RE: "The Nine-Percent Solution" [I Love Television, May 14], regarding the racket that is TV-service subscription.

DEAR MERCURY—While I totally agree that TV viewers are basically at the whim of giant corporations only interested in the bottom line, their channel lineup is dictated by the network, not the video provider. All of the networks operate in this fashion and all of the providers must comply. The only way we can change this is to turn off the TV, stop paying the bill, and agree not to resume until certain demands are met. Furthermore, the giant service providers could insist that the networks offer à la carte channels, but why would they when all of their sheep (customers) keep paying their bill? My suggestion: turn off your TV, cancel your TV service, and read more.



RE: "COPP Out" [News, April 23], regarding a new charging policy that criminalizes camping on public land as well as targeting other quality-of-life behaviors.

DEAR MERCURY—For many people without houses, camping is not an option. It is a basic act of survival. Issuing warnings to people for urinating and drinking in public is to elevate those activities to a privilege status, to be enjoyed only by those with the economic privilege of a house or apartment. Removing individuals for repeat offenses of such acts seems part of a gentrification attempt to drive away Portlanders who do not fit the image of the desired landscape. The new set of rules is another way to make the downtown area a haven for the wealthier residents of Portland.

Cathleen McCormick


RE: "Sentence Structure" [News, May 14], regarding efforts to curb Oregon's prison population, which are not entirely working.

Gee, maybe, just maybe, when criminals hear that the penalties for breaking the law are going to be less severe, they commit more crimes. Preliminary numbers that I have seen indicate that in Portland there are twice as many people being arrested for methamphetamine as there were two years ago. Unintended consequences and unforeseen circumstances can sabotage the best-laid plans of mice and men...

posted by Jimmy Carter


RE: "Final Thoughts on Bridgetown" [Blogtown, May 15], reflecting on the annual stand-up comedy festival.

I think the loss of the Bagdad's big theater killed Hawthorne. It was the place you could almost always get in, and cornerstoned the walkable Hawthorne fests of yesteryear.

posted by helloeveryone

I agree that [the festival] needs to be concentrated in one area rather than two. I wish it could still be Hawthorne, since I live just a couple of blocks away, but even so, putting everything in inner SE would make it much more accessible. I ended up parked at the Alhambra and the Eagles for empty hours between shows a couple of times because there was no room in the other walkable venues. Also, a couple of times volunteers looked at me like I had a third arm when I wanted to go into a show that was nearly over, just to kill some wait time. The vibe was definitely off on Hawthorne this year.

posted by ElGordo


RE: "Judge Casts Down Oregon's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage" [Blogtown, May 19], reporting the legalization of same-sex marriage in Oregon and the decision's joyous, wedding-filled aftermath.

SOOOOO happy we have seen the light and have joined the other states that have done the right thing... congratulations to all of my dear friends that can now partake of everything that a marriage represents. It is a momentous victory.

posted by Nancye Alameda via Facebook

I'm sure there will be appeals by the bitter and the brainwashed, but this was the right decision and sooner or later every state will allow same-sex marriage. Thank you, Judge McShane, for reaffirming that everyone should be equal under the law.

posted by jnat

SIMPLE AS THAT, jnat, isn't it? Everyone won this week (whether they know it or not), because a win for civil rights is a win for humanity. But you also win two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater with this week's Mercury letter of the week. May we recommend you use them on a romance?