The Gecko Chamber

A lengthy legal battle against GEICO underscores Oregon’s weak laws to protect consumers.

News Stories
Cornel Tuter knows the charming green GEICO gecko all too well. The creature is ubiquitous, one of the most easily recognizable characters on the planet. It should be: GEICO Insurance spends a   More
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 NIGEL JAQUISS

Oregon Legislature Considering Bills to Mandate Insurance for Uber and Lyft

Cab companies backing the legislation; Uber wants lawmakers to wait


The Portland cab industry’s fight with ride app Uber is driving to Salem. An alliance of taxi companies is backing a bill in the Oregon Legislature that would require transportation companies like Uber and Lyft to carry commercial insurance at all times of operation.The insurance industry has proposed a similar bill, which will likely mandate that the companies’ drivers carry such insurance. Cab ...   More
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 AARON MESH

Elder Scammer Gets the Slammer

Michael B. Woodward, a two-time Rogue of the Week, caught in Las Vegas bilking octogenarians


Time wounds all heels. Even Michael B. Woodward.A decade ago, WW twice named Vancouver, Wash., insurance salesman Woodward our Rogue of the Week for targeting octogenarians with scams. He worked both sides of the Columbia River from 2002 to 2004 with a signature ploy. He sold "prepaid home service agreements,” with the elderly paying him thousands up front to guarantee he’d provide cleaning, ...   More
Thursday, October 3, 2013 AARON MESH

MetroMile Launches Insurance Aimed at Infrequent Drivers

metromile_logo (oct 22, 2012)

Steve Pretre stood on the Hawthorne Bridge at 6 am today, handing out free coffee and bananas to bicyclists—to advertise for car insurance.Pretre is the CEO of MetroMile, a new pay-per-mile insurance company launched yesterday in Portland.Aimed at those who drive less than 10,000 miles per year, MetroMile sets a base rate, and then drivers pay a few cents per mile for use. MetroMile, Pretre tells ...   More
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Smoke Screened

A pot user is denied pain meds. Advocates say he’s not alone.

News Stories
Johan Mathiesen has smoked pot recreationally for 45 years.  “It’s my coffee, my tobacco, whatever you want. It’s my social drug,” says Mathiesen, a 69-year-old deli clerk at New Seaso   More
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 JAMES PITKIN

New Health Rock: Q&A w/Jeremy Wilson (First in a Multi-Part Series)

I originally intended to sprinkle some quotes from my interview with legendary local musician and Dharma Bums leader Jeremy Wilson throughout an article about his new, eponymous Foundation and the issue of health care for musicians. But from the moment he answered the phone Tuesday morning, he started talking—even before I could hit "Record" or pose a question!—and, despite having lately ...   More
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 JEFF ROSENBERG

Battle to Protect Insurance Customers Goes to Salem

The ongoing battle to help struggling ratepayers by beefing up state oversight of the insurance industry is flaring up in Salem. The House Consumer Protection Committee held public hearings Wednesday on efforts to sharpen the teeth of the state Insurance Division. The division is charged with protecting individual ratepayers but has recently been accused of rolling over for Regence BlueCross ...   More
Thursday, March 12, 2009 JAMES PITKIN


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