My daughter and I recently went to the Kent Library. As we drove by we saw people milling about near the front entrance. I let my daughter out and proceeded to look for a parking space. After touring the nearest spaces twice, I than went to 1st Avenue near the train tracks. There, I found a spot.
As I approached the library’s entrance I had to pass several groups who were standing around, talking, smoking, etc. Some even had their belongings with them. Just before entering the outer entrance doors I noticed that approximately 80 percent of the outside covered area was enclosed with metal bars, thus limiting the outside sheltered area.
Just before we exited the library it started to sprinkle. We passed groups standing between the exterior and interior doors. But what we did not expect were the various groups that were spread out on entering were now condensed into a smaller area, and the cigarette smoke was very pronounced.
My daughter, who has severe asthma, tried to hurry though the groups before she had a reaction to the smoke. She started to cough, tried to get her breath to no avail. She frantically went to her purse for her inhaler. I stood there watching my daughter turning beet red, not breathing, and in a panic mode. Helpless, I was just about to dial 911 when she finally got her inhaler and utilized it.
After getting several breaths of air she turned to the groups under the sheltered entrance and asked them to move away from the front entrance. They had to have heard her coughing, and several even saw her in her panic situation. But the response she received from one of the smokers was, “We don’t want to get wet.”
Placing a “no loitering” or “no smoking” sign probably would not help. Surely, we should not expect the police to be there for the library’s total opening hours.
Is the mayor and council seeking some solution to this?
– Joe Marks