Letters: Library cuts impact the heart of the community

COG deserves no certificate of appreciation

As an example locally here in county government, what about COG meetings in secret, not open to public or to the press, with VTA for their “Mobility Partnership,” to plan a toll road to replace Hwy 152 built in conjunction with the construction of the bullet train?

How about we present a certificate of no appreciation to the board of supervisors, which condones COG’s unlawful conduct, and the violation of the constitutional rights of three districts’ citizens? If the supervisor has also been on COG, he gets two of the certificates of no appreciation. If he has also been on AMBAG, he gets three. If he has been chairman of COG, he gets four. If he’s been chairman of AMBAG, he gets five, etc.

If it was not a tragedy, it would be a comedy. But violating our constitutional rights is worse than a tragedy.

Joe Thompson,

Tres Pinos

Library cuts impact the heart of the community

At a recent Board of Supervisors community budget meeting, our San Benito County Free Library was once again listed as potentially in danger of facing drastic cuts that will seriously undermine or completely disseminate services to county residents. 

Our library, although small in size and woefully inadequate for the number of residents served (more than 30,000 cardholders and 400 visitors served daily), provides a variety of services comparable to libraries in many large metropolitan areas. The librarian, Nora Conte, is consistently on the look-out for grants to update the collections and resources of the library, as well as to provide services to preschool children, adult literacy, bookmobile services, and partner with public agencies to serve the literacy needs of all segments of our population.

The value of a public free library such as ours is difficult to quantify.  I grew up in an immigrant family (my parents did not speak English) in the barrio of East Los Angeles and we were fortunate to have a library located nearby.  The library became for me and my six brothers and sisters a welcoming oasis that opened doors to other worlds and possibilities. Our library serves San Benito County poor families like ours – we can’t afford not to provide them the opportunity to become literate citizens.

As an educator, I believe that our library plays a crucial role in the development of a literate citizenry.  I believe that family literacy can eliminate gangs from developing; that literacy promotes economic development by creating a competitive workforce, and that literacy is essential in a democratic society.  Our San Benito County Free Library is the heart of our community – a place where everyone can research, think, learn and create.

Rebecca  G. Salinas,


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