DEAR EDITOR—All of us here at the Church of Scientology would like to thank you for all the free name recognition you manage to give us week after week in your paper. Do you have any idea how many people come in here to find out what we really are all about just because you printed some foolish bit in your paper?


DEAR MY BELOVED PORTLAND MERCURY—I have, after reading the review by Chas Bowie, been reading the amazing, bleak book Cormac McCarthy's The Road [Arts, Oct 26]. After devouring the book like a can of potato chips all I can say is a HEARTY thank you to Mr. Bowie. I look forward to more book reviews by Bowie in the future. And to the other Mercury staff, hugs and kisses, I love you all.


DEAR MERCURY (HI, HUMPY! LOVE YOU!): In this week's Once More with Feeling [Oct 26], ace reporter Ezra Caraeff pines for a Replacements cover band. Well, fuck, he could have come to see us (Los Placemats) last October, 2005, at the Fez, but no.... Looking back at his articles at the time, he had some hiphop albums to review and a comedy club to go to. He could have seen us at Berbati's last November, but skipped the show to listen to the whole Springsteen box set... so I can understand why his mind has been numbed to the fact that there is a Replacements cover band in this town. He can redeem his bad self by coming to the Towne Lounge on November 30 and singing backups on "Treatment Bound"... and buying shots for the band.

 Ian Barrett


DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY—Making fun of people is both fun and funny, especially when it really hurts their feelings ["The New Face of Terror," Feature, Oct 26]! "So, who do we hate more than white kids? Hmm, oh yeah, FAT kids! And kids that are both fat and white? Forget about it!" What's the difference between you guys and ignorant pooka-shell-wearing high school jocks? Nothing! You guys are on the same team as the kids who probably used to terrorize you for being faggots! John Gentner


DEAR MERCURY—In regards to "Putting $581,550 Where Your Mouth Is" [Feature, Oct 26], both Mayor Tom Potter and writer Matt Davis report there is no other number to call other than 911 when in need of mental health crisis intervention. There is an alternative phone number though, and it is the Multnomah County Crisis Line. The number is 988-4888. The 24-hour service can dispatch Project Respond to address and assess needs for folks in crisis.

Rob Rankin


TO THE EDITORS OF THE PORTLAND MERCURY—Your I Anonymous about people who don't wear bike helmets really pissed me off ["Brain Pan," Nov 2]. Obviously no one who chooses not to wear a helmet has ever really thought about their safety, and the writer is smarter than all of them. HELLO? I am one of them, and I used to wear a helmet every time I got on my bike, but once I did a little research about helmets, I stopped. Think: The countries with the greatest ridership (example, Netherlands) have the fewest injuries, AND the fewest helmet wearers. A recent study showed that cars pass about two feet closer on average to HELMETED cyclists, and give un-helmeted ones more space. And complaining about parents who make their children wear helmets without wearing them themselves is silly—helmets are REQUIRED for riders under 16 in Oregon. Bicyclists are no more likely to suffer a head impact than pedestrians, and LESS likely than motorists, but do we make THEM wear helmets? So stop assuming that anyone who hates strapping a big hunk of Styrofoam on their head is lacking in gray matter to protect.

Claire RobisonCONGRATULATIONS TO CLAIRE for her eloquent and statistic-laden deflection of the contention that riding your bike without a helmet is dumb. Now we know it's actually smart. Claire wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and $30 to No Fish! Go Fish! where helmets aren't required, but shirts and shoes are.