HELLO THERE: I'm writing in response to Justin Slanders' review of Produce Row Cafe ["Spring Eatin' Guide," April 24]. Justin warns us to "watch out for the staff: they're rarely as friendly as they should be." The thing is, I've been meaning to check out Produce Row's happy hour, but now I'm having second thoughts. Will I be subjecting myself to insults and ridicule? Can I expect to be slapped with a wet bar rag or mugged in the restroom? Will I have to settle for anything less than the shamelessly friendly ass-kissing that I so sorely deserve? I guess I'm just looking for a little clarification here. Is Produce Row too cool for me?

Weldon Berger


TO THE EDITOR: I think you should give Justin W. Sanders a raise in salary and a fancy new desk, because the way that he writes (with his cleverness and smartness) is deserving of a raise in salary and a fancy new desk.

Paul J. Alcott


DEAR MERCURY: I would like to point out an inaccuracy in the "In Other News" section of the May 1 edition ["May Day Hooray"]. You're assuming the images of "dancing around a Maypole" came about or after the 1886 creation of the worker's holiday. Now I'm all for the common worker (as I am one of them), but I'm also a pagan celebrating a holiday. I know from research that the May Day festivity of dancing around a Maypole is far older. Especially considering that most Medieval villages had one!



TO THE EDITOR: Regarding Marshall Runkel's comments on defecation in the Mt. Tabor reservoir ["What's in the Water?" News, May 1, in which locals are upset about the city capping the reservoir because of human defecation]. For the record this incident actually undermines the Water Bureau's case. It demonstrates the reasonable response to a once every 100 years incident. The reservoir was immediately taken off line and cleaned. Since the reservoirs are only backup storage and can be removed from service in minutes, the real issues are long-term water quality and the capability to immediately and accurately detect rare anomalies.

For $150,000 the city could purchase and install state-of-the-art technology at all five reservoirs providing instant real time laser-based detection of even the most minute potentially dangerous particle. Yet the projected cost of the filtration and storage burial plan is at least $400 million. The Water Bureau dismisses this new laser detection technology as "experimental." Their reaction is hardly surprising. Why would an agency who just wasted $30 million on an experimental computerized billing system that failed want to risk $150,000 on new laser detection technology that works and will save $400 million?

Jeff Boly


TO THE MERCURY: I got some news for you. I should be writing for your fucking "paper." I can be opinionated, and I can even act like I give a fucking shit. Oh yeah, you think that it's difficult, but it ain't.

Humphrey ain't got shit on me. I crap you negative.

Keep up your work by not hiring me. I know as well as you do that I am better than you, and I am making it my job in life to keep bothering you until I get paid for doing it. Thanks.

Sean Sometimes


TO THE EDITOR: As the co-Founder of the PMUGYG (Portland Mercury User's Group Yahoo! Group) I look over every issue of the Mercury. I look at them very carefully. Probably too carefully, but that's the nature of the beast.

Speaking of beasts, I am fascinated with the cover of the bull/minotaur gracing the cover [May 1, by artist Sean Hurley]. Not since the Benicio issue [April 5, 2001] have I seen such a majestic and homoerotic image on the cover.

I was wondering aloud if there was any possibility of getting an oil rendition of this amazing creature. I am by no means rich, so if the price is something like $5,345 that would be much beyond my meager earnings. I may look and act the playboy, but that is just a ruse to impress the ladies!

K. Michael Merrill,

Co-Founder of the PMUGYG

CONGRATULATIONS TO K. MICHAEL for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For his unwavering allegiance he shall receive passes to the Laurelhurst Theater, as well as two tickets to see My Morning Jacket at Dante's. [Hey readers! As long as you're wasting time at work, check out portlandmercuryusersgroup/, better known as PMUGYG. It's a goddamn hoot.]