DEAR MERCURY—Under the heading "Penises/Vaginas" in your "Calling Doctor Cheap-o!" article [Feature, July 17], you advise readers to visit good ol' Planned Parenthood for their reproductive needs. I would just like to let all those readers know that if they go there with the expectation that they will be receiving an STI screening along with their pap smear, they might be in for a rude awakening. Also, if you want an HIV or syphilis test you'd better be prepared to come in for a separate visit. So if you are interested in making sure that vagina or penis of yours is free of infection and you don't have much cash, you'd better head to Multnomah County or to my favorite place, Outside In.



DEAR MERCURY—I'm writing this in response to last week's letter to the editor titled "Don't Poke a Tiger with a Stick" [Letters, July 17]. As a biker, automobile driver, bus rider, and oftentimes pedestrian, I'm not sure who I'm supposed to hate. I feel that transportation in this city has become a holier-than-thou battle, which entirely defeats the "Portland, the City that Works" moniker that's pasted across every city vehicle. People from other states are moving here in vast numbers and I don't feel it's because of the giant game of transportation dodgeball we seem to be playing. Maybe instead of spending all of our tax dollars on a new bridge, we could look into creating more bike-only paths, or maybe, just maybe, we could learn to compromise and look at situations from the other drivers' perspectives instead of flying into a raging conniption fit that rivals Britney's SUV-meets-umbrella scenario. Then and only then will we really be "The City that Works."  

Jenna Gray


DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—I wish all the sorry, citizen-safety-patrol shits of this city would just pack their little pukes into their cars, drive to Beaver Cleaver-ville, and stay there. Stupid laws should be broken. Cyclists and pedestrians know they are vulnerable in traffic. Even so, most are capable of deciding when to cross a street, while still staying alive. Making one's own decisions is respectable. Christ! It's as if someone ignoring a stop sign is "radical." Have we really become so lame? (I do know the answer.) Now we can add bicycles to the long list of things that used to be fun. That is, before they were co-opted, polluted, and policed by square society. I'm sure these types view themselves as intelligent, mature, responsible, reasonable, and safe. Hilarious; try a petty, self-important bunch of buttinskis. In most places such behavior would probably get more than one's feelings hurt. Get a life, mind your business, or fuck off and die.

J. Dombroski


DEAR MERCURY—In response to your in-depth article on a bicyclist a few weeks back, and the recent clash between the bike-throwing drunk (obviously a Mercury reader) and the self-righteous driver, I would like to offer a practical and logical solution to Portland's feud of Montague and Capulet proportions. Portland roads were made for horses and carriages, and the modern car, AKA the horseless carriage, is thus the heir to all roads. Back in the early 20th century, bicycles were a rare sight, one being more likely to see clowns riding cycles and trapeze artists riding on a high wire than an average Joe commuting by bicycle to the sawmill. Today, we have a large network of electricity and telephone wires crisscrossing the city. I surmise that the intent of these early planners was to not just allow each household the ability to send Morse code letters to the weekly Oregonian about how bad it sucks, but as part of a visioning quest of urban planning, in which bicycle-riding circus freaks could entertain the entire town. As such, know there is room for both to ride separately and equally, look to the bike roads among the treetops and the crisscrossing network of telephone and electricity wires, and let the bicyclist ride free and clear from all cars along the high wires like the circus freaks that they are!

The Prince of Cats

OH, HOW WEARY we all are of the bike/car anger that marks this heated summer. The Prince of Cats has not only demonstrated how easily the resulting dialogue can slide into nonsense, and scored the Mercury letter of the week, but also unintentionally draws attention to how awesome our new website is. We didn't actually write an article about the incident in question, but the lively discussion of it on Blogtown, PDX along with our brilliant re-creation of KATU's re-creation of the event made you think we did. We are that good: portlandmercury.com.