Para servir y proteger | Oct. 4, story
Hispanic population needs to speak English
At the risk of taking the slings and arrows from the Latino population, let me state that, in my opinion, we should not be spending taxpayer dollars to accommodate non-English-speaking immigrants, many of whom are undocumented.
Law enforcement officers should not, be "playing charades" when responding to, and investigating, complaints, many of which may require quick action.
English is the language of the land. Because of our weak immigration policies, and the lack of enforcement, we have allowed the Hispanic population to grow unchecked. Regardless of their status, all Latinos should be required to learn English.
Instead, we allow them to languish in their own enclaves without ever needing to speak English, until an emergency arises. And then we reverse the problem and take on the responsibility ourselves. I am not without compassion for those in need of services, however, the burden should be on them, not the other way around.
Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole
Learn English or go elsewhere
While it's commendable that 18 Pinellas deputies will take Spanish lessons, my instincts say that unless the tens of thousands of Hispanics in Pinellas County take the time to learn English, they should go back to the country that best communicates with them.
Edwin Ashurst, St. Petersburg
Language is vital for assimilation
Here's a novel idea. Rather than spend our taxpayers' dollars to train deputies in conversational Spanish, why not require immigrants to actually learn our language if our law enforcement officers are to be expected to "help" them. After all, they'll never be able to assimilate into our culture if they can't speak our language.
Can you imagine Mexico training their policia in Mexico City, Juarez or Tijuana to speak English in order that they can better assist us "gringos"?
Bob Lindskog, Palm Harbor
Students make time to clean bayou
On harvest moon morning, when most students are still in bed from a night fueled by the gravitational pull of the stars or just the excitement of college night life, members of Stetson University's Environmental & Maritime Law Societies drifted their kayaks on the incoming tide through the red mangrove channels and into the upper creeks of Clam Bayou Nature Park.
They didn't mind the "one-size-fits-all" gloves, the sticky gunk or the enormous amount of debris they were there to pick up. They filled 19 bags with plastic recyclable bottles, glass, bags and Styrofoam. One old crab trap and a tub of aged chitlins rounded out the catch of the day.
The upper creeks of this nature park have always been, and continue to be, a catch basin for stormwater runoff from the surrounding cities. Through continuing efforts like this from Stetson, we'll continue to see a rebound in the bird nesting activity here. During the cleanup, they discovered three new bird nests the size and shape of a coffee cup built with dead twigs and old spider webs — a true testament to nature's timeless art of recycling and the rewards of past cleanups!
The only thing shining brighter than the full harvest moon last weekend were the smiles of Stetson students as they wrapped up their day on the bayou. Keep smiling, Stetson; our waterways have a much brighter future because of you.
Kurt Zuelsdorf, Gulfport
No prison time for animal neglect | Oct. 3
Animal abuse goes largely unpunished
Let me see if I have this straight. The 120 dogs confiscated from Teresita Hughes were malnourished and had rotten teeth, painfully matted fur and skin diseases, but she will not serve any jail time, nor will she have to make restitution for the enormous vet bills incurred as a result of her appalling actions. And to top it off, she can again be a dog breeder.
What part of all this atrocity doesn't Circuit Court Judge Robert G. Dittmer understand? What message does this send out to all the other people who neglect and abuse their animals? Apparently, this judge is clueless as to the suffering incurred by her lack of care and responsibility.
As a kennel volunteer, I see so much of this type of neglect. I guess it's because they can get away with it. Just ask Judge Dittmer.
Maggie Stambaugh, Palm Harbor
City's alleyways are crime magnets
It seems that St. Petersburg has the most alleyways in Pinellas county.
I have an alley on the south side of my home. I also have a court to my north side. I have lived here in our home for five years. In those five years I have not seen any through traffic in the alley except sanitation trucks and law breakers. Drug trafficking, burglaries (by removing boards from back fences), and most recently prostitution and stolen vehicles
The court to the north is used quite frequently and is most accessible. Now the alleyway to the south has no purpose but being a magnet to crime.
Why can't the city reassess the purpose and usage of some alleyways? Close some down. Make them inaccessible, and close down crime a bit. Most crimes in my district have been in back alleys.
I, as well as many other residents, have had enough. We are fed up with crime. I am with crime watch and see a lot of bad things in alleyways. Most residents here have their back yards facing the back alleyway.
Phyllis Dodge, St. Petersburg