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Letters to the Editor

Insulted by Filters

As a loyal patron of the San Jose Public Library, I am frankly insulted by the proposed Internet filters to be applied to library computers ("An Unsexy Truth," MetroNews, Dec. 26).

Such a system of filters would be a wholesale abandonment of the First Amendment and would almost certainly frustrate the efforts of patrons wishing to use the computers for non-pornographic purposes. This in addition to some of Councilmember Constant's other proposals regarding the storage and release of library history.

The plain truth is, if someone wishes to look up what might be construed as pornographic material on a library computer, that is their right. After all, it is not as if you are being forced to look at it, is it? And, imagine the roadblocks posed to a researcher hoping to search for "breast cancer" or "Michelangelo's David." People, adults and children alike should be free to choose which content they view and which they do not, without a higher authority telling them what is "acceptable" or not. And note that this measure is being supported by the extremist Christian right group the so-called "Values Advocacy Council," a group which states on their webpage ( that: "We work to help elected and non-elected officials to make decisions based on values and take values oriented actions," and that "parents are charged by God with the responsibility for raising their children and have the right to make decisions concerning their health and well-being."

In addition, Councilmember Constant has proposed that the borrowing history of minors be made available to their parents. I will come out openly and say that I am a minor who regularly checks out books that would shock any given member of the Values Advocacy council. My parents, being generally open-minded persons, take no issue with this, but some other children's parents might. Say, for example, a teenager questioning their sexuality checks out a book on gay issues for teens. If this information was made available to their parents, who may not be as open-minded as my own, could react badly, perhaps posing a situation of potential physical harm to the child. It is up to each individual person to choose whether or not to share their selected reading material. When the government tries to control that right, they are becoming the thought police, controlling what we hear and read.

In conclusion, a library is a place for the free sharing of information, and that right should not be abridged because of the pressuring of extremist religious organizations. I commend your paper for recognizing this issue for what it is; "a joke", but one with sinister overtones in a post-Patriot Act America.

Hannah Norby


From Silents to Ancients

Re "Cinema Saver" (Cover Story, Nov. 7): David Packard has long been one of my local heroes. His efforts at restoration extend far beyond the Stanford or California Theatres (although I relish each and attend the Stanford at least once a month, and more if possible). The town of Herculaneum, buried nearly intact by Vesuvius, Isthmia, a Greek sanctuary devoted to Poseidon, and the ancient, now flooded, Roman city of Zeugma have all benefited from Packard archaeology funding. The Packards recently donated 20 trucks to the Archaeological Site Protection program in Iraq to help stop the looting of valuable sites there during the war. Your article enhances his invaluable family legacy of preserving the past for future generations at Culpeper and as I look forward to more films in my favorite movie palace, I thank David Packard for his gifts to us locally and to the world.

Mark Messersmith

Mountain View

Picture It

Your well-written, well-researched article about the National Audio-visual Conservation Center was a delight to read. For those wishing to see photos of the NAVCC's Packard Campus in Culpeper, you might wish to direct them to my article at

Ken Robichaux

Mt. Pleasant, S.C.


To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Metro is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get till you open it to Silicon Alleys." For instance, Gary Singh's Dec. 5 column ("Count Five Place," Silicon Alleys) had me totally baffled, and I attributed it to the possibility that they didn't have those things when I went to school.

But as I traveled down your column, it reminded me why I look forward to Gary's writings.If this fine city can see fit to rename our train station, our Main Library, our Convention Center, our airport, our Gore (pronounced gor 'ee) park, and a business district on Tully Road, and who knows what else, it's reasonable that they do something for San Jose Rocks' Hall of Fame project, even though I've never heard of any of these groups.

It was suggested that a rail to San Jose should have a major station beneath the old Bank of America to show off downtown. This would be a perfect place for something besides pictures of former politicians hanging on the walls. And maybe they could move the Fallon statue to the Chavez plaza (another rename) so there would be one more thing downtown to complain about.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and thanks for the memories.

Stan Livingstone

San Jose

The Last Word

We all here in Dublin, Ireland, the home of John Byrne and "twinned" with San Jose, millions of us Count Five fans, really like the idea of naming your street "Count Five Place" in San Jose. Well done!

The Count Five Fan Club Dubs 8

Dublin, Ireland

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