charla Nash Gets a Face Transplant

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• According to an NY1-Marist poll, the majority of voters in Rep. Anthony Weiner's district (parts of Brooklyn and Queens) don't want him to resign, even if they don't necessarily want to re-elect him. One-third of them do want him to step down. Meanwhile, of course, he's still facing a House ethics investigation. [NBC NY]

• Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife, has been spotted looking cheerful and wearing her wedding ring. [NYDN]

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