December 6, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Bad idea for everyone
Those in Seattle who think raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would turn flipping burgers into a career, raise your hands [“$15 pay push: Seattle’s turn,” page one, Dec. 5].
Those who think that the cost of doing business, including wages paid, has nothing to do with the cost of goods and services, raise your hand. Those with their hands up would undoubtedly vote for the raise in minimum wage. Those who think about the consequences would vote against it.
My first job paid $1 a day; bread was 10 cents a loaf, and gasoline was 13 cents a gallon — 8 gallons for one dollar. Was my first thought to demand a higher wage, or was it to prepare myself for a job that paid more? I chose the latter and that is the choice young people today should also make. Get off the street and prepare yourself for a better job.
December 6, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Why is begging legal and selling is not?
I think the mistletoe debate is very thought-provoking [“Oregon girl gets top row of braces after mistletoe snag hits the news,” NWWednesday, Dec. 4].
It presents an issue of morals versus extremely finite legal issues: a question that is truly hard to answer.
It is clear from a moral perspective that she should be able to be able to receive medical treatment. But should she be able to harmlessly bend the rules? The article would suggest yes by implying that the guard is in the wrong here by denying her the chance for dental care.
December 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM
Immigrants play a vital role in our economy
I really appreciated Jan Vilcek’s guest column on immigration reform [“Reform immigration to fuel innovation,” Opinion, Nov. 30].
Because immigration reform has been in the news for so long, it was great to be reminded of the positive effects that immigrants have, especially for the economy. Not only are many innovative immigrants denied entry to the United States, but many immigrants play a vital role in agricultural industries.
A path to citizenship, as proposed in the bill that is currently before the House, or some other work visa would help to protect the rights of these workers who play such a vital role in our economy.
— Liam Kelly, Seattle
December 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Not a test calendar
King County is set to approve a zoning ordinance that would pave the way for a large-scale marijuana facility in the middle of two heavily populated neighborhoods, Redmond Ridge and Redmond Ridge East [“County is asked to block pot farm,” page one, Dec. 3].
The facility would be within walking distance of our school, child-care centers, and many homes and parks.
I am not here to debate the legal or moral implications of marijuana use. My focus is on responsible zoning. I simply do not think that a heavily populated, residential neighborhood is an appropriate place for such a facility. I am concerned about the potential harm such a facility would cause my neighborhood. I am concerned over increase in crime and the effects on neighborhood health from air pollution.
Our neighborhood is being specifically singled out by name in the proposed zoning ordinance, and we are rightfully upset over that. This facility belongs in industrial areas with other factories. Our neighborhood does not want to be a test case for marijuana zoning. We do not want to become a cautionary tale for irresponsible zoning ordinances.
— Virginia M. Onu, Redmond
Proposed marijuana production facility defies common sense
I am a concerned father of two young children, who has lived in Redmond Ridge for the past seven years.
There is a proposal and fast-track approach to locate at least two marijuana production and processing factories within the highly dense neighborhoods of Redmond Ridge and Redmond Ridge East.
The proposed location is close to an overflowing elementary school, a preschool, county playgrounds, nature trails, wetlands and facilities built primarily for young children and young families.
While the matter is not about marijuana itself, it is about where that substance should be produced.
I would like the Metropolitan King County Council to spare our young children. Please do not single out the Redmond Ridge area for marijuana production. Instead, invest in education and jobs.
— Sai Ramanath, Redmond
December 5, 2013 at 7:36 AM
It’s a slap in the face to Pacific Rim countries with developing economies
Plaudits to Jon Talton for raising questions about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact [“Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact,” having trouble finding this article].
He correctly raises the issues of secrecy and the process of fast tracking the agreement through Congress. The secrecy issue is a special slap in the face to several Pacific Rim countries whose economies are still developing, and whose voices in international trade agreements have frequently been overwhelmed by the influence and clout of large global corporations in the rich countries.
For many who oppose this Trans-Pacific trade pact, the issue is not only economic but also moral. My own religious denomination, recognizing that trade policies have moral implications for millions of people mired in deep poverty in developing countries, passed a resolution at the Episcopal Church General Convention last year titled “advocate for a just economy for international trade.”
December 5, 2013 at 7:00 AM
We need to replicate Finland’s educational system
I’m really sick and tired of people like guest columnist Kimberly Lasher Mitchell who claim to be a reformer of public education [“I’m a proud education reformer,” Opinion, Dec. 2].
The truth is that without so-called reforms her position as co-founder of Inquiry Partners would be meaningless and without profit.
And that is the problem with the current educational reforms — they are motivated by profit. Diane Ravitch, in her new book called “Reign of Error,” exposes this profit motive and the absurdity of the new educational reforms. It should be required reading for everyone associated with education.
December 4, 2013 at 7:34 PM
Focus efforts on reducing national debt instead
Your editorial couldn’t be more timely and overdue after 12 years of futile fighting and vast expenditures on the part of U.S. taxpayers [“Leave Afghanistan," Opinion, Nov. 29].
Your reasons cited for being against another “10 years of U.S. blood and treasure invested in that country” seem to be lost on our military, as well as on a significant number of congressional leaders.
To your valid list of reasons for an immediate pullout from this unsalvageable country, I would like to add two additional concerns: first, Afghanistan’s complete refusal and/or ability to eliminate or drastically reduce their annual opium production, which supplies about 90 percent of the world’s heroin; and second, the hundreds of billions more dollars that will be needed to support their undependable army for another 10 years.
These same funds could be utilized to decrease our skyrocketing national debt of some $17 trillion dollars.
— Norman Dixon, Lacey
December 4, 2013 at 7:01 PM
The homeless have the ability to work, so give them jobs
In Derek Low’s guest column [“Find a site to replace Nickelsville,” Opinion, Dec. 4], he states the well-meaning motivation of caring people drawn to social work with a desire to support those in need.
But he doesn’t mention an underlying and greater need of all adults — the desire for self-esteem through work and self-support. The article fails to mention that homeless people are jobless people. Why do social-service agencies focus primarily on provision of support for homelessness? Why has the City Council spent $500,000 on maintaining an ever-expanding population of homelessness? Why didn’t the City Council consider offering the money to Costco, Safeway, Home Depot and other businesses to help train homeless people so that they can eventually provide for themselves?
Yes, many homeless people are unable to work; social-service professionals are needed. However, every survey taken by people who are homeless that I have read — many with mental illness — say what they want as their first priority is a job. It is time for Seattle to shift its focus and policies from perpetual support of homelessness to greater recognition of skill-building and jobs. Homeless individuals have the ability — and the need — to support themselves.
— Eleanor Owen, Seattle
Pay more attention to Seattle homeless crisis
I agree with guest columnist Derek Low’s opinion that we should pay more attention to the crisis of homelessness in Seattle.
As he writes: “While waiting for permanent housing, the least our great city can do is provide a legal and safe place to pitch a tent.” Before we consider Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ plan to use small drones to deliver his stuff to our online shoppers in 30 minutes, let’s apply our creativity to solving life-or-death issues like homelessness.
Maybe our new socialist councilmember will apply the kick in the pants we apparently need.
— Jerome Chroman, Seattle
December 4, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Federal carbon tax is the solution
Everyday the media is reporting global warming symptoms (caused by CO2 pollution from burning fossil fuels) more and more frequently: drought, fires, floods, ocean acidification, insect pests moving north destroying forests and bringing tropical diseases [“Arctic Ocean leaking methane at alarming rate, researchers say,” Online, Nov. 30].
Perhaps we are complacent in the Northwest. We don’t see the symptoms as so dangerous to us, as if they are manageable. And the cause, the gases, are invisible to us.
But now comes this news from the Arctic. Methane is being released at twice the predicted rate as the permafrost and ice is melting. Methane is the most dangerous of all the greenhouse gases. It’s 30 to 70 times as damaging as CO2. This will profoundly escalate all the problems for our ecosystems.
December 4, 2013 at 6:55 AM
If the Superfund doesn’t clean up toxic waste sites, what’s the point?
If the Superfund doesn’t properly clean up toxic waste sites when they finally get around to the cleanup, then what’s the point? ["Suits claim Love Canal still oozing 35 years later,” News, Nov. 4].
If what the current Love Canal residents believe is true, and the site is retrogressing back to a toxic wasteland, what might happen to the Hanford or Duwamish site here in Washington?
We must make it a priority that our cleanups, the Lower Duwamish and the Hanford, don’t mirror the canal. The sites must be completely clean for healthy human inhabitation.
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