Outside reviewer considered

The City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to adopt a proposal to hire a consultant to review police shootings and deaths in custody.

The city's newly established Independent Police Review division already reviews citizen complaints regarding allegations of misconduct involving members of the Portland Police Bureau.

But recent police shootings, including that of Byron Clay Hammick Jr. two weeks ago, have led some activists to call for more police accountability.

Auditor Gary Blackmer has proposed a compromise between the police union Ñ which says only police experts have the skills to look at such cases Ñ and police accountability activists, who want to give more power to the 11 members of the IPR's Citizen Review Committee.

Blackmer stressed that an outside expert would review the most serious cases for policy examination purposes only, not to amend or impose officer discipline.

But activists and several committee members testified this week that an expert isn't good enough. They want the citizen panel, as well, to have an opportunity to review shootings and deaths in custody.

Blackmer said that is going too far. 'My view has been that we have lots of things for the citizen (review panel) to do already,' he said. 'Having an expert come in is the best way to get insights on how to solve the problem.'


Study looks at potential uses

City leaders hope a new study will clarify whether it's viable to keep Memorial Coliseum as a conduit for Rose Quarter activity.

The Portland City Council on Wednesday voted 4-0 to commission a study that will evaluate potential new uses of the coliseum. The study, set for completion by late June, will be led by frequent city planning collaborator Larry Dully. Dully helped develop neighborhood livability plans for the area surrounding PGE Park.

The study will cost the city $106,000.

'They'll look at the technical work involved, along with the cost to remodel it,' said David Logsdon, a project manager for the city's Office of Management and Finance. 'They'll take a look at the public issues involved if, down the road, we decide to reuse the building.'

Logsdon said the city will keep an open mind as to the building's future.

'This is all very preliminary,' he said. 'We're just trying to see what ideas are out there, and we're evaluating ideas to make a general judgment on its potential feasibility.'


Put on your thinking cap

A 'brain fair,' 'brain bowl' and brainy talks will highlight Brain Awareness Week 2002, which begins Saturday at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

The bowl, at 9 a.m. Saturday, will feature students answering questions about the brain. The fair, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, will include games, prizes, exhibits and an Albert Einstein look-alike contest.

David Heil, former host of 'Newton's Apple' on PBS, and Eric Chudler, director of the Neuroscience for Kids Web site, will offer demonstrations for kids on Saturday and Sunday.

Education consultant Pat Wolfe will give a talk on learning and memory called 'How Your Child Learns' at 7 p.m., Monday. Dr. Jeffrey Kaye, director of Oregon Health & Science University's Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center, will speak on the topic 'Preventing or Delaying Alzheimer's Disease' at 7 p.m. Thursday.

A March 10 lecture by neuroscientist Dr. Richard Restak is sold out, but a videotape of the talk will screen at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 28.

OMSI and OHSU are sponsoring the weeklong event on the brain. For reservations, call 503-418-2515. Check the Web site at http:



PDC hunts for money

The Portland Development Commission is sending two staff members to Washington, D.C., to investigate a federal tax credit program that could potentially replace money lost in a recent tax court decision.

The U.S. Treasury Department plans to distribute $2.5 billion in New Market tax credits for economic and business development nationwide. Applications are due in the next 45 days.

PDC Executive Director Don Mazziotti said the tax credits look 'like a promising source of funding for projects.' His agency also is searching for potential funding from other state and federal economic development sources.

PDC is budgeting for a 20 percent reduction in tax-increment financing following a Oregon Supreme Court decision last November that ruled in favor of Shilo Inns. The agency also delayed 70 projects in its 10 urban renewal districts, including Lents and Interstate.

The court determined that taxes collected for urban renewal had been incorrectly calculated. The commission filed a motion on Feb. 22 to reconsider the case.


Hospitals get new owner

Symphony Healthcare, a Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital management company, has acquired Portland's Woodland Park and Eastmoreland hospitals from HealthMont Inc.

Symphony, founded in November, is focusing on the management and development of acute-care hospitals and surgery centers with physicians who want to own or have an interest in owning such facilities, company Chief Executive Officer Ken Perry said.

Woodland Park Chief Executive Officer Richard Alley said Symphony's 'philosophy relating to physician relationships is ideal for our hospital.'

Phillip Young, Eastmoreland’s chief executive officer, said new ownership will help the hospital provide new services.

Perry said both hospitals 'fit well into our overall business plan.' Symphony will provide as much capital as the hospitals need to develop new services, he said.

HealthMont, also based in Tennessee, bought the two hospitals in July 2000. Both have had a series of owners since 1984.

Woodland Park is a 209-bed hospital serving North and Northeast Portland. Eastmoreland, a 100-bed hospital in Southeast Portland, trains more osteopathic family practice physicians than any other hospital in the state.

Terms of the sale were not released.


Nike introduces new line

Nike said this week it will roll out a line of shoes that the company will sell through specialty outdoor retailers.

The line, which Nike has dubbed the 'Oregon Series,' is designed for rugged users, such as hikers and climbers. The Oregon Series will serve as Nike All Conditions Gear division's flagship product, a company spokesman said.

Nike designers Carl Blakeslee and Scott Portzline created the line, which includes five models.

The shoes will cost from $80 to $140. Retailers will begin carrying the line later this month.


Fodor's touts wine country

Fodor's has chosen the Willamette Valley and surrounding Oregon wine country as a choice romantic getaway destination.

The travel guide publisher noted the valley on its Web site and bookstore posters as one of 10 areas that are overlooked and underrated.

'(The region) has a lot of things that are great for a romantic getaway,' Fodor's travel publications Associate Editor Mark Sullivan says, noting the bed and breakfasts, award-winning wineries, hot air balloon rides and covered bridges that impressed the company's writers.

Sullivan also says the wineries are much less crowded than those in California.

He says Columbus, Ohio, 'saw a big increase in tourism' after making the Fodor's overlooked and underrated list last year and developed a marketing campaign based on that recognition.

Ñ Tribune staff

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