PORTLAND MERCURY—Kudos on your news story "Big Brother's Little Brother" [News, April 3, in which a citizen journalist/videographer was cited by the police]. The other local news outlets have a journalistic responsibility to cover this story, but again congratulations to the Mercury for breaking it.

 Clement Sobotka


TO THE EDITOR—I feel compelled to write to you to strongly protest the use that was made of my interview with your newspaper [News, April 3]. First, the headline:  "Union Blues: Cop Unions Tussle over Rent-a-Cop Uniforms" as well as the lead sentence: "The head of Portland's cop union is in disagreement with the national cop union's line on whether armed rent-a-cops should be able to dress like real police officers" are inaccurate and misleading. My group, NAPO [National Association of Police Organizations], is not a union but a trade association that works with congress and the administration on law enforcement issues. Second, the term "rent-a-cop" was never used by me, and to the best of my knowledge not by Mr. [Matt] Davis either. Third, the lead sentence implies that Robert King, the president of the Portland Police Association [PPA], and me have argued about this. In reality we've never even spoken about it, nor did Mr. Davis, to the best of my recollection, ever ask me about any "disagreement" with Mr. King. The paragraph in your article speculating as to some sort of ulterior motive for PPA leadership's criticism or lack thereof comes close to a smear. Finally, I am mystified as to how Mr. [Mike] Kuykendall, the Portland Business Alliance vice president, could "disagree with Johnson's assessment" at a February 19 dinner speech. First, I've never met or spoken to Mr. Kuykendall.  Second, Mr. Davis interviewed me well AFTER February 19 for your April 3 article. If your paper chooses to take my comments and then insinuate some "tussle" in an effort to excite more interest in the story, I can't control that. But I do object to this use of what I had to say.

Bill Johnson, Executive Director, National Association of Police Organizations

MATT DAVIS RESPONDS: I stand by the story as it was reported: NAPO is in dispute with the Portland Police Association on the issue of rent-a-cop uniforms, and takes a stronger line than PPA boss Robert King is willing to; perhaps because King's own union members all stand a chance to supplement their bureau pension by working as rent-a-cops after they retire.


WHAT THE HELL, MERCURY?!?!—First, you humorless Nazis get rid of Blecky Yuckerella, quite possibly, damn near, the best comic strip ever! Right after The Boondocks, at least. And then you get rid of The Perry Bible Fellowship? Now there's nothing left!

Damos Abadon

THE MERCURY RESPONDS: We didn't nix The Perry Bible Fellowship—its author, Nicholas Gurewitch, discontinued the comic. Check out pg. 55 for this week's auditioning replacement comic, Skeleton Balls.


DEAR MERCURY—I am embarrassed to say I tried internet dating, and let me tell ya, them bitches are crazy. I have never done so much backpedaling in conversation, jumping out windows, changing my cell phone number, questioning my sanity, and running screaming down Hawthorne at 2 am in my life. Enter Lovelab. You guys are the shit. I met some fly-ass down-to-earth honeys here who are amazingly intelligent, comfortably hip, and they're not trying to get me to raise their fucking kids or sign my dignity and bank account away.

Fluffy's Friend


DEAR MERCURY—Expletives are a lot like bay leaves or crack; they should be used in moderation, and only when their use is justified. It is quite entertaining to read edgy articles where the writer is giving the distinct impression that they are about to lose their shit entirely, but creative placement is the key here. Please encourage your staff to breathe new life into these stale and excessively overused words.

G. Carlin

FUCK YOU, G. CARLIN! This motherfucker just won the fucking letter of the week, man! Fuck yeaaaaah! You win two fucking tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! fucking Go Fish!, where the bay leaves are moderate as fuck.