Rolling the Dice
If you have taken the time to meet with Lynda Hopkins, you have found her to be both bright and personable. You may have wondered about her qualifications to be a county supervisor but assumed that a smart person like her would simply learn on the job. It is a little harder to explain away her big money backers. We all know who they are by now.
This is Lynda's big gamble. Can she take considerable sums from these industries and still convince the voters that she is the environmental candidate? Lynda says that she has not signed any pledges to special interests. So the obvious question is, why are they backing her? Why has the Sonoma County Farm Bureau placed those big "Hopkins" signs on all the vineyards? Is this the same farm bureau that opposes open space initiatives, community separators, riparian ordinances, GMO bans and other environmental regulations? Could they be afraid of the environmental record of Noreen Evans? But what if Lynda turns her back on them? That is their big gamble.
I don't have an opinion on whether the bill granting overtime pay to farmworkers should have excluded dairy workers ("Milk Money," Sept. 7), and this unbalanced article did not assist me in making up my mind. The bulk of the views cited in the article came from an interview with Anja Raudabaugh, a dairy industry spokesperson, and legislators who opposed or abstained on the bill. The only "pro" quote favoring the overtime provisions was a few sentences from Marty Bennett of North Bay Jobs for Justice. Where are the interviews from actual dairy farmworkers or their representatives?
The article directs us to feel sympathetic to small dairies receiving federal subsidies producing high-priced luxury cheeses. Because life is tough for the dairy owners, farmworkers should make do without the same legal entitlements as other workers. So apparently, luxury products should be subsidized by workers. Since some of those workers, due to their high skill level, make a whopping $20 per hour, they should not be entitled to the same overtime wages as a $20 per hour office worker in a nonfarming small business. Really? Why not?
Farmworkers "volunteer" for that job, states Raudabaugh; after all, they could have been aerospace engineers or attorneys or stock brokers, but since they've "volunteered" to be farmworkers, they're stuck with whatever shitty legal protections exist.
Up your game, Bohemian! Present both sides of a story, or publish it as an editorial.
Othello the Arab
You know what would be even more "impressive" ("Out of Darkness," Oct. 14)? The day that any theater company actually casts an Arab in the role of Othello. A "moor," by the name and the times of those days, was an Arab, not white, not African, not Indian, etc. God forbid anyone should ever actually break with stereotypes and tradition and complete a play as Shakespeare actually wrote it.
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