community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: UPMC Braddock's closure looms on the horizon, Queer activists target a local donut shop owner who made homophobic remarks online, A look at the healthcare debate and what it will mean for Pennsylvanians, One year after Israel's attack on Gaza, aid and solidarity convoys find Egypt barring access to the region, And more in our local and global headlines.
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Rustbelt Radio for January 18, 2010
Welcome to this week's edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of the news from the grassroots, news overlooked by the corporate media.
On today's show...
Rustbelt Radio is broadcast live from WRCT studios every other Monday at 6 PM on 88.3 FM in Pittsburgh, and the program airs again on WRCT every Tuesday morning at 9AM.
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We turn now to local stories.
For more on local news, you can visit pittsburgh dot I-N-D-Y-M-E-D-I-A dot org.
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You are listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news overlooked by the corporate media. We turn now to news from other independent media sources around the world.
The Neighborhood Network in Columbus Ohio brings us On This Day in History for January 18th:
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
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Pittsburgh healthcare giant UPMC announced October 16, 2009 that it would close its Braddock facility due to underutilization and its claim that it has lost profits. Doors will close on January 31, 2010 just 102 days after the announcement, a mere 42 days past the requirement for closure of a healthcare facility by the state of Pennsylvania. This has left Braddock officials little time to find alternative providers and recover from the economic damage of the hospital's closure.
Save Our Community Hospitals began rallying in November seeking an 18 month extension so that the hospital can remain certified while Braddock finds a replacement provider. This extension would also allow for the emergency care, imaging, and lab equipment to stay in the building, under the grounds that as a not-for-profit facility, certain considerations must be made for Braddock's welfare. At a December 8th Allegheny County Council meeting, SOCH organized local residents to testify against refinancing 1.175 billion dollars in unpaid debt for UPMC. This move would make UPMC's bonds available more cheaply for upcoming projects and would bring an additional $40,000 worth of revenue for the county.
Ms. Morgan describes the county's 11-1 vote to pass the resolution:
Now SOCH and County Council Man At Large Charles P. McCullough have filed an appeal challenging the decision. The appeal focuses on the implications of refinancing the bond without proper procedure in court, specifically what impact the closure has on the health, safety, and welfare of Allegheny County Residents. It also includes as evidence Braddock Council President Jesse Brown's filing with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Mr. Brown's suit reads, "The closure of UPMC-Braddock Hospital will have a disproportionate or disparate impact or effect upon African Americans... which constitutes a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964". His suit elaborates (quote):
"In choosing to close UPMC-Braddock Hospital, which is located in an area whose population is predominantly African American and construct and open a new hospital in Monroeville, PA, whose residents are predominantly white and more affluent than the residents of Braddock, UPMC has made a selection...which has the effect of excluding individuals from, denying them the benefits of...programs to which Title VI... Regulations apply... with the purpose of defeating or substantially impairing the accomplishment of the objectives of Title VI." (unquote) Mr. Brown is still waiting to reveal whether or not the suit will be pursued by the Department of Health and Human Services Office.
UPMC is seeking the same bond issue refinance with the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority. Mr. McCullough and several other SOCH members and Allegheny County residents drove to Cumberland County to testify against approving bond refinancing there.
Robin Clark, an instructor at the University of Pittsburgh spoke with Rustbelt Radio on the linkages between the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC's decision to leave Braddock.
Save Our Community Hospitals continued to organize up until January 15th-the last day of admissions to the hospital--as well as Monday January 18th outside UPMC Braddock in the parking lot of Emmanuel Lutheran Church. For more information you can go to www. save braddock. com
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As the healthcare debate continues in Congress, organizations across the state are advocating for the Pennsylvania State Legislature to adopt a single payer system. Rustbelt Radio spoke with two local advocates, Dr. Mary Pat Donegan (DON-A-GAN) and Ed Grystar (GRIST-TAR) on how a single payer system would function, a look at the current healthcare delivery system, and what the bill in Congress will mean for Pennsylvania residents.
To learn more about these organizations, contact Dr. Mary Pat Donegan at, VOLUNTEER P-U-S-H-P-A @ gmail.com , go to HEALTHCARE (numeral) 4 ALL P-A dot ORG, or find them on Facebook under PUSH-P-A!
Ed Grystar can be reached at, E-G-R-Y-S-T-A-R at pennanurses. org. For more information, visit pennanurses. org or W-P-A SINGLEPAYER dot ORG.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
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Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WNJR Washington, WIUP Indiana, and WOBC Oberlin.
Our hosts this week are Gretchen Neidert and Jason Oddo with contributions from Emily DeMarco, Carlin Christy, Gretchen Neidert, Nigel Parry, Jessica McPherson, and Seth Bearden. This week's show was produced by Shawn Watson. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.
You can get involved with Rustbelt Radio! To contact us, or to send us your comments, email RADIO at I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot ORG. All of our shows are available for download or podcast on our website at RADIO dot INDY-P-G-H dot ORG and this show can be heard again Tuesday morning on WRCT at 9 AM after Democracy Now!
Tune in next week at this time for another edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.