Proposed Joint Health Effort Dropped; Legislature Reenters Gun Control Debate; Oregon Dunes Triathlon

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Proposed PeaceHealth Joint Venture Called Off

A proposed deal that would have created a $4-billion health system that included 15 hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Alaska was called off this week.  PeaceHealth and Englewood, Colorado based Catholic Health Initiatives have been working on the proposed deal for nearly a year.

According to a story published by Joe Carlson with the online news service Modern Health, talks were dropped because of disagreements over “back-office” functions.

PeaceHealth President Alan Yordy said they had been working towards creating a separate organization what would have delivered seamless health care services in the Pacific Northwest.

According to Carlson, that was not the same vision shared by CHI leadership.  They preferred an outright acquisition of PeaceHealth.

In a joint statement, both organizations said they remain committed to exploring other opportunities to work together in the future.

Yordy said PeaceHealth, however, is in no hurry to find an alternative partner.

Oregon Dunes Triathlon

It’s a new event and it’s going to pretty impressive say organizers.  Dunes City has teamed up with a central Oregon event promoter for the first ever Oregon Dunes Triathlon and Duathlon.  Brian Douglass with Smith Rock Race Group is handling the details.  He says it will draw as many as 150 participants for the May 11th races.

Brian Douglass – “They’re gonna come in on Friday, stay in the local community and participate in the event.  And, of course, it’s mother’s day weekend and we think that they, you know, that they’ll bring their significant others to the community and stay over the weekend.”

The Olympic Triathlon features a one-mile swim in Woahink Lake and a 25 mile bicycle ride on Canary and Clear Lake roads, followed by a six mile run through Honeyman State Park.  The Sprint version is half as long.  Both will feature a signature finish line… a hundred yard sprint up the “big dune” at Honeyman.

Brian Douglas – “We’re a USAT sanctioned event and our race director is a certified race director for the USA Triathlon Association.   This is a very well put together event; first year.”

Because of that connection, and with Smith Rock’s reputation they anticipate a good turnout the first year.  They’re already working on plans to expand the event to two days with more events next year.

Legislature Reenters Gun Control Debate

The Oregon Legislature is wading into the national debate over gun-control today.  Earlier this year, Oregon lawmakers abandoned legislation that would have banned military-style rifles and large capacity ammunition magazines.  But gun-control advocates have forged ahead with a package of four bills that would require background checks on private sales and transfers, and a shooting test to obtain a concealed-handgun license.

The bills would also create new restrictions on carrying guns in elementary and secondary schools as well as public buildings like the state Capitol.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear public testimony on all of the bills during a marathon hearing this morning, but the committee will not vote. The committee chairman says he expects a spirited debate.