HOT AND COOL
DEAR MERCURY—WOW! You actually got paid to write that crap ["When Polar Bears Attack... You!" Feature, May 7]!? I actually like made-up, irreverent articles when they are written by Humpy, but yours is just dumb and not funny AT ALL. Maybe you are extra cool or maybe just really effing hot, because there is really no other explanation I can think of to explain away the awfulness of your article about the majestic polar bear, mainly because you were paid real money. You even neglect to mention the battle raging between Iceland and polar bears (Iceland—2, polar bears—0, so far). Don't ask me if you don't already know, dumbass. I don't know why I even bother.
I am a former manager at Laurelhurst Village ["Nursing a Grudge," News, May 7]. I agree wholeheartedly that conditions for all of the workers at LHV need to improve. Hannah [Austin] has only been the director since January, and a lot of the anger and problems originated and festered long before she arrived. I do know that Hannah Austin is working on improving wages and benefits for workers, a fact that she has shared with employees in detail, but no one seems interested talking about that. In April a town hall meeting was held in which all employees were invited to voice concerns and changes that they would like to see. I was off-site with residents the day it was held, but my understanding is that although people showed up, very few chose to say anything. While I totally understand why, after years of being mistreated, employees would be hesitant to speak up in a public forum, the opportunity was presented. I personally am pro-union. I have been pretty vocal about that and have not felt threatened in any way. And truthfully I haven't heard anyone in management actually say anything against the union. But I think that employees are viewing unionizing as a magic bullet that will solve problems that could be solved by communication, but that is just my opinion. I like Elizabeth [Lehr] a lot and I was very sorry to see her go. I will say that at the very least I feel that her behavior in one of the incidents mentioned in the article (that I was present for) was unprofessional and more disruptive than maybe she is willing to admit. Is it grounds for termination? Unfortunately, yeah it is. Insubordination is grounds for termination on any job. I'm glad that she stood by her principles, but the fact is she took a risk and those are the consequences. I flat out do not believe the story about her stealing employee information. I know her to be very ethical and honest and so I have no idea what to say about that. I do think that employees have the right and the responsibility to protect themselves financially and otherwise in the workplace. I wish everyone all the best and I hope that this can turn out [positively]. But right now it isn't much more than a lot of name-calling and accusations on both sides, which unfortunately isn't serving either side very well.
-RaChelle Schmidt on portlandmercury.com
IN DEFENSE OF BARBRA
With reference to your article "I Have Nothing to Say," if you have nothing to say, then it would have been best if you did indeed say nothing ["I Have Nothing to Say to You," I Love Television, April 23, in which Wm. Steven Humphrey praises Barbra Streisand's singing, and criticizes her plastic surgery]. You are probably a very young man, and obviously don't know anything about Barbra Streisand, and what she has contributed to the entertainment world. I don't know her personally either, and don't have any reason to jump to her defense in this instance, but you really derided and insulted the woman unmercifully in that article, and came off rather unintelligent at that. Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourself.
CONGRATULATIONS TO MARCIA for coming to the aid of dear old Barbra Streisand, who has indeed made a lasting and valuable imprint on our culture. (But her plastic surgery still sucks.) You get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! where the Streisand name is sacred.