Last Wednesday's unanimous City Council vote to build a filtration plant to treat Bull Run water was surprising for many reasons, including the fact that the two members up for re-election next year chose the most expensive option when they didn't need to.
Commissioners Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman both voted with the rest of the council to build a filtration plant to remove cryptosporidium from Bull Run water. It is estimated to cost up to $500 million and could raise water rates as much as $18 a month by 2030. They could have voted for a much cheaper ultraviolet plant that would not raise rates nearly as much.
But, unlike politicians who are only concerned with getting re-elected, Fish and Saltzman both said the filtration plant was best for Portland's long-term future because it can remove other contaminants from the water, including silt from landslides and ash from wildfires. Fish was especially clear that this decision was based in part on the growing awareness of the potential effects of climate change on the watershed.
The week from you-know-where
It seemed like everything that could go wrong did when temperatures spiked last week.
As the first of the triple-digit days rolled around, newscasters advised those without air conditioning to cool their homes in the mornings by opening doors and windows. But then smoke from numerous wildfires blew into the region and everyone was told to keep their doors and windows closed. And then Portland Parks & Recreation closed all outdoor pools on the hottest day of the week because of the smoke.
People also were urged to take transit to keep the air from getting any worse. But MAX and WES trains always slow down when temperatures climb over 90 degrees, causing service delays. Even worse, TriMet was hit by computer problems that caused MAX trains to run slowly in the mornings, too, for much of last week. But walking and biking also were discouraged because of the smoke.
How soon they forget
During last Friday's groundbreaking for the Oregon Convention Center Hyatt Regency, so many past and present elected officials were credited with helping move the hotel project forward, it's hard to believe anyone was forgotten.
But no one mentioned former Mayor Bud Clark, who unexpectedly announced that building the convention center was his top priority after his surprise victory over Frank Ivancie in the 1984 primary election.
Although business leaders had been pushing the idea of a such a center for years, Clark had not mentioned it during his upstart campaign for mayor. But he prioritized it during his first major speech, delighting the business community and baffling many of his grassroots supporters.
Although former Mayor Sam Adams was not present, Metro President Tom Hughes credited him for keeping the project alive when just about everyone else gave up on it during the Great Recession, drawing applause from the large crowd at the event.