GREETINGS: I have a comment about a reader's letter [Letters, June 1] where he bemoans the "sting" where the police fined bicycle riders for not obeying a stop sign. You cry that bicycles aren't automobiles, yet they are subjected to the same laws as cars. Yet bicyclists use traffic lanes all the time, and until 2055 when fossil fuels are no more and bicycles rule supreme, both drivers and bicyclists must share the road. Do I run stops signs when I ride my bike? Indeed I do, but when I get a ticket for doing so I don't whine to the Mercury that I'm disadvantaged.
DEAR MERCURY: The height of the Lofts is not my number one concern! ["The Big Picture," June 1, in which Amy Jenniges writes that the Mississippi Avenue Lofts project is in the better interest of Portland's development, despite protests over the height of the building by residents of the neighborhood.] The fact of the matter is that the discussion has been restricted to the building's appearance because the appeal is being heard by the Historical Landmarks Commission. Many in the neighborhood would have loved to submit an appeal to Portland's Anti-Gentrification Commission. Too bad it doesn't exist. The Mississippi Lofts project will not alleviate sprawl or keep housing affordable. Many of the people who will move into these expensive lofts are going to move here from outside the Portland area or they will sell their houses at "market rate" to people from outside the area. It's not like future Lofts residents are going to sell their old houses at a loss to a poor family. More and more people with money will decide they want an urban lifestyle and they'll move closer to the center of Portland. At the same time more and more working-class people will be forced to move further and further out by higher rents and house prices. I believe that we can be greener and more dense without making things more and more expensive. We just need to get beyond the idea that the only way to create density or environmental sustainability is by enriching private developers.
DEAR EDITOR: Annie Wagner's article on Al Gore and the film An Inconvenient Truth was excellent [Film, June 8]. The issue of global warming is a serious concern for all people, religions, political parties, and countries. It is an issue that can teach us how to work together as a planet. Perhaps we will find a way to avoid war and proliferation as well. An Inconvenient Truth should be required viewing for all citizens.
Robert E Griffin
DEAR MERCURY: Listen up, you reactionary, knee-jerk muthufuckers! Us babies are sick of your ignorant, redneck rantings about US from overgrown dinosaur assholes like YOU [The Baby Issue, June 8]! Just because we're a minority population doesn't mean you can exercise your constitutional right to demean, berate, and condemn us to some kind of second-class status! If you had just arrived in a world where war, environmental degradation, and global warming were accepted facts of everyday life, you'd shit your pants too, you pricks! We didn't sign up for this shit, you know—we just sorta fell outta some dark, warm, comfortable place. Next time you feel the need to practice on an easy target, point a gun to your own heads, you jerks!
Tiny MontgomeryField Marshall
BAD LIFE (The Baby Anti-Defamation Liberation Front)
DEAR MERCURY: Babies, babies, babies [The Baby Issue, June 8]. Who gives a fuck? How about a shout-out to the very few of us who have the integrity and bravery to buck social convention, biology, and peer pressure by refusing to breed yet another consuming, greedy, fat American? And I don't want to hear that "but my baby could grow up to fix our problems" crap. All you ever pulled off was obeying your biological imperative. You wanna fix our problems? Stop breeding. Desperate to re-create yourself? Try adopting.
CONGRATULATIONS TO FRED for coming up with a solution that would alleviate almost all of the problems brought up on this page. For doing so, Fred wins tickets to see Tapes 'N' Tapes at Berbati's on Sunday, June 18, plus $30 to No Fish! Go Fish!, where baby batter is prepared fresh daily.