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Holiday’s meaning lost

EDITOR: Did you know that the first Labor Day was on a Tuesday — Sept. 5, 1882 — in New York? The day was celebrated with a picnic, concert and speeches. Ten thousand workers marched in a parade honoring those who labored to make a paycheck but also who helped to build and maintain America. We the people.

As a child growing up along the Hudson River, I recall that businesses closed. Gas stations only opened until noon, along with bakeries and small grocery stores. What happened?

Now it’s like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Christmas and Thanksgiving have become — commercialized by greed. Yes, greed. Businesses no longer close so employees can spend the day fully with their families and friends. We have lost something that was once so dear to us all — being with loved ones. Not shop ’til you drop.

At least a generation has been raised without knowing how important Labor Day is to all of us. It was the hardworking men and women who helped build this nation up from nothing. It’s not about socialism or communism, but about we all. Whether you are a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution or a new immigrant, we need to return to having stores closed so we can be home and free.

HELEN BLAS-WILSON

Petaluma

Costly housing bonds

EDITOR: First, Sonoma County wanted to put a $300 million bond on the ballot to finance affordable housing. But it was opposed by the Farm Bureau, so the county dropped it. Now the city of Santa Rosa is putting a $124 million bond on the ballot because we homeowners don’t have the clout the wine industry has.

The bond would add $29 per $100,000 assessed value on your home, and the city says it would only add about $110 per year to the average home. If you do the math, that works out to a $380,000 home. Very few homes are assessed in that low range.

This tax would apply to all of us who lost our homes in the October wildfires, including my family and my daughter’s family. We aren’t sure if our insurance is going to cover our rebuild cost, and they want us to pay more taxes.

Also, high taxes contribute to the high cost of housing. But our politicians don’t seem to understand that. And for people who think that because they rent it doesn’t pertain to them, think again. If your landlord‘s taxes are increased, you can bet rents will go up to cover the cost.

So how does all this make housing affordable?

JOHN DUFFY

Petaluma

Supporting Harris

EDITOR: A few years ago, my theater company, North Bay Stage Company, put on a production of “Love Letters” using members of our community. I had never met Mike Harris, and I assumed my message to him would go ignored. Who accepts an acting role from a complete stranger?

Well, I sent him a note and told him that the North Bay Stage Company is known in Santa Rosa and needs Petaluma representation. He readily agreed to be part of our production. No hesitation. He did a fantastic job and the show/fundraiser was a great success. It was nice to have Petaluma representation in our community theater circle.

I know that Harris loves Petaluma and would be a great mayor and an incredible ambassador for our town. I will be supporting Mike Harris for mayor, and I hope others join me in supporting his candidacy.

KRISTEN HONE

Petaluma

Trump and the bishop

EDITOR: A friend sent me a column that appeared in the Sacramento Bee, written by Marcos Breton. The subject was Francis Quinn, bishop emeritus of Sacramento’s Catholic Diocese. Although the bishop still preaches, prays and enjoys pasta, he is 96 and in hospice. He is dying. Now that his time on Earth is short, he believes that he finally understands the meaning of life and the essence of happiness. He said the secret is to love: “I love Protestants. I love Muslims. I love atheists. Everybody.”

Previously a bishop in San Francisco and a loyal Giants fan, he conceded that he even loved the Los Angeles Dodgers. But what about President Donald Trump? The president’s policies have targeted immigrants, and the bishop has been a lifelong champion of immigrants’ rights. Pause. And I am sure his answer had something to do with empathy and compassion. “Yes”, he said, “I love Trump, too, but I think he needs a dog.” Amen.

DIANE McCURDY

Santa Rosa

The value of time

EDITOR: Older people, as they age, run out of time. Younger people are so busy with their lives they don’t have enough time in a day. Who would have thought time would be so important?

There must be a message in this, no matter how old or young you are. Try to make the most of your time here. We all have to do this or that as the clock goes on.

For the older people, go and do what you want and enjoy life before it’s too late. Whether it be a bucket list, traveling or helping others.

The younger people working, raising families, making house payments or the rent and car payments, take enough time to enjoy your offspring and family things. Single people, just enjoying life and your free time.

How busy do you want to make your life? It’s your choice! How much do you want to acquire and accumulate in the stuff-and-things category? It’s just more stuff to maintain and take up more of your time.

Remember, once time is gone you’re not getting it back.

PAUL A. WAGGONER

Santa Rosa

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