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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pieces keep falling off Portland water empire

Admiral Randy's grip on the coffers of the Portland water bureau continues to loosen. Today comes news that the plan to disconnect the city's open reservoirs -- a plan that is already being implemented at enormous expense -- may be derailed, at least temporarily. Federal water quality regulators have shown state water quality regulators a way to let the city keep the reservoirs connected and working, at least for a substantial period of time. That would put off for years the need to keep building massive underground tanks to replace them.

So far, the city seems begrudgingly willing to slow down the tank deals if the state says it's o.k. But you just know that privately, the City Hall types are grinding their teeth, in that another one of their backroom construction deals is being undone. This comes on the heels of the termination of their other major pork project -- a megabucks ultraviolet water treatment plan at the Bull Run watershed. The Admiral and his water pals had that system all picked out, and it was already in Portland at their hush-hush testing facility for tryouts.

Elsewhere today, the pundits are debating what kind of independent board ought to to be set up to make sure the city stops wasting water (and sewer) revenues on non-water-related (and non-sewer-related) pet projects. It's all quite interesting, but the only board that matters right now is the state court system. The lawsuit that's been filed challenging the legality of the water bureau's wayward expenditures could result in a permanent injunction against the pet projects, not to mention a refund to ratepayers. Whatever City Hall committee is set up in the distant future pales in comparison to those prospects.

Speaking of which, what that lawsuit could probably use right about now are some moles -- people inside the city sewer and water operations who know about, and object to, the many diversions of ratepayer dollars to unrelated vanity projects. The plaintiffs in the court case have assembled their list of abuses, which they've filed with the court, but there's probably more where that came from. Maybe now that the Admiral is on the run, someone on the inside would like to spill some beans. If they did, we'd be all ears.

In any event, by the time he is pried out of his office next year, a good portion of the boss' water agenda won't have been implemented, despite his best pitbull maneuvers. For the Portlanders who use water, that's a good thing.

Comments (10)

I wouldn't be too quick to assume the UV won't be built.....at a recent meeting David S., when asked if they had cancelled the planned work on it scheduled to begin this summer he replied "No, there's no reason to"......plenty of time to get a bad water sample (bad not meaning: harmful, since the testing method can't say that). The 'variance' can be undermined any time by those doing the testing: the same ones who wanted to build it (including Black&Veatch, CH2M Hill & Carollo...) thru their subcontractors. They had picked out who would build it but until that happens, they'll make more "supporting the variance". If they don't stop the reservoir burial then the debt will still continue at a hefty pace.

When the news is bad, the communists and backroom dealers have everything orchestrated to relocate everyone onto a commune and extract more money from good people. When the news is good, the communists and backroom dealers have everything orchestrated to send everyone onto a commune and extract more money from good people but couldn't get away with it or it is a decoy. Is that about it?

"pundits are debating what kind of independent board ought to to be set up"

A board of one = Mayor Bogdanski

I attended the state hearing last night. Most of the testimony was from physicians who support the variance, mostly because of the danger to water quality from the treatment plan, but also because of the cost. Some who have supported the plan in the past were there, but they did not testify.

Also, BARK is saying a proposed Timber sale, the Jazz proposal, threatens water quality. Ever alert to possible official sabotage of the water, many water watchdogs are concerned about this. You can go to BARK's website for more information.

To truly understand what is going on with our water here, we need that door of our water bureau to open wide, complete transparency. We need a clean sweep of the bureau and people in charge who were not really acting in the best interests of our pocketbook. It is like a bureau out of sync with public interest and more lined up with corporate interest. Particularly we should no longer have those who have been carrying out an "outline" apparently produced by some in the past who are no longer even in the bureau but still reap benefits from their past decisions.

The matter has complexities, but do you all understand now that the EPA LT2 rule was brought forth as a result of our own Portland Water Bureau involvement? They helped frame that regulation.

The idea I guess is create a rule, set it up through associates so that everyone has to comply, and then sit back and reap the money from all the communities in our country.

This water bureau has been a revolving door and the avenue for money making ventures. Some of the people involved in setting it up then left the bureau and continued to get the contracts. WOW!!
What a deal.

This needs an investigative reporter, and whistle blowers in addition to the citizen watchdogs who kept this matter alive. Eventually, those citizens were having more difficulty in getting access to information.

The real shot in the arm was NY Senator Schumer stepping out to save their water and the NY reservoirs from being covered. In my opinion, this made our officials look very lame and eventually they had to do something so they turned to the variance...
that is temporary and many of us are concerned that all it will take is to after all these years – voila – guess what we found cyrptosporidium!! Then back to the original “outline” of retrieving more money from the people and more, such as incorporating the Willamette River water into a blend with our good drinking water. This is all about money, not about what we get to drink.

There are people in this bureau who have not been our friends. I am not referring to the workers in our bureau whom I know have been upset by the policies and not able to speak for fear of losing one’s job.

The people who have had this huge plan "outlined" for our water here will not give up that plan so easily. I think they are just laying low for the time being as the spotlight is too heavily on this. So we need to keep that spotlight on this and not relax.

Our water rights are in jeopardy as the way a community can lose their rights is through huge debt. There has been no one better at debt swamping than Randy and Sam!! They do not care.

I am asking the people in our community to care, be alert, take an interest in this matter, share information and the link below with all you come in contact with. This water system we have had that has worked so well for 100 years is our community’s best asset. Thank you for reading this.


The water bureau should be separated from the city and run as a non profit business. That way no water funds will go to the general fund and someone can start on the long overdue repair of some of the older parts of the system.

" . . . challenging the legality of the water bureau's wayward expenditures could result in a permanent injunction against the pet projects, not to mention a refund to ratepayers."

Oh, right. Where would that money come from? Yet another rate hike?? Swell.

Where will the refund come from? The general fund.

Read the Variance - we won't be allowed to genotype samples to seperate out the harmless crypto from the infectious crypto. Why? Because the Portland Water Bureau specifically asked for flawed EPA testing Method 1622/23 to be the protocal when they filed their application. The fix is in. I read the application when it was filed, my unflattering summation is here: http://mtna-landuse.blogspot.com/2011/06/treatment-variance-application-reveals.html

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