IT'S THE LAW
DEAR MERCURY—Portland's Municipal Code has an existing law that governs the renaming of streets ["Overlooking Overlook," News, Oct 18]. When the City Council changed the street names to Naito Parkway and Rosa Parks Way they waived the provisions of 17.93, except for the last provision, "17.93.060, Implementation." If the City Council does not follow the intent of a law, who should?
DEAR EDITOR—Gosh, I must be one of those "Hebrewean boy-babies" Lindy West referred to in her offensive, poorly-written, and demeaning piece, "Your Children Are Racists" [Film, Oct 18]. All I can do is hope that advertisers will see it and realize that your publication is probably not the right venue to promote their products.
Paul A. Greenberg
I HATE ME
DEAR MERCURY—I normally quite enjoy your rag—especially since it routinely lampoons WW and its annoyingly smug tone... but DUDES ["Our Town," Feature, Oct 18]!!!! Let's face it, our fashion community is a lot like our "happening" restaurant scene: mediocre at best, uninspired, and based largely on hype. And here I thought you left self-congratulatory pretentiousness to the OTHER rags in town—and accepted us for the backwater of frumpy dressing and dull dining that we are.
DEAR MERCURY—So I was in China, right? I bought a crap load of these great canvas bags... with Chairman Mao on them ["Accessorize with Bad Guys," I, Anonymous, Oct 4]. Now, I've read a book on Chinese history directly regarding Mao. And, yes, I can't escape the fact that Chairman Mao was "the Hitler of China." I'm saying I KNOW THIS. I thought the bag represented the irony at play. The Chinese don't dwell on starvation or "rehabilitation" in the fields. They erect statues of him! Why dwell on the past? I mean, they put him on bags, people. Yet I will be accused of being an ignorant sod. But Mao's skin would probably CRAWL, knowing we foreigners had reduced him to a label—a fashionable tidbit whose history teenage girls know nothing about.
DEAR MERCURY—One of the things we do know is that there are very few true traffic "accidents" ["Start Seeing Bikes," News, Oct 18]. Most of the "crashes" that result in injuries or fatalities to cyclists are the result of an unsafe decision/action by the driver of the vehicle or the operator of the bicycle. Please stop using the word "accidents" in your reports. I am in awe of the work that has been done in Portland over the years and was privileged to ride your streets in 2003. Keep up the good work and maybe we can avoid more crashes of all types.
Preston Tyree, Director, Education, League of American Bicyclists
DEAR MERCURY—I do see bikes ["Start Seeing Bikes," News, Oct 18]. My issue, though, is that they don't see cars. I see cyclists on the street until it is more convenient to be on the sidewalk. Then I hear them complain that I, as a driver, do not share the road. I have never seen a cop ticket a bicyclist for running a red light or a stop sign, for going the wrong way down a one way street, for swerving around cars in traffic. I want to see more accountability laid on the riders and less vilification of people driving cars in this circumstance.
THIS IS SERIOUS
DEAR MERCURY—As a cyclist and a driver, I get angry when I see bikers riding at night wearing dark clothing and, sometimes, not even a red blinking taillight. Though I know the recent accident at 14th and W Burnside happened in daylight, it seems as though if we want drivers to take us seriously, we need to start taking ourselves seriously ["Start Seeing Bikes," News, Oct 18]. If a car was driving around at night without headlights, it would be creating a hazard. The same goes for bikes.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BRIAN for reminding bicyclists to ride with lights. Let's be safe out there, people! Brian wins the Mercury letter of the week along with tickets to the Laurelhurst and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where you will see and be seen.