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Published June 24th, 2020
Letters to the editor

Support local businesses

I have had the privilege of serving the Moraga Chamber of Commerce for 10 years: seven as Executive Director and, prior to that, three as its Administrator. On March 16, 2020, my role changed dramatically. Essential businesses, social distancing, no-contact payment, masks, gloves, innovation and re-imagining became the words of survival for the local businesses. Some of these businesses are owned by mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, many of them locals who had to make decisions whether or not to retreat and stay safely indoors with their families, or risk exposure and illness by keeping their doors open for the community in order to have the most essential needs available.
As Gov. Newsom and our County leaders slowly and cautiously delayed re-opening, I never heard a complaint -- no shop, restaurant or any other service gave up. The owners came to work to serve the community of Moraga. The businesses have suffered great financial loss, and in some cases, physical challenges along with two sinkholes, a bridge that is closed off and on, fires, power outages etc. but where legally possible, they stayed open to serve.
So, as we emerge from the womb of safety in our homes and have options to dine out, shop and move more freely, please remember to continue to support our local businesses and services. They have been here for us when we most needed them, now it is up to us as a community to be here and support them. Remember your Masks!

Kathe Nelson

Please don't let "I told you so" happen .

Lafayette businesses are so happy to be serving you again. And it's not just because they miss you. They must open if they are going to survive. We have a chance to help them and stay healthy at the same time.
The citizens of Lafayette want to say thank you for the pro-active steps Contra Costa took to support the safety and health of our community. We know those measures were necessarily made with a broad brush and those decisions saved thousands of lives. We all sacrificed much - please don't stop now. We have done a lot of hard work to keep everyone safe. As retail and restaurants open I want to remind everyone that our work is not done.
Community Members - as cities and towns around the country have started to reopen there have been spikes in new cases and Northern California is no exception. We should all agree that basic safety precautions need to be followed by all businesses and customers. This includes crowd control, social distancing, extra space in isles, masks and in some cases gloves, proper postings for staff and customers, and enforcement by business owners. Anything less should be considered non-conforming and irresponsible.
Businesses - we have fought hard with county health officials to be reasonable and allow prudent businesses to operate safely. But now it is up to you to ensure your customers and your employees are SAFE. No shortcutting. You would not believe list of mandatory guidelines businesses must implement before they can open their doors. You can visit these necessary measures https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#top
Contra Costa has done such a good job, but we all know we can do better. Put the masks back on. I hate them too. I really do. But I want to hang around a little longer. We are closing in on 5,000 COVID-19 deaths in California. We can do better than this. Be kind. If you are not doing it for yourself, please consider the rest of us.

Jay Lifson
Executive Director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

A moment of hope

Lafayette, Calif. managed to have a protest on June 5. We borrowed enough black folks from somewhere so that we looked appropriately diverse. It wasn't a big party and everyone went home around 5 p.m.
I have good news. A terrible festering problem is now in full view and those who care will strive to make changes. Leaders will hopefully rise up and lead us where we need to go. Perhaps some who now hold government in disrepute will be voted in and legislate to everyone's benefit. I dare say some who protest, and perhaps even riot, will become police officers and protect others in the future who have grievances.
The bad news. Human history indicates inhumanity. Human history indicates that every nation, every ethnic group and tribe participated in slavery, and other atrocities. Every possible act of selfishness and "me first" will continue.
I am a person who believes that only God can change us at our core and enable us to become who we were intended. Our nation was founded on that, and that is where our hope lies. (Those who rewrite history don't want you to believe that.)
God bless America, and hurry up, we're losing it!

Kent Gordon

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