Houston Chronicle, Oct. 15, 2006http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/metropolitan/4259662 In a year when this island city has avoided even the threat of a major natural storm, its largest and oldest employer— the University of Texas Medical Branch — is experiencing an unprecedented financial, employment and political tempest. Facing a $20 million deficit and aiming to cut $130 million in spending in 2007, the 13,000-employee medical center started the year by hiring a consulting firm to heavily reduce expenses.