BOSTON (AP) – Media members, already perturbed by long security lines, may find themselves waiting in line for something nearly as important.

As the majority of the print reporters arrived Saturday at the FleetCenter for the Democratic National Convention, tongues clucked when they saw the restroom facilities that they will be using for the next week.

Twenty portable restrooms, like those used on construction sites, are lined up in front of the media pavilion to service nearly 1,200 members of the print media who will be working around the clock. That’s about 60 serious coffee-drinkers per toilet.

“That’s absurd,” said Jim Drinkard, a political reporter for USA Today, when he heard of the ratio of toilets per media member.

“This is not the type of planning you’d expect out of someone trying to be a good host.”

Drinkard, who is also the chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, said he was told by the DNCC, the committee in charge of planning the convention, that the lack of toilets was a move aimed at cutting costs. Calls to the DNCC press office were not immediately returned.

Drinkard also said the quality of the toilets was insufficient.

“We were led to believe there would be trailer units,” Drinkard said, referring to the restrooms used at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. Drinkard said that the trailers could get pretty unpleasant after a week of heavy use.

“But they are much better than Porta-Johns,” he said.

AP-ES-07-24-04 1815EDT



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