On March 3, the Association of Cuban-American Engineers and the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers will host their ninth annual Cuba Infrastructure Scholarship Competition at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.
The scholarship committee was born 10 years ago with a mission: to motivate future Cuban-American engineers to work on real-life projects that would eventually improve Cuba’s infrastructure. We have secured sponsorship while broadening our outreach to college engineering students of all ethnic backgrounds.
We have drawn 40 finalist teams from in-state and out-of-state universities, all vying for $100,000. Also, we have invested countless mentoring hours to support finalists with their projects.
This year, Suffolk University is participating as a first-time competitor, and the University of Alabama will take part for the second time.
Major Florida universities have traditionally made up in-state participation. In fact, the University of Florida is the current third finalist.
As we reflect on our accomplishments, we reaffirm our mission of working toward a better Cuba while focusing on further growth.
Roger R. Puerto, chair,
Cuba Infrastructure Scholarship Competition Committee,
Association of Cuban-American Engineers,
Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers, Miami
All our elected representatives seem to have crawled out from under the same rock. How do they sleep at night? How do they look at themselves in the mirror? They believe they are all-knowing. One of their latest ideas is to arm teachers. This fits right into the NRA’s agenda of putting more guns on the street and padding their pockets.
I have an idea. Since our lawmakers only work about three months out of the year, why don’t they arm themselves and go to the schools and protect children and teachers. They could be school resource officers.
President Trump said he would have rushed into the school unarmed during the shooting to help. How about our elite senators and representatives?
Richard Flynn, Miami
I am a retired teacher. I used to arrive at school at 7:30 a.m. to get work done before students showed up. Mine was the only car in the parking lot, and I kept looking around me until I entered the building. I was careful, but nothing would have convinced me to carry, much less use, a gun.
Had that been today, I would have moved to another state that did not have the law that Congress intends to pass to arm teachers with a gun. Florida already suffers from a shortage of good teachers. The law will only worsen this situation.
Ellen R. Girden, Aventura
A student receiving an A+ is almost always a good thing. (Getting it by cheating is the exception.)
What conclusion can we draw from the fact that for the 2016 Senate campaign, Marco Rubio received an A+ (and plenty of cash) from the NRA?
Anybody who can’t, at the very least, support strict regulatory laws for items such as high-capacity magazines and bump stocks should get an F for basic common sense and empathy.
Kurt Schesser, Palmetto Bay
In addition to more gun control, better security and improved mental-health treatment, we need to change from a culture of death to a culture of life.
Saint Mother Teresa said it best: “When a nation allows mothers to kill their children, how can you tell people not to kill others?”
After reading in the newspaper of all the businesses that offer or have offered discounts to NRA members, I say, Shame on them! As a Vietnam veteran, I would ask, why have those of us who have defended and served our country never received recognition from these businesses?
It is no wonder, after all the latest and horrifying fatal shootings in U.S. schools, that more and more business are severing their ties with the NRA.
Why don’t these businesses replace the NRA benefits and offer them instead to the U.S. veterans, saying, “Thank you for your service?”
Sgt. Gerardo Borbon,
U.S. Army, Miami
I’ll never forget the day my favorite math teacher, Mr. Perlove, was doing one of his exciting lectures in my seventh grade class. He was about 24 years old. I loved that teacher — he was the only one who had ever made me enjoy math.
Many times, he was annoyed at his students’ continuous chatting while he taught. One day, he snapped. He threw the eraser he was holding at top speed at Mary, a friendly girl, but a bit too chatty that day. Chalk was all over her clothing and curly blonde hair. Although she was 12, she clearly looked at him with disdain as she brushed off the chalk dust. Mr. Perlove immediately apologized. Only then did he realize what he had done.
Had he been armed, would he have been that careless? Maybe. As angry as he was that day, he might have taken out the gun just to show he had it. Or he could have fired a shot into the ceiling, perhaps causing damage, or worse, injuring or killing someone. Or a student could have stolen the gun.
The answer isn’t more guns; it’s fewer guns, and certainly not in the hands of teachers already burdened by the noble, but difficult, art of teaching a room full of children.
Marta Magellan, Pinecrest
Seventy Florida legislators, who all voted against banning assault weapons, want to have Sheriff Scott Israel fired.
What comes next? Firing any teacher who refuses to carry a concealed handgun in class?
Quick draw law
The recent gun bill in the state Legislature appeared way too fast. No research, no data, no expert consultation, no real negotiation. The Republican tax bill last year was similarly off the cuff.
High school debate clubs prepare better than this.
Peace above all
In the midst of all the darkness, comes Herald reporter Jenny Staletovich’s Feb. 27 front-page story, “Wildlife: Florida scientists solve century-old flamingo mystery,” along with its rosy and radiant flamingo flock portrait by Pedro Portal.
I stepped away from the turbulence of current events to linger over every word with a cup of coffee in our back yard, filled with the birdsong of coming spring.
Please, give us more wilderness stories by Staletovich and Portal! And let them lead on the front page.
In a world filled with problems and pain, we can all use these lyrical islands of insight and peace.