For-profit hospital can sink or swim...or sell out
Bill Cooke

Neighbor Grover sez calories are tiny little bugs who get into your closet at night and sew your clothes so they fit tighter and tighter.

Okay, since nobody asked my opinion on the latest financial mess the local hospital seems to be in, I’ll throw in my two cents worth.

Little River Health Care, or Blackhawk, or whatever its latest identity, has apparently snatched defeat from the hands of victory and is having trouble paying its bills.

Hasn’t been long since it was blowing and going with all kinds of success, and even buying other facilities. Now it’s overextended.

There has even been a mention of a possible resurrection of the sales tax to support this for-profit hospital.

Forget it, board members. It took us long enough to shift that tax from a for-profit hospital to economic development, which is where most towns smartly dedicate that half-cent sales tax.

I don’t want—and I doubt if you do either—Rockdale to lose its hospital. However, Little River or Blackhawk or whatever, is a forprofit business. Businesses sink or swim or sell out.

The Rockdale Reporter is a for-profit business (although sometimes it’s rather hard to tell). But if The Reporter goes into grave difficulty, I don’t think we will campaign for our fellow taxpayers to bail us out. I think we will try to straighten out any management problems we might have in-house. And if we turn out to be incapable of doing so, we could sell out to somebody who could run it better.

And that’s just what for-profit Little River, or Blackhawk, or whatever, should do. Get its act together. Or maybe sell out to any number of major hospitals that you and I can name—hospitals that appear to be expanding and adding facilities all over Central Texas.

Then maybe the new owners would hire back some of those fine doctors and staff who have recently been pink slipped.


We had a great visit from our good friends and former Rockdalians Terry and Karen Stuller, residents of Wenatchee, Washington since 1980.

They spent the better part of a week here which offered some quality fellowship with amigos Bob and Geri Burnett and Gary and Annette Griesbach.

The Stullers have access to a lot of wonderful food in the Great Northwest, including all kinds of fresh seafood from the Pacific, but they admit they miss Texas barbecue, fried catfish and Tex-Mex.

Well, we fixed that. Bob Burnett twice served up his famous fajitas (marinate and rub are top secret; if he divulged them to you he’d have to kill you). Geri provided a ton of Tex-Mex trimmings.

Gary G. booked us a couple of nights in Fredericksburg and a tour of a couple of wineries. Terry was a wine connoisseur long before the rest of us could spell merlot, and he remarked that the Texas wines are, indeed, very good.

En route to Fredericksburg, we detoured slightly to give the Stullers the Cooper’s Barbecue experience in Llano. We literally ate for almost two hours. Stullers had their Texas barbecue fix.

For fried catfish, we took them to Lee’s Landing here in Regal Rockdale in Matchless Milam. Again, they were impressed.

While in Fredericksburg, the women shopped ‘til they dropped in those endless stores.

Meanwhile, us guys went to the Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War. Some of us had been there before, but had not seen the newest additions.

If you, like me, stand in awe of The Greatest Generation, please take time to see this museum which offers the Admiral Nimitz Museum, George H.W. Bush Gallery, Plaza of Presidents, Memorial Courtyard, Japanese Garden of Peace and the Pacific Combat zone.

The latest museum technology takes you through the Pacific War, from Pearl Harbor to the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri after the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Okinawa, and through all the bloody battles in the islands in between.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, and the museums of Normandy, France. The Nimitz museum is even more comprehensive. Go if you can.

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2010-11-18 digital edition

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