News

Editorial: Don't let the bed bugs bite

Will pests threaten Palo Alto's livability ratings?

Crows, leafblowers, incessant construction, parking and traffic problems and new airplane flight paths. They've all riled up segments of Palo Alto residents over the years and are considered by many as nuisances detrimental to the healthy living we all desire and expect in a town where the average home price is pushing $2 million.

But now a new threat is on the loose, one that could forever change the world's perception of Palo Alto as a vibrant and healthy oasis with a quality of life worthy of its inflated real estate prices. OMG, our two brand new libraries have found a few bed bugs, just like the questionable motel you may have once been stranded in on a cross-country trip.

No sooner was the city's announcement made about bed bugs at the Mitchell Park library last week than some know-it-all online posters rushed to blame the poor hygiene of library visitors for the problem, in particular calling out the homeless as carriers of the critters. Others suggested on Town Square, the Weekly's online reader forum, that proof of Palo Alto residency be required to enter our libraries, just as it is at Foothills Park.

After all, no upstanding Palo Alto resident could be a source for bed bugs.

Then on Tuesday, bug-sniffing dogs discovered bed bugs on two chairs at the Rinconada Library, forcing it to close for a day. An inspection of the Downtown Library was scheduled for today.

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Meanwhile Berkeley's main library announced it too was dealing with a bed bug problem.

All of a sudden, Palo Alto's bed bug problem was on the TV news and the brunt of predictable jokes.

As it turns out, bed bugs are a major problem for libraries everywhere, and many libraries have developed protocols for dealing with them. A public heath entomologist at the University of Arizona, Dawn Gouge, is quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as calling bed bugs a "national crisis."

She said that if a library says bed bugs aren't a concern, it's likely they are in denial or unaware of the issue.

A New York Times article in 2012 described how bed bugs live and lay eggs in the spines of hard-cover books, and then unsuspecting book borrowers bring the bugs into their homes, often placing the books on the nightstands next to their beds.

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Similarly, bed bugs already in a home can hop onto a library book and then be transported into the library when returned.

Some libraries have purchased systems for killing bed bugs by placing books in a portable heater set at 150 degrees, above the 115 degree temperature at which the bugs will die after seven minutes. Some enterprising engineering students at University of Nevada Las Vegas even designed a solar-powered book drop for a competition, bought 75 bed bugs online (hard to imagine the market for bed bugs) and successfully tested it. The students are applying for a patent for the device.

According to the Times' story, the Cincinnati public library system has purchased 48 "PackTite" heaters for $300 and equipped each of its 41 branches.

The scientific name for bed bugs is Cimex lectulrius. They are wingless and large enough to easily be seen, about the size of the tip of a pencil eraser. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs aren't known for spreading disease, though their bites can cause an allergic reaction. Bites can also be invisible, making it difficult to realize that the resulting itching is because of a bite and that the bugs are active. The bugs breed and lurk in hidden places (like book spines) and can live for several months without eating (they feed exclusively on blood and prefer human blood).

The CDC says it is a myth that bed bugs are more common in unclean environments, so Palo Altans can rest assured that bed bugs in the library are not a reflection on our collective cleanliness.

All joking aside, Palo Alto library officials deserve credit for their transparency in notifying the public of this problem and moving quickly to address it. It would have been easy and tempting to deal with these small infestations quietly and without any announcements to the media. They wisely chose instead to weather the inevitable publicity and simply treat it as any other minor disruption to services that causes inconvenience to patrons.

And now, we suggest Palo Altans check those books that are piled bedside and consider warming up anything suspicious in the oven for a few minutes at 150 degrees.

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Editorial: Don't let the bed bugs bite

Will pests threaten Palo Alto's livability ratings?

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 2, 2015, 7:46 am

Crows, leafblowers, incessant construction, parking and traffic problems and new airplane flight paths. They've all riled up segments of Palo Alto residents over the years and are considered by many as nuisances detrimental to the healthy living we all desire and expect in a town where the average home price is pushing $2 million.

But now a new threat is on the loose, one that could forever change the world's perception of Palo Alto as a vibrant and healthy oasis with a quality of life worthy of its inflated real estate prices. OMG, our two brand new libraries have found a few bed bugs, just like the questionable motel you may have once been stranded in on a cross-country trip.

No sooner was the city's announcement made about bed bugs at the Mitchell Park library last week than some know-it-all online posters rushed to blame the poor hygiene of library visitors for the problem, in particular calling out the homeless as carriers of the critters. Others suggested on Town Square, the Weekly's online reader forum, that proof of Palo Alto residency be required to enter our libraries, just as it is at Foothills Park.

After all, no upstanding Palo Alto resident could be a source for bed bugs.

Then on Tuesday, bug-sniffing dogs discovered bed bugs on two chairs at the Rinconada Library, forcing it to close for a day. An inspection of the Downtown Library was scheduled for today.

Meanwhile Berkeley's main library announced it too was dealing with a bed bug problem.

All of a sudden, Palo Alto's bed bug problem was on the TV news and the brunt of predictable jokes.

As it turns out, bed bugs are a major problem for libraries everywhere, and many libraries have developed protocols for dealing with them. A public heath entomologist at the University of Arizona, Dawn Gouge, is quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as calling bed bugs a "national crisis."

She said that if a library says bed bugs aren't a concern, it's likely they are in denial or unaware of the issue.

A New York Times article in 2012 described how bed bugs live and lay eggs in the spines of hard-cover books, and then unsuspecting book borrowers bring the bugs into their homes, often placing the books on the nightstands next to their beds.

Similarly, bed bugs already in a home can hop onto a library book and then be transported into the library when returned.

Some libraries have purchased systems for killing bed bugs by placing books in a portable heater set at 150 degrees, above the 115 degree temperature at which the bugs will die after seven minutes. Some enterprising engineering students at University of Nevada Las Vegas even designed a solar-powered book drop for a competition, bought 75 bed bugs online (hard to imagine the market for bed bugs) and successfully tested it. The students are applying for a patent for the device.

According to the Times' story, the Cincinnati public library system has purchased 48 "PackTite" heaters for $300 and equipped each of its 41 branches.

The scientific name for bed bugs is Cimex lectulrius. They are wingless and large enough to easily be seen, about the size of the tip of a pencil eraser. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs aren't known for spreading disease, though their bites can cause an allergic reaction. Bites can also be invisible, making it difficult to realize that the resulting itching is because of a bite and that the bugs are active. The bugs breed and lurk in hidden places (like book spines) and can live for several months without eating (they feed exclusively on blood and prefer human blood).

The CDC says it is a myth that bed bugs are more common in unclean environments, so Palo Altans can rest assured that bed bugs in the library are not a reflection on our collective cleanliness.

All joking aside, Palo Alto library officials deserve credit for their transparency in notifying the public of this problem and moving quickly to address it. It would have been easy and tempting to deal with these small infestations quietly and without any announcements to the media. They wisely chose instead to weather the inevitable publicity and simply treat it as any other minor disruption to services that causes inconvenience to patrons.

And now, we suggest Palo Altans check those books that are piled bedside and consider warming up anything suspicious in the oven for a few minutes at 150 degrees.

Comments

Autofill
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:46 am
Autofill, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:46 am
18 people like this

Your earlier article states that [bedbug detecting] canine searches at both library locations found the bedbugs in seating areas. In particular, the sniffing dogs found bedbugs in two chairs, at each library.

Your article did not state -- presumably because the facts cannot support it -- that the search found any bedbug in a book or other circulating material.

On this, it is fair to infer that the bugs arrived via a person. Indeed, this inference has more support than speculating -- as this editorial does -- that the bug carrier was a book.










Slow Down
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:53 am
Slow Down, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:53 am
7 people like this

It is a little silly we can't talk about this without the censorship hammer coming down. I guess don't need to say what the real problem is, because it is obvious to anyone with common sense.

Let's defer to the city, here is their Q&A about bed bugs.

Web Link

I'll list all the risk factor outlined from the city, and let people make their own determination as to which is most likely to affect a library.:

*international travel
*frequent overnight stays in hotels and motels
*living in refugee camps or homeless shelters
*living in apartment buildings (bedbugs are efficient crawlers and can move through cracks from
apartment to apartment)
*living in military barracks or dormitories




Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:58 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 10:58 am
4 people like this

Bedbugs have so far been found in chairs.

Have bedbugs been found in books?

People sit on chairs and books tend to sit on shelves. I have never been to the library and seen a book on a chair, but I often see people sitting on chairs. It seems to me that the bedbugs found on chairs came from people not from books.


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:03 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:03 am
17 people like this

We have no idea about the source of the bed bugs, but conservative posters immediately jumped the gun and blamed the homeless people who use the library, without any proof. Blaming the poor for everything is just a reflex with them.


Barry
Crescent Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:10 am
Barry, Crescent Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:10 am
10 people like this

@Slow Down,
While I see the implication you're making, it's pretty narrow-minded. "Most likely" does not mean "only". We had a the misfortune of a bed bug infestation at our house and none of those apply to us. Palo Alto is not in a bubble. You cannot ban everyone from coming in to the country.

When you read about bed bugs, it is truly scary. If there are bed bugs in the library, or the movie theater, or your home, etc..., if they do not have a food source (i.e. a human), they can go dormant for over a year and then reappear when the food source is available. Also, you can have bed bugs, and if you're not allergic to them, you wouldn't even know it.

For all we know, "Slow Down" has them in their house. They then transferred them to a chair at a restaurant or movie theater, or doctor's office. A native Palo Altan, then sat in that chair and decided to go to the library to check out the newly opened facilities. The bedbug from "Slow Down" then found their way to the library.


Palo Altan
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:16 am
Palo Altan, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:16 am
15 people like this

What is so wrong with requiring ID to use the library? We pay the taxes! What about our rights to use the library? To be politically correct, require ID at all libraries except the College Terrace Library (or whichever library has the least usage).

This editorial downplays the situation too much. Bedbugs brought into a home is a nightmare.

How is the city going to regulate bedbugs? Will they have dogs sniff each week?

From website of the famous Mayo Clinic:

"The risk of encountering bedbugs increases if you spend time in places with high turnovers of nighttime guests — such as hotels, hospitals or homeless shelters.

If you have bedbugs in your home, professional extermination is recommended."


Bitten
Midtown
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:20 am
Bitten, Midtown
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:20 am
4 people like this

I had bed bugs and blamed it on a trip to Spain. But it now appears it (or they) could have come home from the library. I'm not homeless and, in fact, own a home in Palo Alto. I'm pretty sure I've gotten rid of them with bed-bug (and also good for allergies to dust mites) resistant mattress and pillow encasings. I used diatomaceous earth as well, sprinkled around my bed.


Slow Down
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:27 am
Slow Down, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:27 am
5 people like this

@Barry - You are right, it could have been me. But what is the most likely answer?

The point being, to bring bedbugs home from international travel (often in your suitcase), is possible. To then carry bed bugs around on your person, and deposit them in library furniture is less likely to happen to an international traveller, and more likely to happen to someone who lacks access to sanitary conditions.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:31 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:31 am
12 people like this

I don't like the idea of having to show id to use a library.

There are many times when I have been traveling away from home and have needed to use the local library. I think the library service is a wonderful facility particularly for travelers and especially in an area where there may not be a tourist information office or similar. A library usually helps visitors to an area. Banning visitors from a library is silly.


senor blogger
Palo Verde
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:44 am
senor blogger, Palo Verde
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:44 am
4 people like this

According to TV news, the library at Berkeley has them too. But who is surprised?


Slow Down
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:45 am
Slow Down, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:45 am
6 people like this

@mauricio - denial isn't compassionate. If you went to help support a community in need, then you need to openly acknowledge and deal with the problems endemic to that community. If you walk around denying the problems exist when everyone with two eyes can see them, then you are part of the problem because you deny even a discussion of the real problems. And I'm not just talking about bedbugs, but bigger causal issues.


Craig Laughton
College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:48 am
Craig Laughton, College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:48 am
4 people like this

>I don't like the idea of having to show id to use a library.

We should require an ID, then charge about $5 per visit for non-PA citizens.


@Craig Laughton
another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm
@Craig Laughton, another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm
8 people like this

"We should require an ID, then charge about $5 per visit for non-PA citizens."

Fine. In that case, every other community in the United States should have a "Palo Alto" clause": Palo Alto residents using non-Palo Alto libraries should show ID and pay $50 PER VISIT.

See how you people like that.


Palo Altan
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:29 pm
Palo Altan, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:29 pm
8 people like this

This is another case of favoring the minority over the majority. Really, how many people visit Palo Alto and want to use the library? Plus, they can visit the designated library that doesn't require ID. Or go to a library in another city.


@Palo Altan
another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm
@Palo Altan, another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm
15 people like this

"Really, how many people visit Palo Alto and want to use the library?"

Typical shallow and provincial kind of thinking. Let me remind you, poster from Palo Alto, that quite a number of people from outside Palo Alto come to the Palo Alto libraries to do research with materials from the Palo Alto library system. And let me also remind you that libraries are a public institution -- NOT just for the residents of Palo Alto alone.


Craig Laughton
College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:46 pm
Craig Laughton, College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:46 pm
3 people like this

>And let me also remind you that libraries are a public institution -- NOT just for the residents of Palo Alto alone.

Foothills Park is also a public asset...but it is limited to the use of PA citizens. Didn't have to be that way, but neighboring cities refused to pony up to buy it.

Our libraries cost a LOT of money to remodel. PA citizens deserve to have priority. A $5 fee per visit for non-PA citizens is very fair.


@Craig Laughton
another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm
@Craig Laughton, another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm
6 people like this

"Our libraries cost a LOT of money to remodel. PA citizens deserve to have priority. A $5 fee per visit for non-PA citizens is very fair."

So you would have no objection for Palo Alto residents to pay $50 to visit a non-Palo Alto library? Those libraries cost money to build and maintain, y'know.


Palo Altan
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm
Palo Altan, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm
6 people like this

@ @Palo Altan: You can use your Mountain View Library, which is just as good as our library. [Portion removed.]


Shallow city
College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm
Shallow city, College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm
20 people like this

Craig and others calling for limiting access to our libraries to residents only.
Paloalto,is part of the Pacific Library Partnership, which grants reciprocal use of libraries to residents of different counties. You should petition the city council to leave the PLP.
Of course, this will just be more proof that palo,alto residents are shallow and self centered. You don't see mountain view, Los altos and other local cities wanting to charge non residents -- they know what it means to be a good neighbor. Paloalto, not so much


@Palo Altan
another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm
@Palo Altan, another community
on Oct 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


Loving Liberal
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm
Loving Liberal, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm
7 people like this

We all know what a liberal enclave Palo Alto has been and is. I'd like to echo Mauricio and rail against those liberal haters that want to deny the unwashed homeless the use of our library.

I know that we liberals stand for clean government, and the thought of mixing with inhabitants of a homeless encampment is anathema to those of us rich and entitled enough to live here. Its just that the optics are bad to the rest of our country, when a liberal bastion like Palo Alto, starts raging against the homeless.

First it was liberal hatred against them parking in front of our houses and using our front yards as toilets. Now it is the use of libraries and the use of the bathrooms there to shave and wash. If they can not use our libraries for this, then the bedbug issue may become even more out of hand. We need to open our small selfish liberal hearts, and think of the bigger picture.

I support the Palo Library system, their humanity, and their open access to everyone. If we all take some extra precautions, when using the library, then in the immortal words of that great Californian, Rodney King, we will all be able to just get along.


Dahai
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm
Dahai, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm
2 people like this

Heating book method can't solve bed bug problem in USA. When everyone knows how to easily starve bed bugs, bed bugs will be extinct. More than 99% bed bug feeding chance is at night and they must crawl to top of bed before feeding. If people sleep in bathtub, the feeding is eliminated. Google "bed sized bed bug trap" to convert entire bed into a trap with sleeper as inaccessible CO2 bait. It functions much better than bathtub. It is difficult for you to search bed bugs under floor without missing a single one which lays up to 300 eggs. It is easy for each bug no matter where it hides to find sleeper and suicide on the way for food without survivor. Right DIY is able to solve the problem today due to no more bite and negligible daily effort. Common sense is good enough to confirm how easy to stop bite at night because listing a feasible bed bug attacking route at night is as difficult as winning a Nobel Prize.


mimi
Community Center
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm
mimi, Community Center
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm
12 people like this

Bitten:
I hope you have gotten rid of the bed bugs. "I'm pretty sure I've gotten rid of them with bed-bug (and also good for allergies to dust mites) resistant mattress and pillow encasings. I used diatomaceous earth as well, sprinkled around my bed."
That is often not sufficient. Have you had the bed bug dogs come in to check your home. I (also a Palo Alto homeowner) had bedbugs...brought home unfortunately either from an apartment dwelling friend in Seattle (we learned too late that he had them) or my sun the Investment Banker in NYC. ( a roommates girlfriend brought them to his apartment). I have also seen them myself in a Florida hotel room, which I checked out of immediately.
The bed bugs can hide in the walls, during the day, and only come out at night. They are tough to get rid of once established. Usually require chemical treatment of the affected room, including spraying into all outlets and baseboards, at a minimum, up to freezing or tenting the whole house!
My friend in Seattle had to be treated every 3 weeks for 3 treatments before completely eradicated.
I have a Pack Tite which I put my suitcase into when I return from travels.. just to be safe.
The Bed Bug Dog guys say they have seen infestations in multimillion dollar homes, and in 5 star hotels.
Not too many homeless are in the 5 star hotels.
And, by the way, in many small towns the library is the only source of WiFi.


Bob Moss
Barron Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:33 pm
Bob Moss, Barron Park
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:33 pm
8 people like this

Bedbugs in libraries are a rather common occurrence, as some of the press noted. See Berkeley library for example which found bedbugs the day after they were found in Mitchell Park. Anywhere that people gather can be contaminated with pests or diseases. Bedbugs are one example, but flu, colds, and fleas are others that also get brought in and can spread.

Our staff did a good job by notifying the public promptly, and trying to define the extent of the infestation using bedbug-sniffing dogs, then cleaning the libraries to eliminate any bedbugs that were found. The infestations seem to have been found and eliminated in just a few days, but that needs verification by outside experts. That should be provided soon.

In any case the libraries were only closed for a few days while the bedbugs were located and eliminated. The situation seems to be resolved and was taken care of promptly and correctly.

Regards, Bob Moss
Library Commission Member


Hmmm
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm
Hmmm, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm
6 people like this

I'm surprised at how ignorant about the laws and rules all of you wanting libraries to be ID-only are.

And who lodges serious complaints about crows?


Marie
South of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm
Marie, South of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm
Like this comment

I wish people would stop saying that Foothill Park is just for Palo Alto residents. In reality, anyone is allowed to walk into Foothills Park since it was added to some kind of regional trail system. And although technically, you aren't allowed to drive into the park unless you are a resident, who ever checks? Last time I was there, the kiosk was not manned. Maybe they man or woman it as the case may be) it on busy weekends, but usually, no one is there. While it is technically not allowed, many Palo Alto ordinances (leaf blowers, high fences next to the sidewalk, vegetation extending into the sidewalk, cars parked on the sidewalk), are rarely enforced.


Sotrue
Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm
Sotrue, Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm
2 people like this

This is the best paragraph in the article and is SO true!

"Crows, leafblowers, incessant construction, parking and traffic problems and new airplane flight paths. They've all riled up segments of Palo Alto residents over the years and are considered by many as nuisances detrimental to the healthy living we all desire and expect in a town where the average home price is pushing $2 million."



Law Librarian
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm
Law Librarian, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm
11 people like this

@Hmmm

You write: "I'm surprised at how ignorant about the laws and rules all of you wanting libraries to be ID-only are."

Please cite law that would make it impermissible for PA to require ID and/or use fees for PA libraries.

If there is no such law, as I suspect, it's within PA's power to do so.






Paly Mom
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm
Paly Mom, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]





Correction
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm
Correction, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm
9 people like this

Web Link

The CDC page needs to be updated.
"November 17, 2014
Penn Study Shows Bed Bugs Can Transmit Parasite that Causes Chagas Disease "

Chagas disease "affects 6 to 8 million worldwide, mostly in Latin America, and kills about 50,000 a year"

"More people in the U.S. are infected with T. cruzi now than ever before. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of Chagas disease cases in the U.S. today could be as high as 300,000. "

So, not correct that bed bugs don't transmit disease.




Craig Laughton
College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm
Craig Laughton, College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm
4 people like this

>The situation seems to be resolved and was taken care of promptly and correctly.

Until the new infection jumps off someone who sits down on one of those chairs.

This is classic PA liberal guilt think/talk.

Unless someone can show a proper PA ID they should be charged a $5 entry fee.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:48 pm
10 people like this

I don't agree with Craig and I don't think many people do.

It is people who think that Palo Alto is special, privileged, and grandiose, that give us all a bad name.

We don't want to put up a wall around our City. We don't want to charge people to use our libraries, our parks or even park in our neighborhoods. We are actually quite a nice group of people, except for a vocal few.


Autofill
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm
Autofill, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm
2 people like this

I, for one, hope that the city address the matter squarely, as a factual matter, and then decides how to prevent such infestations from continuing.

By contrast, what's irksome (and on display) is an inability or unwillingness to squarely face that facts as we understand them so far. To date, the facts support that the bedbug carrier(s) was a person(s). There is no factual basis to support that, in the PA instances, the bugs were in any book/library material. See the first comment to this editorial.

Citing articles about bedbugs in books in other libraries and places -- as this editorial does -- isn't any more applicable to the PA instances at hand than citing articles and studies about homeless bedbug infestation.

As to what to do about the infestations, there is a wide range of options. To be effective, what PA does should be tailored to the cause as best it can be determined. And yes, that may be identifying and addressing a more/most likely cause. To anyone requiring certainty, I have news: we act on likelihood and in the presence of doubt all the time in other matters.


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Craig Laughton
College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:12 pm
Craig Laughton , College Terrace
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:12 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


maguro_01
Registered user
Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm
maguro_01, Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm
2 people like this

Would it work to microwave books or other items? Presumably the item would have to put in a plastic bag and sealed. Would a book spine be likely to have any glue or materials that would absorb the 2.4 GHz in the oven and heat up disproportionately?


Hmmm
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Oct 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm
Hmmm, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm
4 people like this

Law Librarian - Please show me how it's legally permissible to charge non-residents a usage fee and require ID to use the library (not including checking out books, which require a library card).


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm
4 people like this

There is no factual basis to support that, in the Palo Alro instance instances, the bed bugs were caused by homeless people. I have stayed in posh hotels around the world, some of them a 1,000 dollar per night hotels in glmarous cities like Paris, Milan and Rio de Janeiro, that had bed bugs, and I can assure you that there were no absolutely homeless people staying in those hotels.

The demand of some conservatives to charge non residents for library entrance is ridiculous. It's illegal and would never come to pass. It's just a knee jerk reaction by those who blame any problem on the poor, instead of those who actually cause most of the prtoblems. We all know who they are.


Slow Down
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm
Slow Down, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm
2 people like this

@Bob Moss - You say the situation is resolved, but what makes you think it won't happen again? With all the "international travellers" visiting the library, won't the libraries just end up infested again?


DTN Paul
Registered user
Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm
DTN Paul, Downtown North
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm
5 people like this

@slowdown , @craiglaugton - Is the Palo Alto you want to live in really one where we card people at the door of the library and don't let people in if we think they're homeless? On the basis that they MIGHT have brought in bedbugs? You both had better hope there's no such thing as karma...


Curmudgeon
Registered user
Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:13 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:13 pm
3 people like this

"@slowdown , @craiglaugton - Is the Palo Alto you want to live in really one where we card people at the door of the library and don't let people in if we think they're homeless?"

We are becoming an exclusive community in some very strange ways when only bedbugs brought into libraries by card-carrying Palo Altans are allowed. I can't wait until Stephen Colbert gets wind of this.


True
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:36 pm
True, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:36 pm
4 people like this

It's easy to be compassionate when you have never been affected by bed bugs. This article explains the trauma of a bedbug infestation inside the home. Trying to raise a family while eradicating bedbugs would be a Freddie Krueger nightmare x 100. Some people are left with a lot of anxiety: Web Link


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:14 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:14 am
8 people like this

The above poster assumes, without any proof whatsoever, that the library bed bugs were caused by homeless people. Nobody argues that bed bugs are a good thing, but a number of posters accuse the homeless, directly and indirectly, for causing this problem, when there's absolutely no evidence that they are the culprits.

I am not even a homeless advocate, but in the absence of proof, I find it disturbing that poor people, who are already the weakest in our society, are blamed for something they may not even be responsible for.


Craig Laughton
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Craig Laughton, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


DTN Paul
Registered user
Downtown North
on Oct 3, 2015 at 12:27 pm
DTN Paul, Downtown North
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 12:27 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


Roger Dodger
Registered user
another community
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm
Roger Dodger, another community
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:10 pm
6 people like this

I find it absolutely appalling that anyone would argue on behalf of needing an ID to use the library, or charging some sort of fee. What is wrong with you? Do you not understand what the word "public" in "Public Library" means? Do you not understand the concept of democracy, in which ALL citizens have equal rights? What's next? Are you going to recommend gates at the entrance to Palo Alto? Perhaps a bar code tattoo to identify those who have been identified as "outsiders"? Does that sound familiar? Have you no sense of decency? Does THAT sound familiar?
[Portion removed.]


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm
2 people like this

Craig Laughton, no, the homeless are not the most plausible cause. It could be residents who traveled to another country and stayed in hotels with bed bugs. It could be residents who traveled to other parts of the country and contracted bed bugs in a hotel or at their friends/family house. It could be one homeless person who had bed bugs and tends to go to both M and Rinconada libraries. In that case, why blame scores of homeless people who use the library but aren't responsible for this situation. the problem is that you relatively assume it's poor people [portion removed.]


oam
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm
oam, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 1:41 pm
Like this comment

Not exactly the same thing, but the Santa Clara County Library District (Los Altos, Cupertino, ect…) used to charge non-residents an $80/year fee for a library card.


Craig Laughton
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm
Craig Laughton, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm
Like this comment

>Not exactly the same thing, but the Santa Clara County Library District (Los Altos, Cupertino, ect…) used to charge non-residents an $80/year fee for a library card.

That's a precedent. Let's start with the $5 per visit thing. The other precedent we have in Palo Alto for a pubic use is Foothills Park (PA residents only).


True
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm
True, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm
4 people like this

No, we pay high taxes and should not have to pay any fee to use OUR library. All we should need to do is prove that we live in Palo Alto. Fees are not going to keep outsiders out of our libraries - there are plenty of compassionate people who don't use our libraries (thus, are not threatened with bedbugs) who will pay the fees for people.

[Portion removed.]


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


iSez
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm
iSez, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm
12 people like this

Why don't we do as suggested above? Ask for I.D. at Rinconada and Mitchell but don't ask for I.D. at the other libraries? Both sides win!


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