RE: "People Are Threatening to Shut Down the O's Two-Person Mayoral Debate" [Blogtown, Feb 22], in which Dirk VanderHart wrote about a group's plan to disrupt the debate due to the Oregonian's refusal to include any candidates besides Ted Wheeler and Jules Bailey. "In an election year where lesser-known candidates have been fighting for exposure," wrote VanderHart, "that's riling people up."

Aren't the petitioners doing exactly what they complain about? Their petition indicates that there are six "viable candidates" they want as part of a debate. With 12 or so people registered as running for mayor, that means the petitioners have made their own determination based on their own criteria that the other candidates are not viable.

posted by Babygorilla

This will all be moot when everyone in the city writes in "Todd Mecklem" for mayor.

posted by Todd Mecklem


RE: "Officials Removed Fluoride from the Water in Calgary, Canada... and Guess What Happened?" [Blogtown, Feb 18], in which Wm. Steven Humphrey pointed out that since Calgary took fluoride out of its water in 2011, that city's children have had an average of "3.8 more cavities, extractions, and fillings." While Humphrey's post brought Portland's anti-fluoride science-phobes back out of the woodwork, we aren't going to print their comments.

As a dentist who graduated 40 years ago and has practiced in both a fluoridated city (Chicago, fluoridated since 1956), and non-fluoridated Portland, there is a definite difference on a community-wide basis.

Interesting facts in the defeat of the fluoridation vote back in May 2013: The Westside precincts (except out on rural Skyline Road) voted "yes" for fluoridation, and the higher socioeconomic status (SES) precincts on the Eastside—Grant Park, parts of Irvington, Alameda, Laurelhurst, and Eastmoreland—all voted "yes" too.

It was the lower SES communities—those that would have benefited from fluoridation—that voted "no." Those east of SE 82nd voted 80 percent against.

With only 42 percent of registered voters casting ballots in the election, there were 251,000 voters who did not weigh in on fluoridation.

The headquarters building on NE Sandy for the pro-fluoridation side is now a cannabis shop. The fluoride lovers have been replaced by the THC chemical lovers. BTW: No one who has consumed fluoridated water at the optimal level of 0.7 ppm has ever overdosed from fluoride. Can't say that for those consuming an edible chocolate.

posted by Kurt Ferre

Obviously fluoride isn't harmful. They want us to argue about it so that we don't talk about chemtrails.

posted by The Immortal Goon


RE: "Wheat Is Murder" [Feature, Feb 17], in which Morgan Troper wrote that "within the last few years, the 'gluten-free lifestyle' has become a bandwagon diet and received national coverage, with Portland as one of its vanguard cities" and noted our city's gluten-free offerings—which include everything from pizza at Sizzle Pie to beer from Ground Breaker Brewing.

Thank you for this. I used to be a gluten-free eye-roller until I ended up with debilitating digestive issues. Doc put me on an elimination diet and wheat was the culprit. Now, without wheat, I have a functioning digestive system and no migraines for the first time since childhood. Why would anyone choose to give up croissants and bagels? I just feel grateful to live in such a place where I can eat amazing healthy food. (And Ground Breaker stout!)

posted by interplanetjanet

Great article on the growing gluten-free industry, but I'm a bit shocked that there was no mention of Gluten Free Gem Bakery. They were the first gluten-free dedicated bakery in the Portland area and they are not one to be missed. Anne Miller is the owner and she and her team make a remarkable and delicious array of gluten-free offerings that you can purchase directly from the bakery or from several area grocery stores.

posted by Nicole Titus

Thanks for the tip, Nicole! You win the Mercury's letter of the week (and only partly because if we gave it to Kurt, the anti-fluoride hordes would be even more sure the Mercury's conspiring with those nefarious dentists). Enjoy your pair of tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—where there might be gluten in the pizza, but where each and every motion picture is 100 percent gluten free.