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April 3rd, 2013 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: News that Grants You Total Consciousness.

  • 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. “Our existing environment already contains thousands of chemicals that can affect our health,” Lindberg writes. “We can’t take the risk of adding another.”
  • 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 (“Whacking Cracks,” WW, Feb. 27, 2013), but Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland) is seeking $3.6 million in state money to triple the sidewalk project’s size. “I don’t want there to be just one little chunk of sidewalk,” 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 Hales’ administration, prompting the mayor’s 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 citations—first reported by The Skanner newspaper—include findings of asbestos in the girls’ 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 can’t 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 Portland’s Chiles Center. When he signed up to visit Oregon, the Dalai Lama required that his “appearance be for the promotion of peace,” 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. 
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