English should be a requirement

To the editor:

This is a comment about the article titled “When a traffic stop becomes a language barrier.”

It wouldn’t be a barrier if everyone in this country learned to speak English. If people from other countries want to live here, it should be a requirement for them to learn English as their second language.

Problem solved.

Gloria Lockwood Evans


It takes courage to be a writer

To the editor:

I liked the young lady’s letter to the school board about her wanting to enjoy a vacation with her family at holidays. I forget the details.

If you are reading this, I just wanted to say that I liked her courage. By expressing herself in a letter, which ends up being picked up by the editor and published by him, is remarkable. It is also evidence of her talent. It takes courage to be a writer.

On writing, I wish to address the subject of the English teacher in the classroom and the duties entailed. One of these is to teach the art of writing.

Oh, I know, there is grammar and the notion that the job of teaching is a repetitive task.

The better part of teaching English is teaching how to write. Knowing how involves creativity on the part of the student and knowledge of the art by the teacher.

An English teacher ought to know the art of words on the page, and not be just a grammarian with a red pencil.

Not many supervisors know their teachers all that well; although, they think they do. For example, teachers who do not return a paper on time for it to be useful to the student is not a good teacher.

Teaching supervisors and superintendents ought to be better informed, ought to take a closer look at the teaching process and how teachers really fulfill their duties. Some teach superbly, every day, of course. Others, well, wing it.

I praise good teaching. And I am sure there are many good and excellent teachers, but I think that more attention ought to be paid teachers who hide behind their reputations and have become impervious to criticism and dismiss it. After all, it’s their reputation. What does the student or parent know?

G. Coulombe


Not maintaining infrastructure costs all of us

To the editor:

Back in June of 1983, a 100-foot section of the Mianus River Bridge collapsed and fell 70 feet into the Mianus River, killing three people and seriously injuring three more.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the collapse happened due to metal corrosion and fatigue, as well as deferred maintenance by an overworked and underfunded state Department of Transportation.

In the six months following the collapse, northbound I-95 traffic had to be diverted onto U.S.-1 and local streets in Greenwich, causing the worst traffic problems the town had ever seen. It cost the state $150 million to replace the bridge and they paid out nearly $8 million to the victims and their estates.

In many states, the state DOT is funded by a gas tax and collecting tolls. As cars become more fuel efficient and electric cars become more affordable, the gas tax is no longer enough to fund it.

The state Republican Party has not brought any ideas to the table on how the state should collect revenue, other than complaining about the potential cost. Maybe they are hoping the free-market fairy godmother will come fix our infrastructure for free. The rest of us know better however.

It does cost money to maintain infrastructure, but it costs even more money to not maintain it. Just ask the people affected by the Mianus River Bridge collapse.

Leanne Harpin