In our weekly columnists mailbag, Erin Grace, Matthew Hansen and Michael Kelly answer reader questions about past columns. Want to get your two-bits' worth in? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many readers chimed in to say that like Julius Caesar, they came, they saw and they conquered high school Latin (Erin Grace's Thursday column). More than one reader shared this common insider joke: semper ubi sub ubi (Always where under-where). A reader in Lincoln has friends who converse in Latin at summertime barbecues. Teachers, including one in Florida, wrote in to say they were glad to see Latin continue on at Omaha Marian and Omaha Central. One parent wrote he believed Latin — well, the Latin teacher — saved his daughter's life.
It was hard to pick which letter to run, but since this includes an open invitation, here 'tis:
Nice piece today regarding Latin and Miss Ryan. I graduated from Central in 1980 and took Latin all three years. We were probably in North Platte at the same time for the State Latin Convention. Frankly, we had so much fun and after sharing our experience with other students, I think there was about a 30% uptick in enrollment in Latin classes the following year. We even took a trip to Rome and Pompeii with Miss Ryan my senior year.
I am currently in the process of contacting many of her former students ... to invite them to an Open House for her on June 14th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Brazen Head, one of her favorite Irish pubs. I will be flying in from Chicago that day and know we will have some other folks attending from outside of Nebraska. We anticipate a great turnout to honor her and her dedication to Latin in the state and the students of CHS.
CHS Class of 1980
Thank you. It was a thrill to visit Central, though I must say I missed the North Platte adventure. My Latin days came a little later.
I'm sure other Central Eagles who took Latin would love to know about this party. So I'm including your invitation here.
How wonderful for Miss Ryan that former students would fly in for her farewell. Have a great time and save a spot. I'm always good for a black-and-tan!
Marian High, Class of 1991
I am of the old school and need to smell the ink and newsprint and hold that paper in my hands. I read The World-Herald from front page to back. I look forward to each day's paper and sit down with my coffee after I do the crossword, jumble, sudoku and bridge lesson of the previous day.
I enjoy your columns and those of Erin Grace and Matthew Hansen, welcome additions to the “good news” side of the paper.
Jo Ann Ward
Dear Jo Ann,
Thanks for your kind note. Erin and Matthew were terrific writers and reporters at The World-Herald for years, and it's great that editors now allow them the greater freedom that goes with writing columns. They have injected our pages with freshness, energy, spirit and intellect.
On Wednesday, Matthew Hansen wrote about the strange specter of United States Strategic Command, which oversees the nation's nuclear weapons from Bellevue's Offutt Air Force Base, holding an all-staff cleaning day. While reporting the column he learned that Offutt Air Force base has sliced its janitorial contracts — which employed mentally and physically disabled janitors — nearly in half as part of military-wide budget cuts that began last year.
Where was this story a few years ago when we were firing city employees and asking those who got to keep their jobs to do those employees' work as well? Oh wait, the only time cutting government spending actually affects real people is with the military! Cause they just couldn't stop spending hundreds of billions on the F22. A plane with nobody to dogfight. That might cut into boeings or lockheeds or northrup grummans tax free government money.
Deep breaths. First off, I wasn't a columnist when the city was laying off workers. If I had been, I guarantee you that I would've written about that, too.
Secondly, the point of my column wasn't to compare the military budget to any other federal, state or city budget.
The point was to attempt to show that budget cuts tend to cause real pain.
I am arguing that we should at the very least acknowledge that budget-cutting decisions tend to affect our neighbors and friends and fellow Americans in tangible ways. Sometimes, as with the laid-off janitors, they affect people in heart-wrenching ways.
That's not an argument against budget cutting. It's an argument for being honest about it.
Thanks for the email,