Libraries are heart of the community

Our library is the heart of our community, trusted with the task of addressing the many needs of a diverse Hayward. Librarians work with many groups, including students, seniors, elected officials, small business owners and the public at large to discover our needs and how to meet them.

We see this in our library firsthand -- adults learning to read and write, children from birth enjoying story times in Spanish and English, students using our Homework Help Centers at both libraries and Longwood and Harder schools, book groups for all ages, multilingual materials for all ages, a new Seed Lending Library and so much more.

Service to the community has always been the focus of the library. While this aspect has never changed, libraries have grown and evolved in how they provide for the needs of every member of their community.

This week, schools, campuses and communities across the country celebrate National Library Week. It is a time to remember that needs of our community matter to one of our most important institutions: our library.

Judy Harrison

President Friends of the Hayward Public Library Hayward

Gun control needed, but just how much?

The recent dust up between freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and veteran Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California regarding gun control and the lecturing about the Constitution should point out that we do have constitutional limits.

Since the First Amendment on freedom of speech and the Second Amendment on possession of firearms are the first two amendments, they obviously had some importance to the Founders. That importance, however, did not make them absolute.

The First Amendment's freedoms are limited, in particular by child pornography. Likewise, it could be argued that assault rifles and large magazines are the child pornography of the Second Amendment.

Of course, we ought to have gun control. It's just a matter of how and to what extent.

William H. Bachrach

Oakland

Debate must expose tech's shadowy side

I was disappointed, but not surprised, to read about Laurene Powell Jobs' endorsement of the immigration reform bill (April 13). It is indeed possible that Jobs has spent time worrying about the plight of the many young undocumented people brought into this country as children.

But it is far more likely that she has been called into action to lend the Jobs name to the tech industry's lobby for more foreign H-1B visa labor.

Unfortunately, even many well-informed people are unaware of this shadow provision in the immigration bill. Proponents focus on the less controversial and popular aspects Jobs mentions.

But the ugly side is that the American tech industry has propagated the myth of a STEM skills gap, which many academics are already questioning, so that they can increase profits through access to significantly cheaper and more indebted (and easily controlled) foreign technology labor.

I wish the tech industry would invest some of its vast lobbying resources in the training and hiring of unemployed and underemployed American workers and engineers. And I really hope for a spirited debate regarding this shadow side to our immigration policy.

It is very difficult to believe that an influx of H-1B visa labor will benefit anybody other than major technology shareholders.

Heather Pegas

Oakland

Real fans priced out of Stones tickets

This is regarding the article about the Rolling Stones ticket prices.

I, too, was priced out at $700 once Ticketmaster was open to the public.

Even though I've been a faithful supporter since 1966 (Germany), I won't get to see the Stones on what must be their final tour -- but some fat cat will, who got complimentary tickets from some corporation who gobbled up blocks of $1,200 tickets to give to clients, who might not even be fans but it's free so they'll go to the party.

Keith Richards should know that I don't need dozens of gorillas to beat on drums, I don't need pyrotechnics or expensive guests, all I need to see is him and the boys: Mick, Charlie, Ronnie, Mick T (what a treat), Bobby and Darryl on a stage with some mics, amplifiers and lights.

I'll travel anytime, anywhere in the Bay Area and I'll be happy to pay $200.

Inge Jordan

Emeryville