1. On April 25, I received an invitation at my Yahoo.com email address to "be a part of the 'Athertonians' email list ..." I responded by entering my email, home address and other identifying information on the Athertonians Group Web page as requested.
2. On May 2, having heard nothing from the group, I emailed the moderators, requesting an update.
3. On May 8, I received an email titled "File-Removal from Group," which stated in part that "The Athertonian group is for current residents of Atherton only," reciting that I was not an Atherton resident, based on "information that either you provided to us ... or from other information sources." On the same day, I replied to the removal notice, again providing the Atherton address at which my family and I have lived for over 25 years. I have heard nothing more from the group's administrators and cannot access the site.
This group clearly screens out and rejects inclusion of Atherton residents who may be suspected of disagreeing with positions advocated by its anonymous administrators. As a matter of fact, I understand that other residents who have been members of the group for some time have been summarily removed from the rolls. Since the Athertonians group administrators keep secret their identities, there is no person who can be called to account for conduct reminiscent of the "black ball" practices of 19th century fraternities and secret societies.
This group's activities would normally be of little import, were it not for:
• The identity game which the group has been playing with our town's own publication, the Athertonian.
• The "impartial" surveys that the group and others, such as former Mayor Didi Fisher, conduct of the group's now-remodeled membership, and which they will tout as being representative of the views of our town's citizens.
• The misrepresentations that the group makes with respect to the proposed library and its environmental impact (which is minimal, as documented in the exhaustive draft EIR).
• The group's unwillingness to propose (and publicly stand behind) any alternative (accompanied with verifiable data) to the thorough and public process conducted by our elected Town Council and the hardworking volunteers on the Library Building Steering Committee.
Smith McKeithen, Maple Leaf Way, Atherton