TO THE EDITOR: Last week, I read with some sadness, Mercury's views on Portland Police Bureau Officer David Barrios' ongoing shoving match with his command, over his hair ["One Day at a Time," in which Barrios is being forced to wear his hair in a bun, August 31].
In this corner: Officer Barrios will not negotiate spirituality with his employer. In that corner: The Bureau believes an American Indian's hair does not project the requisite authority.
It is a fair fight. It is the kind of fight many of us are proud to engage in. We are good fighters. We respect our adversary, we respect ourselves, we square off--winner takes all.
We (and I believe I can speak well for a number of our ethnic enclaves) do not respect your newspaper's irreverence.
You have of course, a First Amendment license, for sarcasm, even sacrilege. All that aside, it is never a good idea to get sloppy about another community's spiritual values.
If you fail to see how fundamental respect is, a more direct approach may be necessary.
Hati hati. Be cautioned. Given the 2000 Census projections, the day of the hammer's humor at the nail's expense, may be numbered. Forget clever, forget cute. Get smart.
Ronault Latang Sayang Catalani
GOVERNMENTS FOR SALE OR RENT
DEAR EDITOR: I enjoyed Phil Busse's article The Secretary of Spending [News, September 14], it gives an eye-opening account of the financial disparities that exist among candidates. One of the greatest dangers to our democratic government is the buying and selling of influence by both politicians and corporations. It's refreshing to see the principled stand of Lloyd Marbet.
One thing though Lynn Snodgrass, while certainly a stalwart Republican, is hardly from Eastern Oregon. She represents House District 10, which incorporates Clackamas, Happy Valley, Damascus, Boring, South Gresham and portions of Portland and Oregon City.
DON'T KNOW OUR COASTS FROM AN ASS IN THE GROUND
TO THE EDITOR: Once might be overlooked, but twice in one issue? You people are guilty of coast abuse. First, Katia Dunn ["What if God Were Gay?" September 14] locates Newburg "along the Oregon coast." Newburg--where the events she reported transpired--is about 20 miles southwest of Portland on Hwy 99 W. Presumably she is thinking of Newport. Then, Phil Busse ["Looking for Mr. Bigfoot" September 14] describes a family hiking "along the coastal bluffs of Cave Junction National Monument." An unwary reader, relying on your paper as a guide and trying to descend to the ocean from these "coastal bluffs," would first have to traverse about 45 miles of extremely rugged Siskiyou Mountains, including the entire Kalmiopsis Wilderness. With luck, he or she might spot Bigfoot before dying of thirst.
I realize that you guys aren't exactly investigative journalists, but you might at least provide your reporters with maps. Or, wait!...perhaps there is a conspiracy afoot. Deeper into the same issue, Jay Horton ["Beach Blanket Berbati's"] complains, "Isn't it about time we had a beach party downtown?" Could it be the Mercury's editorial policy to subtly move the shoreline eastward, until we actually can surf on Broadway?
On behalf of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, I say let the Oregon coast be the Oregon coast! Let Portland be Portland! Nada surf to you, too.
MOJAVE 3 STOMPS MY BUZZ...AND I LIKE IT!
TO THE EDITOR: What's with the laughably bad review of Mojave 3 [CD Review, Jamie S. Rich, September 7]? While I can surely understand one not being particularly excited by a down-tempo band, a one star review of this record, while not a monumentally great album, is a little silly. Lyrically thoughtful and musically spare á la Leonard Cohen (sort of), "Excuses for Travellers" has quite a few standout tracks and is a pretty enjoyable listen.
It's kind of disappointing that the Mercury, who I had hoped beyond hope would transcend the horrendous music writing of the Willamette Week, would publish such an arrogant back handed review if you can't recognize a good record when you hear it, don't try.