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Greetings from Alameda Hospital

By lryan
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 6:30 am in Parcel tax.

Hallmark, look out. Alameda Hospital has an online set of greeting cards, and they’re all free. Get well, birthday, Valentine’s Day – all available to be sent, with a personal message from the sender, Monday through Friday to hospital patients.

Go to http://alameda.netreturns.biz/CheerCards/ to check out the inventory. There aren’t a lot, but still, it’s a pretty innovative method of getting people to go to the hospital’s Web site, where there is also a calendar listing tai chi, yoga and other classes.

Anyone out there remember the community’s passions flaring when the financially-strapped hospital was on the brink of closing, and a tax was put on the ballot in 2002 to keep it open? People were either really for it or really, really against it. In the end, obviously, the voters said yes, let’s cough up an annual tax to keep the island’s only emergency facility afloat. For the no-voters, it was a hard pill to swallow. But for the hospital, it was life-saving.

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  • Mark Irons

    Yes Ms. Ryan, I would wager that every tax payer who pays the tax remembers that vote at least once a year. I am somebody who is pretty obsessive about earthquake preparedness and on that count I think it is fortunate we retained the hospital. With many closures there are too few hospitals in the region for when the big one hits and many are at risk due to proximity to the Hayward fault. It terms Alameda Hospital remaining open it’s also nice to have the jobs, complete with current wages and COLAs (18% over next four years).

    Here’s the caveat: Given how awfully difficult it is to raise any new taxes in Alameda and weighing the importance of schools, I have always felt the hospital tax to be an “albatross”. I’ve spoken to hospital board members to try to better come to terms, and the line defending the hospital is that in a well rounded community health and education are both important, which of course is true. I’m just glad we don’t have to justify paying the AUSD superintendent $400K a year.

    I am an AARP member. When I need a ride to emergency for my age related ailment I am ready to play Russian Roulette with my ride to and treatment at Highland in exchange for the schools getting another $300 a year. It blows my mind we could pass a $300 tax to save a failing private concern, yet each smaller school tax has been fought for tooth and nail. We may have far to little respect for the collective wisdom of the elderly in our culture, but the future does not lie with those in retirement (other than the tremendous cost of keeping us alive a couple extra decades than any time previous in human history).

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