EXPLORING THE NORTHWEST
RE: “Oregon Field Guide’s True Stories of Science and Adventure” [Feature, Nov 1], Senior Editor Ned Lannamann’s story about the making of OPB’s Oregon Field Guide, the greatest show in the history of television.
Hot diggity deputy dawg! This was fantastic in so many ways, including great writing, thoughtful observations, a plethora of back-story details... all on such an incredible local resource and success story. This might be the best article on any subject you’ve ever covered. Right on with the right on!
Thank you for your great piece on Oregon Field Guide. After a year of being bludgeoned with bad news, it was nice to read about the program, and especially about the upcoming episode on the Willamette Falls. I love going up the falls, and am always intrigued by the spookiness of the old buildings and wondering what their stories were—and now I get to find out! And it inspired me to get out of the Trump terror trap and start exploring again.
RE: “Loretta Smith Is Raking in Cash for a City Council Run” [News, Nov 1], News Reporter Doug Brown’s story about how Multnomah County commissioner Loretta Smith has announced she’s running for Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s city council seat, but has not resigned as commissioner—defying the county charter, which notes that no elected official “may run for another elective office in midterm without resigning first.” Smith’s campaign consultant, Jake Weigler, explained the discrepancy to the Mercury by claiming Smith has “indicated she intends to run for Portland City Council,” but “has not formally filed for office.”
Jake Weigler’s slippery answers notwithstanding, the practice in Multnomah County has been that candidates resign. Loretta Smith is playing fast and loose with the rules. She is clearly a candidate for council and must resign from the county commission immediately.
THE MORRISSEY MANSPLAINER
RE: “Morrissey’s Kicking Off His North American Tour at the Schnitz This Halloween” [Blogtown, Sept 22]. “I wouldn’t get too excited—he’s somewhat notorious for canceling concerts, and his new record’s first single, ‘Spent the Day in Bed,’ is not very good,” wrote Music Editor Ciara Dolan. “I cannot force myself to listen to it again, because doing so caused me physical pain (those wah-wah pedals gave me a raging headache in less than 10 seconds). The lyrics are even worse.”
Because I’m headed to the Morrissey show tonight, I found myself looking online today to see if there was any local press about his pending appearance. I was surprised when I learned that he has been rehearsing here and that this is the debut evening of his current tour. I also came across your piece. I’m by no means a fanatical Morrissey person or partisan, but I do enjoy his work. The best of it is extraordinary, and he has been a bit of a spiritual role model (for lack of being able to think of a better way to put it) for what must be at least a couple of generations at this point. I found your piece to be almost unsavory in its cocky dismissiveness. First, why should anyone in Portland care how you find the new song? My sense is that it has been exceptionally well-reviewed, and I find it quite good. But Ciara Dolan of Portland finds it lacking? The notion that an aspect of the song’s arrangement gave you a headache “in less than 10 seconds” is perhaps more a reflection on you than on the song, don’t you think? Additionally, I take issue with your characterization of his lyrics and what they imply. The song’s protagonist spent THE DAY in bed, he didn’t suggest we all retreat to our beds indefinitely. He suggests we stop WATCHING the news, not reading it. The news DOES conspire to frighten us, in the sense that TV news is big business and horror is great for revenue. The song doesn’t propose the abolition of the New York Times. What he is really suggesting—in my reading—is taking a step back from the prevalent way of relating to information in this country.
CIARA DOLAN OF PORTLAND RESPONDS:
This week’s letter of the week goes to Michael Howells, for his impassioned defense of Morriss—ha! Just kidding! Euphonious, you win, and you also win two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater.