NOTE: This Action Alert Has Expired
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WHERE AND WHEN IS THE HEARING?
250 Broadway (on corner of Park Place), Rm. 1923, 19th Fl., New York, NY
10 AM Thursday, January 31, 2002
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
As many Lyme disease patients as possible, no matter what state they live in. No one will be turned away from the building. Remember that the purpose for coming is to stand up and be counted.
This will be the last of the Assembly hearings on the OPMC. It is being held by not only the Health Committee, as in the previous hearing, but also by the Education and the Codes Committees which are also involved in licensing of physicians in NYS. It is essential that we show up in huge numbers to show these additional Assembly members and the media the numbers of people effected by the OPMC harassment of Lyme disease doctors.
DO I NEED TO SEND IN THE REPLY FORM?
The official hearing notice, as well as a reply form, are available at the FAIM website. According to Shay Bergin, Legislative Associate, although the reply form is not absolutely required for attendance, it is included so that she has a way to get in touch with people in case any changes are made regarding the hearing. If you have not sent in the reply form, that is fine. The important thing is to show up.
Reply Form: http://www.faim.org/OPMC%20hearing%20form.htm
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS?
Please remember to bring a picture ID on the day of the hearing, since it is a government building. PLEASE WEAR A GREEN RIBBON, OR ANY LYME SWEATSHIRTS OR T-SHIRTS YOU MIGHT HAVE. We want to make it completely clear that the hundreds of people entering the building are there because of Lyme disease. Also, please sign the sign-in sheet.
I HEAR THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM WILL BE IN NY ON THURS.
ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS IN THAT REGARD?
SEE: (link expired)
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT THE HEARING?
SEE: (link expired)
WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THE HEARING?
The focus of this hearing is not on the Lyme scientific controversy as was the previous hearing (at which the legislators heard about 9 hours of science) but on the OPMC and how it has abused its power and ignored issues of legal due process. Although an anonymous poster has stated that the hearing will be on alternative medicine, this is NOT true. The hearing is on the workings of the OPMC, which has been our focus in NYS from the beginning. As the OPMC has also harassed physicians who treat alternative medicine, there will no doubt be testimony from them as well, but the focus of testimony at this hearing is the legal and technical issues involved in the workings of the OPMC, not specific information about medicine.
It is hoped that the hearing will lead to legislation on OPMC reform and, while that is definitely one of our goals, we have the additional goal of asking the Assembly to make an IMMEDIATE resolution SPECIFICALLY about the OPMC's harassment of Lyme disease doctors. As you may know, the OPMC has appealed and is trying to overturn the largely favorable decision in Dr. Burrascano's case. This is one reason that it is absolutely urgent that we show up in numbers to make a visual impact on the Assembly and media. We need to make them see that the OPMC's actions against our LLMD's are unacceptable and must be stopped.
HOW LONG WILL THE HEARING LAST?
There are over 10 hours of testimony scheduled, so it will go very late. We are hoping people will stay for the first 4 or 5 hours, and it is during the first few hours that they are expected to have the more interesting testimony.
CAN I BRING FOOD INTO THE HEARING?
We were initially advised that we are not allowed to bring food into the hearing room, although recently special arrangements have been made to allow some munchies into the room. There are restaurants all around the building, so we can go out to eat at any point and re-enter the building. There is a small stand in the lobby, but it apparently has mostly snack food.
CAN I OBTAIN UPDATES BY EMAIL?
Yes. Because of the amount of misinformation distributed prior to the last hearing, Ellen and Cheryl have developed an e-mail announcement group. This will include both our action alert and any significant information about Lyme disease that people might be interested in- trying to limit the amount to between 5-10 emails to you a week. If you would like to sign up for that, please send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be automatically subscribed.
Rest assured, though, that all further announcements from us about this event will be widely disseminated on all the boards. Also, hearing information can be found on Cheryl's website at hearing2.html
HOW DO I GET THERE? WHERE CAN I STAY OVERNIGHT?
See the Travel and Hotels sections below
CAN I MEET UP WITH OTHERS ATTENDING?
To discuss travel arrangements with others, I suggest posting to the Lymenet Flash board, General Discussion Area.
IF I CANNOT ATTEND, HOW CAN I HELP?
Thank you for your interest! You can help by contributing to the legal defense fund for Dr. Orens. See legaldefense.html You can also distribute information about the hearing, as well as send in written testimony. See below. Also, several people are funding travel for others. This is greatly appreciated!
Thanks to all of you who write and all who will attend the hearing!!
For those of you who have asked what you can do if you cannot get to NYC for the hearing, here it is. Almost all of us have stories from our own experience that can show the points that are asked for. This testimony is extremely important and is for everybody no matter what state you're in.
Deadline: 2 weeks after the hearing (Feb. 14)
DIRECTIONS TO HEARING:
250 Broadway (on corner of Park Place), Rm. 1923, 19th Fl., New York, NY
***For Traffic and Transit Reports, see: http://wcbs880.com/traffic/
***SPECIAL TRAVEL UPDATE:
The world Economic Forum, which atracts thousands of protesters, will be in Manhatten on Thursday. The streets that will be closed off are 46th to 54th from 2nd Avenue to Fifth Avenue. That is a big part of the East side of midtown, so those coming in to the city at Grand Central Station (which is on the east side) really do need to take the subway if they do not want to spend the rest of their adult years in gridlock traffic. Those coming in at Penn Station or Port Authority, which are both on the West side, would also do best to take the subway, the #2 Seventh Avenue train, to Park Place. However, if you come in on the West side and cannot take the subway because of health, expect the trip to take much longer than originally estimated and to cost more, but to at least be possible. The subway ride from each location is really not very long.
250 Broadway is on the corner of Broadway and Park Place. The building is directly across form City Hall Park. The building has a large sign on it called Duane Reed, which is the name of a pharmacy.
FROM GRAND CENTRAL STATION:
-Take the Downtown Lexington IRT line, the 4 or 5 EXPRESS train. The train is inside of Grand Central Station.
-Get off at the Brooklyn Bridge station. Get off at the Front of the train or when getting off walk towards the front of the train. Go up the stairs, turn right and go thru the turnstile. Go up the stairs on your right side to the street level.
-Go left along Chambers St. 1 block. Then you will be on the corner of Chambers and Broadway.
-On the corner of Broadway and Chambers cross Broadway to the other side. Walk downtown on Broadway to the next street, which is Warren Street.
-Cross Warren onto Murray St., cross Murray onto Park Place. You now are on the corner of Broadway and Park Place. You will see the Duane Reed sign and now enter in the main entrance of 250 Broadway.
FROM PORT AUTHORITY BUS STATION:
Walk to 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. Take the downtown Seventh Avenue #2 Express to Park Place.
FROM PENN STATION 34th STREET:
Take the Downtown 7th Ave., the #2 train. Get off at Park Place. (10 Stops.) You will be right on the corner of Broadway and Park Place. Enter the building on Broadway.
TAXIS FROM PENN OR GRAND CENTRAL STATION:
There are taxi stands outside of each station. Because you will be getting there during rush hour, the trip downtown might take half an hour and cost $10 to $15 (plus tip), divided between those sharing the cab. **NOTE: Due to the World Economic Forum, taxis are not recommended from Grand Central.
The building of the hearing is 2 blocks from 911 Ground Zero making parking virtually impossible. Ask someone in the street if you're not sure of where to go. Also, a large portion of the East side of Midtown Manhattan will be closed to traffic. The area that will be closed to traffic is from 46th to 54th Streets between Second Avenue and Fifth Avenue. Enter via westside hwy, or if on the east consider using Queens-Midtown Tunnel or below. But driving not recommended due to extreme parking difficulties with parts of the city closed off.
GETTING TO NYC:
For Amtrak information, see www.amtrak.com or call 1-800- USARAIL. Greyhound bus info is available at www.greyhound.com. Inexpensive flights to NY available through Jet Blue, see www.jetblue.com , 1-800-JETBLUE, but does not cover all regions. For other regions, see www.southwest.com and www.priceline.com to make bids. For ground transportation to and from the NY airports, and passenger security tips, see http://www.panynj.gov/aviation.html. The 3 NY airports are JFK, LGA (LaGuardia), and EWR (Newark).
**HOTELS NEAR HEARING:
Try for one of the hotels from midtown or below, because the hearing is way downtown in lower Manhattan. All hotels will require either cab or subway ride to the hearing.
I have no experience with any of these hotels, but just passing along what I've found. Hope it helps! Two hotels worth considering are found at: www.cheapnewyorkhotels.com (1-877-897-4420). One is the Howard Johnson Express on 34th and 8th. This is a business area, but busy enough so that it is probably safe. (Near Penn Station) "Thirty Thirty" (Phone # 212-689-1900) is given the best value by the budget list. It is on Madison and 30th, a business area as well, but quieter, more pleasant looking, not a dangerous area. Both these hotels are listed at about $90 per night.
Hotels can also be found at: http://newyork.hotel-directory.com. The Ramada New Yorker, also on 34th and 8th, is $90/night.
**NOTE: Due to the World Economic Forum, we are suggesting that people
stay below midtown. However, this paragraph remains for anyone who
might still be interested.
For those who want to stay further north, one Lyme patient recommends the Wyndham Hotel, 42 W 58th St. between 5th and 6th Aves. (Phone # 800-257-1111) Quiet as NY hotels go if you get a back room. Some rooms are large enough to sleep additional people. Probably around $130 a night. Safe area and near a grocery and pharmacy. Near the Plaza hotel. For a good rate there is a Holiday Inn on 57th near 9th for $109. It is a bit west (less desirable), but not too bad. See http://www.sixcontinentshotels.com/holiday-inn .
Two more hotels have just been listed as special values at www.cheapnewyorkhotels.com Westpark hotel at 58th and Broadway has a great rate at the moment starting at $75.95 through the discount hotel site. It also lists the Pennsylvania hotel, with the same rating, on 33rd and 7th (Near Penn Station) also starting at $75.95.
For 2 night minimum stays, see expedia.com. For instance, there is a 2 night rate at the Amsterdam Court Hotel, W. 50th, for $89/night, and there is a 2 night rate at the Crowne Plaza at the UN, 42nd St., for $109/night. NY Hotels can also be searched at http://www.a1-discount-new-york-city-hotels.com/
Hotel Discount Rates #: 800-964-6835
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