The story on Joel Przybilla was great (Przybilla gets ready for next step, April 21). Letting him go would be a huge mistake for the Blazers. He has been one of the bright spots for a fan who had all but given up on the team that I had cheered for since I was a young child. He always seems to be gutting it out every night on the court, which is why I think coach Nate McMillan sees him as the core to the future of this team.

If the Blazers could have found more players like Przybilla, I feel the team would have been more fun to watch and possibly made the playoffs. I am tired of hearing about the antics and whining and complaining of players like Zach Randolph and Darius Miles; I will not be sorry to see them go. Przybilla is the one leader this team of young players has.

I can understand the draw of moving closer to the Midwest for Przybilla and his family; I just hope he will stick around and see where this team will go.

Colin Keys


Once again, artist caught in the middle

The article 'Was mall sculpture bought or borrowed?' (April 25) describes a classic case of an artist being caught between a rock Ñ a gallery Ñ and a hard place Ñ a benefactor. As any artist who has ever shown their work in a commercial gallery knows, a gallery is only too willing to loan out artists' work.

The galleries always grandstand their generosity in these cases while, of course, it is truly the artist who is making the loan, as all of their work is in the gallery on consignment.

The added misery in this case is that the artist suffered a terminal illness during the proceedings. The Bridgeport Village management was insistent that their 'carrot-on-a-stick' of 'exposure' for the artist was sufficient as an incentive for leaving the sculpture in place. A wise artist once told me that 'artists can die of exposure.' And then, to make it worse, the owner of Bridgeport Village said, 'It's been available. They could send a truck out to take it back. It's not like we are holding it against their will.'

I can only imagine how difficult it would be to disassemble and move a 700-pound sculpture. And of course this task would have been performed by the artist, not the gallery. Meanwhile, the artist has died and it is up to his family to try to secure his half of the $34,900 from the gallery. This entire event was an embarrassing fiasco, and all of the parties involved should be ashamed.

Stephen Sasser

Southeast Portland

Backing Burdick displays ignorance

Your editorial endorsing Ginny Burdick over incumbent Erik Sten for city commissioner was exceeded in its ignorance only by its degree of misinformation (City Council needs Burdick, April 21).

Burdick, as you may forget, hails from Gard & Gerber, the public-relations firm that propagandized for Portland General Electric and the Texas Pacific Group against the best interests of PGE's ratepayers, called Neil Goldschmidt's child rape 'an affair,' and helped certain 'business' organizations' attempts to continue to subvert democracy in the city.

The city government is an easy target for lazy journalists because everything it does is transparent to the public. However, the offenses of PGE and other entities on this political playground far exceed anything Portland has committed in both economic scale and egregiousness.

Why not remind us about former PGE Chairman and CEO and Enron Corp. board member Ken Harrison's $75 million payoff for successfully promoting PGE's merger with Enron? Because they won't tell you about it, that's why.

I challenge you to list one single lie or even distortion that Erik Sten has propagated. I challenge you to list one single self-serving act. I challenge you to list one single attempt by Sten to harm or mislead Portlanders. Burdick, on the other hand, merely promises more of the same cronyism from which we've been trying to escape for decades.

Gary Duell

Happy Valley

Teachers in trenchesneed tools to do job

It was refreshing to hear about positive steps being made with primary education in 'Kindergarten kids hooked on writing' (April 11). This made me think of a teacher who shops at Schoolhouse Supplies, the free store for Portland Public Schools teachers. As a Title 1 reading recovery teacher, Diana Diehm meets with first-graders who perform at the lowest 20 percent of their class in reading skills.

'I had a conversation with a first-grade teacher last week,' Diehm mentioned recently. 'We were lamenting how unready some first-graders were to begin reading.'

Another obstacle teachers like Diehm face is not having adequate tools to facilitate teaching and learning. 'I am grateful for the supplies at Schoolhouse Supplies,' Diehm says. 'Last time I was in I noticed and pounced upon some sets of primary books! Bonanza! The best.'

Schoolhouse Supplies has long been an advocate for leveling the educational playing field in Portland schools. Thank you for highlighting this new push for equity in education and for paying tribute to the teachers who are responsible for carrying out the vision.

Nick Viele

executive director, Schoolhouse Supplies

Northeast Portland

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