TO THE MERCURY: Keisha's voice came through loud and clear [Letters, Oct 6, in which Keisha complains that the Mercury's food reviews don't picture enough "colored folks"], and as a "leftist liberal rag" you need to be more aware of the shades you shoot. Not only should "colored folk" and "genuine African Americans"—not those run-of-the-mill African Americans—be photographed for your food reviews, all nationalities should be. I mean, where are the Eskimos and Turks!? Show me just ONE! Clearly the Mercury is propagating the idea of a more "yuppie/hipster" "'hood" by printing photos of paid models in order to draw in a lighter-toned patronage, hence running real estate values up while "colored folk" run out. Please stop supporting the gentrivegation of the N and NE.



DEAR MERCURY: "Disappearing Dog Cops" [News, Sept 29] made some good points, but ultimately hit the wrong target regarding the dearth of humane enforcement in Portland.

Oregon Humane Society's humane officers are commissioned by the governor, but the team receives no tax dollars. Humane investigations are funded entirely by OHS, which is in turn funded entirely by individuals, foundations, and corporations. The team has three officers, one of whom stayed in town working cases while other team members helped out in Louisiana.

By their budgeting decisions, local governments abdicated their humane enforcement responsibilities years ago. While the lack of action in the case Scott Moore cites is frustrating, it's neither fair nor accurate to blame OHS. Elected officials created the gaping holes in the system—and our humane agencies just don't have the resources to patch them up.

Kerry Bleskan, Editor, Spot Magazine


TO THE MERCURY: When it comes to music, the less gum-flapping needs to be done about something, the better it usually turns out to be. Which might explain why that dufus Zac Pennington had to write a long, rambling, circumlocutory justification to persuade himself that he liked System of a Down [Music, Oct 6]. Listen, I'm a lifelong metalhead. But face it: System sucks. Every time I hear one of their songs I swear it's gotta be some kind of joke. Even their name comes across as nothing more than a half-ass Armenian attempt at sounding cool and heavy.

Next time you have to think so hard to come up with reasons to like a band, keep it to yourself until you're sure.

Bucking the System


TO THE EDITOR: Okay, enough is enough with the all the letters that are nothing more than an email flame war. To Ian, Rachel, and Dennis [Letters, Oct 6, where the trio have been arguing about the pros and cons of the Pearl]: You are all correct. Living in a high-rise apartment no matter how much it costs is better for the environment than living in a big house. But, Ian is correct in that the Pearl is nothing but a collection of overpriced, soulless buildings in an area that no doubt displaced hundreds of low-income elderly and disabled. And, if you're looking for McMansions, they're located in Lake Oswego—not Beaverton. Half are renters, not millionaires.

As far as the bike argument [Letters, Oct 6, where mountain bikers are once again accused of being douchebags]: I, too, ride a mountain bike. I bought it used and I see no need to get rid of it because some 20-year-old thinks I'm a douchebag. Yes, those big tires aren't great for city riding, but they're nice when I have to jump on a curb. But, comparing a mountain bike to an SUV? Come on!

Here's a better idea: the Mercury started Blog Town on its website to discuss things like this instead of angrily writing to the paper. Maybe it would be a good idea to start a forum so this could be discussed.

Bryce Shotwell

CONGRATS TO BRYCE for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and providing a free plug for our new party online, Blog Town, USA (! Bryce wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst, two passes to see The Makers at Dante's on Oct 27, and a $30 dinner to No Fish! Go Fish!, who love a good debate, as long as you keep buying liquor.