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Kicked Out because he doesn't Speak Spanish
« on: August 06, 2007, 11:36:11 AM »
Tom McKenna is a longtime Stuart businessman who speaks only English.

He says that's why he's being kicked out of the storefront on South Dixie Highway where he has run Seacoast Water Care for seven years.

"I don't know how else to put it," said McKenna, 51.

I'm not sure I do either.

On July 5 — the day after Independence Day — McKenna received a letter from landlord Ivan Munro telling him to consider another location.

Munro said in his letter he wants to have "quality tenants serving the Spanish need in the area."

"I guess I don't serve the 'Spanish need,' whatever that means," McKenna said.

"I have plenty of Spanish-speaking workers come in here to buy water for their landscaping crews," he said. "And people in the neighborhood use the vending machines out front to fill their water bottles for their homes."

The building is on the east side of Dixie Highway, south of Indian Street in Golden Gate. Directly south of McKenna's store, across Southeast Ellendale Street, is a Texaco gas station where men, most of whom speak primarily Spanish, gather to wait for someone to hire them for day labor.

The population of the Golden Gate neighborhood east of McKenna's store also has become mostly Spanish-speaking.

To McKenna, that's irrelevant, as it should be. A customer is a customer is a customer.

But all the signs for the check-cashing store and the Mexican restaurant that share the building with McKenna are in Spanish.

Apparently the signs for Seacoast Water Care don't fit in. They're in English.

source: www.tcpalm.com

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