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September 19, 2013 at 7:01 AM
Use cloth diapers
Nuts! For little more than the cost of a box of the disposable ones, a family could buy a dozen cloth diapers that would last through the child’s entire toilet training period. [“Lack of diapers creates problems for families,” News, Sept. 16.]
We raised seven happy, healthy kids in Seattle without ever using a disposable diaper. The diaper pail was like one of the family; it went everywhere with us — to friends’ houses for dinner, out to the ocean on vacation, wherever.
Now, 40 years after our youngest stopped needing them, we’re still using the last diapers as window-washing cloths.
Moreover, is there any other household item that has the horrendous impact on our solid waste landfills that millions of those disposable things do?
David Harris, Wenatchee
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 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM
The worst thing we can do
As much as many fast-food workers want to make a living wage from a job traditionally held by high-school and college students, the worst thing we can do is to allow these folks to set this job as their career. [“Fast-food workers take to the streets for $15 an hour pay,” NW Friday, Aug. 30.]
Will they go to community college with some of the increased wages? Will they try to improve their employment? Some will, but many won’t, languishing in a job not meant to be a living wage position.
Then, the young and students will have fewer jobs to experience the working world, and lack the personal skills that retail positions definitely teach.
Do these folks understand what other jobs pay this wage scale? Most are a lot more skilled than them, many with college degrees. Yes, some parts of the country should up the minimum wage, but our state leads the nation.
Here is another thought: these folks should try joining a union, paying their monthly dues, and hoping the strong-arms can further their cause. Aside from the physically or mentally challenged employees, I have to say to the rest, step up and improve your situation, it’s not my responsibility.
Oh yes, and wait till the layoffs start, and they would, bet on it!
Richard Eirich, Kirkland
August 31, 2013 at 7:02 AM
Time for realistic solutions
Close the residential habilitation centers (RHCs) is not as simple as you think. [“Editorial: Reset inequity for state’s most vulnerable,” Opinion, Aug. 25.]
The community needs to be improved and expanded. However, this should not be done at the risk of individuals leaving the RHCs or those awaiting services.
Too often, the quest to rebalance the service system — to shift institutional funding to community-based supports — neglects person-centered supports.
Has the Department of Social and Health Services implemented changes to correct the background-check irregularities discovered in the latest audit?
Do the cost comparisons parallel individuals with similar disabilities or only the number of individuals with high needs? Similarly high needs will cost the same, regardless of setting.
Availability of medical professional services matters. How many are trained to work with the developmentally disabled? Are they willing to accept Medicaid payments?
We need realistic solutions, not oversimplified notions that only serve to limit the range of choices, including institutional care, creative family- and community-based projects that provide specialized services and residential options to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
Terri Anderson, Woodinville
August 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM
In the article about the national debt, David Walker mentions solving the problem doing something about health-care costs, changing the tax system and Social Security. [“Former top federal auditor sounds alarm on debt,” Business, Aug. 26.]
The solutions are there right in front of us, but since most believe that growth, not sustainability, will save us, no long-term solutions will evolve. We are just kicking the can down the road.
Most families try to live within their means, but too many are forced to live on the credit card for too long.
This nation needs to pay off the credit card every month, and help every family to do the same. That means we need increased revenues.
Health-care costs can be brought down with Medicare for all being instituted over 10 years, and allowing bulk purchasing of drugs.
Social Security can be saved by eliminating the cap on employee contributions.
Lastly, close corporate and individual tax loopholes, and change the mortgage deduction so it relates to size of the primary residence.
Ruth Knagenhjelm, Normandy Park
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