Zach Collins’ career with the Portland Trail Blazers at a pivotal point

The saga of Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins’ development and future with the team is rapidly approaching a fork in the road.

a group of people riding on the back of a basketball game: The Portland Trail Blazers face the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at Moda Center on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Sean Meagher/Staff

© Sean Meagher | The Oregonian/OregonLive/
The Portland Trail Blazers face the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at Moda Center on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Sean Meagher/Staff

Entering his fourth season, Collins is either going to flourish and likely re-sign with Portland or continue to flounder and force the Blazers to make a decision with financial ramifications surrounding a promising but oft-injured talent that has yet to put things together in the NBA.

The potential dilemma ideally would have been put to rest last season when Collins became the starting power forward and appeared ready to establish himself as the team’s best option at that position since LaMarcus Aldridge departed for San Antonio as a free agent in 2015. Instead, Collins suffered a shoulder injury in the third game of the season and did not return until the restart in Orlando in late July.

“It sucked, man,” Collins, who missed 63 games last season, said Wednesday. “Obviously, that was my year.”

His year as in the year he was supposed shine. Collins looked solid, yet rusty, at the NBA bubble before suffering a stress fracture to his left ankle. It’s an injury that will cause Collins to miss the start of the upcoming regular season on Dec. 22 and left Portland with no choice but to search for a reliable alternative at power forward.

Collins said he is at the three-month mark of a four-to-six month rehabilitation process and expects to be ready to play in mid-to-late January.

“It is what it is,” he said. “I’m in a good spot and I like where I’m at.”

The problem for Collins is that the team will be four weeks into the season when he returns and an immovable object might have already taken root at power forward forcing Collins into a reserve role.

Neil Olshey, Blazers president of basketball operations, made several offseason roster moves and each one could have some impact on Collins.

Portland acquired versatile forward Robert Covington in a trade with Houston, brought back Carmelo Anthony, signed last season to start in place of Collins after he went down. Derrick Jones Jr., signed as a free agent from Miami, will start at small forward and the team re-signed Rodney Hood, also a small forward. Plus, Portland traded for center Enes Kanter, who played a big part during the team’s 2019 run to the Western Conference Finals. Finally, Olshey signed forward Harry Giles III, the Blazers’ 20th pick in the 2017 draft that the team traded, along with the 15th pick, to Sacramento for the rights to Collins taken 10th by the Kings.

Collins said the new additions have already meshed nicely with the team.

“The guys that we brought in can do a lot of different things,” Collins said. “It seems like they were meant to be here. They

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No. 10 Oregon Ducks advances to 2-0 with win over University of Portland

When the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus last March, it also eliminated the chance for the Portland Pilots and Oregon Ducks to have met in the first round.

On Monday evening, we got the matchup, albeit without Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard or Satou Sabally, with the No. 10 Oregon Ducks (2-0) winning 85-52 thanks to a strong third quarter. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent]

The Pilots played the Ducks tough in the first half, trailing by just nine points after one quarter and 12 points at the half. But, Oregon outscored Portland by 18 points in the third quarter to put away the contest. 

Senior Erin Boley led the way for Oregon with 25 points on 11-17 shooting showing she takes on more of an offensive load this season. Before, she primarily spaced the floor but against Portland she took pull-up jumpers and cut backdoor for lay-ins. 

Sedona Prince (13) and Taylor Mikesell (11) joined Boley in double figures. Freshman five-star guard Te-Hina Paopao added five assists, leading the team. 

Meanwhile for the Pilots, Alex Fowler had 12 points on 5-14 from the field. Only one Pilot who took more than four shots made at least half of their attempts, Lauren Walker who had six points on 3-6 shooting. 

As a team, Oregon outshot Portland 51.6% to 37.5% from the floor. 

Next, Oregon opens up Pac-12 play hosting Colorado (2-0) on December 4th. 


Then for the Pilots, they’ll host the Seattle U Redhawks on Sunday afternoon at the Chiles Center. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Northwest.

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Portland Board of Education on cusp of new leadership

PORTLAND — The Portland Board of Education has informally chosen Emily Figdor as its new chairperson for the 2020-2021 school board year.

In a straw poll vote Nov. 17, the school board, including the soon-to-be sworn-in new members, informally voted to nominate Emily Figdor as the group’s new chairperson. A formal vote comes Dec. 7. Contributed / Portland Public Schools

A formal vote to chose a chairperson is scheduled for Dec. 7, when the board will hold an inauguration ceremony for Jeffrey Irish, Aura Russell-Bedder and Yusuf Yusuf, who were elected Nov. 3.

“Emily has years of experience doing work in the community, even before she joined the board, that has prepared her with skills that are transferable to the chairmanship,” board member Anna Trevorrow said in nominating Figdor Nov. 17.

“She is a natural leader and it has become very apparent over these last two years working with her that she puts the collective goals of the board about everything and uses that to lead,” Trevorrow said. “I think she will represent the board very well.”

Board member Sarah Thompson also feels Figdor is right for the role.

“She does her homework and is engaged deeply in the work,” Thompson said.

Figdor, elected to the board in 2018, would replace Roberto Rodriguez, an at-large member since 2016 who has served as chairperson for the last two years. Figdor said she admires Rodriguez and sees him as the board’s “moral compass as we break new ground in creating a just and equitable school district.”

If elected Dec. 7, she said her focus would be to increase communication among board members and also with residents, not just those the board tends to hear from most.

“An active and engaged board and a passionate and involved community together can move mountains,” she said.

Community involvement, she said, “strengthens our decisions and strengthens our actions.”

Prior to joining the board two years ago, Figdor co-chaired the Reiche school PTO group and co-founded Protect Our Neighborhood Schools, a group advocating for voters to pass a $64 million bond in 2017 to renovate the Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot and Reiche elementary schools.

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Ali leads Portland over Northwest University 74-69

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ahmed Ali posted 18 points as Portland beat Northwest University 74-69 on Sunday.

Isiah Dasher had 14 points and five steals for Portland (2-1). Eddie Davis added 13 points and Mike Henn had 10 points.

Pa’Treon Lee had 15 points and 10 assists for the Eagles. Cesar Sandoval added 12 points and 12 rebounds, and J.R. Delgado had 11 points and eight rebounds.

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Sandoval 32 5-14 2-3 3-12 4 3 12
Chatman 23 4-7 0-0 2-4 0 5 9
Lee 37 7-16 1-1 3-5 10 4 15
Walker 21 2-6 2-2 0-1 2 4 7
Delgado 37 4-7 0-0 0-8 2 3 11
Powell 17 3-3 1-2 0-2 1 3 9
Paulsen 14 2-4 0-0 0-1 0 2 6
McKay 8 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Sharpe 8 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Langstraat 3 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
Totals 200 27-58 6-8 9-34 19 26 69

Percentages: FG .466, FT .750.

3-Point Goals: 9-21, .429 (Delgado 3-4, Powell 2-2, Paulsen 2-4, Chatman 1-3, Walker 1-4, Lee 0-1, Sandoval 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 1.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Delgado, Lee, Walker).

Turnovers: 22 (Lee 6, Delgado 5, Sandoval 4, Chatman 3, Walker 2, Langstraat, McKay).

Steals: 9 (Lee 4, Delgado 2, Powell 2, Sandoval).

Technical Fouls: None.

E.Davis 30 5-8 2-3 2-4 0 3 13
Henn 25 4-7 1-1 1-5 0 3 10
Ali 28 5-12 7-9 2-4 2 0 18
Dasher 29 5-15 3-4 1-2 1 1 14
Jones 17 0-7 2-2 2-3 1 3 2
Adams 18 0-3 3-4 0-0 5 0 3
Griffith 17 0-1 2-2 0-4 0 1 2
Fahrensohn 13 3-3 0-3 0-1 1 1 7
Curtiss 10 1-1 0-0 1-3 0 0 2
Triplett 9 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 3
Seymour 4 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0
Totals 200 24-58 20-28 11-29 11 12 74

Percentages: FG .414, FT .714.

3-Point Goals: 6-22, .273 (E.Davis 1-1, Fahrensohn 1-1, Triplett 1-1, Dasher 1-4, Henn 1-4, Ali 1-6, Jones 0-5).

Team Rebounds: 2. Team Turnovers: None.

Blocked Shots: 5 (Jones 3, Curtiss 2).

Turnovers: 14 (Ali 3, E.Davis 3, Henn 3, Dasher 2, Griffith 2, Jones).

Steals: 10 (Dasher 5, E.Davis 2, Fahrensohn 2, Henn).

Technical Fouls: None.

Northwest University 27 42 69
Portland 31 43 74


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Canzano: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shoots back on basketball blockade of Portland State and University of Portland

Oregon Governor Kate Brown doubled down on her decision to shut out the men’s and women’s basketball teams at University of Portland and Portland State. She continues to refuse to grant either Division-I university the same exemption she gave to Oregon and Oregon State weeks ago.


A spokesperson for Gov. Brown’s office, said on Tuesday, “Here is where Governor Brown’s focus is: Getting kids back in schools who haven’t been in a classroom since last spring. Finding a way for families to safely visit the loved ones in long term care facilities they haven’t seen since early March. Making sure Oregonians who lost everything to wildfires have a warm place to call home before winter. Bringing case counts under control so that we can keep businesses open.”

All very important things. All deserving of focus and attention. Also, all emotionally loaded. It’s a smokescreen really. I also support kids being safely in schools and loved ones being welcome and safe in care facilities and I support wildfire recovery plans. Doing those things shouldn’t prohibit the Pilots and Vikings from being held to the same COVID-19 standards as the Ducks and Beavers.

A few thoughts:

♦ When Gov. Brown granted Oregon and OSU an exemption last month, I believe she believed she was clearing the way for the Pac-12 football programs to practice and eventually play. I’m beginning to think that her office didn’t consider that the Beavers and Ducks men’s and women’s basketball programs would seize the opportunity and start practicing under the blanket of that exemption. It’s possible our governor didn’t realize that her broad exemption technically extended to ALL intercollegiate athletics programs in Eugene and Corvallis. I also don’t blame those other programs for seeing that and slipping in under the football exemption.

♦ UP and PSU are practicing basketball. They’re running drills daily, shooting and performing “five on zero” work. It’s allowed. The exemption they’re seeking would allow them to escalate to full-contact practices. It seems to me that if the aim really is to keep people safe, the best way to do that is to grant the exemption and force UP and PSU to test its athletes daily like the two other Division I universities in our state.

♦ PSU has been quiet. The prevailing notion is that there’s some fear at Portland State that speaking out publicly against the governor’s stubborn position on this might cost the state-funded university some badly needed dollars. Stephen Percy, the PSU president, has been silent. Gagged? Or just strategically mum? Same to me. A question: Would our elected governor really get vindictive and pull state funding from PSU if it publicly cries foul here? If so, it will be noticed.

♦ The narrative on Gov. Kate Brown’s tenure is that she is only focused on what she perceives to help her politically and not what needs to be done to address an issue for everyone. I’ve watched this basketball debacle play out and I’m left thinking that the

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Canzano: University of Portland basketball programs preparing to hurdle Gov. Kate Brown and move out of state

The University of Portland is exploring out-of-state options that would allow its men’s and women’s basketball programs the ability to hold practices and host games, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.

I can’t say I’m surprised.

Also, not shocked that the State of Oregon won’t recognize the role it played in sweeping a couple of Division 1 college basketball programs across state lines.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown refused to grant UP the same exception that she gave to both Oregon and Oregon State last month. The Pilots submitted protocols and procedures that mirrored those of the Pac-12 universities, but were denied twice. The governor’s office said it simply isn’t issuing any new exemptions and asked the programs to try again in six to 12 weeks.

Basically, the governor would like UP’s athletes to go away. And it turns out, they are listening to her.

Again, you can ice skate and go bowling in Oregon today. You can go to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. The governor issued exemptions to allow all of that. The Ducks and Beavers basketball programs can also hold full basketball practices today, too. But if UP — and Portland State — want to practice, even with stringent protocols and testing, they will have to drive into a neighboring state.

In fact, they’re apparently warming up the cars at UP.

Pilots athletic director Scott Leykam declined comment on Monday when I asked him if UP was planning to relocate the basketball programs for practices and games. Multiple sources, however, confirmed that the Pilots are exploring locations in Washington, Nevada and Idaho.

An employee at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver confirmed that someone acting on behalf of UP called on Friday and inquired about the ceiling height of the hotel’s ballroom. Also, if it would be OK with taking delivery of a hardwood basketball court.

Not a prank.

Just where we are today.

Sort of pathetic, isn’t it?

Turns out the ceiling height isn’t quite enough for basketball. But this is next-level absurdity, even for 2020. The right move is for Gov. Brown to announce that exemptions will not be selectively handed out and reserved only for her favorite programs.

If the aim of our state government is to keep students safe and limit the spread of the virus, chasing people across state lines doesn’t feel like the right tactic. Consistent and clear guidelines would be a good start. Daily testing, too. If UP can exactly copy the protocols approved at Oregon and OSU, doesn’t it work for everyone?

It’s beyond frustrating.

Leykam Tweeted last week in support of his athletes, asking Gov. Brown to treat UP’s athletes equally.

“They have prepared a lifetime for this moment,” Leykam’s tweet read. “We are willing to meet any and all protocols the state requests. Let us play.”

I keep thinking about the Pilots’ women’s basketball team. They were one of the great stories of March, winning the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas and earning the conference’s automatic berth to the

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Portland Public Schools socks away $20 million in reserves, rural teachers call in sick after student tests positive for COVID: The week in education

Portland Public Schools spent some $8 million to provide Chromebooks for all of its students in the spring and another $10 million on coronavirus-related expenses so far this school year.

Still, the state’s largest district began this school year with more money than it anticipated through a mix of austerity measures and federal grants. And it’s putting away about $20 million as district accountants expect Gov. Kate Brown’s 2021-23 biennium budget may include cuts to state education funding.

The district doesn’t anticipate allowing students back into classrooms until at least late January. Because so many of Portland Public Schools’ employees live in Washington and Clackamas counties, the entire metro area will need to see a consistent — and drastic decline — in the number of new coronavirus cases health officials identify on a weekly basis.

Here are some of the other major education stories from this week:

Coronavirus update:

The Oregon Health Authority announced Wednesday that five new cases of coronavirus were detected at schools offering in-person learning the previous week. Three of those cases were students, two alone in the Coos Bay district. Another two cases were tied to school staff. The health authority’s findings represent a 75% drop in overall cases tied to schools, although infections overall reached record levels in Oregon this week — the state surpassed 500 identified cases in a single day Friday.

From the education reporter’s inbox:

The North Clackamas School District this week announced its students will not return to classrooms until at least mid-February. The school board voted to extend the district’s distance learning mandate through Feb. 9. The announcement puts the district, which enrolls students from Milwaukie to Johnson City and Oak Grove, in line with its peers in Portland and Beaverton, which will also keep students learning at home until 2021.

A Portland-area teenager took silver in the Olympics last month — the International Mathematical Olympiad, to be exact. Gopal Krishna Goel, who is home schooled, helped Team USA take bronze overall. Two years ago, Goel won a gold medal in the international physics competition.

Portland Public Schools is opening applications for meal deliveries as the district cuts on-site service at Sacajawea, Clarendon Elementary and Harriet Tubman Middle School. Officials said those sites saw low turnout for the service. The district will also open meal sites from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting Nov. 2.

Education stories from the Portland area:

The Lake Oswego school board passed two resolutions pressing for a return to classroom learning earlier rather than later. One of those measures urged Gov. Kate Brown to prioritize students disproportionately impacted by school closures. The other pressed Superintendent Lora de la Cruz to draft plans to allow in-person instruction for elementary schoolers, according to a release from the district.

Meanwhile, the West Linn-Wilsonville school board voted against a resolution urging Brown to reopen schools. The measure, which alleged the governor is basing school reopening guidelines on political pressure, was introduced by board members Dylan Hydes and

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New evidence for geologically recent earthquakes near Portland, Oregon metro area

New evidence for geologically recent earthquakes near Portland, Oregon metro area
Trenching begins on the Gales Creek Fault in Oregon. Credit: Alison Horst

A paleoseismic trench dug across the Gales Creek fault, located about 35 kilometers (roughly 22 miles) west of Portland, Oregon, documents evidence for three surface-rupturing earthquakes that took place about 8,800, 4,200 and 1,000 years ago.

The findings, published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, suggest that earthquakes occur about every 4,000 years on the fault. If the full 73-kilometer (45 miles) fault were to rupture, the result could be a magnitude 7.1 to 7.4 earthquake that would pose significant seismic hazard to the Portland metro area, according to Alison Horst and her colleagues.

By comparison, the 1993 Scotts Mills earthquake about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Portland was a magnitude 5.7 earthquake, and caused damages totaling about $30 million, the researchers noted.

The region is part of the seismically active Cascadia subduction zone, where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate bends beneath the North American plate. The Gales Creek fault lays within the Cascadia forearc, the land wedged between the oceanic trench where the Juan de Fuca begins its bend and the line of Cascadia volcanoes in Washington State and Oregon that are fueled by the subducting plate.

“In general, little paleoseismic work has been done on forearc faults in Oregon, but many faults in the region are of interest based on their proximity to population centers,” said Horst, a paleoseismologist formerly at Portland State University and now at the Washington State Department of Resources.

Mapping and analyzing faults in the Pacific Northwest can be difficult, since fault surface traces are often covered by urban development and thick forests, or are difficult to reach in mountainous areas. To learn more about possible recent seismic activity along these forearc faults, Horst and her colleagues dug a trench across the Gales Creek fault, which had been mapped previously and is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey along part of the fault that projected through Scoggins Dam in Oregon’s Washington County

The Reclamation project had turned up evidence of surface deformation along the fault in sediments from the most recent geological time period, called the Holocene. After digging a trench across the fault—first by hand and later by backhoe—the researchers looked for evidence of past earthquakes in the rock layers, assigning an estimated date for each earthquake using radiocarbon analysis of charcoal contained in the layers.

The trenching turned up strong evidence for at least three Holocene-age surface-rupturing earthquakes along the fault, with some weaker signs of one potential earthquake occurring after 1,000 years ago, and one earthquake occurring before 8,800 years ago.

The researchers also estimated the magnitude of an earthquake that would rupture the entire mapped length of the Gales Creek fault, assuming that the full length ruptured at once and that the rupture event did not extend across multiple faults.

“The linkage between rupture on the Gales Creek fault and neighboring faults is still unknown,

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Portland Public Schools reveals first draft of boundary redraws, Oregon reports 21 state coronavirus cases linked to schools: The week in education

The state’s largest district has one year to redraw its boundaries across Southeast Portland in anticipation of opening a new middle school.

a tall glass building: Portland Public Schools will adjust much of its southeast boundaries as it prepares to open Kellogg Middle School, pictured here under construction, in the fall of 2021.

© Portland Public Schools/Photo courtesy Portland Public Schools/
Portland Public Schools will adjust much of its southeast boundaries as it prepares to open Kellogg Middle School, pictured here under construction, in the fall of 2021.

And earlier this week, Portland Public Schools revealed the first draft of its plans to do so.

Much of the district’s plans revolve over its decision to phase out the K-8 model, turning one building back into a middle school and several others into elementary schools.

Bridger, in particular, would see much of its attendance zone altered as its Spanish dual-language programs move to a proposed Lent Elementary School and newly built Kellogg Middle. Bridger, which is currently a K-8, would become an elementary school and move into the Madison cluster. It currently feeds into Franklin High.

The plans the district released are not set in stone. The working group for Portland Public Schools’ boundary adjustments will meet next on Oct. 22.

Here are some of the other major education stories from this week:

Coronavirus update:

The Oregon Health Authority announced Wednesday that 21 new cases of coronavirus were detected at schools offering in-person learning the previous week. Eight of those cases were tied to students. Another 13 were tied to school staff or volunteers.

From the education reporter’s inbox:

Cleveland High School’s performance arts program got some national recognition this week. The National Federation of State High School Associations presented the school with its excellence award, saying its arts programming “exemplifies the characteristics of excellence, pride, community involvement and dedication to the performing arts.”

You can watch a highlight reel of the award ceremony below:

Education stories from the Portland area:

A Washington County-based program is working with the area’s 700-plus Latina students to make sure they don’t fall behind as they navigate distance learning. Adelante Mujeres offers trainings in leadership, health, community service and activism. Seven full-time facilitators work with students over Zoom or Google Classroom, depending on which platform their school uses for coursework. The Beaverton Valley Times’ Gabby Urenda has the story.

And across the state:

The coronavirus pandemic’s effects on education funding is becoming more clear as it’s knee-capped revenue from the $1 billion per year corporate tax the state Legislature passed in 2019. In Salem-Keizer, the school board this week approved the district’s $11 million plan to hire reading teachers and social workers — officials there originally expected to see $35 million in new state tax money. Over in Bend-La Pine, officials are adjusting down their plans by $4.4 million. Rachel Alexander reports out of Salem and Jackson Hogan has the story in Central Oregon.

In the rural Winston-Dillard district, a Douglas High teacher has resigned over what she says is an unsafe reopening at and a student told the local ABC affiliate school officials aren’t doing enough to enforce distancing requirements, leading her to enroll

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