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Monday, September 4, 2006

Having it both ways

For a while now, we've figured out OHSU's game -- they get all the privileges of being a state agency, with half the accountability (or less). With Neil G. and St. Hatfield pulling strings for them (at least until recently), they've got it made.

Yesterday the O's Steve Duin turned over yet another rock on Pill Hill and found more of the above. If you don't pay your hospital bill up there, they seize your state income tax refund. This even though Duin seems to think that's illegal, and there's a lawsuit pending on the issue.

Instead of your refund, the least the Department of Revenue could do is send you a pass for the aerial tram [rim shot].

Comments (30)

Jack: it looks like they're very close to pulling the tramway cable. I've already witnessed one near accident that was attributable to gawking (on Barbur Blvd). The real danger will be when the Tram is actually going up or down past the tower (a very sharp angle of attack), and out-of-towners are confronted with deciding how to get to Seattle or the Airport while gawking at the Picture Postcard view of the Tram.

ALSO: I'm surprised you haven't weighed in on PDOT's abortion referral and financing office?

This is news?

I've known this for years. I thought it was common knowledge.

it looks like they're very close to pulling the tramway cable

According to the notice card that went to residents and businesses in the area, this appears to be the end of Aug through October process (that's as specific as the card gets, if I recall properly). Definitely more mini-towers for this procedure have been going up lately.

Sometimes I am perplexed that the U.S. is the only western nation without a national health care safety net. Then I remember that we have to keep our esteemed and idolized physicians in aerial trams(rim shot)and pity the countries that don't have their priorities straight.

Imho, public conversation has suffered, and continues to suffer, because we respect persons and position rather than facts, figures and the process of engaging in the busy-and sometimes messy- Marketplace of Ideas. Icon "activists" emerge in such a climate, people with big egos and bigger blind spots that pose, perhaps unwittingly, as great "educators". Neil was one; he hornswaggled the big O so that there was no intelligent debate on the aerial tram until after it was a settled deal. Another aggravating icon, imho, is Bob Sallinger of local Audobon. Yesterday's O piece announcing Sallinger is offering workshops to "Save your cat's life: Be wilier than coyotes. (Isn't that a darling title?)grates. Sallinger likes coyotes and native songbirds. He tolerates cats. He promotes keeping cats indoors; there are good reasons to do this. But there is more to talk about and people at the O know this, but still exalt Sallinger and his agenda. The O has all the documentation showing that, in 2000, a blue ribbon task force recommended that Multnomah County Animal Control move in a pro-animal, pro-pet owner direction that would create a safety net for outdoor cats and promote non-lethal control for ferals. Instead, in 2001, the county has enacted a cat "trespassing' ordinance that permits neighbors to trap "trespassing cats" and take them to the pound, increasing cat intake 70% in five years. People like Sallinger and the naive crowd at the O see this as "progressive" when it was instigated, adn likely pushed through by the National Animal Interest Alliance, whose primary mover is cat vivisectionist Adrian Morrison. And even though in the one or two telephone conversations I have had with Sallinger, he has admitted that he knows over-development is the primary reason we have coyotes in the cities and a decline in songbird populations, he doesn't confront the primary problem; advocating for a federal law to protect wilderness at Mt. Hood, he is among those who want to push forward without addressing the question of bogus appraisals.

It is as if these "activists" do have a flaw or insecurity that causes them to believe in the deity of developers and other "important" people and consider facts, figures and respect for the rights and opinions of others irrelevant.

Isn't it hornswoggling to move the subject from OHSU bill collecting to cat defense?

A bit.

The guide cable for the main tram cable has been in place for a week or two now. It looks like they shot it across to the west side of the freeway from the lower tower. When last I went by, it was anchored to the ground just to the west of the freeway.

As far as I can tell, the local media completely missed the historic crossing.

I don't think so Allan L. I thought the topic was broad enough to allow for current, timely examples of systemic problems that allow for string pulling..(mentioned in the post). The broader point is that Neil will happen again until and unless we have a forum for addressing myriad angles on a topic. If we have forums (fora?) that permit broad disscussion, then we aren't going to have hornswaggling contrary to the public interest. Interstingly, no one has commented on bill collecting yet. Am I preventing it?

Yes, cat policy is one of my baliwicks; why does this bother you? If I write to the O about my concerns, they will be ignored. Sallinger is a lord of lord and king of kings; his word is settled in heaven according to the crowd at the O-just like Neil's was .Here what I have to say is less likely to be ignored. And it DOES matter to people who have family cats. I do think your point is well-taken that in a stacked system, we are all put in a position of finding our fora where we can. As for hornswaggling generally: nah, I don't go for it; I got out of practising law because I could not "play games" to the extent demanded of me to survive in a favor trading system.

I think I can help: Even if OHSU was the only veterinarian hospital in Portland and my cat was expecting no refund on its income taxes, I would not take it there.

It is even easier than that; pet cats wearing tags have been found in OHS labs. They've bought from "bunchers" and shelters with no regard for the fact that they may be buying pets.

Correction: That is OHSU labs. The place is a law unto itself.

Oh, I forgot: OHSU being a law unto itself.

Right on topic.

My cat (not named Hornswoggler, but maybe the next one?) was lunch for some coyote, but then I did allow it outside, so maybe me and Darwin are both to blame. IMHO, it is inhumane (and incatmane) to force a cat to exist 100% of the time indoors. Again, just MHO. Aren't song birds part of Darwin's world too?

Regarding OHSU, I knew somebody who had a child born with some sort of defect that required months and months of hospitalization there. The bill was around $30K, and this couple was late teens early 20s, and earning minimum wage. They said that OHSU was billing them around $30/month, since that was about all their budget allowed.

I wonder if they would leave their tax refund alone if they kept paying their $30/mo (for, like two centuries?).


I imagine the $30,000 bill was just the portion they didn't write off as bad debt.

Typical neonatal care runs $1,200/night (without any procedures)...

My wife gave birth to our son about two years ago at St. Vincent's (not a C-section), with a three night stay in the hospital: the hospital bill exceed $16,000 and the OB/GYN billed his services separately.

If they got "months" of care for $30k, they should consider it a bargain.

With Universal Health Care OHSU could have a seat on the budget; where a 30,000 dollar bill would instead become 90,000, and collected by the taxman. We could then even forecast out 20 years an actuarially underfunded mandate, and then zero in on the tax collections to cover it (a liability) as characterizable as "revenue" that is amenable to the issuance of "revenue bonds" to be spent today. (Dream of the commissions on that sales job.)

Why not revenue bonds to invest in durable (relatively durable) musical instruments for all elementary students? Musical practice has proven to have a strong carryover to increased performance in other aspects of education. (The commissions alone from the above would likely be more than the entire 20 year cost of supplying musical instruments for all kids.)

“Sallinger is a lord of lord and king of kings”

I have had the occasions to be in a few classes and projects with Bob at LC where he is a fourth year evening student while working full time at the Autobahn. I find him an advocate for all animals and a very nice gentleman. He is very passionate about his work. I am sure he will get a very good laugh on this and other quotes by the contributor to this blog. It is unfortunate that sometimes people choose to form strong opinion based on quotes without knowing the person.

Prof, sorry this is off the topic. But I hate to see Bob being portrait this way because of some quotes in a story on a commercial newspaper. However, I think Bob still would not like being called a lord of lord and king of kings of animal advocates because he is such a humble person.

Sorry about your kitty, though predation is a fact of life and I have found it really bogus of Sallinger to blame cats but not coyotes for following their instincts. Some cats won't adapt to being indoor only, but many do.
One of the arguments I make is that cats eat only songbirds, not "nuisance" starlings. I say I have to order native songbirds for my indoor cats to eat. I found it interesting that Sallinger is making a similar argument in the Sunday O piece (that coyotes will kill unwanted geese). He has not been letting all the "stakeholders" have their say, and he probably doesn't even realize it. The way some "activists" fight galls me; back in 2000, he got the O to publish a question about a case of mine involving a woman who was instigating a program to neuter stray cats in her neighborhood, making it appear she was bringing cats in to kill songbirds. I had had to fight the Argus over its cra**y sensationalistic reporting to get anything half-way even handed and Sallinger's coup with the O was the last straw. A lot of activism around here seems to be about disrespect for others, DESPITE all the hype about diversity and tolerance we constantly are hearing. A lot of these folks need to graduate to second grade in both diversity training and logic, imho.


If you actually read what I said, I have experience with Sallinger. And he has inteferred with my cases and policy work and believed what people have said WITHOUT KNOWING ME. Before you form such a strong opinion again, read for meaning.

And Tom,

My reference to Sallinger and a king of kings and lord of lords has to do with both the O's attitude toward him and MY DIRECT EXPERIENCE with him.

And Tom, may Bob and the professor bless your sycophantic little heart. I think you helped me prove the accuracy of my observation. One does not question a true icon, no matter what he does; you will feel the shame of his laughter! We'll see who actually gets the last laugh in this matter.

Isn't it hornswoggling to move the subject from OHSU bill collecting to cat defense?

I believe the term you are looking for is "trolling".

“a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite little heart”
Wow, what a flattering expression from one who must believes she has a very big heart for big words against perceived little people with little heart. Thanks for a very good laugh. I see now what may be a good reason that you could not survive “practising” law.

Again my apologies to the Prof, sorry I couldn’t resist distracting from the topic again! Good thing you are on sab, otherwise I may be accused of kissing up your you know where too, haha!

Okay, so you've crashed your motorcycle, torn up your shoulder, and gotten into a legal battle with OHSU. So far it's cost you a ton of stress and your marriage. Things begin to look up when Steve Duin does a column about you, but you need all the help you can get. You need the blogging community of Portland to get behind your problems. You go to Jack's Blog and your spirits soar. There's a post about you! Long after the Oregonian moves on you'll still matter! Then you read the comments and your heart sinks. They're not talking about you. They're talking about cats and coyotes. You wonder if you're ever going to win.

Another example of flattery,Tom. And you haven't the slightest idea of what the Oregon legal system is about or what you are talking about. Or about what it means to have heart. Yeah, you'll fit right in, all right. But in the future it is going to take more than kissing up to get ahead. You'll see.

Sorry Bill if the sidelines dissuaded anyone from commenting. I'd like to make a point of of moralizing next time you segue. Or , better, I just won't contribute anymore. It seems to me that the dialog here points out a lot about what is wrong with Oregon. A lot of people needing approval and getting it at someone else's expense. Things are unlikely to improve here, and this attitude you express, more than anything, I think, explains why. I won't sink your soaring spirits again. But you're going to see more problems hurting little people if you can't tolerate an ocassional sideline.

Easy does it. Let's not have kindred souls fussing over blog etiquette.

My dear Cynthia, please do not be surprised that I may already know a little about the Oregon legal system. Sorry I do not think I will fit in either. My friends think I am crazy because I chose to go back to law school as my retirement hobby. Good luck to you. Mr. McDonald is right, I am going to keep my peace now out of respect to everyone. Cheers and thanks for a good laugh and trying to make me feel very young for a split second!

Mr. McDonald, I like your style in trying to go back to point. May I also add that I have had occasions to meet with Mr. and Mrs. Duin, they are both very caring person and active in the community.

If you notice, Duin often operates as a non-starter. Has for years. I think it is because he doesn't go deep enough or broad enough or look for the systemic issues that tie problems together. As much as dot connecting offends some here, we need it in this state. These people will get lots of calls expressing sympathy; then the next person gets scr*wed.

You can go so narrowly focused on "the point" that as my grandmother said you become so narrow minded that you can see through a keyhole with both eyes open.

Cynthia, I'm sorry if I offended you. I'm not trying to discourage anyone, so I apologize for not going along with the coyote issue. As it turns out I saw a show on the problem this afternoon, based on a study in Illinois. Did you know there are even coyotes living on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, right on Lake Michigan? They are persistent beasts and when one is removed from a territory, another one apparently replaces it. As for Steve Duin, he's gruff but my impression is that there's a softie in there somewhere. I was at an event where Diane Linn speculated that he wasn't getting enough bran. Still, I did think his column that set this post off, was worthy. Why? Because it brought up a whole new aspect of OHSU gaming the system. I've been following the OHSU story and I hadn't heard this particular angle yet. I also thought it showed the right stuff to quote OHSU's PR Hack Lora Cuykendall, in an unflattering piece given her marriage to one of the Oregonian's editors. I think Steve wrote a helpful column here - I certainly learned something new from it. I also think that OHSU's approach to power politics is coyote ugly.

"""OHSU gaming the system"""

I wonder where, or if, there is another organization in the country that can so easily morph back and forth between being a public agency and a private corporation whenever and however they find advantage.

This "quasi" beast is truly something to behold.

Thank you Bill. I am a little discouraged; I am fighting some big battles . I know the cat and coyote story was a bit of a stretch, but my angle was that the Oregonian does us all a disservice by venerating those who game the system. Sallinger is someone who does that, imo, and is obviously loved and defended by admirers. Neil is the most prominent example of a worshipped hero, but there are others, like Clatsop County DA, Josh Marquis, who the Oregonian held up as a preferred source until it became obvious, through Scheck and Neufeld's Innocence Project, that there really WERE innocent peole on Death Row-183 exonerated so far. My point is that idolotry blinds us to nuances-and sometimes atrocities- and the O would serve us well by allowing us to fully explore issues large and small; it must embarass even the editorial crowd over there when omissions blow up in their faces. You have noted some on your blog. I would have addressed the O instead on the Sallinger issue if I thought it would do any good. Talking on the phone with Sallinger 3 years ago, I found we actually agree on quite a bit. His "star" status is just preventing the public from hearing all the angles on cat policy. And it may seem like a trivial issue, but it does matter to individuals when they lose a cat because of it. And it could matter to the county if it gets sued for failure to implement task force recommendations.

As for Duin, I agree that the column was helpful and liked the Cuykendall quote . Duin often writes good helpful columns and I have even seen him change his mind when, seemingly, it became obvious that he had believed propaganda. It just seems to me that it takes him too long sometimes, and that he is too cautious about offending "the wrong" people.

And, no, I didn't know there were coyotes in


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