Illustration by Alex DeSpain

INTACT

RE: An advertisement for labiaplasty that ran in several May issues of the Mercury.

DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—I was relieved to see that this week's bike issue did not contain the offensive Pearl Women's Center ad from last week's issue, touting labiaplasty as a "solution" to help women better enjoy biking and yoga. Seriously, male genitalia are bigger and floppier than ours, but if men found riding bikes uncomfortable, no one would ever suggest they CUT OFF PART OF THEIR GENITALS. Your labia are perfectly normal; the idea that it should be a particular shape or size is a blatant lie.

C.L.

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DON'T SIT, DON'T STAY

RE: "Sit-Lie Dies. Again," [News, June 5], regarding the death of the revised version of a controversial bill that aimed for stricter rules about sitting or lying on public sidewalks.

This issue had the votes. What gives? Sit-lie targets the homeless because they are the ones violating it the most. It's like being mad that new finance laws would only target people on Wall Street. The arguments against sit-lie are weak; there are plenty of places to sit in downtown. There is no need to lie down in the sidewalk. Cafés have to pay for permits and have to carry insurance. If someone trips on their chairs, they're covered. If Grandma Sue trips on someone sitting on the ground sprawled out—she's toast. Sleeping in doorways is still trespassing, as that is private property. There is no legitimate right to do that, so it's a non-issue.

posted by ws

WS—I agree mostly, which is why it was silly, time before last, to make the law unconstitutional, and why it was silly this last time to make the law about "disabilities" but only affect people sitting on the sidewalk, not café seating. You can't call one out and not the other. The current effort by the [Portland Business Alliance] is to go back to a law that was ruled unconstitutional by a judge, in a courtroom. How do they do that? Change the law to meet their needs. If that is all that is needed, then I have several laws I would like changed as well!

posted by Patrick Nolen

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KBOO BOO

RE: "Airing of Grievances," [News, June 5], recounting the efforts of the staffers of lefty community radio station KBOO to unionize in the face of financially driven changes.

The union issue is important and the handling of change was not smooth. But KBOO is moving forward with negotiations on a contract with the new union, and that's good. The real issue is if KBOO actually serves anything resembling "community" in the Portland metro area. The metro area is about 2,289,000 people. The last time there was any audience tracking, about 50,000 persons tuned in to KBOO for any program during a week. Five thousand persons have contributed money and are "members," which represents 0.2 percent of the area's potential listeners. Why is no one listening? The people quoted represent a tiny part of Portland's political community, and the programming allowed on KBOO only serves the most narrowly defined viewpoints. Without making some small and thoughtful adjustments to the political and news coverage, KBOO will continue to slip into political and financial irrelevance. KBOO can accommodate a few more viewpoints and grow its audience without compromising its core values, so long as well-entrenched staff and volunteers don't insist it has to be their way or the highway.

posted by Ed Kraus

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A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

RE: "Bus," [Portland as Fuck, June 5], in which columnist Ian Karmel contends that the best way to appreciate Portland's diversity is to ride public transportation.

Lloyd Center is also pretty awesome for hanging with all sorts. Whenever middle-aged liberals whine about how white and boring Portland is, I tell 'em to ride the bus to Lloyd Center. I don't think they follow my advice, though.

posted by catbot

THEY TRULY ARE missing out, catbot, they truly are. However, you're not! Cuz you just won the Mercury letter/comment of the week prize, which means we're sending you two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where there are a diversity of film and pizza options.