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Film Review: Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
Posted Nov 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014, I was feeling lazy and in the mood for lighthearted easy-to-watch popcorn fluff, so I dug into some old John Hughes, starting with Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (which in the end I was reminded actually has a pretty deep message about the things that are important in life) and then National Lampoon's Vacation.
Maybe I just didn't remember but I'm pretty sure I'd never made the connection before that Rusty Griswold is played by the same actor -- Anthony Michael Hall -- who played Brian "The Brain" Johnson in The Breakfast Club. Then I started wondering how Anthony's career developed. Well it turns out I have seen him in other films and I didn't make the connection in those either: "The Geek" in Sixteen Candles, "Jim" in Edward Scissorhands, and "Engel" in The Dark Knight.
And then I discovered he's also in this 1993 film I'd never even heard of before: Six Degrees of Separation. No, it does not have Kevin Bacon in it. It is adapted from the Broadway play of the same name. The main star is Will Smith, and having just watched it I agree with the critics who say it's his most powerful performance ever. From the poster I wondered if it would be like Eddie Murphy's Trading Places, and maybe it is a tiny bit on the surface, especially from a marketing exec's perspective, but it is way deeper than that.
The other major roles are played expertly as well by Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland, and then there are minor roles from other big names like Ian McKellen, Heather Graham, and even J.J. Abrams! There's not a bad apple in the bunch. Well, the college kids are snotty but that's the role they're supposed to be playing.
Around the 1:20:00 mark of the film there's a scene in which Will's character Paul says: "Always remember the wine from the even numbered years is superior to the wine from the odd numbered years." Skeptical of that claim, I paused to do some research. Turns out there's a small amount of truth to it if limited to specific region and decade, although it's still purely coincidental. (Some wine expert please correct me if I'm wrong.) But the far more interesting revelation of my side-track research was that Six Degrees of Separation is based on the real life story of David Hampton. This is surprisingly not mentioned anywhere in the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes nor IMDB.
From Wikipedia:
"Hampton was born in Buffalo, New York and was the eldest son of an attorney. He moved to New York City in 1981 and stumbled upon his now-famous ruse in 1983 when he and another man were attempting to gain entry into Studio 54. Unable to obtain entry, Hampton's partner decided to pose as Gregory Peck's son while Hampton assumed the identity of Sidney Poitier's son. They were ushered in as celebrities. Hampton began employing the persona of "David Poitier" to cadge free meals in restaurants. He also persuaded at least a dozen people into letting him stay with them and give him money, including Melanie Griffith, Gary Sinise, Calvin Klein, John Jay Iselin, the president of WNET, Osborn Elliott, the dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a Manhattan urologist. He convinced some that he was an acquaintance of their children, some that he had just missed a plane to Los Angeles with his luggage still on it, and some that his belongings had been stolen.
Playwright John Guare became interested in Hampton's story through his friendship with two of his duped hosts — Osborn and Inger Elliott, who had been outraged to find 'David Poitier' in bed with another man the morning after they let him into their home. Six Degrees of Separation opened at the Lincoln Center in May 1990 and became a long-running success.
Hampton attempted to parlay the play's success to his benefit, giving interviews to the press, gate-crashing a producer's party, and beginning a campaign of harassment against Guare that included phone calls and death threats, prompting Guare to apply for a restraining order in April 1991, which was unsuccessful. In the fall of 1991, Hampton filed a $100 million lawsuit, claiming that the play had infringed on the copyright on his persona and his story. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed."
The budget for the film was estimated at $12 million and in the USA it grossed only $6.4 million, so obviously David asked for way too much. In fact, one could look at this as yet another loss for those who became involved with his series of cons. On the other hand, there may have been huge profits from the play. I don't know, but for the sake of discussion let's imagine that profits were made from his life. Would he have deserved a portion of that since he was the one who literally created the story? It seems highly debatable, and leads to a slippery slope. Do serial killers deserve royalties for all the millions of dollars that have been made from the dramatizations of their stories? Is their fame from that already crossing the line? It's a far more complicated debate when the criminal is so charming and most of his victims actually enjoyed his company and were even entertained by his presence, so at least they got something out of it and for the most part he wasn't so scary.
As is the nature of drama, the play and film probably both over-romanticize David Hampton. His not-so-charming criminal charges included (again according to Wikipedia) credit-card theft, threats of violence, burglary, and harassment. Sounds like he wasn't always such a pleasant fellow after all. On the other hand, it's equally likely that some of his charges were trumped up. He was acquitted on the harassment charge, for example.
For the sake of philosophy and returning to the original purpose of reviewing this film, let us now take it at face value and enter the realm of imagination, which by the way is one of its important themes.
Much of what the character in this story did was arguably not criminal. Posing as Sidney Poitier's son doesn't sound so bad when all he got from it was food and drink, a room for the night, and a tiny fraction of his victims' massive wealth. They offered it all willingly, and they received amazing conversation and companionship in return. He could have stolen the Kittredge's very valuable art possessions, but did not. Dr. Fine not only invited him into his house, but even gave him his keys. The doctor's son was perhaps somewhat justified when he called his father an idiot.
The film also contains some very important messages and a series of conundrums for everyone involved.
How does one succeed in the face of racism? If he had been born white, would he have felt the need to pretend, or would he have been accepted without question right away into the veritable country club?
How do you accumulate wealth and fame when you have neither? Of course there are more important values in life, but shouldn't every person have the same opportunities? Conversely, should every person -- including the "legitimately" wealthy and famous -- be despised for their varying degrees of fakery?
Pretending to be a celebrity seems not much different than being an actual celebrity, particularly when the latter comes from inherited wealth or an attractive body instead of talent, ingenuity, and hard work, with the latter quality -- effort -- being the most deserving of reward. The irony of this person's life was that he taught himself all the qualities to achieve social status, but he wasn't accepted because he was a Confidence Man. I love that phrase because it implies that being a con artist requires confidence. As Hunter said, "Stride confidently into their midst." It also requires con-vincing people, which is so much easier when they want to believe. Compared to many people in the upper echelons of society, was his fraud so very different? Maybe it's misguided, but I can't help having sympathy for him, especially after reading the NY Times article (see in the references below) which details how it all started relatively innocently and in a humorous way gaining entrance to Studio 54 and then getting VIP service at a restaurant because he was hungry and broke. If such fraud is illegal, aren't those who fall head over heels for the cult of personality at least accessories to the crime?
Six degrees of separation is the obvious main theme of this film, and it's ironic how that concept is exactly what I just experienced, from John Hughes to Anthony Michael Hall to this film with its screenwriter and playwright John Guare, and all the actors in it, and then to the real life David Hampton. We truly are all connected.
There are so many reasons why this is a very important film that I wish everyone would see and I'm amazed it took me 48 years to discover and experience myself. The fact that this is the first movie review I'm posting to my blog proves how much I liked it and how seminal I believe it is. It's also very timely at the moment as J.J. Abrams' post-holiday Star Wars trailer is all the rage and the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson has renewed racial tensions. Five thumbs up! See it today!

I feel sorry for the hippie woman.
Posted Oct 16, 2014

I am a gun-toting, tree-hugging, UP-winger!
Posted May 27, 2014

Recent events have called into question yet again whether I am left or right in the tired old paradigm of the political spectrum. It doesn't really matter what the debate is on any given day, but as a basic example years ago when I criticized the GW Bush admin for False Wars I'm sure that everyone assumed I was a Democrat. Then when I criticized the Obama admin for False Wars yet again (as I still do), some people who knew nothing about me assumed I was a Republican.
I personally don't give much of a shit which side of the aisle anyone leans. I was a registered Democrat for a long time. I eventually (years ago) decided I didn't want to belong to either of the two monopoly parties because they both support war profiteers and constituents on both sides are easily manipulated. In fact I decided I didn't want to belong to any party at all. I want the entire U.S. to break apart just like the Soviet Union. It has been an Empire for far too long. I support all efforts towards the formation of a Cascadian nation. And fuck it, let Texas be it's own country, too, just as it's wanted for a very long time. Let's break it all up into 6 to 8 equal regional nations with no single one having too much military power, and convert the Pentagon into a massive public library or something.
I personally believe the average Progressive -- a label which I suppose applies to me more accurately than most political terms -- aligns more with some Libertarians than some Democrats. But I'm afraid of belonging to any group. I don't trust the herd mentality, nor their tendency to be easily manipulated by fear and/or hope, and they are especially dangerous if they can be convinced to hate on a scapegoat or to believe that someone is their enemy without even having a chance to talk it over and reach common ground.
I don't care about left or right. I care about ISSUES.
I support free speech.
I support civil rights.
I support marriage equality.
I choose science over religion (e.g. stem-cell research).
I support a woman's right to choose an abortion. (I've paid for one myself ... not that I'm proud of it but the proof is in the pudding.)
I support the environment in many ways. I keep myself educated as much as possible. I minimize plastic in all my purchases. I recycle. I pay extra to my utility company for salmon habitat. I pay extra for the salmon plates on my car which goes to funding for various salmon-related aid. Uh oh, do I lose points for owning a car? Do I win points back for not commuting because I have a home office? Do I score triple points for having not reproduced and recognizing that global human overpopulation is the #1 cause of pretty much every problem on this entire planet?
Okay so I'm looking a lot like a registered card-carrying Democrat huh?
But hey guess what ... I also support the 2nd Amendment. I believe a well-regulated militia -- as opposed to a standing army -- is one of our best defenses against potential tyranny ... including our own government! History (e.g. fascist martial law resisted by armed citizens) has proven that many times over.
My mother was born in meat-heavy Germany and I was born in the meat-heavy South. In my life I have slowly evolved from meat-centric to vegetarian, yet at the same time I understand the value of knowing how to survive in the woods in cases of disaster. I would eat a mammal IF my life depended on it. And let's not forget ... humans are mammals, too. Cue ominous Walking Dead music. Haha.
But seriously, it's important to recognize that humans are part of the environment. It's ironic when human beings are left out of the equation and seemingly considered less important than the spotted owl or whatever. The greatest irony of holier-than-thou city-dwelling environmentalists? Well the answer is one word hidden in plain sight right there in that sentence. They. Live. In. The. Fucking. CITY! Yes, they have chosen to live in a place that's covered in concrete, disconnected from the Earth instead of out in the woods with dirt and flowers and trees. How funny is that? I'm generalizing now but you see my point, right? For some it's quite an epiphany. Where do the vast majority of farmers live? Ignore them at your own peril. Truck drivers in general align mostly to the right, I suppose, but 3 days without them with no groceries on the shelves and we're all screwed.
What I'm trying to say is that I understand both points of view. I was born and raised in Tennessee and for six months I even lived in a trailer park, but I also lived for a year in Berlin when I was five and as an adult for two years I lived in New York City and worked 4 blocks from the World Trade Center. I empathize with both the "fancy" city people and the "simple" country folk. And we ALL need to get along to keep this human experiment from self-destructing.
So, for many years I have eschewed myself from aligning neither right, nor left, nor even center! You may ask ... how is that possible? Well, all you have to do is think outside that oh-so-restrictive box. I've seen the x/y alignments, too, where they separate social vs economic liberalism vs conservatism. That's an evolution in ways of thinking, but still too restrictive. If I must choose one particular direction, I'll take the undefined z-axis and go ... UP!

Portland Water Boil Notice = Politics As Usual
Posted May 24, 2014

Do we really need to boil our water?

Anna Canzano of KATU (see all references below) asked: "Why did it take three days to inform Portlanders about the water?" The question should have been, why was there a water boil notice at all for unconfirmed tests that are frequently false positives?

"[Commissioner Nick Fish and the Oregon Health Authority's drinking water services regional manager Kari Salis] both agree that issuing a preliminary notice of a single routine sample testing positive for fecal bacteria is a bad idea, given the possibility of false positives. (False positives can come with errors in the testing process, a tester not washing his/her hands, an animal defecating on the faucet that was tested, etc). And in this situation, the way the testing and results played out, officials say no mandatory public notification was required."

"three positive tests for fecal bacteria at three different locations in Portland on three separate days but no secondary confirmation test"

From the boil water notice itself: “The chance of any health problems related to this water test result is low. If any problems occur, we would expect diarrhea,” said Dr. Paul Lewis, Interim Tri-County Health Officer. “We monitor cases of bacterial diarrhea and will be aware of any increase following this event.”

Scott Fernandez's response on implies there is more of a health risk from scalding hot water than from these unconfirmed bacteria.

xnonymous on PIMC makes a good point: "e. coli is a general term, and doesn't mean the deadly H57:0157 strain. If THAT were in the water, the authorities would say so, and loudly."

Reports of some people getting sick, but how do we know it's from the water?

So far I've seen one 3rd party report but it's a woman who recently had a baby so she "may be sensitive" (whatever that means) and unconfirmed how exactly she "knows" it was the water, whether her water was tested for bacteria, whether her doctor confirmed it was E. coli, etc.

Interesting hypothesis from "xnonymous" on PIMC:

Dramatically, most of the city has been told to boil its water, and to call the Water Department with reports of gastrointestinal upset. Gastrointestinal upset is a normal human reaction to stress, and an easy target for suggestion. Most people who even suspect that something they just ate or drank was "off" will immediately focus their attention to their guts, and the resultant stress will almost instantly produce "gastrointestinal stress" from gas to diarrhea. These people are now hysterically calling the Water Bureau, "proving" by sheer numbers that there is a terrible, terrible contamination of the water supply.

I have yet to see any news report of anyone ending up in the hospital with Tabor water being the cause of their illness. If that were to happen, Nick Fish would be all over that in a heartbeat.


A very good reason to be skeptical of PWB's alleged reluctance to issue the notice is the degree to which they publicized it.

This the first time they've ever used the robo-call method for water notices.

And for most people I'm sure it sounded very scary.

"Do not call 9-1-1 unless you have an emergency."

I archived a copy from my phone to mp3 format here:

Melissa Binder at reports:

The city implemented the reverse 911 emergency alert system shortly after publishing the press release Friday morning, Fish said.

The citywide boil alert is the most broadest boil alert in Portland's history, Shaff said. Alerts in 2009 and 2012 were limited to one side of the river.

Open vs Closed Reservoirs: Nick Fish Takes Advantage of the "Crisis"

Is it just a coincidence how they go into hype machine overdrive when it has anything to do with the open reservoirs? Last year they delayed any notice at all for the bacteria detected when the source was a broken underground pipe. How convenient. PWB and/or OHA have demonstrated a very selective observance of OHA's Drinking Water Program.

Nick Fish told KATU the boil notice was a bad idea, but then he goes on NPR saying that if we closed the reservoir then this wouldn't happen. How convenient!

And of course it is NOT TRUE.

For starters, PWB's own boil notice says:

Contamination can occur when there is a loss of water pressure, a pipe breaks, or conditions that expose drinking water to outside elements. The Portland Water Bureau is performing a full investigation to identify the cause of the contamination. However, it is not always possible to make an exact determination.

I assume there is nothing about these conditions unique to open reservoirs, that they can also apply to closed reservoirs. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. But think about this: Our open reservoirs have been used for 100+ years. Where are the cases of anyone dying or having severe or even moderate illness from that? Would not PWB have referenced such reports long ago as the best support for their argument for closed reservoirs?

Also, E. coli was detected in two separate reservoirs, which might indicate the source was upstream from both. It could be from backflushing due to the incredible pressure drain from Powell Butte flushing operations. How ironic if this was actually caused by a covered reservoir. Let's hear Nick Fish on NPR talking about that!

And in case anyone's wondering, this event also has no bearing on the EPA LT2 "federal mandate", which is about the detection of Cryptosporidium.


A great summary by "0rganism" on

i don't remember this happening in the 18 or so years i lived in SE Portland

1987 - 2004, not a problem.

Fed orders everyone to use only covered/sealed reservoirs because terrists ya know
City water bureau goes ahead looking into contracts for underground reservoirs & pumping & so on
Movement to save the mt tabor reservoirs happens
People get caught pissing in the reservoirs (like noone ever did before?)
E-coli alert, everybody boil your water, oh by the way do you know how open your reservoirs are?

i dunno, it feels like a hard sell...

Yes. Yes it does.


Boil Alert Fails to Serve Community
"County health department officials have yet to report any discernible uptick in disease reporting (diarrhea) for the Water Bureau service area, so, how questionable was the water?  I think we can assume one of the following: 1) the bacteria were all dead, present but DEAD, and therefore harmless -- our tests don’t distinguish live-and-harmful from dead-and-harmless, and since PWB does not wear gloves (they use chemical hand-sanitizer instead) when they collect samples, dead-but-still-present bacteria can be transferred from hands to sample, 2) the E.coli was a friendly variety regularly found in our gut, 3) the bacteria count was really low and within a range most immune systems could handle, 4) the contamination wasn't widespread, or 5) the tests were misleading, possibly even wrong (after all, the immediate follow-up tests ALL reversed the results)."
As a community we should also ask the following:

3) Is it possible for PWB to use tests that distinguish live vs dead bacteria, pathogenic vs non-pathogenic, etc?

4) Nick Fish what is your scientific reference for the claim you rather quickly made on NPR that this would not happen with covered reservoirs? Microbiologist Scott Fernandez recently told me that E. coli and other microorganisms are actually more likely in covered reservoirs because they are only cleaned every 5+ years as opposed to our open reservoirs which are cleaned every 6 months. You may have seen Scott on KOIN6 TV. He was formerly a member of the Portland Utility Review and before that the Water Quality Advisory Board and he also testified at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC.

KOIN6 investigation: No gloves required for PWB water testers

Proof that not all strains of E. coli are deadly but some even have health benefits

"Our results suggest that treatment with a non-pathogenic E coli has an equivalent effect to mesalazine in maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis. The beneficial effect of live E coli may provide clues to the cause of ulcerative colitis."


Portland Water Bureau (PWB) Water Boil Notice

KATU: Why did it take three days to inform Portlanders about the water? by Anna Canzano

KGW: City alerts some hours after water advisory issued

Oregonian: Portland issues boil water notice for the entire city after E. coli detected in 3 tests by Andrew Theen

Oregonian: Portland boil water alert: E. coli unlikely to endanger health, officials expect to lift alert tomorrow by Melissa Binder

KOIN: Microbiologist on Portland’s water: Don’t worry by Joel Inawaga

Casey Joyce reports about Nick Fish going on NPR

PIMC: I'm not boiling water (opinion by "xnonymous")

Who Is Joe Glicker?

Cautious Endorsement of People's Water Trust
Posted May 21, 2014

At the moment as I'm writing this, I'm still bitter about the way certain members of the People's Water Trust campaign treated the longtime grassroots activists behind the PPWD water/politics reform attempt with such disrespect. I definitely understand the frustrations and in fact I was one of the first to lean against it and point out all of its various flaws and corporate funders and question whether it might impact environmental services. But the abuse, arrogance, deception, and hypocrisy that even I as a relative newcomer received from those Trust supporters (you know who you are) on a personal basis does not bode well for them. The paranoid thought even occurred to me ... what if the Sith lord Darth Glicker is subtly influencing the science-minded among them as part of his master plan as he wrote in 1990: Convincing the Public that Drinking Water is Safe.

HOWEVER, yesterday I had a great conversation with Jonah Majure, chief petitioner of the Trust referendum, and I now realize that the behavior of a few does not necessarily represent the whole. Also, I've done things in the past in the heat of a campaign battle -- particularly the fluoride fight -- that I regret myself. Never forget, but forgive.

More importantly, as Jonah said: "The Trust itself is pretty honest and straightforward. If you think it sounds like a good charter amendment to affect city policy and/or relationship with city government, then that's all there is to it." Of course there's no way of knowing until it passes whether it will be effective legislation or whether the City Attorney will ... ahem ... water it down (zing!) and relegate it to the status of a kangaroo court.

But MOST importantly, what else do we have left in our arsenal?! Short of a lawsuit -- which I believe is extremely unlikely to be successful -- this is our last line of defense.

I'm sure that many are still asking, defense against what? The PPWD went on and on about pet projects and rising rates, which are indeed valid concerns, but the main focus should have been on the major issues of revolving door collusion for profit & personal gain that prompted the water reform movement a decade+ ago.

For starters, what I believe is still the most important issue:

Let's take a closer look at the claim that these new covered reservoirs are a federal mandate, and how that came to be. First of all, former PWB director Joe Glicker (now CH2M Hill) and Rhodes Trussell (of MWH at the time) were involved in the EPA LT2 rule making process, including the National Academies' report on radon in drinking water. Huge conflict of interest! And there are allegations of manipulation as well. Second, the EPA transferred the decision on the City's open reservoir waiver request to the Oregon Health Authority. It has since been a state mandate for quite some time. City Council repeatedly claims they did everything they could to convince the OHA to approve the waiver, but actually Randy Leonard was all for complying with LT2. His public spin on that decision was based on the mere possibility that increased frequency of testing in the future might detect Cryptosporidium. I also find it interesting how the City conceded so quickly to the OHA's 2013 letter, especially when it took Friends of the Reservoirs 3 weeks for a proper scientific analysis and response, to which as far as I know the OHA has never acknowledged. There are many other details to this long and complicated story. Please refer to for a 40+ year chronology of cronyism and conflict of interest with negative impact against the common good.

The Trust measure addresses EPA LT2 -- without actually naming it specifically, but still for anyone in the know obvious what's implied -- in Section 6:

The City of Portland is bound by the affirmative duty ... to make all available efforts, in good faith, to keep Portland’s reservoir system operational including seeking exemptions, deferrals, and waivers on all possible grounds from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Oregon Congressional Delegation, and any other actions in the best interests of the residents of the City of Portland and the integrity of the City of Portland’s drinking water.

People's Water Trust should go even farther in its campaigning by discussing in great detail the elephant of which I speak, but it is nevertheless the last chance we have to save our open reservoirs and to protect our pristine Bull Run water from potential future privatization, regionalization, river commingling, and other important water issues.

Open Letter to Bob Sallinger
Posted May 18, 2014

Bob, I hate that it's come to this. You look like a nice guy. Heck, you look like ME! Haha. It was funny when I did a google image search for you and five pages down I see my own face from my website where your name appears several times in excerpts from references.
I know we share many common interests, although I suspect I like cats a hell of a lot more than you do ahahaha. But hey I like birds, too! In fact, my cats have always been indoor-only. I feed birds in my backyard on a regular basis, give them fresh water when it's freezing outside, and shoo away neighborhood cats that wander into my yard. I've always spayed or neutered every one of my cats as well. I have visited the Audubon Society more than once. And recently I was one of many who helped save the ancient Paradox walnut tree in SE PDX, an important eco-habitat for many animals including birds. I hope you at least appreciate all I've done for birds and how much I love them.
You and I also share a common interest in the environment and environmental services, so it's very perplexing how it's turned out we're on the opposite ends of the political spectrum in this Water District debate. I wish we had met and become at least Facebook friends before all this. But you've put yourself in the spotlight and it appears you've been the major force behind all the environmental groups officially opposing the PPWD water & politics reform initiative, which by the way reminds me eerily of the Healthy Kids Healthy Portland propaganda group who convinced so many people of a "dental emergency" that did not actually exist.
What I'm posting here is not a personal attack, but a response to many claims that have been made that are either unsupported by facts or missing the other side of the story.
I have no problem with the need to accept funding from people you don't like when the end justifies the means. I'm wary of many of the people supporting PPWD, too, so I was glad to hear that you'd already provided the justification for it.
I have no problem with anyone pointing out the logging interests on the PPWD side, but what about CH2M Hill funding the opposition? Has everyone forgotten how Joe Glicker's support for illegal Bull Run logging was stopped by water quality expert Doug Larson? And instead of getting fired for that, PWB gave him a promotion. Do you care about the threats to our drinking water at all? Do you see how water is the #2 most important part of our environment second only to air? Do you recognize how Bull Run logging and the quality of our drinking water are inextricably linked?
Next, you rave on about "corporate polluters". Siltronic receives environmental awards, while the worse corporate polluter NW Natural funds the PPWD opposition.
I have yet to see any STBRT PAC argument that isn't full of hypocrisy. And when it comes to your concern for environmental services, you're simply -- ahem -- barking up the wrong tree.
Hah! Sorry, couldn't resist that one.
UPDATE: Exchanged some facebook messages with Bob. First thing he said was: "The quote is a fake. Have not met you and never said that." I told him I never claimed he said it to me. I asked him if he remembers what he did say (just playing along) at the MTNA meeting. He dodged the question entirely, repeated his talking points, and of course remained completely silent on all my other questions and the overall issue of hypocrisy. Of course I expected no less from a person who's put everything he's got into such a misleading propaganda campaign. He would look quite foolish changing his position now, so he's stuck with it, and so are we.
UPDATE II: Digging deeper into the funding debate, turns out NW Natural is not just a funder of STBRT PAC. Superfund corporate polluter NW Natural is also a "Corporate Friend" of Portland Audubon. In fact they are currently listed at the top of their Business Members section in their own special category as "Business Benefactor". The conflict of interest could not be more obvious.

Posted May 16, 2014

I entered into Portland's Water War back in June of 2013, earlier than that if you count the anti-fluoride campaign. Along the way, two major events happened that I did not expect. More recently of the two, Melissa Binder at The Oregonian mentioned my name as a reference and linked to my blog.

That's way better than the time back in 2001 when I was interviewed at Escape From New York Pizza by a local TV news station (sorry I don't remember which one and I don't have a working VCR at the moment to check the tape). They were fishing for no doubt predetermined sound bites from naive people like me (at the time) who believed that invading Afghanistan was necessary, but were also concerned for innocent civilians. What a sucker I was for "humanitarian intervention".

And it was much more personal exposure than the time I got on the front cover of the Oregonian, one of a small percentage of the 10,000 opening day Occupy Portland protesters who happened to be in that photo.

I also exchanged emails with Carla Castaño at KOIN6 and had in-person conversations with Matthew Korfhage at Willamette Week. I'm glad to see the investigative journalism and honored to be recognized as an activist for Portland water & political reform.

I also had the good fortune of being invited by fellow activists to host, develop, and generally get involved in a new fact checking & whistleblowing website. Our first offering -- which I hope will receive thorough examination and ideally widespread dissemination by the above-mentioned media sources and many others hint hint wokka wokka -- is a 40+ year chronology of cronyism and conflict of interest with negative impact against the common good. It reveals the parties involved in manipulating the EPA LT2 rule making process, the National Academy's report on radon in drinking water, the Oregon Health Authority's "decision" on a variance for our open reservoirs, the City's feigned "attempt" to save them, the potential for a west coast intergovernmental agency fronted by CH2M Hill that could be formed without a public vote, the ubiquitous involvement of former PWB director Joe Glicker (current CH2M VP), and more.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you:

Illegal Bull Run Logging Stopped By Water Quality Expert
Posted May 14, 2014

Friends of the Reservoirs Background


While employed by the PWB, [Joe] Glicker authored an article describing how public understanding with regard to drinking water can be manipulated and managed, and he subsequently demonstrated strategies for silencing community advocates of quality water and Bull Run. Glicker’s 1990 article entitled Convincing the Public that Drinking Water is Safe, discusses ways of controlling the conversation, determining what the public ought to know, using the media, as well as influencing state and federal regulations, and much more.

There's nothing inherently wrong with educating the public and media if the premise is correct that there's no basis for their concerns. What's sinister about it is Glicker's chosen target:

In 1993, as a high-ranking PWB official, Glicker orchestrated a campaign to discredit (silence) a highly respected and credentialed water quality expert, Doug Larson. Glicker contacted various conference organizers in order to get Larson removed as a speaker, and used e-mail to organize a harassment effort.

Glicker had been disputing that logging negatively impacts water quality. Eventually, a lawsuit was filed against the City resulting in Portland issuing a public apology and paying out $73,000. Rather than fire Glicker, the Portland Water Bureau promoted him later that year. Illegal logging in Bull Run was stopped.

If Joe had used legal means of subverting Doug, that would have been no less sinister. I wonder how many times he's done that where it did not end up in a lawsuit or get media attention.

This is the person of such low moral character who's convinced just enough people to earn himself lucrative contracts from his crony friends in Portland with no public input.

Who Is Joe Glicker?

Portland, Oregon: A Locus of Undue Corporate Influence on Drinking Water Regulations & Public Works Contracts?

Posted May 14, 2014

The REAL corporate polluters are OPPOSED to the Portland Public Water District.
2014-04-01: Facts about the PPWD
When criticized about the financial backers of the PPWD initiative, i.e. Portland Bottling and Siltronic, some of the largest water users in Portland, Jones’ response was that she didn’t think they were in a position to judge these large water users who at least showed up at Council utility rate hearings and hearings on reservoir contracts and Bull Run treatment issues arguing like FOR, to protect the best water system in the country. She in turn questions the opposition backers including utility contractors and PGE who contribute ninety percent.
2014-04-10: Look who's funding the anti-utility district campaign
Audubon Portland has tried to smear corporate donors to our public water district campaign, calling them “corporate polluters.” The truth is, for all their anti-corporate rhetoric, Audubon Portland relies heavily on corporate contributions, too.  In fact, they receive funding from Portland General Electric, and even NW Natural — the local natural gas monopoly and a major Superfund polluter.
2014-04-13: Friends of the Reservoirs Mailing List
The above was published on Friday, April 10. The night before on Thursday, April 9, at a Buckman sponsored PPWD forum Bob Sallinger representing Audubon in theatrical fashion shouted to me "you should not get in bed with "polluters" referring to one of Kent Craford's previous 20 clients. Sallinger  ignores the fact that when my co-chief petitioner Kent Craford did previously represent Portland's large water customers, Darigold, Widmer, Alsco American Linen were among his clients. Sallinger focuses on Siltronic but says polluters as if all of Portland's large water customers are polluters and fails to mention the fact that Audubon is in bed with corporate Superfund polluter NW Natural Gas. NW Natural Gas is expected to be the next big  contributor to the no campaign, another that benefits from the status quo of big budgets, and high rates. 
2014-04-24: Portland Public Water District: Truth-squadding risk to environmental programs and link to utility lawsuit
“We don’t have any problem with stormwater management. That’s the mission of the bureau,” Floy Jones, a co-backer with Craford, said during a March 6 forum.
But when asked why Audubon would oppose the measure if that were true, Jones shot back: “Because Bob Sallinger has an interest in expanding the mission of the bureau.”
2014-04-25: Portland Public Water District: Truth-squadding the liability over Superfund cleanup and loss of union jobs
Will the ballot measure impact who is liable for the multi-million-dollar Superfund cleanup?
Again, that’s what Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says.
“Some corporations will potentially be able to escape their Superfund liability if that measure passes,” he told Willamette Week last year.
Asked recently to elaborate, Hales declined.
In 2000, the federal government named a portion of the Willamette River a polluted Superfund site. The designation impacts the Portland Harbor between the Broadway Bridge and the Columbia Slough.
Cleanup costs could range from $200 million to $1.7 billion. About 150 private businesses or government agencies have been identified as potentially contributing to contamination - and they’ll be responsible for picking up the tab.
Kent Craford, one of the sponsors of the ballot measure, said corporations will have to pay whatever the federal government decides. He has challenged the veracity of Hales’ claim.
But when it comes to Portland’s liability, Craford said, sewer customers should pay an appropriate level of Superfund costs. And he thinks the burden should largely fall on city property taxes - paid by homeowners - not utility customers.
“But the question is, who does the liability reside with? Does it reside with the family of four who is having to pay this big bill on their sewer bill. Or does it reside with the property tax owner who’s got a penthouse in the Pearl District?” he said at a March 6 forum.
“These are general obligations of the city and so they should be apportioned based on people’s property tax value or based on their income. It shouldn’t be apportioned based on how much water they use.”
2014-05-02: Friends of the Reservoirs Mailing List
The anti camp has 3 polluters supporting their money grabbing cause, while Siltronic has received environmental awards from the City for 11 years. But they continue on with the plural "polluters" rhetoric.
2014-04-28: Why Siltronic supports creation of Portland utility district
After we reuse the water and are finished with it, we treat it and dispose of it, making us also one of the city’s largest sewer customers.  We ensure the highest quality of that effluent, and the city of Portland has honored Siltronic with the Perfect Wastewater Pretreatment Award for 11 straight years.
2007-05-09: Siltronic Corporation receives EPA’s National Environmental Performance Award!OpenDocument&Start=2.3&Count=5&Expand=2.3
Portland based Siltronic Corporation (Siltronic), is being recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) for their outstanding commitment to consistently exceed environmental requirements and continuously improve their overall environmental performance.
2007-06-01: Siltronic Receives Oregon Sustainability Award

Posted May 13, 2014

Yes! I assume we're 99% agreed against privatization! So ... vote YES on the Portland Public Water District. Wait ... what? Are you confused now? Isn't PPWD the Bull Run takeover? Well let's look at that. Exactly who has been planning a corporate takeover for about 20 years?

First, look at how changed to:

Facebook urls are permanent so that one is still:

Their old meme is still appearing in google searches:

And it's still paid for and authorized by Stop the Bull Run Takeover PAC.

But now the meme is STOP CORPORATE POLLUTERS. (details here)

So why did they discontinue that marketing strategy? Could it be because they had no actual evidence? Could it also be because it's too embarrassing for them when you start looking at who's funding them and what one specific funder's long-term plans are? Changing the focus to "Corporate Polluters" is no less ironic since the the Superfund liability is actually much heavier for the corporations that are funding the opposition to PPWD, but let's stay on the original topic for now ...

CH2M Hill Implementation Plan for the Formation of a Bull Run Regional Drinking Water Agency

2013-10-01: Portland Water Needs Solutions

In The Southeast Examiner’s August issue, the article “The Cost of Decommissioning” suggests that during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s onward, there was an insiders link between City Council (Commissioner Hales), PWB, Joe Glicker, Rosemary Mennard and Montgomery Watson Harza and eventually CH2M Hill.

The aftermath of that liaison includes the EPA LT2 ruling, covering the reservoirs, building more underground reservoirs and continuing with what could one day be a regional water supply system.

CH2MHill, one of the main contractors for the PWB, is the author of the Strategic Plan Final Report launching a group called the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX).

WCX includes California, Oregon, Washington and the Province of British Columbia. The intention of this public-private partnership is to build an alliance of West Coast governments to fund the development of an infrastructure to serve a population predicted to grow by 6.5 million people in the next decade.

West Coast Infrastructure Exchange Final Report CH2M Hill

Regional Water Providers Consortium
Regional Transmission and Storage Strategy

Table 6-1: "Intergovernmental agreements may be formed at any time with the consent of the several governing councils or boards of the participating agencies. No public vote is required for formation."

Also potential for river blending via "demand centers". See pg 1-2:

"Powell Butte (input from Columbia River and Bull Run)"

Friends of the Reservoirs Background of Cozy Consultants

MWH’s regional president, Joe Glicker, P.E. (engineer), is a 14-year Portland Water Bureau (PWB) veteran who left the Bureau in 1994 to become a revolving-door MWH consultant (1995), immediately securing two lucrative PWB consultant contracts.  Many Bull Run advocates consider him the architect of plans and actions that would force the unnecessary construction of a Bull Run filtration plant and burial of Portland’s 5 open reservoirs.  These advocates include members of the highly respected and long-running Bull Run Interest Group (BRIG), Citizens Interested in Bull Run Inc. (CIBRI) and Citizens Interested in Safe Water.

While employed by the PWB, Glicker authored an article describing how public understanding with regard to drinking water can be manipulated and managed, and he subsequently demonstrated strategies for silencing community advocates of quality water and Bull Run.  Glicker’s 1990 article entitled Convincing the Public that Drinking Water is Safe, discusses ways of controlling the conversation, determining what the public ought to know, using the media, as well as influencing state and federal regulations, and much more.

In 1993, as a high-ranking PWB official, Glicker orchestrated a campaign to discredit (silence) a highly respected and credentialed water quality expert, Doug Larson.  Glicker contacted various conference organizers in order to get Larson removed as a speaker, and used e-mail to organize a harassment effort.

Glicker had been disputing that logging negatively impacts water quality.  Eventually, a lawsuit was filed against the City resulting in Portland issuing a public apology and paying out $73,000.  Rather than fire  Glicker, the  Portland Water Bureau promoted him later that year.

Who Is Joe Glicker?

CH2M Hill is funding the OPPOSITION to PPWD, including a $5,000 donation to Stop the Bull Run Takeover PAC.



Vote YES on the Portland Public Water District

Posted Jan 28, 2014

Image Source:
"Kava and valerian are herbal remedies that are claimed to have anxiolytic and sedative properties respectively, without dependence potential or any appreciable side effects."
"Compared with placebo, kava extract appears to be an effective symptomatic treatment option for anxiety."
"When taken for anxiety or stress, kava does not interfere with mental sharpness."
"Kava may be used instead of prescription antianxiety drugs, such as benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants."
"Nature's most effective stress-relieving plant, now considered comparable or superior to anti-stress prescription drugs. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific as a relaxing beverage for social interaction and as a support to religious inspiration. Because of its many beneficial qualities it is superior to alcohol, nicotine, tranquilizers, and other substances that serve to reduce stress and improve mood."
I just realized the cause of my confusion for years stems from Kava being a brand of coffee. Dammit that's the reason I didn't know about kava! Wow this sounds like exactly I've been looking for to treat my social anxiety, even more effectively than lemon balm extract and with far less risks than alcohol. I'm imagining how awesome it would be if everyone partook more in kava than booze. The biggest drawback I can see from that would be the huge impact it would have on most of our event venues, bars, pubs, restaurants, Portland's music scene, etc. Like it or not, alcohol sales are the life blood of that economy.
But bars/etc can still benefit by creating a new revenue stream from people who'd otherwise just be drinking water. Maybe someday in the future kava could be a significant portion of their revenues. Maybe someday we can get away from the paradigm of toxin as medicine. Maybe someday we can all just get along and there's be peace on ...
Ah who'm I kiddin'? Hipsters never gonna put down the PBR. But hey you can even smoke kava. I'm gonna vaporize it! I'll mix with cannabis and call it Kavabis!
The "dreamless sleep" claim on Wikipedia had me worried, but it is contradicted by WebMD: "When taken for sleep problems, kava promotes deep sleep without affecting restful REM sleep." And confirmed with some pretty damn funny anecdotal evidence. Here's the introductory excerpt: "To start with, I'm a white male, I have no sister, (only one brother), and I have never worked in a hospital. Last night I dreamed that I was a black woman."
Continue reading here:
The FDA warning about potential liver effects is justified (in the same way that minor risks from relatively inocuous chemicals such as Tylenol require full disclosure), but without any context it seems like excessive fearmongering. Yet another example of influence from Big Booze and Big Pharma? Just look at what they did to Cannabis for decades. Fortunately the tide of public opinion is finally changing government policy.
To minimize the risk of adverse effects:

Kava: The Pacific Elixir: The Definitive Guide to Its Ethnobotany, History, and Chemistry
Stress-induced insomnia treated with kava and valerian: singly and in combination.
Hum Psychopharmacol. 2001 Jun;16(4):353-356. Wheatley D.
Psychopharmacology Research Group, 10 Harley St, London W1G 9PF, UK
Kava extract for treating anxiety.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(1):CD003383. Pittler MH, Ernst E.
Department of Complementary Medicine, University of Exeter, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter, Devon, UK
Online: (also a great info source) and
In Portland: Bula Kava House at 3115 SE Division

Open vs Covered Reservoirs Health Risk/Benefit Analysis
Posted Aug 11, 2013

In an attempt to be as unbiased as possible, I have done hours of research with the ultimate goal of finding definitive health risk/benefit studies, white papers, and other documents on the issue of open vs covered reservoirs. With all the huge controversy one would expect there to be at least one definitive answer provided by the EPA, but so far I haven't found it. I was amazed first of all when I started searching that Portland is the veritable center of the Universe on this issue:


The following report was presented to me by one of the "skeptics" in the comments of a Portland Water Bureau page who referenced it in support of their claim that "the long scientific consensus has been that Uncovered reservoirs are less safe & healthy":

EPA - Uncovered Finished Water Reservoirs Guidance Manual

But when you actually look at it you can see very quickly even just from the opening description that it is merely a maintenance and risk mitigation instruction manual for uncovered reservoirs: "The purpose of this document is to provide a basic understanding of the potential sources of external contamination in uncovered finished water reservoirs and to provide guidance to water treatment operators for evaluating and maintaining water quality in these reservoirs."

But that is not a valid reason on its own to necessitate covered reservoirs because there are health risks to ANY water storage method.

Furthermore, while this is ostensibly a neutral source since it is published by the EPA, and at first glance it might seem that Joe Glicker's name appears in the Acknowledgements section merely because he is an expert in the field, a funny thing happens when you look for the Word doc version instead of the pdf. Google says: "by J Glicker"

Seattle Public Utilities Drinking Water Quality Report 2008

I'm referencing 2008 because their most recent report does not go into the same level of detail on claims of risk from open reservoirs and benefits of closed reservoirs. The look and feel of this one also is that of the usual Public Relations spin to justify what was surely a controversial expenditure.

First of all keep in mind that this report says that "very low levels of Cryptosporidium have been detected in our raw water". This does not apply in Portland, as confirmed by the Oregon Health Authority whose main argument for denial of exemption from LT2 was E. coli (a vastly overstated risk which did not result in any known health incident other than a boil water warning which I assume was just to avoid litigation in the highly unlikely case that anyone actually did get sick).

Trihalomethanes: "You have to treat surface water with chlorine to prevent microbial growth. But a by-product of the chlorination process is trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which are linked to certain cancers. In Seattle’s water, because it starts off cleaner and we cover our reservoirs, we can use less chlorine and as a result, we have rates of these compounds well within safe ranges."

What they don't mention is how open air reservoirs allow those gases to dissipate, as opposed to covered reservoirs whose vents (according to Scott Fernandez) are not large enough for 100% of the gases to escape. This is verifiable by simply comparing to Portland's report which shows half as much trihalomethanes:

Of course even Seattle's maximum of 60 ppm is below the EPA's MCL of 80 ppm, but the point is that Seattle's covered reservoirs have higher risk in that category.

Reservoir Covering (here's where you can virtually hear the spinmeister wheels turning): "Our reservoir-covering program -- which will create 76-acres of new public open space -- is one example of a multiple-benefit project. Reservoir covering improves water quality and saves costs by reducing chlorine requirements and increases security. And when they are covered with grass, reservoirs become open space we all can enjoy. Talk about a win-win!"

Public space is nice but so are the aesthetics of open reservoirs.

Increased security is a benefit (but see more on this below).

Chlorine. Now finally here's a solid argument. Chlorine levels are important, even more so since recent studies have demonstrated some food allergies can be caused by chlorine. Seattle has half as much chlorine residual compared to Portland and their report claims that less chlorine is required in covered reservoirs. So this is one factor to consider in the overall risk/benefit analysis but keep in mind that Portland's average 2.2 ppm is still well below the MCL of 4 ppm.

Saving Water: "SPU has done its job reducing distribution system leakage through our reservoir-covering program that reduces evaporation."

Okay, that sounds reasonable, though there is no indication exactly how much is saved nor whether it's worth the cost and potential health risks.


Please at least skim over the first two references because they explain so much and they are relatively easy to understand:

Friends of the Reservoirs - Water Quality Issues

Benefits of Deep Open Water Reservoirs by Scott Fernandez

History of LT2 Rule as it pertains to City of Portland

January 9, 2004: Official comments submitted by “Unfiltered Systems Working Group” (Boston, NY, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma) state that draft rule overestimates risks and benefits, while underestimating major capital costs. NYC requests language that would allow for exemptions or variances to rule.

2004: An EPA LT2 Federal Advisory Committee consultant leads a Portland Reservoir Review panel that comprehensively examines the open reservoir issue, looking at all issues including water quality, security, age of facilities, costs, and historical significance. The reservoir panel remains unconvinced that there is any need or that there would be any public health benefit to eliminating the open reservoirs. The committee supports risk mitigation.

January 5, 2006: The risk mitigation option was inexplicably eliminated in the final rule despite the lack of any data collection on open reservoirs and any science to support burying or covering open reservoirs. The EPA documented public health problems in covered and buried storage only, none in open reservoirs.

EPA - Finished Water Storage Facilities

"The goal of this document is to review existing literature, research and information on the potential public health implications associated with covered storage reservoirs."

The security risks of open reservoirs are greatly exaggerated plus there are ways that they could be mitigated such as video cameras and patrols. Also, covered reservoirs do not eliminate security risks. For example:

Vandals tossed sealed bottle of hydrochloric acid into Portland reservoir [underground]

Discovering an incident with a major covered reservoir may take a long time because they are cleaned so infrequently and because people can't easily see the water. In contrast, water in open reservoirs is visible and they are cleaned frequently.

If people are worried about terrorists or crazy people putting stuff in our water, this article from 2011 discusses how public water is an unlikely target:

And furthermore, moving the water underground doesn't eliminate terrorist threats, which can potentially include an inside job perpetrated by a utility employee or national "security" establishment false flag event. I personally feel safer when citizens also participate in the monitoring process.

And finally, the risks from wildlife have also been greatly exaggerated.

Don’t Drink the Water! If you did, you’d know what a crazy, panicked overreaction we had to the latest contamination scare.

"Number of bears it would take defecating in the reservoir to cause a disease outbreak, according to Oxman: Many, many bears defecating continually, or 'one bear that had just the right organism, defecating repeatedly'."

Now with that wonderful image keep in mind that the Oregon Health Authority's main reason for denying the City's request for deferral was NOT Cryptosporidium, but the overhyped non-infectious E. coli non-incident that was later traced to a solitary seagull.

So it's worth repeating: “An overestimate of risk reduces the consumer’s confidence in public water supply and may be misused by less scrupulous interest groups.”


The scientific debate centers on two people, Scott Fernandez vs Joe Glicker. When you have two scientists debating each other and the layman is not qualified and/or too busy to delve deep enough into the science, it generally comes down to the question of which one you trust.

1) Which person's arguments sound more reasonable?

2) Which one has demonstrated more competence?

3) Which one has a profit motivated conflict of interest?

Portland Water Bureau's public relations manager Tim Hall claims that CH2M Hill is "one of the best engineering firms for reservoir design", but the next two references reveal major flaws in their Seattle reservoirs, the exact same design as the one they're building on Powell Butte:

Major do-over for two Seattle reservoirs

Questions over whether 4 buried reservoirs can withstand quake

Some have argued that Seattle Public Utilities bears the responsibility for decisions they made as opposed to contractor negligence. At the very least, these reports prove how complications can arise when building new reservoirs.

As for Joe Glicker, for starters going back two decades ago it is documented that he was found guilty of defamation and harassment when he was PWB's Director of Water Operations:

And check out this Oregonian article:

"The most alarming example in EPA's 1999 manual on open reservoirs -- a pigeon-spurred salmonella outbreak that killed seven people and sickened 60 percent of the population of Gideon, Mo., in 1993 -- actually started in a covered tank with unscreened vents, giving the birds a secluded spot to roost."

I've heard that Portland's covered reservoirs will have screened vents, but keep in mind that's the same manual as mentioned above that appears to have been primarily authored by Joe Glicker, which greatly calls into question his credibility.

A Friend in the Business
Reservoir advocates accuse Portland's Water Bureau of playing favorites.

Allegations of MWH and CH2M Hill corruption are not limited to Portland and Seattle:

Central Coast of California

"Portland residents' allegations of inappropriate government influence by MWH, have some similarities to allegations made and concerns expressed by residents of Morro Bay and Los Osos.  In both communities, it has been suggested that former MWH employees in positions of influence have steered local projects toward contracts with MWH, when better alternatives were available."

Tampa Bay, Florida

"During the 10-year period of construction and repair, the price of water from Tampa Bay Water (TBW) has almost doubled, even though a successful water conservation program reduced the overall use of water throughout the region."

The same trend of higher rates with lowered consumption has happened here. Now take a guess which global corporation is behind that as well as the Water Wars here in Portland. That's right, CH2M HILL!

There is also the following website which I have not verified and it could use more references, but it's worth taking a look:

Who Is Joe Glicker?

Well I suppose I haven't found strong evidence of excessive health risks from covered reservoirs. The argument that finished reservoirs are Safe Enough™ seems reasonable, but I'm not convinced that they are safer than open reservoirs. To be sure of that I need peer-reviewed confirmation that Scott's claims are invalid. That's my own personal application of the Precautionary Principle!
One thing that seems likely to me is that the decision to sign contracts for new reservoirs was likely based more on revolving door profits and political donations than science. Randy Leonard's decision was based on the mere possibility that increased frequency of testing in the future might detect Cryptosporidium. I find it interesting how the City conceded so quickly to the OHA's 2013 denial, especially after the cogent points raised by Friends of the Reservoirs in their response which was published 3 weeks after.
“Burial proponents claim that open reservoirs are obsolete and scarce. They don’t tell you that millions of people in major cities, including New York and San Francisco, continue to drink unfiltered water from open reservoirs. Why does this continue? The reason is that these cities rely on the expertise of microbiologists who scientifically evaluate all aspects of water safety, rather than construction engineers whose reflex is to solve every supposed problem with an expensive structure.” -Scott Fernandez

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