As we abandon the cursed, rotting corpse of 2017, the editors of the Portland Mercury cast our weary eyes upon the many emails, comments, letters, and voicemails that our kind, insightful readers shared with us over the year. Let us revisit the best among them. —Erik Henriksen, managing editor


RE: “The Mercury’s Cutest Pet Photo Contest” [Pet Issue, Aug 9], our unexpectedly contentious contest in which one dog, Louie, was disqualified after receiving roughly 1,000 suspicious votes.

You guys are being complete assholes about this pet photo contest and Louie getting so many votes. His owner has A LOT of friends and family and we’ve shared the link over and over again to get votes. I guess the competitors can’t take any other pet being cuter than theirs. You’ve turned this cute little stupid pet photo contest into a bad, horrible scandal just to cause drama and get more readers, as the media usually does.

You’ve publicly embarrassed his owner who has nothing but good intentions. You have no proof of cheating, as you’ve mentioned.

Also, where exactly does it say on the voting page that there’s no more than one vote per person??? Did you even talk to his owner? No, you didn’t! You’ve made a mockery of this contest and your company and you should be ashamed of yourselves. All those votes Louie got are readers that you have now lost.



RE: “Jeff Sessions Delivers a Drawling, Hysterical, Fear-Mongering Message to Portland” [Blogtown, Sept 19], News Editor Dirk VanderHart’s account of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Portland visit.

These old men are worried that they’re going away. It’s not going to change anything, but as they age out, they’ll act out their neuroses on the populace. The good thing is they’re going to die off, and soon, while a large majority of people under 40 disagree with everything they have to say.

So do what you’re doing. Fight back. Rub their noses in their mediocrity and stupidity. Let them know that everything they hold dear will come to nothing in the end. Because that’s what drives them mad: The fact we’re going to win simply by virtue of not being old, sad, angry, and stupid. We’re going to win because decency and ethics win in the long term over anger, hate, graft, and gullibility.

Fuck off, Jeff Sessions. You’re going to die soon.

The Beans


RE: “One Day at a Time,” Ann Romano’s weekly roundup of news and gossip.

Dear Portland Mercury Legal Dept,

My name is Colin Swartz and I’m a Portland resident and professional writer. Ann Romano has a column called “One Day at a Time.” Ann Romano was Bonnie Franklin’s character on the ’70s sitcom One Day at a Time. This leads me to believe Ann Romano is a pseudonym. There is never any photograph of Ann Romano in the Portland Mercury, print or website (that I have seen).
• Does Ann Romano ever make any public appearances?
• Who is Ann Romano?
• What is his or her real name?
• How do I reach this person?
I have some questions.
Thank you.

Colin Swartz

ANN ROMANO RESPONDS! Colin, you found me! I am married.


RE: “Flat Earth, Eclipsed” [Eclipse Issue, Aug 16], Kathleen Marie’s story about flat-Earthers’ attempts to explain the solar eclipse.

Your report on the flat Earth being a lie is so COMPLETLY stupid, and so obviously geared towards making the rock-solid evidence that the Earth is indeed flat seem ridiculous, that it should have “NASA PROPAGANDA” stamped on it. Ignoring all evidence of the flat plane that we do in fact live on is so absolutely ridiculous that it’s almost funny. There is no proof that the world is round, just NASA CGI cartoons and fakery. Answer this: If the Earth is actually spinning at 1,000 miles an hour, how could the clouds hang almost MOTIONLESS IN THE SKY WITH US SPINNING 1,000 MILES AN HOUR UNDER (that’s beneath) THE CLOUDS? IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! THE CLOUDS WOULD BE SPEEDING PAST US AT NEAR MACH 1. YOU PEOPLE ARE LAUGHABLE AND YOUR ABILITY TO FOOL THE WORLD INTO BELIEVING THIS NONSENSE IS COMING TO AN END SO FAST IT CAN’T BE STOPPED. THERE IS NO BALL. THE EARTH IS COMPLETLY FLAT. NO MATTER HOW HIGH YOU GO, THE HORIZON RISES AT EYE LEVEL AND YOUR ARTICLE IS TOTAL BULLSHIT. BUT I’M SURE YOU’RE UNDER CONTRACT FROM NASA TO HELP PUSH THEIR AGENDA OF FOOLING THE WORLD AND HIDING GOD BUT THAT’S OKAY, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP TO THE TRUTH EVERY DAY. DO SOME RESEARCH YOU IGNORANT MINDLESS PUPPETS AND JOIN THE REAL WORLD. INSANE.

Jeffery McCarty