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Sources Say: This will make your teeth grind

The fluoride fight may not end on election day. If Ballot Measure 26-151 passes on May 21, attorney James Deal says will help file a lawsuit to prevent it from taking effect.

Deal practices law in Lynnwood, Wash. He is the president of Fluoride Class Action, an advocacy group opposed to fluoridation. According to Deal, Oregon law and public health rules require the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct numerous studies on fluoride before it is added to drinking water — and the EPA is no longer conducting such studies.

"If for some strange reason the measure passes, a lawsuit will knock it down," Deal promises.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: On Thursday, May 9, Deal clarified that he was not licensed to practice law in Oregon, but plans to assist any attorney who wants to file a lawsuit on behalf of people opposed to fluoride in the water. All the details of his cause can be found on the website www.Fluoride-Class-Action.com/Portland.)

Progressives sink teeth into fluoride fight

Meanwhile, Portland's progressive community is continuing to fracture because of fluoridation. The cracks were first apparent in the Voters' Pamphlet arguments on the measure. For example, fluoridation was endorsed by social justice organizations like OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, but opposed by the liberal Pacific Green Party, a natural ally on most issues.

Now new divisions are appearing on the websites of both sides of the campaign. The committee in favor of the measure — Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland — lists a number of minority organizations as supporters, including the Latino Network. But the committee against the measure — Clean Water Portland — lists the League of United Latin American Citizens as a supporter.

This job minus that job equals what?

How many positions does Mayor Charlie Hales' proposed budget eliminate? That apparently depends on whom you ask.

When Hales unveiled his proposed budget on April 30, he said it eliminates 182.5 full-time equivalent positions throughout the city. The Oregonian reported the figure as "about 170 positions," however. And the Portland Tribune said it was "236 full-time positions."

We're not sure where Hales and The Oregonian got their figures, but we got ours by subtracting the total in his proposed budget from the total in the current budget, which differs slightly from the budget that was adopted by the City Council last year because of various adjustments made since then.

Not that it matters. Many of those positions are unfilled. What really counts is how many actually employees will be laid off, and nobody knows for sure at this time.

When asked, Hales guessed it would be fewer than 100.

School board races need drama lessons

Meanwhile, the two contested Portland School Board positions have become lopsided affairs, at least as far as fundraising is concerned.

Martin Gonzalez, the incumbent in Zone 4, had only raised less than $1,600 in cash and in-kind contributions by the beginning of this week. His opponent, retired teacher Steve Buel, was reporting more than $28,000.

No incumbent is running in Zone 6, where renewable fuels consultant Tom Koehler has raised more than $32,000. His opponent, rare bookseller David Morrison, has not filed a fundraising committee. Morrison's Voters' Pamphlet page describes his only issue as wanting to remove Wi-Fi from schools because of alleged health issues.

In Zone 5, incumbent Pam Knowles is running unopposed for re-election. She reports raising just more than $5,800.