Updated December 27, 2011 Published December 27, 2011
Occupy Portland reportedly did $85,000 in damage during its 39-day stay in Lownsdale and Chapman squares-âthis according to the Parks & Recreation Bureau. But a retired Parks Bureau plumber challenges those numbers. Dan Forner, who retired in June, says the city is unfairly blaming Occupy for long overdue repairs. Case in point: $23,000 to replace and fix plumbing in the Lownsdale restroom. Forner says the toilets needed fixing long before the Occupation. âAt one time we thought it might even be cheaper to tear down these restrooms and put in one of those loos,â Forner says. Parks spokesman Mark Ross says experts vetted the Occupy-related repair estimates; city records donât list the Lownsdale restroom on a pre-Occupy list of deferred maintenance. Megan Hise of Laborers Local 483, which publicized Fornerâs claim, says the city simply didnât list everything the park needed. âThe parks budget is being significantly cut,â Hise says. âThe city is using this [Occupy] movement to raise money to make those repairs. We think itâs unfair.â
The City of Portland has launched what it calls an âintegrated pest management planâ for city buildings. Sustainable building coordinator Wendy Gibson says that means a âproactiveâ approach: An exterminator makes regular visits to apply less-toxic pesticides. (The old practice: call exterminators as needed, with no limits on the chemicals applied.) For the first time, the city publishes pest-control reports on nearly 40 of its buildings. The city-owned Southwest 10th Avenue and Yamhill Street parking garage was a relative hotbed, with exterminators making several visits to treat roaches for one tenant, a restaurant. Other discoveries: fruit flies in the Portland Police Bureauâs East Precinct community room, a mouse at North Precinct, rats at the Mounted Patrol Facility andâyuckâsilverfish in a sergeantâs office at the Police Training Division. Inspections of City Hall revealedâwould you believe it?ââno [rodent] activity inside.â
Give!Guide 2011 Update: Thanks a millionâand moreâto the thousands of WW readers who have made this yearâs effort a success for 100 participating local nonprofits. G!Gâs total hit $1 million just after 3 pm on Dec. 27. Please visit wweek.com/giveguide before midnight Saturday, Dec. 31, to contribute. At this late date, two small organizations could benefit from your special attention: Defunkt Theatre, a Drammy Award-winning, all-volunteer company that produces adventurous, challenging and genre-defying theater at low cost to Portland audiences, and Playworks, which provides âcoachesâ to improve the learning, health and well-being of low-income elementary students before, during and after school.