Let Blazers smoke as they please


Marijuana, schmarijuana. Who cares about what the Portland Trail Blazers are doing on their own free time (Marijuana: The Blazers' toughest foe, Dec. 5)? - They are not representatives of Portland. They play basketball for a living; how important are their lives to us? They smoke weed, but how does that affect their ability to play basketball?

As long as Zach Randolph keeps putting 20 or more on the board every night and Damon Stoudamire keeps hitting those 3-pointers, let them smoke as much as they want. As long they are not smoking the dope before practice or their game, how does this affect the way they play basketball?

Cameron N. Rafish

Southwest Portland

Drug abuse drags down others on team

What about the other players on the team who aren't doing drugs (Marijuana: The Blazers' toughest foe, Dec. 5)? It's not fair to the players on the team who aren't getting in trouble with the law and being dragged down because of their teammates. No wonder the Blazers aren't competing well.

Kelsey Lauro

Southwest Portland

TriMet makes buses bullies of the streets

I read with interest the Color Commentary 'Locals point out TriMet's deficiencies' (Insight, Nov. 14). To add my two cents' worth: The deficiency I find of extreme importance is the arrogant manner in which TriMet operates the taxpayer-subsidized service on the street.

TriMet has persuaded the city of Portland to spend scarce transportation maintenance dollars for the proliferation of curb extensions and platforms with bus stops so buses can stop in travel lanes and block other traffic when picking up passengers.

TriMet has taken an uncompromising path, choosing conflict over harmony with the transportation-stakeholder/gas-tax-paying motorists, making their buses the big bullies of the streets. Routes where these bus blockades are used have become 'Dirty Air Routes' that create congestion, increase fuel consumption for motorists and have a negative impact on air quality.

Whatever is gained by people using mass transit is offset by the socially engineered conflict TriMet is creating, and all to save maybe five minutes of time in each direction to and from downtown.

Terry Parker

Northeast Portland

Men called 'traitors' are braver than many

Jeffrey Battle and Patrice Ford, in their courtroom statements, demonstrated greater integrity and bravery than any of the chicken hawks in the White House (Judge blasts Ford, Battle as 'first-class traitors,' Nov. 25).

For Judge Robert E. Jones to wag his finger at these men, accusing them of being 'traitors,' defies any rational understanding of international law and clearly puts Jones in bed with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and his FBI cronies as they try to stifle debate and dissent in this country.

The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq is a violation of the U.N. charter, international law and common decency.

Tim Calvert

Southeast Portland

Bowman's qualities greatly appreciated

Thank you for your recent article highlighting former state legislator Jo Ann Bowman (Voice from the edge, Nov. 11). Although I've not seen her in years, she is still an influence on my life and has my deepest respect and admiration.

I met her when she was a legislator and I spent a few days at the Capitol observing her and the other lawmakers. I share her commitment to criminal justice reform, and I proudly stood by her for several years as we attempted to repeal the mandatory minimum sentencing requirement of Ballot Measure 11.

Now, as I have returned to college to study criminology, I often have thought of Jo Ann and the influence her strength, bravery and outspokenness has had on causing me to reach out and speak out in the community. Perhaps one day I will follow her path to the Legislature.

I have no doubt that I will support any future political plans she may have, and I am happy for this opportunity to publicly thank her for all she has done for me and our great state of Oregon.

Juliet Berger


Archangel Michael's Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry