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Last holiday of the summer coming right up

Labor Day Monday is the final holiday of the summer. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Labor Day is always held on the first Monday in September. Labor Day was the idea of Peter J. Maguire (although recent research has shown that it might have been the idea of his brother, Matthew), a labor union leader who in 1882 proposed a celebration honoring the working population. A federal holiday to celebrate the American worker with a paid day off has always seemed oxymoronic to me.


The date chosen to celebrate the workforce was simply “convenient,” according to Maguire because it fell midway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.


Although the day’s focus on organized labor has diminished over the years, the holiday has become a way to mark the end of the summer season. Growing up, Labor Day meant school began the Monday after Labor Day.


Some years the first day of school would be delayed by a week or even two because children were needed in the fields to pick grapes. There was a time when many people who worked at other jobs took vacation time to pick grapes and chop cotton.


Under the California labor code, in addition to the regulations imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, most states have rules about the hours that 16 and 17-year-olds can work. These are usually a bit more lenient. In California, for example, with a work permit, a 16- or 17-year-old can work 4 hours per school day and 28 hours in a week.


The prevalence of grape harvesters has greatly reduced the number of handpicked wine grapes. Small vineyards, making limited quantities of premium wine may still employ handpicking techniques.


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As fall approaches baseball is being replaced by football. The National Football League finds itself with one heck of a public relations problem. Many people who were diehard NFL fans are furious with the league over its handling of the players who disrespect the American flag and the playing of the National Anthem. The chatter on Facebook has many people boycotting the games. The sale of team memorabilia is at an all-time low.


People in the entertainment industry, be they actors, musicians or athletes, behave badly and manage to buy their way out of trouble. When average citizens break the law they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Celebrities are treated differently.


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This week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will effectively eliminate cash bail.


According to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Brown ushered in one of the most sweeping criminal justice changes of his administration. He signed a bill abolishing the state’s current money bail system and replaced it with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of a trial.


This puts an additional burden on the judiciary branch to determine whether the accused should remain in jail until they appear in court. Whether this will result in more or fewer inmates in the county jails remains to be seen. The elimination of cash bail sounds to this laywoman like a recipe for disaster. Judges already have the ability to release prisoners on their own recognizance.


A financial incentive to appear in court has been standard procedure for many years. The new system, due to be implemented in October 2019, is a bad idea.


Luckily Gov. Moonbeam will be out of office by the end of this year. It appears he won’t be happy until he destroys California and he has just four more months to finish what he started.


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Long days and pleasant nights to you, dear friends.


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Readers, may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.