Today’s news:

A Victory for Common Sense

From the get-go, it struck us as bizarre and sad that anyone would oppose the renovation and expansion of a Bayside hospital that provides cutting-edge care to children suffering from terrible illnesses. And yet, the Weeks Woodlands Association asked the city to block the expansion of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.

Last week, the city Board of Standards & Appeals removed the last hurdle to the planned $114 million expansion. It ruled that the plans did not violate any building code regulations and that the applications submitted were valid. The mountains of red tape are all in order. In January, Queens Civil Court threw out a lawsuit filed by Weeks Woodlands to block the expansion.

“We’re very pleased about it,” said Jeffery Frerichs, president of the hospital. “We hope it is the last time we have to deal with a distraction.”

Frank Caselli, a member of the civic, said he was not surprised the BSA ruled in favor of the hospital

“What else is new? They deny everything,” he said.

Pass the tissues, please.

What was the civic’s problem with the expansion of this hospital? The Weeks Woodlands Association argued that the construction would lead to excessive noise, pollution and traffic.

“There are trucks, machinery, ambulances going on all day long,” said Caselli, an association member who has lived in Bayside for 40 years.

The noise from the trucks and machinery will go on for a short period of time and only during the daylight hours. The ambulances that pass by the homes of the Weeks Woodlands members will be attempting to save the lives of children. Their lights and sirens should be welcome in any community of Queens at any time of the day.

In defiance of common sense and compassion, the legal wrangling has not delayed the expansion of St. Mary’s for months, but no doubt it has cost the hospital thousands of dollars in legal fees. What a waste.

We are proud to be the hometown paper of the neighborhood that is home to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. This remarkable hospital has provided state-of-the-art care to seriously ill children. The expansion will enable the hospital to help even more children. The BSA ruling is good news.

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