By Midge Pierce

Reservoir update

Work on the Mt. Tabor Reservoir Diversion Pipe Project continues with extended hours from 7 am to 6 pm on Saturdays until the first week of April.

SE Lincoln Dr. in the park will be closed to all vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic during construction hours and may be extended round the clock for safety reasons.

aseudates marMt. Tabor Neighborhood Association board members who toured the project agreed that overnight road closures are worthwhile if they result in project completion before summer, 30 % sooner than currently projected.

Despite complaints, steel plates sealed nightly in order to reopen the road are precarious as well as time-consuming to install.

The group was encouraged by the commitment to historic restoration by new Bureau Director Michael Stuhr. The City promised $4 million over five years for deferred maintenance, with $750K earmarked for this year’s budget.

MTNA also supports long-promised upgrades to the Mt. Tabor Maintenance Yard which a board member described as having third world conditions.

PWB Update

“No” is the short answer to a question raised about whether a Flint, Michigan water crisis could happen in Portland. The concern arose about whether chlorine would puddle in higher concentrations in the closed reservoirs thereby increasing corrosion in the lead pipes of many of Portland’s older residences.

Biologist Scott Fernandez, who has opposed PWB’s decision to store drinking water in closed reservoirs, said chlorine is added to the water from Bull Run to the reservoirs along with sodium hydroxide to make water less acidic.

“I get complaints weekly of high chlorine smells from water so there is a high concentration. Smells and chloroform gases from chlorine did not happen with open reservoirs.”

PWB acknowledges it treats water to make it less corrosive but claims the need for chlorine in the underground reservoirs is actually reduced.

“We do not expect an increase in chlorine with the open reservoirs being offline because the Water Bureau used to add more chlorine at the outlet to make up for chlorine lost to the open reservoirs,” responded PWB spokeswoman Jaymee Cuti. “We no longer do that chlorine boost at the outlet.”

She also said the ph of water decreased across the open reservoirs. Taking the open reservoirs offline makes the water less corrosive, actually reducing lead levels in residences where home plumbing contains lead, she continued.

She stressed that PWB does not have lead in any of its delivery pipes.

The Water Bureau provides free lead test kits to customers by request. Contact the Leadline at www.leadline.org or 503.988.4000

Girl Scouts survival kits

Most of us lack provisions for the predicted Big One. Enter Girl Scout Troop 45502.

The inner SE troop is taking some of the worry out of survival with the sale of emergency kits replete with first aid items, tape, tarps, whistles, water purification, waterproof matches, tools (such as adjustable wrenches to shut off gas lines), personal hygiene and sanitation supplies and a deck of cards to while away anxious hours before potential rescue.

The scouts recommend storing important documents in zip drives along with medications in well-sealed containers. Baby and pet gear should be handy too. Gear, papers, extra prescription eyeglasses and disaster kits should be stored somewhere accessible which may be outside of homes in sheds.

Finally, they stressed the need for a family communications plan that could include contacting an out of state relative to track displaced family members.

You can order the kit with all the basics of survival – minus food and water by emailing:  BePreparedKits@gmail.com or see tkdeibele.wix.com/disasterkits. The cost of the kit and its seemingly endless supply of provisions is $99.

Other Scouts have been increasingly visible in SE recently. The newly-formed Boy Scouts of America Troop 56, (supported by the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie on Hawthorne at 50th), is flush with  recognition for its efforts packing and collecting some 300 socks for diabetic veterans. The project is intended to assist the ongoing needs of local veterans.

This type of volunteer activity is pushing troop member and sixth generation Portland resident Amadeo Raimondo closer to his goal of becoming one of the youngest members of the elite Eagle Scouts.

This is the highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America and only 4% of scouts actually become Eagle scouts. He says he is determined to reach that level before he turns 15.

The Eagle Scout recognition is achieved through community service projects, demonstration of good citizenship and attainment of 21 merit badges. Extensive service projects should be planned, organized and managed by the Scout.

Anyone interested in learning more about the sock donation program or the new troop can go to the Facebook page Diabetic-Sock-for-Veterans.