DEAR "ASIAN PERSUASION" [I, Anonymous, Dec 13, wherein the author implores white people to stop acting like Asians.]—Your thoughts make as much sense as saying Italians shouldn't eat tomatoes (a New World food.) Ever hear of pepper, gingersnaps, or gunpowder, all esteemed American traditions, all from "Asia"? Oh, I guess you also believe the only vegetarians are Asian, and only eat tofu while wearing kimonos and watching anime, and that all Buddhists are Asian. The following is a list of foods that you cannot eat because they are Asian: fava beans, carrots, cabbage, celery, fennel, garlic, onions, parsnips, peas, spinach, and cinnamon. And one more thing: Chopsticks are great because when I am not eating my mouth-watering wonton, I can stab out your eyes with my karate chop.
A MILE IN COPS' SHOES
DEAR EDITOR—Matt's story was a breath of fresh air ["Spread 'Em," Feature, Dec 13, in which Matt Davis goes to Citizen Police Academy]. As a Portland cop, and more "liberal" than most, I get a bit tired of the second-guessing critiques by writers [who] have no idea what the job is like. Most of us care deeply about others and want to do our very best to help. Certainly there will be ample good opportunities for critiques down the road, some well deserved. Remember, if we could take the humanity out of cops we might end the errors, but we would lose the compassion.
Sgt. Wayne Kuechler, Portland Police Bureau
FOLKS AT THE MERCURY—Matt Davis' piece on attending the Citizen [Police] Academy did not come off to me as a "pro-cop" article ["Spread 'Em," Feature, Dec 13]. He exposed that much of their training is focused on tactical use of violence, and fear that every citizen is a potential threat, even though officers conduct thousands upon thousands of citizen contacts per year without being attacked or shot. As I pointed out to Matt in our interview, his other articles, which generally report on questionable police use of force, are not "anti-police" either; they are for police accountability. If the police themselves are not interested in holding one another accountable because they feel it is "anti-cop" to do so, that is a problem Portland needs to address.
Dan Handelman, Portland Copwatch
DEAR MERCURY—The ongoing debate about the elimination of Fareless Square hinges on the belief that suburban violence is somehow the fault of downtown's free rides ["Un-Fare," News, Dec 13]. Criminals board the MAX in Gresham, then get off the MAX still in Gresham, and then attack people in Gresham, and it is all the fault of Fareless Square, many miles to the west. I am an ex-cop who does not understand why people like [Sheriff Bernie] Giusto and [TriMet General Manager Fred] Hansen cling to claims that without the need to check fares, cops can't start conversations with suspicious people or boot disruptive and violent people. I started thousands of conversations with "suspicious people" when I was in law enforcement through the highly technical and specialized method known only to advanced criminologists as "walking up and saying hello." I don't know what Hansen & Co.'s real motivation is. I don't know, and I don't care.
MORE HITHER, PLEASE
DEAR MERCURY—Please include more photographs of shirtless Holcombe Waller in "come hither" yoga poses similar to the one accompanying the article "More than a Pretty Voice" [Music, Dec 13]. They're just... great.
WE'LL DO OUR BEST, Ben, we'll do our best. In the meantime, you win the Mercury's letter of the week, which means you snag two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!—go thither.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONSWe referred last week to Portland Patrol Services ("Checking the Checkers," News, Dec 13). The company in question is in fact Portland Security Services, Inc. We regret any confusion and inconvenience the error may have caused.