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Letters from our readers

NBA squabbles have lost a loyal basketball supporter

While the many in the United States grapple with trying to pay their rent and mortgages, homes underwater and unemployment still rampant, it is pretty hard to feel bad for the National Basketball Association while the owners of the teams and the players scrap over how to split up $4 billion in NBA merchandise revenue.

The greed factor boggles the mind. It's really kind of embarrassing.

Players making anywhere between $250,000 a year and $5 million a year to play a game that entails throwing a ball through a hoop, and yet that kind of salary isn't enough - no they need more.

And as per usual, it is the little guy who gets hurt the most.

The guy that sells the hot dogs at the arena, the gal that ushers and all the mom and pop businesses that rely on the revenue from the fans, all gone.

There are some businesses that rely on the receipts from ticket holders to stay afloat; some of these businesses will end up going under.

And when the NBA does return after all the in-fighting is over, it would be so nice to see the fans stand up to the teams and not go to the games. But we have seen this before in professional hockey and football, the fans can't seem to stand up and show the owners and players who the boss really is: The folks that shell out money to go to the games.

I have personally vowed to not attend an NBA game for at least two years. This comes from a guy who was at the Memorial Coliseum when the Portland Trailblazers won the championship. This from a guy who is/was a lifetime Blazer fan.

All this greed and fighting over money has ended that relationship for me once and for all.

JAMES MAASS

Beaverton

Do you have questions for the1st District candidates?

On Jan. 31, we will have a special general election to elect the new representative to the U.S. Congress from the 1st Congressional District.

Do you have a question for the candidates? In early December, the League of Women Voters in partnership with the American Association of University Women will conduct a forum for the candidates. The forum will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing from a link on the League of Women Voters of Portland website lwvpdx.org.

You will also be able to view the forum on TVCTV. The broadcast schedule will be available on our website by late December.

It is important to ask the candidates questions which represent the interests of the voters and communities of the 1st Congressional District.Send us your questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, Nov. 29. Please type 'Questions 1st Congressional District' in the subject line of your email.

We will not be able to use every question we receive. We will try to select questions that represent the interests and issues expressed in the questions submitted. We look forward to receiving your questions. Please be informed and vote, and remember that your vote counts.

MARY MCWILLIAMS

League of Women Voters of Portland president

Veterans should not have to fight for job preference rights

Over four years ago, in 2007, the Oregon Legislature enacted a law (SB-822) giving Oregon veterans hiring preference for public civil service positions with the state, counties, cities and certain other local government entities.

It was recently reported that a veteran won a settlement from the state because the Oregon State Hospital in Salem failed in 2009 to consider his status as a disabled veteran. As a part of the settlement, in addition to $2,100 and attorney's fees, the hospital agreed to train its managers to comply with the law.

According to (a Nov. 11 Oregonian article), Cameron Smith, senior policy advisor to Gov. Kitzhaber, acknowledged that the preference is not well-understood among public human resources representative and probably not by other levels of government - counties, cities, school districts.

I do not know who, if anyone, Gov. Kitzhaber holds responsible for ensuring the implementation of this 4-year-old law. However, Oregon Revised Statutes 406.030 prescribes that the director of Veterans Affairs shall organize and coordinate the administration of all present and future federal and state laws pertaining to veterans.

The director of Veterans Affairs has a large staff, has the publicly funded VETS NEWS, and has access to a large number of state and county veterans services to spread the word. Veterans' preference is not rocket science.

It is a disgrace that this 4-year-old law has not been fully implemented. The men and women who have laid life and limb on the line for their country deserve better. Veterans should not have to file a suit to realize their preference rights.

ROBERT THORNHILL

Southwest Beaverton