The Week in Review
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
The week begins with fresh trouble for Dr. Charles Momah, the beleaguered South King County obstetrician-gynecologist stripped of his medical license last week after being accused of a host of icky doings, from the creepy (withholding medical records, banging patients) to the criminal (sterilizing women without informed consent, rape). Today Kelly Acker--both a former employee and a former patient of Dr. Momah--filed a civil suit accusing the 47-year-old Momah of malpractice and sexual harassment. As a receptionist at Momah's Burien clinic, Acker claims, she was subjected to such "inappropriate, unsolicited sexual remarks and actions" that she was forced to resign. Acker also alleges that while she was a patient at the same clinic (?!), the evil doctor abandoned her during the delivery of her baby, then used a misdiagnosis to pressure her into having a hysterectomy. Today's lawsuit follows earlier accusations from a 21-year-old ex-patient, who claims Dr. Momah raped her during a gynecological exam last month, then threatened to reveal her drug addiction and have her child taken away if she reported the alleged assault. The Seattle Times reports that no criminal charges have been filed against Dr. Momah in regard to the rape allegation; nevertheless, on the basis of the civil suit and the hardcore allegations, the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission ordered an emergency suspension of Momah's license, followed by the closure of Momah's two clinics. Stay tuned.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
Today brought a message from Hot Tipper Tracy, who brought to our attention the unrelenting gravity that has permeated the column for the past few weeks, manifested primarily in triple-tiered sentences about parents shooting/broiling/internally burning their children. Was there a greater meaning behind the dark trend? The answer: Not really, although we can't dismiss the possibility of general American guilt and particular existential itchiness exerting a subterranean influence on our topic-selection process. Still, with the trend therefore detected, today we race in the opposite direction with Hot Tipper Joel's heartwarming sighting from the side of the road on Aurora Avenue North, on which Joel was speeding northward just after 7 pm when he spotted out of the corner of his eye someone lying in the intersection of Aurora and North 73rd Street: "I pulled around the block and discovered a little old lady who'd driven her electric cart over a curb and toppled over onto the ground. She was bleeding from a cut above her right eye. I helped her up and righted her cart, and went to get something to help stop the bleeding and discovered that two other cars had also spied this same lady and had pulled around to stop. (Way to go, Seattle!) When asked if she wanted an ambulance, the lady gave the look I've come to interpret as the 'I'm on a fixed income, are you crazy?!' look and declined. One of my fellow Good Samaritans left his wife with the car and escorted the lady and her cart three blocks to the meeting she was off to attend. Oh, and election stuff happened today, too." Thanks to Joel for stopping and sharing, and to the voters who passed the ignore-responsible-pot-smokers measure Initiative 75.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
Today health-conscious citizens across the nation rejoiced as the McDonald's Corporation announced the debut of an adult version of the Happy Meal via an Associated Press article. Swapping the standard Happy Meal combo of burger, fries, and a toy for the more health-friendly trio of salad, an exercise booklet, and a pedometer "meant to encourage walking," the new Go Active Meal will be test-marketed at 150 McDonald's restaurants in Indiana, with promotional launches hosted by Oprah's fitness guru Bob Greene.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Speaking of yummy delights: Today the Associated Press reported the haunting ongoing saga of Tina Keeney, the young mom in West Jordan, Utah, who, in the fall of 2002, had just served her 13-month-old son some Campbell's chicken noodle soup when she noticed the boy had a hard, white object in his hand. "I'm not a dentist, but it looks like a molar to me," said Keeney to a telephone representative at the Campbell Soup Company's New Jersey headquarters, who asked Keeney to mail in the suspicious chunk and offered to cover the cost of the soup and the mailing. "It's gross enough to find something in your food," said Keeney to the AP. "To have it be a human tooth that was in someone else's mouth is just sickening." Keeney rightly hired an attorney, who sent the object to a pathologist to confirm its status as a human molar, likely from a 13-year-old mouth; additional tests proved that the tooth didn't belong to anyone in the Keeney family. Since then, attorney Daniel Irvin has tried to reach an agreement with Campbell's about the matter; this week, Irvin finally filed a civil lawsuit against Campbell's in Utah's Third District Court, asking for unspecified damages on behalf of Keeney and her son. "Here is a woman who can't eat soup," said Irvin to the AP. "Her family can't eat soup. And to be honest with you, I haven't eaten soup since this happened."
-- Speaking of weird shit in your mouth: Today the AP also reported the story of John Nunes, the 19-year-old man in Winston, Oregon, who crashed his car into a tree after a bee flew into his mouth while he was singing along to a Justin Timberlake song. The song was "Rock Your Body," and the man required stitches in his tongue (from the crash, not the bee).
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Nothing happened today (unless you count the breaking of Franklingate, the suspension of three Franklin High School counselors accused of improperly changing the grades of dozens of below-average students and placing the academic futures of countless students past and present in jeopardy).
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Speaking of our future, the children: Today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a fascinating story by Wyatt Buchanan, chronicling a new, federally funded training program designed to transform unemployed homeless kids into fully functioning baristas. Over eight weeks of training, Buchanan reports, eight students aged 15 to 21 make $7 an hour while learning how to pull shots and steam milk and studying the history and culture of coffee. Why steer the Ave rats into cafes, directing vagrants to Vivace and inviting BO to B&O? As case manager John Farrage told the P-I, cafe work manages the neat trick of both attracting and accommodating the offbeat employee--"What other job can you do with a tattoo on your face?"-- offering steady employment with enough Bukowski appeal to draw kids lacking both work histories and employment skills. Funded with a $369,000 grant from the federal Workforce Investment Act and supplemented by donations from Starbucks, Uptown Espresso, and Caffe Vita, the gutter-to-Tully's program is the first collaboration between the nonprofit groups FareStart (helping the homeless find work in the food-service industry) and YouthCare (providing assorted services to homeless teens). And, Buchanan reports, the groups need about $80,000 more to meet their first-year goal of training 75 homeless baristas. To donate to the program, call YouthCare's Kristen Bolken at 694-4500 or FareStart's Lillian Hochstein at 267-6212. Homeless teens interested in becoming baristas should call the program office at 204-0626.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Nothing happened today (unless you count the Emmys, which we don't).
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