The raging debates in Seattle and SeaTac on raising the minimum wage highlight the downsides of current policy — workers coming in to take low-skilled jobs while pushing out those who need them the most; the failure to include the airport in the SeaTac wage hike — but also raise the question of where we…More
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As noted in The Seattle Times blog post “Seattle runner-up for most-literate city title — again” [FYI Guy, Feb. 7], our city is ranked second on the list of the most literate cities in the country. This is the fourth year in a row Seattle came in second, after ranking first in 2009….More
I see that the city gave the Downtown Seattle Association a $150,000 grant, part of which went to developing a plan to improve the Pike-Pine corridor [“Pike-Pine corridor focus of design ideas to spur renaissance,” Local News, Feb. 12]. Apparently the association wants to have a “world-class destination corridor,” similar to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
Here we go again, with our world-class city obsession. With this foot in the door, I wonder how much more money they’ll get from city coffers to carry out this vision, while our neighborhoods wallow in second-class status. For example, where I live, there are hardly any sidewalks, protected bike lanes, or curbs and drains.More
What wonderful news! [“Snoqualmie Tribe donating $150,000 to Daybreak Star Center,” Local News, Feb. 4] I visited the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Seattle’s Discovery Park some years ago and was disappointed to see it struggling then. As a center for Native American art and culture, Daybreak Star has been doing its best…More
In November, voters in SeaTac approved a $15 minimum wage for airport-related work and now activists are taking that fight to Seattle. The issue is gaining national traction as well, with Obama pushing for a federal minimum wage of $10.10 in his State of the Union speech last night. Seattle Times readers debate the merits and downsides of raising the minimum wage to $15 in Seattle:
My small business would also be adversely affected
Thank you Judith Gille for stating so eloquently an important point that is being missed in the $15 an hour minimum wage discussion: the unintended consequences to small businesses like hers and mine, local businesses that make Seattle a special place to live [“A neighborhood business can’t support a $15 minimum wage,” Opinion, Jan. 27].
I have written to the mayor and the City Council expressing my concerns that a sudden and dramatic increase in what is already the biggest cost for most small businesses could be disabling. Large corporations with Seattle storefronts already enjoy many advantages due to their tremendous buying power and greater access to capital. Those advantages would allow them to absorb more easily this kind of dramatic change. It is small businesses that would be the most affected.
I don’t think you will find a small Seattle employer who does not support living wages because so many of us work long hours for very low pay, and so many of us have missed paychecks so that our employees and our businesses could keep moving forward. The $15 an hour minimum wage movement is grounded in good intentions, but the reality of the impact this kind of sudden change would have on small business has not been thoroughly considered.
Judy Neldam, owner of Grateful Bread
Small businesses have nothing to fear
I don’t think small businesses would have to worry about a shortage of good employees if the minimum wage were raised to $15.
Look at the economy: Our city’s unemployment rate is still above 5 percent, and even college graduates (such as guest columnist Sandi Halimuddin) are struggling to find full-time work.More
It is not a happy new year for more than a million people who start 2014 with the loss of their unemployment benefits [“Long-term jobless voice fears as unemployment checks end,” NWFriday, Jan. 3]. The program was created to help millions of U.S. citizens who lost their jobs in a recession. In most…More
I spent 40 years in the maritime industry. I worked in San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and Seattle for a steamship company. I spent eight years working for a stevedoring company in Seattle. And I worked for 20 years as a maritime consultant and expert witness. I also served as chairman of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber…More
Regarding Seattle’s coming minimum wage, the haggling and foot dragging have begun [“Mayor-elect seeks wage-issue consensus,” NWFriday, Dec. 20). The issue should be dealt with in two phases:
Be tolerant of homeless people and intolerant of homelessness
Danny Westneat has it right in the title of his column, “Homeless camps no place for kids” [Opinion, Dec. 15].
In a number of places in our country the long misery of homelessness is inflicted on victims who have no choice. Whether bad parental decisions or bad public policy, children should be spared the human tragedy and squalid conditions imposed by others.
Referrals by any source — a government agency or a homeless shelter — to a campsite is a failure of basic human compassion. Better choices are possible, especially in a city steeped in hospitality and welcome.
The good news is that there are communities making the right choice. As Westneat suggests, “Maybe we could aim instead that no child will be homeless … living in an unheated wooden shack in a camp …”
She was living in a motel with criminal activity and a history of drug sales
I read the very small article in The Seattle Times about the woman who was found dead Wednesday [“Police investigate death of woman in North Seattle motel,” Online, Dec. 5].
My neighbors, friends and I thought it was particularly interesting that she was living there as “part of a contract she had with a substance-abuse rehabilitation clinic.” If that’s true, the clinic folks should have their heads examined, and maybe their license revoked.