A statesman to head State

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman exudes the proper diplomatic, statesman look to serve as secretary of state ("Trump expands pool of candidates for State," Monday). He possesses the right temperament for the office. His non-bombastic yet authoritative demeanor is quite refreshing.

Huntsman has the necessary executive experience to formulate, execute, and manage American foreign policy within the realm of international relations and affairs. The former ambassador to China is highly intelligent and articulate and speaks Chinese. He can deal effectively with China's expansive and recalcitrant government.

Compared to those on President-elect Donald Trump's list of candidates for this most critical position - retired Gen. David Petraeus, former N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney - Huntsman's credentials are far superior.

|Earl Beal, Terre Haute, Ind., earlbeal@yahoo.com

Give Cuba its due

I have spent a lot more time in Cuba, before and after the revolution, than U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and President-elect Donald Trump ("Trump aides say Cuba must change," Nov. 28). I am disappointed to see our politicians and media continuing to frame Cuba in the same personalized-celebrity image that we apply to our own politics. Even as a child, I could see in former Cuban President Fulgencio Batista's Havana the inequality and poverty around me, as well as the dominant presence of U.S. companies and U.S. military collaboration with the dictatorship.

If we ever hope to have better relations with Cuba and the rest of Latin America, we need to recognize the social accomplishments of post-1959 Cuba and the national sovereignty represented by Fidel Castro against such powerful odds. The normalization that started two years ago needs to be continued if we don't want to revert to being the military ogre of the early 1900s.

We have so much to gain by cooperation with our neighbor - on health, the environment, counterterrorism, and culture - that will be jettisoned if Trump's Twitter-level gloating following Castro's death is allowed to become national policy.

|Mary Day Kent, Philadelphia

EPA plays a crucial role

A commentary called for President-elect Donald Trump to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency ("Should Trump rein in the EPA?" Nov. 22). The facts show that the EPA has made significant progress, and taking a step back would not only hurt our future generations but create havoc and invite more pollution.

The EPA's research and policy is based on science that incorporates the highest standards of integrity, peer review, transparency, and ethics.

One important example of lifesaving services the EPA provides is the Clean Air Act. For more than 40 years, it has significantly reduced air pollution while the U.S. economy has grown. Americans breathe less pollution and face lower risks of premature death and other serious health effects because of this critical policy.

As we anxiously wait to see what Trump and members of Congress will do in regards to the EPA and healthy air initiatives, we at the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic hope they also review the facts and make the right decisions for us and future generations.

|Deborah Brown, president and chief executive officer, American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, Camp Hill, Pa.

Montco should recount votes

Our esteemed Montgomery County judiciary has denied the election recount ("Judge rejects recount request," Dec. 1). Americans have a right to know whether our election was conducted fairly. I consider the court's action obstruction of justice.

|Claire Donohue, Philadelphia, cpdono@aol.com

They're Native Americans

During the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last summer, I had the privilege of volunteering at the Convention Center. Putting aside the hug from Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), the highlight of the experience was meeting Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, and his contingent of convention delegates. Meeting them was a humbling experience, not only because of the immense respect I have for our native peoples, but because of a lesson I learned from these gentlemen. They taught me that they are "Native Americans," not "American Indians."

In Monday's paper ("A painted clue in portrait of Continental colonel," "U.S. blocks pipeline under

N. Dakota lake," "Elusive creature returns"),

the Inquirer referred to the indigenous inhabitants of our country as "American Indians."

|Judith DiBiase Bennis, Medford, jdbennis@yahoo.com

A 'thank you' from the heart

We are reminded to be grateful during this season of giving gifts, time, goodwill, and, most importantly, thanks.

As a volunteer, I want to thank everyone who has supported the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Perhaps it was a donation, attending a Heart Walk, championing a healthy change, or supporting your child in a Jump Rope For Heart program - you have made a difference.

At age 22, it was discovered that I had an aortic arch aneurysm. It took doctors 13 hours

to repair the aneurysm, and I have more than

38 inches of scars to show for it. I was able to return to college to pursue a graduate degree

in physician assistant studies so I can treat patients and help spread awareness.

I am grateful for the advancements in the treatment of heart disease and stroke. We've seen workplaces support employees' health, children saving lives because they've learned CPR, and the push to make the healthy choice the easy choice for all Americans.

To learn how you can help, go to www.heart.org/donate.

|Kat Dons, Marlton, newjersey@heart.org

Take history in context

It's difficult to believe the administration of the College of New Jersey is considering a name change for Loser Hall ("Class' historic study finds racist discovery," Monday). In 1943, when two black students tried to enroll in one of Trenton's whites-only middle schools, district Superintendent Paul Loser's view about racial segregation was the norm. TCNJ should focus instead on Loser's accomplishments and his family's generosity.

Changing the name of the administration building will start a slippery slope. Educators should teach all parts of history without bias. The past shouldn't be made to align with the popular views of today. Because of generous gifts from the Loser family and others, TCNJ has become a fine institution, far from its humble beginnings as Trenton State. Don't ruin it now.

|Ellen Myers, Turnersville, ellenmyersaz@gmail.com