RE: Letters [Jan 22], in which a reader took exception to One Day at a Time columnist Ann Romano's reference to Jenny McCarthy's views as "anti-science."

I was tickled by anti-fluoridation zealot Jerry Garet's comments that modern science does not support fluoridation. Quite the opposite; perhaps he should take a stab at "reading." I lived in California during the great fluoridation scare down there, and the John Birch Society led the "anti" side with the argument that it was a communist conspiracy, which was as valid as Jerry's "facts." The Koch brothers are the descendants of the co- founder of the JBS and, along with Jenny, support Mr. Garet's cause. Perhaps he should take his own advice.

Charles Linville

[Jenny McCarthy] is denying the effectiveness of one of the most successful public health campaigns in the history of our species. And due to the lack of science education and skepticism, people are believing the claims of cranks who have no background in the science they claim is so harmful. To end with a quote from Carl Sagan: "If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.... Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

Ryan Brown


RE: "Puttin' on the Ritz! By Amanda Fritz" [New Column! Jan 22] in which the city commissioner recommends her favorite Ritz Cracker party snack combinations.

RE: REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION on the "Puttin' on the Ritz" column.

On January 22, 2014, the Portland Mercury published a column purporting to list my snacking preferences, titled "Puttin' on the Ritz." The column bears the byline "By Amanda Fritz," and includes my photograph. I neither wrote nor authorized the column. 

I am grateful that you used my 2008 campaign photo, which depicts a younger, pleasant-looking me. Some of your competitors seem to delight in printing photos in which I look furious, puzzled, or half-asleep.

The use of my name, along with my picture, however, gives readers the false impression that the column was authored by me, and that the aforementioned snacking preferences described therein are my own. Not only am I not the author of this column, but also I detest both Ritz Crackers and smoked oysters. The following is a partial list of statements that I find particularly troublesome:

• That I "like to relax with a yummy plate of snacks made with delicious Ritz Crackers." On the contrary, I dislike Ritz Crackers, and it would therefore be impossible for me to relax while eating them. As my good friend Cameron Whitten pointed out in response to the column, Ritz Crackers stick to the muncher's teeth.

• That I enjoy smoked oysters, and have surreptitiously brought them in to city council meetings. I find smoked oysters entirely disgusting. I would not eat them here or there, I would not eat them anywhere.

• The use of profanity in a cavalier and inappropriate fashion to address my opinion of Ritz Crackers. While I have already expressed my dislike of same (I do not like them in a box, I do not like them with a fox, I do not like them in a house, I do not like them with a mouse, I do not like them here or there, I do not like them anywhere), I am nonetheless a dedicated elected representative of Portlanders of all ages and sensibilities. I try hard to avoid use of profanity, even to express my aversion to Ritz Crackers. Or smoked oysters.

Please inform those of your readers who believe everything they read in the newspapers, that I did not write last week's column. I respect their snacking choices and would not attempt to influence them. Except in warning about Ritz Crackers sticking to teeth.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz

The Mercury Responds: No.

DEAR COMMISSIONER FRITZ—Perhaps your recipe for Egg on a Ritz might be appreciated back in jolly ol' England, but not in the good ol' US of A—and especially not here in this gastronomic hotspot we call Portland. Any elected official who extols garnishing dishes with a fucking bay leaf should, frankly, no longer be in office. I pray you have the decency to resign before your recall petition commences.

Brian Horay

CONGRATULATIONS to Brian for pointing out the impracticality of a tough-to-chew garnish like a bay leaf. For his defense of local gourmet sensibilities, we're giving him two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where the salads and pizzas are always appropriately garnished.