RE: “Portland’s New Gas Tax Is Raking in More Than Expected” [Blogtown, May 8]. “It’s too early to make any broad pronouncements, but worth noting that the four-year, 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax Portlanders approved in November is outperforming projections,” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart. “Former City Commissioner Steve Novick and his partners in a broad coalition sold the tax on a promise that it would raise $16 million per year—a little more than half of which would be spent on maintaining Portland’s beat-up roads, while the rest paid for safety improvements. Well, the first quarter of the year suggests we could be in for millions more. State revenue reports show that Portland raked in $4.78 million from January to March, a pace that, if it holds, puts the city on track for scooping up more than $19 million.”

PDOT is a nightmare of incompetence. I am all for raising taxes if it will improve infrastructure and services, but that just isn’t the city council’s track record. East Portland has designated so little money for repairs and safety improvement projects it’s criminal. In comparison to other major cities, our priorities seem to be chosen at random by a chicken on a bingo board that only has inner Portland on it.

We shouldn’t have given them a raise in their allowance while there’s still dirty dishes in the sink. At the least, we need to hold them accountable to get more bang out of our buck.


Um, guys, we have a streetcar, so, you know, problem solved.



RE: “‘Riot’ Declared as Demonstrators Break Windows, Set Fires During May Day March” [Blogtown, May 1] and “Photos & Video: May Day Chaos in Downtown Portland” [Blogtown, May 1], News Editor Dirk VanderHart and News Reporter Doug Brown’s coverage of Portland’s May Day protests.

I am a 70-year-old Portland resident. I love Portland, my home for 17 years. I’m a member of Showing Up for Racial Justice, a group of white people working to end racism. I met with the May Day Coalition every Tuesday for four months. It was an honor to witness the Coalition’s process, ideas, determination. Peaceful and family-friendly action is their way to bring change for equity and inclusion—justice for all!

I am hearing anger at anarchists who people believe started the May Day violence. Please, do not believe everything you hear on the news.

There is another side to this story. Police added to the violence instead of de-escalating. My experience with the anarchists was different than I expected. I believed that they were all violent and wanted to cause trouble. This group that I met was not any of that. I did not feel threatened by the black bloc; I felt threatened by the riot squad. When the riot squad and the sirens started racing through the streets, I think I knew what it is to live in a military state.

The beginning of May Day was beautiful: a celebration for justice. It was all that I hoped for and I was saddened at the violence.

I am concerned for our country. Our city has serious problems that we can solve together. Riot squads do not create safety. There are many of us who will show up and peacefully protect the innocent. I will keep showing up. It’s for our children.

Chrissy Washburn


RE: The Portland Mercury newspaper. Like, the actual, physical newspaper.

What the hell kind of paper do you use to print the Merc? Every time I tear something out it refuses to tear in a straight line. Yes, I could go find the scissors, but I’m too lazy. Fix this.

SW Annoyed

Since you asked, SW Annoyed, the print edition of the Portland Mercury is printed on 27.7 pound standard newsprint, with 0 to 40 percent recycled content (depending on mill production input) and soy-based ink! And great news: Your cranky, lazy ass has won the Mercury’s letter of the week! To get your prize—two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—just tear this out and bring it to the Mercury offices.

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