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Published December 28th, 2016
Letters to the Editor

Keep Leigh Creekside Park Passive
Dear Editor,

The dispute whether or not to turn Leigh Creekside Park in Lafayette into a playground interests me. I own property on Golden Gate Way, across the creek from the park, and our law office was a contributor to the original park in 1999. It was always meant to be a small nature park for people of any age who needed peace and tranquility, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Lafayette. That hustle and bustle has increased over intervening years, making it more necessary to maintain at least one spot in town that is quiet, passive and natural. A large number of neighbors next to the park contributed time and money in the formulation of the park, in an the understanding with the city that it would be a passive park on the small parcel and not subject to playground activities. This was the agreement with the city. The city does not break agreements. Trust is important.
Some people want a playground at Leigh for convenience. Does anyone give thought to seniors or others who need a small nature area like Leigh Creekside Park for contemplation, for meeting your neighbors, or to observe and enjoy nature? Adult lives matter too.
Playgrounds abound in this area, including one only two blocks away from Leigh. The status quo is the existing approved passive park. Playground proponents must prove a need for a playground, which they cannot do.
The existing park is about one-half acre in size and there is certainly not room enough to create a mixed-use park, i.e., part playground, part other. The playground would dominate the entire park.
Lafayette takes pride in its semi-rural character. If that's true, then the city should let Leigh Creekside Park be. Don't change it.

Stanley Pedder

Thank You MOFD for "Water Flow"
Dear Editor,

I want to commend the Moraga-Orinda Fire District for commencing the complicated process of working with EBMUD to upgrade the water flow to our fire hydrants. Although this is an expensive undertaking, I can say, as a survivor of the Berkeley-Oakland hills firestorm, that this is very important.

Nick Waranoff

The Effects of the Minimum Wage Increase
Dear Editor,

As a small business owner for over 30 years, I've been faced with an endless number of challenges; however, none as threatening as the impending increase to minimum wage. Over the next six years, California employers will be forced to pay an increasingly higher amount per hour until the 2022 minimum wage of $15 per hour is reached.
I absolutely agree that everyone should receive a livable wage; however, we'd better brace ourselves as we, the consumer, will be covering this cost as prices will be rising all around us.
As wages increase, the dollar amount of the payroll "burden" raises proportionately, imposing an even greater impact on small businesses. Included in this burden are costs such as workers' compensation insurance, social security contributions, state and federal unemployment and disability insurances, totaling an additional 28 percent in my case.
All service-based businesses will feel the hit the hardest as payroll is by far their biggest expense. Even though my new hires are currently paid far above minimum wage, there is a point in the very near future where that will no longer be the case. When 2022 rolls around, my payroll will have increased by 25 percent over this year. In other words, the same number of hours worked during 2016 is going to cost an additional $130,000 more in 2022. Ouch.
In order to absorb the increase in payroll, I've heard that one strategy businesses will implement is to lay off workers, or to shorten hours; but just how does this help? I need every employee, every day, to render services. How can an employer expect its employees to complete their duties in shorter hours?
Over the years, I have been forced to increase prices steadily to keep up with the rising costs of doing business; however, when costly mandates arise (e.g., California's 2015 paid sick leave requirement), it challenges even the most well-planned business owner. There is nowhere for prices to go other than up; all of us who buy goods and services, will be paying the price for the upcoming increases in minimum wage.

Kimberley Winter
Owner, Total Clean in Moraga

Freshmen Congratulate Campo
Dear Editor,

Our names are Jake Crumbaugh and Braden Maher. This year we played football at campo as freshman and would like to voice our opinions in congratulation the Campolindo Cougars on winning State. We would like to start off by saying that this would not have happened without the great coaches that taught and mentored their players through the games.
This year Campo was moved up from division 3 to Division 2. This year the team played harder teams like Oakdale, Christian Valley and more D2 teams. Due to losing to Clayton Valley, Campo was moved back down to Division 3. Campo beat all of the teams, causing them to move on to State. On Saturday, Dec. 17, Campo beat Bakersfield Cristian. We would like to congratulate Campo on their win. We believe that this team could not have done it without Coach Macy and his coaching staff. We are proud to here that our small school can beat bigger and stronger schools, which makes us freshman believe in our coaches.

Jake Crumbaugh and Braden Maher

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