Letter to the Editor Baltimore Sun. 2015

Baltimore Sun
December 10, 2015

Dear Editor:

Ten years ago i wrote the following to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. Not one person responded. Perhaps they were too busy thinking of the next office for which they were going to run then to help the needy children of Baltimore.

To The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore:
I respectfully request that you consider establishing a Generous Juror Program in Baltimore City. This program will cost the City nothing and will benefit the needy children of the City.
Similar programs have been successful in Calvert, Howard, and Prince Georges County (See Attachment)

I recently was called to Jury Duty in Baltimore City. When I asked if I could donate my Jury Duty Payment back to the City, I was told that this is rarely done in Baltimore City for lack of a Generous Juror Program. I thank you and the needy children of Baltimore City thank you for any consideration you give to this matter.

Letter to the Editor Washington Post. 2015

Washington Post
January 2, 2015

Dear Editor:

I do not agree with the President’s recent action regarding Cuba. But I am more disturbed by the President’s assertion that there is no one alive today that remembers the actions that precipitated the Cuban embargo more than 50 years ago. Whether we were children or young adults I can assure the President we are alive and we remember.

Rather than dismissing our history I would have preferred the President remind us that over 5 decades ago the United States imposed the Cuban embargo as the result of a missile crisis that threatened not only the existence of the United States but of the World. At the time of the embargo we were at the brink of a nuclear war. The actions of President Kennedy brought us back from that brink and led the way to discussions that ended the cold war. Today the threat Cuba poses is not to the United States but to the people of Cuba who live in a world devoid of the freedoms that we take for granted. We hope today by lifting the embargo imposed to save the world from destruction we open the door to freedoms long denied the Cuban people

Letter to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. 2005

2005

To The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore:
I respectfully request that you consider establishing a Generous Juror Program in Baltimore City. This program will cost the City nothing and will benefit the needy children of the City.
Similar programs have been successful in Calvert, Howard, and Prince Georges County (See Attachment)

I recently was called to Jury Duty in Baltimore City. When I asked if I could donate my Jury Duty Payment back to the City, I was told that this is rarely done in Baltimore City for lack of a Generous Juror Program.

I thank you and the needy children of Baltimore City thank you for any consideration you give to this matter.

PROPOSED RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, each year in the United States 1.2 million people are chosen to serve as jurors; and
WHEREAS, for many of these jurors the small stipend they receive for their service is only a small footnote in their personal finances; and
WHEREAS, successful Generous Juror Programs have been established in counties around the country such as Howard County, Maryland and Dallas County, Texas; and
WHEREAS, these programs allow jurors to donate their stipends to worthy programs designated by the courts; and
WHEREAS, the Howard County program yielded over $6,400 in donations in its first year and $40,000 since 1997; and
WHEREAS, in Cook County over 281,000 jurors were paid $17.20 a day for their service for a total of over $4,800,000 dollars in 1999; and
WHEREAS, if even a small percentage of jurors donated their stipends to a court-related charity it would amount to a significant contribution.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Baltimore City Council will establish a Generous Jury Program by August 1, 2000 in Baltimore City, giving jurors the option of donating their stipends to a court related charity; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Baltimore City Council will recommend one court related charity this year, and every year thereafter to benefit from the Generous Juror Program.

Email to Rosalie Wise Sharp, Founder of Four Seasons Hotel. 2007

Email to Rosalie Wise Sharp (Founder of Four Seasons Hotel and author of the book Rifke)

December 2007

Your book brought me smiles, laughter and tears. Your writing made me realize how much we are all a product of our childhoods no matter how far we have traveled.

Also, as a seasoned traveler who has spent many nights at Four Seasons Hotels, thanks to your book, I realize that I think of the Four Seasons as the mother I never had.

-When I was sick in the middle of the night at the San Francisco Four Seasons, the concierge arranged for a Doctor to come to my room. My mother would have told me I didn’t look sick and I should clean the apartment.

-When I received an award at Temple University last month, the concierge at the Philadelphia Four Seasons arranged for the “house” limousine and driver to take me to the ceremony. My mother would have told me to take the C bus.

-And whether I am in New York City, Palm Beach, or Santa Barbara, if I want a cup of tea in the middle of the night, room service is always there to ask me what kind of tea I prefer and whether I would like something to eat. Of course my mother would never offer any tea other than Liptons (only gentiles drank fancy tea) or food since even when I wore a size 6 (the new size 2), I was overweight in her eyes.

So, Thank you for your book, the insights it has provided me and your gracious hospitality-

Ronnyjane (Rifke Shandel) Goldsmith

P.S.  Thank you for recently asking that I serve as a member of your Guest Board of Directors.

Letter to Dr. Steven Muller, Former President Johns Hopkins University. 2011

 

July 20, 2011

Dr. Steven Muller
2315 Bancroft Place NW
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Dr. Muller,

This letter is to congratulate you on your inclusion in the July 4, 2011 Carnegie Corporation tribute to immigrants to America as well as to thank you for the significant impact a chance meeting with you over 30 years ago had on my life.

It is unlikely that you remember me. You interviewed me in 1980 when you chaired the Baltimore City Board of Financial Review. Although I have lived many places and held many positions since that time, I have never forgotten a question you asked me at the end of that interview.

Now that I have peeked your interest, let me explain. At the end of a rather long interview for the position of Fiscal Advisor to Baltimore City Council, you took me aside and asked me to explain why I earned 3 degrees from the same university. I responded that I had family obligations that kept me in Philadelphia where I went to school, and I no longer had those obligations. Although my answer was true, it masked the resentment I felt about the choices I did not have as a young person. A few weeks later, I read a profile about you in the Baltimore Sun and learned that you also had assumed family responsibilities at a young age. In an instant I realized that life is better lived when you are thankful for the opportunities you are afforded rather than if you are resentful because of the choices that are not available to you. And that insight has made all the difference to my life.

Since that time I have been fortunate enough to be able to establish 2 scholarships, one at Temple University for students without family support or financial resources and one at The City College of New York, for students whose parents came to America seeking a better life for their children. If it wasn’t for the question you asked me so many years ago, it is unlikely that these scholarships would have been endowed or that the recipients would be afforded the opportunities only available when you have a college education.

Thank you again for the impact you had on my life and congratulations to you and the Carnegie Corporation for honoring you for the contributions you made to America.

With Sincere Gratitude,
Ronnyjane Goldsmith

Letter to the Board of Visitors, Temple University and Letter to The President and Board of Trustees, Temple University. 2014

2014

To The Board of Visitors:

Save Temple Athletics

Has anyone considered starting a drive on kick-starter or a similar site to raise funds for Temple Athletics. i know at least 2 people who have been very successful doing this. In return for contributions we can offer signed calendars (gymnastics), preferred seating at games. if we can put a dollar value on each sport and a time frame and we get some press we could rule the world or at least Temple Athletics

Being involved in saving Temple’s athletic teams has provided me with a rare glimpse at the quality, dedication, maturity and professionalism of the students participating on our teams. I am very proud to be involved with young people of the caliber represented by these Temple athletes. They deserve our current and future support.

After posting several ways to fund the Temple rowing team on Facebook and emailing the postings to the President of Temple University and the Board of Trustees, a Baseball Team member Class of 2017 requested that I help save his team. Below is the letter I sent to the President and the Board in response to that request.

I might add that I have received no response or acknowledgement of receipt of my communications from thePresident or any member of the Board of Trustees. As an alumni I am very upset with the decision to cut the sports teams, the lack of a consistent and logical basis for that decision, and the manner in which it was announced. As a major donor to the University, having endowed 2 scholarships and named the University as a beneficiary of my estate I am personally insulted at the lack of common courtesy and consideration my communications have been given.

There is much more to this story than the conflicting and unsubstantiated reasons given by the President for cutting 7 Teams. I applaud the Philadelphia newspapers for keeping this story alive.

To The President and Board of Trustees, Temple University:

A Short Commute For A Worthy Cause

Unlike the President of Temple University and many members of the Board of Trustees, I am very familiar with the distance between the Ambler Campus and the Main Campus of Temple University. And I know that this distance was not a deterrent to a determined student in 1964 nor should it be to a determined Baseball Team in 2014.

September 2014 will be the 50th anniversary of my college education beginning at Temple University. An education that provided me with a B.A., M.A., Ph.D. and professional opportunities I could only dream about as a 17 year old without family support or financial resources.

Like many students of very limited means who commuted to Temple’s main campus, public transportation provided me the access to a college education. For six years I spent two hours each day on the C bus traveling from Cheltenham Avenue to Broad and Montgomery Streets. I could have reduced this commute by 30 minutes by taking the Broad Street subway but that would have cost 5 cents more than the 25 cent bus fare and was not in my budget. Making the commute even more difficult, in 1964 students like me were faced with navigating across lines of National Guardsmen at each bus stop deployed to the University to protect us from the surrounding riots.

Given this backstory, it is hard for me to fathom that the inconvenience imposed by the commute from the Main Campus to the Ambler Campus justifies eliminating Temple’s Baseball Team.

I understand that other avenues are being pursued to allow the Baseball Team to practice closer to the main campus. But even if these avenues are not available, a relatively short commute to Ambler for athletes, many of whom have come to Temple from 100’s if not 1000’s of miles away, is a small price to pay for them to realize their dreams.