No one disagrees with the advisability of free speech, but when a forum site is turned into a vehicle to allow only limited points of view, residents should be concerned. The concern has been missing because it is not well known.
It appears that almost a year ago the moderators who had created the Yahoo site saw the opportunity to use the blog to publish one-sided views on the library issue; they removed from the blog's address list the individuals on the Atherton Library Building Steering Committee (10 individuals at the time), arguably because they were "attacking" the blog. In fact it was because those individuals held different views than the moderators did. I believe that only one of the moderators has divulged his identity, Mr. Charles Marsala. That is to his credit.
Mr. Marsala in an email stated that the individuals removed were "undermining the functioning of the group"; their memberships were refused.
There is absolutely no basis to his position. The rationale of the original Athertonians blog was to be open to an exchange of ideas, now crippled because those wanting to block the use of legally available funds for a replacement library effectively silenced individuals with very creative and rational views on the library.
He and the moderators have been trying to monopolize a very important "microphone in the town. Mr. Marsala believes because Yahoo policy allows control of a forum by the moderators that they are within their rights. From Yahoo's viewpoint that may be so, but does what the moderators did make it fair and not open to public scrutiny?
In this writer's opinion, the behavior is unacceptable for advocacy before governmental bodies, which must rely on fair ethics from their citizens.
Walter Sleeth is an Atherton resident