DEAR MR. [JOE] STRECKERT—In your article "Kablooie!" you addressed two Japanese bombings of Oregon [Feature, Dec 1, a brief history of Oregon's significant explosions]. You wrote that these two attacks were the "only direct hits Japan made against the US in WWII," and this statement ignores the Japanese shelling of Fort Stevens, near Astoria, and the oil field shelled in California. You also wrote that Archie Mitchell's whole family was killed by the balloon bomb blast. Mitchell was on a Sunday school picnic with his students, none of whom were related to him. His wife, pregnant with their first child, was killed in the blast; he didn't have a son who tried to touch the bomb. Both the attacks you mentioned were designed to start forest fires on the West Coast of the US, and [Nobuo] Fujita's bombing run was never intended to hit Brookings or "blow it into oblivion." I conducted a lot of research on this topic while making On Paper Wings, a film about the people affected by the balloon bomb explosion in Southern Oregon. I appreciate your attention to these events, but hope you'll do more thorough research next time around. 

-Ilana Sol

DEAR SIR—Sure, you write about Vanport floods, the long ago Mount Mazama explosion, yet no mention of the Missoula ice floods ["Kablooie!," Feature, Dec 1]. How would you feel if you created the Columbia Gorge, dumping a load of silt and erratic rocks in the Willamette Valley for good measure, and were completely disregarded... I think you would feel pretty left out and hurt.

-Ted Shred


It's a shame that in an otherwise interesting report on an unusual campaign event, the writer chooses to take a snide little side-swipe at the tired non-issue of Charlie Hales' brief residence in Washington with his wife Nancy ["Talk Softly, Carry a Big Stick," Hall Monitor, Dec 1, reporting on a "talking circle" candidate forum for Portland's mayoral hopefuls]. To once again set the record straight: When Charlie and Nancy got married, her job required that she live in Southwest Washington and she had two children in high school up in the Gorge. So Charlie, not surprisingly, lived with his wife in Stevenson until the kids graduated from high school, when Charlie and Nancy moved to Southeast Portland, where they live now. While living in Washington, Charlie paid his Oregon taxes on Oregon income just like all the rest of us, since his office remained in Portland. I'm not sure what this writer would have done instead... refused to marry? Made the children move in the middle of high school? Lived apart from his wife because someday he might run for mayor? There are real issues that should be considered when the next mayor is chosen; this isn't one of them.

-posted by Ed Tenny


As a new mom in her late 30s who was mostly ambivalent about having a kid until I held my daughter in my arms, I commend you for writing this, and I hope it sparks more conversation on this issue ["Let's Talk about Baby Regret," Sexual Politics, Dec 1, regarding the social stigma about verbalizing regret about having kids]. Before I became a mom, most of my friends didn't understand why I was so conflicted. They felt the issue was very black and white. Either you do or you don't. In hindsight, I'm really, really glad I fought my internal struggle because I think it makes me a better, more prepared, less regretful and resentful parent.

-posted by magnolia

CONGRATULATONS TO MAGNOLIA for her thoughtfulness regarding having children and noting the often overlooked benefits of our internal struggles. You win two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you can enjoy a variety of internal struggles on the big screen every day.