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

Dear Ann Romano,

I’m a new reader of the Mercury, and now, because of your column, a permanent reader. You are an absolutely fantastic writer. Your column is highly entertaining, highly informative, laugh-out-loud funny, and socially conscious. That is a rare combo, and your writing is the thing I most look forward to every week when I pick up the Mercury. Keep up the great work! I look forward to buying your book when it comes out. :-)


ANN ROMANO RESPONDS! Thanks so much for your kind words, Kal! I am married.


RE: The Mercury’s Film section, where we recently published reviews of TV shows like HBO’s Mosaic and Here and Now, along with a guide to the best of winter television.

Dudes, the one element of this paper I still consistently enjoy, the film reviews, are being whittled down to nothing. In the past I could count on at least four solid reviews, but recently the section is shrinking. Some weeks there’s only one review and it isn’t even of a film! Please beef up this section again.

Don’t make me go online!

P.S. Bring back the celebrity gossip in One Day at a Time, while you’re at it! Politics are well and good, but we need some relief too.

FILM EDITOR ERIK HENRIKSEN RESPONDS! Following the year-end dump of Oscar bait, the early part of the year is always pretty awful for film releases. Things are starting to pick up—but we’d also be remiss not to cover TV, considering that’s where many of the most interesting filmmakers (TV-makers?) are currently working. In this week’s Film section (pg. 41), we have a review of Black Panther, a preview of the Portland International Film Festival, and a piece about the web series Gabby Antonio Smashes the Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy. (That web series is made in Portland, in case the title didn’t immediately tip you off.)

ANN ROMANO RESPONDS! Thanks so much for your input, sweetie. I am married.


RE: “I Anonymous” [Feb 7], in which Anonymous defended her use of a Chihuahua as a service animal—and called out a bystander who criticized the dog for being “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen” and accused Anonymous of having “probably ordered that vest online.”

Not condoning this person’s behavior, because they sound like an asshole, but the problem is that there ARE a lot of people out there with fake service dogs. They are spoiling it for you and others who truly need service dogs, because they make the rest of us suspect whether any service dog is truly a service dog. The people with fake service dogs think they’re special and that their behavior is okay. It’s not.



RE: “The Scorpion: How the Feds Found One of the Web’s Most Prominent Illicit Diet Pill Dealers in Oregon” [Feature, Feb 7], Doug Brown’s story about the DEA and FDA’s investigations of Jonathan McGraw, AKA “ScorpionDNP,” an Oregon man who sold DNP—a pesticide used as a diet pill—via Reddit and Discord. “The Food and Drug Administration has banned DNP for human consumption since the 1930s, due to numerous deaths,” wrote Brown.

I realize DNP is not legal, but it’s a shame because people will always seek out substances like DNP. With Scorp, you knew what you were getting was quality and safe. Now, without a major supplier, you could be buying anything.


Welcome to the Mercury family, Kal—and thanks for writing in now, when you still like us, rather than in a few years, when your affection has curdled and you only write in to complain. Your flattery of Ann has earned you the Mercury’s letter of the week—and two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater! (Don’t tell the guy who’s cranky about our film coverage.)