Two letters: Defacing library and columnist off the mark

Gilroy should not and cannot tolerate the defacing of our beautiful new library facility
Dear Editor,
We were appalled to read in about the defacement of library property, and the fact that the already overtaxed librarians are made to serve as police in this extraordinary new facility.
Urinating in the elevators … lipsticking the washrooms … spitting over the railings onto library patrons … gangs using graffiti to mark their territory … really?
Do the children of this town not realize what a gift they have been given? There are practically no new libraries being built in small towns anymore. Here, a group of committed citizens managed to get this miracle of a facility built, at a cost of over $30,000,000. It gives the kids of this town a quiet, beautiful place to study, to read, or to just be, in a nicely appointed, quiet atmosphere.  It’s a means for them to have a real chance in the world – to aid in finishing school so that they can live their dreams. Most of the children and teens, according to the librarians we spoke with, understand that, and act accordingly.  
As we know, however, there are always a few bad apples, but these bad ones have to be culled before our precious new library becomes a graffiti laden waste bin.  We suggest that the VIP’s (volunteer security guards who helped out with the auspicious opening day of 8,000 people cheering on the new facility) patrol regularly, particularly after school. We ask that the police chief require officers to walk through the library at least once a day – perhaps before or after each shift. The police station is just across the street. This seems a small request, given the proximity and the value that the library has added to this community. We suggest that Friends of the Library spend time there and be a presence. That little “volunteer” tag on an adult, the regular presence of volunteer security and walk throughs by police might make the offenders think twice before risking arrest for defacing public property and harassing patrons.
We are blessed by being a community with resources, our best resource being community members who care. The library staff should not have to be police, and parents need to make their kids aware that they need to respect what they’ve been given. We all need to instill in them that it’s their library, too, and that defacing their own property is just a dead end. It’s disrespectful, destructive and it won’t be tolerated.
 Let’s all lend the folks at the library a hand. They deserve it.
Lin Daniels and Angela Schmidt, Gilroy
Column on money spent on ESL students merely written to ‘enrage the public’s opinion’
Dear Editor,
Once again we have singled out immigrants as the source of our problems. Tom Elias’ column in The Times again attempts to enrage the public’s opinion on the misguided premise that providing children with an ESL component as part of educational resources deprives others. Mr. Elias provides a viewpoint that creates victims and not solutions.
When we speak of ESL, it is clearly about immigration and Latinos. It is very specific to an accent, a color, a nationality that I believe creates rage which in turn establishes a foundation for fear, hate-crimes, bias and discrimination. It is the same attack that others have taken over the millennium. When in doubt, find a people to blame, a people that we can point to in the streets, in a mall or a passing car. Such targeting, stereotyping and victimizing is certainly un-American.
Missing from the opinion piece is what if we did not provide such educational services? He does not mention the benefits that turn a challenged child into a productive, tax paying, law abiding, and productive adult. What about other services such as those special education programs for physical, behavioral and mentally challenged students? Do they not deprive others as the ESL programs Mr. Elias identified? The argument is clearly false.
While he states that such programs deprive others, he stays clear of other facts such as Mitt Romney is paying just 14 percent in taxes which deprives revenue schools need. Mr. Elias also suggests that we should take resources from one needy group and give it to another. If people and, according to Mr. Romney corporations are now people, were to pay their fair share, there would be enough resources for all. It could not be simpler or fair.
The commentary is promoting a misguided policy with the knowing intent to harm. It is a sad day indeed when we attack children and prevent them in getting the education resources they need. The  newspaperscould do better than constantly leaning on the myopic views of Mr. Elias whose opinion pieces constantly appear.
This leads me to believe that his ideological points of view are being purposefully selected to give us one perspective. This cannot be fair to Latinos or the public.
 
Mark Grzan, Morgan Hill

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