DEAR MERCURY—I appreciate that he still makes a good target, but it's been six years since his election and two years since he left office after choosing not to run for reelection ["Advice for Future Sam," Feature, Dec 16, 2010]. Perhaps [it's] time to make peace with Tom Potter and begin to look at his real contributions as the "do-nothing" mayor. Yes, he did have his own ideas and opinions that occasionally went against the popular grain and even tried to bypass his own processes to do what he perceived as the right thing. But overall, he believed in input—and not just for the sake of show, but to inform, guide, influence, and impact policy decisions. That unprecedented level of community involvement led to all manner of committees—and the resulting slowdown in process. Disappointing, but we really can't blame him especially given what we now know of the nature of Portland city politics—and Sam's ambitions. So after four short and somewhat tumultuous years, you'll find no esplanades, coliseums, or buildings with his name on it. The infrastructure he built was made of grassroots rather than brick, mortar, or asphalt. What you will find are communities all over the city—mostly the invisible ones—where they refer to "Tom" or "the Chief" in reverent tones as they wistfully reflect on bygone days when input—their input—really mattered. And for that they say, "Thanks Tom!" 

-Gary Marschke


Honestly I could personally care less about not being able to get tallboys or boxed wine from the local market ["First, They Came for Tallboys...," Hall Monitor, Dec 23, 2010]. I do think it is unfair to impose such restrictions on certain neighborhoods or districts and not others. Banning certain alcohols or container sizes doesn't really seem to address the real problem though, which in my mind is an issue with addiction. The real challenge is to find a way to help people clean up their lives, only then can you clean up the streets. Until then you're just going to replace that empty can of King Cobra with four or five little cans of whatever the next cheapest thing available is.

-posted by sheps22


Listing off this guy's backstory makes it hard not to have some sympathy for his station in life ["Fake Gun, Real Death," News, Dec 23, 2010]. But that being said, if you wave a gun around in the presence of a police officer that is responding to a crisis you're causing, you will be shot, and you deserve to be shot. Everybody knows that, he knew it, and it was a justified shooting.

-posted by lyle


You lost me when you got to "pizza" ["R.I.P., Crappy Art Trends," Visual Art, Dec 30, 2010]. But yeah on the people with animal heads. Especially people in Victorian clothing with animal heads. I actually like that kind of thing but I think we could all use a break from it for a while. Give it a decade or something, alright?

-posted by zakkpants


Am I the [only] one who thought Toy Story 3 was a great, heartfelt short film padded out by an hour or more of videogame "get out of this jam, now get out of this jam" nonsense ["The (Kinda Crappy) Year in Film," Film, Dec 30, 2010]? TS3 seemed like Pixar found a fantastic idea they didn't know how to execute.

-The One True b!X

NO B!X, YOU'RE NOT the only one! TS3 is shaping up to be mighty divisive for a children's flick, and there are Merc staffers who think that putting it "in the number-one slot of ANYTHING shows a frightening lack of cinematic taste," in fact. Vive la difference! You get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish! where heartfelt food is never padded out.