05-24-2018  6:52 am      •     
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Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Man gets 13 years for crashing motorhome into patrol cars

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for assault against Salem police officers after leading police on a chase through Salem and ramming his motor home into officers in their patrol cars.The Statesman Journal reports 61-year-old Roy...

Woodburn officer gets 150 days in jail for child sex abuse

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A former Woodburn police officer has been sentenced to 150 days in jail and five years of probation for having sex with an underage girl and soliciting sexual contact from the child online.The Statesman Journal reports that 29-year-old Daniel Kerbs was sentenced Wednesday....

Worker who died in fall at Sound Transit site identified

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials have identified the man who died after falling from a light rail column at a Sound Transit construction site in Bellevue.The Seattle Times reports 63-year-old Walter Burrows was a foreman and a longtime employee at Kiewit, the company building the elevated light rail...

Case of Legionnaires' disease suspected at UW Medical Center

SEATTLE (AP) — A case of Legionnaires' disease has been suspected at the University of Washington Medical Center.KOMO-TV reported Wednesday that this is the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility.Officials said the patient "has been diagnosed with a...


Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...


Bucks' Brown decries 'police intimidation' during arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and says officers have been disciplined for acting "inappropriately" after the Bucks player was zapped with a stun gun during his arrest for a parking violation in January.Brown, who is African-American, said in a...

George Zimmerman tells court he's [scripts/homepage/home.php].5 million in debt

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The ex-neighborhood watch volunteer who killed a black teen in Florida in 2012 says he's [scripts/homepage/home.php].5 million in debt and has no income.George Zimmerman filed paperwork detailing his financial state as he fights a misdemeanor stalking charge.The Orlando Sentinel reports a public...

Senate primary splits Arizona conservatives between 2 icons

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (AP) — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was asking dozens of tea party activists for their backing in Arizona's Republican Senate primary when one audience member said it was a shame disgruntled conservatives couldn't send "both of you" to Washington.The man...


In taking on 'Solo,' Ehrenreich faced an unenviable task

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thandie Newton jokes that there might be something off about Alden Ehrenreich — because how else could he take on the pressure-filled role of Han Solo with so much ease?"Every week, I was expecting a call that Alden had had a nervous breakdown and wouldn't be coming...

Rockwell work at center of controversy gets M at auction

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — One of the two Norman Rockwell paintings at the center of a Massachusetts museum's contentious decision to sell 40 works of art has been sold at auction for more than million."Blacksmith's Boy — Heel and Toe," also known as "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop," was...

Michael Jackson estate slams ABC TV special on his last days

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The estate of Michael Jackson is objecting to an ABC TV special on the end of the King of Pop's life, calling it a crass attempt to exploit Jackson without respect for his legacy or children.The estate said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that "The Last...


Bucks' Brown decries 'police intimidation' during arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and says officers have been...

Feds: Uber self-driving SUV saw pedestrian but didn't brake

DETROIT (AP) — Federal investigators say the autonomous Uber SUV that struck and killed an Arizona...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu pounded the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea...

More than 350 observers to monitor Turkish elections

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An international security body says it is deploying 22 long-term and 350 short-term...

North Korea demolishes nuclear site ahead of Trump summit

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea (AP) — Just weeks ahead of a planned summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Kim...

Spanish ruling party fined in major corruption case

MADRID (AP) — The conviction of more than two dozen Spanish businesspeople and officials in a major...

Ronault Catalani

When I was a younger rice-picker, when we first came to America, our oldest brother always gave me three reasons to do as he said. With his hand's knuckled backside not six inches from my nose, he'd count out those three reasons for my immediate obedience.

Starting with his stubby thumb, he'd say: "One, when Momma and Poppa are at work, I'm in charge."

"Two," sticking up a long knobby forefinger, "I know what's best for you."

"Three --" curling those two together with his remaining brown fingers into a fist as irresistible as the mighty grilled front of a Ford Galaxy 500.

Likewise – but sparing you that big bad brother bluster -- there are three reasons for ethnic minority and immigrant Portlanders to get fluoride into our kitchen table talk; to get fluoride into our crystal clear tap water; to get fluoride into our kids' teeth.  Three reasons. Good reasons to feel good about our May 21 vote over fluoridating River City's drinking water.

Vote yes on the science

First, there's the science.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element. Like carbon.  Like hydrogen. All kinds of water – ocean water, river water, lake water – have more or less fluoride in there.

Over 3700 public health studies from the 1950s to the present have shown 30 percent reductions in tooth and gum decay, from micro-miniscule infusions of fluoride into municipal water. Cavities and rotten gums dropped by about one-third. Today about 74 percent of American city residents swallow fluoride with their tap water, with their coffee or tea or tooth-brushing. There are no public health downsides. 

Portland's tap water is not fluoridated. Portland area kids are troubled by 40 percent more untreated tooth decay than Seattle's kids, where city water is treated with fluoride. That's bad. In a 2004 study comparing Head Start students in The Dalles (fluoridated) with same age kids in Hood River (not fluoridated) – so guess which city's girls and boys had 50 [ercent less dental decay. 

Speaking in good old dollars and cents: Portlanders will save $38 in dentist bills for every $1 we spend fluoridating our drinking water.

Vote yes for community health

Healthy teeth, particularly childrens' teeth, is an important indicator of the over-all health of our Asian and islander communities. According to current community health literature, bad oral health is coincident with digestive and blood sugar disorders, among other chronic illnesses.

Today, half of the energetic kids packing Portland Public Schools District's halls between classes go home to ethnic minority families. As big and growing as we are, community health advocates will tell you, we're a bit slow to participate in formal political processes. We've been absent when it's time to articulate our needs at ballot time.

Today, we have to participate in democracy. Good health is up to us. Our local non-profit public interest organizations: Urban League of Portland, African American Health Coalition; African Women's Coalition; African Partnership for Health; Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon; Oregon Latino Health Coalition; Latino Network; Causa; and many-many more caring community groups are all about that. These non-partisan associations of elders and activists have done the research and are taking a single position in favor of fluoridating Portland's tap water.

"For months we listened to stories of how rampant, untreated cavities impact our Asian and Pacific Islander communities," Joseph Santos-Lyons, APANO executive director explains.

"We understand that a range of solutions are needed including education, nutrition, and access to dental care.  Yet unlike every other major city in America, Portland is missing one critical piece -- fluoridated water."  

Participatory democracy requires responsible Portlanders to impress our  expectations on those who govern us.

Vote yes for nice smiles.

The third finger, my personal reason for doing what we can to get Portland's drinking water fluoridated, is about owning a nice smile. Having one, ear to ear, means so much. Embarrassment about bad teeth means even more than that.

When our family first arrived in the US, like many newcomer families, we knew next to nothing about dental health. After six years here, after my first dentist's long look into my mouth, he told our mom that I had 12 cavities. Though I didn't know how many teeth an average totok owns, I was pretty sure that 12 rotten ones was a lot. I figured our parents would pay plenty, but I had no way of knowing how much scraping, drilling, and filling my bad teeth was going to hurt me.

That dentist fixed this part of my problem, but he did nothing for my crazy-crooked teeth. And I had no idea how much American kids cared about my bad teeth. So much fun they made of my raggedy smile every time I was happy -- that I quit smiling. I quit being happy among my school buds. Soon after that I stopped having a peer life. A lot of unhealthy things followed.

Having Urban League or Oregon Latino Health Coalition or Asian Pacific American Network around back then, would've helped.

The science is sure. Our communities' health is at issue. Every boy needs to smile, every girl needs to laugh big and often. There you have it: three reasons to get fluoride in Portland's water.

Authority for public health and dental health propositions above can be found at: www.healthykidshealtyportland.org

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