MATT DAVIS—You are so heroic for standing up for such a perfect little angel ["Rogue Cops in the Dock," News, March 4]! I notice you have nothing on your little blog about [the re-arrest of the young teenager who was beanbagged by a Portland police officer] today, probably because it proves the cops' point. [Actually, we did blog about it. Dur. -Eds.] Portland would be a much better place without your biased opinion writing that you try to pass off as news... you hack!
-Fire Matt Davis
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—I appreciate the significant coverage you're devoting toward holding the Portland Police Bureau responsible for their devastating actions ["Let's Fix the Portland Police Bureau!" Feature, March 4]. I have an additional suggestion for improving the bureau's infrastructure: Invest in external cultural competency training. Trainings conducted by mental health and diversity experts can help the bureau address the additional barriers minority populations face, and offer responsive strategies for overcoming these barriers and minimizing tragedy. Additionally, a nuanced understanding of the historical contention between police and African Americans may provide cops a more contextual understanding of a black citizen's adverse reaction to them, as well as their own reactions toward that citizen—which would be a start.
DEAR MERCURY—The article about fixing the police bureau had some interesting ideas and clearly, as a community we need to find ways to deal with the problems in the system ["Let's Fix the Portland Police Bureau!" Feature, March 4]. Encouraging police officers to live in Portland should be considered very carefully. My brother is a police officer in another state, and made a conscious decision to move his family away from his precinct for their protection. Even so, 60 miles from his work, shopping in a mall, he was approached in a very unfriendly manner by a gang member he'd helped put in jail. Imagine this happening day after day in the grocery store, at the gas station, in a café, in your front yard, at the park... to your kids.
WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY—I really wish people would think before they spoke ["I Dislike You, Sandra Bullock!" I Love Television, March 4]. So what you don't like Sandra. You make it seems like she took the roll [sic] in The Blind Side just to spite black people. You must be very lonely to have that much [hate] for a person.
SWEET MERCURY—Thanks for the coverage of the illegal trails issue at Forest Park ["Trail and Error," News, March 4]. Managing a property like Forest Park is a difficult task, to be sure. But the fact that Portland Parks and Recreation attempted to do so using only one full-time park ranger is upsetting. Unfortunately, this lackadaisical approach to land management currently is in use at Metro as well. The voter-approved 2006 Natural Areas Bond Measure that raised $227.4 million for the procurement of natural areas in the Portland area provides no funds whatsoever for enforcement or maintenance for the lands purchased with bond measure funds. Essentially, there are no park rangers at all for the thousands of acres purchased since 2006.
-Smokey the Bear
CONGRATULATIONS TO SMOKEY for calling attention to the need to actually protect protected land and wildlife, and as always, for reminding us that only we can prevent forest fires. Smokey wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! where you'll find the biggest fires are in the hot sauce.