Staff Editorial: Report Card wants true Labor Day
Labor Day: C
The scorching-hot days and uncomfortably humid nights are nearing an end this year, and the closing days of summer are marked once again by our nation’s 114th Labor Day weekend.
The holiday, which gained national observance in 1894, was started in honor of the country’s working people, who were featured in parades and festivals. Today, the holiday is mostly a time for back-to-school sales, crowded beaches and that last summer retreat.
While banks, government offices and schools will be closed Monday, shopping malls, department stores and restaurants will be hard at work for your money, disregarding the initial concept of the holiday.
With Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter already having been taken over by consumerism, do we really need another holiday to spend money on?
Having time off to relax or catch up on homework is never a bad thing and Labor Day’s intentions are good, but when retail and food service workers are having to work double shifts to please consumers, maybe we should rethink how the day is spent.
Houston hurricane preparedness: B
When Tropical Storm Edouard came ashore Aug. 5, the hype turned out to be bigger than the storm itself. Nevertheless, with Tropical Storm Gustav headed into the Gulf of Mexico, the Harris County Office of Emergency Management will once again be watching the weather.
On Thursday, Francisco Sanchez, a spokesman for the office, told The Houston Chronicle that the county and other local entities were meeting to review preparations. However, one major decision that was already made was that Houston would not be a sanctuary for evacuees from other areas should the storm force them to flee.
The reasoning behind this is that Houston is just as likely to be hit by a major storm as any other in the area, just as it was when Hurricane Rita hit just a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
With Rita, the overflow in population made evacuating the city an even bigger nightmare than it would have been with Houston’s 5-plus million population alone. Excluding the city from the list of possible retreats is a smart move on the county’s part.