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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 12, 2011 10:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Realtors win round against City of Portland business tax. The next post in this blog is Mike Burton Travelgate case goes to next level. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, September 12, 2011

Portland water bureau played poker on Carollo deal

Last week, we wrote about a startling discovery -- a private company has been quietly operating a commercial water treatment testing facility on Portland water bureau property at the Columbia River well field for many years. The firm, Carollo Engineers, is the second largest consumer of Portland water -- nearly 300 million gallons one recent year-- and it pays a rate for the water far cheaper than any other customer, including the school district and the parks bureau. It also gets to piggyback on a city permit to dump treated water into the nearby Columbia Slough.

On its website, Carollo points out that the plant was operational in March 2003, and it was (and is) intended to provide a testing facility for ultraviolet water treatment equipment to be sold throughout the country, and in other parts of the world. Since then, the Carollo plant has apparently tested and validated more than 30 systems that then went for installation at water systems all over.

An alert reader has pointed us to an interesting document that indicates that the water bureau didn't disclose its arrangement with Carollo, and the existence of the facility, to the city's public utility rate board when board members inquired about UV testing in February 2004. Here's an exchange from the minutes of the rate board meeting of February 18, 2004 (read into the minutes of the March 18, 2004 meeting). "Loren" and "Scott" are Loren Lutzenhiser and Scott Fernandez, members of the board, and "Dennis" is Dennis Kessler, an official from the water bureau. They're talking about the city's tentative plans for UV treatment of its water supply, in response to federal mandates:

Scott: Two years ago UV was priced at $20 million as a cost to implement. We encouraged that direction because of the cost, not the technology. Then it soon went up to $55 million, then to $60 million, and now up to $102 million 2 years later. What do we project the price to be when the time comes if we go in that direction?

Dennis: There are still some things to be worked out on that technology. Part of this is costs due to storage that we didn’t prioritize. A big chunk is the storage issue. The other part is some type of a clear well depending on where you put it. If you put it at the headworks, you can utilize the head of the dams and you have the contact time for other types of disinfection from where it leaves the headworks until it gets into town. And you don’t have to pump. If you start moving this downstream, you will have to pump and it becomes more expensive – locating it and piping to and from the site. Plus backup power, what do you do with power outages?...

Unknown: In the slides you identified UV at Lusted Hill at $103 million but in this report it’s tagged at $20.5 million on page 11. How do you reconcile this?

Dennis: This is just the first 5 years of the project. Look at page 5, only seeing a small part of treatment, the big costs are out beyond 5 years.

Loren: What’s included for $20 million? Planning and design?

Dennis: It’s looking at configuration and effectiveness of the disinfection. It is different in every water system. Our water is pretty significantly different. At this stage there is no (UV) plant the size we are talking about in operation. It’s a fairly new technology at this size of application. So there’s figuring that all out. The first 3 years of this is looking at alternative concepts and probably the last 2 years is primarily design. And a lot of permitting too.

Loren: Are salaries a part of this or a combination of contracts?

Dennis: It’s primarily consulting....

Scott: Already have a UV test facility pilot in place?

Dennis: We have one on the groundwater system and we have been having trouble with it.

Scott: Is there a national facility somewhere?

Dennis: I’m not aware of that.

Scott: What has been the problem with it?

Dennis: The main problem is light bulb breakage. Then what do you do with the mercury in the water, and the glass and debris, and the down time? That is the big problem they are having. If something happens, you need a place to put the water to deal with it -- the by-product.

It is hard to believe that Kessler didn't know that the Portland Carollo plant, going for nearly a year at that point, was intended to be a national facility, with outside customers, and built to run for many years. And he certainly wasn't forthcoming about the Carollo connection when it certainly would have been appropriate to describe it.

Meanwhile, his remarks about the problems that were being encountered with UV treatment in Portland have got to make one wonder what was going out the pipe and into the slough from the Carollo plant at that time. Or is going out now, for that matter.

Comments (18)

guilty guilty guilty!!!

Mercury in the water huh? And why is Portland subsidizing/spearheading this new technology? Ahh!

If we act quickly maybe we can get them to pack up and move to Vancouver.

Why did the cost go up to $102 Million in two years? Maybe because they had the PWB in their back pocket?

This is what you call the Ca-Rollo-Right-Over-You effect.

Least he had a brief moment of candor acknowledging the money was "primarily consulting." Grease those palms. Revolve that door.

A good friend of mine is a member of PURB.

I intend to suggest to him that all future CoP employee witnesses providing oral statements or testimony to PURB be required to take the same oath administered to trial witnesses in Oregon courts.

Its not just PURB being at best, deceived, by Water Bureau witnesses..

Look at the Legislative committees hearing testimony from the various ODOT employees over the years on the emergency communications network project.

Agency employee witnesses have to have the fear of jail time for perjury put into them.

Hellooooo! This is the Water Bureau you poor Portlanders. Headed up by a guy named Shaff (appropriate name for you rate payers - if you get the joke). Shaff's credentials?

Is he a hydrologist? No.

Is he an engineer? No.

Does he have any recognized credentials for heading up a water supply? No.

Well then - how the heck did he beome the Director for the Water Bureau?

He is a Randy Cronie! The only credential that means anything in Portland.

So what was the deal?
Getting LT2 in the door by political means, not based on science - then using LT2 to force communities to comply with EPA LT2 whether the community has a problem or not - one size rule fits all, all must now pay - so this rule could become very profitable for certain corporations!

PWB then does not seriously work for or ask for a delay, instead tells us we have to do this, on a fast track deadline, while NY got a reprieve until 2028.

Meanwhile PWB holds LT2 over our heads to raise the rates 85% in five years and who knows how much more after that?? More money needed they tell us for more consulting, after we have tested and tested. EPA only asks for 500 liters a year in polluted areas, PWB has done as I recall thousands and thousands of liters in about two years.

Fernandez in a Dec. 2010 council hearing testified that the tests had come in, we did not have a problem, council should stop the spending, that the variance process had been a failed strategy and that he wanted council to ask for a Waiver from EPA. Council once again would not listen and voted to spend another $600,000 on consultants, and in Jan. 2011 another several hundred thousand dollars more for consultants to analyze the testing.

This LT2 ordeal has not made any sense, to be over a billion in debt for a problem that does not exist?? Well, NOW WE FIND OUT!!
We never had that problem, the big problem we have is that something else seems to be going on behind the scenes.

Our community has been lied to, abused, and used!! Our hard earned money, our water turned over to multinational corporations for a very low rate to do their apparently world wide testing and we have paid and paid and it won't end. The money, and now our river, what have they put into it?? Someone in that water bureau years ago sold us down the river.

Who is behind all of this?
Who knew?
When did they know?

This is downright cruel - making people pay huge rates for an essential need, our water and wrecking our current water system in the process. Who knows what else is in the works! What other deals have been made?
Loss of our water rights?
Toxic chemicals in our drinking water?
Injecting microbes into our river?
Mercury in our environment?
What is the end result here of PWB's plans for all of us?
Drinking Willamette River water?

Those heading the PWB should be fired! Not one person who went along with all of this should remain. Those in council who knew of the deals should be recalled!
Their plans, stonewalling our community and creating enormous debt may lead to losing our precious water rights by the time they are done.

Leave the good water bureau workers in place to take care of the basics for us, am sure they are as sick of the whole mess as we are.

Thank you Jack for such a timely investigative report. The Portland Water Bureau was very upset I asked for a verbatim summary of the discussion that night. Time has shown what we thought then to be correct now.
The idea of using ground water as a it applies to surface water illustrates the fraud we call EPA LT2 science. This time of year we begin to see "fall color" from dropping leaves into the Bull Run water. The fall leaves are an absolutely safe and healthy part of a natural drinking water system. Natural organic materials are part of the Bull Run benefits. The ground water being tested at PWB does not apply to us because the fall surface water particulates can reflect UV light making it unproductive. There are no benefits of UV radiation to our Bull Run system because we don't have a public health problem. We don't have a public health problem because we don't have sewage exposures. It's just that simple. It's time again to call for a complete Congressional/EPA LT2 Waiver. Stop wasting time and money on this scientifically flawed regulation.

Dear Mr. Attorney General Kroger....Wake up!

Or else just start putting birds on your inane press releases.

Come on Portland people. Who will be the courageous ones
who continue to expose these conflict of interest deals? Isn't Carollo a subsidiary
of CH2MHILL who's VP , Mr. Glicker, was head of our Water
Bureau before he revolve doored himself into CH2MHill? The sweetest deal making fat cats could design. Spokane and New Orleans summarily dumped CH2MHill. Let's get it done, Portland.

Dear DOJ prosecutors in Oregon, wake the eff up and do your jobs and start going after this stuff.

Me thinks the DOJ prosecutors are awaiting instructions from Neil.

"Come on Portland people. Who will be the courageous ones
who continue to expose these conflict of interest deals? Isn't Carollo a subsidiary
of CH2MHILL who's VP , Mr. Glicker, was head of our Water
Bureau before he revolve doored himself into CH2MHill? The sweetest deal making fat cats could design. Spokane and New Orleans summarily dumped CH2MHill. Let's get it done, Portland."

Thank you, Scott and Floy Jones,
for keeping the facts alive and available for the last decade. You two, along with so many others, but you two in particular, have basically given your life over for the cause of saving Portland's pristine, public water system.

You've endured the lies, personal attacks, and somehow weathered the discouraging civic lessons of fighting Portland City Hall. Thank you for your ferocious dedication to documenting the path to privatize and degrade our public works,(esp. given the weakening conditions of the FOIA, Freedom of Information Act), and attending countless meetings over so many years. Most of those meetings, without one or both of you present, would have had no public voice, eyes or ears in the room. Maybe, just maybe, there is still time to save our pure water, AND keep it a public asset. Without your hard work, Scott and Floy, this chance for Portlanders to take back their water rights might not be possible.

"Come on Portland people....

Perhaps Portland people for years had it so good, didn't have to or learn to stand up to fight. Now that the house of cards may be falling down, they may very well not realize the seriousness of the matter, may be in denial, simply do not know what to do or just think that their leaders or others will take care of matters.

That doesn't excuse the "insiders" for taking advantage of the rest, and it doesn't help that most of the media here won't inform the people or allow reporters to do the investigative reporting that needs to be done.

That doesn't excuse the prosecutors for what? laying down on matters?

As for newcomers, many may still be enamored with the bike paths, etc, green and sustainable message and "appearances" -
Look behind the curtain, how sustainable is it to have mercury bulbs in a system and microbes being injected into water here, this with city leader's blessing??

Dennis: The main problem is light bulb breakage. Then what do you do with the mercury in the water, and the glass and debris, and the down time? That is the big problem they are having. If something happens, you need a place to put the water to deal with it -- the by-product.

Re: "making people pay huge rates for an essential need"


Mr Shaff does not focus on water as "an essential need." Speaking on OPB's TOL in April, he compared water to "other utilities" and opined that "[w]ater is the cheapest commodity one has to have to survive." It's in here, toward the end:

The concept of minimizing the cost of water to residents is not endorsed by Mr Shaff and the City Council; instead, they emulate Bechtel in considering water merely a source of revenue:

The other professional shortcomings in Mr Shaff's résumé have been noted by commenters. Shortcomings in the résumés and temperaments of city commissioners are common knowledge.

Re: "Perhaps Portland people for years had it so good, didn't have to or learn to stand up to fight."

No question about that. Nor about the necessity to fight against dishonest leadership.

One avenue of resistance might have been via neighborhood associations; but that structure has, for the most part, been compromised by ONI, which has turned it into a vehicle for instructing residents in what they should be thinking about city management: top down rather than bottom up.

Apparently, David Shaff's main experience is in labor relations which is a very important element of privatization. Those type co's typically operate with 50% fewer employees than public systems according to reports. So, as maintenance backlog languishes around 35,000 backlogged hours and maintenance workers get laid-off, they are moving towards a desired goal of those who will assume control when the debt gets too big. Randy tried to save some of those jobs by giving them work to do...any work....the Rose Festival new cheap headquarters, even gave them overtime. Apparently the ones who don't really count for anything are the ones who pay the water bills.....we'll let them pay...they'll pay for anything! Also, the "water house" of "green practices" is something the EPA likes to play up at conferences but again, not very popular with ratepayers. David can save expenses on gas by just walking down the street to his friend and neighbor, Joe Glicker, and ask him what's happening. Doesn't seem like a real response to the community's concern about consultants, to appoint a new head in 2005 who happens to be personally so connected??

One avenue of resistance might have been via neighborhood associations;...

There are over 90 NH Associations in Portland.
A few have stepped out to protect our water,
the majority apparently have been silent.
What is that all about?
Do they think it is OK to have toxic chemicals added to their drinking water
and a 85% rate increase?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
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Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
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Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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