Metro Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County Sentinel
San Francisco Chronicle
Santa Cruz is the first city to challenge state mandate.
Santa Cruz voters next year could outlaw fluoridation of the municipal water supply under a proposed ballot measure submitted for approval Monday.
State mandate defied: The Santa Cruz City Council votes to leave it up to city voters.
Santa Cruz on Tuesday became the first city to formally challenge a statewide dental health mandate by requiring voter approval before fluoridating municipal water. The council voted 6-1 in favor of an ordinance, citing concerns about fluoride's possible health risks and contending the state has no right to force the controversial program on city residents.
It came right out of left field this winter and caught dental health officials by surprise. Fluoride's staunchest enemies once hailed from conservative bastions like San Diego in the Cold War years. They counted themselves among the ranks of anti-communists who raised health concerns and likened water fluoridation to socialized medicine.
Santa Cruz: The council decides to let voters rule on the issue, and state officials ponder possible legal action.
The Santa Cruz City Council has set the stage for the first legal challenge of a statewide fluoridation order with its 4-2 vote Wednesday to let the controversial dental health issue be decided by local voters.
Santa Cruz will not fluoridate its water supply without a vote of the people, the city council decided early this morning. The council was to have decided whether to oppose a 1995 state mandate that California cities fluoridate their water when money comes available. But the council was split on the issue.
ONCE AGAIN the earnest wackos of Santa Cruz are on the rampage. This time they're trying to stop the city from adding fluoride to the municipal water supply. Fluoridated water, as most of us know, is a safe and inexpensive way to reduce tooth decay. It is endorsed by the vast majority of dentists, who know that it greatly reduces cavities in children.
WHEN I was a lad, back in the dark days we now refer to as ``the McCarthy era,'' water fluoridation was a hot political topic. Dentists and public health advocates wanted to add fluoride to municipal water supplies to help prevent cavities in children's teeth.
Right-wingers, embodied by the classic ''little old ladies in tennis shoes,'' showed up at city council meetings and other public forums to blast fluoridation, along with integration and sex education, as commie plots.
I KNEW when I wrote about it the other day that water-fluoridation is a hot issue. I did not realize -- although I knew there are debates about adding the cavity-preventing chemical to drinking water in Santa Cruz and in Santa Clara County -- how much emotion the topic stirs up among opponents. With the exception of the vicious e-mail from some guy calling me a murderer for keeping some pet monkeys in an enclosure at my woodsy home back in the '60s, the anti-water-fluoridation letters have been among the most opinionated mail I've received from anyone.
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