DEAR EDITOR: I was intrigued by Katie Shimer's descriptions of sexually transmitted diseases and their various cures ["Our All-American Salute to the STD, July 4]. However, I found that Ms. Shimer neglected to mention the best, most time-honored preventative measure for STDs--Virtue. Here's the recipe: Be morally clean before marriage; marry wisely, choosing someone with similar values; remain faithful to your spouse, and you will never have a problem with sexually transmitted diseases.

Simple? Yes. Easy? Usually not. Choosing the right path requires work and courage, but in doing so one gains peace of mind. It's a choice, and we are free to choose.

Laurence Haggard


TO THE EDITOR: I am appalled at your unbelievably insensitive new column, "Cocaine Is Great" [August 8] you have destroyed your credibility and I am PISSED OFF!

How do you justify being so blatantly damaging? For laughs? There is not a shred of humor about it. Are you so lame that your ignorance limits your knowledge that some of your readers are recovering drug addicts? How many people do you suppose went back to active drug use after reading your glorification of cocaine? Why not run a column next week urging school children to play with daddy's shiny new .357 magnum!

Ricky Blaze


TO MS. SORE LOSER 2002 (aka Skinny Bianca): ["Letters," August 15, in which a "Mrs. Portland Mercury" contestant feels discriminated against for being skinny.] It's sad you only looked at weight as a factor in the contest. If you had looked deeper you would have noticed Nicole Hooper is an amazing woman. She is beautiful in every way you are not. She has class, intelligence, and is proud of who she is. Next time you decide to put someone down for their appearance, you better look at yourself first. You're so damn ugly on the inside that your "skeleton body" can't hide it on the outside.

Katie Hilgemann

TO BIANCA: It's really tempting to try and make you feel horrible about yourself, because the things you said in your letter to Nicole were hateful. But maybe you feel awful already, and I don't wanna add to the problem.

Whether we are fat or skinny, most women spend a lot of energy hating our bodies. The messages around us often reinforce those insecurities, and the fear and shame this causes makes us defensive. So we look around for women we think might be less attractive so we can feel superior and less ashamed.

Instead of coming together and realizing we're too worried about what we look like, we turn on each other. Nicole and Bianca, I think the reason you have this hatred is 'cuz we're being sent a loud and clear message that there's only one okay body for a woman to have, and neither of you have it. I smell BULLSHIT! Girls, let's get together and start shovelin'!

Sara D.


TO BIANCA: Okay Are we in sixth grade? It's a shame that you handle losing so poorly, but I guess that's why your sash says, "Sore Loser." If you weren't too busy harming yourself, then you would have came up with a real talent instead of sitting on the floor pretending to trip on acid. Didn't you tell my THIN back-up dancers that you have been on a "binge" for the past two months? No wonder you're the skeleton you claim to be.

Weight prejudice is welcomed with open arms in our society. (Just a side note, anti-discrimination laws have yet to include the overweight community, even though we are the majority.) There are beautiful and ugly people of every figure, but I don't need my beauty validated by society to know I am attractive, sexy, and intelligent.

As a full-figured woman, I seriously think my confidence frightens you. That's great that you got hit on so many times at the pageant, but that doesn't make you more desired than me. Trust me, Bianca; I am not without admirers.

So again, I don't hate thin women, and I don't hate you, I feel sorry for you--you made yourself sound like a vapid fool. So don't hate, congratulate! Kiss my tiara, bitch!

Nicole Hooper
Mrs. Portland Mercury 2002

Congrats to Nicole Hooper for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater!


In last week's Food Issue, we mistakenly identified one of our photos as Cathy Whims of Genoa, when in actuality, that wasn't Cathy Whims! It was Shawna Archibald of Cafe Azul, and now we feel like jerks. Sorry!