RE: "State Finds Alarmingly High Arsenic, Cadmium Levels Near Two SE Portland Schools" [Blogtown, Feb 3], Daniel Forbes' story about how inner Southeast Portland's Bullseye Glass is the likely source of "a monthly average of 49 times the state air-safety benchmark level for the neurotoxin and carcinogen cadmium, and 159 times the DEQ's air-safety goal for the carcinogen arsenic." On their website, Bullseye notes their factory "sets the standard for quality in colored glass for art and architecture."
A glass manufacturer certainly can suspend operations—it would just be very expensive to do so. It's only money. Compromising my daughter's cognitive development by exposing her to arsenic, on the other hand, is what they call in the legal world "irreparable harm."
They need to shut down operations until they can convince the DEQ that they can work without poisoning the neighborhood. I'm sure they're upset, and I'm sure their intentions were good—now they need to follow those intentions with doing the right thing.
posted by Allison Sliter
My neighborhood too is likely affected by this finding. I am also concerned about my family's health and well-being. That being said, Bullseye Glass is operating in a properly zoned area with the appropriate permits. I know a few Bullseye employees and I can assure you that this will concern them. They have families and children and friends in these schools and communities.
Let's work to find a solution to our growing and changing city without immediately resorting to organizing against everything. We need jobs. We need art.
posted by rchrd
What's most disturbing is that it sounds like Bullseye doesn't understand what they're doing. They have a responsibility to have someone working there who understands the science and how to effectively control their emissions. If everything in the article is accurate, they should be shut down.
posted by Ben Smith
I live in this neighborhood and have since 2000. Even though Bullseye glass was operating within their permit guidelines, they had to know that using these toxins for their "pretty glass" are a potential health hazard, not only for their employees, but the neighborhood and the general population that frequents the area.
I find it difficult to believe that they wouldn't have some knowledge that the plumes from their kilns weren't polluting the air with potentially dangerous toxins, and if they didn't know, they shouldn't be using them. Think about the person who's been shoveling the arsenic into the furnace. Was he wearing a hazmat suit? If so, Bullseye knows how potentially dangerous it is to burn it and send smoke into the air.
posted by Oregonian
RE: "Charlie Hales Has a New Plan to Curb Demolitions" [News, Feb 3], Shelby R. King's story about Mayor Hales' proposal to require deconstruction—rather than demolition—of houses built prior to 1916. King referenced a 1902 home on SE 15th and Umatilla that developer Vic Remmers plans to raze and replace with three single-family homes.
Man, I love beating dead horses. Let's do it again. Remember, this isn't your property. Bitch and moan all you want, but in the end, unless it's your name on the title, tough titties—the owner can do what he or she pleases, within the law. The irony of this situation is that we're just returning to previous development patterns. Pre-WWII, streetcar suburbs were very dense, and had lots of housing diversity. Post-WWII, not so much, as single-family homes became the development focus. As more and more people move back to urban centers, it's going to make sense that we return to medium-density construction. Not just along arterial streets, but in back neighborhoods too. At least he isn't building a giant apartment building.
posted by Tom Mcroy
Tom, although I agree with you, there have to be laws that protect and preserve the city. If your name is on the title, you don't just get to do what you want. You still need building permits, etc.—you can't put a 10-story apartment on it if you want. City council needs to start thinking about what's right for the city. Do the three shitty row houses you wanna put on that property go well with the community? What about developers coming in and wanting to take a whole part of old Belmont to put apartments on it? Is that fair? No. Something has to be done.
posted by David Van De Veere
Well said, David—you win the Mercury's coveted letter of the week prize! Enjoy your two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where even at sold-out shows, everyone's delightfully neighborly.