May 19, 2009 Published in the November 2007 issue of Portland Monthly

Kasey Cordell is being insensitive to the people on the other side of the counter in her discussion of tipping etiquette in Portland ("The Jar Jam,"October 2007). Making coffee may not be much of a task, but Cordell complains that she "feels guilty" about giving a few cents to someone who provided average service.

I am a barista. I am also an avid coffee drinker. I do not always tip everybody I order from, especially if I believe they did not give me above-average service. I also work in a coffee shop that does not allow tipping. My last barista job did, however, allow tips.

As a personal suggestion, do not tip unless you feel it is warranted. However, if you don’t tip, don’t complain about the people who do. It’s a choice they make, just as it is a choice you make, and you should not shun other people just for being nice.


I happened to see a copy of your magazine recently and read with interest the item on bagels ("Schmear Factor," September 2007). Alas, the author is on target; there have been no good bagels in Portland since … well, forever. Perhaps that is about to change.

Having been raised in Los Angeles, I admit to being spoiled by the wonderful products of Western Bagel Baking Company in Van Nuys, located about two miles from my parents’ former home. Whenever I visit LA, I make it a point to stop by Western on my way to the airport and buy four or five dozen fresh bagels, many of them right out of the ovens. I carefully pack them in my carry-on luggage, and often have to stave off fellow passengers or flight attendants who demand a sample as payment for having to smell them all the way back to PDX.


I absolutely loved the "How We Lived" issue ("Postcards From the Past," September 2007) and all the wonderful photos of downtown Portland in the 1940s, when it was the place for us residents to go and shop.

However, on page 100, the article incorrectly places the site of the new 16-story Civic at the corner of SW 19th and East Burnside, next to PGE Park (what we knew in the 1940s as Multnomah Stadium). Although I haven"t lived in Portland for 50 years, having left to seek my fortune in New York City, I’m pretty sure the stadium hasn’t moved to the east side of the river. Furthermore, I do know that East Burnside and SW 19th Ave do not intersect—unless things have really changed since I last visited my hometown two years ago.

Deerfield Beach, Fla.

In connection with the detailed description given of his lavishly furnished home ("Postcards From the Past," September 2007), it might have been more accurate to identify C.E.S. Wood not just as a bard, but as the corporate lawyer he was. Although Wood is remembered more for his poems than for his legal tomes, it’s safe to say that he did not furnish his home with sales of his poetry, but with his income as a successful attorney.

Northeast Portland

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I just finished reading Elizabeth Rusch’s "Swimming Upstream"(September 2007), and I wanted to tell you that I thought it was amazing. Thank you so much for telling this incredible story. Even though I was up to my eyeballs in it as it was unfolding, or perhaps because of being up to my eyeballs in it, I found myself looking at the whole Fish Passage Center situation anew as I read the piece. And I must say, I got pretty choked up at times. Your article serves as a necessary and eloquent reminder of what was and continues to be at stake in the ongoing debate over the future of these scientists.

Washington, DC, representative
Save Our Wild Salmon

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