NAVY, YOU'RE UN-INVITED!
TO THE EDITOR: I would like to ask that the mayor, council, and Rose Festival leadership not invite the Navy fleet to the Rose Festival next year. The Willamette looked more like Vietnam, as Coast Guard patrols roamed the river with giant guns aimed squarely at the citizens of our great city. All it would have taken is one slip, and we could have had a true disaster on our hands. Children at the festival were frightened by machinegun-wielding guards walking up and down the waterfront; is that what freedom is supposed to look like?

Michael Van Kleeck

WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY RESPONDS: On the other hand, Michael, the only people who attend the Rose Festival are from Gresham… so if a few hundred got shot, I'd call that a better world. But here's a warning! To all you assholes who reserve your place on the parade routes by leaving lawn furniture on the sidewalks overnight--next year, those chairs are MINE.

HELP A HOTTIE
HI EDITOR: I made the final 100 in the "Maxim Hometown Hottie contest" and since I'm the only one from Portland, I was wondering if you could help me out with some publicity. If I get into the top 10, I'll have a two page spread in the September issue of Maxim! Go to www.maximonline.com/hotties/voting/, I'm the first hottie in the 8th row down. Voting ends July 8th! You can only vote once from each computer, so spread the word. Thank you very much!!

Tina Quarles

GAY FIGHT! GAY FIGHT!
TO THE EDITOR: Armed with nothing more than bias against BRO, Scott Moore accuses Just Out of doing a hatchet job on Tinker purely to avenge Tinker's past opposition to BRO's strategies ["Suckerpunch!" June 16].

Moore's conclusions are reasonable for someone who just started following gay rights in Oregon, has no time or inclination to learn any facts, and is hopelessly jaded by petty quarrels with BRO. However, before you rush to defend poor Ms. Tinker, at least consider the possibility that some of those who criticize her are not simply scoring points for BRO. If you were actually interested in finding the truth rather than filling pages with inflammatory tripe, you would have no problem finding sources that would give you a balanced picture of Tinker and her organization. Some people think she's great, some think she's not. Others think she's a clueless attention-whore.

Of all people, the Merc should understand that it's legitimate to question the strategy of advocacy organizations, and Just Out was right to ask questions about Tinker.

Michael Burdick

SCOTT MOORE RESPONDS: Michael, the problem isn't that Just Out questioned Tinker and LMAF's strategies, but used their forum to malign them without actually examining their strategies or the effectiveness of their programs. It's the difference between being critical of an organization and seeking to undermine it. "Community" newspapers shouldn't be in the business of the latter.

YOU ARE BUG DUMB
DEAR SMIRK-URY: I'm driven to write this letter out of my furiosity at your blatant disregard for scientific fact!--As an amateur entomologist, the cover of your June 16th issue has me madder than a one-winged wasp. --To start, it depicts a ladybug, a centipede, and a SNAIL in close proximity. Snails NEVER hang out with centipedes and ladybugs!--They just don't mix!--Beyond that, they're all more or less THE SAME SIZE!!--Do your cover artists have no sense of proportion?? And then the snail is SMOKING A PIPE, and there's some earwig-looking--thing reading a book. As any biology student can tell you, insects are illiterate. --This is just too much. Please print a retraction, the way WW would, or I'm going to cancel my subscription AND demand my money back!--

Portland's Sweetheart

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Two things: In our June 16 issue, we incorrectly stated that the Oregon Bears raised money for People with AIDS Northwest. Scratch that, and make it Friends of People with AIDS Foundation. Sorry for the mix up! Secondly, last week's cover depicted disproportionate insects smoking pipes, reading, and unrealistically hanging out with different species. That's not right. And for pointing it out, PORTLAND'S SWEETHEART wins our "Letter of the Week," which includes two tickets to the Laurelhurst, two passes to see Diamond Tuck at Dante's on July 7, and a $30 dinner at No Fish! Go Fish! (which to our knowledge, has never had a bug on its premises).