News Stories About LHH and SFGH

The mainstream media in San Francisco have all but refused to cover news regarding Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, and its construction project to replace the facility.  Despite this media blackout, dedicated San Franicscans continue to monitor and report on what is happening to our beloved long-term care facility, and the problems inherent with the November 2008 SFGH bond measure.

The October 4 update to this page now includes Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai’s March 2008 article, Eileen Bodken’s August 2008 article, and George Wooding’s February 2008 article.

November 4, 2008
San Francisco
Voter Guide Statements
Opponent’s Argument Against Proposition A
    (George Wooding and Mara Kopp)
Rebuttal to Proponent’s Argument in Favor of Proposition A
    (George Wooding and Mara Kopp)
Paid Argument Against Proposition A (Patrick Monette-Shaw)



General Hospital
Rebuild Bond

October 15, 2008
George Wooding questions “when was the last time San Francisco did a good job on a bond measure.” He summarizes many of the problems facing the Prop. A bond.

Hospital Rebuild Untimely
October 30, 2008
Using $52.6 million in available tobacco settlement revenue as an alternative funding option to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital and reduce the burden on taxpayers wasn’t pursued.  The SFGH replacement project is underfunded by at least $55.6 million, and San Francisco is repeating the Laguna Honda Hospital rebuild mistake of under-estimating cost escalation factors.

No “A” for Effort:
Meet the (Lonely) Opponent to the $887.4M General Hospital
Bond Measue

October 29, 2008
Joe Eskenazi, a reporter for the San Francisco Weekly’s blog, “The Snitch,” describes the efforts of neighborhood leader George Wooding (who makes horse treats for a living) to publicize problems with the SF General Hospital rebuild bond measure, Prop. A.

San Francisco Should Tap Other Revenues to Rebuild Hospital
October 15, 2008
The official opponents against Proposition “A” to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital in November 2008’s San Francisco municipal voter guide — Mara Kopp and George Wooding — offer compelling arguments why alternative funding options available to San Francisco were not pursued.

SFGH Rebuild Bond Measure Subverts
Rent Control

October 9, 2008
This piece examines concerns that bond measures and utility rate increases approved by elected officials or are placed on municipal ballot elections are subverting San Francisco’s rent control, given the increasing practice of passing on these costs from landlords to renters. The SFGH bond measure’s 50% pass through is a time bomb for tenants.  Polling may now stand at 63% to 70% fro approval, even before considering the standard margin of error, indicating the bond may be headed to failure.

A Bond Dressed in Emperor’s Clothes
October 2008
Proposition A proponents are employing scare tactic propaganda, frightening voters that if the bond fails San Francisco will lose its [General] Hospita unless rebuilt by 2013. However, state law SB 306 grants cities extensions until 2020, and beyond, to complete hospital rebuilds. There are other reasons this bond is dressed in Emporer's clothing.

Just Say ‘No’ to Prop. A
October 2008
Patrick Monette-Shaw reports that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and seven City departments scuttled over half of the recommendations made by the 2007–2008 Civil Grand Jury’s in its June 2008 report, which recommended increasing accountability controls prior to placing Proposition A on the ballot to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital.  For his part, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd wrongly claims the City’s Capital Planning Committee — comprised of 11 City Department Heads — already provides sufficient accountability and oversight protections.

Hospital Held Hostage: Tenants Group Disgusted by Landlords’ “Blackmail” but then Declares that Two can Play at that Game
October 1, 2008
Joe Eskenazi, a San Francisco Weekly newspaper reporter, blogs that tenant groups may have the most to lose if Proposition A passes, permitting landlords to pass through 50 percent of increased property taxes to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital onto their tenants.  

What does this portend for rent control?

Grand Jury: Another Blank Check Bond?
September 2008
Patrick Monette-Shaw reports that the San Francisco 2007–2008 Civil Grand Jury's June 2008 report, “Accountability in San Francisco Government,” has been completely ignored by City officials. The Grand Jury is quite concerned key lessons from previous bond measure’s weren’t learned, and may be repeated with the SFGH bond measure.

Boondoggle II:
General Hospital

September 2008
George Wooding explores how the SFGH bond measure is being marketed to voters. Despite the fact that SB 1953 mandates both seismic safety and continued operations following a quake, placement of SFGH's replacement hospital lies in the fall-zone of two red-brick, un-reinforced, buildings. SFGH’s operations may be disrupted if a sustained quake happens. The City isn’t discussing how quakes potentially stronger than the ’89 Loma Prieta quake may damage significant portions of SFGH’s campus.

SFGH Plan Does Not Hold Up Under Scrutiny
August 2008
Eileen Bodken explores details of the proposed SFGH replacement project that do not stand up on their own merit under scrutiny.  She asserts that the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors seem to think SFGH deserves a free ride simply because it save lives.  She recommends voters reject the current replacement plan until the City develops a cost-effective plan that meets San Franciscans’ current and future needs.

Audit the
Health Department

July–August 2008
George Wooding writes that the Department of Public Health routinely changes bond financing project parameters after securing voter approval, the SFGH bond measure is riddled with hidden costs, and the Laguna Honda rebuild is the worst disaster in San Francisco’s history.

Newsom’s Laguna
Honda Boondoggle

July–August 2008
Patrick Monette-Shaw details how the Laguna Honda replacement project’s bond financing is suddenly being augmented with a financing mechanism called “Certificates of Participation,” because the project is now 60 percent, or $240 million, over the initial budget.

General Hospital
Rebuild Questions Remain

June 2008
George Wooding notes that based on the Laguna Honda replacement program, if accountability to the voting public were an issue San Francisco’s Department of Public Health would never be allowed to manage another hospital bond rebuild project.

Dying Patients Lose Spiritual Care at
Laguna Honda

June 2008
Sister Miriam Walsh describes budget cuts to the Hospice program at Laguna Honda, and calls for community support to save vital Hospice care.

Should Voters Trust
the Department of
Public Health?

May 2008
George Wooding describes the City’s terrible history of not delivering on bond promises made to San Francisco voters, and notes the Department of Public Health’s role in hiding changes regarding the Laguna Honda bond measure.

Farewell to Laguna Honda’s Clarendon Hall
April 2008
Sister Miriam Walsh notes that the premature closure of Clarendon Hall on Laguna Honda’s campus will rapidly reduce Laguna Honda to only 780 beds, even while increasing staff who are dedicated to public relations, prioritizing public relations above direct patient care.

Dangerous Precedent Involving
Laguna Honda Hospital

April 2008
George Wooding discusses how the “friendly lawsuit” known as the Chambers Settlement Agreement will create an open-ended entitlement program that will drain the City’s General Fund, circumventing the will of voters.

SF General Hospital: Rebuild vs. Retrofit
March 2008
Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, MD, reports that the Environment Impact Review for the SFGH rebuild was conducted without adequate analysis, and the alternative to retrofit the current main hospital was never fully considered.  She reports that the May 2006 Civil Grand Jury report Disaster Medical Preparedness identified the need for up to 600 surge capacity acute care beds are needed, but the proposed hospital will increase by increases acute capacity by only one bed.   She discusses the dangerous proposal to place a rooftop helipad on the new main hospital, and an increase in aeromedical helicopter crashes.

Chambers Settlement:
The Betrayal of
Laguna Honda Residents and San Francisco Voters
March 2008

Laguna Honda:
Who Gets the Boot?

February 2008
Patrick Monette-Shaw describes how the Chambers Settlement Agreement will permanently reduce the size of Laguna Honda, and its affect on Laguna Honda’s residents.

More From the Bunko Bond Hustlers
Vote “No” on the
$800 Million
SF General Bond Measure

February 2008
George Wooding details how very specific promises to voters regarding the rebuild of Laguna Honda Hospital have been scuttled, converting Laguna Honda from a long-term care facility to a short-term care facility, with only two-thirds of the promised capacity.   He asserts San Francisco voters will not vote for the SFGH bond measure unless promises made to voters regarding Laguna Honda Hospital are fulfilled.

Save the
Skilled Nursing Beds at Laguna Honda Hospital

November 2007
John Farrell notes that despite an increased demand for facilities such as LHH that can provide skilled nursing care, San Francisco has lost 22 percent of its skilled nursing bed capacity.


Page Created 8/3/08


Copyright (c) 2005 by Committee to Save LHH.  All rights reserved.  This work may not be reposted anywhere on the Web, or reprinted in any print media, without express written permission.  E-mail the
Committee to Save LHH.