A blood donor receives
Man donates 35 gallons of blood in more than 50 years | Nov. 18
Thank you for sharing the story of the steadfast blood donations by Marc Satalof, the retired Philadelphia educator, over the last 50 years. I’ve been donating for a similar period as Satalof and have reached over 55 gallons of equivalency in blood and platelet donations. That would be the size of a standard steel drum. When I started sharing my blood, they used to call the donor sites blood banks, with the concept of giving now and maybe needing some later. My “later” came two years ago, fortunately, from donors in the Tampa Bay area, when I required 2½ gallons of blood for a major upper G.I. bleed, which I received and survived, thank God!
Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel
Not simple math
Florida should include sociology as one general education option | Column, Nov. 18
So now “they” want to remove sociology from college choices. I went to college to study engineering. I had mostly science and math classes, but also, I was required to take four classes from approved lists in the humanities and social sciences. I took sociology and philosophy as two of those classes that did not involve numbers or equations. I found these classes to be challenging and rewarding by requiring me to think about issues that did not have clear-cut answers.
I think those classes helped me avoid the label that engineers are not good in social situations. All of my various jobs eventually required social interaction that was not a yes/no situation, but rather negotiations. I worked for a company that made industrial dust collectors. One day my boss asked me to inspect an installation that was not going well. The collector was on top of a three-story building and our inspector was afraid of heights, so they asked me to go. So I met this guy who was wearing bib overalls and he led me up a series of ladders and across rooftops to where the collector was located. We discussed the problems and solutions, and I promised to get back to him with a report. He thanked for coming out and then introduced himself as the president of Nalco Chemical Company. I thought he was a maintenance man. We need those courses for the situations that are not simple math problems.
Dave Hinz, Clearwater
A shelter’s mission drift
Outrage halts shelter deal | Nov. 19
My husband and I volunteer at Pinellas County Animal Services. Currently we have 90-plus adoptable dogs. Five dollars will buy you a dog that will fill your life with unconditional love for many years. Small dogs are frequently requested, especially by older people. Most of our smaller dogs are taken by small dog rescue groups, leaving us with the larger dogs. Recently, an 86-year-old lady came to us from a local shelter where she told me they were asking $1,000 for a small dog she was attracted to. I was able to give her a list of small dog rescue groups that I personally know are very reliable and responsible.
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With all the thousands of shelter dogs available, I will never understand why anyone would go to a pet store and pay thousands of dollars on so called “designer” puppies. I am not against reputable, responsible breeders who do it for the betterment of the breed and not for money. Most reputable breeders do not make a living having multiple litters every year. And a responsible breeder is usually selective when selling their pups.
So, if you are thinking of getting a dog, I beg you to go to a shelter first. And I pray the SPCA will return to its original mission, saving the animals and the stoppage of pet overpopulation.
Sandy Lázár-Bergstrom, Seminole
Pity the writers
Letters to the editor
As I read the daily letters to the Times I am constantly discouraged and dismayed by the naiveté of some of the authors, especially those who keep suggesting “contact our government representatives” or “encourage our lawmakers.” Don’t they know that “altruist” and “politician” are mutually exclusive terms? Don’t they know that expecting favorable results to their pleas is delusional? Don’t they know the definition of insanity?
R. Bennett, Tampa
Tampa Cubans fear deportation after recent court ruling | Nov. 19
Cuban migrants who violate our border are unlikely to receive the humanitarian parole needed for the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) and must join the long line for an asylum hearing. Those who do appear at a U.S. port of entry — even without a visa — rather than violating the border are more likely to receive the category of parole required for the CAA. Our government has never accepted the proposition lately advanced by some that humanitarian parole and release on one’s own recognizance (the I-220A) somehow are the same thing under the 1966 CAA. In September, the Board of Immigration Appeals, an administrative agency, not a court, reaffirmed the government position — what your article calls a “recent immigration rule.” The rule isn’t recent, and the board was obliged to reaffirm it only because persons ineligible for the CAA applied for it anyway based on a distortion of the rule. That said, and as I have seen in my own immigration practice, your article vividly conveys how, over the last decade, people fleeing from Cuba’s brutal Marxist-Leninist dictatorship unfortunately have lost access to the United States because of executive branch policies.
Rich Douglas, Spring, Texas