Letters to the Editor

January 19, 2010 Published in the February 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

What’s Up, Doc?
Wake up! Most medical care is still delivered by primary care clinicians: internists, pediatricians, and family medicine doctors. There are a total of 9 primary care doctors out of over 200 in the entire “Top Docs” (January 2010) survey! These lopsided numbers will give the public the mistaken idea that the best care, or the only care worthy of inclusion in the survey, is delivered by specialists.
—Eric Brody, MD, Lake Oswego

Exact Science
In a magazine for a town full of “whacktivists,” in a field where sensationalism increasingly seems to trump reason, David Wolman’s “Branch Science” (January 2010) is a wonderful reminder that good journalism still exists. As has been all-too-common in the journalistic discussion of climate change, for example, a lesser writer would have lent more credence to opponents of GMOs by providing them with more space in a misguided attempt at “balance.”
—Dwight Barry, Port Angeles, WA

Lost But Not Forgotten
I was stunned to find that your recent “Local’s Guide to Mount Hood” (December 2009), which included even the history of the mountain’s dogs, did not include a single mention of the horrific tragedy in 1986 in which nine people from Oregon Episcopal School (OES) were killed. Unlike most of the other deaths on the mountain, which have included experienced climbers, the OES climb took inexperienced, untrained kids, with little specialized equipment and only one guide, up a mountain as part of the required school curriculum.

The events around this accident captured the city, the state, and even the country. I don’t think any native Portlander would ever forget it. For those of us directly affected, it changed our lives irrevocably.
—Heather O’Leary McStay, Northeast Portland

Readers had an, ahem, robust reaction to Unitarian Marilyn Sewell’s interview of atheist Christopher Hitchens (“Questions of Faith,” January 2010). Visit our website to join the conversation and read excerpts from the dinner conversation Portland Monthly curated between Hitchens and local religious scholars and leaders.

A marvelous interview, I thought. Kudos to Portland Monthly for having the foresight to use Sewell in this role. It was refreshing to hear two intelligent people discuss these things.
—Richard Ray

If the intent of this article was to give Mr. Hitchens a red carpet upon which to pontificate his points, then Portland Monthly has done splendidly well. But if this had any aspiration of being an actual, honest debate between two individuals subscribing to opposing worldviews, then you could not have failed more miserably.
—Matt S.

It was interesting to see how Hitchens reacted to a Unitarian. His “give no ground” attitude stayed strong, even with someone who obviously agreed with him on almost every point. I say good job, and good riddance to muddled thinking.
—Bart Mitchell

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