DEAR MERCURY—So in his blurb on the new Planet of the Apes movie [Rise of the Planet of the Apes], Erik Henriksen uses the phrase "monkey chaos" ["Welcome to the Monkey House," Film, Aug 4]. I know you don't need a zoo degree to be a film critic, but he should know that monkeys and apes are different. To review, apes and monkeys, while both primates, are not the same.
While somewhat "dramatic" the article is basically incorrect on several important points ["The Last Summer of Mass Destruction," Feature, Aug 25, regarding the incineration of weapons stored for 70 years in Hermiston, Oregon]. First of all, the depot originally was designed to store munitions, not chemical weapons. Only a small portion of the total depot was dedicated to the storage of nerve agent and mustard gas. Also mustard gas is heavier than air and did not travel far from the point of application, so Hermiston was never in much danger from being exposed to mustard gas. The biggest concern of local residents not stated at all in the article was for the safety of the people who had to store and maintain the deadly agents. I have lived in San Jose, California; Salem, Portland, and Umatilla, Oregon and by far, Hermiston has been absolutely the best area I have ever lived. Hermiston is fine. It is a nice place to live.
-posted by Tony George, Umatilla, Oregon
Yeah, PORTLAND, I know times are hard and all, but please don't consider pimping out your 14-year-old for extra cash ["Working Part Time," Savage Love, Aug 25, in which reader "PORTLAND" asks Dan Savage whether it would be permissible to sell his 14-year-old son's underwear online]. A neighbor kid stole my bras and panties when I was a teen, for sniffing purposes, and the thought still skeeves me to this day.
-posted by bootness
So, what to do about the major traffic jam that happens every week, usually on the weekends too ["Columbia River Double Crossing," Hall Monitor, Aug 25, regarding the financial roadblocks to the completion of the Columbia River Crossing bridge project]? I live in North Portland, and it can take me forever to get home if I happen to go via freeway for whatever reason, because of all the people trying to get back to Vancouver. What's the solution? And don't say bikes.
-posted by Ugh
These bikes look really slow, but I want more people to ride bikes ["Sharing Is Scaring," News, Aug 18, concerning a proposal for an inner-city bike-sharing plan]. City bike sharing will bring a bunch of slow people riding that might not how to operate a bicycle and the city won't provide helmets. I guess people have to learn how to ride somehow; but they should be wearing a helmet while riding around.
-posted by lookup
MERCURY—I love reading the letters to the editor section, but could you please cut down on the excessive editorial notes in square brackets? Or at least put that shit in footnotes?
[CONGRATULATIONS TO AARON for winning this week's letter to the editor for his comments regarding our use of bracketed information to catch people up on the contents of the article(s) that each letter is in response to. As some salve to his annoyance we offer two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater (a second-run pub theater on E Burnside that gets all the good shit and serves up some nice pizza and drinks to boot).]