As an Ohio State University alumnus who enjoyed every second of this year's Buckeye run in the Big Ten conference, I can say with certainty that you folks in the Pacific Northwest are going to love Greg Oden.
He's everything you want and need - an exceptional athlete who knows how to win. He's a true team player. Get in line now for playoff tickets.
The Glide would make a good mentor
Welcome to Portland, Greg. Call Clyde Drexler and get his advice on the best people in basketball (the fans).
There could be a new bridge in town
If you bring Portlanders a ring, Greg, we'll rename the Steel Bridge after you.
Blazers should keep the last local talent
Very nice article (Sizing up the Blazers, July 6).
However, I really hope Kerry Eggers is wrong about Ime Udoka's future with the team. Last year, he was the heart and soul of this team and played hard every minute of every game.
Also he is the last of the three Portland-area players left after the recent trade. He is our family's favorite Blazer by far and if he's not back this season, we're not coming back either.
School programs help chart a path
I feel the need to respond to your May 29 article 'Student has shone in school, but what's next?' highlighting Farhiya Aba.
I run the Access to Student Assistance Programs in Reach of Everyone or ASPIRE (www.aspireoregon.org) and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP, at Marshall Campus.
Through these programs, every senior received all the college and financial aid applications they wanted, and were given assistance to complete them. We held family nights where students and parents received hands-on help with the college admissions process.
We had field trips to colleges, free SAT and ACT prep classes, and more. Still, not every student finished all the necessary forms before graduating, due to challenges as varied as the students themselves.
Nationwide, more students are choosing to attend local universities and community colleges, many of which have rolling admissions deadlines. Students who fill out the Federal Application for Student Aid today and have high financial need still generally will receive reasonable financial aid packages.
Not every student follows the traditional college admissions process. This does not, however, mean that the students are deficient or that their schools have failed.
It does mean that there needs to be more support for programs like ASPIRE and GEAR UP, so that more staff and volunteers are available to closely monitor and encourage each student - regardless of whether they choose to apply for college and financial aid in January or June.
Metro made good deals in hauling
Your June 29 cover story 'Costly Haul' reported that Metro must obtain new contracts in the next few years for garbage hauling and for landfill disposal, and mentioned - at least four or five times - that environmental impacts 'now' will be part of the picture.
But the article never identified just what those environmental impacts might be.
The existing, soon-to-expire contracts were signed in the late 1980s, during which time I served on the Metro Council and chaired the council's solid waste committee.
Back in those days, we also were careful guardians of the environment, as is demonstrated by the success of Metro's disposal and hauling activities over the past 20 years.
In the late '80s, there was considerable controversy and criticism of our decisions at the time, with dire predictions of massive garbage spills in the Columbia Gorge or toxic leakage from the landfill in Gilliam County. None of these disasters ever happened, attributable not to good luck but to diligent and rational planning.
Your article asserts that our earlier decisions were somehow simpler back in the day.
Contrary to the article, Waste Management was not the only company with a large landfill able to handle Metro's waste. Waste Management's landfill was developed specifically for Metro (with hopes for additional customers) and there were other companies ready and able to provide the service as well.
The article also quotes current Metro President David Bragdon as saying that the original hauling company, Jack Gray Transport Inc., bid the job 'too low.'
It's true that its bid was significantly lower than some other bidders, but much of the reason for the low cost over the life of this contract was due to the Metro staff and council, whose tough bargaining stance stressed that any successful bidder would have to offer the best price for our ratepayers.
Hindsight now shows that both the hauling and landfill contracts negotiated in the late 1980s were a great deal for Metro's customers - the citizens. Whether these contracts also were a good deal for the companies did not concern us much back when I was a councilor, and shouldn't concern Metro's current leaders now.
Former Metro councilor
Give Giusto credit for thankless job
We the public probably have heard enough about Sheriff Bernie Giusto and the scandal that happened years ago when he first got into law enforcement (Giusto has new accuser, June 22).
Neil Goldschmidt was Portland's mayor when he had sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl. There probably were a lot of politicians back then who knew about that sad situation and kept it to themselves.
So tell me: Why must Giusto have to carry the cross of another man's sins?
While Giusto allegedly had a couple of affairs that were unacceptable as a public official, let's give some thoughts to the women involved. They were both married at the time and must hold themselves accountable for their actions with a public official.
But let's put that aside for a moment.
Giusto has put in long, hard hours as a police officer. He's been in law enforcement for 30-plus years. Why isn't he given any credit for a thankless job that puts him and his fellow officers in danger every day of their careers?
We the public are very forgiving. I guess we know it is not our place to cast a stone, lest we think we are free of sin. But the newspapers are different. You don't care whether or not you hurt people for what you write.
You are not the judge and jury. I say let's close this case once and for all and be concerned about the things that we can change.