DEAR MERCURY—I know the entire thing was meant to be a joke, but still... when I read in the "new column" column in your last issue that "the only famous person to EVER come from Quebec is Celine Dion," I cringed ["Eat Merde, Quebec! by Alex Trebek," New Column, April 28]. Leonard Cohen is from Montreal! (And so is William Shatner, apparently.)
PAUL [CONSTANT]—While I agree with most of what you said, you have framed the debate all wrong ["Black Hawk Rising," News, May 5]. Your argument is framed like the right has framed the war: "us vs. them." You are exercising the same sort of fundamentalism that the right has used for years without really positing any progressive or new ideas. Are you not wearing the same mask as Dick Cheney by giving such a warm and confident congratulation to Obama without asking how this affects the war we have been in, and Obama has continued, for way too long? Slamming the GOP makes you sound just as unintelligent as their talking heads.
MERCURY—Do your homework before you write off on a multi-million dollar levy ["It's for the Kids (and You, Too)," News, May 5]. I am a PPS [Portland Public Schools] employee, specifically within the special education department. Our staff is being cut by 35 percent, with a 20 percent increase in student population. These cuts are happening regardless of bond/levy outcome. Voting yes allows the PPS administration to cut where they are already cutting, while keeping staff/budget in areas where they should be cut. VOTE NO! Voting yes allows the current administration to continue their mismanagement of funds. Voting for education is a good idea. But voting for funds to go to an irresponsible, looking-for-an-escape-route administration is ignorant.
DEAR MERCURY—Voting won't save our schools ["It's for the Kids (and You, Too)," News, May 5]. I say vote yes on the school levy, but don't expect our schools to get better. Yes, keeping people in jobs and paying for new textbooks is going to keep school quality from declining, but we are already so far gone that going any lower is laughable, our graduation rate is only 53 percent right now. What we need to do is trust in our teachers to teach. That's what we pay them for, but instead of trusting them we limit their ability to pick the way they present the curriculum, to the point where students are being left behind because teachers aren't allowed to support them. Until we radically alter the way schools work and allow teachers to approach teaching in the ways that work best for their students, we aren't going to see any improvement in our test scores or dropout rates, but you won't see that on any ballot.
DEAR MERCURY—First you said [Lindsay] Lohan got 120 days in jail [One Day at a Time, April 28] then next week it's 120 hours of community service [One Day at a Time, May 5]? Wondering if she'll be in jail or not, because I was planning on making a trip to LA and committing some crime in hopes of being able to par-tay with LL. PLEASE let me know so I know how to plan.
-Rhea Ann Moats
THE THING IS, RHEA, every time you turn around LiLo's bopping from one jail to a rehab to the next toilet cleaning community service gig, so you're just going to have to try your luck. Happy trails! Assuming you make a successful return, please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where they would rather you not test out your criminal activities on them.