Dear Readers:

The continuation of sunny warm days this fall has been an unexpected bonus after the slow start to summer this year. I realize why people seek out endless sunshine-filled days; like you won’t have to gear up for weather physically and psychologically. For me September is the most satisfying month of the year.

These feelings of contentment are tempered by the exigencies of daily life and political issues. Some things just don’t seem to be coming to a good conclusion.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated over the reservoir issue. I thought experts logically explained that the LT2 ruling was unnecessary in this instance yet we had to capitulate to the federal rule or the new one-size fits all type of governance. I used to believe there were exceptions to the rule. (Read the latest on Mt. Tabor reservoir on page 14) It’s painful to witness a decision that will change the entire landscape of one of the icons of SE Portland.

One man who championed the cause of restoration and preservation of historic buildings, Art DeMuro, died unexpectedly last month from cancer. According to a note from Susan Lindsay, Buckman Land Use Chair, “Art’s professional level of high standards and care in redevelopment took seed in Buckman in recent years and we have a number of preserved structures to show for it.”

DeMuro was one of those rare people who lobbied for the rights of historical buildings preserving what he could and bringing new life to what others would discard. Hopefully his company, Venerable Properties, will be able to carry on this important work. “…truly one of a kind. He was our friend,” Lindsay said.

Speaking of important work, we as citizens must remain vigilant about the repurposing of Portland Public School properties. All the empty schools and properties were bought and paid for by taxpayers. The double wide trailer being added to schoolyards seem a sad substitute for a brick and mortar building.

The schools and land currently owned by PPS need to be judiciously managed in case some of the projected influx of a million or more new residents expected in the next 20 years are children.

Another galling issue is the resurrection of the fluoridation subject. I was dumbfounded when I first started hearing that “they” were planning on fluoridating our water once again. Haven’t we already said no?

The experts try to convince us that it’s such a minute amount we don’t need to worry, but I do worry. It’s said to strengthen children’s teeth and prevent decay, but here in Portland that fluoride tablets are provided free for those that can’t afford them. I’ve heard that the type of fluoride they are planning on using is an industrial variety because it’s cheaper.

Why not put a little energy and money into oral hygiene and dietary education? As usual you can find both sides of the story on the internet.

The film at www.AnInconvenientTooth.org by Dr. Paul Connett was produced by a man of science who was originally pro fluoride.

So I’ll get off my soap box and head outside where the sun is still shining and I count myself lucky to live in a society where we can voice our opinions and we can debate.