RE: "What the 'Street Kids' Have to Say" [Hall Monitor, April 24], an interview with two arbitrarily selected homeless young people.

DEAR MERCURY—I'm bummed "Anne and Nick" are so uninformed about what sort of services Portland has to offer for homeless young people. Outside In is an agency that has been in town since the '60s and offers exactly what they suggested the city focus its attention on: a place to shower, job training programs, and "social workers who don't judge you and make you feel 'scared or uncomfortable.'"
Heather C. Baucum, MSW, Outside In case manager



RE: "The Sanest Arguments Against Fluoride... and Why They're Still Wrong" [Feature, May 1], which prompted a huge volume of web comments, voicemails, and letters. There are plenty more where these came from over on portlandmercury.com!

TO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—Just wanted to say that you guys are complete scumbags and you're morally bankrupt as journalists.

TO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—Fluoride is a poison. It's a known fact. It's what they gave the Jews in the concentration camps, Hitler did. It's in rat poison, it's—it's a straight-up, um... it's bullshit what you guys are putting in the paper, and I'm never picking up your piece of crap newsprint ever again.

MY DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY NEWS TEAM—You were always there—supporting our great city and its true ethic. But when it comes to corporate-sponsored dumping of more chemicals in our drinking water? You caved. It breaks my heart that your staff—your publication—told the fluoride posse, "Oh, it's cool, c'mon in..."
Derek Kristoff Stenzel

DEAR MERCURY—I was surprised that the most sane argument against fluoridation was not mentioned by your news team: The fact that many, many people do not want it. It would be SOOOOOOO much easier and less expensive for the city to subsidize a program of free fluoride tablets for anyone who wants fluoride in their water.

DEAR MERCURY—When I lived in Southern California, I vividly remember the anti-fluoridation side claiming that it was a communist conspiracy. How cute that the arguments of the "antis" in Oregon are only slightly more factual.
Charles Linville

DEAR MERCURY—I understand for a healthy person small amounts of fluoride may not do much harm, but for me and all the others in the population suffering from an autoimmune disease, a little affects a lot. With fluoridated water, there's no way for me to opt out. (Except buying bottled water and drinking and cooking with only that, and never drinking and eating anywhere but in my own home, for the rest of my life.)
Hannah Lockheart

DEAR MERCURY—This folly of a movement that seeks to rot the mouths of the poor is a stark reminder that people everywhere, liberal or otherwise, are all too eager to lacquer their gray matter with a thick, reason-repellent coating of fear.
Roy Smallwood

DEAR MERCURY—For 10 years, I drilled down into fluoridation's political history. You and fluoridation's supporters are on the wrong side of history.

DEAR EDITOR—Fluoridation of city water isn't about kids' teeth, and never was. It's about the chemical fertilizer industry needing to get rid of a waste product called hexafluorosilicic acid.
Naga Nataka

TO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—I'm a holistic health practitioner, which I know in the article says that we're based on faulty science, which is kind of amusing to me. Putting a Band-Aid on tooth corrosion while ignoring the ravages on these children's bodies from their diet, which is the main issue, is really fucking stupid. And I literally can't believe that anyone would be so fucking stupid as to think that that would help. So I would really appreciate if some people on your staff could have a more holistic perspective on health and maybe get behind some nutrition initiatives like community gardens or something where these kids can get some fucking organic vegetables.

TO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—Portland is turning into a bobblehead conservative bunch of human beings who can't have a conversation because they're too busy with their little electronic device. Yeah, every other major city has it, yeah, except Portland. Because Portland, I thought, had a hair on its ass. I guess not, and no thanks to you people, because a lot of people read your magazine, your rag. I only read the comics in the back because the rest of it's mostly shit except for Ann Romano. And if she's involved with this—I mean, is she part of the news team? How much money did you guys get?

DEAR MERCURY—In light of the fluoride debate, I would like to propose that we take the time to ban another chemical that sneaks into our food! IODINE! Most likely you've read UNICEF's propaganda claiming that it prevents goiters and mental retardation. Did you know it's toxic at high levels? I don't care if poor people have goiters, the contamination of our salt is not worth the risk to our health.
Resident of the supplement police state

DEAR MERCURY—Even you guys are trying to ride on this flimsy "it strengthens kids' teeth" thing? Well fuck yo kids' teeth! I don't want to ingest any more poisonous chemicals than I already do living in this modern age.
Ian Ether

DEAR MERCURY—I believe you support fluoridation of the water only because you put blind faith in a medical industry and science establishment that forever has minimized, downplayed, ignored, and denied harmful side effects of medications and chemicals.
Carlos Martin

The Mercury has been a total CIA tool since they started. Let's all just ignore them. THEY WILL GO AWAY. Watching Ann Romano eat out of a dumpster will be way more entertaining anyway.
posted by Bruce Hornbuckle

Just remember every time you pick up a Portland Mercury you are reading pussy liberal biased neo-Nazi propaganda.
posted by Theophilus TPP aka Rainbow Man

My aunt's cousin's husband had a disease and drinking water seemed to make it GET WORSE! It's well known that the NAZIS forced public water and carried water supplies into battle. That's a FACT. One hundred percent of people who drink water will die. End public water now!
posted by Pridge Wessea

DEAR NEWSPAPER EDITOR PERSON—Your article has inspired a small group of us who believe that Establishing Holistic Regionally Mandated Aquatic Heritage Goals is Everyone's Rightful Duty (EHRMAHGERD). EHRMAHGERD is committed to defending Portland's water not just from fluoride, but also from chlorine and ammonia. Now, you may be thinking, "Wait, if you remove all the disinfectant chemicals, then some people will contract cholera or dysentery!" Well, yes, that may be true, but the sacrifice of an unlucky few is a small price to pay for the rest of us to enjoy perfectly pure drinking water. In the next voting cycle, look for EHRMAHGERD's campaign against vaccinations. Now, again, you might be thinking, "Hey, without vaccinations, some kids will contract polio!" Well, to that we say: We never could've had FDR's New Deal without a little polio. If you'd like to join EHRMAHGERD, we'll be meeting at the bottom of Crater Lake next Tuesday.
An under-informed, well-meaning, active citizen

DEAR EDITOR—When the anti-fluoridationists have once again won, Portland can add her children with bad teeth to her miles of unpaved streets to secure her place as the Appalachia of Ecotopia.
Brian A. Cobb

HEY MERCURY—It's not my fault your kids have cavities, and it still won't be my fault if Portland doesn't fluoridate. My kid is eight and doesn't have cavities, we aren't sugar Nazis, so really, it can't be that hard!



RE: "Die, Chivalry, Die" [I, Anonymous, May 1], in which a woman complains about strange men awkwardly holding open doors and making her brush past them.

TO THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THIS WEEK'S I, ANONYMOUS—Give me a goddamn break. I promise you that this person didn't assume that you were so pathetic you weren't capable of opening a door. The next time someone holds the door open for you just say thank you and be on your way. AND FOR FUCK's SAKE, SAY THANK YOU!
Jennifer Nobles 

DEAR MERCURY—I know men who don't open doors because they think they're being feminists, but sometimes it makes them seem like an asshole.



RE: "Haiku #2" [Letters, May 1], in which reader Erika submitted her second haiku for us, inspired by the sunny weather. It's not really a thing that we do, but she seemed sweet.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN—I kinda write haiku as well, and there is far more to it than 5-7-5. I don't mind people who write 5-7-5—it was the early, misunderstood way of teaching back in the '60s and '70s, but I do take offense to ones that say, "this is the proper form," or "the way it should be." Erika wrote a lovely poem and I have no problem with her calling it a haiku but you would do her a service, and the public in general, by passing along correct information or good places for resources like the Haiku Society of America (HSA)—they have a web page with lots of information, like the plural for haiku is "haiku."
james rodriguez



RE: "My Heart's Dick" [Portland as Fuck, May 1], in which columnist Ian Karmel writes his love letter to Portland.

DEAR MERCURY—I cried while reading Portland as Fuck this week. I was pleasantly surprised to find such an awesome recounting of why I love this city, even if that is why everyone else moves here. The sun came out, the moods got better, we all got friendlier, and THAT, my friends, is PORTLAND as FUCK!

HIGH FIVES, PS&BD! When you get tired of the patio, you can head down to the Laurelhurst Theater and drink more beer while watching a movie with your prize winnings of two free tickets! It's just one of the many things we love about Portland, too.