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Seattle Times letters to the editor

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Nikolaj Lasbo. Nikolaj (you can call him Niko if the j throws you off) assists in editing the editorial pages and online content. He produces the Editorials/Opinion section online and manages the Northwest Voices blog, culling and curating opinions from some of The Times' most engaged and thoughtful readers. He worked a stint at Microsoft helping produce news apps for Windows 8 and prior to that worked for The Seattle Times as a news producer. Nikolaj's alma mater is the University of Washington, he's a fifth-generation Seattleite (but grew up on Lopez Island), and he spends his winters skiing and his summers on the water. Email: nlasbo@seattletimes.com Telephone: 206/464-2326 Follow on Twitter: @nikolajlasbo

February 19, 2015 at 11:54 PM

Northwest Voices has moved

The Seattle Times launched a newly redesigned website on Feb. 19, and with the redesign the Northwest Voices section of the site has moved to a new location. All future letters to the editor and reader discussion will take place at seattletimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/

Bookmark the new link and join the discussion. If you have any feedback or questions about the new site or about the Northwest Voices section, email me at nlasbo@seattletimes.com

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January 19, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Prostitution: A woman’s choice

Yale Law Professor Stephen Carter says “On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce.” Fewer laws and regulation means fewer interactions with the police. Fewer interactions with the police means fewer opportunities for something to go wrong. The Seattle…

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Comments | More in Prostitution | Topics: law, Michelle Darnell, Prostitution

January 9, 2015 at 4:27 PM

Readers’ priorities: What should the Legislature focus on?

Kelly Shea / The Seattle Times

Kelly Shea / The Seattle Times

Editor’s note: Last Sunday, The Times Opinion page asked readers what the Legislature’s priority should be this session. Here are selected responses:

The environment

In laying out its priorities for the Legislature in 2015, The Seattle Times editorial board hit on an agenda that is absolutely important. But it overlooked a crucial item: preserving natural infrastructure.

We need clean water to drink, a resilient Puget Sound, vibrant forests and clean air to breathe. These are foundational to all other issues. A healthy environment underpins human mental and physical health and our region’s livelihoods.

Caring for Washington’s environment is caring for the bedrock of our state. Living in the midst of natural beauty, we sometimes take for granted the incredible natural resources that are the foundation for our state’s economy and quality of life.

Mary Ruckelshaus, Seattle

Fund public education

As the state constitution declares, the state’s first priority is to amply fund public education. The constitution is very

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Comments | More in Politics | Topics: education, environment, Legislature

January 3, 2015 at 10:34 PM

What’s your priority for the state Legislature this session?

The Washington Legislature convenes Jan. 12 for its 2015 legislative session. The Seattle Times editorial board published its priorities to focus lawmakers on the big tasks ahead. The No. 1 priority is education, followed by transportation, medical marijuana excesses and a failing state mental-heatlh system. What are your priorities for the Legislature? Why? Fill…

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Comments | More in Politics | Topics: education, Legislature, medical marijuana

December 31, 2014 at 5:40 PM

The best headlines for 2014 from our readers

Happy New Year’s! Instead of resolutions, we asked readers for some 2014 wishes in the form of headlines they would like to see.

Below are headlines from readers who answered our call — nearly 300 headlines were sent in. Congratulations to Pete Sullivan from Seattle who offered what the editorial staff deemed the best reader headline. He will receive a Seattle Times coffee mug to sip from in 2014. Check out his and other readers’ submissions below.

Our editorial staff also came up with headlines. Perhaps these headlines might provide some inspiration for elected officials and policy leaders for their own New Year’s resolutions.

The winners of the contest are: first place, Jill Wright of Edmonds; Lana Ohara of Bremerton; third place, Glenn Phillips of Seattle. They will receive, respectively, a Seattle Times sweatshirt, water bottle and calendar.

As you ring in the new year, enjoy the wishful thinking:

Seattle police recognized for community outreach program

— Laura Lund, Kirkland

Gary Locke early favorite for Clinton VP choice

— Jennifer Sepez, Seattle

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Comments | Topics: 2015, contests, headlines

December 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Conversation starter: Reader responses on the state of the medical, recreational marijuana markets

(Photo by Steve Ringman / Seattle Times)

Editor’s note: The Times asked readers of last Sunday’s editorial on medical marijuana: “How is marijuana legalization going so far?” and “What would you change?”

How’s it going so far?

The medical system has been treated poorly in legalizing recreational marijuana. Marijuana is an effective medicine for many conditions.

There seems to be a rush to eliminate the medical system entirely. This would be a disservice to the many people who depend on marijuana to treat debilitating conditions.

Paul Lyons, Seattle

It’s doing well. Yes, the medical aspect has to be changed. Make them pay taxes and regulate them just like retail. Too many people hide behind a medical card.

Wena Coffman, Goldendale

Dispensaries always check my ID and medical card, so I don’t think they are letting underage or people without authorization buy.

Ronald Felthoven, Marysville

When Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed large portions of medical-marijuana reform, she harmed the industry and our state, putting us in the medical-marijuana quandary we are in now.

Had our medical pot been regulated, it would have been simple to follow the Colorado model of allowing medical stores to be the first recreational stores.

Sharon Whitson, Kirkland

The state Liquor Control Board has made some harsh and strict rules for recreational growers, while medical growers have none at all. Somehow the playing field has to be leveled between growers, or the board can have my grow license back.

Mary Gress, Vashon

The medical-marijuana suppliers have created a bigger market, and the products cost about one-quarter the cost for only a limited number of strains available from the recreational growers.

Steve Kuehn, Olympia

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Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: marijuana, medical marijuana, recreational marijuana

December 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Reader callout: How has marijuana legalization gone so far?

Photo: Steve Ringman / Seattle Times

The Seattle Times Sunday editorial recounted how easy it was for one writer to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary — without a “green card.” According to the editorial board, this “erodes the cornerstone of Washington’s landmark legalization experiment.”

How do you think the experiment with marijuana is going so far in Washington? Leave your feedback in the

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Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: dispensaries, editorial, marijuana

November 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

A reader’s letter about his work experience at Paseo

Matthew Crane lights a candle and leaves a flower Tuesday in front of the shuttered Paseo restaurant in Fremont (the Ballard shop closed, too), under a sign saying it closed due to “unfortunate circumstances.” (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

In 2007, a chubby 16-year-old version of myself walked timidly into Paseo Fremont with a résumé in hand [“Day after closing, Paseo files for bankruptcy,” Local news, Nov. 13]. With almost no former work experience, I didn’t have high hopes that I would have any sort of a shot at working at my favorite restaurant in the world.

To my astonishment Lucas, the older brother in the Lorenzo family offered me a job on the spot after we bonded over lacrosse. Throughout my time as a new employee, I was met with nothing but encouragement and support from Lucas, his brother Julian and their dad Lorenzo. “Anything you need, come to us,” I was told over and over.

At the end of my first summer working there, I was

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Comments | More in Labor | Topics: food, Lorenzo family, Paseo

October 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Education voices: Readers’ opinions, concerns on expanded pre-K

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Donna Grethen / Op Art

As part of a three-part series on early learning, the Education Lab blog recently asked readers to share their thoughts on the idea of expanded pre-kindergarten and whether a city-sponsored program would meet the needs of their families.

The blog received dozens of thoughtful responses to the call out. Below is a selection of reader answers. Head over to the Education Lab blog for additional reader responses, and an additional question asking whether readers would send a child to such a pre-K program.

Also, The Seattle Times recently published its endorsement on the two competing pre-K ballot measures on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Times supports Proposition 1B over 1A, writing that it’s the one measure that “actually creates, and funds, this promising idea.”

Q: Do you agree preschool should be a universal offering, available to all families regardless of income? Why or why not?

Yes, as long as it is actually universal. I do not believe in the middle class subsidizing the poor while still having to pay full or marginally reduced price for my own children. I have 3-year-old twins, and this is of great interest and importance to me. I will most likely vote against the subsidized pre-K initiative.

 Scott Jeffries, Seattle

No. I think we should spend our taxpayer money on boosting the quality of our elementary through high-school education instead. We need smaller classrooms and more individual help for students who need it  too many are falling through the cracks. We should still keep Head Start for the under-privileged.

 Lisa Stultz, Anacortes

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Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, Kevin Bergsrud, Lisa Stultz

October 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Middle East: Nothing to be gained by continued involvement in conflict

A recent editorial stated the need to debate further military action in the Middle East [“Middle East flareup requires diplomacy, humility,” Opinion, Sept. 18]. I agree. The result of the debate should be the refusal by the U.S. House to support such action. The U.S. cannot win a war in the Middle East because war there…

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Comments | More in Middle East | Topics: Campbell Kintz, iraq, Islamic State

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