As the State Turns: Portland Tourist Bull’s-Eye and Fried Dough Edition
Something Cancerous This Way Comes
When I’m not mucking about as a star reporter here at The Corvallis Advocate, I’m a painter. An artiste (make sure to pronounce that right), if you will. And you will, because I said so. This means that I know all about the dangers of cadmium. It’s a pretty gorgeous metal that’s used in a number of ways—in this case, as a component in some paints. Painters that don’t want to go insane and die a horrible death use gloves or barrier creams, because aside from being pretty and useful, cadmium poisoning can make your colon explode and poop come out of your eyeballs (not really, but it’s pretty bad). Now, cadmium aside, let’s think for a second on arsenic. I used to smoke the stuff for kicks, and now look at me: 34, in school for the second time, and working for this horrible rag. I’m a ripe loser and it’s all because of various levels of exposure to these two chemicals.
Let’s make a long, boring story short: The Oregon DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality… not Dairy Queen) was all like, “Hey, there’s metal in our moss! Let’s test the air!” Boom, high levels of cadmium and arsenic were found and then traced back through the wispy winds of Portland to the area of SE 22nd and SE Powell. “Hmm!” they said, super loudly, only it wasn’t that loud because you make the Hmm sound with your mouth closed, which stifles vocal amplification. “Hmm! Let’s see. These chemicals are used when making colored glass. I wonder… Nah, it couldn’t be that colored glass factory over there?”
And it was. The Bullseye Glass Factory was then all like, “Hey! We’re within compliance, but we’ll hire some dudes and dudettes to come check it out.” Which, of course, translates to “WTF, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, why u no not do bad, chemicals?”
The cadmium levels in the air were tested at 50 times the normal level, while arsenic was at 150 times normal—these concentrations are enough to increase the risk of cancer. Some sort of scientists claim that these numbers increase the risk of a 1 in 1 million chance of contracting cancer to 10,000 in 1 million. That’s like, if you really didn’t want to eat a burrito, instead of being forced to eat one… being forced to eat 10,000. Well, no, it’s not like that at all… but you know me and burritos.
Some things will happen, it’ll get cleaned up and all will be well. Except maybe not, as advocacy group Neighbors for Clean Air have stated that they believe the emissions could be linked to a “possible cancer cluster” in the southeast area of Portland. Fantastic.
Speaking of Portland…
Some folks the media refer to as “The Goodman Family” are about to blow $1.5 billion on 11 new buildings in the wake of new changes that have made it possible to erect taller structures in certain areas. This means that in the relative future patrons of Voodoo Doughnuts will be able to look up and away from the panhandlers that are playing Angry Birds on their iPhones and see towers ranging from 130 feet to 460 feet around them… Yay! The Goodmans say the new structures will include offices, a grocery store, residential structures, and other shopping thingymajigs.
Some whining and moaning is expected from residents that don’t want to see a change to this historic part of downtown. The patriarch of the effort, Matt Goodman, has been quoted as saying that he doesn’t want to make the neighborhood something it’s not… but, like… 11 new big-a*s buildings will kind of do that, no matter your intentions. So. Yeah. Going back several years Goodman has made sure to drop a lot of local-friendly quotes, including repeatedly calling neighborhoods “‘hoods” and one that suggested that he preferred a Blue Star Donuts over a Quiznos. That sh*t’s hardcore.
How the development affects the area remains to be seen, but the changes are almost guaranteed to forge a new busy marketplace that’ll have a lot of money changing hands. And silly quotes aside, the Goodman Family owns a lot more than just these plots in Portland and has been operating for quite a while. One thing that always seems to ring true in these situations is that you want to keep it in the family.
Did that joke come off alright? No. I can admit it. Oh well, there’s always next issue. I can’t seem to get myself fired.
By Johnny Beaver
(We are too warm and fuzzy to fire anyone, though floggings to be increased for this columnist. – Ed)