HEY SARAH [MIRK]—I am writing a quick note after reading your article ["Hitting the Wrong Notes," News, July 2]. If this building [the Albert Apartments on N Williams] represents Portland's shiny new ethos we are in trouble. It's unfortunate that you interviewed and took the developer's verbal assertions regarding the TOD [Transit Oriented Development] qualifications and the building's adherence to zoning codes as fact and repeated them as such [without] educating yourself on the process, the TOD requirements, purposes, and goals, and the Community Design Guidelines and Zoning Codes yourself. Did you ask Mr. Menashe about the bus service from that block to downtown, which is about to be cut back substantially? He is building a 49-car parking lot on the ground floor, something the City does not require and in fact a feature that in the City's eyes discourages mass transit usage. "Transit oriented"?

-Tracy Olson

SARAH MIRK RESPONDS: Regular readers know that the Mercury isn't on the best terms with (nor grants favors to) big developers. Believe it or not, city planners on the project back up the "developer's assertions," agreeing that the 72-unit apartment complex is (surprisingly) smaller than the site allows. While it does plan for 49 parking spots, the complex may qualify for a $1.12 million tax break because it's a high density project just on the edge of the MLK "Main Street" corridor. Sounds like your beef is with the city.


DEAR MERCURY—Despite your curt and dismissive review, the recent VNV Nation show at Berbati's generated lines going around the block in both directions, a phenomenon I'd never observed in three years of working next door [Up & Coming, June 25]. I'd like to see any of the effete hipster twaddle the Mercury so regularly panders to produce anything like the devotion I saw at that show.

-David Drexler


I'd like to ask Mr. Paulson if he plans on compensating the people of Portland for his greed ["Finding $15 Million," News, July 2]. Will his new stadium have special offers like "Mental Health Mondays" or possibly "Transient Tuesdays," oh, and maybe "Soup Kitchen Sundays"? Will his concession stands accept food stamps? Will you get a discount on your $30+ ticket price if you show your unemployment check-stub?

-Posted by zipitup on portlandmercury.com


DEAR MERCURY—I throw down the dirty dish and challenge Josh Waid's title to the "richest, best fed dishwasher in Portland" ["Service!" The Mercury Food Issue, July 2]. I will put up any lunch or brunch at my bailiwick, the Hands-On Cafe at the Oregon College of Art and Crafts, against any meal at Clyde Common. If he cares to go head-to-head on soup alone, his chances will diminish to zero. As for riches—material, spiritual or intellectual—for the first I will open my assets to the scrutiny of any impartial auditor at any time. As to the second, spiritual riches, I have read the Bhagavad-Gita in the original Sanskrit and was an altar boy for six years. As for intellectual riches, I have scored 100% on the Oregon Department of Health's Food Handler's Test for 11 consecutive years! True, I do not wash champagne flutes, but I think that was thrown in to impress the incognizant, as Mr. Waid will surely agree that wadded up gum on the bottom of a water glass is no less distasteful to deal with than on the finest crystal.

-Louis Sargent

WE'RE NOT AT ALL SURE that Mr. Waid intended his expression of contentment to be interpreted as a thrown gauntlet, but we are nonetheless certainly pleased to know that another of his colleagues is so fiercely happy. Louis, double your pleasure with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, which has some pretty good soup too, you know.