TAKEN FOR A RIDE

RE: The article "Cabbie Crackdown" [News, Feb 2], in which cab drivers' move to improve the terms of their employment are outlined.

DEAR EDITOR—We Radio drivers do indeed have it better than our brothers at Brands W, X, Y, and Z. The daily lease on a Radio cab is $100. A driver working an average of the quoted 5.5 days a week would be paying a $550/week kitty, similar to the kitty paid by Brand X. But we get infinitely more marketing and administrative support from Radio. The fact that Brand X possesses 40 percent of all the cab licenses in this city is scandalous, when all they do is service out-of-towners via the airport and the hotel stands. These licenses are the city's point of leverage and they should be used to make Brand X be a full-service taxicab company, taking the little old ladies home from the grocery store the way we do. And not coincidentally, make them treat their drivers like anything other than indentured servants.

-Travis Bickle

THE BIG BUMBLE

RE: "Net Failure," [News, Feb 9] concerning the complaints by members of the Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NET) that the city's emergency preparedness system is frighteningly inadequate.

Wake up, Portland, the real emergency is that we have left the same people in charge at [the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management] for far too long collecting fat paychecks and FEMA grant funds. I was trained through NET, and it is a failure the way it is run. If it weren't for the help and skill provided by the emergency managers at Multnomah County, I would have sold my house and left town long ago, but while they provide the hope, some dedicated, inspired, forward-thinking residents provide the manpower.

-posted by Betsoff

As a longtime NET member, my central belief about the NET is [that] it currently has a nearly impossible job. There is a tiny fraction of the necessary trained NET members, NET leaders are tasked with community organizing with zero training, and in a city with basically zero culture of preparedness.

-posted by biohabit

FECKLESS FRAUD FOAMING

RE: "The Creepiest Love Songs of All Time" [Music, Feb 9], which should be self-explanatory.

The story you wrote about CREEPY songs is WRONG. Get your facts straight or DON'T write.

-Silverhills

TO THE PORTLAND MERCURY EDITOR: I call your attention to someone impersonating a music critic in your pages. Reading the imposter's "The Creepiest Love Songs of All Time," their bona fides might have started to wane when they wrote that some of the lyrics Kenny Rogers sang were "racist" because he used the term "crazy Asian war." (Note the facts that Vietnam War was "crazy" and "war," and between Asians located in Asia who allied with various world powers, hence "Asian.") The wannabe critic's street cred stretched like silly putty to make James Taylor's "Shower the People" into some sexually incestuous, almost literal pissing contest, with ominous pedophilia overtones. All this was just a warm-up before the feckless fraud foamed that "every song [Taylor's] ever played [feels] like an unwanted, inappropriate massage from a much-older relative." Jesus Fucking Christ, Mercury. Who listens to JT's "Fire and Rain," about a newfound friend's death in a plane crash, and feels it anything but a massage? James Taylor's comforting "You've Got a Friend" is a song the cynical poser obviously never heard, about a companionship they've obviously never had.

-Fredric Alan Maxwell

AW, U MAD? Allow us to offer you some solace in the form of two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. You can use them to dab your tears as you sit at home listening to "You've Got a Friend" on repeat.