DEAR MERCURY—Amy Jenniges' article keeps in line with the Mercury's understandable hard-line criticism of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission [OLCC] ["Devil's Advocate," News, Jan 25], but unfortunately she is criticizing the organization for actually loosening up on one of their rules. If you criticize the OLCC just for the sake of criticizing the OLCC, you invalidate the vast amount of reasons why they need to just go away.

Joe Kelly


DEAR MERCURY—It was with great anticipation that I started reading Ezra Ace Caraeff's article on Keane in last week's issue [Once More with Feeling, Jan 25]. I quickly realized, though, that the writer was merely masturbating his ego onto the keyboard. Let me help the obviously overpaid writer with some enlightenment: Keane is a wonderful band with a strong repertoire of deeply melodic and haunting musical messages. Why denigrate something you don't understand when you could inspire more people to take a listen and decide for themselves?



DEAR MERCURY—I was more than a little surprised, not to mention disgusted, to read Amy Jenniges' article about the new and ridiculous Portland tram ["Such Great Heights," Feature, Jan 25]. As a Portland native, I have seen this city go through many changes, but through it all we have managed to keep the feel of our city. Of course the tram is popular at the moment. It is a novelty, but the 15 minutes will be up soon enough and we'll be left with a useless piece of overpriced metal that shuffles a few doctors from their overpriced, trendy condos to their place of work not far away. Should we just roll over and thank all the transplants for coming to our city and adding some trendy high-rises to the skyline? There have been harsh feelings toward more recent transplants who moved here to take advantage of our lower property prices, but feel they can change our city to wherever they came from. Why do we need a catchy object for people to remember our city?



DEAR MERCURY—I must say I was nauseated with Amy Jenniges' article on the new tram ["Such Great Heights," Feature, Jan 25]. Seriously, the piece should have included a warning that said "Warning: Tool at Work." What she fails to realize is that to build these contrived "landmarks," real, authentic landmarks like the Virginia Café and other historically notable places have to go under the blade of a bulldozer.



DEAR MERCURY—Jonathan Maus is worried about being taken out of context ["Bike Beat," News, Feb 1]. He shouldn't be—his context is clear enough in this statement: "...most groups of kids looking for crimes of opportunity are black." While most cyclists in Portland, and in his neighborhood, may be white, he has absolutely no rational basis for this other part of his statement explaining how his bike patrol is going to bring people together. If he doesn't give some more thought to race relations, his efforts are doomed to fail.

Lisa Cobb


DEAR MERCURY—I was riding home from work (around 10:30 pm on the 30th of January) on NE 28th right before Broadway, next to Freddie's, when a car full of kids, at least one a female, passed by slowly while firing a BB Gun/Airsoft saying, "I'll kill you motherfucker! That's how we do it!" I was hit a few times in the body, but I got one in the side of my head, right next to my temple. Kinda shocked, I just kept on biking home another few miles wondering if I was bleeding. Living in Northeast Portland now for four months, I have experienced numerous bicycle hate crimes, significantly more than the Southeast where I lived for two years and hadn't seen half the hate. Thanks, Erin LaCour, for your great article "Bike Beat" [News, Feb 1].


CONGRATULATIONS TO NELZ for winning the Mercury letter of the week with his harrowing tale of car-on-bike violence. For inspiring our latest invention idea (bike U-locks that double as nunchucks), Nelz wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, and lunch for two at No Fish! Go Fish!, where anyone who shoots you will more than likely be 86'd.