TO THE EDITOR: Enough whining about the so called gentrification of NE Portland ["Gimme Shelter," Phil Busse, Jan 11]! The definition of gentry has been expanded to include anyone who is not in a street gang, on welfare, on parole or a skid row derelict. The contention that wealthy people are taking over NE Portland is pure fiction. Most people with a large income are not going to buy in inner NE Portland, still the murder capital of the city. The homes are being bought by black and white working-class people.

The critics of these changes would rather pay cheap rent and live across the street from a crack house than see the neighborhood become a safer place. These whiners are horrified at the sight of decent, law-abiding, hardworking people in the neighborhood.

Ron Jackson
Hard Working and Black


TO PHIL BUSSE: Your "Gimme Shelter" article is one of the most racist articles I've ever read. It could've been titled "Keepin' out Whitey." Even more disgusting is this NAACP task force to keep out whites is led by a liquor store owner. I got a clue this schlep has a slightly vested interest in keeping things status-quo in inner NE Portland. I bet other co-chairs are gun-store owners and drug dealers. It's also ironic that this NAACP task force and the city are in bed to keep this part of Portland segregated (especially the month of MLK's birthday). This is akin to putting a fence, or a Berlin Wall around inner NE to keep out 'da blue eyed debil. Inner NE is an architecturally rich and historic part of Portland and should be open to anyone who wants to refurbish the beautiful homes there. Besides, the best neighbors are not black or white, rich or poor, but responsible and respectful. Ask any black homeowner.



TO THE EDITOR: The review by Marc Molan [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Jan 11] uses "GKA" (Girls Kick Ass) as some type of brand new tag line. But WOMEN have been kicking butt longer in Asia cinema than in Hollywood. Angela Mao was a HUGE female kung fu star back in the '60s. She even played Bruce Lee's sister in Enter the Dragon. And bringing up Charlie's Angels with CTHD? Unbelievable. The Matrix AND Charlie's Angels both wish they had HALF the heart of CTHD. And the talent.

Also, Fong-Sai Yuk is a below-par Jet Li flick--you should've used Once Upon a Time in China--another beautifully kung fu choreographed film by Yuen Wo Ping. Another point to consider, The Matrix had actors w/stunt doubles and digitally enhanced effects. CTHD only benefited from actors proficient at martial arts and cable work with no stunt doubles and only enough digital work to hide the cables. The differences are astounding; the fight scenes in CTHD crackle with swift precision and intensity.

Just blame another "howlie" reviewer for missing the point of CTHD. Yes, there is plenty of fighting. But the fighting was being used by Michelle Yeoh as a way of teaching Zhang Ziyi about honor and being true to yourself.

Because of what I read in this review and others, I won't be so harsh anymore to people like those that sat in front of us at Cinema 21 at this movie. These people actually said that this was just another Matrix wannabe (?!). Chalk it up to the good old fashioned ignorance that is at the heart of many "howlies," "cwuy-lo"whatever.

Patricia Smith


HEY READERS: Count your lucky stars, because we've decided to extend your Mercury Valentine deadline. Look, these are NOT "personal ads!" Mercury Valentines are mushy-gushy love notes written by YOU for the one you love--and even better, they are absolutely FREE! Just send in your 30 words-or-less love note, and we'll print it along with our sex survey results on February 8th. Just think of the booty you will receive after your loved one reads something like this in our paper: "Dear Shmoopy Woopy, Your lips are like butter, there are stars in your eyes, so let's get down to business, and start bumpin' thighs. Love always, Your Ooogy-Woogy." See? It's that simple! So email your submission to VALENTINE@PORTLANDMERCURY.COM, and do it by Wednesday, January 31st! And remember, keep it under 30 words, no last names, and no asshole remarks! Valentine's day is coming, so start acting like it!