letters to the editor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Freedom speaks
in many languages
In response to Patsy Duncan’s Jan. 7 letter:
As we take a look at how we now treat immigrants to our country and think about how and why they are here, we should realize that our forefathers came to this country for the same reasons people are coming now, to have something better for their families. This is called freedom. Freedom to honor your culture or to state your narrow-minded opinions, whichever it may be.
The Indians kindly greeted English immigrants to America, and we tell our immigrants to go home. As I am sure, no one came to America speaking what we now call English, but rather it evolved from what we all brought from our countries of origin. It is still today evolving as the face of America continues to change. I am sure it is not the easiest thing to learn another language while trying to provide for a family at the same time. English is not the easiest language in the world, and if you don’t believe that, learn another and compare.
I think it is a terrible way to start out a new year with such a closed-minded outlook on people who are doing nothing different than what past generations have done. Speaking another language in America isn’t disrespectful, but what is disrespectful is portraying America as a closed-minded, closed country, which it is not. For those who disrespect the country in such a way, I think you should “go home!”
ó Jonathan Clark
Saving the tigers
I was so happy to see that Lea Jaunakais was planning to take over the former Metrolina Zoo. However, I knew when I read the Jan. 8 article that she would be blindsided by ignorance and negativity. Anyone who has met Lea knows how intelligent, cautious and caring she is.
Just for the record, I have talked with her and am extremely impressed with the way she handled the animals when Steve Macaluso had control of the park. Yes, she does have a dream. Unfortunately, like so many other individuals that come to Rowan County with a dream, hers may not be fulfilled.
To say that this is the wrong place and time for her dream is ridiculous. When will the right time come to try to save an increasingly endangered species ó when there are five, three or one left? This is a woman with more intelligence than a lot of people that I have met in Rowan. This is not only a dream but a vision! No, it doesn’t involve a windtunnel or racing, but given a chance and the $1.5 million she intends to invest in making the facility safer, it could bring revenue to Rowan.
I have held one of the white tiger cubs (gypsy) and have a picture with her. I didn’t get mauled. Some people need to expand their way of thinking. Your chance of being hit by a drunk driver in Rowan County is far greater than being attacked by one of the tigers from the facility!
Mr. Macaluso’s reputation needs to go with him whereever he may go. He had good intentions as well. Without him, a lot of exotic animals would have been sentenced to death for no reason. Where is the compassion for animals and those that try to help them in this community?
ó Michael Basinger