RE: “Northwest Portland Has Begun Denying Parking Permits to Some Apartment Residents” [News, Jan 10]. Thanks to stiffer regulations in Northwest, “homeowners or people in small buildings are guaranteed a parking pass (or even multiple passes),” wrote News Editor Dirk VanderHart, while “only 60 percent of units in buildings of 30 or more units can get a permit.”

The anti-car crowd and apartment owners stridently argued that new no-parking buildings would attract car-free renters. I think it’s fair to hold them to that. They are trying to have it both ways, arguing first for no-parking apartments (because renters don’t drive) and then arguing that 100 percent of the renters in no-parking apartments should have a permit (because more of them drive than expected). Keep the existing restrictions. What will happen is that the lack of parking will cause some renters with cars to look elsewhere, thus restraining rents and helping carless renters.

Reverend Bite Me

I don’t see why homeowners, who presumably already have driveways/garages and thus parking, should even be eligible for parking permits. I also don’t see why priority should be given to any particular building, owner, or tenant. Create a bidding system for a limited number of permits based on street capacity and ideal use (i.e., if you always drive to work, you can get a lower-priced, overnight-only permit because you are leaving some street space open during the day), and then let people buy parking up to the point where it’s worth it for them. As soon as it becomes too expensive, people will look to other modes of transit, just like people will only look at housing they can afford.



RE: “One Day at a Time” [Jan 10], in which Ann Romano congratulated transgender Americans who wished to serve in the military. As of January 1, they were allowed to do so, despite the Trump administration’s wishes. “While you won’t ever see us in fatigues, dears (the closest we ever came was a profoundly ill-advised Dr. Martens phase in high school), we offer our congrats to all who can now serve,” wrote Romano, “and who are doing so in direct opposition to the wishes of the Trump administration!”

As I felt when LGBTQ folks were first admitted and when, at 21, along with 90 other people, I turned in my draft card in New York City’s Central Park: No one should serve in the US’ imperial military.

Both Madison and Jefferson warned against a standing army, and the trillions wasted on the military allows the rulers to claim they can’t afford universal health care, free education through college, sufficient affordable housing, and all the other aspects of a civilized nation.

Forgive me, Ann, if I don’t consider this a win.

Bill Michtom


RE: Star Wars.

Enough of this fawning over Star Wars. It’s the same hopeless story every time. An empire controls the galaxy with overwhelming force and brutality and always will, but occasionally, a small group of rebels win a minor skirmish while suffering huge losses. Sometimes they even take out a major weapons system only to see it replaced by another. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that the whole franchise is conditioning people to accept that we can only hope to win minor victories against the system, barely slowing it down.

Steve Hassett

Steve, for revealing an insidious conspiracy that rivals even that of Emperor Palpatine, you win the Mercury’s letter of the week—and two passes to Portland’s beloved Laurelhurst Theater! (Please note: These passes can only be redeemed for screenings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.)