RE: "Run Down" [News, Oct 2], in which reporter Dirk VanderHart recounts being hit by a taxi while on his bike, an incident that did not result in a ticket for the driver, who was clearly at fault.
DEAR MERCURY—In his article, Dirk VanderHart writes, "Instead, officers merely helped the cabbie and I exchange information." It irks me that irresponsible violations of the English language are seldom, if ever, cited and that writers like Mr. VanderHart go unpunished. As long as callous disregard for such violations persists, our language can only continue its downward spiral. I have the ability to issue a citizen citation, but why bother? The damage is done.
RE: "We're on a Mission" [Feature, Oct 2], an interview with the founders of Wildfang, a store that specializes in clothing for "tomboys."
DEAR MERCURY—I'm happy Wildfang has a home in Portland and that designers are tapped into the notion that people who have a more fluid gender expression find it difficult to shop in mainstream stores for clothing and accessories; however, Wildfang's usage of the term "girls" throughout the entire interview poses an even deeper societal, systemic problem. Women are not girls! I detest the term "tomboy." Why must everything fall over the backdrop of men, boys, or hetero-normative culture? Let fluid gender expressions be fluid and ambiguous, please.
RE: "Secret Shopping" [News, Oct 9], in which reporter Sarah Mirk and volunteers tested the availability of Plan B contraception at Portland pharmacies.
DEAR MERCURY—I work at a certain local pharmacy, and while I don't know about "women's rights" or "the law," I do know about my boss' asshole. It told me to thank you for the horizon-broadening experience it received at your hands last week.
An irl Portlander
RE: "Back Under the Same Roof" [News, Oct 9], regarding the possibility of a merger between the city's housing and urban renewal agencies.
DEAR MERCURY—The one segment of Portland that least needs governmental support is real estate development. If housing and development are going to merge, which may not actually be a bad idea, it should be into the department of housing. Community development is a legitimate government interest; real estate development is purely a means to the end of providing sufficient housing supply that we can all live in desirable, affordable homes in a dense urban core that provides environmental and social goods to the public. Developers have a right to profit off the work involved in creating that future, but not to hinder it in the name of higher profits or more say over the structure of local government.
RE: One Day at a Time [Oct 9], recounting the ongoing exchanges between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor.
DEAR MERCURY—Ms. Cyrus may be sad and pathetic but at least she never defended a rapist (Mike Tyson) and called the victim a "bitch" and a "disgrace to women." Miley was actually right on to compare O'Connor to the similarly addle-pated Amanda Bynes. And O'Connor's ongoing responses make her look even nuttier.
RE: The Mercury in general, over the years, and through the tears.
DEAR MERCURY—I have been reading you since I was a wee junior in high school. As we both grew older I began to notice a change in you and myself: interest in the local politics of Portland. You cover stories no other paper is willing to touch, even when they claim to be more professional than you are. I have so much respect for you for this. Your news coverage has become increasingly on point and I think it has challenged the other papers in this town to up their game as well. Thank you for championing the rights of homeless people, non-Anglo people, and queer people. You are integral to Portland's beauty, thank you so much.
FLATTERY WON'T get you everywhere, Hank, but it did get you this week's Mercury letter prize and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where the combination of pizza, beer, and movies is integral to Portland's beauty, too.