Letter: Writer sees flaws in new library argument | September 5, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Viewpoint - September 5, 2012

Letter: Writer sees flaws in new library argument

Sandy Crittenden's letter about Atherton's library-in-the-park debate is misleading, either from exaggeration, ignorance, or his bias.

The Environmental Impact Report did not conclude that Holbrook-Palmer Park is the preferred site. In fact the response in the EIR to my idea was only to say it was not in their assigned task, which was to evaluate the environmental impact of placing the library in the park.

They pointed out some unanticipated problems, too. The council voted 3-2 to put the library in the park, but the four living past council members were all against it. The steering committee was selected by the council and included one of the three council members in favor.

Mr. Crittenden's answer to "Why now?" misses two major negative reasons.

One, the high-speed rail project may or may not harm the present library. Only time will tell.

Two, reading is becoming even more digital with an unknown impact on libraries everywhere — time will tell.

So, in my view now is a terrible time to spend all our library money, harming the park in the process, when there is no valid reason to do it now.

Tom Croft Moulton Drive, Atherton


Posted by Sandy Crittenden, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

The Environmental Impact Report states, "In accordance with CEQA Guidelines § 15126.6, the Draft EIR identifies the Reduced Library Size at Holbrook-Palmer Park alternative as the environmentally superior alternative because it would slightly reduce, although not eliminate any of, the impacts identified for the proposed project."
With the exception of the Watkins Ave, El Camino Real intersection, which is controlled by Caltrans and out of Atherton’s control, all environmental impacts will be mitigated.

According to Mr Croft, there is never a right time to build a library.

The park is still the best location for the new library. It is a compatible, low impact use that works well in the park.

Library visits have continued to increase year after year. While digital use of library services has also increased, the library is appreciated my more residents.

Atherton deserves a new library. We have paid for it already from our taxes; we should have a new environmentally sensitive library for our families, young and old.

Posted by specious argument, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 5, 2012 at 9:33 am

A specious argument according to the Oxford dictionary is one that is superficially plausible but actually wrong and misleadingly attractive in appearance. While Sandy Crittenden is a member of the Library Steering Committee he should know better than to misrepresent facts.
He is using the DEIR as a vehicle for an argument for the library in the park and is now citing the Reduced Size Alternative (8,900 square feet) as the building size. In fact what Atherton voters are deciding is a 13,500 square foot library as studied by the EIR. To gain clarification please refer to pages 165-167 in the DEIR
Web Link
The DEIR document explains the law's requirement, and it is not deemed a recommendation.
Mr Crittenden also tries to distance his argument from the intersection of Watkins and El Camino Real saying it is out of the hands of Atherton and a State responsibility. This intersection has been the scene of multiple accidents and two fatalities in the last three years and by dumping more traffic onto Watkins has to be a moral
decision on the part of the Town Council. Presently they are being sued over a like issue at Alejandra and ECR. Currently the issue of signage and turn lanes is very much the responsibility of Atherton as they enter or leave Watkins and it is a gross violation of their civic duty to put vehicles, bikers and pedestrians in further danger.
The rest of Crittenden's comment are opinion and spin and certainly he is entitled to them but not to misrepresent facts.