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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 23, 2014 at 7:05 PM

$15 minimum wage would result in reduced server wages, quality of service

Paul Tong / Op Art

I’m a college-educated fine-dining restaurant server in Seattle. I oppose a $15-per-hour wage [“$15 wage — and tips, too?” Page One, April 21].

I feel it’s already too high as it is — evident in the high prices you find on your menu items to cover the cost. Restaurants operating on a 4 percent profit margin flat-out can’t afford a 32 percent increase in labor costs. To recoup this increased wage, my restaurant has said it would need to add a “service charge” that it could then put toward the increased labor costs.

I would work just as hard so


0 Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Minimum Wage, Restaurants, service industry

April 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Bicycle Master Plan: Why not license bikes? We already license boats

Jonathan Martin’s reasoning for bicyclists not paying their way makes no sense [“The problem with taxing bicyclists in Seattle,” Opinion Northwest, April 16]. He claims the administrative costs for taxing and /or licensing bikers is too high and hard to enforce. If this were the case, how can we afford the administrative cost of…


0 Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, boating, James Lowndes

April 23, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Ukraine: Obama is miscalculating the threat from Russia

The Seattle Times editorial reflects the same naivete the Obama administration has in calculating Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tactical and strategic interests in Ukraine [“All eyes on May 25 presidential election in Ukraine,” Opinion, April 21]. I guarantee “all eyes” are not on this election. And short of electing a pro-Russian leader (not very…


0 Comments | More in Ukraine | Topics: President Obama, russia, Ukraine

April 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Why vote to approve King County Prop. 1, despite its flaws

Gabriel Campanario / Seattle Times

Proposition 1 has its faults (for me mostly because of the regressiveness of the sales-tax component), but I am voting for it anyway.

Some fine day the state Legislature will pass a statewide transportation package, but until then we need this money to maintain the current level of service.

Without it, former bus-riders who


0 Comments | More in Metro | Topics: Judy DeLaittre, King County, metro

April 22, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Obama’s race: Racial bias not common among conservative groups

Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. asked the rhetorical question, “What would it look like if race played no role in the treatment of president Obama?” ["Race and Obama news coverage," Opinion, April 20]. It’s a legitimate question I’d like to try to answer: As a politically active conservative (not synonymous with Republican), I’ve talked to…


0 Comments | More in Race | Topics: conservatives, John Cartmell, Leonard Pitts Jr.

April 22, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Minimum wage: What would happen to those currently making $15 an hour?

Regarding Amy Martinez’s article “$15 wage — and tips, too?” (Page One, April 21), the elephant in the room needs to be addressed: What is to happen to those of us who have worked for years to finally earn $15 to $16 an hour? I started in my trade at the minimum wage of $3.23, back…


0 Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15, Kim Seigel, Minimum Wage

April 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Salmon recovery has ripple effects for state’s economy, other ecosystems

A Chinook salmon passes through the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES).

Those who think that the U.S. Congress spends too much money saving salmon or should spread it to other animals don’t understand salmon recovery in Washington state [“U.S. is overspending to save salmon,” Opinion, March 18].

Salmon have been decimated across 75 percent of the state. But today, we spend less than one-third of what is needed for recovery. Funding for endangered animals nationwide is


0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: Congress, David Troutt, Kaleen Cottingham

April 21, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Enforce immigration laws already on the books

I hope the article in The Seattle Times “Death at the border defies a dream” [Nation & World, April 20] was not written to evoke sympathy from the public. It caused me more cynicism and disdain for the politicians in this country who refuse to enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books.  These…


0 Comments | More in Immigration | Topics: health care, illegal immigration, immigration

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

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


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

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