Objects to online pornography in the library

To the Editor:

As a grateful patron of the lovely Santa Monica Library, I was shocked to look up from my computer screen in Computer Commons and discover that I was inadvertently able to see very clearly what was on the screen of another personís computer. What I saw was pornography.

If, by definition pornography ìdepicts erotic behavior designed to cause sexual excitement,î what relevant value does it have in a public library used by adults and children?

I have since witnessed pornography being viewed by quite a few patrons on an almost daily basis. Although there are ìprivacy screensî on the computers, they do not effectively do what they purport when one is directly lined up with the computer, even if at a distance.

I was glad to hear, after several conversations with the head librarian, that there will now be the possibility that adults supervising children may be able to use computers in the childrenís section while supervising their children. However, this in itself does not solve the problem as other young people may use the ìadult areaî computers without supervision and are thus subjected to the viewing of pornography on the screens of others.

When I raised my concern to the library staff, I was told that ìSanta Monica Public Library adheres to the American Library Associationís policy, which ësupports the right of individuals to choose library materials for themselves,í including those in electronic formats.

ìAs with all other library materials, childrenís access to and use of the Internet is the sole responsibility of the childís parent or legal guardian. The Internet may provide access to information, content and services some of which parents may feel is inappropriate or objectionable for their own children. The library and its staff cannot censor access to materials or prevent users from encountering materials on the Internet that they may find offensive,î states a sign posted in the libraryís computer area.

I do not feel that it is the libraryís obligation or responsibility to provide adult, sexually explicit information for its patrons. Why should it?

I believe that allowing pornographic material in the public library is a reflection of the lower order of society, not something to strive toward and certainly not something the public library should consider a benefit to society. It affects children, young adults and society at large in that it objectifies and dehumanizes its subjects.

We are always confronted with challenges and thus we may evolve. Desensitization to lack of human dignity and value does not make for a healthy society. Accomplishing the online filtering out of pornography might be a bit of a challenge but that shouldnít be a rationale to consider it acceptable.

It is time long overdue to step up to our responsibility of contributing to the well being of our young people by providing information which contributes to the teaching of healthy relationships. It is time to move forward with heart presence so that we are appropriate and inspiring role models.

Jo Kranitz, Santa Monica

Pomeranian killed by pit bull

To the Editor:

My small Pomeranian Chelsea was killed by a large out-of-control pit bull Friday, March 6th. Four adults tried to help my defenseless dog, but we were unable to do so due to the pit bullís strength and size.

This heart-breaking incident happened at Pier 44 dry dock storage parking lot at Bali Way and Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. This area is now unsafe for small children, animals and bicycle riders.

S.C. Westmoreland, Marina del Rey

Asks developer, ëwhen is enough, enough?í

To the Editor:

Iím responding to the letter, ìA developerís point of viewî in March 12th edition of The Argonaut.

As far as ìcritical need for development,î letís see ñ we have Playa Vista, Howard Hughes bluffs, apartments on Manchester and Pershing. I think weíve done pretty well over the last ten years.

My grandchildren and I have enjoyed swinging and playing at the Del Rey Lagoon for years. We walk and count the birds. We see egrets, heron, ducks, geese, seagulls and ìsandî birds. We donít even have to go to the zoo.

Those ìnoisy geese and other foulî are in the original wetlands. We havenít always had the flood channel.

Whatís wrong with open space and breathing room? When is enough, enough?

Nancy McAnany

30-year Playa del Rey resident

Supports Argonaut and its advertisers

To the Editor:

The Argonaut is one of the important reasons for living in Marina del Rey. It keeps life open and inviting for us all. Speaking personally, my wife and I will always support The Argonaut and its advertisers!

We respect many things about this paper, including its open-mindedness about political matters and office seekers.

Founder David Johnson, whom I met, would be pleased and proud of todayís Argonaut. May it continue to prosper.

Julian Myers,

Marina del Rey