RE: "Stripper Economics" [Feature, July 2], a look at the advantages and disadvantages of making money as a nude dancer in Portland.
DEAR MERCURY—After reading the points, my suggestion would be for RACC [Regional Arts and Culture Council] to offer a targeted outreach and series of classes geared toward these (mostly) young DANCERS, who are "Performing Artists," on the ins and outs of being an independent artist in the state of Oregon.
People always assume dancers make a lot of money, and this article just adds to the assumption. I've had many nights where I paid out of pocket to work an eight-hour shift, and rarely do I make over $200 in eight hours.
posted by Cherish Tangerine Michael
We have jobs that move money around, from big pockets to little pockets, but still how much I make is most people's way of justifying how much they dislike my job and "how little" I do. If Portland could stop generalizing with simple experiences and the "woe is me" route, and take the time to get a real story going, our jobs would seem like less of a novelty and more of what it is: women getting paid for their time.
posted by Isley Rose
RE: "Chemical Non-Reaction" [News, July 2], regarding the disorganization of Oregon's notification system that lets people know they live and work near hazardous substances.
Much gratitude for freeing up the news hole to deepen our understanding of issues closer at hand and more likely to splash or dose us than the higher-profile public disclosure issues pertaining to the increased rail tanker car traffic en route to trans-shipment terminals on the Oregon Coast.
posted by Laylow Studios Mitch
RE: "Taking off the Cap" [Hall Monitor, July 2], regarding the Children's Levy. City Commissioner Dan Saltzman readily touts that five percent or less of the levy's money can be used for administrative expenses, while not mentioning that the nonprofits it dispenses to are allowed to withhold up to 15 percent for their own administrative costs.
This "administrative = bad" is infuriating and leads to nonprofits that are underfunded and don't have capacity to give the best quality services that their participants deserve, because foundations and donors want their dollars to be "direct service" only!
posted by jabberwocki
It's a bit disingenuous to claim the Children's Levy is a model of bureaucratic thrift. First, the tax is easy to collect. Second, someone else collects the tax and hands the money over to the city. [The city's] main job is to cut checks. Sure, the levy folks have the costs of the so-called audits. The "audits" do nothing more than confirm that the people who were promised checks actually got the checks. For such a simple job, seems to me that five percent is a bit high for administrative costs.
posted by Eric Fruits
RE: "The Two-Year Itch" [News, June 25], regarding continuing difficulties collecting the controversial Portland Arts Tax.
Tell the symphony and the opera and everyone else to shove it. And stop using kids as a dishonest emotional appeal for funding "prestigious" cultural dinosaurs that the average Portlander can't afford to attend, even if they were actually interested in doing so.
posted by Chunty McHutchence
They finally tracked me down and I paid for the last two years. I was expecting it, and always planned to pay. It was just my form of protest. But I'm confused as to why people wouldn't pay if they received the letter I did. My additional fine would have been $100. And it is stuff like this that has screwed the city on the street fee. If you dig into our wallets for luxuries, we will be much less amenable to paying anything else, even necessities. Nickel and dime city.
posted by Blabby
FEELING A LITTLE light in the pockets, Blabby? Maybe this'll help: You win this week's Mercury letter/comment of the week! That means you get two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater... to watch a movie for FREE! Bonus: Only .005 percent of our administrative costs are associated with this transaction.