Salinas, California, is in the news today because it plans to shut down all of its public libraries in a budget crunch.
What the coverage doesn't mention is that Salinas, population 150,000, is a particular magnet for illegal aliens in California's Central Coast. How much of the budget is wasted on illegals that could go instead toward basic services for legitimate residents of the city? Salinas is a big example of what's wrong with California. How can the mentality that has ruined the state be changed? What to do, Arnold?
(Boston Herald) So how would Steinbeck have reacted to the news that the cash-strapped city is closing its libraries in the spring?
"He'd obviously be upset. He knew that literature can lift and elevate the spirit and enable humans to rise above any situation," Gamble said. "He probably even read some of the great literature at the Salinas library."
Facing record deficits, the City Council voted Dec. 14 to shut all three of Salinas' libraries, including the branches named after Steinbeck and labor leader Cesar Chavez. The blue-collar town of 150,000 could become the most populous U.S. city without a public library.
Salinas, nicknamed "salad bowl to the nation" for the lettuce and broccoli fields nearby, is the 1902 birthplace of the Nobel Prize-winning author of "Cannery Row" and "Of Mice and Men." Steinbeck, who died in 1968, described the region as "pastures of heaven" and memorialized Salinas in his 1952 novel "East of Eden."