Ahem, as predicted, this week's letters section is quite the journey. In fact, we doubled the size of it in an attempt to give space to the many, many responses to our endorsement of fluoridation. Whichever side of the debate you're on, it's a colorful read. My two favorites...
TO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—I'm a holistic health practitioner, which I know in the article says that we're based on faulty science, which is kind of amusing to me. Putting a Band-Aid on tooth corrosion while ignoring the ravages on these children's bodies from their diet, which is the main issue, is really fucking stupid. And I literally can't believe that anyone would be so fucking stupid as to think that that would help. So I would really appreciate if some people on your staff could have a more holistic perspective on health and maybe get behind some nutrition initiatives like community gardens or something where these kids can get some fucking organic vegetables.
DEAR NEWSPAPER EDITOR PERSON—Your article has inspired a small group of us who believe that Establishing Holistic Regionally Mandated Aquatic Heritage Goals is Everyone's Rightful Duty (EHRMAHGERD). EHRMAHGERD is committed to defending Portland's water not just from fluoride, but also from chlorine and ammonia. Now, you may be thinking, "Wait, if you remove all the disinfectant chemicals, then some people will contract cholera or dysentery!" Well, yes, that may be true, but the sacrifice of an unlucky few is a small price to pay for the rest of us to enjoy perfectly pure drinking water. In the next voting cycle, look for EHRMAHGERD's campaign against vaccinations. Now, again, you might be thinking, "Hey, without vaccinations, some kids will contract polio!" Well, to that we say: We never could've had FDR's New Deal without a little polio. If you'd like to join EHRMAHGERD, we'll be meeting at the bottom of Crater Lake next Tuesday.
—An under-informed, well-meaning, active citizen
A few other missives about other stuff snuck in, too. Like our interview with two of the "street kids" who inspire so much hand wringing during the warmer months. If you ever actually talk to them, you might think about cluing them into places like Outside In, since many of them are just passing through and don't know about it but could use some of this amazing facility's services. (So could their dogs.) And it would help reader and Outside In case manager Heather feel less "bummed."
Also, guys: some people think you're an asshole for holding the door open for women. Some people think you're an asshole for not. You really can't win this one.
Also, FYI, the plural of "haiku" is "haiku."
Oh, and Portland As Fuck made someone cry tears of joy. Great job, Karmel.
But otherwise, yeah: FLUORIDE