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Courts should decide hospital expansion


Courts should decide hospital expansion

OCTOBER 24, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2014, 10:01 AM

Let courts decide Valley’s fate

Rurik Halaby

To the Editor:

I support The Valley Hospital’s decision to take the matter of its renewal to court, as I know that we, the residents of Ridgewood, will win if Valley wins. Valley has to renew to remain viable. And its future cannot be dictated by a small band of neighbors who are only guided by their parochial needs.

And before the politicians start beating their chests, I will relate a discussion I had with a Village Council member after the council voted against Valley in 2011. He/she shook his/her head and lamented the fact the issue ever came to the council: “It should have been settled by the courts.” Well, hopefully the Village Council’s work will be done for it.

History is full of missed opportunities, and Ridgewood’s great missed opportunity this past year was our mayor not mediating behind the scenes between Valley and its neighbors to alleviate the neighbors’ concerns and to arrive at a workable solution. If I lived in the neighborhood, I certainly would have had my concerns, but I would have worked hard to get Valley to address them to the satisfaction of most of the neighbors.

This is now doubly difficult because the neighbors’ fears have gone beyond rationality to the realm of paranoia: The neighborhood being smothered with a blanket of noxious fumes, basements being flooded, walls getting cracked, and children being mowed down by heavy trucks on their way to school. These concerns made me wonder if this project was actually taking place in the most advanced engineering country in the world.

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