Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wither the Fluoride Four?

Well alright then. City staff have, at least somewhat officially, caved. So now the question becomes will any members of the Fluoride Four come out of their cave into the light of reason?

In a memo to the City Council, City staff have laid out five possible options for dealing with the (totally predictable) fallout from the Fluoride Four's fuck you vote. Staff, worried about their own budgets and jobs, are apparently terrified of the idea of a movement to change the governing structure of the City - such as is being floated by anti-fluoride/pro-accountability people in Port Angeles. They are worried about Port Angeles becoming - officially - a "second-class city."

So, in order to try and stop that effort, staff have proposed five options for the Fluoride Four to consider.

One: Continue fluoridation until 2026, as ordained by the vote of the Fluoride Four. Cost: Over $20,000 a year and all public trust. And hello Second Class City!

Two: Continue fluoridation over that same period, but provide a one-time, limited $100 per home subsidy to buy a water filtration system. Cost: Over $20,000 a year, plus a budgeted one year outlay of $200,000. (That's money the City doesn't have, that would be used to - partially - buy systems that wouldn't work.)

Three: Discontinue fluoridation when the current contract ends in May. Cost: NONE. The water utility would save over $20,000 a year.

Four: Arrange for yet another public vote on the issue. (Sigh.) This one an "official advisory vote" - which means, I guess, that the Fluoride Four wouldn't have their fingers crossed this time. Cost: Unknown, but the election would cost between $4,000 and $8,000. Said election would then likely result in other costs for whatever results.

Five: Stop fluoridating the water, but replace it with some sort of "Oral Health Care Initiative." This is a blank page that would allow the City Council, should they choose this option, to shape it into whatever they (as experts, right?) deemed suitable. Cost: Up to $40,000 annually for 10 years. Or, let's be honest, until the Council takes another vote to reduce or eliminate the program. (Remember, that's what kept the City Council so afraid of changing course during the last ten years - the $400,000 stoppage penalty that Karen Rogers and Crew put in place for early withdrawl. Without that threat looming, this program would be easy pickings for elimination in future budget discussions.)

So there you have it. Now here are my questions to you. Which of these seems the best to you, personally? And which one do you think the City Council will be able to muster four votes for?

(P.S. - In pondering the above, please keep in mind that one of the hardest things for a politician to do is to simply admit they may have been wrong. This is especially true of insecure politicians, who often deal with facts by doubling down on fantasy.)


  1. Option three is the only one that makes sense. Stops the controversy, saves money.

    Which means it probably won't be considered.

  2. In the last thread, a commenter stated the City Council should stay out of the public health arena. The duplicity of that statement is precious coming from someone who insisted on the City Council weighing in on the health effects due to nanoparticles.

    There's also a statement in this opening salvo that water filtration to remove fluoride in proposal #2 would not work. Please state your basis or credentials for that leap.

    1. Please just check any number of reputable sources on the world wide interweb, sir, and you will find that most filters do not remove fluoride. Those that do remove it, generally don't remove all of it, and are very expensive, AND require frequent replacement - thus making the City's proposed "offer" of a one-time $100 supplement essentially meaningless. (Not unlike someone offering to "help you buy a car" by giving you $100 towards a down payment on a $20,000 vehicle...Yes, technically they've helped, BUT...Gosh, those monthly payments still come due.)

      Etc., etc., etc.

      Plus, many people don't want to get the fluoride when they bathe...When they water their garden...Or see it added to our runoff that goes into places like, say, the Strait of Juan de Fuca. So, how about you offer up some reputable proof that fluoride is totally, 100% harmless to marine life. How's about that?

      Finally, it's the DUTY of public officials to tackle public health issues, but yes, there are limits. I would argue that industry, not the local government, produces things like nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are an acknowledged public health threat. Therefore, public officials trying to deal with that issue are in fact dealing with SOMETHING THAT IS GENERATED EXTERNALLY. It is not part of the "political system." It is a reactive stance.

      Adding fluoride to the water is an overt, proactive stance. It is inserting yourself into the public health arena. Which is NOT at all the same as responding to an externally generated (and legal) public health issue.

      Got it?

    2. Filtration is a non-starter. CK, you have it right.

      Besides the fact that many don't want to bathe, garden, etc with fluoridated water, filtration is wasteful and expensive.

      One of the only effective is reverse osmosis, which dumps 3 gallons of water as waste, for every gallon of "clean" water. Then, of course, the cost of the filters and replacement cartridges. Nothing cheap about it.

      And why? So that the City can continue to contaminate otherwise enviably pure mountain water?

  3. Gase and Collins are unlikely to change their votes on this issue. Among other reasons, their personalities won't allow them to admit they were wrong or that they should consider the governmental consequences set in motion by the "Our Water, Our Choice" group.
    Kidd just might change her vote to an expensive option that she thinks will save kids from decay. But she will not vote to completely discontinue fluoridation.
    Downie desperately wants to stay serving as the Mayor of a "First Class City". If the other three (Bruch, Wetham, and the new guy) show they will accept nothing less than stopping fluoridation, Downie will vote with them to end it.
    It would be ridiculous for the council to approve providing water filters. That is a crazy option that only dimwits could propose. It would be spending public money on both the "poison" (fluoridating the entire water system) and the antidote. But they would make the antidote available only to homes, while continuing to "poison" every other person who drinks city water from other sources such as public drinking fountains, restaurants, schools, etc.
    Dumb & dumber!

    1. Hmmm... That is a hopeful thing anyhow that Downie could potentially swing the vote the other way?

    2. Indeed... swinging Downie may be a promising approach. But it would be important for the other three council members to hang together and make clear that the only option they will consider is to completely discontinue fluoridation. They can't seem wishy washy about possibly compromising on one of the other staff-proposed options.
      Let's see whether the "pure water three" can demonstrate the leadership & savvy to persuade one or more of the "fluoride four" to vote in accordance with the will of the people.

    3. All of you people should be ashamed of yourselves for the way you speak of the members of the council. Just because you don't agree doesn't call for this childish playground name calling. The flouride four are all amazing, caring, intelligent and very well respected in this community. You should all be ashamed of the way your acting, honestly you should all be committed to mental institutions.

  4. We'll not be surprised to hear ranting statements about how the city should not succumb to the threats generated by a small group of extremists. It will be one of many such ways supporters will try to distract the conversations away from the truth and reality of what iss going on: The Fluoride Four concocted and supported an Un-American rationale to ignore the majority will expressed in the very survey the council themselves created.

    Now, how do they try to distract the public from this? How do they try to distract those that are SO mad, now?

    At the very least, Cherie et al should think VERY hard on the wording they choose as they make their public statements Tuesday night. If they go on defiantly, or say they are changing their votes because of the threats by the public to change the government, not because they did anything wrong, they will be fueling the efforts to continue with that effort. Regardless of the fluoride vote.

    They should smile politely, apologize for the insults to democracy they have supported, and reverse the fluoride vote with expressions that they are servants of the people, doing their will.

    Otherwise, come Weds. morning, the turmoil in town will continue.

    1. Twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours to go....I don't wanna be fluoridated!

  5. Even anti-fluoride information offers filtrationmethods deemed effective. Not Brita, but ion resin exchange, distillation, r-o, etc. If residents have been drinking it for a decade, data for benefits or detriments should settle the matter.

  6. The only option is to stop with adding the crap (that's the official, medical isn't defined as a drug from the FDA).

    I don't know what kind of sweet, fat kickbacks Rogers and Cutler may have gotten from the Delta Dental people, but clearly, they wouldn't be so motivated to care about this if it didn't make their wallets fatter.

    Cutler came out from under his rock to attend several of the council meetings on fluoride. Rogers just pushed doctors from OMC to show up (now that she has firm controls on the reins of power at the OMF).

    Add to this unholy mix is the crazy woman who's doctor hubby who murdered that baby. She is part of the vocal "silent majority" (as she is framing it) pro-fluoride group. (Nevermind the fact that she is a county resident, and her PUD water isn't tainted.)

    These pro-fluoride people are said to be conducting phone call surveys and sending out letters of support for the city council and the decision for their side. They want to show how nice, calm and REASONABLE they are, compared to the people who are upset about this outrageous miscarriage of democracy.

    They're parry is to call all anti-fluoride people "dirty hippies" "crazed loons" and "vicious".

    Oooh. Ouch. I'll bet if they lived in the time of the American Revolution would have been on the side of the Brits. "the great unwashed..are acting up again..."

    So, I think the council meeting this Tuesday should be quite an event.

  7. In 1798, Thomas Jefferson said:

    "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite."

    So, do the few dentists of this community have greater say than the people? Should four city council members have the ability to discount the voices of the community who spoke up -- who's opinions were solicited (at a cost to those citizens)-- loudly and clearly, against the continuation of fluoride in the water?

    The 56% NO Fluoride response rate is at par with the average response rate of the last four city council races to elect a new council member. The percentages don't lie. When a straw poll is taken, it is actually a petition, and more people responded than the city expected by a huge margin. (The city was quoted in the PDN as expecting a 33% response, while they received a 43% response. 10% more is phenomenal.)

    Thomas Paine said:
    "It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government."

  8. Editorial Comment on the Comments:

    Needless to say, this is an issue = well, several issues, really - that gets people inflamed, worked up, agitated, angry. Some of that anger comes through in some of the comments here, and some of them contain a little trace element of kookiness.

    BUT...Having just taken a look at the ranting, raving, numbskull name-calling that is passing for "comments" on the PDN website...Well, I just wanted to take a moment to thank and congratulate you all for what is, overall, a fairly reasonable discussion here. I don't necessarily agree with all the comments made here, but man...Those PDN commenters are nuts.

    Again, congratulations to everyone. Now, get to that City Council meeting next Tuesday and make those so-called public servants serve the damned public.

    1. Boy you sure said it there. I had to stop reading them - could barely get through the first few before realizing I was going to learn nothing productive.

  9. It sounds to me as if the "civility petition" being circulated in reaction to citizen outrage and council meeting protests is off the mark. I am disappointed in the petition's proponents. It is an irrelevant distraction.
    Yes, it is always good to model courteous behavior. But it is also good for people who have strong opinions on a public issue to weigh in on it and let their elected officials know their views.
    Here, council members have shown bad faith and discourtesy in discounting good faith responses to a written survey. Is it any wonder that citizens who care enough to show up at council meetings and express their views would raise the volume a bit?

    1. Yeah, when I saw the comment about a small group of extremists dictating what should happen in town, I immediately thought of "The Four". Over and over, poll after poll, the majority don't want fluoride in their water, but this small group keeps foisting it upon us!

  10. Sad, sad trolls...Get some new material, please?

  11. This got posted on the previous topic, and I didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle:

    "Check to see who prospered the most in selling properties to the hospital for their latest taxpayer funded expansion."

    Anyone have any more on this?

  12. well, who owned the Pediatrics building that is the main part of the project?

  13. Dan Gase has "outstanding" comments: I'd help pay to put his picture and his quotes on billboard coming into our fine city. Starting with "This is not a Democracy".

  14. Boy, it sort of sounds like "this time it's personal" between Cherie Kidd and Lee Whetham. Should be a really interesting meeting tonight.

    1. Let's all remember that the Fluoride Four aren't bound together by friendship, or loyalty, or ideology, or anything positive. They are bound together by fear, pure and simple.

      That being the case, all that has to happen is for at least one of them to be made more afraid of the fallout from NOT doing something than they are of the fear of DOING something.

      People who are afraid are the easiest people to manipulate. City staff knows this, and acts on it. The public needs to do the same. I'm not talking threats, just predictable and doable repercussions.

    2. no, sorry, now we are all bullies and threatening. So they voted the same way because they think democracy is all nice and quite.

  15. Kidd ingratiated herself onto this re-conveyance committee without any permission or guidance by the city council. Since when does she speak for the council without authorization. Does she think she runs city council? Oh, that's right, she does think that.

    1. You assume that Cherie Kidd can think in any form...What evidence do you base this on?

    2. I think Cherie is senile. She said, repeatedly, last night that she was "so confused" and couldn't follow any plot. She also frequently stares off into space. And, when she was trying to relate some history (??) of Port Angeles, couldn't get the dates right, and ended up saying the town was founded in 2006. ??? Small minds go fast.

  16. And, one would think it would be a story in the PDN, all by itself. The issues on the agenda will make it one of the most closely watched in PA history.

    1. Yes, Paul Clotlieb's palsied hands will be doing double duty tonight...

  17. The public comment period went for 3 hours. No mention of surveys or petitions Overwhelmingly anti-fluoride, anti-"Fluoride Four".

    They talked about everything but democracy, or representing what the people have said, repeatedly. Tonight, it was all about "not giving in to intimidation".

    And true to form, after the rest had talked, he made a motion to form a committee to talk about it all some more.

    And, I got this in email about 5 minutes ago.

    " What the Fluoride Four did was to distract the conversation away from the one, singular question: When are they going to listen to the people?

    When will they see that all this turmoil and discontent is being created by them not listening to the people?

    What choices are left to the people, after they've been ignored, insulted and talked down to? To sit and smile politely?

    As in virtually every case, the public has voiced it's views in response to tyranny. "Quiet and polite" doesn't influence needed change.

    The Fluoride Four are creating the problems, and now blame the people!

    Time to be very visible and vocal with a two pronged approach:

    Immediately proceed with a city-wide "If you care about this town, step down now!" AND,

    Petitions to change the government, which they say will take two years.

    "Step Down Now" gives them a way to shorten up the disruption to the city, and to look like they care about the "draconian impacts" of the other inevitable outcome.

    They could step down voluntarily at the next council meeting, allowing Lee, Sissi and Mike to appoint their replacements asap..

    Or, they can continue to allow themselves to be seen as Anti-American autocrats.. and drag the whole thing out.. for the good of.. who?

    Either way, we will be meeting shortly to plan out the next activities."

  18. Abandon hope all ye who enter.... the new welcome sign for Port Angeles.