letters to the editor - 11/25/00

November 24, 2000

Letters to the Editor 11/25

Bilingual ed isn't necessary

To the editor:

I assume that you agree with the banning of bilingual education as was done in California.

I and my two sisters who are older than I are clear-cut proof that bilingual education is not only unnecessary, but counter- productive. In 1928, my father went to Brazil with his wife and five children, and he chose a small town in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo to live. Within about six months, we were entered into Brazilian schools. I was just 11 years old, and took the sixth and seventh grades there.

All classes were in Brazilian texts (Portuguese), including the foreign languages. I had to take French. Not only did they not teach English, but no one in the then village of Araraquara spoke a word of English. (We left Brazil in '31, and I entered eighth grade in U.S.) I not only learned French in a Portuguese text, but even today, speak passable French. At the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, they did not have Portuguese as a foreign language, and the French classes were full, so I had to take Italian.


I am a certified bi-directional interpreter, still, in Portuguese. Now I am no "scholar." I just studied hard to win, by competitive exam, two appointments to USNA. One, against 596 others for one of Harry Byrd's, Senator from Virginia, and one as a Naval reservist, for one of the 25 which they had. I squeaked through as No. 23, against several thousand others. Six hundred of us entered in 1937, and 400 survived to graduate for commissions, Feb. 7, 1941. My schooling, non-bilingual, must have been pretty good, to take me that far. I was consistent . . . I graduated No. 23 from the bottom of my class.

Irrelevant to the above: I retired from my last duty station, as Superintendent of Naval Observatory in 1970. The quarters, which had been those of the superintendent (until about 1945) are now the home of the vice president of the USA.

My first duty when commissioned was on a cruiser in Pearl, which took a hit from one of three torpedoes dropped on her, and only one of five 1,600 pound bombs dropped on us on Dec. 7. Because we were moored in a berth just two away from where the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise was scheduled to have been moored, the Japanese no doubt been designated to hit her, had, to their disappointment, to drop their weapons on us.

J. Maury Werth


Held hostage by young driver

To the editor:

Why is it in a quiet neighborhood that parents and young children can be held hostage by a 17-year-old kid with a car? Numerous complaints have been filed and called in to the Washington County Sheriff's Office about a certain young man who finds it necessary to chase children on bikes with his car.

Our kids come to us frightened and scared that this kid will run them over. The young man laughs and then drives away. I and neighbors have called the sheriff's office but we are told that unless an adult or an officer sees the act they cannot do anything.

We are told we have the option of going to the courts and making a complaint, but I thought that is what we have a sheriff for. I guess we will just have to wait until this young man seriously injures someone before any action takes place. I pray that day will never come.

Kurt Raios


Don Nehlen wasn't so bad

To the editor:

Anyone who is a fan of WVU Athletics and knows me realizes that I have been one of the most outspoken when it comes to wishing for a change in coaching in both men's football and men's basketball.

This past weekend, after Don Nehlen announced his retirement, I happened to be on the blue lot. Once everyone realized what had occurred, it was like New Years Eve. Horns blew, people screamed, I being one of them. However, Sunday morning when I was sitting reading the morning paper I had time to reflect.

I realized that what occurred was sad. Don Nehlen took us to places we had never been before. Granted, he is the only coach to work within our great facilities, but we have never been investigated for anything. Not even Notre Dame can say that. This brings me to the reason I am writing this letter.

Ed Pastilong, through increased expenses, decreasing attendance, immense pressure from people like myself, has always conducted the day-to-day business of running a Division One athletic department with honesty, sincerity, and class. It is time that all Mountaineers sit up and applaud Ed and give him the support that he deserves in the months ahead.

Karl Gattlieb

Charleston, W.Va.

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