I spent almost 22 years in service to my country, which I love, plus 20 years in civil service.
While in the military I traveled to many foreign countries. In order to communicate, I had to learn a few words in their language in order to get by. They weren't required to learn English. Thank goodness some could speak it.
I firmly believe this country is worth fighting for and that my language is a beautiful language. Why must I be forced to learn someone else's language just to make them feel welcome?
I have many foreign friends. I try to greet them and say a few words in their language to try to make them feel welcome.
New Port Richey
Stop the madness
Illegal anything means willfully violating the laws of the USA. By definition: criminals. No amnesty! Deportation first is a must. There are millions throughout the world who are educated and could assist the USA but are barred from legally entering our country to become citizens.
Sen. Marco Rubio is wrong to want to grant amnesty to criminals while roadblocking so many talented people who have more love for the USA and not the disdain demonstrated by welfare-dependent, non-tax-paying illegal immigrants.
Stop the madness, and rigidly enforce all our immigration laws. Bar every illegal from getting any health care or an education. These are the responsibilities of the nation of origin.
We elect people to represent all U.S. citizens - people who need tax relief, not the addition of tens of millions of additional dependents. The law is clear and unenforced by the administration and Congress.
Regarding "Housing market still shaky" (June 13):
It appears daily that we are hearing or reading about the housing market improving. Or is it shaky? Which is it?
I have been following the Tampa housing market for nearly two decades, and as the owner of Cress Properties Group Inc., I can confidentially say we are not out of this housing mess.
If we do not watch ourselves as home buyers and investors, we will see another debilitating and more problematic housing market.
The super buying power of hedge funds snatching up homes at breakneck speed is discouraging to home buyers who do not have the opportunity to even make an offer on the home. This benefits the big banks that can dispose in bulk amount and hedge funds that can purchase in bulk at wholesale auctions with cash.
Why not give the opportunity to the original homeowner to stay in their homes and reduce principal? Makes too much sense, right?
How successful has the affordable home program been for the "bulk?" I tried to save my home for two years through the program, and in the end it resulted in foreclosure. The program was no more than paper work after paper work. Many of my friends are in the same boat.
When will we ever learn from our past mistakes? A healthy market is providing a fair chance to all home buyers and investors to enter the market.
The Tampa Bay area, along with Miami and Jacksonville, received the dubious distinction of having the worst foreclosure rates. When 1 in 290 homeowners faced some kind of foreclosure filing in May, up 32 percent, and 41 percent of homeowners are in negative equity, this hardly implies an improving housing market.
It is my opinion that we are pushing a panic button once again and proceeding forward with great risk, only to have another disaster in the market.
TampaMe and only me
The front page of the June 13 Tribune carried the story of the 14-year-old middle school student who was requested to meet the school dress code. Schools, in order to be effective and meet their objective of educating our youth, need to function with a minimum of distractions and disruptions.
The school staff was correct in not allowing this student and his family to make a circus out of this school. If, as claimed, this student has an identity issue, the solution cannot be found in the school environment. There are plenty of resources outside the school that his mother could use if she really wants to help him to define himself.
The story is another example of the lack of proper parenting that drives many young people to believe they can do anything they want without consequences or respect for others.
It is the "me and only me" syndrome. Or maybe after all a circus is his future.
Alberto J. Sanchez