TO THE EDITOR: The mayor announced that Portland cops will enforce laws against blocking the sidewalk or sitting on the public right-of-way [News, "Move Along!" August 22]. She says the law will be enforced fairly, and not in a discriminatory way against the poor. I have thought of a great way to test this: A CONTEST!

Every time a Mercury reader sees a group blocking the sidewalk, he or she should take a photo of the crime and call 911 to report it.

Points will be awarded to the best crime pics: 1 point for reporting a homeless person. 5 points for people blocking sidewalks at sporting or music events. 10 points for obvious out-of-town tourists breaking the law. 20 points for church-goers blocking a sidewalk. 50 points for suit-clad businessmen crowded in front of a downtown hotel. And finally, 1000 points for a picture of Vera Katz or Chief Kroeker blocking a sidewalk.

The winner with the most points will receive the Mercury "Junior Reporter of the Year" Award. Please remember, we should report this terrible crime of sidewalk-blocking to the police every time it happens, so the law will be enforced fairly, and Portland will be a cleaner place.



DEAR EDITORS AND RICKY BLAZE: [Letters, August 22, in which Mr. Blaze feels our "Cocaine is Great" column could adversely affect recovering addicts.] I, too, agree that it's a good idea to avoid use of dopamine-blasting, controlled and out-of-control substances. For instance, there are all those embarrassing memories. Like having sex with someone who disgusts you in real life, and worse, passing out in the middle.

However, "Cocaine is Great," "Cough Syrup is Okay" and "Aspirin Sucks" are funny. Come on...if you're an addict, you chose the stuff in the first place because it was fun, and every eight hours afterward you kept saying it was fun, until, like, you were arrested and figured out that it wasn't fun.

The column represents something called IRONY. Look it up. You'll never hear it at a meeting, but it isn't THAT scary.



TO THE EDITOR: WTF? About Portland Mercury's "plan to eradicate all dirty, stinking hippies from Portland" ["One Day at a Time," Ann Romano, August 22]. If you were to replace the word "hippies" with "Jews" or "blacks" or "homeless people"... what would be the effect? Are you somehow thinking there's any difference? News Flash: you aren't being politically incorrect or irreverent--you're being bigoted.

I can't even believe you used the word "eradicate." Sounds a bit too much like Germany in the 1930s. They were real kidders, too. Maybe you'd like to paint pot leaves on hippie doors.

Trying to be funny? There's nothing remotely funny about hatred of anyone. Period. And I'm no "dirty, stinking hippie," either... just someone from one of the three groups listed above. Surely you're clever enough to minimize and ridicule others without stooping to Nazi tactics.

Mark Abram


TO THE MERCURY: The owner of the Greek Cuisina is a big, fat, pussified bitch [News, "No Free Lunch," August 15]. First of all: people who run restaurants out of trailers are probably downtrodden enough not to need your whining. They don't pay the same bills you pay because they are not RESTAURANTS. They're TRAILERS. They don't pay the bills you pay because they don't have the same liability. As long as they aren't giving people food poisoning, they're no different than people selling newspapers on the corner. And if you consider that to be "unfair competition," BUY A FUCKING TRAILER and start selling some decently priced GREEK FOOD.

I make minimum wage. I have three bucks to spend on lunch on a GOOD day. Hell, I'd eat your food off the ground if you charged 3 bucks a plate, but here is where I differ from your customers. You cater to people who can afford 13 dollars for a plate of food, plus 5 bucks for a drink, plus appetizers, plus tips--ON A REGULAR BASIS. And people who can afford to eat like that, in my experience, don't generally want the dirty trailer down the street and food they don't think is clean. They don't know any better. So no, you aren't losing any fucking business. Or at least, you weren't losing any business until you started acting like a big WHINY CRYBABY.

Alicia Carrier

CONGRATS TO ALICIA for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For her heartfelt defense of downtown food vendors, Alicia will receive two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater. Got a bone to pick? Pick it with us and you could be our next winner!