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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

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

October 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Sports obsession: Players raise awareness through actions, good or bad

Guest columnist Alex Alben makes some valid points but fails to realize that sports players bring a sense of community [“We have an unhealthy obsession with sports,” Opinion, Sept. 26]. Alben states that we need to “engage in a reality check on our priorities.” I don’t think its sports organizations’ job to teach “priorities.”…

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Alex Alben, Lindsay Abila, Ray Rice

September 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Conversation starter: Responses from readers on what to ask state candidates

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Last week, The Seattle Times editorial board published its own questions for candidates before the November election. Northwest Voices readers were asked to submit their own questions and issues that need addressing by politicians.

Here are selected submissions:

How do you plan to solve the problem of money in politics?

Spending during elections has skyrocketed ever since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision. A few wealthy individuals and corporations use money to amplify their speech, drowning out ordinary Americans. In our democracy, the size of your wallet should not determine the strength of your voice. This issue is important to the vast majority of Americans, both conservative and liberal.

There is a national solution to this problem (a constitutional amendment), but there are numerous measures that can be taken on the state and local level to help solve this problem. For example, cities and counties can have small donor incentive programs for local elections. We should ask our candidates what they would do if elected to help solve the problem of big money in politics, so that in the future, elections are more fair and representative of the people.

Faith Deis, Seattle

What will you do about climate change?

It is the most dire issue facing us today and we are running out of time to act. No political leader — local, state or federal — should be given a pass on this urgent question. And as Paul Krugman makes clear, we need informed candidates who understand not only the science but the economics of climate change.

Our state is already paying the price in human suffering, and financially through the destruction of shellfish due to ocean acidification, wildfires and landslides, loss of snow pack, and more. Whether with a carbon tax, stopping coal and oil trains or funding mass transit, state and local candidates have a job to do.

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Comments | More in Conversation starter, Election | Topics: 2014, Citizens United, climate change

September 20, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Conversation starter: What would you ask state candidates?

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Get ready for the barrage of candidates and campaign information heading toward your doorstep.

Since May, throughout the state, legislative candidates have been doorbelling, speaking at rallies, riding in parades, glad-handing at fairs, meeting with newspaper editorial boards. The Seattle Times editorial board continues to publish its recommendations for voters to consider when they cast their ballots.

But voters themselves can find plenty of opportunity to ask candidates about important topics. The Times editorial board has published its suggestions voters can ask, along with explanations of why they are important.

What would you ask candidates, given the chance? What would you say they need to focus on? Why? Leave your comment in the form below and it might be featured in print and online in the next week.

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Comments | More in Conversation starter, Legislature | Topics: candidates, Conversation Starter, Legislature

July 21, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Airline fees: Just tell me what the bottom-line price is

Nancy Ohanian / Op Art

With regard to guest columnist Lee Moak’s opinion piece [“The hidden fees in an airline ticket,” Opinion, July 16], there is way too much spin and disinformation contained.

For instance: “In 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation made a little known rule change that requires airlines to hide government taxes and fees within the advertised price of a ticket.” Or is it true that what they did was to inform the paying public what the true cost of that flight was going to be? Moak tries to compare buying a ticket to

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Comments | More in aviation | Topics: airlines, Alan Zelt, FAA

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