Registered voters will make a lot of choices by Nov. 6.
For one, residents of Crescent City will choose whether or not the city should continue fluoridating its water.
First, anyone interested in the issue can choose a cookie, and get more information about the ballot initiative to ban fluoride at an event from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Beachfront Park by the gazebo on Front Street, hosted by Crescent City Citizens for Safe Water.
“There will be a panel of informed citizens that anyone can come and ask questions,” said one of the event’s organizers, Eileen Cooper.
There will also be informational handouts. And cookies.
The event is free and attendees are encouraged to bring their own drinks. Cooper suggested milk.
Like many people who live outside Crescent City’s modest limits, she isn’t eligible to vote on the fluoride initiative, while her tap draws on the city-owned supply.
City voters first decided to put fluoride in the water about 50 years ago. Four years ago, 973 city voters rejected a similar ban by a margin of 137 votes.
The city water supply is collected from intake lines (or fingers) driven into the gravel bed of the Smith River. The water is pumped southward to a treatment facility off Kings Valley Road, where chlorine and fluoride are added in keeping with state and federal standards.
This procedure has been the subject of both local and national debate for years.
Some say prolonged ingestion of and exposure to fluoride is a health risk, leading to tooth discoloration, weakened enamel, increased risk of bone fractures, thyroid irregularities and lowered IQ, among them.
Others have championed fluoride as one of the great public health advances in the modern age, particularly in rural places, where dentists and prevention against tooth decay can run in short supply.