RE: “The Accused TriMet Killer Was a Fixture at Portland Saturday Market” [Blogtown, June 5], in which News Editor Dirk VanderHart discussed alleged TriMet attacker Jeremy Christian’s past at the Saturday Market. “Christian, according to a half-dozen vendors, was a regular fixture of an ongoing point of tension at Portland’s long-running weekend marketplace. Each week, while sanctioned booths set up in neat rows, a contingent of unlicensed vendors collects near the fountain, peddling glass pipes, ornate crafts, and, in Christian’s case, comic books,” wrote VanderHart, who took pains to describe these rogue sellers as “universally pleasant.”

“The Accused TriMet Killer Was a Fixture at Portland Saturday Market” was irresponsible to the good people who run Portland Saturday Market.

First of all, no one in management is telling vendors not to talk to the press about the fact that Jeremy Christian was an illegal vendor at Ankeny Fountain, near Saturday Market. We did receive a notice that no one should be sharing other members’ posts from our private PSM Facebook page without the poster’s permission. This is something that should go without saying, yet someone shared a quote that is used in this article without permission of the writer, and the Mercury should NOT have published it without the permission of the author, so that’s just sloppy journalism. But no one has announced to vendors that we shouldn’t talk to anyone about Jeremy in our midst... that was just the paranoia of a single vendor speaking. It’s only natural that PSM management would want to downplay any association with the murderer since people might misunderstand and think he was one of our vendors.

Your sensationalist article serves zero purpose except to make people fear coming to market to buy handmade items from hard-working artists. Believe me, it’s hard enough making a living off of your vision and hard work without journalists peddling fear. There was no indication that there was a murderer in our midst.

Robin Urton (Dreambird Art)


RE: “Dancing on My Own: How Political Anxiety Turned Me Into a Late-Onset Ballerina” [Feature, June 7], Senior Editor Megan Burbank’s feature on the value of being terrible at something. “With the pressure that comes with being good at something wholly absent, it’s possible just to sink into the movements themselves without expecting anything else to happen,” she wrote. “Everyone should be lucky enough to do something this badly.”

I think any woman in her 20s or 30s should read Megan Burbank’s article, “Dancing on My Own.” Being a woman in her late 20s myself, I found the article wonderful and inspiring and sad and hopeful and exactly the kind of reassurance I didn’t realize I had needed. Burbank has reminded me of my own dreams—dreams of becoming a dancer, a singer, a baseball player—and that I am allowed to revisit those dreams whenever I please. We ought to allow ourselves failure more often, to be reminded that no one is in fact perfect, and that pleasure can still be found during our busy lives and most desperate of times.


Thank you for Megan Burbank’s “Dancing on My Own.” She nailed it. This year, at age 57, I’ve dug into dragon-boating for reasons similar to the ones Burbank cites when telling about her ballet class. I’m tired of the way men pass judgment on the choices women make, especially when those women are under tough circumstances (and no, I don’t hate men; I have a husband, son, four brothers, and a bunch of male friends, and I love them all). I want to resist in my own way, and being physically strong is part of that, not only for practical reasons, but as a way of defying the idea that women are supposed to be deferential. And being a beginner at something after many years of doing what’s familiar is not a bad thing either.

Geri Hoekzema

We fully support your proclivity for late-onset dragon-boating, Geri. Good luck with your new hobby, and as a reward for Letter of the Week, please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. Maybe you can bring Kd!


Last week’s Hall Monitor [June 7] incorrectly stated that former 911 Director Lisa Turley now has a contract to help set up a 311 system in the city. In fact, Turley is still a city employee on temporary assignment helping establish that system. The Mercury regrets the error.