HI MARJORIE SKINNER: How many times have you been raped at work since joining the Mercury? I ask because according to the 1991 annual report by the Council for Prostitution Alternatives in Portland, they reported 79% of sex workers in Portland were raped by johns an average 33 times a year. So it's now July 2005 and I was wondering if you've been raped 15 or 16 times on the job so far this year like the average prostituted women of Portland?


MARJORIE SKINNER RESPONDS: Oh, I get it--you're calling me a whore. Sorry to throw the curve at your precious statistics, "T," but so far I haven't been raped this year. You are, however, the very first self-important, supposed crusader of rape prevention in '05 to threaten me with the implication that I deserve to be. (At least this year I made it through the halfway mark.)


TO THE EDITOR: Ms. Chalupa's ends her article ["Punch! Drunk! Love!" July 7) with an alleged quote from a tipster, "Good program; bad people." With this casual generalization, Ms. Chalupa smears the reputations of over 20 Hooper Center staff members who have worked graveyard shifts in the Sobering Station over the last several years.

Ms. Chalupa had full access to management, direct access to several staff and to the Center, yet relied on the claims of two "anonymous sources" alleging widespread abuses on the graveyard shift. If those two sources had worked for even just a year combined, they would have been present for over 4,000 admissions--yet neither made even one substantiated report of abuse to any authority at the Hooper Center or Central City Concern.

Regarding the treatment of an individual she calls "Mr. Saturday Night," Ms. Chalupa insinuated the staff must have done something to provoke his "psychotic" behavior. Actually, this type of behavior can be provoked by the ingestion of crystal meth, PCP or a host of other substances. Her conclusion regarding this event reveals that her interpretations are contrived, preconceived, or are simply based on paranoid thinking. The entire article is so loaded with careless innuendo and a meanness towards the working people of the Hooper Center that it itself is a form of abuse. The Sobering Station is not a perfect program, and we are not perfect people, but there can be no "Good Program" without good people--and Hooper staff is some of the best.

Ed Blackburn, Director of Health and Recovery Services, Central City Concern

ANDREA CHALUPA RESPONDS: As clearly stated in my article, the Hooper Detox Center and its Sobering Station benefits the community by helping countless individuals seek recovery from drugs and alcohol. My sources--with over five years of experience working at Hooper between them--approached the Mercury after their concerns over client mistreatment were either ignored or met with harassment from coworkers. The solutions I offered at the end of my article--which have been ignored by Hooper management--are meant to prevent client mistreatment from happening. I hope Mr. Blackburn will become more sensitive to the bad apples in his organization--whether he chooses to agree with my article or not.


DEAR WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: Given your penchant for obsessive television viewing, I'm sure you're well aware that the HBO series Entourage has been centered around the production of an upcoming Aquaman movie.

Since HBO has given a ringing endorsement of Aquaman, perhaps now you will come to your senses and realize that he is not, in fact, a "super gay superhero" or "limp-wristed fish wrangler," as you have characterized him in the past. And, given our scrimmages over the years regarding Aquaman's merit, I expect you to, given this new evidence, fully renounce your past positions and unfair mischaracterizations of Aquaman and apologize--in print!--to both me and my family immediately. I look forward to your response.

Bradley Steinbacher

SCREW YOU, STEINBACHER--and congratulations, you win the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" which includes two passes to the Laurelhurst, two tickets to see Lyrics Born at Berbati's Pan on September 17, and a $30 dinner at No Fish! Go Fish! (a fine restaurant that ALSO agrees Aquaman stinks). SO YOU WANNA FIGHT, EH? Whaddaya say we take this battle to BLOG TOWN, USA (go to and hit classifieds)? Many of our readers are already there, reminding you that Aquaman sucks fish sticks--and YOU DO, TOO!