RE: "The High Life" [The Mercury Cannabis Issue, April 15], in which we prepare for the impending legalization of recreational cannabis use.
DEAR MERCURY—The Portland Mercury cover for April 15 shows a user-couple puffing up clouds of pot smoke in Washington Park, which is a perfect demonstration of how potheads adamantly intend to ignore all or any of the restrictions that are a part of the new pot law as agreed upon its passage. Instead, even [before] now non-users have always been subject to the rude and unhealthful exposure to secondhand THC smoke in every public place available. Pot-druggies may actually believe that they are inadvertently inducting a new generation [into] their hedonistic movement, but I'm sure that it makes most parents quite upset. For instance, Portland's Waterfront Park has resembled a preview of a sprawling drug culture, which, I have recently witnessed, includes open needle injectors.
THE MERCURY RESPONDS: Why, that's not Washington Park, it's the photographer's backyard! What are you, high?
RE: "The Long, Hot Summer" [Feature, April 22], a look at the imminent effects of climate change on the Pacific Northwest.
DEAR MERCURY—I would like to see more on this topic! If you did, people might read more than the music listings and the front and back two pages of your paper. We need to stop looking to government to fix things for us, and start coming up with our own solutions. Look into it, hipsters!
RE: "$15 and Rising" [News, April 22], following the gaining strength of the movement to raise Portland's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
I know plenty of tiny local business with fewer than five employees who will go out of business if something like this passes. Regardless, any life you can live on the state minimum wage is going to be a rough one, don't get me wrong, but there will have to be some exceptions to a $15 an hour Portland minimum wage law.
posted by disastronaut
No, you don't know plenty of local businesses that will go out of business should this pass—because they won't. This should actually benefit small businesses disproportionately because people with more money in their pockets are more likely to spend it and spend more of it with small businesses.
posted by guspasho
Re: "Paid/Unpaid" [I, Anonymous, April 22], in which an anonymous author grumbles about having to pay the city's annual Arts Tax, and wonders where it's going.
DEAR ANONYMOUS—The school district I work in now has one fulltime music teacher in every elementary school, thanks to the Arts Tax! As a product of public education, my love of music performance was fostered at school. While I no longer perform, I have the privilege of working with struggling youth in public schools. I'm sorry you feel screwed, but I can assure you our students, finally, are not.
DEAR MERCURY—I know that this is a place for people to vent, however this little whiner has no idea how the Arts Tax is working. I grew up here so I know how many programs were gutted after Measure 5 passed back in the early '90s. My art teachers in high school kept me there. I would have dropped out without their guidance and support. I have seen the magic explode since we got a fulltime art teacher. I have spent most of my adult life working three jobs to support myself and 35 bucks once a year is not a huge cost to help out the schools. I thought your paper should hear another opinion on the Arts Tax.
THANKS FOR SHARING, Susan! You win this week's Mercury letter/comment of the week, which earns you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, which is frequented by recipients of arts education, both onscreen and off.
Due to an editing error, the article "$15 and Rising" [News, April 22] incorrectly identified city employee Sarah Kowaleski as a member of Laborers' Local 483. She does not belong to the union. We regret the error.