PAPER CUPS IN THE POWER LINES

DEAR EDITOR: I witnessed a disgusting scene a couple weeks ago. A young man stood in the intersection of 36th and Hawthorne attempting to throw paper cups into the power lines. Judging from his silly grin, he seemed to find it amusing.

I have since noticed coffee cups scattered in power lines around town, and am shocked that this has gone on unchecked. I value the cleanliness and environmental awareness embodied by our city and hope these senseless acts will stop.

Keep It Green

DON'T BLAME THE MESSENGER

TO THE EDITOR: While I appreciate his care for animals, Justin Sanders' article ["How Exploited is that Doggy in the Window?" Dec 4] seems to exploit the typical reader's prejudice against the always badly portrayed animal rights movement.

He condemns PETA and IDA for having mainly anecdotal evidence to support their claims of negligence in the pet store industry, but then seems to decide the nation's pet industry must be pretty free from cruelty and unnecessary exploitation due to the anecdotal evidence presented by one employee at one Portland store. It's reasonable to want statistical evidence (which is probably hard for animal rights groups to collect and compile about insular corporations), but he should not have a double standard about his own conclusions.

He also seemed more likely to believe the claims of the pet industry CEO than the animal activists, simply because the activists seemed angry. When you realize there's something to get mad about, chances are you might not come across so milquetoast-nice.

Sanders can condemn the bloody-yet-truthful imagery on PETA's website if he wants to, but I know from dreaded anecdotal evidence (hearing my friends' stories of why they joined the animal-rights movement) that such images do have an effect on raising awareness and getting people to act for change. I hope in his next article, Sanders will move beyond condemning the messengers of bad news more than those responsible for the bad news itself.

Tom Soppe

THE DOG AND DEBBIE GIBSON

TO THE MERCURY: In "How Exploited is that Doggy in the Window," Justin Sanders completely excludes some common fucking sense. You don't need "hardcore facts" to figure out that the majority of animals in this country's shelters are the leftover impulse purchases that some dumb fuck at a mall picked up along with the latest Debbie Gibson album.

After they're bored with Debbie and the doggie, they're both discarded like trash (one of them deservingly). Justin Sanders proves himself as the ultimate consumerist asshole with the classic argument, "If there's a demand, we should supply it." Would you trust someone stopping at the Lloyd Center for the latest Britney bustier to responsibly adopt an animal with a potential lifespan of 10-20 years? (Me neither.) I'm sure there's a huge demand for photos of eight-year-old girls in bondage fiddling about with some old tweaker's cock, but most folks would agree: not healthy for the girls, nor is it ethically acceptable. Of course there are fucks out there who would readily purchase such items, but somebody needs to speak out for those girls and keep them from such harm. The same applies to our animal buds.

In short, people that really want to adopt an animal don't go to Scamps or any other shopping center to find them. Compassionate, responsible people will go to a shelter.

Amy R.

CONGRATS TO AMY R. for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and a prize package including two Laurelhurst tickets and passes to see The Detroit Cobras at the Ash Street on Friday, Dec 19.

DEPT. OF CONGRATULATIONS

A HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS goes out to the winners of the Mercury's first annual Brains and Brawn contest, where 16 contestants (eight men, eight women) competed in arm wrestling and Boggle to see who the smartest/strongest people are in Portland. And the winners areÉ ARTHUR DAVIS (Men's Champ), and ALIX BOWMAN (Women's Champ)! Both of these brawny smarties won a trophy, T-shirt, a Boggle game, and 50 BUCKS!

DEPT. OF REMINDERS

HEY READERS! Don't forget there's still time to enter the "Horrible X-Mas" Essay contest! Send us your 400-word essay describing your most horrible Christmas (or Hanukkah) ever, and the grand prize winner will have their story published and win 100 dollars! Deadline is MONDAY, DECEMBER 15th. Email your entry to

santablows@portlandmercury.com or mail to 605 NE 21st Ave, Suite 200, Portland, 97232.