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Sources Say: Citizen Nader says no to fluoride

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Ralph Nader says he doesn't support fluordation of Portland's water.Those in favor of fluoridating Portland’s water are winning the fundraising race, but they lost the Voters Pamphlet fight.

People supporting fluoridation submitted 24 pages backing Measure 26-151, which will appear on the May 21 special election ballot. They include health care professionals and organizations, area school board members and even Gov. John Kitzhaber, an emergency room physician.

But those opposing fluoridation submitted 42 pages of arguments against the measure. They include both traditional and alternative health care providers, veterinarians, environmentalists and even Ralph Nader, who describes himself as a consumer advocate.

In the meantime, the campaign in support of the measure has reported raising more than $126,000 so far this year. The opponents are reporting more than $71,000.

Anyone opposed to this? Anyone? Anyone?

Meanwhile, no one filed any Voters Pamphlet pages against the other measures on Portland ballots. Those supporting the renewal of the Children’s Levy submitted 10 pages of arguments in support of Measure 26-150. Those in favor of Metro’s Natural Areas Levy (Measure 26-152), turned in nine pages in support. No arguments were filed in opposition to either measure.

That’s the pattern with most tax measures on Portland ballots, including the Arts Tax that passed last year. They draw little organized opposition, and even fewer committees that raise money to defeat them.

After they pass and the bill becomes due, the few remaining conservatives in town take to the blogs and howl in protest.

Nolan was right, but she still got trounced

A recent city audit confirms much of what state Rep. Mary Nolan said in her unsuccessful campaign to unseat city Commissioner Amanda Fritz last year. According to an audit of Portland’s emergency communication systems, there were numerous problems with the switchover to the new 9-1-1 dispatch system.

Fritz was in charge of the final stages of the replacement process and repeatedly defended it against complaints from regional police and fire agencies. An audit released last week confirms that there were communications, training, management and other problems with the process, as Nolan charged. But Fritz trounced Nolan in the runoff election anyway.

“According to best practices, project success includes

effectively managing user expectations, also known as ‘change management.’ A project may be completed on time, within budget, and with all required functionality, but user resistance may render the new system a failure,” according to the audit of the Public Safety Systems Revitalization Program.

But the audit did say the dispatch project came in on time and on budget, as Fritz repeatedly noted. That’s in marked contrast to other projects being handled by the PSSRP, according to the audit. Those projects are all running late and over budget, in large part because of shifting and inconsistent management by the city.

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