Branche Coverdale


RE: "Everyone's Waiting on Instructions for Cleaning Up the Willamette" [News, March 30] and "Remember, Portland, Your River's Also Filthy" [Hall Monitor, March 23], Dirk VanderHart's coverage of Portland's looming task of dealing with a century's worth of pollution in the Portland Harbor.

In this post and other Mercury articles this week, messaging seems to be that the river is not as dirty as the air, and that lots of money spent to begin to clean the river won't have much impact. Why is a choice between cleaning the river and cleaning the air being created? Also, just because there are lots of contaminants in the river, does that mean we should just throw up our hands and not even bother to start?

We shouldn't be fighting over the scraps of resources that have long been unavailable to start to clean up our air, water, and soil. (By the way, these precious resources are interrelated.) Portland's environmental problems developed over several decades due to lax environmental standards and enforcement. Political will and financial resources to begin to solve these problems are finally a possibility. People have a right to clean water, clean air, and healthy soil. Let's advocate for a healthy environment, and not view cleaning the river as taking resources away from cleaning the air. I refuse to accept this false choice.

Susan W

Dirk VanderHart deserves a nice shoutout for his well-written and easy-to-read stories, this week and last in the Mercury, on the cleanup of the Willamette River. Thanks so much for bringing this information to the public, and [expressing] why paying attention right now to this issue is so important.

Mary McWilliams

I respect the commitment of Willamette Riverkeeper, but dredging is not necessarily the most environmentally friendly option. Turbulence caused by dredging can disperse sediment downriver, and in this case the sediment is laced with PCBs and DDT. This is one of the reasons why environmentalists were against deepening the Columbia shipping channel. Even though it may seem irresponsible to leave the pollutants where they are, it could be that capping with a constructed system or natural sedimentation is both the least impactful and cheaper option.

posted by lndscpr


RE: "I Went to Chick-fil-A's Grand Opening and Ate Chicken" [Blogtown, April 1], Ned Lannamann's daring piece of reportage in which he ate lunch. "None of these eager eaters seemed overly concerned with the fundamentalist religious views of the company, or the controversy over Chick-fil-A's past support of organizations that oppose same-sex marriage," Lannamann chronicled. "Everyone there was united in a desire to eat delicious processed chicken—lifestyle choices and cholesterol levels be damned."

I'm from Florida, have lived in Salem for the past year, and my husband and I adore Chick-fil-A. Driving up tomorrow to get some. :-) The whole article came off how I would imagine a Portland view about it to be—snarky and condescending. If you'd had it before, and weren't a fan, why "subject" yourself to the "horror" of going back? Clearly, plenty of people enjoy it—I'm glad they finally wizened up and opened a few stores here. :-)

posted by japangirlcmw


RE: "I'm Doug Brown, the Mercury's New News Reporter" [Blogtown, March 28], a post introducing Portlanders to... well, Doug Brown, the Mercury's new news reporter. "Feel free to call me, email me, tweet me, mail something to me, send a carrier pigeon, or use smoke signals. I'd love to hear from you," wrote Brown, who is either eagerly looking for stories or exceedingly lonely.


posted by Commenty Colin

Hi Doug. My dog Rudy and I love crime stories. Remember to travel the back roads. That is where the real stories are.

posted by Medicated Marine

Hi Doug. No, stay off the back roads and definitely out of the foothills (Estacada or Washougal). And be away from any coastal town before sunset, or you better be strappin'. Good luck.

posted by pdxxxenophobe

For your astute advice on living in Oregon, pdxxxenophobe, we proudly award you the Mercury's letter of the week prize—two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you don't ever need to be strappin'.