by: SAM FORENCICH, Trail Blazer center Joel Przybilla has lots of fans — including his former high school coach in Minnesota.

I coached Joel Przybilla in high school for four years here in Monticello, Minn.

While I have read a number of great articles about Przybilla and his team-first mentality over his years in the NBA, this was one of the best (Big man takes, makes shots, Nov. 27).

It is extremely gratifying for me to see how the city of Portland has embraced him as one of its own.

It is no surprise to me at all to read about his accomplishments and positive leadership because I was able to see that develop in him as a young basketball player here in Monticello.

Great job on the article and I will keep reading about him and the Blazers online.

Max LaVelle

Monticello, Minn.

Give Blazer long run to retirement

Through thick and thin, the 'Vanilla Gorilla,' the 'Thrilla,' Joel Przybilla leaves it on the floor every night (Big man takes, makes shots, Nov. 27).

He has long been one of my favorite Blazers, and I hope he gets to retire a Blazer.

Bill Morgavi

Brush Prairie, Wash.

Gateway building would be an asset

I cannot believe the arrogance of the city of Portland in denying architect Bob Schatz's request to build a four-story office building at Southeast 97th Avenue in the Gateway Regional Center (Design details derail office project,

Nov. 20).

His building would be a tremendous improvement to the neighborhood.

Is it that so many investors are lined up ready to put money into Gateway? If the city is willing to snub a developer over the orientation of a door, I hope it's because they have so many developers begging to build that they can be choosy.

In this economy, I highly doubt it and I find it disgusting.

Aimee Virnig

Southeast Portland

Good development can inspire more

I applaud architect Bob Schatz's willingness to build in an underdeveloped part of the Gateway District (Design details derail office project, Nov. 20). His insistence that the building face the parking lot rather than the street, however, is shortsighted.

It seems that Schatz is facing the quirky building 'front' south so it will be highly visible from Interstate 205.

It is puzzling that Schatz can't figure out a way to have the building entrance face Southeast 97th Avenue while still displaying bold architectural elements to the freeway traffic. But given Schatz's history of opposing any requirements to make his building projects more amenable to pedestrians, it is not surprising.

The Gateway area is planned and zoned to become a much different neighborhood.

Schatz argues that because the neighborhood is underdeveloped now and that upgrades 'might never happen,' there's no point in a pedestrian-friendly building. So would Schatz promise to rebuild his building in the future if certain cross streets are paved or if other nearby sites redevelop?

I don't think so.

The building should be designed and built to face the street and sidewalk now and can serve as a catalyst and model for future development, which will incrementally improve the area and encourage a better mix of transportation choices.

Doug Klotz

Southeast Portland

Urban centers lack affordable housing

Metro officials contend that the principal growth in the future should largely be in developments such as the Pearl and South Waterfront (Businesses blast growth study, Nov. 20).

The fact is that relatively few of the million-plus new residents expected over the next 30 years will be able to afford housing in the $400 to $500 per square foot range commonly found in those areas.

Housing at the edge is more typically priced in the $150 to $200 per square foot range and doesn't have the costly tax abatement and other special subsidies intended to ensure that Portland develops in the 'politically correct' manner.

The building community is more interested in providing a variety of housing to the public and at a price it can afford, rather than targeting the latest trend that too frequently appeals to, or can only be afforded by, the elite.

The simple fact is that in most instances a typical home of comparable size costs far less at the urban edge than in the urban center and usually offers amenities such as a yard and less congestion that are often unavailable (or unaffordable) in urban center housing.

Craig F. Brown

Southwest Portland

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