PROVENANCE HOTELS GOT FEDERAL LOAN: On July 6, the Trump administration bowed to pressure and released the names of businesses that received loans of $150,000 or more under the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Among the Oregon names that stood out: Provenance Hotels, the chain founded by Portland hotelier Gordon Sondland, former U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Provenance qualified for a loan of $9 million. The Portland Business Journal first reported on the loan. The data on Provenance states zero jobs would be saved by the money, so the federal government would not forgive the loan. (Disclosure: WW also received PPP funding this year.) Trump fired Sondland from his ambassadorship after the hotelier's star turn as a witness during last year's impeachment trial. The hotel industry has struggled in the face of a pandemic that has diminished the public appetite for travel. The company has 13 hotels, including the Heathman, the Dossier and Hotel Lucia in Portland. The company declined to comment.
TIMBERS GOALIE SUES DOCTORS: Former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jacob Gleeson filed a $10 million lawsuit July 6, alleging a botched surgery on a broken leg ended his career. Gleeson's lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleges medical malpractice by Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center and Oregon Sports Medicine Associates, also known as Sports Medicine Oregon. On Aug. 15, 2018, Gleeson underwent surgery to fix bilateral stress fractures to his tibia, according to the complaint. Gleeson alleges surgical devices inserted in his body were not properly sterilized before the procedure, leading to bone infection and necrosis. The hospital then failed to remove the infected metal implants during another procedure the next month. Gleeson says he currently—and perhaps permanently—suffers from "pain, discomfort, disability, disfigurement, scarring, anxiety, depression and panic attacks, and a reduced capacity to pursue his professional soccer career." A representative for Sports Medicine Oregon, which employs doctors named in the lawsuit, did not respond to WW's request for comment before press deadline. The lawsuit, against some of the most respected sports doctors in Oregon, echoes Portland Trail Blazers legend Bill Walton suing team doctors after he suffered a broken foot in 1978.
PORTLAND POLICE TAKE BEREAVEMENT LEAVE: More than half of the city of Portland employees who've taken advantage of a new city bereavement leave policy—meant to provide "time to grieve and reflect" on the police killings of Black people—are members of the Portland Police Bureau. Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the policy June 8. "We hear and understand that many of our employees, especially our BIPOC employees, are deeply impacted by these recent events and are hurting," Wheeler wrote. "I want to give our employees space to grieve and reflect: 40 hours of bereavement leave as allowed under [city rules]." Since then, a total of 249 Police Bureau employees have taken bereavement leave, according to figures WW obtained through a public records request and first reported July 2. In all, 483 city employees have taken advantage of it. The city's Human Resources Bureau says it does not know the ethnicity or gender of the employees who have taken leave and expressed no opinion as to whether the leave was being used as Wheeler hoped.
OREGON COVID CASE RATE SPIKED IN JUNE: Oregon crossed the threshold of 10,000 COVID-19 cases last weekend, as the pandemic gained steam in rural counties. The number of new cases of COVID-19 per week in Oregon has increased fivefold in the past month. In the week ending July 5, Oregon reported 2,117 new cases. A month ago, the weekly total was 413 cases. Only a fraction of that increase can be directly traced to more testing. The number of tests has increased significantly, to be sure—but not anywhere close to as much as case numbers have increased. The number of tests is up 94%, from 20,539 in the week ending June 5 to 39,914 in the week ending July 5. That's a big jump, but nowhere near the 400 percent increase in new infections.