DEAR MERCURY—Brian [Barrett] is way, way off ["Disordered," Letters, Jan 28]. Schizophrenia, a thought disorder, is an Axis I disorder. Axis II is reserved solely for personality disorders and mental retardation diagnoses. That was a really weird thing for Brian to write because it's the opposite of true.
Green boxes are well worth their price tag, even if they don't make bikers an iota safer ["Thinking Outside the Bike Box," News, Jan 28]. Portland City Council is determined to encourage bicycling, and to do this they must ensure that potential bicyclists feel safe on the road. If over three-quarters of bicyclists feel [safer] with green boxes, then the boxes help to foster less stressful and more enjoyable bicycling experiences and strengthen Portland's bike culture. Also, if the majority of drivers feel [safer] around green boxes, then the boxes help ease tension between motorists and bicyclists. Obviously these are pretty abstract benefits, but given the boxes' comparatively low costs they seem to be worth every penny.
-posted by Austin A. on portlandmercury.com
I actually disagree that making cyclists "feel" safe is a good thing in itself, and especially if the reality is that the danger has been increased ["Thinking Outside the Bike Box," News, Jan 28]. If you tell people to ride to the right of traffic that might turn right, and then a couple people get killed, and then you put in a green box that accomplishes not much, but cyclists "feel" safer, then you are lulling them into riding to the right of traffic that, um, might turn right. What is needed is a very clear message to all road users that cyclists are entitled to, and should, take the lane.
-posted by rawillis3 on portlandmercury.com
Your tongue-in-cheek column "Recall This Columbia Sportswear Jacket" was offensive [New Column!, Jan 28]. You trivialized the issues and belittled a group of concerned citizens who are just trying to stand up for their values. The heinousness of Dale's Columbia Sportswear jacket and Dale's lies about it, these are very serious issues that affect all of us. Dale wearing that jacket is an insult to the fashion conscious everywhere, and it makes a laughingstock of our city. Many of us feel Dale's poor judgment in this one personal matter negates and overshadows any ability, dedication to consensus ideals, or proven results he may have demonstrated in the past. We absolutely do need this expensive recall, and furthermore, as Dale's friends and family, we must treat Dale as a pariah, maybe forever, for his own good and ours. Anything less would be complete abdication of our values. It's true, none of us know if Dale can find a decent replacement for that horrible jacket, but $350,000 absolutely is a small price to pay for the privilege of knowing something was done about it all, and voters finally got to weigh in on this important matter.
WE DON'T USUALLY reward anonymous letters to the editor, but in the spirit of mutual respect for the preservation of civil discourse, Anonymous wins letter of the week and two tickets to the Laurelhurst and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! where the dress code is strictly enforced.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
In last week's edition of One Day at a Time [Jan 28], we ran an un-credited photo of Beau Breedlove taken by Byron Beck. The end.
LAST CHANCE FOR VALENTINES!
What day of the week is it? If it's before Friday, February 5, at NOON, then you still have time to submit your free valentine to be printed in the Portland Mercury. If it's not, you better know where to get some really, really nice chocolate.