RE: “Move Over, Burnside 26! The New Apartment Building You’ll Love to Hate Is the Yard” [Blogtown, July 18], in which Wm. Steven Humphrey wrote about the new “behemoth perched on the Burnside Bridgehead”—and the $2,364-per-month one-bedroom apartments it contains, which offer “808 square feet of sprawling luxury!”

Part of the cost is that it has the best view in the neighborhood, in that you can look out your window and not have to see the Yard. Fewer people in town would hate all the new buildings going up if so much of the architecture wasn’t complete shit.


Masked views aside, it is a good example of handling the urban growth boundary by building up rather than out. Population growth + fixed surface area = thinking in three dimensions. (Or Soylent Green, one of the two.)


The fact that anyone would agree to pay $2,400 for a one-bedroom is the underlying problem, but the Yard is a solution to the extent that it’s giving those people who can afford that price a place to live other than my house. If it weren’t there, they’d be bidding their way into it instead.

Also, it might be worth nothing that 57 of those apartments will be low-rent and reserved for households making 60 percent or less of local median income.


The Yard brings three images to mind: (1) A metallic turd dumped from the ass of Optimus Prime; (2) the evil Borg ship from

Star Trek; and (3) a modernist tribute to the stilted architecture of the failed Soviet Union. What a harsh “Welcome to Portland” visage.



RE: “Dan Savage on Jill Stein: Just No” [Blogtown, July 19], a transcript of the Savage Lovecast podcast in which Savage urged listeners not to vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. “You are, essentially, if you’re voting for Jill Stein, helping to potentially elect Donald J. Trump president of these United States,” Savage said. “Which would be a catastrophe.”

Hey Dan, why don’t you do what you do best—advising people on how to pee on each other—and save us from your political wisdom. I voted for Nader back in 2000 and both Gore and Savage can kiss my ass. Tell me, Dan, why was Bush so bad? Could it be the Iraq War that you supported when it first broke out? And tell me, what is the difference between Bush and Clinton as far as Wall Street, “free” trade, and the wars in the Middle East?


Well said, Mr. Savage. Trump and Hillary are far from the same candidate. Do I wish the Democratic Party had given us a better group of candidates to nominate from? Yes. However, simply voting for an alternative candidate (Stein) is in no way a smart decision. Trump is a nightmare. Imagine a cabinet of Trump, Pence, Gingrich, Gowdy, and Palin. Simply terrifying. Stop being petulant children and realize the stakes.



RE: “Surprise! You Just Got a Bike” [Feature, July 20], Dirk VanderHart’s introduction to the Mercury’s bike issue. “You now have 24/7 access to a bicycle,” VanderHart wrote. “With the launch of the long-pined-for Biketown bike share program on July 19, so do most of your neighbors. And that means Bike Issue 2016 should be for every damn one of us. Consider this issue a jumping-off point to what will hopefully become a long, fulfilling relationship between you and the noble velocipede.” (Yes, Dirk actually wrote the words “noble velocipede.” We apologize.)

It’s a bit misleading to imply that “most” of Portlanders now have access to bike share. If you take a look at the Biketown service area, it maps directly to the high-income zip codes. Once again, the hard-working people of modest means get shut out of a government-sponsored program. When November rolls around, I hope Portlanders remember that Commissioner [Steve] Novick chose to spend tax money on bike share instead of needed crosswalks and streetlights in East County. Those are fucked-up priorities.


For pointing out how many Portland residents have been left out of bike share, cully, we’re giving you the Mercury’s letter of the week and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—which, at E Burnside and 28th, is just barely in the Biketown service area. Enjoy your night out at the movies and DO NOT TAKE YOUR BIKETOWN BIKE PAST SE 30TH.

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