DEAR MERCURY: I was elated when I picked up the "Bike Issue" [Feature, July 19]. That is, until I flipped through it and saw not a single article about Segways, which are by definition bicycles and are becoming more and more popular for Portlanders who want to get around, save the environment, and look pretty dang cool while doing it.

If it weren't for an incident I experienced recently, I would let it go. A couple months ago I was riding my Segway to get some coffee at the 'Bucks on Broadway when a group of pedal bicyclists cut me off in the bike lane. I blew my air horn at them, and a couple of them circled back and rode toward me. I thought they were going to apologize when all of a sudden they jumped off their bicycles, pushed me to the ground, and started yelling at me to "stay the #$%* out of the bike lane with that #$%*ing fruit scooter."

I'm not trying to be petty, but what can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again to me or other Segwayists? 

Malcom Sosa


TO THE EDITOR: Regarding the article "A Street By Any Other Name" and Tracy Weber [Feature, Aug 2], she should be ashamed of herself. Only a true bigot could ever utter the words "stampede to honor Rosa Parks." Is she inferring that Rosa Parks doesn't deserve to be honored? Complaining about the lack of opportunity to voice her opinion and vote on the matter is clearly a weak attempt to cover overt racism.

Laurel G. Wilson


TO THE MERCURY: Why object to my street being renamed after Rosa Parks? It wasn't because I thought she was undeserving. I objected to the mayor and city council waiving the laws guaranteeing the involvement of people who own property on the street. Rosa Parks and César Chávez need to be honored. Shouldn't the methods we choose to recognize them be honorable as well?

Americans have proven that if given the opportunity to have a say, they will accept a vote no matter what they believe personally. It's called democracy.

Tracy Weber


TO THE MERCURY: I totally disagree with what you are saying ["Best of Melting Pot Portland," Feature, July 26]. For one since the Mexicans are coming across the border in groves [sic] they are taking jobs away from small businesses that are trying to get accounts and making a living. They are under bidding janitorial, yard work. The AMERICANS that have lived in the US all their lives do NOT get the help or support they get. Our schools are now forced to teach our children spanish [sic] as a second language. Mexicans get welfare, special housing, and medical. What about our people here in the US that get nothing? If you are so much for helping Mexicans, go to Mexico. I say help our own out first and get America back where it used to be. When immigrents [sic] came from all over back in the beginging [sic] they learned to speak english [sic], they worked hard to make it here. They didn't have welfare or goverment [sic] help to get a start. Those are the ones we as americans [sic] are proud of and they are the ones our heritage comes from, not some free loaders [sic] from the South.



HEY ANN ROMANO: I love your column and read it avidly every single week. However, in putting down J.K. Rowling ["One Day at a Time," July 26], I felt you were racist. Particularly when you use the worn-out, insulting and simply incorrect stereotype of British people having "crooked teeth." I moved to Portland from the UK last year, having spent my whole life in England, and have perfect teeth. In fact, my American husband has worse teeth than me. We have, in fact, argued this point on occasion, where he actually had the gall to stand up for this xenophobic belief. Poor dentistry is a global concern, and does not solely affect the tiny island I call home.

Liz Savage Hagan

Right you are, Liz! As a whole, the Mercury supports your view of healthy dental care, which is why we came up with this handy mnemonic device: "Brush and floss at least thrice a day—or face the furrowed brow of your dentist's dismay!" And for your Letter of the Week prize, please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! (Where every meal comes with a free flossing.)