DEAR MERCURY—Speaking as someone who might have ended up sending my daughter to a school in the Portland area below the poverty level before my husband enlisted in the Air Force last year, I think you all at the Mercury need to pull your heads out of your butts when you think of the Portland Starbase program ["Inside Starbase Portland," Feature, July 15]. When my husband graduated [Air Force] Basic Training last winter, I went to San Antonio for his graduation and when all the graduates were walking downtown in uniform—get this—random people on the streets were shaking their hands, thanking them for their service, and buying them meals and drinks. Why? Because once you get off the West Coast, people respect the military, not constantly give them crap and make their job more difficult. Now that I've experienced military life, I've realized that there are a ton of opportunities for people from underprivileged families to break the cycle of poverty. Sure, the military ~gasp~ shoots guns and drops bombs, but the fact is some jobs are harder than others and some things in life are ugly.

-Rachel Ollivant


DEAR MERCURY—Just wanted to deliver a poignant "fuck you" to all those who contributed to the excessive, erroneous jabs made at West Linn in last week's feature article ["Best of Oregon City," Feature, July 22]. If you're going to deride West Linn for its wealthy populous and "excess," may I kindly suggest you look to its neighbors such as Lake Oswego and hell, even Wilsonville, both of whom are far guiltier of housing rich, new-money pricks with no taste? And may I also suggest that if you're so easily wooed by Oregon City's mediocre culinary contributions that you please check out delicious West Linn eateries such as Allium, Bugatti's, Five-O-Three, and Thai Orchid? Traverse the sprawling and lush Mary S. Young State Park; take the awesome, winding, scenic drive down Rosemont Road. And please, whatever you do, in the future, don't use transparent buzzwords like "hard-working" and "quaint" when describing a place like Oregon City because trust me, anyone with even a Portland Public School education sees right through those sugar-coated terms for what they really mean: kind of trashy and altogether unexciting. If you're going to so vehemently and pathetically hate on West Linn in the future, you could at least remember to mention the fact that its mayor resigned because she manufactured her college degree from an online diploma mill. That one's a freebie for ya and is totally worth thorough disparagement.


THE MERCURY RESPONDS: Can you idiots in West Linn please shut up? You're all a bunch of awful, despicable people, and you're boring us to death.—Eds.


DEAREST MERC—The "rift" among pro-pot activists is a minor distraction from the shimmering gem that is Initiative 28 ["Growing Pains," News, July 22]. It's simple: patients will be able to choose from the finest green nuggets in a safe and comfortable setting. New jobs will be created at dispensaries, grow-ops, even in the state government, and the business will be kept local in scale. In short, Oregon will have the best medical-marijuana system in the country. Any opposition will come from mustachioed 1970s-holdout police types who are afraid of having to go after real criminals. Don't forget to vote!

-Conrad J. Burke

WE'LL HAVE what Conrad's having. Conrad gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where the mustachioed 1970s-holdout types are of a different sort altogether.