DEAR MERCURY—Irrespective of the ethical considerations when it comes to the penises of 18- or near-18-year-olds; that the editors of the Willamette Week consider an $8,000 raise and trading one stressful career for another [à la Amy Ruiz] a bribe says more about the sad state of professional journalism and the economy than it does anything else.

-Alan Storm


DEAR EDITOR—I'm only halfway through reading your cover article for this week ["No One Is Innocent," Feature, Jan 29], but already I want to THANK YOU for being the single media outlet last week not to condemn Sam Adams outright; for your balanced and level reporting of the subject this week; and for breaking our overt seriousness in this fiasco with levity [One Day at a Time, Jan 29]. Not lastly, [for] answering some of our questions about Amy Ruiz, whom we thought fishy for applying for a position she admittedly wasn't qualified for.

-Jon Leeper



Regarding Mr. Humphrey's premise, I'm pretty sure that if I had advised Sam Adams to slander Bob Ball and John Vezina, and hire a reporter to whom he had previously lied to about a scandal that had threatened his political career, that I would remember it ["No One Is Innocent," Feature, Jan 29]. I'm innocent. I certainly agree that people's private lives should remain private. I certainly don't think Adams' conduct, whatever exactly it was, was as morally wrong as Goldschmidt's. But the reason this blew up into a scandal in the first place is because of the way Adams handled it. He could have lied without suggesting that Ball and Vezina were themselves guilty of sexual assaults, and without creating an apparent conflict of interest by hiring [Amy] Ruiz.

-Neil Anderson


EDITOR—There is one more obvious casualty beyond the three you identified ["No One Is Innocent," Feature, Jan 29]. That person is Randy Leonard, Portland city commissioner and confidant of Sam Adams. When the gay underage sex story was broken to Leonard by Bob Ball, Randy became the "front man" for Adams; like a pit bull, he attacked any and all people, papers, and rumors that suggested Adams was lying. Sam Adams sat by, fed Leonard false information, and applauded the attacks on Ball, all the while allowing Leonard to make a fool of himself.

-Jim Speirs


DEAR MERCURY—Last week, just a few days after Obama was sworn in, he ordered some bombs dropped on a Pakistani village, which killed some people. This is the man that you sad fucks worship like a God. I can practically smell the collective jizz on every image of his face that gets printed and circulated. Know who else liked to have his image as widespread as possible? STALIN.



DEAR MERCURY—In his review of EaT, Patrick Alan Coleman perhaps should have quoted Jonathan Swift on oysters: "'Twas a brave man indeed that ate the first oyster" ["Let's EaT," Last Supper, Jan 29].

-Lukas Sherman

CONGRATULATIONS TO LUKAS for changing the subject, if only as a brief reminder that life, and lunch, goes on, even as scandal and chaos plague our city. Lukas gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where you shouldn't order anything for which you can't produce an accompanying literary quote.