DEAR MERCURY: So Phil Busse thinks that the "alleged crime problem" downtown is "perception not reality" [News, "Project Feel Better," Oct 20]. What a fucking idiot. I live downtown. Until the recent crackdown on dirtbags, I had to walk an extra four or five blocks south to catch a bus to work every morning. Why? Because the drug dealers had taken over all of the bus shelters from Burnside to Alder.

Does Phil Busse have to deal with this kind of shit every morning when he steps out of his home into whatever yuppie enclave he lives in? And as far the panhandlers are concerned, anyone who tells you that he or she needs money for food is a liar. There are countless places where you can get a free meal. You morons who give these people money are just paying for their booze and drugs. If Phil Busse thinks that tolerating literally hundreds of beggars on the streets doesn't have a negative effect on business, he's even dumber than he appears to be.

Dale Hill


DEAR MERCURY: This is to express my dislike at being blamed for drug dealing, fighting, mugging, and other sordid activities that occur, just because I am homeless. That's right, I said, "I am homeless." I am also a college student, attending classes at Portland Community College. Today I missed class because I was awakened at 2:30 am on a church doorstep (where I have permission to sleep), because people like me are now the cause of everything that is evil in Portland.

I am not a drug dealer! The funny thing about drug dealing is that it causes you to have money. The funny thing about having money is that it causes you to lose all interest in panhandling and not living in a house.

A typical day for me starts around 8 am when I get up and catch the free shuttle bus to PCC. There I go to class, do homework, etc., until 8 pm when I catch another free shuttle downtown and sit outside a restaurant, hoping someone is kind enough to buy me supper. Then it's off to a doorstep or under a bridge to sleep for the night. Funny isn't it? In some ways I am so much like anyone else.



DEAR EDITOR: While I often support affirmative action, I couldn't help but conclude that the Mercury had taken it too far when you published Erik Henriksen's "Great Parties Throughout History" [Feature, Oct 20]. This sweet soul is clearly one of the Differently Abled (a retard) and needs to get shit-canned. First: WRITING IN ALL CAPS is often, but not always, amusing. It takes a lot of brainpower to make that distinction, and I think we all know who lacks that power (It's Erik Henriksen. Just wanted to make sure he caught it, too). Second: Using exclamation points!! is only sometimes amusing. Both of these privileges have been abused by Henriksen. Third: Referring to the LA FUCKING RIOTS as an excuse to party is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard, you cynical shitheads.

But maybe he can be kept around somehow. We all know you guys enjoy your drugs (we can tell by the cover art). I think Henriksen might make a great mule. In the end, he will probably prefer his small, daily successes to the infuriating string of failures that will make up his career as a humorist.

David Gluck


DEAR STEVE: I'm not going to get into the whole thing of you not knowing squat about Aquaman, because you really don't. [I Love Television, "Aquatic Idol," Oct 20]. The reason for my email is to ask where I can find those underwear shots of Alan Ritchson you mentioned. After seeing him last night on Smallville (wow!). I'm now in search of those famed pics showing even more than he showed last night. If you could help me out I'd appreciate it.

Bil Romain

CONGRATS TO Bil, who not only wins the Mercury "Letter of the Week," but will also receive a few of those famed photos in his gift "package," because he asked nicely! Also included are two tickets to the Laurelhurst, two passes to Dante's on Thurs Nov 3 to see Most Serene Republic, and a $30 dinner at No Fish! Go Fish! where they also love to see Aquaman in nothing more than a Speedo.