DEAR MERCURY: Okay, so one more final (you hope) weigh-in on the collards vs. kale debate ["Letters," Nov 27 and Dec 4, in which readers debate the merits of both collards and kale]. We here at People's Food Cooperative conducted a relatively brief, statistically inconclusive, semi-impartial survey of our actual, green-eating customers. So what did the people say? Kale got 38 votes (64%), collards got 21 votes (36%). Apparently, the people prefer kale.

As a collards tending individual myself, I must say on collards' behalf that we usually have three or four different kinds of kale available for sale, and only one variety of collard greens (of course, there are many different varieties). Also, kale receives much more "publicity" in general, so collards are victims of a lack of understanding. In time, I think collard greens will prove they are every bit as good as kale (or even better, as Romy B. pointed out in his editorial Dec. 4). Either way, leafy greens are the way to go.

Miles Uchida, People's Food Cooperative


TO THE MERCURY: This is for the drugged and/or drunken Native Americans and their skanky lowlife associates who congregate at SE 39th and Hawthorne, in front of Fred Meyer.

You constantly and aggressively panhandle for money, cigarettes and food, then you harass, scream at and/or shove those who don't give you anything. I would toss it all down a sewer grate (in front of you) before giving anything to you lecherous, life sucking societal pariahs.

It's surprising that the local neighborhood association wouldn't allow a McDonald's on their trendy overcrowded street, yet your entourage has been performing the same disservice to the public for years. Why don't you all do the world a favor and play in the readily available and busy street traffic? My ancestors should never have turned you on to firewater. I am very diverse and open-minded, but I am fucking fed up.



DEAR EDITOR: The "animal rightists are extreme" bit is tired--been there, read that. I'm referring to Justin Wescoat Sanders' cover story, "How Exploited is that Doggy in the Window?" [Dec 4]. Apparently, it was too tempting to ignore the issue about how animals are treated in pet stores and instead to digress into stereotyping animal activists. Justin claims I beat him over the head with my militant message and offered no hardcore facts. Well, as I explained to him, there is really no regulation or oversight of these pet stores and so consequently, statistics don't exist. However, I gave Justin many leads to answer questions about abuse at Scamps Pet Stores. If he had any intention of getting to the bottom of the issue, he might have started by calling the Scamps manager I referred him to who worked for a year and finally quit in frustration after seeing one-too-many animals die needlessly. Or perhaps ringing the Eugene Sergeant who is currently investigating abuse at a Scamps store, or calling the KGW reporter who recently did an investigative piece about Scamps would have filled out his piece with the facts he claims eluded him.

When interviewing Michael Twain, the owner of Scamps, Justin could have requested a list of breeders who supply Scamps with puppies to see if they buy from puppy mills. Your readers may have felt appropriately skeptical to find this list is not available, even though Scamps emphatically denies buying from puppy mills.

If your intent was not investigative journalism, that's fine, but a bit of advice for next time--try being educational, honest, original, or at least a bit entertaining. Mercury readers like me would have been interested to know the truth, had you bothered looking.

Matt Rossell, In Defense of Animals


DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: Like many young adults in Portland, I LOVE your newspaper. Always clever and edgy, with coverage of ALL my favorite music. But I do have a bone to pick. Your writer Katie Shimer rubbed me the wrong way when she and Arts Editor Julianne Shepherd decided to cocaine-dial me at 6:30 this morning. Don't get me wrong, I can relate to the "party vibe" your newspaper and staff inject into Portland cultureÉ but this is the second time this has happened in a month. And like they say, "It was funny the first time!" Your paper is no substitute for a full night of sleep.

Joe Faustin Kelly

JOE, PLEASE ACCEPT OUR HUMBLE APOLOGIES. Rest assured Katie and Julianne have been severely punished for this ridiculous travesty, and you can read their public apology on page 43. Though you will never regain those hours of lost sleep, we hope you'll be satisfied with two tickets to the Laurelhurst and two passes to see Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at Nocturnal in January. Sorry!