Miles offers pricey lesson
Dwight Jaynes' important examination of the pros and cons concerning Darius Miles' impending return was thoughtful and acute (Stay or go?, Jan. 11).
I am of the opinion that he must not be allowed to rejoin the club and that all ties to him should be severed. The remainder of his immense and tragic contract should be bought out, so much does he threaten the progress of the now very positive situation developing here.
Merely entertaining the notion that the return of a (presumably) physically healthy Miles could have anything but a negative impact on the 'new' Trail Blazers is very difficult.
It's no accident that the Blazers' dramatic resurgence has coincided with Miles' complete absence from the scene.
To imagine him blending in smoothly with this group and contributing anything of value on the court or in the locker room strains credulity, to put it mildly. To reintroduce Miles now, in the hopes that he finally might deliver on his vaunted promise, though tempting, would be a mistake.
Whatever upside Miles once possessed largely has been hijacked by his own self-absorption, disinterest and dissipation, and by circumstance.
He is an outsider now, a relic of the sad and troubled Blazers of the late Nash-Patterson era who declined, bottomed out and, in doing so, largely enabled the rebuilding and redefinition of the franchise through the shrewd drafts of Kevin Pritchard.
Let's just call it a very expensive lesson learned by all parties involved, and move on to a brighter future with Greg Oden up our sleeve.
Petitioners are indeed in plain sight
Steve Law's story about Democracy Direct mysteriously collecting signatures for nine initiatives, including five of mine, without being seen by our public employee union opponents is utterly nonsensical (Petitioners gather support without a trace, Jan. 22).
Our circulators have been on the streets in every county in Oregon, in plain sight, for more than a year. The unions know that. They just couldn't figure out a way to block our petitioners like they have in the past.
We submitted signatures to the secretary of state for several petitions more than six months ago, and announced that we also had finished several others. The unions knew that.
We also filed finance reports with the elections division disclosing who donated the money to pay for the drives. Those were covered by the media.
Several union officials even have commented in news stories about the petitions we had finished. For them to now claim that we somehow completed these drives in secret and must have cheated is laughable.
The real story is this: The public employee unions want to stop the people of Oregon from voting on important issues.
Why else would they work so hard at stopping us from collecting signatures and keeping our measures off the ballot?
Executive director, Oregon Taxpayers United