Showing posts from November, 2023

Cook County Hospital Board Meeting Overflowing with Public Interest

Over four dozen citizens crowded the Board Room at North Shore Health (NSH) on Thursday morning, the 16th, to attend the regularly scheduled meeting of the hospital’s board of directors.  The people attended to voice concerns over the November 1st termination of ER doctor Bruce Dahlman by Wapiti Medical Staffing as they chose not to renew his contract. This for-profit business provides ER doctors and other professionals to NSH. A Cook County resident since 1984, Dr. Dahlman has practiced medicine here since 1986. He has been under a contract with Wapiti since they essentially took over the ER physician staffing for NSH. Despite the long-term relationship, limited due process, and a solid reputation in the community, Wapiti ended its agreement with Dahlman effective November 1.  Judging by the people speaking during the “Public Comment” section of the meeting, Dr. Dahlman is a community pillar who has been treated poorly by hospital leadership and Wapiti.  Just before the public comment

The Long Way Home 11.24.23

Sometimes, it takes a dramatic and personal event to energize people to rise up and demand change.  On November 16, I did something I dread almost as much as going to the dentist. I hopped in Miss Daisy, the family Chevy, and drove to the local non-profit hospital to attend a meeting of its board of directors. I went because the county had a fervor over the summary dismissal of a beloved local physician who worked in the North Shore Health (NSH) ER. I confess to getting some joy from seeing people energized to stand up and demand accountability, especially when they are shocked by the actions and deceit of local elected officials and the bureaucrats who try to lead them by the nose.  Such accountability is rare, especially in a small Minnesota county like ours. Dr. Bruce Dahlman has practiced medicine for almost 40 years, nearly all in Cook County. According to the press release issued by the hospital board following the meeting, his performance is above reproach. Everyone I talk with,

The Long Way Home 11.17.23

Seeing athletes, politicians, and other celebrities retire at the pinnacle of their careers has always inspired me. Knowing when to step aside is a badge of honor. Sadly, most people deny the inevitable decline for far too long, ending up as a sad shadow of their best selves.  In my life choices, I have tried to step away when I was peaking. Like selling a business or two that was ready to move beyond my limited talents. Leaving a job or consulting assignment when I passed the point of adding value. Even giving up my prized Red Rock Democratic Club in Las Vegas after leading a compelling and energetic organizing effort from 2005 through the big national election of 2008. With the invasive aquatic species work over that I’d done during the boating season and the firewood put up for winter, I’ve been reflecting on where the Bohunk and I are at these days. Half of our offspring, all four in their 40s now, proposed to Becky that we should leave our refuge on the ridge that overlooks Lake S

The Long Way Home 11.10.23

Probably one of the worst questions a potential employer ever asked me during a job interview was, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  Judging by the outcomes, answering, “I see myself as your boss, and I will delight in terminating you,” never leads to a job offer. It's a good thing I’ve been self-employed most of my life. There is some merit to thinking about the future. It’s pretty tough to get where you’re going without a destination in mind.  After all these years, though, I haven’t seen a five-year plan, business or government, strategic or otherwise, come to fruition. Sometimes the outcome was better, sometimes worse, but not often did things end up according to plan.  That’s not to say taking a long-term view of the future is a bad idea. Regarding almost any issue, from climate change to the Middle East, getting anyone to view much past the next 24 hours is nearly impossible.  Today, politicians are accusing each other of corruption and treason. Rather than working

The Long Way Home 11.3.23

Last Friday,  I wrote, “Indecision may, or may not, be my problem,” a line from the late Jimmy Buffett.  That prompted an email from a fellow Parrothead who reads the Northshore Journal over in Brimson. He may or may not have had his Hush Puppies on when he wrote to me. The email related a story about him working in a clean room at a computer chip lab in Wisconsin a quarter century ago. He mentioned a couple of the pranks employees there would play on each other.  The story reminded me of working at the Cornelius Company in the 1970s.  After a few years of working the evening shift at Advance United Expressways, I took a day job at a manufacturer because day jobs were rare in trucking. I would miss getting to the terminal at 1600 to hear the night shift teamsters in the locker room dissecting that day’s episode of “Young and the Restless,” but not much else.  As the new “Traffic Coordinator,” I didn’t know what to expect from the people I’d be working with. It seems playing pranks on e

The Long Way Home 10.27.23

One of my favorite lines written by the late Jimmy Buffett is, “Indecision may or may not be my problem.”  But another problem, similar to indecision but different, is procrastination. That is my problem. My friend Carl posted a funny picture on Facebook this weekend of an empty kiosk in a bookstore with a sign that says, “Please be patient. Our display on procrastination will be up soon.” I’ve written about my dad before. He wouldn’t stand if he could sit and never sit if he could lie down. As for getting things done around the house, he was a top-notch procrastinator. The only thing that ever got him moving with urgency was when the roots of the weeping willow, his favorite tree in the front yard, entered the sewer line to cause a backup that brought foul-smelling stuff flooding into our basement.  Procrastination in action, or inaction, if you will. I learned well. Despite his shortcomings, my dad passed on some practical knowledge.  First, always know a good mechanic. The first car