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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 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
August 29, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Column needs more data
Bruce Ramsey recently wrote about the economic consequences of raising the minimum wage. ["Column: What are the costs of raising the minimum wage?", Opinion, Aug. 28.]
Who does he talk to about the consequences of raising the minimum wage? Business managers. They are, of course, opposed — it looks like a cost to each of their individual businesses.
Economists call that the fallacy of composition. What is bad for one is not necessarily bad for everyone. Does he talk to any workers at those establishments? If he did, he didn’t report the conversation.
Ramsey might want to look at some more studies. He might want to look at a survey of the economic literature by John A. Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, titled “Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment,” published in February 2013.
Or he might want to look at the results of an academic research study into wages and employment done by Dube, Lester and Reich, published in November 2010, titled “Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties.”
Ramsey concludes that an increase in the minimum wage “appeals to people and would help some of them, but it would have consequences. Measurable consequences.”
In other words, a numerate, quantifiable negative outcome. OK, let’s see the numbers.
Bob Ackerman, Kirkland
August 28, 2013 at 6:38 PM
The letter to the editor from Ian King is silly. [“Northwest Voices: Cutlery ban?” Opinion, Aug. 26.]
Cutlery is only dangerous at very close range, while guns can be used from a distance. Drive-by shootings and bank robberies use guns. I have not heard of a drive-by cutlery robbery.
King does not seem to appreciate the serious situation that Mayor Mike McGinn is addressing.
Michael Clarke, Redmond
August 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Perspective over time
I would like to provide some perspective in the discussion regarding the minimum-wage issue. [“SeaTac’s $15 wage initiative draws big money, attention,” NW Friday, Aug. 23.]
In 1966, I was released from military service and started my career as an architect in training, in Norfolk, Va. I was paid $3 per hour. I had a wife, two kids, two cars, life insurance, money in the bank and vacation time. At that time, the federal minimum wage was $1.25 per hour.
As we all know, the cost of living has increased nearly tenfold in the intervening 47 years. However, if we take ten times as a mean increase, that would put the $3 salary at $30 per hour, and the corresponding minimum wage at $12.50.
The current professional salary is close to this increase; the minimum wage is not. The $15 hourly wage being requested is reasonable.
Employers say this will ruin their business. That is highly unlikely, since employees would then have the money to purchase their employers’ products.
John Wade, Bainbridge Island
August 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM
The power of the purse
I congratulate Mayor Mike McGinn for the idea of gun-free business in Seattle. [“Business ‘gun free’ program launches,” page one, Aug. 19.]
I personally will limit my shopping to those businesses to the greatest degree possible.
Fortunately, most of us know the difference between voluntary compliance and a ban on guns. The power of the purse will be a determining factor.
If I am out hunting or target practicing, a gun is appropriate, but just to show how tough I am by carrying one around so I can lay it out on the table or in my waistband is inviting trouble.
Vicki Decker, Bothell
August 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Silly and self-serving
In these very pages, I read with horror the news accounts of people being stabbed, in some instances fatally. Oh, what can we do, what can we do? [“Business ‘gun free’ program launches,” page one, Aug. 19.]
I call upon all restaurants, pubs and other establishments serving non-finger-food to join a voluntary ban of all cutlery. Knives are of course obvious weapons, but merely removing edged implements is not enough. Forks can be pretty nasty, and it is not uncommon to have two or more forks at each place setting. I leave it to your imagination just how brutal one can be with a spoon, especially the dauntingly large soup spoon. Call the new program, “Fingers-Only Zone.”
Does this sound silly? No sillier than the mayor’s politically self-serving bombast about a voluntary gun ban.
I do not find it surprising that he did not let the City Council in on the joke, as hopefully at least one member would have tried to stop him from humiliating our city yet again.
Do we really have to wait until November for a new Mayor?
Ian King, Seattle
August 21, 2013 at 7:26 AM
Mayor should be out
Mayor Mike McGinn wants to make Seattle a gun-free zone. [“Business ‘gun free’ program launches,” page one, Aug. 19.]
Instead, Seattle should be a McGinn-free zone.
Mike Smyth, Bellevue
More unintended consequences from Mayor Mike McGinn.
“Gun-free zones” are intended to prevent crime. Instead, they encourage crime by disarming law-abiding citizens. They do nothing to stop criminals who, by definition, don’t care about the law.
Criminals are happy to know there won’t be any armed citizens to stand in their way.
Similarly, when Mayor McGinn caused gridlock all around the city by replacing car lanes with bike lanes, he probably exacerbated climate change by causing drivers to sit in traffic, emitting carbon dioxide.
It’s hard to imagine that enough commuters got out of their cars and onto their bicycles to offset the gridlock’s effect on emissions.
The man needs to do some critical thinking before implementing any more feel-good, counterproductive “solutions.”
Maggie Willson, Seattle
Where will it stop?
Now that Mayor Mike McGinn is providing stickers for business owners establishing gun-free business locations, will he be willing provide us with lawn signs saying that there are no guns in the residence?
Bob Burnside, Edmonds
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 7, 2013 at 5:56 AM
Bad for the economy
Let’s dispense with the Department of Ecology’s review and save the state several million dollars. [“State plans sweeping review of coal port,” page one, Aug. 1.]
There’s no way this coal project will ever get approved by the state of Washington. But let’s at least acknowledge a few things in the process.
One, China is still going to get its coal, now from Canada.
Two, the Canadians get the jobs and the taxes associated with the coal operations.
Given the recent Boeing decision to move work to California, it’s increasingly obvious that the business environment in Washington is in serious trouble.
At least we can count on the $15-per-hour fast-food jobs. Good thing, because that’s all the jobs that are going to be left here.
Tracy Neighbors, Sammamish
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