Talkin’ Bull

Lies and money are flowing fast in the bitter war over Portland’s tap water. Here’s the unfiltered truth.


Cover Story
Portland’s hidden treasure lies nearly 50 miles east of the city, ringed by Douglas fir and protected by gates and guards. Bull Run Lake, a rain-fed oval nestled in the shadow of Mount Hood, suppl   More
 
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 AARON MESH

"No Clear Answers" About How City Property Would End Up in a Water District's Hands, Internal City Hall Memo Says

Measure backer says City Attorney's memo is wrong.

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News
As Portland City Hall braces itself for a May vote that could strip its authority over its water and sewer bureaus, the city's lawyers are scrambling to understand what the ballot measure could mean for Portland property and finances.The short answer: If Ballot Measure 26-156 passes, the rest of 2014 will be spent divvying up ownership of property and employees between the city and a new public water ...   More
 
Friday, April 18, 2014 AARON MESH

City Hall Study Says Portland Utilities Crowded with Managers

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News
Portland commissioners have released a study showing which city bureaus have the lowest ratio of employees to managers—and two of the three worst offenders are the water and sewer utilities that could be removed from City Hall in a May vote.The study, conducted by City Commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick, examines how many bureaus have managers who oversee three or fewer employees. The recommendations ...   More
 
Friday, March 7, 2014 AARON MESH

Hotseat: Charlie Hales

The mayor defends his first year in office.


Q & A
Mayor Charlie Hales drove himself to WW’s offices this week in a city-owned Prius. He admitted he was still a bit woozy from jet lag: He’d just returned from a weeklong trip to China. But Ha   More
 
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 WW Editorial Staff

Water Rebels Spurn City Club

They've rejected Portland Utility Review Board, too.

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News
The backers of a ballot initiative to overthrow Portland's water and sewer bureaus aren't just fighting City Hall—they're fighting Portland City Club. And, for that matter, the Portland Utility Review Board.The leaders of the campaign, lawyer Kent Craford and activist Floy Jones, announced in a public letter this morning that they've declined former Mayor Sam Adams' invitation to make their case ...   More
 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 AARON MESH

Mystery Man Revealed

A legendary and controversial timber executive is funding the attack on the Portland Water Bureau.


News Stories
It’s been a long time since Harry Merlo wielded any real power in this town. For more than 20 years, Merlo, the CEO of timber giant Louisiana-Pacific, lived the kind of imperial lifestyle Port   More
 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 NIGEL JAQUISS

Neighbors Question Whether City Got Market Value for Water Bureau Land

pileatedwoodpecker

News
Multnomah Village homeowners who want the Portland Water Bureau to cancel the sale of land around a decommissioned water tank are now questioning whether the city got fair market value when it sold the property to infill developer Renaissance Homes last year. The coalition of neighbors has sent a letter asking the Water Bureau—and City Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees it—to show them the process ...   More
 
Monday, September 30, 2013 by Aaron Mesh

Water District Campaign Announces Ballot Initiative, Targets Nick Fish

UPDATE: Fritz, Novick trash plan for independently elected board

sponberg

News
City Commissioner Nick Fish will have to run two races in May 2014. And they'll both be about water.A coalition of water activists and large ratepayers confirmed this morning it is filing a ballot initiative for the May 17, 2014 election to create an independently elected board called the Portland Public Water District, to grab political control of the city's water and sewer bureaus in an effort to ...   More
 
Thursday, July 18, 2013 AARON MESH

Activists Ready to Launch Ballot Initiative for Portland Public Water District

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News
Activists are aiming to put the Portland water wars back on the ballot—this time with the goal of wresting control of the water and sewer bureaus from City Hall.A coalition of water activists and utility ratepayers say they'll officially announce Thursday morning what has been expected for months: They are collecting signatures for a May 2014 ballot initiative to create a "Portland Public Water District," ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 AARON MESH

Sam Adams' 10 Best Tweets of the E. Coli Scare

sam adams twitter

News
In last Wednesday's cover story on Mayor Sam Adams' finest moments, Corey Pein pointed out that the mayor's copious use of Twitter allows him to keep connected to the day-to-day concerns of constituents. Adams put those Twitter skills to work this weekend in the face of catastrophe. Or maybe inconvenience. Anyway, Adams faced a boil-water notice after a Washington Park reservoir tested positive ...   More
 
Monday, July 23, 2012 AARON MESH

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