TO WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY: While I'm usually impressed with your high journalistic standards, I feel I must question your use of the term "poop-shoot" ["I Love Television™," June 14]. The term you used refers to a rather bizarre competition held during annual NRA conventions. (Charleton Heston, though a perennial competitor, has never won a poop-shoot. He and Ronald Reagan, however, are reportedly two of the most generous suppliers of the poop. It is probably only coincidental that Mr. Reagan signed a bill making poop contributions to the NRA tax deductible.)

The portion of Ricky Schroder's anatomy I believe you were referring to is technically called a "poop chute."

As a serious journalist, you should be aware that confusing the terms could have serious consequences. For example, stating that Mr. Heston was a competitor in a poop chute could easily lead to slander charges, especially if you implied that Mr. Schroder was involved. (Mr. Reagan, I'm sure, couldn't care less.)



DEAR EDITOR: Now, I love a colorful turn of phrase just as much as the next chick. But even though the article "Welching Christians" [News, June 14], aptly described Lon Mabon as being something of a gyp--he withheld money owed by court order to Catherine Stauffer--I had to wince at the headline. To "welch," or "Welsh" on a debt owed is a descriptor surely invented by the Welsh oppressors, the English--ironic, as it was the Brits who certainly robbed the Welsh out of their lands, language, and heritage. So, though I don't want to run around hysterically, like I'm staging some kind of Chinese fire drill, declaring the headline insensitive blasphemy, I do want to point out the inadvertent, slightly painful humor of a headline like that for an article about the brutally intolerant and profoundly ignorant.

Mary McDonald-Lewis


TO THE MERCURY: Thanks so much for publishing my sample self-aggrandizing cover letter [See "Cover Letter Contest" page 41]. I'm an avid reader of the Mercury and it was exhilarating to see something I wrote in such a fine newspaper that every single person in this city reads, or at least, should feel guilty about not reading. You guys rock. You have the best staff and writers in the world from my point of view (way better than those stupid Whoregonian people), so I'll make sure that as long as I'm still alive you'll have at least a circulation of one. In your debt!



TO THE MERCURY: Listen, when you first started running "Ziggy With A Hat" ["Laugh While You Can," see page 47], I loved the inspirational, uplifting message. My housemates and I would tape them to the refrigerator along with "Family Circus" and "Dear Abby" (the relevant/funny ones.) Now we feel "Ziggy With a Hat" has gotten too preachy. I don't want to know Ziggy's feelings on abortion, birth control, donuts and guns (too liberal). Could you please let Ziggy know how we feel? I look forward to seeing the OLD Ziggy With a Hat.

Old man with anti-abortion sign on NW 25th


  Editor's Note--What follows is an email exchange between Julianne Shepherd and City Commissioner Erik Sten's office over the extremely idiotic Noise Task Force (see related story page 7).

DEAR ERIK: I'm extremely concerned about the Noise Task Force. I feel like it could be an easy way for the city to discriminate against clubs catering to certain types of music and younger people (similar to the Poster Ban). What further concerns me is that there doesn't seem to be anyone representing musicians or club owners or even people in my age group. I feel like it's an imbalanced issue, and I want to be involved. How can I get on the Task Force, or make my small voice (which, I promise, would reflect the feelings of many Portlanders) heard?

Julianne Shepherd

JULIANNE: Thanks for the email, Erik asked me to get back to you. Paul Van Orden is the city's noise control officer and is a great person. I am copying him on this message. He is the best person to talk to regarding any substantive concerns you have about the task force.

Thanks again for the email, please let me know if our office can help with this or any other issue in the future.

Marshall Runkel
Assistant to City Commissioner Erik Sten

P.S. Radiohead rocks- one of my favorite Clash albums, Sandinista, had tons of crap on it too.