DEAR MERCURY—I officially challenge you to reach the new year without one more sexist fucking sentence in your rape-culture entrenching, patriarchal institution of a paper. Can you do it? The goal is so pathetically low: eight measly issues. Here is your motivation: The women and girls in all of your lives get to breathe a bit freer knowing that men sexually harassing and objectifying them will not be glorified, excused, or downplayed, no matter how they are dressed and even if they are displaying affection for another lady. How shockingly progressive! Also, I will present the Mercury with a handcrafted—by me—porcelain trophy detailing your accomplishment.

-Julia B


DEAREST MERCURY—Last week you featured an interview with Scott Westerman, the new president of the Portland Police Association ["Cop Union Changes," In the Shadows, Nov 6]. I am disgusted with his comment regarding crisis intervention training (CIT) and James Chasse. He said, "There is nothing in the Chasse incident that CIT training would have helped." I can't believe, especially given the recent release of the upsetting Chasse jail booking video, that Westerman would state that there is nothing CIT could have done to prevent that death. Chasse had 17 broken ribs. A punctured lung. All he did was urinate outside and attempt to get away from the police who were coming after him. Rather than attempting to de-escalate with Chasse, they attacked him. Or pushed him. Or fell on him (there doesn't seem to be one straight story here). But either way, they killed him. If Westerman really believes that CIT training can't help prevent wrongful deaths like that of Chasse, then I don't know what to say.



DEAR MERCURY—Perhaps Lew Church should call Central City Concern (CCC) and take a tour of their buildings ["Central City Concerns," Letters, Nov 6]. I think he'll find they are sanitary, well kept, and are in some cases nicer than apartments I have had in the past. Understand that when providing housing to the population that CCC serves, "bugs," or more specifically bedbugs, are par for the course. They are extremely hard to get rid of, and have enjoyed a resurgence over the past five years, all over the United States. Bedbugs are not limited to low-income housing either. CCC has been proactive in battling the problem and is aware of what they are up against. Mr. Church should also keep in mind that front-line employees all the way up to directors have, in some cases, lived in CCC housing. I would strongly suggest Mr. Church take some time and hang out in the lobby of the Estate, the Alder, or any other CCC housing and actually talk to the residents.

-Damian Magista



DEAR MERCURY—Thanks so much for the election night party. It was great to be surrounded by so many likeminded people on such a happy night. It was so nice of you to invite us all; I went with family members and made lots of new friends. We really appreciate the trouble you went to for us. Thanks so much! 


THANK YOU, RUTH, and thanks to everyone who made it to our triumphant election night party—we laughed, we cried, we drank our faces off! And it ended so much better than our last election party four years ago, so THANK YOU Barack Obama for wiping the electoral floor with old man McCain! Ruth gets two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where freedom rings.