For students, most public employees and some in the private sector, this is the start of a three-day weekend.
The ski slopes beckon; there are some great movies in the theater and there may even be a football game of note on TV.
But what, if anything, will you do to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the federal holiday on Monday? We hope you'll at least think about making it a day of service.
Our president, our governor and many others are urging people to look for ways to serve.
Don't say you cannot find anything to do. There are lots of opportunities. A state website, www.CaliforniaVolunteers.org, offers some links. Look at Page 2 of Sunday's LifeStyles section of The Bee for Lend A Hand, a list of one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities. It's also available on this website.
King was a rousing orator, and he's often quoted. We think this statement applies: "Life's persistent and most urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' "
An example of service
Speaking of doing for others, we hope you saw Monday's Local News story about those high-energy volunteers at Turlock's Off Center Thrift & Gift, whose efforts over six years have raised $400,000 for 70 causes in the greater Stanislaus County area.
The beneficiaries range from the Turlock Family Network to the Patterson Teen Center, Newman Toys 4 Tots to Hilmar Helping Hands and the Westley Fire Department to Denair Gaslight Theatre.
If you want to commend these volunteers, or do a little shopping, the store is at 410 E. Olive Ave. It is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (209) 634-3344.
Slower growth is welcome
How many people will live in Stanislaus County in 2040? Of course no one knows for sure, but regional planners have put together a new forecast that suggests the county and its cities won't be growing anywhere near as fast as predicted just a couple of years ago. The new numbers: Stanislaus County will have about 722,000 people in 2035 6 percent fewer than the earlier prediction. Bee reporter Garth Stapley wrote about the revised estimates in Tuesday's Bee. You can find the story at http://is.gd/H78Buw.
We agree with and like the slower growth rate. What we don't like is the prospect that job growth will be 12 percent below the previous forecast. As we've said many times before, our persistently high unemployment rate is the direct result of our persistently low education level. We need more young people to graduate from high school, and we need more college graduates to stay in or come back to our community.
Hope for Hetch Hetchy
The people who want to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley remain committed, in spite of the fact that San Francisco voters in November soundly rejected a measure that might have led to the removal of 89-year-old O'Shaughnessy Dam, which creates the reservoir.
A new book is expected out in August that will promote that idea.
The latest catalog from Heyday, a Bay Area publisher, carries a brief description of the book, "Hetch Hetchy: Undoing a Great American Mistake," by Kenneth Brower.