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Going from German to English as a 9-year-old who was new to America | Saturday’s letters
Saturday’s letters to the editor
Published Aug. 30, 2019|Updated Aug. 30, 2019

Schools split on speech revealed | Aug. 26

Going from German to English as a 9-year-old who was new to America

My family and I arrived in the United States in 1948 when I was 9. In Germany I was in the fourth grade but because my English was primitive, the administration put me in the third grade. My teacher was Mrs. Sanders, who made every effort for me to learn English. At the end of the year she gave my mother three workbooks in science, English and math. She told my mother to get me to finish all three and that I would be put in the fifth grade at the end of the summer. I read a lot of books during my first year and continued to do so during my life. When my mother became a citizen, she had to be able to speak and read English as well as renounce her German citizenship. She was now able to vote, and they certainly did not print the ballot in German.

The fact that many Spanish-speaking people apparently cannot read English is evident now that the ballot in Florida is printed in English and Spanish. If Spanish-speaking people want to talk in Spanish with their friends and family, I have no problem with that. However, when people are at work or voting they should be able to read and speak English because that is effectively the official language of the United States.

I served four years in the Air Force and taught in Hillsborough schools for 34 years, and I can never remember coming in contact with Air Force personnel or students who could not speak English. So I agree with the teachers who think Spanish-speaking people should be able to speak English.

Klaus Rujediger, Tampa

Taneja family gives $10M to USF College of Pharmacy | Aug. 17

A dean who made it possible

On Aug. 16, USF Health was honored to announce a historic donation of $10 million by the Taneja Family Foundation to our young College of Pharmacy. This generous gift will enable us to deliver excellence in pharmaceutical education, research and patient care for years to come. In reporting on that donation, there was an unfortunate omission of the Taneja College of Pharmacy’s dean, Dr. Kevin Sneed, who worked tirelessly to build a genuine relationship with the Taneja family. We at USF Health wish to recognize the integral part Dr. Sneed plays in our organization’s success. As the founding college of pharmacy dean, and the first African-American dean in USF Health’s history, Dr. Sneed has been indispensable in guiding the college through its formative years, building an innovative approach to pharmacy education that teaches students to integrate into the entire health care system. He has also been active in numerous diversity initiatives both within USF and the larger Tampa community. In all these roles, Dr. Sneed has been a model representative of our commitment to innovation, inclusion, engagement and excellence in health care.

We would like to publicly recognize Dr. Sneed for his leadership, and express our enthusiasm for his vision of the Taneja College of Pharmacy moving forward.

Dr. Charles J. Lockwood, Tampa

The writer is senior vice president, USF Health, and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

I want gun owners to be insured | Column, Aug. 28

Discounts for good owners

If legal gun owners have to bear the costs of the acts of criminals who misuse guns, then why not a credit if a law-abiding gun owner uses his gun to stop a crime? Why not subsidize concealed weapons holders who deter criminality? San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wants it all one way. Once gun owners are stigmatized for the acts of criminals, then before long, all gun owners become criminals.

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His argument is a perfect example of chain reasoning. Link one thing to another on the basis of some sort of “logic” and before long everything causes something else. Contrary to what he says, we don’t tax newspapers because they cause some sort of harm. Taxes are paid into a revenue pool that is used to pay for government operations, not to punish legal activities. Gun violence is a direct result of criminal behavior. Mayor Liccardo simply wants to punish law-abiding gun owners for the acts of criminals, or to be more precise, for the failures of law enforcement. He should get the police to do their jobs, not punish law-abiding gun owners.

Leonard Martino, Tampa

Verdict no win for stand your ground | Editorial, Aug. 28

A law with fatal flaws

The stand your ground law does not work. While I agree with the basic idea behind it, the law is too vague and much too open to interpretation. I am a supporter of responsible gun ownership. If a person carrying a legally licensed firearm clearly initiates a confrontation and it results in that person firing their weapon and injuring or killing another person, the protection of that law should no longer apply. The gun owner should have to prove that he or she did everything in their power to defuse the situation. I am confident such changes in the law would save lives.

Frank Sabella, Tampa

My choice was not to abort | Letter, Aug. 24

Making the best choice

Clarissa Carruthers-Dodsworth’s detailed summation of the “pain and grief of many post-abortive men and women” was correct. Yes, “We are all affected by the choices and the burdens of one another.” Mother Teresa warned all of us: “We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?”

Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel

Family tragedy takes minutes | Aug. 26

One person to stand watch

All Children’s Hospital (now Johns Hopkins) once suggested a lanyard with a laminated sign, large enough for easy visibility, be worn by a person agreeing to focus on the pool area, not engaging in conversation with guests or talking on the phone. The lanyard would be handed to the next person agreeing to be the watcher.

Geanne Marks, St. Petersburg


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