Alexia Khrushcheva


RE: “The Panic Room Is Now... The Raven” [Blogtown, Aug 19], Music Editor Ciara Dolan’s post about how the NE Portland bar formerly known as the Panic Room has a new name. “The Tonic Lounge exposed its rickety (and apparently bug-infested) bones on Bar Rescue last summer,” Dolan wrote, “only to be renovated and re-birthed as the Panic Room. Just over a year later, it’s reinventing itself again.... Last night, DJ Wicked posted a photo of the new sign and mascot, which appears to be a dead raven with an abnormally large wingspan.”

Are they turning into a goth club? Cuz that’s what “The Raven” sounds like.

Kate Garoutte-Smith

Will they serve “Poe boys”? Amontillado? Pitted (and pendulumed) olives? “The Tell-Tale Martini”? Conqueror Worm mezcal? Hop-Frog IPA? Have a drink called the Goldschläger-Bug? Play Usher?

Todd Mecklem


RE: “Short-Staffed Cops Are Being Forced to Trim Special Units to Adequately Patrol the City” [Blogtown, Aug 17], News Reporter Doug Brown’s post that detailed where possible Portland Police Bureau (PPB) staffing cuts could occur—including in the whimsical Mounted Patrol Unit, which could go from four officers to two.

Cut the mounted patrol completely—it’s a huge waste of money. Those officers get nothing done besides maybe spreading some manure on the asphalt.


Good start of an article. The headline should be, “Portland Police Bureau Cuts Fat in Face of Lowered Crime in Order to Come Face to Face with Citizens.”

Crime is at an all-time low. But the bureau preserves historical desk jobs within departments. What the

Merc can investigate is what the PPB’s individual department goals and metrics are, and how staffing measurably results in, well, results. Patrol needs a complete review in effectiveness and citizen satisfaction.



RE: “A San Francisco Investment Firm Is Snatching Up Old Town Real Estate” [News, Aug 17], News Editor Dirk VanderHart’s story about how San Francisco’s Swift Real Estate Partners has been acquiring multiple properties in Portland’s Old Town—including the buildings that house the Mercury’s offices and karaoke bar the Boiler Room. (The Boiler Room, after failing to secure a new lease from Swift, is closing September 20.) “Property records show Swift has snatched up a half dozen buildings in Old Town in the last year and a half,” VanderHart wrote, “prompting alarm from local businesses worried they might be pushed out, and anger from those who already have been.”

People with more money buy things from people with less money. Story at 11!


That’s what ownership is about: You get to pick your tenants.



RE: “Confused About the Proposed Corporate Tax Hike Everyone’s Talking About? Check Out This Report” [Blogtown, Aug 17]. “If Oregonians give Measure 97 the nod on November 8, it’ll amount to a big tax hike for C corporations—a common tax designation that captures most, but not all, large companies—that sell more than $25 million worth of product in Oregon. Currently, those companies are taxed $100,000 per year,” wrote Dirk VanderHart. “If the tax measure being floated by labor-backed Our Oregon passes, it’ll be well above that: 2.5 percent on all sales above $25 million, with no upper limit.” While the Mercury has yet to announce whether it will endorse the measure, a City Club of Portland committee came out in favor of it—despite, VanderHart noted, “concerns it could amount to regressive price increases for consumers, and unfairly targets C corporations while leaving others untouched.”

“Unfairly targets C corporations”? We are talking about only 1,000 out of 400,000 businesses in Oregon. These are the corporations that can and should be targeted, in the state that has the lowest corporate taxes in the nation, and small and medium-sized businesses end up paying proportionally much larger taxes than those 1,000 corporations do.

As for regressive price increases or the argument that costs will be passed on to the consumer, that’s a stale myth. Prices are set by the market; these companies still have to compete in the same market as everyone else.

You should take a position, Portland Mercury. We’re talking automatic cuts across the board if this doesn’t pass, and you’ll find yourself writing lots more articles similar to today’s on short-staffed cops, Portland Public Schools woes, out-of-luck retirees, homelessness, and health care crises.


A-minus, we’re giving your passionate defense of Measure 97 a B-plus. Luckily, all the other letters and comments this week hovered around the C range, so congrats! You’ve won the Mercury’s letter of the week, which comes with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—where you can forget all about short-staffed cops, Portland Public Schools woes, out-of-luck retirees, homelessness, and health care crises.

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