Portland's troubled—and expensive—Eastside streetcar extension is about to become even more so. This Wednesday, January 23, Portland City Council was expected to approve an additional $145,000 for upgrades and safety fixes on a prototype streetcar that was pressed into service on the new line because of manufacturing delays that have kept away the line's regular shipment of cars. The city's overall contract with Oregon Iron Works, which is months behind on providing the Eastside line's full complement of vehicles, will now rise to just under $1.6 million. DENIS C. THERIAULT


Fluoride advocates girding for this year's referendum on whether to add the chemical to Portland's water supply have begun taking big checks for a new political action committee created to lead the fight. Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland, which opened for business on January 10, has already received three $1,000 checks from three Democratic lawmakers: Mitch Greenlick, Ben Unger, and Jules Bailey. Adding to the institutional luster, campaign filings also identify the committee's manager as Evyn Mitchell, who previously ran Charlie Hales' mayoral campaign and Dwight Holton's run for Oregon attorney general. Both Hales and Holton were clients of Mark Wiener—the superstar political consultant who worked with another of his clients, ex-Commissioner Randy Leonard, to help move fluoride through Portland City Council. DCT