Illustration by Suzette Smith


RE: "Clash of the Cabbies" [News, Oct 11], regarding the disputed proposal to add more cab permits to the city's existing limit.

DEAR EDITOR—A cursory examination of the many cabs waiting on the downtown taxicab stands and in the taxicab queue at PDX reveals excess capacity in the Portland taxicab industry—certainly nothing to justify issuing 132 new taxicab permits. But few Portland residents request W, X, Y, and Z [cab companies]. According to my customers, it's because the drivers of these four companies often: are discourteous, including complaining about short fares; lack knowledge of the city, and how to navigate her; lack sufficient English-language skills; conduct business in an unethical manner, e.g., taking customers on "the scenic route"; and take a hard-nosed attitude to the business, which does not square with the tree-hugging, Grape-Nuts-eating Portland ethos.

Were W, X, Y, and Z to earn the trust of the citizenry then the number of cab permits extant would be adequate to serve the citizenry of Portland.

Brian A. Cobb, Radio driver (eight years)


RE: plastic bags, Ireland, and you.

DEAR EDITOR—I am a brand-new Portland transplant, originally from Arkansas, but fresh off the plane from eight years in Ireland, the first country in the world to place a nationwide levy on shopping bags. Portland drew me in with its music scene, creative atmosphere, and forward thinking. And we should continue our trailblazing with an expanded citywide plastic bag ban policy. I have witnessed this behavior change first-hand in Ireland. The Irish people, young and old, conservative and liberal, have made a conscious group decision to halt this mindless consumption. Portland should follow suit.

Rose Doss


RE: Sexual Politics, "Sexism Tax" [Oct 11, in which Sarah Mirk bemoans the ongoing lack of equality in pay between the sexes.]

God, I hate how Ms. Mirk's smug indignant blogging is so smug and indignant it can nearly make me turn against an issue that I do actively believe to be an issue of concern. Seriously, using logical fallacies large enough to be recognized by grade schoolers to reach your conclusion of "Sexism Tax" isn't even worthy of a bumper sticker, let alone worth pulping up trees older then she is to print it on.

posted by PDXCurmudgeon


RE: Savage Love [Oct 11, in which Dan advises a woman to falsely claim she's pregnant to smoke out her anti-abortion zealot boyfriend.]

Dear Dan, that was quite possibly the worst advice ever dished out in Savage Love. Fake a pregnancy? Are you kidding me? If a girl I was seeing did that to me, it wouldn't matter what the outcome was. I'd go heading for the hills assuming that she would end up being a person who bases a relationship on power trips and manipulation. How many times have you mentioned COMMUNICATION in your series? Maybe you should type that onto your computer screen and reread it a thousand times before writing such foolishness. Lie to your partner about a pregnancy? In the words of Joe Biden, that is just a bunch of malarkey....

posted by Anonymous


RE: "Tell Me Why This Matters" [Hall Monitor, Oct 4], in which News Editor Denis C. Theriault questions the relevance of a 20-year-old incident in mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith's past.

DEAR MERCURYThe Oregonian needs to hire one of the intelligent designers you just featured to come up with a Brangelina-style mishmash of Oregon medical marijuana and Jefferson Smith. The money they'd save consolidating their unbiased reporting into an article featuring only one side of both stories could stave off the financial hardship of reduced circulation. If they fold, who's going to blanket the homeless with pages of Lake Oswego puff pieces? In other news, I've solved Portland's gentrification issues: Just give the privileged few glasses fitted with the same lens filter the W Week uses to shoot their fashion page—the one that removes ugly, poor, non-white folks from the picture. I'd vote for Jefferson Spliff!

Dan Bickerdyke

KEEP ON SMOKING, Dan, and light up a celebratory mayoral spliff: You win this week's Mercury letter of the week, and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—but vote for Jefferson before you go, if you know what we mean.