Letters to the editor

Racism is a world-wide illness
"Slovak Matters" language column appreciated
Clarification of USX's interest in VSŽ shares
Red tape a nuisance everywhere
Hurdy-gurdy man has friends in the States

Racism is a world-wide illness

Dear Editor,
It is horrible for me to open your newspaper and see that the lead story on your front page is an article about racism in Slovakia ["Skinhead free despite conviction", By Lucia Nicholsonová, Vol. 7 No. 15, April 16-22]. Your story selection makes Slovakia look like the most racist country in the world, and such stories are the main problem. This is not the truth and I am sure you know it.
Racism is a global problem everywhere in the world, especially in Europe. Now I am living in Sydney. If papers wrote about racism here, it would never be on the front page as a symbol of the biggest of Australia's problems. Yet racism is also visible in Sydney, as it is in most countries and cities around the world. Nobody makes a tragedy out of it. It's a kind of illness, isn't it?

Pavol Blanar
Sydney, Australia

"Slovak Matters" language column appreciated

Dear Editor,
What a great article ["Slovak Matters: Top 10 Slovak words", By Tom Nicholson, Vol. 7, No. 15, April 16-22]. I spent a year living in Slovakia, and I really got a kick out of the article. It said in the article that "Slovak Matters" was posted bi-weekly, I was wondering if there is a web site where it is also published, or if The Slovak Spectator is planning on including it every week in the newspaper. It really is a great thing for foreigners (your main customers) to read if they are in Slovakia. Thank you and keep up the good work.

David J. Garriepy
Maine, USA
(Slovak matters appears bi-weekly in the print version and on our web site at www.slovakspectator.sk - ed. note)

Clarification of USX's interest in VSŽ shares

Dear Editor,
In your article ["USX looks for higher stake in steel firm VSŽ", Business Briefs, Vol. 7, No. 15, April 16-22], The Slovak Spectator published some incorrect information about the interest of USX in obtaining further shares in VSŽ.
The Slovak Spectator wrote that "USX will set the price of VSŽ shares on the basis of due diligence results. Under its current plans, it would buy a 51% stake in VSŽ held by the state and then move to acquire all VSŽ shares."
The complete and correct standpoint of USX at the present time is as follows: the USX Corporation is interested in exploring the possibility of purchasing the remaining shares of VSŽ a.s. Any decision in this regard can only be made after the completion of due diligence of VSŽ's affairs (which started on April 4, 2001) and consideration by USX Corporation's Board of Directors.

Jozef Marko
U.S. Steel Košice spokesman

Red tape a nuisance everywhere

Dear Editor,
I wanted to write you this note to say I just laughed myself silly reading your article ["An idiot's guide to getting a green card", by Tom Nicholson, Vol. 7 No. 8, February 26-March 4]. A relative of mine lives in Trenčín and sent me the newspaper to read. I really found it to be very interesting seeing the Slovak way of life compared to the American way of life, both of which are very similar.
Let me back-track a little. I am a Slovak (pure-bred, mind you - both sides of the family). My grandmother was from a family of 12 sisters and brothers - she was the only one who came to America and worked to help support her family back home. My mother, a first generation American Slovak, learned English in first grade at a Slovak Catholic school. Now here I am trying to keep up what I know of Slovak (my Slovak is very basic, enough to get me around and from getting into trouble) and staying in touch with family still in Slovakia. I live in Cleveland, Ohio - which by the way has a very large Slovak community still, but the language is dying.
I try to stay connected but now that my mother is gone - she was my translator with letters - it's hard to communicate with those that I used to via my mother
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the article was wonderful, much like going through our [US] Immigration Naturalization Department (all red tape and who you know) plus the article on the Restaurant Review was great also, telling it just like it is. I hope to be able to get additional issues down the road to read and stay amused.

Ann Marie Shamess
Cleveland, Ohio

Hurdy-gurdy man has friends in the States

Dear Editor,
That was an excellent article on Tibor Koblíček ["The lost art of hurdy-gurdys revived", by Matthew J. Reynolds, Vol. 7 No. 12, March 26-April 1]. I commissioned Tibor to make a ninera for me on my last visit to Slovakia, and it has evoked much interest and admiration here in the US as I travel to various music festivals and other performances (my other life when I am not managing a real estate association).

Judith Lindenau

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