All the news that we see on the Russian takeover in Ukraine shows us to be totally stupid, or total hypocrites [“U.S. faces tough choices on Putin, Ukraine,” Page One, March 5. Our leaders say that it is an international crime for Russia not to respect the borders and sovereignty of Ukraine. Do they…More
The infant deaths mentioned in Jonathan Martin’s column demonstrate the most tragic of health and safety issues that occur in Washington state child-care facilities [“Make child care transparent for parents,” Opinion, March 4]. HB 2165 is an essential step toward understanding the causes and remedies for such incidents. However, what are we doing to…More
Thank you for your editorial supporting legislative action on funding for housing for the homeless [“Homeless are victims of legislative malpractice,” Opinion, March 5]. I work at Catholic Housing Services, which provides affordable housing throughout Western Washington with almost 2,000 units. Many of those units provide permanent shelter to homeless individuals and families. Without…More
Seattle Public Schools’ Superintendent José Banda made a poorly thought-out decision to evict (on very short notice) an excellent nonprofit program for infants and toddlers with disabilities, The Northwest Center Kids program [“Northwest Center Kids deserves more time to find new home,” Opinion, Feb. 13]. He did this in order to house another very…More
It seems that one can never predict when Republican hypocrisy will hit a new low [“Senate blocks bill to expand benefits for veterans,” Nation & World, Feb. 27]. But, by gosh, they amazed even me by killing the bill that would have enhanced benefits to 22 million veterans, including those whose service to…More
The Internet scarcely even existed 25 years ago, yet we all now depend on it [“FCC won’t appeal ruling on Internet neutrality,” Business / Technolgoy, Feb. 19]. What an amazing change in a single generation. And now, while our attention is being distracted by foolishness in Washington, D.C., the wide-open information on the Internet…More
Thanh Tan recently asked for readers’ thoughts in the Opinion Northwest blog on Congress not extending federal unemployment insurance. The Feb. 21 blog post followed this editorial calling on lawmakers to help struggling but active job-seekers.
Within days, the post received more than 300 responses from across the country — the map at the top of this post shows locations of responses we received. Many people explained how the temporary assistance had helped them to keep their families housed and their Internet connections available so that they could post their resumes online. A few disagreed with the extension, saying it discourages the long-term unemployed from trying harder to find work. Older workers offered heart-wrenching stories about the difficulty of getting an interview and holding on to a position in today’s economy. During the process of verifying a few different writers’ identities, a few phone numbers were disconnected.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Senate is plotting again to pass an extension measure with the help of some Republicans. The Congressional Budget Office outlined the benefits of a short-term fix in this Dec. 3 analysis. “Recipients of the additional benefits would increase their spending on consumer goods and services. That increase in aggregate demand would encourage businesses to boost production and hire more workers than they otherwise would, particularly given the expected slack in the capital and labor markets,” the report concludes.
Here in Washington state, the Employment Security Department reports about 28,000 people exhausted their federal benefits on Dec. 28 after Congress failed to act. Since then, the agency estimates thousands more drop out of the system every week.
What happens to them now?
Scroll down to read some of their stories. If you have a story to share, please add it to this form or at the bottom of this post.
Support a federal extension of unemployment insurance:
I support the extension due to the fact that I lost my job of 29 years in June. My benefits ran out in January. No one will hire me due to my age. I’m 64 years old. Having 26 weeks is not long enough to find a job at my age. It is devastating to our budget with first the loss of a long-term job, and then no unemployment to help with expenses. My job loss was due to my position being eliminated. I would have loved to continue working until I was old enough to retire, but my employer had other plans. We have now had to put our home up for sale, we sold our second vehicle and have cut out anything possible to cut back. I’ve gone from a job that paid over $3,000 a month, to unemployment at less than half of that amount, and now down to zero for my income — it is hard to live on just my husband’s Social Security. I need to work, and have worked since I was a teenager. I need the extra weeks of unemployment to carry me until I can find a job. It is not right to not extend the benefits to those of us who are struggling to find a job. Something needs to be done to help all us who are out of work.
— Sharon Washburn, Yakima
In an Education Lab blog post, the writer indicated that researchers were not sure why good English teaching led to higher math scores other than that students must read and write to do math [“To raise math scores, hire a good English teacher,” Feb. 26]. I’d like to demonstrate further just why reading…More
Uberx, Lyft, and Sidecar are certainly not using Seattle as a “chance to test their new technologies” [”City oversight won’t kill ride-service innovators,” Business / Technology, March 3]. They are already doing business in dozens of cities in the U.S. and around the world. Brier Dudley portrays the lobbying by rideshare companies as a…More
In response to The Seattle Times’ editorial “Time for Olympia to do the hard work on the state budget” [Opinion, March 2], once again we have the old problem of not enough income for the current spending level desired in Washington state. Again we hear the call for “a frank reassessment of the state…More