Regarding "FriendSearch" [WW, April 12, 2006]: While I can empathize with how lonely our perceived idyllic little burg can be, Carin Moonin should be glad she is fortunate enough to even have a partner. Imagine having to wait up to two years between romantic liaisons!

And Elizabeth Sullivan [Mailbox, WW, April 19] should be glad she is fortunate enough to have a career. She chose that field, so perhaps she should open her heart and mind to her over-40 colleagues. They may prove to be great mentors, be a good networking source for people she feels are more age-appropriate, or even surprise her by being cooler than she imagined.

I think the reason why people here don't form lasting bonds is the transient nature of the West Coast in general. Everyone is on their way to somewhere else from somewhere else. If someone changes jobs or ZIP codes, they cease to exist. About a year later, acquaintances may temporarily reunite in a grocery store, and while the enthusiasm is genuine in the moment and numbers/emails may be exchanged as an awkward pleasantry, both parties know neither will follow up.

So instead of focusing on the negative, put your pity parties on hold, girls, and befriend the one who will always be there for you and is usually the most fun to be around—yourself. Now is the perfect time, while learning a new town. Yes, companionship is great, but there is a lot to do here, and a lot that can even be enjoyed alone.

Best of luck to both of you. I'd give you my number or email, but you'd snub me for being over 40. Too bad, because I do return calls and extend myself.

Diana Swan
Northeast Fargo Street


I can understand the benefits of a less serious perspective; the present tone of current events does beg for some levity and humor. And yes, categorizing a sea lion as a rogue and implying that he and his fellow pinnipeds can be blamed for the decline of salmon in the Columbia makes a cute story.

But the April 12 Rogue of the Week reflects a worrisome superficial view of a complex group of interrelated problems, most of which are ultimately due to the actions of humans, not animals. Humans that, unlike seals, have been "wreaking havoc" in the Pacific Northwest for generations, and are more than capable of "feeling remorse." Jon Weatherford's column seems to imply that the natural behaviors of sea lions are more roguish than over 150 years of habitat destruction, overfishing and climate change by humans for human needs at the expense of natural processes.

We need to keep in mind that [sea lion] C404's natural habits can only have a significant impact on an ecosystem thrown out of balance by human activity. He is feeding in a river deforested and industrialized, at a dam far more detrimental to healthy salmon runs than his "gorging" on six salmon a day. A dam built by humans, for humans whose remorse only in recent times has led to technological Band-Aids like barges, screens, ladders and otherwordly spillway diversions. These patches to a system broken seem only to relieve our guilt enough to allow us to blame birds and sea mammals for problems that are clearly of our own making. C404 is a symptom, not the disease, when it comes to diagnosing the health of salmon in the Northwest.

Don't get me wrong: I think a lighthearted and humorous look at our problems can still fulfill Willamette Week's mission of providing "an independent and irreverent understanding" of how "our worlds work" so humans can "make a difference." Maybe humor rather than understanding was Mr. Weatherford's goal. But the time is long overdue for us to stop pointing fingers when looking for reasons why we are losing sacred salmon. We have seen the rogue, and it is us.

James Thompson
Northwest Thurman Street

Clarification: Last week's cover story may have created the impression that former AFL-CIO boss Tim Nesbitt is advising Ben Westlund. In fact, the two were part of a 2003 bipartisan group that developed a tax-reform package Westlund has now adopted for his campaign. Nesbitt has no role in that campaign.