TO THE EDITOR: I'd like to warn people of the dangers of dealing with celebrities who claim to have knowledge of alternative medical techniques, and who further claim to be able and willing to help the public.

I have a cherished cousin Annette, who suffers from many health problems--which may soon take her life. In desperation, we reached out to such a celebrity--Steven Seagal--via the web and in-person. We realize now that we wasted too much time waiting for even the merest acknowledgement of our plea for help--an acknowledgement that never came, only false promises.

It is too late for Annette, but it is not too late for your readers. Don't trust these people; don't trust these websites.

Amos Stevens


TO THE EDITOR: I can't believe you fell for the okey-doke. I'm referring to "The Outsider" [Feature, April 4]. In it, Phil Busse frames the "Good Government" initiative as a simplistic battle of old fogies vs. "the brash outsider," and implies that Mercury readers should all jump on board for this reason.

Busse seemed pretty enamored with the so-called neighborhood "representatives" who would replace the City Council. He downplayed that they would apparently have no control over any bureau or any voting rights or real power whatsoever. It was not even clear how this measure would do what it promises. Busse assumed that city government would be greatly streamlined by having power centralized with the mayor's office. Let's see. We'd still have managers running huge bureaucracies with lots of codes, bureaucrats and policies. In any legislative matter, you'd still need to go through the mayor's legislative process. Hmmm

The marketing of this proposal makes it seem like a Trojan Horse for Portland's well heeled to take over City Hall. In reality, the great majority of people would not have the money to influence this "Boss" figure we'd have as mayor. Focus more on the issues next time, not whether the spokesperson is a "brash outsider," a "benevolent grandfather," or a country-clubbing a-hole. Suckers!

Mark Chasse

PHIL BUSSE RESPONDS: The purpose of the article was to discuss the merits of the upcoming voter initiative, as well as point out the difficulty new ideas in Portland have of receiving a respectful audience (a point that your letter masterfully illustrated). Any perceived endorsement of the initiative is a sentiment you imported on the article.


TO ANN ROMANO: I'd like to start on a nice footing by saying I really enjoy reading One Day at a Time

That said, can you please get rid of the stooooopid and very annoying first person plural crapola? Maybe if you were a staff of reporters, it would be okay to use "we," but it says right there "by Ann Romano." So what is it? You and god? The royal we? It does a disservice and you oughta get rid of it. Keep up the rest of the good work. Love your slant.

Cranky Philip


DEAR EDITOR: Tell your readers to leave Katia Dunn alone! [Letters, April 11] Can't they perceive the woman's genius? Can't they see that she's a true visionary who's got both balls and gives good mug? Can't they comprehend that her literary discrepancies are either purposeful demands from above or are part of an ingenious plan to keep your editorial staff on their toes?

Can't they understand that her writing, because of its experiential nature, is frail and inconsistent on purpose? That it's not meant to be boringly and predictably accurate, but REAL. And can't they see those deadpanned, I've-just-been-incarcerated mug shots are Katia's modest way of pictorially battling gender stereotypes? Katia Dunn's complexity and depth humbles me and exposes any who berate her as nothing more than two-dimensional half-wits!

Scott Sonek


That's right! Finally, a beauty contest anyone can win! Whether you are man, woman, married, single, chaste, or slut, anyone over the age of 21 can enter the "Mrs. Portland Mercury" Beauty Pageant. Send your NAME, ADDRESS, and DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER, along with an ACTUAL FLATTERING PHOTOGRAPH OF YOURSELF, a description of the TALENT you will be performing and a short (200 words or less) ESSAY on why you want to be "Mrs. Portland Mercury" to the address above. And yes! There will be fabulous prizes! Click here for further details. Regardless of your size or facial structure, if you think you're hot--WE WANT YOU!!