RE: The Portland Mercury’s distribution boxes.

I don’t know if you’ve ever considered this, but it seems like it would be more fair if free paper distributors would approach the mayor’s office or city council or TriMet and ask if there could be “concession booths,” where everyone could distribute their papers, instead of having these boxes. It seems like it gives an unfair advantage to people who already have the money to multiply these boxes and plant them all over town. It would be a more equal opportunity for startup papers if they were distributed from concessions booths or from private property, like in coffee shops or in supermarkets. Because not only is it kind of unfair from a marketplace advantage, [but] because you’re using public space to market your product, it takes up walkways that could be used by the public. Using public space in order to do business should be fair and done in an accessible way that would be open to anyone, and not favor those with means, or more means than others.

I think concessions booths, if they were fairly done, could be a really exciting opportunity for Portland people. It would be a place to market new products and to sell our own products to ourselves. And it would probably reach a lot of visitors to town, and then they could sample our Stumptown coffee, or our baked goods. Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but I wanted to be thorough.

Jennifer Lombard


RE: “Jeff Sessions Has Rescinded a Legal Pot Road Map Oregon and Others Rely On” [Blogtown, Jan 4] and “Oregon’s US Attorney Suggests He Won’t Step Up Marijuana Enforcement” [Blogtown, Jan 4], News Editor Dirk VanderHart’s stories about US Attorney Jeff Session’s rescinding of the Cole Memo, an Obama-era document that set forth conditions states would have to meet to help ensure the feds don’t dismantle their cannabis programs.

Yeah, Jeff Sessions’ recent announcement cracking down on marijuana is disturbing. But technically, he is just enforcing the law. This sets up a messy states’ rights vs. federal law issue. The only long-term solution (besides a Supreme Court decision) is to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act at the federal level.

Let’s get this done already. Lucky for you, there is a bill in Congress that is trying to do just that: HR 1227. Blumenauer is a co-sponsor. Props to him. Let’s make sure the other Oregon reps also support it. Give them a call.

Big Al


RE: “2018 Claims First Restaurant Victim; The Original Taco House Has Shut Down” [Blogtown, Jan 2]. “Fare thee well, sweet Original Taco House,” mourned Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey. “Your jaunty sign and top-notch customer service will be missed.”

I’m going to miss the Overlook Cafe much more. Especially since I bet it won’t be taken over by some better restaurant, who’d leave the decor and change the menu. But I’m guessing it’ll be unaffordable apartments up top and uninteresting retail on the bottom. Such is destiny.

rich bachelor


RE: “In I, Tonya, Margot Robbie Makes Tonya Harding Human Again” [Film, Dec 21], Senior Editor Megan Burbank’s movie review. “Without sugarcoating Harding’s personality or her life, I, Tonya tells a familiar story of a woman whose life was ruined by hapless, cruel men and sexist gatekeeping,” Burbank wrote. “In a moment of heightened awareness around sexual abuse and workplace harassment, Harding’s story couldn’t be more timely.”

Interesting take on I, Tonya. But you young folks didn’t know Tonya Harding before 1994. When Nancy Kerrigan got clubbed during the Olympics, my mom said, “I’ll bet you that Tonya Harding had something to do with it.”

Peter “Eagle”

While we’re always interested in what Peter’s mom has to say, we’re giving the Mercury’s letter of the week—and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater!—to Big Al, for his reminder that we can ALL do our part to improve the hellscape dystopia of modern America. This includes calling our representatives. And then getting stoned.