THE OREGONIAN'S decision to invite only Ted Wheeler and Jules Bailey to an upcoming mayoral debate might attract some unwanted party crashers.

A group of activists is calling on the newspaper's editorial board to include more of the 12 candidates vying for the city's top elected office to the February 29 (shoutout to leap years) event. If the paper won't, the activists have threatened, in an open letter posted to Facebook, to ensure the debate "does not take place as planned... (at least not within Portland city limits)."

The newspaper explained in a February statement that it's focusing on Wheeler, the state's treasurer, and Bailey, a county commissioner, because the two men have experience as elected officials.

"Our lineup for this debate is set," Oregonian Editorial and Commentary Editor Erik Lukens tells the Mercury. DIRK VANDERHART


IF STATE OFFICIALS won't protect Portland's air from toxic chemicals, local leaders say they will.

In a February 18 letter, Mayor Charlie Hales and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury laid into the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for what they repeatedly called "inaction" at stopping troubling amounts of arsenic and cadmium from spewing from local glass factories.

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Alongside a host of demands, Hales and Kafoury raised an interesting possibility: That the city and county could establish their own local authority to enforce air quality rules, similar to one that exists in Eugene.

Right now, the idea's little more than a puff of smoke. Officials aren't sure what creating such an authority would entail and say they'll wait to see what state and federal agencies accomplish. DVH

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