RE: An amazing influence on the events of the world, apparently.
DEAR MERCURY—What do Captain Cook and Warren Buffett have in common? Hint: It's sorta the same thing as Jessica Savitch and Frances Farmer and has something to do with Julian Bond and John Dillinger. Big clue: James Dean and John Hopkins were friends. Amazing influence in the events of the world is going unreported. Think past the future now.
RE: "Exhausted Development" [Film, Sept 17], reviewing the film This Is Where I Leave You, which drops a hypothetical reference to a 15th season of Arrested Development "when everybody is on Quaaludes."
DEAR ELINOR JONES—Quaaludes have not been a real thing since 1985, and have since been replaced with less hackneyed and anachronistic references.
RE: "The Portland Mercury's Guide to Project Pabst" [insert, Sept 24], profiling the bands playing the weekend-long festival of music and beer.
DEAR MERCURY—Sometimes hyperbole can go too far. It says here, "It's difficult to envision a world without Modest Mouse." No, my friend, it is difficult to envision a world without oxygen.
RE: "A Promise to Keep? Or Break?" [Hall Monitor, Sept 24], regarding $20 million in funding for affordable housing in the gentrifying Albina neighborhood.
DEAR MERCURY—Better question: Can Portland bring Germans, Scandinavians, Irish, and African Americans back to Albina? Albina did not start as the African American neighborhood and it doesn't look like it's going to stay that way for much longer. Thanks for the $20 million, but remember, the purpose of affordable housing is/should be to create diversity and mitigate segregation, not concentrate economic/racial minorities in certain areas of the city.
RE: Life on the streets of downtown Portland.
DEAR MERCURY—So there I was, under the Burnside Bridge last summer... sure there are a few young punks, but they only pick on each other. The ever-compassionate Mayor Hales tells the cops to start sweeping the streets, and suddenly people are being herded like cattle. Immediately fights begin occurring on [the] regular and that small group of young punks is quickly becoming not so small. Within two weeks someone pulls a knife on me because I wanted to sleep in the only place left, which also happened to be next to his daughter. In hindsight, I realize we're both right; a father should not have to put up with strangers sleeping next to his daughter. He is not my enemy. A few months later, someone did get stabbed and murdered and to this day no one is allowed there. This is gentrification in effect; herd them like cattle and get them biting at each other's throats to clear some bridge that has a major development being planned on the other side of it. Now [the mayor is] clearing out Washington Park. We're not all bums just because we do not have a roof over our heads, and do not deserve to be herded and slaughtered like cattle.
RE: "The Forgotten Portland" [Feature, Sept 24], reviewing the history of how East Portland came to be—and came to be underserved.
DEAR MERCURY—Portland is way more than its currently trendy places west of 82nd Avenue with yoga studios, coffeehouses, etc. Inner parts of Portland are becoming so expensive that complacent folks will eventually be joining us poorer and browner people out here. My only kind of gripe about the article is that it doesn't talk about Measures 5 and 47 several years back. Those legal changes have made it so that many people on the Eastside have much higher per capita property taxes, which makes homebuying here less attractive, which keeps the area un-invested. Public meetings here in East Portland, attended by officials from city hall, that I have been to devolve into angry shouting by people who are truly irate about the disparity in services.
CONGRATULATIONS TO TRAVIS, for winning this week's Mercury letter of the week! We're giving him two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, which is pretty far west of 82nd, though the #20 bus line will deliver you from as far east as Gresham.