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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan: How would it work to make cyclists pay?

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Donna Grethen / Op Art

The Seattle City Council approved a Bicycle Master Plan this week. The city would need to find about $20 million a year for 20 years to pay for it, editorial columnist Jonathan Martin wrote in an Opinion Northwest blog post Wednesday. How could the city raise the money?

Here are seven ideas submitted by readers. Add your voice to the conversation in the comments section or submit a letter to letters@seattletimes.com.

Pay a registration fee

The state currently registers all motor vehicles, trailers and vessels. Why not bikes?

Where I grew up, we had to pay a registration fee when we purchased a bike. The retailer put a sticker on my bike with a registration number.

So let’s start with requiring a special registration fee (based on value) on all adult-sized bikes, new or used, sold by a licensed retailer in Seattle or King County. The retailer would collect the fee and submit it with the purchase info, including name, address, etc., to the state Department of Transportation.

Current owners, those who purchase from private parties or over the Internet have one year to register their bikes or face being fined.

Dick LaPorte, Seattle

Licensing wouldn’t be practical

Again with “how can we stick it to those bicyclists?” Jonathan Martin said it himself: It’s been tried elsewhere and failed.

So since it’s failed elsewhere, let’s try it here? What would happen: Another level of bureaucracy would be created, which would, no doubt, cost more to set up and maintain than it would ever generate in revenues.

And to whom would we

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0 Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, bicycling, Bob Kulwin

April 18, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Minimum wage: Pay only for what someone’s work is worth

The current press for increasing the minimum wage both nationally and locally is justified by appealing to the need for workers to have “a living wage” [“Count restaurant tips in minimum-wage debate,” Opinion, April 18]. As so often happens in public advocacy, this is looking at the situation exactly backward. The first question when…

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0 Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Marv Brown, Minimum Wage

April 18, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Boeing: The company will get what it pays for by moving engineers

Corrected version Boeing’s Groundhog Day is coming again [“Boeing managers say transfer of engineer jobs damaging talent, morale,” Business/Technology, April 15]. Remember all the grandiose expectations when Boeing production was moved to South Carolina? Low wages, but high quality to continue. Several years later: many delays, poor quality, canceled contracts and Boeing is still struggling…

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0 Comments | More in Boeing | Topics: Boeing, Doreen Suran, engineers

April 17, 2014 at 12:04 PM

McCutcheon v. FEC: Citizens can’t compete with Corporate America

Guest columnist William R. Maurer ends his guest column concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling with the following statement, “ … for proponents of open and unrestrained political debate, the decision is something to celebrate.” [“Supreme Court McCutcheon ruling protects political speech,” Opinion, April 8] The Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision will now allow…

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0 Comments | More in Campaign finance, U.S. Supreme Court | Topics: James J. Farrell, McCutcheon ruling, U.S. Supreme Court

April 17, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Marijuana: Pot industry background checks encourage illicit activity

Two of the biggest arguments for marijuana legalization are keeping it out kids’ hands, and keeping the business out of criminals’ hands. The two are closely related. A liquor store can lose its license if it sells liquor to minors, but a pot dealer has no such disincentive. I see that the state is going to…

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0 Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: background checks, feds, Howard Hance

April 17, 2014 at 6:31 AM

King County Prop. 1: While buses are valued, we can’t afford more taxes and fees

Lurking within the current debate about Proposition 1 for Metro and roads funding is a significant irony [“King County Metro Transit still has work to do; vote no on Prop. 1,” Opinion, April 7]. Backers of Proposition 1 are right that seniors rely on the bus for most transportation around Seattle. While we, my…

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0 Comments | More in Metro | Topics: metro, Michael W. Shurgot, Proposition 1

April 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Minimum wage: If tips are counted as wages, why not tip everyone?

Much to my surprise, I discovered through The Seattle Times that I have been paying tip workers parts of their salaries [“The ‘theoretical’ and ‘practical’ of a Seattle $15 minimum wage law on tipping,” Opinion Northwest, March 28]. I always thought when I tipped a hardworking waiter, waitress, bellhop, barber, that I was giving…

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0 Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: David Rader, low-wage workers, Minimum Wage

April 16, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Gender wage gap: Family leave important for gender parity

I commend The Seattles Times’ editorial board for calling upon the city to pay women equal wages for equal work in the editorial “Gender wage gap persists; city should provide equal pay” [Opinion, April 11]. I was surprised, however, by the recommendation for increasing women’s access to training instead of advocating for the City…

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0 Comments | More in Womens rights | Topics: gender equity, Jane Oliphant, Seattle City Council

April 16, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Boeing: Tax break better spent on education

I read with dismay and deep anger in The Seattle Times that Boeing will pull 1000 engineering jobs out of our state [“Boeing moving 1,000 more engineering jobs to California,” Business/Technology, April 10]. As a retired public-school teacher, this hurts me deeply in two ways. First, my state Legislature agreed to grant Boeing almost 9…

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0 Comments | More in Boeing | Topics: Boeing, education, James W. Hauser

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