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Spanish translation of Web site right thing to do

Every day we hear more people speak Spanish in our Hernando County community. Now the idea of a Spanish translation on the county's Health and Human Services Web site has become the talk of the town. Many are asking why do we need a Web site in Spanish?

Not all the people who migrate to the United States are prepared to learn English immediately, no matter what their first language may be. At some given moment, someone served as an interpreter for persons from France, Italy, Germany and many other countries because they did not speak English.

Think of what our ancestors had to go through to open doors in this country, and let us try to help those less privileged with the convenience of a Web site in Spanish so that they, too, can learn to adapt. Through this Web site, we would have the means to help them, and I am sure that in a short time they would learn English.

Yes, "When in Rome do as the Romans do," but this cannot be accomplished overnight.

When we moved to this country, we brought our knowledge, our savings and our best wishes for a better quality of life. When we invest our money in Hernando County, no one asks if we speak English. When we go to the polls to elect our leaders, we are not asked if we speak English. It does not matter if we cast our vote in English or in Spanish. There are persons there to help those who do not speak English. Banks, stores and doctors' offices have personnel who speak Spanish.

A Spanish Web site would make things easier for the county, and it would not need to hire people merely to interpret for those who do not speak English.

Let us improve our community. The cost for the Web site would be small. I am sure the Hispanic associations and Hispanic residents would not mind helping out, if necessary. United, we will move forward and make it easier for everyone to quickly assimilate into the culture of this great country.

We always welcome the commissioners to our activities with open arms and greet them in English and in Spanish. We like it when they answer us with "muchas gracias" and "buenas noches." Please give the Spanish Web site an opportunity to prove itself.

Jenny Mojica, Spring Hill

Hispanics can work at learning language

Re: Spanish is so widespread, site should be bilingual, Feb. 14 letter to the editor:

Carmen Shannon sounds like a very intelligent person. The fact is she came to this country, learned English (as hard as it may have been for her) and also is fluent in Italian and Portuguese. If she can do it, why should she not expect the same from all other Hispanics?

If a person truly wants to learn anything, all one has to do is put his or her mind to it and do it. Our country has welcomed many immigrants who have learned English, as it should have. This is America and in America we speak English.

Europeans would not discontinue their native language to make us feel comfortable. Either learn the language of the country or be left out. If Hispanics chose to come to America, they must learn our language as other ethnic groups have chosen to do. As another letter writer commented, this will only divide our community more, something we do not need.

There are great opportunities in this great country to learn just about everything one would wish to learn. It is not an issue of non-Hispanics being incapable of learning more than one language; it is a matter of while in America, do as Americans do and speak English. One does not need to lose his identity in doing so.

We have men and women fighting for freedom every day. Hispanics and all ethnic groups should welcome the opportunity to live and learn the language of this great country.

Eleanor and Phil Sinatra, Spring Hill

Brookridge plan has yet to offer safety

Re: County will regret delay of Brookridge development, Feb. 15 letter to the editor by Peter Rocco:

Yes, "the commission does have a responsibility to the county as a whole," and if you knew the facts, you'd realize that Commissioners Chris Kingsley, Nancy Robinson and Diane Rowden did recognize that a frontage road on Brookridge Central - with traffic from Barclay Avenue, E Cortez Boulevard, W Cortez Boulevard, Sunshine Grove Road, a beverage store and two real estate offices - entering and exiting within 200 feet of our guard gate and 320 feet from Cortez will not "offload arterial traffic and reduce congestion and accidents" as Rocco proposed. This would be a monumental bottleneck with very serious accidents for the 5,000 residents of Brookridge trying to get in and out of our community.

In all due respect, Rocco, you live in Spring Hill. Thankfully, you are not one of our county commissioners and we have representatives who appreciate that extenuating circumstances exist here.

A second gate opening onto Sunshine Grove Road, a two-lane road now servicing school buses from three public schools and 400 additional homes presently under construction, would be another nightmare. It is not reasonable to expect that Brookridge residents will try to turn left into all this traffic without a traffic light.

Rocco states "there really is no public safety issue." Either option is a total safety hazard for those of us who live here. The developer needs a traffic light into his mall from State Road 50. We do appreciate his offer of a second gate, but this does not solve the problem.

A frontage road rule absolutely does not fit every situation, especially in this case.

Mary Smoak, Brooksville

Brown-Waite should learn from wars past

Re: Supporting troops in word only, Feb. 6 guest column U.S. Rep Ginny Brown-Waite:

Brown-Waite is using our troops as a shield to deflect genuine political criticism. She is equating the defense of debating her motives for offering up our military to fight a battle that, according to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, "We cannot lose militarily, but we cannot win militarily, either."

One cannot forget her attempt to have the hallowed reminders of the horrors of war, monuments in the form of fallen American soldiers interred in Normandy, excavated and extracted as a political punishment to France for not supporting the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps the French government's commitment to preserve the sacred graves of those who died unconditionally to preserve the rights of extremists like Brown-Waite have served as a reminder to the French as a consequence of war and thus helped them to decide against following our criminally mismanaged Iraq occupation.

Perhaps Rep. Brown-Waite, and those who malevolently spin criticism of the policymakers that shipped our servicemen and women to a Catch-22 war as contempt for the armed services, should visit Arlington National Cemetery and contemplate the confessions of Reich Marshal Hermann Goering when he was questioned during the Nuremberg trials on how his country was able to declare unilateral war on the entire world. Goering chillingly responded with the following:

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but they can always be bought to the bidding of their leaders. Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for a lack of patriotism and endangering the country. It works the same in every country."

Never mind not learning from Vietnam, it looks like we never learned from World War II.

Jamie Wrye, Spring Hill

Brown-Waite uses patriotism as weapon

Re: Supporting troops in word only, Feb. 6 guest column U.S. Rep Ginny Brown-Waite:

Brown-Waite has officially gone too far. She has proven, once again, how out of touch with reality most politicians really are.

First, she uses the term "liberal" like it is some sort of a slur or disease so I would like to quote Dictionary.com at this point:

"Liberal - adj. (a.) Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. (b.) Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded."

Seeing the definition makes me wish more humans were "liberal;" there might be less fighting if people were open-minded and tolerant.

Brown-Waite then goes on to bash people who support the troops but do not support the war, implying that it is only a slogan. Brown-Waite, I will use an analogy so simple even you can understand. Let's pretend I was a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan (they are a football team) and they got a new leader (in football, they call it a "coach") whom I did not like. I can still support my team and think that the coach is a moron; I would still go to the games and cheer for my team believing that the coach is calling bad plays. Even when the rest of the football world is baffled by the coach's inflexibility and desire to "stay the course" I would support my team and reserve the right to boo the coach. This mentality makes me loyal to the team even though I do not like the coach.

Waite's statements that "When liberals say "we support the troops,' they mean this time around they aren't going to spit on our vets," and they will "refrain from personal attacks on our soldiers," are despicable and deserve an apology. To imply that liberals, or anyone else for that matter, would do such a thing to the soldiers just because they oppose the war or the reasons behind going to war is a disgrace to her political party, position and the state of Florida. We all know what happened as the troops came home from Vietnam, but that was a different era and I believe Americans learned many hard lessons from that experience.

The "war on terror" is a vague, ambiguous entity that allows Brown-Waite to continue to point her finger in whichever direction that suits her at the time. You see, I thought initially we set out to find Osama bin Laden because of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. This led us to Afghanistan and the removal of the ruling party, the Taliban. We know if you watch the news, that bin Laden is still somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan. So, we invaded Iraq? Do I need to remind Brown-Waite that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians? Why haven't we invaded Saudi Arabia to root out terrorism where it begins?

Now we have imposed a democracy on Iraq (Yes, that is a good thing) and we hope for the best. But will we go back into Iraq when the people democratically elect a leader we do not like? Our response to the Palestinian elections should give us some insight.

Michael Cottrell, Spring Hill

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