The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. LXV

The Sisters anxiously await your kind donation
May 18, 2023 at 5:05 a.m.

Executive Editor

Note From a Reader: It was one thing for PeaceHealth to send an expected bill — about $40K — for medical services rendered. Less expected was the immediate follow-up letter asking for a donation to PeaceHealth in honor of this person’s excellent care. 

The Form: It lists suggested donations, from $35 to $100 to $____. It does not specify where said funds go. The signed author, Sudhakar Karlapudi, chief medical officer, lists a wide range of PeaceHealth services, noting that “Your generosity will provide access to lifesaving care for patients in need and critical support for caregivers who are dedicated to keeping us all safe and healthy.”

Asks the Patient/Reader: “What exactly is this money going for? How much money is going to administer this program? What are the wages of Chief Karlapudi and his staff? Is this for indigent care or just a ‘slush fund’ for hospital executives? Just curious. The return envelope goes to a P.O. Box in Seattle, so also wondering how much, if any, of Bellingham’s money would come back to help out in our community.”

To Which The Hammer Sez: These are all excellent questions.

Stop the Presses: But don’t stop the flow. That’s our takeaway from a news release Wednesday, announcing highly sought “2022 Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant Award” status for Bellingham’s Post Point Treatment Plant (motto: Your Stuff Doesn’t Run Downhill for Free, You Know), which apparently enjoys general overall outflow excellence.

Just to Be Clear: We salute this level of performance.

On the Other Hand, Also Honored: In same effluent pageant, conducted by the state Department of Ecology: Virtually every other wastewater treatment facility in Whatcom and Skagit counties — and, apparently, the entire state. Clear takeaway: Everyone’s a winner in the sewage sweepstakes!

We'd Be Tempted to Say: And might as well: The only group more readily awarding itself for marginal to adequate performance is the nation's television teleprompter-reading newsies. 

No Word: On whether there is a Despondent Category, for ratepayers.

This Week’s Second-Best News Release Header: “UW Medicine to facilitate state-mandated psilocybin trial.” We could go a lot of ways with this, but suffice to say the landmark announcement was made by soon-to-be outgoing Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Shroom.

The Hammer swings online on Thursdays.

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