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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Duck doo is gone -- and so are some big bucks

We found ourselves in Laurelhurst Park in southeast Portland last evening, and we took a stroll over by the pond to see how the city's expensive duck poop cleanout project turned out. When we last looked at the project, it had come in at a 100% cost overrun -- $800,000. And that didn't include removal of toxic PCBs or installation of an aeration system. We didn't see or hear of any fancy ribbon-cutting ceremony when the project was complete -- no doubt out of bureaucratic embarrassment.

Anyway, our inspection revealed that the nasty, indeed poisonous, algae that had been infecting the water seems to have been eliminated. But other than that, the city didn't get any dramatic improvement for all its money. Indeed, some parts of the pond looked uglier than we remembered them:

Apparently they're trying to get plants to grow on and around these muddy islands. Maybe that will spruce up the look a bit.

A neighbor walking her dogs was a font of information. She told us that the PH level of the water is now too high because of a concrete lining that was installed under the water. She didn't know what they were going to do about that.

There were aeration pumps going in several locations in the pond. The motor that was running that system was pretty dang loud. You won't be having a moment of quiet reflection within 20 feet of that part of the lake shore.

Noticeably absent, thank goodness, were most of the water fowl and all of the people who used to feed them bread. On our brief visit, there were only a few ducks, and nobody was communing with them. Given how much it cost to clean up their predecessors' poop, that's a good thing for the taxpayers.

Wonder how things smell over in the Cully neighborhood, where the bad stuff they dredged out of there was being dumped.

Comments (12)

Why did those morons put an island in the pond? It's a perfect nesting spot for waterfowl. Put a bird on it!

Classic "make work" project. Renew that big contract in 10 years. Just dump the mess in Cruddy -- er, Cully. Thanks, Liz Moorhead and Portland Parks & Wreck. Special thanks to all of the big people who made that happen.

Nick Fish.

Thank goodness the only cost was to clean up after the waterfowl. Just think how much we would have had to pay if they had caught someone peeing in the pond.

The "islands" are probably a mistake that will have to be fixed in the future at the cost of another $800,000.
Either that, or the city is trying out its 'new water oriented' real estate development in preparation for the development of the Mt. Tabor reservoir properties it will sell in the future.

portland native,
Can we trust Nick Fish (Housing Commissioner) to be a good steward of our parks and to keep developments out of our parks?

But what about the turtles? Are they okay?

Every turtle they pulled out was non-native. They have gone to a "happy place" out in the country ...

Harumph. I liked those turtles. So what if they weren't native. I could think of quite a few "non-natives" in Laurelhurst Park I'd like to see sent to a "happy place" out in the country.

Did anyone read this article?

And Pompous Nick? I have been waiting for someone to ask about him!!! From my notes at the City hall vote.. $85 Million additional funds for LT2 contractors...
Commissioner Nick Fish ... Who had the audacity to flaunt that even a bill board an angry constituent bought in Multnomah Village to dethrone him....
Apparently, it hasn't worked yet. So Nick chose to be the "reasonable" and loudest vote for the water LT2 expenditure saying that they vote for the UV water system and that ONLY 25% of the 85% Water rate increase was for the LT2 ... Was the other 60% your salary increase or the pensions, Pompous Nick?.. Should have seen Nick puff puff puff up with divine honor, giving the descendents of the Portland Privileged their $2Mill capital for a forth floor in a three floor building to host 72 beds for homeless men, the City would not be required to monitor...Everyone has a Charity!

Definition of POMPOUS
1: excessively elevated or ornate
2: having or exhibiting self-importance : arrogant
Pompous Nick...

Thanks for the common dreams link. They also had an article on water, found this interesting:

Of all the water on earth, 97 per cent is salt water and the remaining three per cent is fresh, with less than one per cent of the planet's drinkable water readily accessible for direct human uses.

I will add all the more reason to fight for our water and retain our water rights and not open the door to corporations that may very well "want in here."

By the way, Nick Fish was a huge huge disappointment at the recent May council hearing. He provided the third vote along with Mayor Adams and Leonard to move ahead with that $85 million additional for Powell Butte. This despite filled council chambers with businesses, organizations, and citizens all asking Council to stop with the spending and increased water rates. People need to know about that vote.
Saltzman disappeared come vote time. Fritz was concerned about expenditures and did vote No, but I repeat, Mayor Adams, Leonard and Fish turned their backs on the community in favor of giving more money to corporations.

LOL - ten years ago I tried to get them to float some barley straw bales in that pond to solve the problem using ecological controls and was told i could not do that due to legal questions.

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