TO THE MERCURY: I can't understand the love fest, praise orgy, mass hysteria surrounding the stupidly named Sleater-Kinney [Once More with Feeling, Aug 10]. Am I missing something? Music writers are crying about the demise of "the best band of all time" or suggest a fitting tribute would be "carved granite faces on the Mt Rushmore of indie heroes"? Puh-leeze! The band sounds like a screeching raccoon getting it on with your cat in a dumpster. Will they be missed? Why would we miss three marginally talented, homely chicks with bad attitudes when there are already so many of them in Portland?



TO THE MERCURY: Thanks for shedding light on the Hawthorne parking meter controversy [Pay to Park, Aug 17, in which Commissioner Sam Adams explains why parking meters on SE Hawthorne can help the area]. I feel compelled to respond to a few of Commissioner Adams' statements:

(1) Free parking isn't subsidizing cars, it is quite the opposite. Cars through fees and fuel taxes are subsidizing the roads.

(2) Parking meters do not help the environment.

(3) Mass transit is actually subsidized through all businesses. (Ask any merchant.)

(4) Bikes are actually subsidized through the same vehicle fuel taxes and license fees, as they have no fees or licenses.

What Adams is not telling you:

(1) Most of Hawthorne has one-hour parking and is frequently patrolled. The city also raised the overtime limit fees this month by 50 percent. This should accomplish the revenue increase they seem to so desperately need without parking meters and killing business revenues.

(2) He had a recent meeting with 20 to 30 merchants on Hawthorne, and the majority was opposed to parking meters.

(3) If the concern is parking, why did the city allow a new building to be built on 34th with five new businesses with absolutely no provisions for parking?

(4) With all of the construction now being done on Hawthorne, we are going to lose approximately 20 parking spots, between 34th and 39th alone.

I have met with most of the merchants and some of the residents and took a grassroots poll of customers. The answer is the same. No to parking meters!

Sam Adams might want to poll all of the merchants and residents that I have. If he does, he will arrive at the same conclusion, and scrap this idea. Folks, parking meters are bad for business, period!

John Chassaing, Showcase Music & Sound, Inc.


TO THE EDITOR: If "Urban Scout" spent more time in the woods honing his skills and less time drinking at the Aalto and pandering to the greenhorn chumps at the Mercury, he may have the skills to survive the fallout awaiting our "civilization." ["Apocalypse Soon," Aug 17, in which "Urban Scout" teaches people to live in a post-apocalyptic environment. Plus, he hates hippies. Hence this letter.] But he's too busy kowtowing to the local "alternative" media and engaging in societal masturbation to have done more than play act at being a hero. I hereby challenge him to a "Live Off" (after Burning Man and his little camp have passed). We shall see who can live in the woods longer, with just a knife. Do you accept or are you too busy kissing the man's ass?

"Hippie Scout" 

CONGRATULATIONS to Hippie Scout for winning the Mercury Letter of the Week! While we object to being called "the man," the Mercury LOVES a playground-style challenge! Stay tuned to see if Urban Scout picks up the gauntlet. In the meantime, Hippie Scout wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and $30 to No Fish! Go Fish!—the best place in town to get a meal... pre-apocalypse!


Hey Puzzle Lovers! Don't forget to enter our online treasure hunt at! A famous artist has been murdered and has left behind a series of clues, which could point to corporate conspiracy. Click on "The Del Monte Code" banner at, and start solving the clues. The winner takes home a hot new black 30 GB video iPod! And that's no shit... Sherlock!