Letters to the Editor, March 12: Biden getting things done

Readers weigh in on president, gyms and single-payer health care.|

Biden getting things done

EDITOR: This is in response to Jason Kishineff’s recent letter (“Biden Not Fulfilling Promises,” March 6). Why don’t you focus on what Biden is getting done: Biden is committed to getting this pandemic under control, a task the previous administration had no desire to do. With Mitch McConnell blocking the $2,000 stimulus Bill, Biden is pushing to get a trillion bucks passed for those who are hurting. He is, after all, only in office less than two months with a Capitol Building that was under siege.

Patty Milligan


Gyms are hurting

EDITOR: In Sonoma, gyms and fitness centers have been closed for one year. No inside access allowed.

During this year, Sonoma Fit has received basically zero financial help from any level - federal, state or county. This might work for small boutique facilities, but not for the larger gyms in the valley with larger overhead and expensive rent, and you know how expensive rent is in this town! There is a moratorium that expires in June which protects businesses from being evicted, but nothing to help with paying rent.

Owning and operating a gym is a labor of love. And even at full operating power, it’s no cash cow. People, like us, that own gyms do it because we are passionate about health and fitness and committed to helping the people in our communities live happy and healthy lives.

Our gym, like others in the valley, also are very involved in the community by supporting local festivals, foot races, booster clubs, etc.

Gyms are also a place for our community to find employment. Sonoma Fit has over 40 employees that depend on us so that they can support themselves and their families. We are family owned and operated and our employees are also our family. We have been committed from the very start to keeping them all working and paying them full wages.

The fitness community has worked tirelessly and invested heavily through this pandemic to continue to bring people options and ways to exercise safely. A lot of investing has gone into outside spaces for sure, but also in getting the inside safe and ready to go. We, for example, have state-of-the-art HVAC systems to help filter the inside air, will impose mask wearing at all times, social distance, and we’ve even installed carbon dioxide monitors in the club to help us ensure the ventilation is good. It’s been proven time and time again that gyms operating under CDC guidelines are safe - safer than riding on an airplane and even safer than driving in a car with friends.

Our last hope is the GYMS Act, introduced on Feb. 5, 2020, which is designed to address the health and fitness industry’s unique and pressing needs and, if passed, will create a $30 billion grant program to provide direct assistance to America’s health and fitness clubs. Because even when we are able to reopen, we will only be able to open at a fraction (10 percent) of our capacity. Local gyms, the clubs you cherish, are limping along but they will not be able to sustain this forever.

If you haven’t been already, the time is now to support your local gym so that we can all remain viable businesses in your community. We implore you - call and see what offerings they have, unfreeze, rejoin, join for the first time, something, anything, we need you. And the best part is, by helping us, you are not only saving gyms in Sonoma, you are also helping yourselves live fitter, happier lives!

Jenny and Adam Kovacs


Time has come for single-payer

EDITOR: On Feb. 6, a local group headed by longtime Sonoma resident Dr. Mary McDevitt held a Sonoma Valley car caravan calling for single-payer healthcare in California. The event, backed by the California Nurses Association (CNA), was part of a statewide effort.

Twelve cars participated in the caravan, which began in the Springs and ended at Sonoma Plaza, where about 50 masked and socially distanced local residents supported Councilmember Jack Ding’s presentation of the following resolution to Mayor Logan Harvey:

A resolution of the city council of the City of Sonoma in support of a single-payer health care system for California:

“About 23 million Americans between the ages of 19 and 64 are uninsured, and another 64 million are underinsured. Now, because employers typically provide health insurance in the U.S., the numbers of uninsured and underinsured have increased along with COVID-caused spikes in unemployment. Also, the cost of city employee healthcare benefits now runs at about $700,000 per year, not counting health care costs embedded in other contracts, and single-payer in California could allow the City of Sonoma more funds for other public uses.”

I want to thank the Sonoma City Council for passing the resolution on March 1. There is bill currently in our state legislature, AB 1400, the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, which would create the California Guaranteed Health Care for All program, or CalCare. I urge voters to contact our state representatives and ask them to support AB 1400. The time has come and California can lead the way!

Beth Hadley


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