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Letters to the Editor:

Dear Editor,”HEADS IN THE SAND”Since December of 2008, I have warned City Council that people will be injured and killed at the Main Public Library because the city refuses to properly manage and regulate the facility to insure public well-being and safety.1. The viewing of child pornography on the library computers is commonplace. Library computers are used by library patrons to view pornography especially on the second floor which is supposedly a “child free” section. Nevertheless, children are often in the area with parents or siblings and can and often do inadvertently view inappropriate and patently offensive materials. When several Library patrons brought this to the attention of Head Librarian Greg Mullen, he told them that pornography is a First Amendment entitlement of library patrons. Mullen went on to say, “It’s the mother’s responsibility” and not his job to supervise children being exposed to pornography at the second floor Internet station area by patrons using the Internet. Obviously, something is seriously amiss.2. Lethal weapons such as guns or knives can be carried into the library at will because there are no metal detectors or even cursory searches of bags or backpacks. In addition to weapons, drugs, alcohol, contraband, and other illegal and possibly dangerous materials can be brought in and out of the facility unabated.3. Lastly because security is so lax, it is possible to take large packages into the building. Library patrons have witnessed persons entering the Main Public Library with unchecked large bags and suitcases, some weighing as much as 100 pounds. They could contain explosives, chemicals, radioactive materials, or other weapons of mass destruction, as well as conventional weapons, in addition to drugs and alcoholic beverages.Unfortunately the Main Library has become a hangout for drug dealers and buyers in the underground garage, transients -many who are parolees and persons with criminal histories. Many have mental problems including drug and alcohol issues. This in itself is troubling, but when coupled with a lack of security and a “What me worry” attitude by library staff, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. These conditions which could endanger all who use the facilities are being ignored by City Council. Their response to potential for trouble is like an ostrich with its head in the sand. However, the chance of someone or many people being hurt, maimed, or killed is a real possibility in this day and age. Already several Main Library patrons have been victimized by persons making threats to kill them. Example, 65-year-old Ashley, and 5-year-old Josh have been told by another Library patron that he will kill them and they will die before the day ends are a sample of the terrorist-made threats at the Main Public Library.Last week a man was arrested for felony vandalism, of which he states was necessary because he needed to express his anger after receiving a bad e-mail at the Main Library. Thank God he didn’t have a gun with him. I ask the City Council to request that staff, including the police and fire departments and the city attorney, survey the Main Library and develop a set of recommendations to insure the safety and well-being of children using the facility, and harden what is now a very soft target against terrorism or activity by those who would injure or cause suffering and mayhem upon library patrons. It seems to me that if we the people can pay $75,000,000 for a $30,000,000 Main Public Library then we can invest in prevention of violence and of children being abused by being exposed to child pornography.I bet the family Pinto that only after someone is killed the City Council will then decide to act to manage, regulate, and prevent violence, child pornography and major drug activity at the Main Public Library.RespectfullyMr. Pro SeSanta Monica* * * *Dear EditorNew Zealand Trees Being RemovedI, too, do not understand why the New Zealand Christmas trees need to be replaced. They are drought-tolerant and require minimal pruning once they are established. They can resist salt air and pollution, grow in any soil, and thrive in sunshine or shade.In times like these when taxes are going up and services are being cut, this seems wasteful and irresponsible.Carol LandsbergSanta Monica

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