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Coach is doing just fine

by: JIM CLARK, Blazer coach Nate McMillan may have left columnist Dwight Jaynes unimpressed after a game against the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month, but one reader who was at the game says McMillan and his developing team are going a good job and just waiting to jell.

It was interesting that Dwight Jaynes used the Trail Blazers' game with the San Antonio Spurs to illustrate his point that Blazer coach Nate McMillan is not doing a great coaching job (McMillan doesn't deserve a free pass, March 9).

Having been a Spurs fan since the ABA days, closely watching their development into champions and having attended this Blazers-Spurs game, I can assure Blazer fans that McMillan and his team are on the right track. It took Spurs coach Gregg Popovich a few years to develop the team into the model franchise they are today.

But each year, there are noticeable gains in different areas of performance. The Blazers are doing that just fine, and the fact that they played the Spurs close and shot 50 percent against the stingiest defense in the league during the Spurs winning streak says they are on the right track offensively. And 'turning those frisky kids loose' as Jaynes suggests could easily derail that - the fast breaks can and will come later.

Blazer offense is fine right now with good spacing and crisp passing to the open man.Defense takes more time - it will come as the team tightens its roster, learns and jells.

So patience, Blazer fans. Enjoy watching your team develop! And hats off to Coach McMillan for a job well done so far.

Steve Colburn

Northeast Portland

Studded tires ruin roads for everyone

Thanks to Jim Redden for reporting on the current state of our road infrastructure (Caution: Bump in road, Feb. 23). But I think he needed to mention the damage caused by studded tires, as its repair is unfunded.

The Oregon Department of Transportation estimates that $40 million in annual damage is caused by studded tires. ODOT has pleaded with legislators to ban studded tires and asked that they be replaced with studless snow tires.

It seems only 5 percent of drivers in the Portland area use studded tires, yet all of our roads are totally chewed up. It's not fair that a small minority of drivers cause a majority of the road damage we're experiencing.

Jeff Bernards

Downtown Portland

Portland should be model, not mirror

As Portland's burgeoning boundaries grow and change, the number of natives is decreasing. Our population growth is attributed to those who embrace our city for its livability and affordability along with quality of life.

According to the March 9 article, 'Vision brings tensions,' there is a … strong fear about condo development that will make this city 'ultra-expensive.'

The real vision for Portland's future came about without considering the human factor. The question is, What makes Portland unique? Ask anyone who visits or moves here. High-rise condo development in the downtown core area is only one of the issues.

Portland was once voted one of our nation's most polite cities. Now, it runs the gamut from street gangs and the homeless to renewable energy and homelessness advocates.

Yes, growth and change will mean dollars for Portland's economy. But what defines Portland?

The challenge is: How can we maintain the city's unusual flavor, yet still grow? Do we need to mirror other midsize to large cosmopolitan cities or set a new standard for others to follow?

Jacqueline Lerner Aderman

Tigard