The High Five
7:23 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Will Dallas Flush Fluoride Out Of City Water Supply? City Council Hasn’t Made Up Its Mind

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas hasn’t decided yet whether to get rid of fluoride; what are Dallas’ chances for landing the 2024 Summer Olympics?; meet a North Texas opera superfan who’s 7; and more.

Dallas City Council members are studying whether to remove fluoride from city water. But the city issued a statement Thursday clarifying that the council has not yet voted to remove the fluoride. (Some online sites appear to be reporting incorrect information.)  “The council will continue to look at the issue of water fluoridation before making any final determination,” council member Jennifer Staubach Gates said in a statement. “I anticipate a briefing on this subject will consist of a thoughtful discussion of all the facts, including the views of medical, dental and scientific professionals.” Last month, following a speech given by an anti-fluoride group, council member Sheffie Kadane said the city doesn’t need fluoride, The Dallas Morning News reported. Council member Scott Griggs has also indicated support for studying the issue. But the Dallas County Dental Society issued a statement saying it “strongly supports maintaining the current levels of water fluoridation in the city as the most safe, effective, and financially sound way to prevent tooth decay in our community.”

  • Speaking of water … Lots of Texans are drinking “potty water.” KERA recently visited Wichita Falls to report on how the city could soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater, including water from toilets. But The Texas Tribune reports that, in a way, we’re all Wichita Falls: “For the large chunk of population that lives downstream from a big city and whose water supply flows through a river, more than a few drops of the water in their glasses was probably once in someone else's toilet. Let’s start with Houston, which, as Texas State University professor Andy Sansom says, ‘has been drinking Dallas’ crap for decades.’ Wastewater from Dallas and Fort Worth is deposited into the Trinity River, where it flows down into the lakes that supply Houston residents. The wastewater is so clean that it’s credited with helping the Trinity River stay strong during recent years of severe drought.” 
  • How likely is it that Dallas could land the 2024 Summer Olympics? Competition will be stiff. The New York Times surveys the competing American cities. Top contenders include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia and Boston. “London! Rio! Tokyo! Dallas? Even if the bid is broadened to be more Texas-focused, the romance of Dallas may be a tough sell to I.O.C. members, many of whom do not know Larry Hagman from Tom Landry,” The Times declares. Each city has some significant flaws, it appears. Philadelphia seems to be a longshot.
  • Every year, 300,000 Americans age 65 and older fracture a hip. One in five of them won’t survive a year after surgery. Recovery takes commitment. Today at 2 p.m., as part of KERA’s series “The Broken Hip,” reporter Lauren Silverman will moderate a Twitter chat with caregivers and doctors about the challenges that come after a broken hip -- and tips for coping. Follow the hashtag #TheBrokenHip. Learn more about the Twitter chat here. And catch up on “The Broken Hip” stories.
  • Will Moore is an opera addict. He listens to opera. He watches it. He reads about it. And he’s just 7. The North Texas boy saw his first opera, “Magic Flute,” when he was just 5. For a birthday present, he got to travel to Seattle to see the Seattle Opera. His three favorite operas: "Les Troyans," "Carmen" and "Francesca Da Rimini." Why does he like opera so much? “I really like the music and the singing,” he told KERA’s Anne Bothwell. “I don’t exactly know why, but in a lot of parts, the music just makes me feel happy.” Learn more about Will on KERA’s Art&Seek.

(Photo credit: FreeBirdPhotos/Shutterstock.com)