RE: “Gas, Grenades, and Pepper Spray: Portland Police’s Crowd Control Weapons Under Fire from Civil Rights Groups” [News, March 22], by News Reporter Doug Brown, and From Activism to Slacktivism, Emilly Prado’s weekly calendar of resistance events.

I have been worried about Portland’s increasing use of less-lethal weapons for years, and was disturbed (though not surprised) to read in a prior issue that this kind of ruthless use of force is supported by the current president.

Thank you for the follow-up that something is being done to change the police’s use of military weapons on people who are peacefully protesting. In times when some cities and towns don’t even have their own locally written newspapers, I appreciate what you’re doing for our community.

Thanks also to Emilly Prado and the Merc for your Slacktivism to Activism column—another much-needed, crucial tool for keeping us involved in our democracy. Keep it up!

Megan Bradley

I’d like to thank you for having the activism calendar. I did have one suggestion: I can’t find your paper until late Wednesday or Thursday, so the Wednesday things are already ruled out! Possibly if you started it on Thursday or even Friday, it would give a little more planning time for the first two days.

And thank you very much for your reporting on the President’s Day [heavy sigh] “event” that the police were involved in. I was there, and you were the only people in town I know of who really reported what happened. It was not a pretty scene.

Nice anonymous old lady via voicemail


RE: This Week in Vaginas [March 22], Courtenay Hameister’s column, in which Hameister wrote about being asked, “Are you aware that the title of this column is incredibly trans-exclusionary?” “Well, fuck. NO. I wasn’t. Until now. Because you told me,” replied Hameister. “I mean, now that you’ve told me, I totally see it. Like that optical illusion thing where you think it’s a picture of a young woman and then suddenly it’s an old lady and you can never not see it again.” Hameister then asked readers to vote on what to rename her column, with options including This Week In Lady Business, What’s She Mad About Now?, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

How is the title of Courtenay Hameister’s column, This Week in Vaginas, transphobic? It’s not as if it were titled Only People Born With Physical Vaginas May Identify or Appreciate this Column in Any Way.

Please don’t change the name of your column. I may not be cis gendered, but being born with a vagina makes me sensitive when people try to vagina shame. VAGINA! It’s okay to say. It’s not transphobic. It’s a body part. Like an elbow, but better.

Local Vagina Haver


RE: One Day at a Time [March 22], in which Ann Romano wrote about a tweet from a McDonald’s Twitter account that read, “@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.” “Sure enough,” Ann noted, the corporation “claimed their account was hacked, they apologized for any inconvenience, and now everyone can return to only visiting McDonald’s when driving through Bozeman, Montana, or when a gun is pointed at one’s head.”

Ann, I am not too proud to admit that your column may be the only reason I even crack a Mercury these days. Not to say the rest of your colleagues aren’t doing good work, but your take on the week’s news is a godsend in these turbulent times.

That is why I was aghast to open this week’s offering to find a needless backhanded slight against my hometown of Bozeman, Montana. I’ll be the first to admit that these days the Bozone hardly resembles the quaint sleepy college town of my childhood. It’s one of the most egregious examples of the gentrification of all places good and decent (second only to Whitefish in this respect). That is what makes your assertion that the only decent restaurant in my beloved hometown is McDonald’s particularly galling.

Even a cursory glance through the culinary options will reveal many fine eateries, such as the succulent tacos at La Tinga, excellent entrees at Montana Ale Works, and even Korean offerings, not to mention great pizza and several craft breweries.

Perhaps you are confusing Bozeman with Butte, AKA the armpit of the West, or Billings, AKA Smellings. It would be an understandable mistake; after all, they all start with the same letter. I will take my apology off the air, thank you very much.

Hometown Pride Police

ANN ROMANO RESPONDS! Oh, sweetie. We’ve never been to Bozeman, dear, and we never will go to Bozeman, so we’ll just have to take your word for it. Still, we’re so touched by your defense that we’re giving you the Mercury’s letter of the week, along with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—though we’re sure the Laurelhurst can’t possibly compare with, um... (*consults Google*) the lovely Regal Gallatin Valley Stadium 11, proudly located in the Bozone’s Gallatin Valley Mall.

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