Thursday, September 29, 2005
PG LIBRARY EXPANSION SHOULD NOT DIE
Many of our hardworking fundraisers at the Pacific Grove Friends of the Library are unhappy that their proposal for a library expansion has stalled. The cost has tripled, the size has doubled, we have gone from one room to three, and most important, the plan violates significant land use regulations in town. This is not to mention the loss of views to the sea and the intrusion into our beloved Jewell Park. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. We all love the library and we do need a meeting room. So let’s look at other alternatives. Here’s one.
The Pacific Grove Library built at the turn of the century,
funded by the Carnegie Foundation, was the first free library
in Monterey County. Let’s “bring back the Carnegie” by
restoring the front of the library emblazoned with the words
Carnegie Public Library, taking the books out of the center of
the children’s library and moving them to the new wings. This
will give us an enclosed meeting room precisely the size
recommended in the needs assessment. The good news is that
this plan would be a historic restoration, far cheaper,
involve a shorter land use approval process (because it
complies with the rules) and no closure of the library during
construction would be needed. The Carnegie Foundation may even
be persuaded to pitch in.—Susan Goldbeck | Pacific Grove
PEOPLE SHOCKED BY TASERS MIGHT DIE
As a species, we are not adapted to electrical trauma, nor do we understand it very well. Electricity connects brain cells, and is essential to cardiac function. In excess, it is life-threatening.
Electrical shocks are so disruptive they have been used as a method of torture. I am concerned that tasers are only the beginning of a trend in which law enforcement tests newer and more insidiously gruesome weapons on the public.
With so many people infected with incurable blood-borne viral diseases, I can see why tasers are safer for officers. Police are taught that their first responsibility is to protect themselves. When there were health consequences for officers who allowed themselves to be tased as part of training, they discontinued the practice.
In the taser controversy I see a conflict of interest
between the police and the public. Whose safety is more
important?—Kelita Smith | Carmel Valley
FEMA IS KINDA CREEPY
We have been led to believe that the purpose of FEMA is to respond to emergencies, but that’s only a tiny part of its operation—and evidently a part it doesn’t take very seriously. Since July 6, 1989, when President Bush signed Executive Order 12681, its main operation has been in the intelligence field, spying on Americans. Anytime a president declares a “national emergency,” whether or not it actually exists, FEMA has the power to take over all communications, food and energy sources, transportation and finances. It can move people from their homes and force them to work wherever it dictates. And it controls a network of detention centers in the US specifically for dissenters. It is a police force obsessed with power, not a compassionate organization that cares about the individual in dire circumstances. The intimidation with guns and full body armor recently seen is probably just a glimpse of what may lie ahead.—Wanda Rose | Carmel