Interior Secretary Donald Hodel had an emergency appendectomy Tuesday at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, where he was admitted with severe abdominal pains Monday night.
Hodel was reportedly stricken after a dinner meeting with editors of National Review magazine.
Interior spokesman David Prosperi said yesterday that Hodel is resting comfortably and that the surgical interlude is not expected to prevent him from participating in next week's gala unveiling of the refurbished Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
To the contrary, Prosperi said, the operation involved the secretary in yet another centennial. According to the hospital archivist, the Roosevelt Hospital Center performed its first appendectomy 100 years ago. Leap Frog . . . Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr. has touched off some grumbling in the uniformed Navy by pushing his former executive assistant at the Pentagon, Rear Adm. (lower half) Paul Miller, for promotion from one-star to three-star rank -- a big jump, especially in peace time.
Miller's nomination is holding up others as the Navy brass resist forwarding the recommendation.
If he does rise to the three-star rank of vice admiral, Miller is expected to win another plum: command of the Pacific Fleet. Sore Issue . . . "Who needs it? They're just out there like canker sores." Just one instance of the colorful rhetoric employed yesterday by Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.) in decrying what he called subsidized vacations for government VIPs.
He referred to five National Park Service facilities -- including one at Little Cinnamon Bay in the Virgin Islands and one at Cape Hatteras, N.C. -- that cater exclusively to government employes.
Charges range from $20 to $65 a night for one or two, and brought in only $19,000 in fiscal 1985. Total maintenance costs for the properties are estimated at $44,564.
Bumpers will try to attach a rider to an appropriations bill to require the service to raise its prices to recover more of the operating costs.
A Park Service spokesman said the seemingly bargain rates are not really comparable to charges at an average resort: "We don't provide you much in the way of services. You cook your own meals and make your own beds."