RE: "North Portland Rising" [News, Aug 26], regarding one renter's efforts to save a 115-year-old house in his neighborhood from demolition for new market-rate apartments.
DEAR MERCURY—The big, bad developer dismissed [Judge] Finklea's concerns because "he's a renter with no money, no resources." Finklea objects to the project because "people who move in and are living in apartments like that, they're not invested in the community." The real issue isn't dozing old homes in favor of apartments. The issue is when the only new units built cater to a wealthy minority. We lowly apartment-dwellers pay taxes, support local businesses, volunteer, and work in the communities where we live. That's what I call "investment."
DEAR MERCURY—I read with interest the article by Shelby R. King on the house that is being torn down because it's not restorable. Take a look at 5555 NE 18th in the Vernon neighborhood. We've worked a year on this house to restore it. It sold immediately. It's a 100-year-old home that had been owned by a hoarder for 15 years and was a terrible mess. I agree that some homes cannot be saved. But so many of these old Portland homes are restorable, and should be restored.
IT'S THE POPULATION, DUMMY
RE: "Getting Baked" [Feature, Aug 12], regarding the impact of cannabis legalization on climate change.
DEAR MERCURY—I read your "pot smokers are hurting the environment" issue and I laughed SO hard. That was the first time I realized I am more intelligent than writers from a newspaper. The main problem is overpopulation.
RE: "It Belongs in a Museum!" [Feature, Aug 26], Jenna Lechner's illustrated guide to Portland's lesser-known museums.
DEAR MERCURY—Rivaling the OHSU collection of deformed teeth, Kaiser Sunnyside (Clackamas) has an array of hundreds of objects that Dr. Charles Emerick removed from patients' ears, noses, and throats. Included are plastic toys, beans, pills, coins, bits of hardware, and (my favorite) a bass guitar pick.
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—I perked up seeing an article on some of the "under-the-radar" museums in town. I am the Museum Lady of Portland, and I'm always a fan of any publicity for our local hidden treasures. In fact, I sent the Portland Mercury offices a copy of my 2015 updated museum guide for review at the beginning of summer. That guidebook was not illustrated, but my previous one was, and it's uncanny how much the style of illustration is exactly the style of my 2010 illustrated guidebook, Hidden Portland: Museums & Collections (out of print, available in the library). Museums are muses and should inspire, and I hope everyone checks out all of the ones listed and also the ones I have listed at hiddenportland.com. Also this Friday, September 4, check out Museum/Museum at 211 SE Madison, 6-9 pm. The Bathtub Art Museum (the museum I curate) and the Zymoglyphic Museum (new to town) will be open for First Friday!
PETS! PETS! PETS!
RE: "Magic Friends: The Mercury's Annual Pet Issue!" [Feature, Aug 19], featuring reader-submitted pet photos (among other things).
DEAR MERCURY—I must thank you for putting my twins (Indie and Puss Puss) in with the rest of the pets in your Pet Issue. I have informed my manager at work that I will no longer need my job, as I will now become a full-time manager for my kit-uns. We will be doing poster paw stamping, PAWtographs, and meowing to many agents regarding several starring roles in some upcoming movies. We have a special meet and greet with Tardar Sauce, AKA Grumpy Cat, next week to really get the feel of what we are in for! If it weren't for you, my Mercury friends, our life would be the same as it was four days ago. We are stars!
WE'LL ALWAYS be able to say we knew you before you got your start, Indie and Puss Puss! Good luck in all your endeavors. Meanwhile your human, Lizg, gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater (where we will someday see you on the big screen) for this week's Mercury letter of the week!