RE: “Goat Blocks: A Slap in the Face to Goats and Humanity” [Blogtown, April 24], Claire Holley’s post about Southeast Portland’s Goat Blocks development, which replaced a “two-acre meadow dedicated to a herd of goats” with a complex that includes two-bedroom townhouses that rent for $3,760 a month. “There’s a shit ton of new apartments to hate in Portland,” wrote Holley, “but congratulations, Goat Blocks! You’re the new champ.”

Maybe those prices won’t withstand the marketplace, but those “goat blocks” used to be a produce distribution warehouse and a restaurant—before being burned down. It’s good to have the property back on the tax rolls.

Mick Finn

How about that affordable housing? I’m sure supply will surely catch up with demand, right? Or maybe we aren’t dense enough. In another couple of years, we’ll have to tear down all those four-story apartment buildings and replace them with 10-story buildings. That should finally do it.



RE: “Can Someone Remind Bernie Sanders That Abortion Is an Economic Issue?” [Blogtown, April 21], in which Senior Editor Megan Burbank took Sanders to task for endorsing anti-choice Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello. “What’s particularly frustrating about this is that abortion is very much an economic issue,” Burbank wrote. “Sanders should care about it through that lens alone.”

First and foremost, when was the last time a city mayor had any influence on abortion policy? Second, Mello has stated repeatedly that he has no interest in restricting abortions. Finally, the choice here is between Mello and Jean Stothert. In case you weren’t aware, Stothert is a pro-life Republican.

Single-issue advocacy groups like NARAL can afford to form single-issue opinions. The rest of us, not so much.

Some people are going to attack Sanders regardless. The gripe used to be that he wasn’t a “team player.” Now, the same “she can win!” crowd attacks him for trying to be just that.



RE: “The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black” [Feature, April 19], Ijeoma Oluo’s profile of Dolezal.

Not to dismiss your direct contact and feelings having met this person, but it sounds like Dolezal is just a dumbass who appropriated Blackness as a means to feel special. If this was a systemic and supremacist appropriation, wouldn’t this behavior be a lot more prevalent?

Also, and I don’t want to come off as insensitive, so bear with me, but what is the difference of race as a limiting social construct that is not acceptable to appropriate, while gender is an acceptable version of the same basic idea—i.e., feeling you are something you biologically have not been born as? Why is one an acceptable and touted social justice issue, while the other is taboo to basically the same camp of people?


This is a bad piece of journalism. It’s a great op-ed, but to call this a “feature” or a “profile,” would be a lie. It’s clear that the journalist went into this interview with biases. I do not blame her for having biases, as obviously Rachel Dolezal is extremely problematic. But Oluo did not go into the interview intending to tell a story—she went in to preach. This piece reads like a Refinery29 post (“I tried interviewing Rachel Dolezal so you won’t have to! Watch me here!”) In this profile of Dolezal, readers learned more about Oluo.

April C

Fuckin’ fragile whites. The author did her best to approach the subject neutrally. Despite her best efforts, Dolezal comes off as yet another white person trying in vain to understand the plight of the Black American. She has never been pulled over for a broken tail light and put in jail. Despite her braids, she has never feared for her life for one second in her pathetic white existence. The author is 100 percent justified in questioning her subject’s white privilege.



RE: “Music + Weed = Sometimes Great, Sometimes THE WORST” [Feature, April 19], Music Editor Ciara Dolan’s contribution to the Mercury’s annual Weed Issue, about the sometimes-horrifying effects of smoking at concerts.

I got too stoned at Pickathon last year while watching Beach House. I rarely smoke now, but I was a teenage stoner many years ago, so I’d thought I would be fine. I wasn’t! Super intense lights and bass! I had to run away, and now I’m sad I don’t have a great memory of seeing a band I love.

But right after, folky sister group Joseph played and calmed me down to a nice low-level buzz. Basically, if you’re a young and fun Gen X-er, smoke an hour before you’re gonna go out so you can freak out at home, and then just enjoy the fuzzy warm niceness that comes from three puffs of a joint.


HT, your public service announcement for Portland’s aging Gen X-ers has won you the Mercury’s letter of the week—and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater! Smoke an hour before, and see something nice and relaxing.

Letters and comments may be edited for space. Email us at lovenotes@portlandmercury.com.