The prognosis is mixed for Physicians' Hospital in Northeast Portland. After an inspection last week, state and federal regulators removed a finding that the Gateway hospital posed "immediate jeopardy" to patients. Ron Prinslow, of the Oregon Department of Human Services, says that slows down what had been Physicians' fast-track process to lose its license. But Prinslow says the hospital, which is negotiating a sale to a Georgia health-care company, still must fix deficiencies or face that decertification. Physicians' also must have a doctor on the premises at all times if patients are again admitted. Meanwhile, federal officials are still determining whether Physicians' must repay seven months of Medicare/Medicaid billings (see "Physicians' Prescription: Sell," WW, March 15, 2006).
Portland Police Lt. Jeffrey Kaer, who was recently cleared by a Multnomah County grand jury of wrongdoing in the Jan. 4 shooting death of an unarmed man in a car, was uncooperative at the start of the investigation, according to new documents. Police documents released last week show Kaer initially refused to do a walk-through of the crime scene and an interview request from a detective in the hours after the shooting of Dennis Lamar Young. The fatal shooting happened after Kaer's sister called him about a suspicious man parked outside her house in Northeast Portland. Kaer then drove to the scene without alerting dispatch.
Building mover Terry Emmert is trying to form a group to buy the Trail Blazers from Paul Allen. Emmert has extensive property holdings (he recently sold a chunk in Clackamas County to Wal-Mart for $7.8 million) and other businesses besides his Clackamas-based heavy-haul transport company to ante up cash for a deal. Emmert, who owns the Portland Chinooks of the International Basketball League, tells Murmurs, "I've had conversations with several different people about taking a run at it." He confirms one of those people is former Blazer great Clyde Drexler, previously identified by the Trib as a potential part-owner.
Help wanted at the state's brawniest business lobbies: Last month, 68-year-old Richard Butrick, longtime head of Associated Oregon Industries, announced his retirement. Now Lynn Lundquist, head of the Oregon Business Association, the group progressives formed in 1999 to balance AOI, is on the move. Lundquist, the former Oregon House Speaker, has filed to run for the Crook County Commission in central Oregon. He says it's only a part-time gig, but that he will step down from the OBA next year. Meanwhile, the Portland Business Alliance's management is intact despite its embarrassing failure to place a measure on the ballot to repeal publicly financed city elections.
Friendly House Inc., which runs a community center and provides social services in Northwest, is mum about stickers that have appeared in the neighborhood, reading, "Unfriendly House! Fires employees!" Local ceramist Kathan Zerzan claims credit, saying they stem from when she worked evenings last year as a front-desk receptionist at Friendly House. She's filed a labor complaint with the state claiming her part-time job was eliminated after she complained about the dangers of working alone at night. Zerzan says she began to worry after an attempted sexual assault of a juvenile in a bathroom at Friendly House last September. Friendly House executive director Vaune Albanese declined to comment other than to call the stickers nothing more than a "nuisance."
Kevin Neely, spokesman for state Attorney General Hardy Myers, is hanging up his pager in May. Neely, who is married to Democratic lobbyist Kristen Leonard, is buying C&E Systems, a Portland company that processes contribution-and-expenditure reports for candidates and ballot measures. "It's a great opportunity to own a business and to be involved in the political process," Neely says.