The fluoride battle this week produced a phone-book-sized collection of voters pamphlet statements, with 46 pages of arguments for fluoridation and a whopping 85 against. Most supporting arguments came from the pro-fluoride campaign, Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland. But a wide variety of prominent opponents produced their own: the Sierra Club, Columbia Riverkeeper, Cascade Policy Institute, Ralph Nader, trial lawyer Greg Kafoury and Mike Lindberg, who served 17 years as a Portland city commissioner, but who writes his health troubles have soured him on fluoride. âOur existing environment already contains thousands of chemicals that can affect our health,â Lindberg writes. âWe canât take the risk of adding another.â
Good news for East Portland: Not only is Mayor Charlie Hales announcing April 3 that the Portland Bureau of Transportation has restored funding for a $1.2 million sidewalk project on Southeast 136th Avenue (âWhacking Cracks,â WW, Feb. 27, 2013), but Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland) is seeking $3.6 million in state money to triple the sidewalk projectâs size. âI donât want there to be just one little chunk of sidewalk,â Fagan says. Her request would extend the project to 1.8 miles, from Southeast Division Street to Foster Road, and include the stretch of 136th where 5-year-old Morgan Maynard-Cook was killed by a car on Feb. 28. Her death galvanized opposition to the cuts proposed by Halesâ administration, prompting the mayorâs reversal.
The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division has cited the defunct Police Activities League of Greater Portland for three health violations after finding exposed asbestos at the PAL youth center on Northeast 172nd Avenue. The citationsâfirst reported by The Skanner newspaperâinclude findings of asbestos in the girlsâ restroom from deteriorated tiles. The complaint was filed in November, three months before PAL folded under financial duress and gave the center to Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland.
Gunga galunga: It canât be good karma for the scalpers who are jacking up ticket prices for the sold-out Dalai Lama event May 9 at the University of Portlandâs Chiles Center. When he signed up to visit Oregon, the Dalai Lama required that his âappearance be for the promotion of peace,â says Leigh Sangster, spokeswoman for Maitripa College, the small Southeast Portland Buddhist school sponsoring his trip. Tickets with a face value of $15 to $100 are now priced $150 to $329 at Ticket Liquidator. Sangster says proceeds from the original ticket sales will be donated to charities selected by the Dalai Lama. Tickets for a May 11 environmental conference featuring the Dalai Lama at Veterans Memorial Coliseum are still available, so you have that going for you, which is nice.