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Labor Day dream

EDITOR: Happy Labor Day. Today we celebrate that every person who is willing to work has a job paying a living wage. That every worker has affordable health coverage. That every worker has 12 sick days and two weeks or more paid vacation. That every worker has paid maternity and paternity leave and affordable child care. That every worker has the right to join with others for job protections.

Sadly, the above is but a dream. But why should it be? America is the wealthiest nation ever known. And what is the source of that wealth? The labor of the workers of America.

Yes, business owners get credit for creating jobs. But it is the labor of the workers that produces an income for the owners — and the grand wealth of this nation. Without workers, the greatest business ideas would lie stillborn. Workers make our homes, cars and clothes. They grow our food and serve us in restaurants and stores. They teach our children and care for our elders. They protect and heal and entertain us. They deserve our thanks. They deserve better treatment. They all deserve a living wage.

GENE A. HOTTEL

Santa Rosa

Subsidized rentals

EDITOR: This is in response to the Aug. 14 article regarding subsidized rentals in Santa Rosa (“Council hits pause on renter protection”). I was saddened as the article was missing information.

There is a huge discrepancy between the city’s Section 8 program versus the county’s Section 8 program. Furthermore, Section 8 holders don’t understand the differences between the two programs as there is not enough education.

As of last June, the city’s Section 8 program for a one bedroom-one bathroom unit covers $1,591 rent per month, and units must include utilities. The county’s Section 8 program covers up to $1,700 per month in rent, and utilities are extra.

I am located within city limits. Due to the amount of rent and the fact that utilities must be included, I have had to explain to Section 8 housing voucher holders that I cannot help them. I have had prospective tenants beg and plead with me to take them, offering to pay utilities under the table. I am not able to do this as it is illegal.

The city’s Section 8 program isn’t feasible for property owners. I have tried to help people with a Section 8 voucher only to find my hands are tied.

URSULA AHAJANIAN

Santa Rosa

Slow drivers

EDITOR: White signs have appeared on Occidental Road entreating drivers to “slow down.” I propose they should be replaced by signs reminding drivers to “go the speed limit.”

Drivers who travel below the speed limit where there is no passing lane cause dangerous situations. They create lines of vehicles behind them, road rage, dangerous passing attempts and tailgating. Doesn’t the law state they should pull over to allow others to continue on?

Recently, I was in a line of cars behind a driver going 39 mph on Occidental. The speed limit is 50 mph. On my return trip, I saw a bicyclist in the opposing lane with a long line of cars all following him around 15 mph. This brings up “Share the Road” signs.

There is no shoulder on most of Occidental. The bicyclist should have used nearby Joe Rodota Trail. Occidental Road isn’t bike appropriate. Cyclists should be required to pull over and allow traffic to proceed. Every cyclist should be required to have a red blinking lights front and back, day or night.

Vehicles and bicycles that slow down traffic are endangering us. Go the speed limit, or pull over so the rest of us can.

GERRY SCHULTZ

Occidental

Ditch Mitch

EDITOR: There is a national campaign that deserves everyone’s attention. It aims to unseat Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from his Senate seat. The second most destructive person in Washington, McConnell has, by himself, prevented the U.S. Senate from considering important legislation because he personally opposed it. He has prevented the Senate from even taking a look at many worthy candidates for judicial seats because they were nominated by Democrats. Republican judicial candidates, of course, sail through their approvals.

This isn’t the way our democracy is supposed to work. We need to rid ourselves of this danger to reasonable government. Find the Ditch Mitch website to see how you can help send him home to Kentucky.

ANNE E. SEELEY

Santa Rosa

Zero-emission bus service

EDITOR: On behalf of the parents at the Sebastopol Independent public school, I want to thank Sonoma County Transit’s systems manager, Bryan Albee, for initiating a new bus run that provides a free, zero-emissions ride for our children.

A bus that leaves the Sebastopol transit hub near the police station at 7:45 a.m. brings children to Brookhaven Middle School or the Sebastopol Independent school’s new campus. Nearly two dozen parents joined me in petitioning for the morning bus. Albee, and SCT, heard our request and allocated the resources to improve our local free public bus service.

I joined the maiden voyage with a few parents and a bus nearly full of happy middle schoolers. The new morning run is on track to double Sebastopol’s monthly youth ridership. SCT is helping us relieve congestion and model the kind of sustainable future that many parents believe in. They did the same thing a few years ago by adding a morning bus for Credo High school in Rohnert Park.

With a federal government run by a would-be tyrant bent on usurping power from the people, traumatizing immigrant children, gutting environmental regulation and alternative energy, it is comforting to see that government is still capable of solving problems — at least here in Sonoma County.

JONATHAN GREENBERG

Sebastopol

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