In light of the recent protest at the Mt. Tabor Reservoir decommissioning hearing, this week's post will focus on informational links providing the back-story to the charges of municipal corruption as raised by protesters.
By way of background, reservoir activists have alleged that Portland's uniquely antiquated commission form of government may have been targeted by global engineering contractors in order to place operatives in powerful City positions, from whence Portland's Bull Run water system could serve as a profitable base for a multi-billion-dollar national industrial lobbying force. This lobby is alleged to have:
--Turned the land overlying Portland's backup municipal water source into a national ultraviolet lamp validation center via a back-room deal that includes a taxpayer-funded permit to dump mercury and coliform bacteriophages into Portland's rivers;
--Reshaped federal drinking water protections, such that industrial interests were given higher priority than protecting the public from radon exposure;
--Created an atmosphere of seeming untouchability, where auditors' and judges' warnings go unheeded, City officials harass whistleblowers, sewer rates pay for political campaigns, contracts are extended decades beyond schedule and millions beyond budget with little to show for it, and contractors get away with dumping toxins in local watersheds and leaving the public to pay for the permits and fines..
Thus, what follows is a list of links to crucial public records and investigative journalism compiled over the many years of this story's development.
WHY PORTLAND'S OPEN RESERVOIRS MATTER; LOCAL ACTIVISM PERSPECTIVE:
Concise coverage of the potential threats to both open reservoirs and urban forest at Mt. Tabor Park, from Stephanie Stewart, Land Use Co-Chair of the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association. http://www.mtna-landuse.blogspot.com/2014/03/why-i-now-personally-support-portland.htmlURL.
Detailed and comprehensive public records compendium on the contractual irregularities surrounding Portland's no-bid insider dealings, from Floy Jones' watchdog organization, Friends of the Reservoirs http://www.friendsofreservoirs.org/;.
Critical examinations of the pseudoscientific claims advanced by City contractors to justify lobbying US EPA at rate payer expense for pro-industry modifications to drinking water regulations, compiled by microbiologist Scott Fernandez, MSc. http://bullrunwaiver.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/waive2014.pdf
Risk/Benefit analysis on open versus covered reservoirs by water activist Kenric Ashe. http://www.kenricashe.com/blog.cfm?cal=kenricashe&ID=5853A7C5-6805-CA10-407E-B333F8B490AE
PROBLEMS WITH PORTLAND'S UNIQUE FORM OF GOVERNMENT:
Civil rights activists discuss Portland's status as the last major US city to retain an at-large form of municipal government, and why that may not be a good thiing. http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/odd-city-out/Content?oid=10982122
WHO ARE CH2M HILL, MWH AND CAROLLO, AND WHY ARE THEY RAISING EYEBROWS WITH WATER ACTIVISTS?
CH2M Hill lets reservoir subcontractor dump chlorine into Johnson Creek; donates to anti-reform effort. http://mtna-landuse.blogspot.com/2014/04/company-hired-by-water-bureau-pollutes.html
No-bid CH2M Hill dealings land East Cleveland Mayor in prison. https://www.courtlistener.com/ca6/7F52/united-states-v-gray/Ch2M
New Orleans Inspector General action against MWH for Katrina-related corruption. http://www.nolaoig.org/uploads/File/Final%20Report%20With%20Appendices.pdf
CH2M Hill implicated in same Katrina controversy. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13141
MWH insider no-bid dealings in Los Osos, California. http://www.newtimesslo.com/commentary/3471/sewer-project-would-dispossess-many-los-osos-homeowners/
MWH insider no-bid dealings in Morro Bay, California. http://www.slocoastjournal.com/docs/archives/2010/Nov/pages/news2.htm
MWH reservoir controversy in Seattle. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2009485902_reservoir17m.html
Joe Glicker, a key player in Portland's water controversy. http://whoisjoeglicker.wordpress.com/
Joe Glicker's harassment of Bull Run activist costs City of Portland $73,000. http://portlandtribune.com/component/content/article?id=121123
City of Portland officials hide Carollo development from public. http://bojack.org/2011/09/portland_water_bureau_played_p.html
City of Portland gives Carollo free (publicly funded) permit to discharge toxins and biological waste into Columbia River. http://bojack.org/2011/09/glug_glug_who.html
City of Portland officials harass KOIN-6 for exposing CH2M Hill's Powell Butte leaks. http://koin.com/2014/03/06/pwb-calls-koin-report-misleading/
PORTLAND CITY HALL'S HISTORY OF WATER/SEWER FUND MISMANAGEMENT:
Portland City Auditor blasts improper use of water/sewer funds. http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=53775&a=342881
Portland leadership unapologietic about misspent water/sewer funds. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/07/no_apologies_how_portland_comm.html
After judge's ruling, Portland leadership STILL unapologetic about misspent water/sewer funds. http://koin.com/2014/03/12/leonard-defends-loos-pwb-spending
City of Portland administrator caught trying to misallocate $200K in water/sewer funds. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/07/jack_graham_investigation_top.html
Investigator warns City of Portland that whistleblower in $200K fund misallocation scandal fears retaliation. http://media.oregonlive.com/portland_impact/other/Graham%20Investigation%20Report.pdf
City of Portland fires same whistleblower, then settles out of court. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/06/portland_whistleblower_rich_go.html