Parade sirens

I totally agree with Karen Cantrell's letter in the Dec. 10 Avalanche.

Do we really want to use sirens in parades? Shouldn't we reserve sirens for alerting us to danger or warning us to change risky behavior?

Sirens aren't festive. They are designed to jar us. They are unpleasant and harmful to our ears. (Maybe the hearing-aid sellers like sirens in parades.)

Shouldn't we rethink this use of sirens (and while we're at it rethink using sirens to escort sports teams)?

Let's save sirens to communicate about hazards.

Pam Gaddis


Library funds

I would like to thank all Alpine Public Library donors for their continued generous support.

Last week we received wonderful offer from a donor who would like to remain anonymous. The offer is to match donations the library receives through Dec. 31, 2015, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.

Not only can you write the donation off this year’s taxes you can, in a sense, double your donation.

This offer comes at an opportune time. The library will be closed Mondays beginning in January 2016. The reason is that donations are off by about $40,000 for 2015 and we need to reduce expenses.

The library depends on individual contributions for over half of our yearly budget of about $220,000. We are doing our best to efficiently use our money but many of our expenses are relatively fixed or increasing.

Insurance costs about $11,000 per year, utilities are close to $10,000 per year, professional services and building maintenance add another $13,000 and payroll expenses are close to $133,000 per year.

Additionally, in order to remain an accredited library with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission we need to spend $2.23 per capita on our book collection. That adds about $20,000 yearly to expenses. 

If you need any other reasons to consider making a donation to the library then consider the library as a great resource for our area. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 95 percent of Americans agree that the resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed and over 50 percent stated they used libraries to help find and apply for jobs.

I hope you will decide to participate in our year-end challenge.

Thanks in advance for your contribution to Alpine Public library.

Don Wetterauer, executive director

Alpine Public Library