TO THE EDITOR: I am writing in regards to "Shut Up and Bleed" [Frank Bures, May 23, in which Frank visits a plasma center]. The gentleman, or should I say, asshole, who wrote the article failed to obtain accurate facts. Paul, whom he claims is "large and unhappy," is nothing of the sort. He is my brother-in-law and a very happy person. Paul is a shy individual who tends to concentrate on his job. Or maybe Mr. Bures falsely believes the art of the needle stick is one a person can perform with their eyes closed. Either way, he is inaccurate about Paul's disposition and personality.

Mr. Bures is also inaccurate about the questions he was asked during the interview. He was NEVER asked if he had made love to a monkey, nor was he asked if he had been in jail (even once) since his last donation. He may have been asked if he had been in jail in the past twelve months, but never if he had slept with a monkey. Maybe Mr. Bures needs to straighten his facts out before making false accusations.

Misty Jo Price

FRANK BURES RESPONDS: For the record, I never implied Paul was a bad father, or even a bad person, just that in the numerous times I was at the center, he never uttered an extra word when I tried to strike up conversations. I apologize if I mistook shyness for hostility. And yes, the monkey part was simply a logical extension of the endless AIDS-related questions and was meant as obvious satire.


TO PHIL BUSSE: I did not speak on a megaphone at the May 10th Rally to end logging on public lands ["On My Soapbox," May 16]. You quoted (or misquoted) someone else and just stuck my name on it. You clearly did not even make an attempt at accurate reporting.

We demanded an immediate end to all commercial logging on public land--a logical and concrete policy shift in the way our public lands are managed from timber industry profit to scientifically based ecological restoration with family wage sustainable jobs. It is a policy change CFA has called for throughout the Eagle Campaign--as well as a change articulated in a House bill that 111 congressional representatives have signed onto, 221 Ph.D. scientists have asked for, and environmental groups from the Sierra Club to USPIRG have endorsed. It's not a pie-in-the-sky demand we're making at the expense of the important sale-by-sale work forest activists continue to engage in.

Sarah Wald


DEAR MERCURY: I am writing in response to Frank Bures' biased and cynical article, "Shut Up and Bleed," to offer a dissenting view of Alpha Plasma Center. I have only donated there six times myself, but in every case had an overwhelmingly positive experience. Contrary to Mr. Bures' depiction of a seemingly jaded Alpha employee, I have found with few exceptions the staff to be jovial, upbeat, and at times, terribly funny.

My first donation was a good example. The man who drew my blood (whose name I will not mention, unlike in your slanderous article, to protect his employment) informed me of the drug screen, but told me to "relax, we don't test for pot," and even confided being a pot user himself!

In addition, Alpha Plasma is, surprisingly, an excellent place to meet people, including women. The beds are close enough together to chat, you're already lying down, and really, what could be a sexier precursor to a date than having a tube sticking out of your arm filled with your warm bodily fluids? An added bonus is the virtual guarantee of good health, required by the physical and blood screenings. I have yet to go in and not see amazing women there! (Though timing is everything--you have to go weekdays 3-5pm to get the after-work crowd.)

Further, your designation of an "air of desperateness" for money is also terrible and slanderous. Without a financial incentive or a "national crisis," I don't see people lining up in the streets to donate plasma. So what if we're only there to make a few extra bucks?

Whatever you make of Alpha's décor, the truth is that people really do need other people to donate plasma. If you were stricken with hemophilia, I doubt you be relegating Alpha Plasma and its participants with such vigor.

Joshua Dallman

CONGRATULATIONS JOSHUA for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" And for his informative defense of the Alpha Plasma Center, Josh gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. Got a bone to pick or a vein to poke? Send your letter to the address above and you could be our next winner!