Hometown Girl A year of centennials to remember
by Elizabette Guecamburu
Apr 26, 2012 | 839 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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The year 1912 was a rather eventful year. In addition to being the birth year of both Julia Child and Gene Kelly — without whom Americans wouldn’t have an appreciation for yummy French cooking or dancing in the rain with a big black umbrella — 1912 was quite newsworthy.

In April of that year, the infamous ship Titanic sunk after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic. While 1,514 souls perished on the vessel, unfortunately, we mostly associate that disaster with the blockbuster 1997 movie, in which Leonardo DiCaprio sports a floppy haircut and calls himself “king of the world.” In honor of the centennial of the Titanic’s sinking this year, the movie studio rereleased the film in theaters. So now we can watch 1,514 people drown and freeze to death — in 3D. Just what we’ve always wanted.

On a happier note, 1912 also saw the creation of the Stanislaus County Library system. The libraries have celebrated their 100th birthday with activities and exhibits this month. This centennial is a good time for us to remember and appreciate all the vital free services the library provides for our community.

But, this year, the libraries need more than just our patronage.

This June, Measure T will appear on the Stanislaus County ballot, asking residents to preserve and continue the current eighth-of-a-penny sales tax that provides the library system with 87 percent of its funding. I urge you to support Measure T, which doesn’t introduce any new taxes — it just preserves the libraries’ existing funding.

Without this small tax, the library system would not be able to continue, which would be devastating for our community.

Frankly, it seems a little silly to me not to support Measure T. A sales tax of an eighth of a penny doesn’t burn a hole in anyone’s pockets. For example, let’s say you buy a shiny new flat-screen television for $1,500. This TV is so big that you can spot boogers in your favorite NFL player’s nose all the way from the 50-yard line. The library tax on that new TV would be only $1.88. That’s not even enough to buy a latte at Starbucks. Or, if you aren’t a coffee fiend like me, it’s not even enough to buy a box of Cocoa Puffs. (Who knew high-fructose corn syrup could be so expensive?)

Anyway, as we remember 1912 and honor these centennials, stop by the library to join in on the fun. Or, watch “Titanic” and be thankful you don’t have hypothermia.

• Elizabette Guecamburu, a volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is a writer and a native Patterson resident. She can be reached at elizabette@hotmail.com.

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