Day: November 6, 2014

“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande

“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande c.2014, Henry Holt $26.00 304 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER Last night’s dessert was spectacular. As with many finales, that perfect ending to a perfect meal left you satisfied for the rest of the evening. It was, like some conclusions – a little nightcap, a final chapter, a last dance, the lingering notes of a favorite song – a thing to savor. Can the end of life be so sweet?  Perhaps; there are steps to make it so, as you’ll see in the new book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.  For about the last century, the average lifespan for North Americans has been increasing. Modern medicine has taught doctors how to save lives but, until relatively recently, it didn’t teach them how to deal with life’s end. That, says Gawande, is unfortunate. In many cases, doctors feel extremely uncomfortable discussing the end of life with their patients. That often leads to protocol that precludes quality of life when there isn’t much life left to have. We’ve come to this point, this reluctance to face death, because we’re no longer familiar with it. A century ago, people died at home, often after self-treating their ailments. Hospitals were not places to get better, says Gawande; medicine back then usually had little impact on life or death. When penicillin,...

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School board names new assistant super

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes The Salem-Keizer School Board named Kelly Carlisle, director of high schools in the district, to the vacant assistant superintendent position. Carlisle succeeds Salem Noor, who has taken a position with the Oregon Department of Education. His appointment came at a special meeting of the board Tuesday. Also at the special meeting, the board filled its last budget committee vacancy by appointing Adam Kohler of Salem. Kohler, area operations manager for CenturyLink Communications, holds a master of business administration degree from Northwest Nazarene University and has extensive budgeting experience with Century Link and its local predecessor, Qwest. Following the meeting was a work session, at which board members discussed the planned program for preparing students for college and...

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Possible transit changes discussed

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes By recent standards, this was a light topic for members of the Keizer Planning Commission. In the last couple of years, members have looked at weighty issues such as housing needs, Urban Growth Boundary expansion and zoning changes. Things were a bit different at the Oct. 8 meeting: for the most part, commission members got to listen to a presentation about proposed transit changes. Jared Choc, Planning and Technology manager for Salem-Keizer Transit and a former Planning Commission member, gave a presentation about the Moving Forward project as well as Core Network. “Moving Forward is a look at comprehensive system changes we’re proposing for Salem and Keizer,” Choc said. “Due to budget constraints, our service was redesigned in 2009. We eliminated Saturday service and redid our service. We started to have an eye towards efficiency. We decided last year to have a pulse check to see about our efficiency.” After some analysis, Choc said Cherriots officials came up with ideas on improving service while staying within the current budget level. “Phase 1 is increased frequency on busy routes,” Choc said. “That’s a change from now. Now, routes operate with peak service. We’ve found bus usage is consistent through the day. Buses are running on a consistent schedule with this new phase. It will hopefully lead to increased ridership. The bus is used by...

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