- The true power behind the fight for control of Portlandâs water and sewer bureaus (âWater Bedfellows,â WW, July 10, 2013) is getting less murky. The cityâs largest water ratepayer, German semiconductor manufacturer Siltronic, confirms itâs 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 cityâs influential voting bloc: anti-fluoride voters. The measureâs authorsâlobbyist Kent Craford and reservoir preservation activist Floy Jonesâare competing with environmentalists, led by Audubon Society of Portland conservation director Bob Sallinger, as they woo Clean Water Portland for an endorsement. The groupâs director, Kim Kaminski, says her board hasnât made up its mind on the issue. âItâs complex. Itâs multifaceted,â Kaminski tells WW. âWeâre more interested in making a good decision than an expedited one.â
- A member of community radio station KBOO FMâs board of directors says he was kicked off the board July 15 after talking to the media about the stationâs recent financial and union troubles (âKBOO Coup,â 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 WWâs recent story, which quoted him, was open and on the table when he walked into the meeting. âThey were saying I was disloyal to KBOO by blowing the whistle,â Micciche says. âI mentioned whistle-blowing and somebody said, âItâs not whistle-blowing unless somebody did something wrong.ââ 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.
- Gingerphobes should avoid Pioneer Courthouse Square on Aug. 17. Itâs the Redhead Event, an attempt by Portland software engineer Rusty Weise to break the Guinness World Recordsâ mark for the most natural redheads gathered in one place. Weise joined a 2010 record-setting event with 890 carrottops. His groupâs 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 photoâbut must hide from the camera.