The case of Young Jung has forever changed my image of illegal immigrants. Seeking refuge from poverty in Mexico by slipping under a strand of barbed wire, marrying in haste on the eve of a Green Card expiration, or merging into our culture to await an assignment of terrorism were my impressions of the types of violators pursued by the Immigration and Naturalization Services.
Not any more!
In an effort to track down illegal immigrants who may threaten our society, the INS has incarcerated our most faithful school volunteer - a petite, Korean lady who loves our students, serves our teachers, and greets everyone with a kind word and friendly smile.
Her husband is employed as a sushi chef, her son is a hard-working, cooperative eighth-grader, and her cooking can often be found in the teachers' lounge. Mrs. Jung helps with book fairs and comes to the library during the summer so that elementary children can check out books.
Now this model citizen, who has lived and worked among us for 20 years, is languishing in a detention facility, treated like a dangerous criminal.
The INS has cut her off from family and friends, threatening deportation due to a paperwork error. Despite the work of lawyers and state legislators, her situation remains at an impasse mired down by bureaucracy for two months.
Safety at any cost has cast a wide net; it has uprooted a community servant and devastated an exemplary family. Surely our resources could be better spent.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorism, no one wants our government to become complacent about homeland security.
But when our quest to guarantee safety results in inflicting suffering on an outstanding member of the community, we have gone too far.
RENEE L. MUNGONS
Emmanuel Baptist High School
A well-intentioned writer was trying to refresh drivers' memories on the law for stopping for school buses. Unfortunately, his information was not accurate. Here is the Ohio Revised Code on the issue:
ORC4511.75, section (C) states in part:
"Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by Head Start agencies. The driver of any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley overtaking the school bus shall comply with division (A) of this section."
The reference to "divided" does not insinuate that a median be present in the road. It only refers to the delineation of the pavement area into four or more traffic lanes. There is no requirement that any lanes be separated by a physical median, concrete or otherwise.
This offering is neither pro-life, nor pro-choice: just an observation.
Michael Schiavo didn't forsake Terri. On the contrary, she left him some 14 years ago. She endangered her life by engaging in a misguided practice of weight loss by starving her body of vital nutrients. Don't you find it ironic that she left this earth in the same manner - starvation?
MARIAN G. ELFRING
A recent letter writer lamented about having to read Jack Kelly's once-a-week Blade column in which Mr. Kelly takes positions not consistent with the writer's. I have little empathy.
He should be on the other side of the fence and have to contend with the likes of Marilou Johanek, Ann McFeatters, Molly Ivins, Ellen Goodman, Rose Russell, Roberta de Boer, Fritz Wenzel, Dan Simpson, Paul Krugman, and Thomas Friedman.
All have consistently attacked the Bush Administration going on five years now. They should be thankful that President Bush won re-election. Otherwise, they might find it difficult to write about anything else on a regular basis.
The writer should also be aware that a Pew Research Center survey published last year revealed that five times as many media journalists identified themselves as liberals, compared to those saying they were conservatives. This same survey also identified the most liberal leaning newspaper as the New York Times, followed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
These are the same three papers which are often used as news sources by The Blade.
The earlier letter writer stated further that The Blade should be embarrassed by publishing Mr. Kelly's columns.
I recognize that The Blade publishes other conservative columnists in addition to Mr. Kelly, but they are collectively overwhelmed by the liberals.
Now, I ask, who should really be complaining, liberals or conservatives, given this one-sidedness of the paper's columnists?
Paul L. Arndt
Chatham Valley Drive
I am 74 years old, a Korean War veteran, and a lifelong liberal. The current neo-conservative-dominated Congress recently passed a defense appropriations bill totaling more than $417 billion with no dissent.
This same Congress, full of so-called fiscal-minded conservatives, apparently never bothered to read all the fine print in the bill. First, the $3.9 billion wasted on the new nuclear submarine, the Jimmy Carter. We need another nuclear sub like a hole in the head. We and the British are the only naval power with these type of submarines, save a few left in Russia. So why this waste of money?
Next, a recent article in The Blade said the Air Force is pouring $83 million into building new air bases in Afghanistan, getting ready for a long stay, and then another article stated the Navy and Army are building a miniature golf course, Starbucks coffee kiosks, and a go-kart track in Guantanamo, Cuba, to serve the population boom for the detention center personnel and their families, which has surged to 9,500, up from 2,600 just three years ago.
What is going on with taxpayers' money?
Being an avid reader and a student of history, I recall the farewell address of Dwight D. Eisenhower to the nation upon leaving office: "Beware of the military-industrial complex."
Here was a five-star general, a military man of honor, and the only Republican I ever voted for and respected, saying something that rings true today more than ever. What are we becoming when we build the biggest military armada in the world and have no money for schools?
We've come a long way, haven't we?
LEONARD F. PALINSKI
Blade music critic Steven Cornelius perpetuated a jazz myth about Louis Armstrong when he stated that Louis "learned by doing and never even learned to read music."
That is not true. In fact, my son Duke (probably the greatest trumpeter in the 1920s-1930s style of Armstrong today) gave a talk at last year's Satchmo Summerfest in New Orleans about this very subject. Louis learned to read very well when he played for Fate Marable on the Streckfus Line paddle steamers out of New Orleans.
Raymond A. Heitger
Three million people stood in reverential respect during the recent vigil and funeral of Pope John Paul II. The Blade covered these historic events in a comprehensive and dignified manner. But why was this followed just a few days later with a story on Barbara Blaine and her most inappropriate protest at the Basilica while the Vatican and the rest of the world were still in mourning?
Regardless of her reason and right to stage a protest, she could have chosen a more appropriate time to do so.