September 26, 2013 at 6:24 AM
Questions for letter writer
I have some questions for unhappy property owner Stuart Weibel. [“Northwest Voices: New city budget,” Opinion, Sept. 25.]
Does he know the assessments come from the King County assessor’s office and not the mayor’s office and feature an appeal process?
Did he read the latest Case-Shiller Index article? [“Home prices up again in Seattle,” Business, Sept. 25.]
Is his Queen Anne condominium assessed for more than he paid 14 months ago?
Don DeWeese, Seattle
September 25, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Take a stand
Howard Schultz needs to take a stand one way or the other. [“Starbucks’ gun policy: Please don’t bring them,” page one, Sept. 19.]
You can’t please everyone. Schultz needs to decide: Are guns in or out at his stores?
Starbucks is a gathering place for many families and friends, many with children. Would he rather let a child be scared in his store by the sight of guns? Is he worried he might take too much heat from those who wants guns?
Angie Clevenger, Seattle
September 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM
It makes sense
The process of plant-genetic engineering is different from traditional plant-hybrid breeding to obtain a desired trait. Genetic engineering forcefully introduces foreign-gene fragments into plant cells to create a new trait.
One pro for genetic-engineering techniques is that the trait can be obtained in weeks or months, unlike the years required for conventional breeding. A con is that hidden changes may occur in the plant cells due to the excess foreign-gene fragments. Some people exhibit allergic reactions to foods containing genetically engineered crop products.
Foods already carry a nutritional label with ingredients such as trans-fats, artificial dyes and sweeteners, preservatives and warnings for other allergens. Labeling genetically engineered foods is a logical approach to alleviate the food-associated problems in sensitive people.
Genetically engineered food labeling is required in 64 countries. Many U.S. food manufacturers already provide genetically engineered food labeling for export to those countries. The system of labeling is in place now.
If Initiative 522 passes, it may actually be beneficial for manufacturers because they can have common labeling and streamline their products’ packaging
Toyoko Tsukuda, Richland
September 16, 2013 at 6:58 AM
Use a Roth IRA as both an emergency fund and retirement savings? [“Roth IRA can be a backup emergency fund,” Business, Sept. 8.]
That is unwise. Folks who take that advice are likely to liquidate investments when the market is down to fix the car.
That will lead to disappointment. Disappointment will lead to an abandoned retirement plan. Sure, you could leave enough of the Roth IRA in cash to cover emergencies, but that is no solution.
In the long run, everyone needs a separate emergency fund in addition to a retirement plan that is invested for long-term growth.
Brian Wright, Seattle
September 11, 2013 at 6:26 AM
Professional woman can relate
I was heartened to read in Dianne Chong’s opinion piece that she can “appreciate the relevance” of outward appearance for professional women. [“Guest column: The most common question from young women engineers? What to wear,” Opinion, Sept. 8.]
The way “fitting in” and “belonging” are presented by young women can easily be dismissed. However, any question is an entry into a deeper discussion.
We often have the opportunity to “accompany” young people around us. It is up to us to keep the door open when a question such as what to wear is posed.
One of the gifts my father gave me was to ask me consistently, “Do you own the company yet?” By asking this simple question through my 20s, 30s and 40s, he helped me to visualize what I could be.
Now, as a 50-year-old leader, my visibility and outreach to women is taking several forms. I sit on committees in local community colleges; I speak at job fairs with state agencies and community colleges; I sit on my local soroptimist international board, where we support the education of local women and girls.
I am staying open, saying “yes” and “leaning in.” And I am still looking for that accompaniment from those that have gone before me.
Leslie Kohlbry Smith, La Conner, Skagit County
September 9, 2013 at 6:53 AM
Support local businesses
Americans are more frustrated than ever with inaction in Congress during these uncertain economic times.
But I’d like to give credit to Rep. Adam Smith and thank him for supporting the bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act that is being discussed in Congress. This overdue legislation is aimed at protecting local jobs and restoring rights back to states like ours.
The congressman recently visited the Best Buy store I manage in Tukwila. We have more than 100 local employees, and I believe Smith is a strong supporter of local jobs.
Because of an out-of-date tax loophole, many online retailers based outside of Washington are given an unfair competitive advantage by the government over companies including Best Buy and Amazon, by not having to collect state sales taxes.
We don’t want any special breaks from the government, just a fair shake. The Marketplace Fairness Act closes that loophole and ensures that every business plays by the same rules.
I appreciate the congressman’s support of hundreds of local businesses and their employees who just want a shot at competing in a truly free market.
Bodhi Hagar, general manager of Best Buy store, Tukwila
September 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Not the most efficient way
Your gee-whiz story about the efficient Mazda plant, leaves the reader with plenty of “so what?” questions. [“Super-efficient plant gives boost to Mazda,” Business, Aug. 28.]
Does the “stunning rate” of one car every 54 seconds on the assembly line produce better quality and fewer line stoppages? Going at a pell-mell pace usually has opposite effects.
Lower costs? The hardware and engineering costs add up fast when trying to shoehorn many models into a single superfast line.
Why is Mazda now going to transfer this costly complex technology to its new plant in Mexico? Wouldn’t it be better to dedicate each of its plants to a limited set of models, thereby greatly simplifying nearly every aspect of planning and production?
Richard Schonberger, Bellevue
August 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM
Hedging his bets
Why the surprise and disappointment with Chris Hansen’s anonymous contribution to a petition campaign to put Sacramento’s new arena to a vote? [“Hansen fans, foes differ over misstep,” page one, Aug. 18.]
After all, he is a hedge-fund manager. He was just hedging his bets.
David Gacek, Seattle
I am writing about Jerry Brewer’s column this Sunday. [“Sadly, Hansen’s tactics not out of the norm,” Sports, Aug. 18.]
Since when do we exonerate Chris Hansen’s reprehensible behavior simply on the basis that everybody does it?
The last I heard, two wrongs still don’t make a right.
Peggy Scales, Seattle
August 20, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Superb example for Seattle businesses
In my July 14 op-ed piece in The Seattle Times, “Building a Bicycle Renaissance in Seattle,” I specifically called on Seattle’s business community to support improvements in cycling conditions as evidence of their commitment to environmental sustainability, public health and the economic future of Seattle.
Thus, I was pleased to read on the front page of The Times that Amazon is investing in both protected bike lanes (cycle tracks) and improved bike parking. [“Amazon goal: safer, easier cycling,” page one, Aug. 16.]
Amazon has given a superb example for other Seattle firms, both large and small, to follow. It is now time for the rest of Seattle’s business community to step up to the plate and show they really care about the future of Seattle and the environment.
This is especially true for Seattle’s corporate giants, but even smaller firms can play an important role by providing good bike parking for their employees and customers. Heath-care firms have a special responsibility to promote active travel modes like bicycling, which promote public health while reducing health costs.
I hereby challenge the responsible business community of Seattle to follow Amazon’s example of investing in bicycling for daily travel. Although I live far away from Seattle, in the New York City metro area, I plan on increasing my purchases of Amazon products as a thank-you for their support of bicycling.
John Pucher, professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
August 2, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Utilities need to move with the times
My advice for power companies worried about solar power: get over it, get a new business model, or get out. [“Solar customers costing us, utilities say,” Business, July 31.]
Buggy manufacturers had a similar response when automobiles first hit the scene. It is time to join the 21st century.
New energy technologies are not just novel, they are necessary for the survival of the planet and her inhabitants.
Bob Barnes, Seattle
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