The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is investigating whether staffers had improper communications with pro-fluoride advocates ahead of Portland's May 21 vote on the issue. As first reported by the Mercury, OHA Director Bruce Goldberg has asked human resources staff to dig into communications between the agency's public health division and Upstream Public Health, a pro-fluoride lobbying group. Emails examined by the Oregonian indicate employees, including Public Health Director Mel Kohn, spoke of discussing results of a new study on kids' dental health with staffers at Upstream. Kohn announced last week he'd be stepping down, but said the decision was unrelated to the fluoride snafu. DIRK VANDERHART


Mayor Charlie Hales, joined by just three of his Portland City Council colleagues (not Amanda Fritz), has decided to drop Portland's seven-year fight against a federal mandate to cover and/or replace its open-air drinking water reservoirs. Hales declared defeat in a letter released Monday, June 3. The city's most recent request for a delay was denied last month. "Faced with no other legal options and with deadlines looming, the city will move forward to meet the compliance timeline," Hales wrote. The nationwide order, also known as LT2, is meant to control a contamination issue Portland has never faced. Water rates will pay for the project, due to finish in 2015. DENIS C. THERIAULT