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July 7th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Hotter than July in Portland.

     
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  • Turmoil at Good Sam: Up to 23 anesthesiologists will lose their jobs in September when Legacy Good Samaritan ends its contract with the Oregon Anesthesiology Group. The hospital plans to replace the doctors with a combination of doctors and nurse anesthetists, although it is unclear what the staffing split will be. Unhappy physicians and their supporters have raised concerns about whether the switch puts cost savings ahead of patient safety (nurses make less than docs). Legacy spokesman Brian Terrett says the hospital will gain more control but not benefit financially from the transition because anesthesia costs are billed to patients. He added that the nurse anesthetists will be fully credentialed and supervised by doctors.

  • Superintendent Carole Smith is granting Portland Public Schools principals and vice principals extra time off this summer in anticipation of long workdays ahead. By contract, school administrators are supposed to work a minimum of 18 summer days. Not this year. “Take as much time as you can,” writes Hank Harris, PPS’s human resources director in a July 1 email to school administrators. “Your salary will not be impacted.”

  • Mayor Sam Adams abruptly reversed course last Friday on Portland’s $10 million-a-year parking contract, three months after the city said it would award the business to a Nashville company. Bowing to pressure from two powerful local parking companies, Star Park and City Center Parking, Adams ordered the contract to be rebid. Last week’s decision gives the current contract holder, Star Park, and its predecessor, City Center Parking, another chance to beat out Nashville-based Central Parking System, the apparent winner in the earlier contest. At stake is the revenue from six city-owned garages. “I agree with enough of the concerns raised [by Star and City Center] to ask the city’s Procurement Services and the Bureau of Transportation to re-bid the contract,” Adams said.

  • Owning a dog or cat is about to become more expensive, thanks to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. The five-member board voted unanimously July 1 to raise annual license fees from $18 to $25 for dogs and from $8 to $12 for cats. The changes take effect Aug. 1, and Animal Services says the money will go to provide better service for animal nuisances and beef up license enforcement. To onetime scofflaws like City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and WW Editor Mark Zusman (see “Pet Offenders,” WW, May 20, 2009), the county says finding a lost pet is easier if it has the required license. Go to multcopets.org.

  • Portland police announced last week that they will reopen their investigation into a masseuse’s accusations that former Vice President Al Gore tried to sexually assault her in the Hotel Lucia on Oct. 24, 2006. The June 30 announcement came the same day both the National Enquirer reported that the woman, Molly Hagerty, wanted the investigation reopened, and that WW reported police conceding mistakes (see “Inconvenient Truth,” WW, June 30, 2010) in how they handled the woman’s allegations. Gore denied Hagerty’s account then and continues to do so now.
 
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