Lead in schools' water
Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith has an annual salary of $247,000, and is so incompetent or uncaring that over a six-year period she cannot ask the staff she supposedly supervises to check on the safety of water at the schools one single time? ["Failing the Test," WW, June 1, 2016.]
If she has any integrity, she would proceed to resign and turn down whatever severance she might have coming. She should be immediately terminated and a criminal investigation initiated.
Schools are supposed to be about helping children grow in their intellectual development. However, Smith and her colleagues' inaction, indifference and incompetence may have permanently stunted the potential for full intellectual development in some of Portland's schoolchildren.
Instead, Smith's first public reaction is to look for someone to blame. Look in the mirror!
PPS personnel's approach—testing for a well-known health threat and then doing nothing effective to mitigate—is official negligence and reckless disregard for the health and well-being of children.
What was the point of testing for lead levels if not to lower high lead levels?
Well done, WW, on investigating this and giving parents at least a basic level of information. Thank you!
City zoning is "Kafkaesque"
The real issue here is the stupid ways we fund public schools ["Against the Grain," WW, June 1, 2016]. So, let me get this straight. The David Douglas School District needs more capacity because more people are moving there, because they can't afford the rent in inner Portland.
But because the district is low-income, they can't afford to build new schools. So, once again, some children are more equal than others.
You can't move to inner Portland because the rent is too high. You can't move to East Portland because, though the rent is low enough, the school is full and we won't build more housing.
There's some Kafkaesque logic here. Where, exactly, are people supposed to go?
Pine Street Market's issues
I work a block from Pine Street Market, and was discussing many of these same flaws with a colleague ["A Dull Thud," WW, June 1, 2016]. I appreciate your candid review, and would add that it's unfortunate there is no seating along the windows. Instead, people walking by get to see the back of kitchen equipment.
Also, Pine Street is so loud and cacophonous during peak times that one is prompted to yell at companions.
Maybe it's not intended to be a place to linger over food, and I get that. However, the noise and the other reasons listed in your review mean I won't be frequenting it as often as I'd hoped.
—Jaime Ausborn Merrill
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