Murmurs: Portland Gets Its Own Red Square.

  1. The true power behind the fight for control of Portland’s water and sewer bureaus (“Water Bedfellows,” WW, July 10, 2013) is getting less murky. The city’s largest water ratepayer, German semiconductor manufacturer Siltronic, confirms it’s backing a ballot initiative to create a Portland Public Water District and take control of the utilities away from City Hall. (Siltronic paid $1.9 million in water bills in the past year.) Meanwhile, supporters and opponents of the measure (which has not yet made the May 2014 ballot) are already trying to win over the city’s influential voting bloc: anti-fluoride voters. The measure’s authors—lobbyist Kent Craford and reservoir preservation activist Floy Jones—are competing with environmentalists, led by Audubon Society of Portland conservation director Bob Sallinger, as they woo Clean Water Portland for an endorsement. The group’s director, Kim Kaminski, says her board hasn’t made up its mind on the issue. “It’s complex. It’s multifaceted,” Kaminski tells WW. “We’re more interested in making a good decision than an expedited one.”
  1. A member of community radio station KBOO FM’s board of directors says he was kicked off the board July 15 after talking to the media about the station’s recent financial and union troubles (“KBOO Coup,” WW, July 10, 2013). KBOO board president S.W. Conser confirms the board removed Hadrian Micciche; the minutes say Micciche was removed because of a June 20 email he sent to several media outlets (including WW) accusing three board members of wrongdoing. Micciche says a copy of WW’s recent story, which quoted him, was open and on the table when he walked into the meeting. “They were saying I was disloyal to KBOO by blowing the whistle,” Micciche says. “I mentioned whistle-blowing and somebody said, ‘It’s not whistle-blowing unless somebody did something wrong.’” In another update, Conser says that KBOO executive director Lynn Fitch remains in her position. Fitch tells WW she is on leave after the death of her partner.
  1. Gingerphobes should avoid Pioneer Courthouse Square on Aug. 17. It’s the Redhead Event, an attempt by Portland software engineer Rusty Weise to break the Guinness World Records’ mark for the most natural redheads gathered in one place. Weise joined a 2010 record-setting event with 890 carrottops. His group’s new goal: 1,256, to eclipse the number at a redheads gathering in the Netherlands last fall. The event is also a fundraiser for the Skin Cancer Foundation. Admission rules are strict: a $10 fee and a photo of yourself as a redheaded child. Organizers say non-ginger parents may accompany their redheaded kids for the group photo—but must hide from the camera.

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