Artwork by Eatcho

TELEPHONE HANGING

RE: "Reach Out and Pay Someone" [News, March 4], regarding how Oregon jails charge for inmates' calls.

While it is a legitimate debate as to whether costs for correctional programs should be shifted onto the backs of inmates, I don't think that it is at all clear what the state's taxpayers think about that idea. The various ballot measures dealing with mandatory sentencing for a variety of offenses is possibly the best indicator of those feelings.

posted by Jimmy Carter

Inmates should not have any electronic amenities. Pencil and paper is how people communicated with their loved ones before smartphones came along. Someone in lockup serving out the rest of their life for raping children should not have internet access. The whole idea of private communication devices is ridiculous as well.

posted by MeLanie Larragoitiy


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

RE: "A Leap of Faith" [Feature, March 4], regarding the potential efficacy of $20 million to counteract gentrification in North and Northeast Portland.

Did you move to Portland in the last seven years? You and the rest of the white twentysomething hipsters who flooded North and Northeast Portland may just be the reason why rents have skyrocketed. Perhaps you guys could invite the gangbangers from Gresham over for some cold-pressed coffee if you're concerned about gentrification?

posted by Spindles

This whole thing strikes me as pretty ridiculous. Neighborhoods are NEVER static [and] trying to stop demographic trajectories is like stopping a runaway train. These neighborhoods were Norwegian and German before black (and poor). Where's the handwringing for them? We'll hear a lot of platitudes and see a lot of crocodile tears from city leaders about this issue. Truth of the matter is, few are really sad to see the neighborhood change for the better (and an increased tax base and development), even if that means poorer people, of any color, move past 82nd. And how about you (no matter what color you are)? Would you rather visit Albina now or 15 years ago? How about with your family or out-of-town guests? How about at night? Thought so.

posted by Dizzy


WHO'S THE BOSS?

RE: "Some Fond Parting Shots!" [Hall Monitor, March 4], in which exiting News Editor Denis C. Theriault uses his last city hall column to say what he really thinks city leaders should (and shouldn't) do.

It's hard to look at Fritz's accomplishments in a positive light when she communicates so poorly and rarely responds to public input. Instead of simply communicating her actual intentions, she comes across as dishonest. Fish is no better, and after watching Hales fumble at an attempt to raise money for infrastructure, we can sleep better knowing that none of the three will be our mayor.

posted by Scott Hillson


WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW...

RE: My, What a Busy Week! [March 4], our event picks for the week.

HEY MERC—Thanks for dedicating 183 words' worth of your valuable real estate (via, My, What a Busy Week!) to introduce your readers to the following newfangled phenomena: (1) THE PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS! What a great team, and they're local. Who knew? (2) A TRIBUTE to the incendiary music of an unknown cross-dressing scoundrel named PRINCE! (3) A marvelous new space opera known as STAR TREK! Our pedestrian minds are eternally grateful for the innumerable cultural doorways you've opened this week! Thanks for not wasting your copy or our time with something viscerally unhinged and surprising like Booberamapaloozafest at the Kenton Club this weekend, featuring 15 unfamiliar acts you're sure we'd never want to hear. Big props for keeping the riffraff out while still keepin' it weird (but not too weird, thankfully). You're a perfect fit for Portland circa 2015!

Ron Mason Gassaway

THANKS, RON! We're sure that your night of 15 unfamiliar acts was great, and since our enthusiasm for new local music is well documented, we're sure it won't be long until one of them earns our confident recommendation in My, What a Busy Week! Until then, please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater for winning this week's Mercury letter of the week! (You've probably heard of most of the stuff they're playing.)