TO ERIK HENRIKSEN: Obviously, your ass rash has spread, and is beginning to affect your brain. I suggest taking a breather from writing and look into some you-time. Of course, it might not be curable at this point--for late-stage syphilis all they can sometimes do is make you comfortable. But take heart in the fact that at least you won't be recommending suck-ass movies like Ocean's Twelve [Film reviews, Dec 9].


ERIK HENRIKSEN RESPONDS: Temple, thanks much for your astute diagnosis and compassionate advice. I'm currently looking into several types of salves and poultices. Might you have any recommendations?

TEMPLE RESPONDS TO ERIK'S RESPONSE: Erik, I'm so glad to hear you are attending to this problem. Unchecked butt rashes are the leading cause of misguided film reviews in our nation today. Little-known fact: Ebert's thumbs-up? Merely an indicator of how he applies his soothing balm.

In the meantime, try a little Tiger Balm in and around your rectum, and see Ocean's Twelve again. I believe the medicated rub's effect will help you see that suck-ass movie in an appropriate light. All my best for a speedy recovery.


TO THE EDITOR: So why can't we win a date with the boys of the Mercury? [Online Gift Auction, "Win a Date with the Girls of the Mercury!" Dec 9] What alternatives are you providing for heterosexual women and gay men?

Could you not offer up a few boys, too, or at least a few men at a discount? (Please don't consider this letter for "Letter of the Week," as movie tickets should go to those who have "dates" with whom to enjoy them.)

Dianna R


TO THE EDITOR: Phil Busse is entitled to hold his contrarian and mean-spirited assessment of Mayor Vera Katz's tenure [News, "Mission Unaccomplished," Dec 16], but he is not entitled to make up "facts" that are untrue.

The biggest error is his false assertion that the City of Portland paid a lobbyist $80,000 to lure Major League Baseball to Portland. The City has paid no one to lobby MLB, the Montreal Expos or the Oregon Legislature on behalf of baseball--period.

In another error, Busse asserts that Mayor Katz, in her final "State of the City" address, heralded her work on murals as her "most notable accomplishment" of the past year. She did not mention murals in her speech, but was asked about it after the speech.

Rather, the Mayor chose to focus on Portland's very bright future as well as some key challenges that lie ahead. Had she focused on her last year in office, she might have listed the following accomplishments: initiating the revitalization of the Transit Mall, a new vision for the Midtown Park Blocks, redeveloping the historic Armory, providing $11 million in new city funding for affordable housing, creating a citizen review board for police shootings, giving the city the power to halt demolition of historic buildings, and new programs to combat aggressive panhandling and drug dealing in downtown areas.

These can be added to her past accomplishments of the Eastbank Esplanade, the Pearl District, South Waterfront, the Portland Streetcar, expanded light rail, her support of the creative economy, her fight for gay and other civil rights and a few score other ways she has helped make Portland a truly great city.

Scott Farris, Communications Director

Office of the Mayor

PHIL BUSSE RESPONDS: Plan for aggressive panhandling? You mean her sit-lie ordinance that criminalizes homeless people? And as for her contribution to the "creative class"... you've got to be kidding me. $20,000 in small grants to emerging artists? She pays her chauffeur more than that.

Sorry about the mistake regarding the exact nature about what Ball Janik was paid to lobby for (such as unpopular backroom boondoggles like PGE Park), but the point remains the same: Katz consistently charged ahead with HER ideas for Portland, in spite of other priorities--like police accountability, homelessness, strengthening the economy...

WHOAAA-HO-HO-HO! LADIES, LADIES, PLEASE! Let's break up this catfight to award our last "Letter of the Week" for 2004--and it goes to City Hall Communications Director SCOTT FARRIS! Though we've been butting heads with the Katz administration since day one, Scott has always been a true gentleman. Along with our sincere wishes for a bright future, Scott takes with him two tickets to the Laurelhurst theater and two passes to see Rick Bain at Dante's on Jan 6. Good luck and rock on, Scott!