I compiled this summary mostly for myself, but it might also be of interest to family, friends, maybe a few acquaintances, total strangers, and potential stalkers.
And I'm putting this on my own damn website instead of Facebook. I'm going to try doing this more often unless they start giving me a % of the ad revenues generated from my content. But it's also for those who aren't on Facebook.
Most people do their annual reviews in December, which has always seemed wrong to me because, well ... the year isn't over yet! What if something amazing happens after it's already been published?! Although now that I see how long it's taken me I concede it is reasonable to at least get a head start before year's end. Then maybe next year I'll get this published on New Year's Day.
Meanwhile, here's my review of 2016! While most people perceive it as being one of the shittiest years ever, for me it was the best I've had in at least this entire decade, mostly because of self-improvement but also because I don't perceive the major social events of 2016 -- most notably celebrity deaths, the U.S. presidential election, and "fake news" to be as depressing and/or as profound a change as what's already been happening for decades.
Celebrity deaths are sad when they mean so much to us on a personal level, but I focus on celebrating their lives while taking charge of my own. The David Bowie party at Club 21, for example, was hella fun. Never forget the purpose of life is to live.
For many people the country appears to have gone insane re: politics, but I was emotionally prepared for either of the terrible outcomes from the dog and pony show that is our presidential election. Nothing profoundly new has actually happened. Yes, Trump will likely be the worst president we've ever had, but put it in context of the Bush-era crimes against humanity ... which Obama expanded upon as well. The best thing about Trump winning is that self-professed "liberals" are finally getting off their asses again and fighting against the tyranny of our own government and hopefully they'll stop believing in the insidious false propaganda of "humanitarian intervention" and "Just War".
Unfortunately there are still so many Americans who are manipulated by "fake news", and what they don't realize is that the fake news actually comes from the mainstream sources who are controlled by those who profit from endless unjust war and other forms of corruption. I feel good about all the work I did towards exposing more truth about American Imperialism and what our government and the Deep State's ulterior motives are in Syria, etc. While I'm wary of all politicians, especially presidents because no one person should have so much power in any nation, nevertheless Assad's liberation of Aleppo is far better for the citizens of Syria than replacing him with an exponentially worse puppet of Western Big Oil. I don't necessarily trust Putin either, and he has his own motives re: energy transportation from the Middle East, but at least Russia actually defeated ISIS instead of what our own gov't has done, i.e. covertly supporting the worst terrorists on this planet for the purpose of "regime change".
In 2016 I also continued researching and learning about Endocannabinoid Deficiency and how Cannabis is a conditionally essential nutrient. Meanwhile, Cannabis laws across the nation are finally progressing and I still have hope that we can recover from the brink of disaster.
Now on to my personal accomplishments & milestones:
First off at the beginning of the year I conquered a 3-month migration of servers and hosted domains into the cloud, finally giving myself the peace of mind knowing that I'm not the only one responsible for handling what had become increasingly less rare moments of extreme technical difficulty. I'm no longer blasted with alerts from my phone in the middle of the night, I'm not having to rush downtown to reboot when there is no other option, I'm not worrying about my businesses when I'm out of town, and surpisingly I ended up saving $200/mth in hosting fees!
Continued development of dBMonkey's event ticketing service and sold more tickets this year than in 2015, which isn't saying much but it's progress nonetheless.
Branched out into yet another business model of e-commerce powered by Magento. East Portland Coffee Roasters is my first client for that service and online ordering will be available soon.
Accepted the invitation from my great friends at AFRU Gallery to join their crew, serving as marketing guru, booking bands, and occasional DJ. I've met so many amazing people! I've already booked some great bands and more to come. And I also got the ball rolling to add Curator to my list of titles. The date is TBA but next year there will be a First Friday featuring Chris Bigalke aka Showdeer!
Finished Sam Henry's website! www.samhenrydrums.com
Brought DAVID YOW to the Clinton Street Theater and after party at Dot's Cafe! Thanks also to Lani Jo Leigh and Eli Johnson!
In September Angela and I had a really fun two-week vacation first in Astoria, one of many places where we've actually considered moving to at some point in the future if Portland becomes completely unbearable. The weather on the coast was perfect! The next week we went to Mt Rainier and it was so much fun that we're going back in the springtime to see how much the water rises, especially at the stunning viewpoint of the Nisqually River from the bridge on Paradise Road.
Then in October I completed my fifth decade of out-of-womb existence! Details below re: amazing show at The Know! (How's that for some rhyming huh?) I came to realize shortly after my 50th that I needed to finally follow through on those major lifestyle changes I've been promising to myself. I've quit the binge partying, dialed in my nutrients and exercise, and found the courage to have my lower right wisdom tooth extracted before it caused too much trouble. I now weigh less than I have in at least two decades! At 50 years old I'm in better health since I can't even remember when.
I've also been organizing and cleaning up the huge mess in my office. At the bottom of a pile of all kinds of shit on one of my desks I found what may have been the literally and figuratively buried reason for why I let it go for so long, greeting cards from family and friends expressing their condolences after the death of my mother in 2009. I will always miss her, but I've come to learn from past mistakes instead of dwelling on all the regrets for things I wish I had done differently. Though it's a myth that the body replaces itself every 7 years, in many ways I'm not the same person at all that I was back then.
I do regret having not attended some recent birthdays. Here's a belated shout out to Haggy, Sam Henry, and Kitty Diggins. Nothing personal, I just need to avoid bars indefinitely! I'm hopeful that some day I'll learn how to cope with loud 'n crowded sardine cans without alcohol, and I don't regret getting my life in order and getting shit done. Not in the least!
And finally at the end of the year I found myself for the first time in as long as I can remember ... NOT overly anxious nor depressed about the holidays. Remember kids, allowing these arbitrary dates on the calendar to have such an effect on us is like "letting the terrorists win"!
Memorable events (if yours not listed here don't take it personally as there were many I missed for various reasons):
1/8 Federale, David J, The Upsidedown @ Mississippi Studios
1/12 Todd Rundgren @ Star Theater
1/23 European Tour Kickoff and Gator's Birthday with P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., High Horse, Breaker Breaker @ Twilight
2/5 BYTE ME! 5.0 @ AFRU
2/9 Premier of Holochronics @ Star Bar
2/18 Broncho @ Doug Fir
2/19 P.O.C. Reunion!, Power of County, Archangels Thunderbird, Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck, Hearts of Oak @ Secret Society
2/20 Down Gown, High Praise, Grand Head @ Black Water where I had my first vegan Philly "cheese steak" and it was awesome
2/25 Ben Munat's bday (went to Cravedog happy hour, Supersuckers @ Dante's & Ringo Deathstarr @ Star Theater)
3/4 John Prine @ Arlene Schnitzer (w my buddy Rick Bain!)
3/9 Mister Tang @ Liquor Store then Jen Lane's bday @ Valentines
3/19 MAGMA @ Wonder Ballroom
3/25 Andrew Loomis Memorial @ Dante's
3/30 Wow and Flutter, Down Gown, Human @ High Water Mark
4/12 The Residents present Shadowland, The Residents @ Aladdin Theater where I met & smoked weed with Helios Creed!
4/18 Paul Allen's Birthday Bash @ Star Theater
4/29 Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time @ Hollywood Theatre
5/3 Napalm Death, Melvins, Melt Banana @ Roseland Theater
5/6 SCI-FI SHOW, Comet Talk @ AFRU
5/7 Don't Returns From Europe! w The Lovesores & Down Gown @ Twilight Café
5/8 Barret's 40th Birthday Party, The Stolte Boys, Barret C. Stolte (theGoodSons) @ Ash Street Saloon
5/13 Violent Femmes @ Crystal Ballroom
5/14 dBMonkey Presents DAVID YOW (Scratch Acid, Jesus Lizard, Flipper) LIVE IN PERSON, Walden Pink, All Roads Lead @ Clinton Street Theater + after party @ Dot's Cafe
6/3 Finding Your Light @ AFRU
6/6 The Sadies, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, DRC3 @ Star Theater
6/14 Battles, Chanti Darling, Máscaras @ Wonder Ballroom
6/20 Summer Solstice Full Moon @ Planet Earth!
6/24 Piano Push Play @ Portland Art Museum and all over Portland!
7/1 URBAN DECAY, Damn Family @ AFRU
7/8 Neil Hamburger, JP Incorporated @ Star Theater
7/12 Boss Hog, Hurry Up @ Doug Fir
7/14 Benefit for FreeForm Portland Radio!, Down Gown, Killed By Health, New Modern Warfare @ The Know
7/15 Get Thee Slayer Hippy back on the Throne!, Toe Tag, IT, GUN, Sweatpants, Street Tramps, Jennifer Robin, DJ Keebler @ Dante's
7/22 The Colossus of Destiny - A Melvins Tale @ Hollywood Theatre
7/23 The Claypool Lennon Delirium @ Roseland Theater
8/5 Funeral for Old Portland from Skidmore Fountain to AFRU
8/17 Drinks & chess w Ted Imel @ Lotus Card Room (their last week and this night was also a full moon)
8/25 Clan of Xymox @ Star Theater and art shows at Goodfoot and The Trap
8/26 David J & Soriah private show in Enrique's home!
9/1 Portland Film Festival Presents West Coast Premiere of Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time @ Laurelhurst Theater w after party @ Beuhlahland where I hadn't been in ages!
9/2 Sylvia Mann, DJ Futropolis @ AFRU Gallery
9/4 Swans @ Wonder Ballroom (not their best show but memorable haha)
9/8 Gooo, Dan Dan, Consumer., Colin Manning @ Turn Turn Turn
9/12 3 Leg Torso Performs at The Lake Theatre
9/23 The Monkeywrench, Audios Amigos, DRC3 @ Star Theater
9/23 Northwest Hesh Fest, Uncle Acid & the deadbeats, Danava, Banquet @ Dante's
9/29 Psychic TV @ Star Theater
10/6 Elvis's Birthday w parade from Skidmore Fountain to Dante's
10/6 Gar Gar @ Lovecraft
10/7 Rustyn Birch, Chris Newman Deluxe Combo, DJ Kenric @ AFRU
10/12 Kenric's 50th Birthday! Holochronics w special guest Helios Creed (of Chrome), The Decliners, Gooo @ The Know
10/14 Poster Children, The Secret Sea @ Doug Fir (on my actual birthday & the reason I celebrated on 10/12 instead of 10/14!)
10/19 Yonatan Gat, Eternal Tapestry, Don Gero @ White Eagle
10/26 Lol Tolhurst (of The Cure) @ Lovecraft
10/27 Slept 18.5 hours!!! (an example of why I've quit the late-night partying hehe)
10/28 Peter Vaughn Shaver's Dia De Los Musicos Muertos
10/29 Halloween Party @ "The Shop" in St John's w Fruit of the Legion of Loom & Smokey Kingdom
11/4 From the Odd to the Macabre, Jeremy Twin-Bears Wetter, Sienna Morris, Cora Lee Poole, Cody Buttcheeks Long, Julia Alora, The Deadlurk Dollymops @ AFRU
11/11 Sam Klein @ Rising Room Gallery
11/12 Guy Burwell @ Po'Boy Art & Framing
11/30 WHEN THE FUTURE WAS NOW EPISODE #5, Dreckig, Dr. Burtrum, Bobbi Wasabi, Jon Timm @ Valentines
12/2 AFRU First Friday Santa Edition, Santa vs Santa Boxing Match, Mutant Toys, Gooo, DJ Bad Santa @ AFRU Gallery
12/21 The Blind Shake, Paul Cary, Fire Nuns @ Bunk Bar
12/31 NYE had a great evening at home with my wife!
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 KOIN.com 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.
PWB HYPE MACHINE
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 OregonLive.com 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 democraticunderground.com:
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.
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?
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 www.portlandwater.info 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.
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:
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?
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?
Facebook urls are permanent so that one is still: www.facebook.com/StopTheBullRunTakeover
Their old meme is still appearing in google searches: www.stopcorporatepolluters.com/media/images/fbthumb.png
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?
STOP JOE GLICKER'S BULL RUN TAKEOVER
STOP THE BULL
Vote YES on the Portland Public Water District
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:
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF COVERED RESERVOIRS
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.
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF OPEN RESERVOIRS
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.”
MICROBIOLOGIST vs CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER
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."
"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?