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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Potter hospitalized

Rumors are swirling around Portland tonight that Mayor Tom Potter has been rushed to a hospital in Southern California for emergency treatment of a severe injury he suffered earlier in the week. The official word from City Hall is "no comment," but sources say that the 65-year-old mayor is resting comfortably and taking pain medication for a serious lower abdominal ailment that is believed to be a torn muscle aggravated by a groin pull.

According to eyewitnesses, Potter injured himself in a prolonged fit of hysterical laughter on Wednesday, when he learned that Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen was sending a representative to request a taxpayer bailout of the struggling NBA team. "I've never seen anything like it," said one person who was present when the phone call came in from officers of Allen's corporation, Vulcan, Inc. "Right after the Chief hung up, there was this long howl coming out of his office. It was like that Vincent Price laugh from 'Thriller,' but it went on for like two minutes. Then it died down to this steady, slight whimpering, and that kept up for what seemed like an eternity."

Startled aides sensed that something was wrong and entered Potter's office to check on him. When they saw him lying under his desk, in convulsions and with tears rolling down his cheeks, they pressed the emergency call button that summons Commissioner Randy Leonard to the scene of any security breaches in the building. "Grampy kept saying, 'I'm o.k., I'm o.k.,' but you could tell he was delirious," the source recalled. "Finally he sat up and looked around, and started laughing all over again, and coughing. Then he quieted down, and it was obvious he had hurt something."

Although the mayor apparently recovered well enough to meet with Blazers president Steve Patterson on Friday morning, by midday he had cancelled the rest of his appointments for the week. "After Patterson left, the Chief had another fit-like episode, and this time he really reinjured it," said a staff member who requested anonymity. "We drove him home after lunch, and he just kept moaning, 'I can't believe this job. I can't believe this job.'"

Saturday morning, Potter was flown to a clinic in Lake Arrowhead, California, for a diagnosis. He was seen by the same physicians who are treating figure skating champion Michelle Kwan, who suffered a similar injury before withdrawing from the Olympics in Italy. "It's a pretty nasty tear," said a source. "They checked him into a nearby hospital just to play it safe." Potter and Kwan met briefly at the clinic, where they arranged to spend time together on their upcoming goodwill ambassador missions to Outer Mongolia.

Potter's private jet flight to the California medical facility was reportedly delayed by two hours for a last-minute meeting with Commissioner Erik Sten. "Erik came out to the airport to talk with Potter about having the city buy the Blazers," one witness recounted. "You know the mayor, always being nice to people. It took him the better part of an hour to talk the kid down."

It was the second clandestine trip to the hospital for Potter in a little more than a month. On Jan. 19, he was treated at Providence Good Samaritan Hospital for a flesh wound to the hand suffered at a lunch at the London Grill at the Benson Hotel. Accounts of the incident vary, but one waitperson at the swank restaurant told reporters that the mayor was stabbed with a fork in an altercation with "a white-bearded guy who came in on one of them Segway deals."

(Note: Time stamps on comments for this post were changed in a server migration.)

Comments (18)

Anna Griffin undoubtedly reached for her pager to make sure it was working before the second paragraph.

That's not very nice.

Just like our boy Jack crashing through the door in the SHINING, He's BAAAAAAAAK.

However, Potter believes that Allen and the Blazers deserve the same predictability that Trammel Crow deserved when he and Sten voted to giveaway their 10 year- $10 million property tax exemption. Thankfully that sort of wisdom was not shared by three other commissioners and the abatement was rejected.

With several big ticket Porkland boondoggles on the horizon Potter, in the interest of staying consistent, may press for Blazer public assistance.

Surely a new Transit mall, convention center Hotel and light rail expansions will bolster the teams bottom line.

It's a matter of investment.

And avoiding public votes.


Did Fireman Randy attempt CPR?

I sure hope Potter has adequate health care coverage.


A 7% tax on all tickets for events in the Rose Quarter. 5% for Paul, 1% for schools, and 1% for a new baseball park.

Just throwing the idea out there. Afterall, it's for the kids.

Hmmm...fund schools and local infrastructure, or fund a vanity project run by the world's fifth richest man and populated by a collection of spoiled millionaires?

Yeah, tough call.

If Paul Allen can blow 12 billion dollars in 10 years maybe we should hit him with a screw-up tax.

Yeah, tough call.

Not saying I'm for it, Dave. In fact I'm solidly in the "he made his bed" camp. However, I don't believe the Blazers are going to let this go, especially given the tumult to the north with the Sonics. He's spent the last decade copying every move made by the Sonics. Right now they're throwing a hissy about their lease and threatening to move. And they're gaining some traction with it. So he's going to do the same thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if there's going to be any "solution", we should try and tie it into some bigger picture stuff. Like schools.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if there's going to be any "solution", we should try and tie it into some bigger picture stuff. Like schools.

Which could include a massive redevelopment scheme for the area around the Rose Quarter, including Memorial Coliseum and the Portland Public School Administrative Headquarters nearby.

Could someone help me out with this "lease" thing? Didn't Allen own the Rose Garden (or the company that owns it) until very recently, when he declared bankrupty? I'm all for seeing that the Blazers are profitable, but I suspect that this business about the team losing money is simply a big shell game being played by the rich dude in Seattle.

Damn, this is hilarious... I had my "new post" screen up at BlueOregon and was already composing a piece by the time I realized this was just Classic Jack.

First -- Jack, that was very funny. I sniggered, snickered, and then laughed, arguably immoderately, out loud. The last line sealed it...

(distracted my hubby, however, happily multi-tasking on Spider Solitaire, Fox News, and the Sunday Oregonian. Winning at Spider, hissing at Fox, and steaming at the O's relegation of the news of the expansion of our prison in Afghanistan to page 13.) Loud bwah-hah-hah's -- not perfectly appreciated at the moment...

Second, Dave J -- I recommend today's (Sunday) Oregonian Opinion section for an acerbic and spot-on analysis of the issue. Between Canzano and Duin I think they pretty well nailed it.

To nutshell it (regarding your question about the lease) -- Allen has, quite simply, suffered the classic return on unsupportable hubris and its ever-right-hand handmaiden -- incompetence.

Because Alan is really really big -- his screw-up is proportionate. I'm curious to see whose scalps the perpetually obsessively-excited Water Bureau billing hyper-hounds will now be calling for... Hey, Someone's gotta be held responsible, right?

Does this mean we can quit pouring public money into ALL professional sports - including baseball???? I seem to remember Jack being disappointed that "Grampy" was disrepectful to the Marlins when they came through town. What's the difference between Paul Allen asking for public money and the Marlins asking for public money?

HHHHmmmmmmmmmmm......I think we should help Paul out by supporting another "public/private partnership" (I love all these "partnerships").

I propose a direct tram line from OHSU to the Rose Garden which just happens to line up directly over City Hall. With City Hall being about the midpoint a beautiful, over-budget edifice support tower would descreetly straddle City Hall. Now, all the Blazer season ticket holders living in SoWhat can tram to OHSU, then to the Gardens. Plus, the Jailblazers will now have direct access to OHSU for drug rehabilitation.

Not funny at all... because Potter DID NOT laugh... in fact, instead of throwing them out of the office, he spouted a bunch of plattitudes about them... after making jokes about baseball, he kissed up to Steve Patterson... that's not funny, that's very, very sad...

Potter is a gentleman, which is why this post is funny. Outright gaffaws were probably contained, only to be released behind closed doors. A situation ripe for severe satire. Thanks Jack, Tom & Randy.

I do suggest if the Vulcans want another 1x1, it take place in the Hooper Detox waiting room at 7:15 AM. The message: you're silly, and now you're wasting our time.

BTW - this isn't the "low point" in the franchise history. Remember "Two For" LaRue Martin, #1 draft pick from Loyola Chicago?

Actually, Jack, what I wanna know is howdja get all of the old Corno's fruit?

As for Mr. Allen, he inspires the old question: "What's the easiest way to make a small fortune?"

If he had never met Bill Gates, do you think Allen's high point in life might have been being elected president of the Puget Sound Amiga Users Group?

I know some people at the Portland Development Commission, and I now own that block and several others in the area. They sold them to me for a dollar, but I'm not building anything on them until I get my tax abatement. Then probably a 60-story "mixed use" building -- a bank branch and a Starbucks with 59 stories of luxury condos above them. Four large affordable units will also be included in the project. They'll be outside. I think they're called "dumpsters."

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