Murmurs: Women’s Prison Pays For Poor Care

In other news: Uber man joins Portland Business Alliance.

An inmate at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. (Leah Nash)

Women's Prison Pays For Poor Care: The Oregon Department of Corrections paid $300,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who says prison officials at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility ignored a severe illness that led to her losing a kidney. Linda Anne Bond sued DOC in 2016 after an untreated kidney stone caused her organ to fail. Her lawsuit alleged prison doctors ignored blood in her urine, fevers and severe pain. The settlement comes as health care at Coffee Creek has come under heightened scrutiny after a flu outbreak killed an inmate last year ("A Bug in the System," WW, March 21, 2018). The family of the deceased inmate, Tina Ferri, filed a lawsuit in December, claiming the prison's doctors ignored Ferri's symptoms until she developed severe complications that caused her organs to fail.

Uber Man Rolls: Jon Isaacs, the public face of Uber throughout its often contentious tenure in Oregon since 2016, will join the Portland Business Alliance later this month as the group's lobbyist. Isaacs previously served as chief of communications and public affairs for Portland Public Schools, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and state director and campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). "We are thrilled to have Jon's talent on board as we work to build a more equitable economy and resilient business community for our region and beyond," says Andrew Hoan, president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance.

Schnitz to Get $2 Million: Negotiations among the city of Portland, Multnomah County and Metro over a $50 million deal to spend hotel and car rental taxes on homeless services fell apart in mid-December. But the parties did reach a verbal agreement to spend $2 million to match private donations for upgrading the acoustics at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, even without a revised visitor facilities intergovernmental agreement. "I can confirm that Chair Deborah Kafoury, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Metro President Tom Hughes in late December verbally agreed to the $2 million by the end of the fiscal year," says county spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti. The City Council is expected to hold a hearing on the expenditure Jan. 16.

Fish Pushes Brownfield Redevelopment Deal: Even as the city and county struggle to reach an agreement on a $57 million deal to spend hotel tax dollars on homeless services, the two governments are negotiating another ambitious venture. City Commissioner Nick Fish is pushing a proposal that would encourage redevelopment of 900 acres of potentially contaminated property within the city of Portland by offering tax abatements—specifically, no added taxes on development of brownfields for up to 15 years in exchange for cleaning up the sites. "That's not forgone revenue," Fish says. "That's not revenue you ever reasonably expected because it's just sitting there as a brownfield." Fish's proposal, which he expects to bring before the City Council this spring, may steer the incentives toward the development of affordable housing.

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