COMMUNITY TRAGEDY

As a lifelong Altadenan and a former Altadena Library Board member, I deeply love the Altadena Library as a place, a community center and a hub of activity and learning.

As an organic architect and preservationist I treasure the Boyd Georgi design that abstracted the water cycle of California and was the first building in the San Gabriel Valley designed with handicapped accessibility in mind.

For me personally and Altadena as a community the mess at the Altadena Library is a tragedy. It is a tragedy wholly of the Altadena Library Board’s own making, however. Whatever faults Director Mindy Kittay may have, they were well known to the Altadena Library Board when she was hired. No steps were ever taken by the board to deal with any of these issues, as they were too busy at the time basking in the reflected glory of her achievements. Eventually these problems somehow, and in a manner the public still has not been made aware of, became a matter of concern for the Altadena Library Board.

Rather than deal with these issues in a straightforward and lawful manner, the Altadena Library Board went down the trail of illegal secret meetings, disparaging their employees and lying to and disparaging the public.

The Altadena community does need healing, but any kind of healing is literally impossible with these present Altadena Library Board members in place. Certainly they cannot be trusted to deal fairly with Director Kittay were she inclined to return, and no library director in their right mind would at this point be hired by or serve under this group.

I urge the Altadena Library Board members to do the right thing and resign. They have proven consistently for almost two years now, by mishandling literally EVERY aspect of their relationship with Director Kittay and the public, that they do not deserve the public’s trust.

STEVEN S. LAMB

ALTADENA

ONE MAN’S OPINION

Serena Williams was penalized — in accordance with the rules — because her coach was coaching from the stands, something he admitted to doing. Whether she wanted that coaching or saw him gesturing is irrelevant. If all a player has to do to avoid being penalized in that situation is to say, “I didn’t see it,” the rule would be unenforceable. It takes only a couple of seconds to convey a message via hand signals. It is not reasonable to expect the chair umpire to simultaneously watch a coach in the stands and a player on the court, and to know what a player does and does not see. Attacking an umpire’s integrity, calling him a thief and a liar for doing his job, is a strange way of showing your daughter that you “stand up for what’s right.”

When Williams was called for a foot fault at a previous US Open she screamed profanities at a woman line judge and threatened her with bodily harm. Double standard? Can you imagine what would happen to a male player who treated a female linesperson like that? His career would be over. As for this nonsense about women being penalized while the men skate, at this year’s tournament the men were penalized more than twice as many times as the women were. 

If Williams felt it necessary to vent her anger at someone, it should have been directed at her coach. He was the one who broke the rule that precipitated all that followed. Williams was right about one thing; someone owes someone an apology. 

Lastly, while part of me would like to see Mr. Ramos get a standing ovation when he’s introduced at his next assignment, it’d be better for everyone to put this sorry episode behind us.

– JOHN WHITEMAN

VIA EMAIL

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