Eddie Bauer in trouble,

auditor KPMG says

An auditor for Eddie Bauer Inc.'s parent company says there is substantial doubt that the debt-burdened Northwest outdoor clothing icon can survive.

In a letter to Spiegel Inc.'s board of directors, auditor KPMG LLP said that 'substantially all of the company's debt is currently due and payable, and Spiegel hasn't been able to reach amended agreements with its debtors.

The letter was included in Spiegel's fiscal 2001 annual report, filed this week, which reported more than $1 billion in debts.

Sales at Spiegel's Eddie Bauer division, which has more than 550 stores in the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany, declined 11 percent in 2002; companywide, Spiegel sales fell 18 percent.

Redmond, Wash.-based Eddie Bauer has 13 stores in Oregon, including six in the Portland area Ñ retail stores in Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square, plus outlet stores in Gresham and Woodburn.

Eddie Bauer made the first-ever goose-down insulated garment in 1936; the Skyliner jacket was patented in 1940. Bauer, who frequently modeled for his company's catalog, retired in 1968, and his son and partner sold the firm to General Mills in 1971. Spiegel bought Eddie Bauer in 1988.

Kaiser Northwest's online

system goes nationwide

An electronic system that allows Kaiser Permanente Northwest medical staff online access to patients' medical records will be adopted by Kaiser hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The system, which lets doctors order lab tests and prescriptions online and gives them 24-hour access to patients' medical histories, has been used by Kaiser Northwest hospitals and clinics since 1997 and has eliminated the need for paper medical records, said Dr. Homer Chin, medical director for clinical information systems in Portland.

Because the system proved to be efficient and to reduce medical errors, it will be used to serve all of Kaiser's 8.4 million patients in nine states and the District of Columbia. Kaiser Permanente Northwest has 450,000 members in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington and maintains about 2 million records, Chin said.

Pension plan funds

Pearl District condos

Washington, D.C.-based Union Labor Life Insurance Co. is providing $35.7 million in financing to construct a condominium complex, the Henry, at the Brewery Blocks on West Burnside Street.

The 30-month construction loan comes from the company's 'J for Jobs' mortgage account, which is financed by tax-exempt pension plans. Gerding/Edlen Development is building the 132-unit, 15-story condominium building at the corner of Northwest 10th Avenue and Couch Street. It will include three levels of parking for 150 vehicles.

The Henry is one of 45 developments around the United States that Union Labor is financing.

Ñ Jeanie Senior, Mary Bellotti and Kristina Brenneman

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