Follow us:

Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Author archives

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: Telephone: 206/464-2326 Follow on Twitter: @nikolajlasbo

July 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Seattle Times editorial board recommendations for 2014 primary

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Corrected version

Voters this week are receiving their ballots in the mail for the Aug. 5 primary.

This summer, Seattle Times editorial board members are interviewing candidates in select races for state and federal office, and in pro and con campaigns in statewide and local initiatives. We have published most of our recommendations for the primary in races where more than two candidates appear on the ballot. We will continue interviews for the remaining races that will also be settled by the November ballot.

If you have questions about King County Elections, call 206-296-VOTE or go to

If you have questions about Snohomish County Elections, call 425-388-3444 or go to the Snohomish County Election division website.

For questions about Washington state elections, go to the Secretary of State election website.

Here are our recommendations for selected races in King and Snohomish counties and for ballot measures. And read Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley explain how these election endorsements are made.


Comments | Topics: Aug. 5, election, king county

April 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Reader submissions on the Bicycle Master Plan: How would it work to make cyclists pay?

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Donna Grethen / Op Art

The Seattle City Council approved a Bicycle Master Plan this week. The city would need to find about $20 million a year for 20 years to pay for it, editorial columnist Jonathan Martin wrote in an Opinion Northwest blog post Wednesday. How could the city raise the money?

Here are seven ideas submitted by readers, posted in the Northwest Voices blog. Add your voice to the conversation in the comments section or submit a letter to

Pay a registration fee

The state currently registers all motor vehicles, trailers and vessels. Why not bikes?

Where I grew up, we had to pay a registration fee when we purchased a bike. The retailer put a sticker on my bike with a registration number.

So let’s start with requiring a special registration fee (based on value) on all adult-sized bikes, new or used, sold by a licensed retailer in Seattle or King County. The retailer would collect the fee and submit it with the purchase info, including name, address, etc., to the state Department of Transportation.

Current owners, those who purchase from private parties or over the Internet have one year to register their bikes or face being fined.

Dick LaPorte, Seattle

Licensing wouldn’t be practical

Again with “how can we stick it to those bicyclists?” Jonathan Martin said it himself: It’s been tried elsewhere and failed.

So since it’s failed elsewhere, let’s try it here? What would happen: Another level of bureaucracy would be created, which would, no doubt, cost more to set up and maintain than it would ever generate in revenues.

And to whom would we


Comments | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, Bicycling, Jonathan Martin

December 31, 2013 at 2:59 PM

The best headlines for 2014 from our readers

A new year’s fresh start inspires some hopefulness about the prospects for the Puget Sound region in 2014. Instead of resolutions, we asked readers for some 2014 wishes in the form of headlines they would like to see.

Below are headlines from readers who answered our call — nearly 300 headlines were sent in. Congratulations to Pete Sullivan from Seattle who offered what the editorial staff deemed the best reader headline. He will receive a Seattle Times coffee mug to sip from in 2014. Check out his and other readers’ submissions below.

Our editorial staff also came up with headlines. Perhaps these headlines might provide some inspiration for elected officials and policy leaders for their own New Year’s resolutions.

Boeing to build 777X in Wash. state

— John Mar, Sammamish

Mariners win AL West

— Richard E. Rian, Port Angeles


Comments | Topics: new year, reader headlines

December 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Retro cartoon: Building a winning baseball team in Santa’s workshop

Digging through the archives for a Christmas editorial cartoon, we found this undated single frame from Seattle Times cartoonist Sam Groff, who worked at the newspaper in the 1940s. It certainly has the look of a “Dick Tracy,” “Dagwood or “Blondie” strip. Despite being drawn in a different era — check out the dated…


Comments | More in Cartoons | Topics: cartoon, christmas, Mariners

December 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM

What headlines would you like to see in 2014?

The new year is almost here. What will 2014 hold for the Puget Sound region?  Will the Seahawks finally win the Super Bowl? Will world peace prevail? Will Congress do its job?  Or will the Highway 99 tunneling machine Bertha discover Godzilla under Seattle? What headlines would you like to see in 2014? On New Year’s Day, The Seattle Times Opinion…


Comments | Topics: 2014, headlines, New Year's

December 6, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Reader responses: Seattle vs. San Francisco

We’ve gotten quite a few responses to our post this morning about which city is better, Seattle or San Francisco. We trumpeted our beautiful summers and our liberal social policies. The San Francisco Chronicle retorted, calling Microsoft a “lumbering” enterprise and poked fun at’s drone idea.

Our readers are having their say as well, with 49 (coincidence) in support of S.F. and 34 in favor of Seattle. That’d better not be the final score of the game. Keep the responses coming. Here’s the best of what has been submitted so far (note, load times may vary):


Comments | Topics: 49ers, san francisco, seahawks

December 6, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Seattle vs. San Francisco showdown: Which is the better city?

(Screenshot from Google)

(Screenshot from Google)

Top: Space Needle and downtown Seattle seen from Kerry Park at sunset in Seattle on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. (Aaron Jaffe/The Seattle Times)

Top: Space Needle and downtown Seattle seen from Kerry Park. (Aaron Jaffe/The Seattle Times) Bottom: The Golden Gate Bridge (Robert Durell/Los Angeles Times)

Seattle has for too long been labeled a “smaller San Francisco.” We see the similarities. Like San Francisco, Seattle is made up of neighborhoods on hills. Both cities are shrouded in grey. The politics of both are proudly left.

But Seattle is not a lesser San Francisco. It’s a better San Francisco.

A San Francisco editorial writer seems to think differently in a post that went up this morning. As if. We’ll still continue to proclaim our superiority this week as the Seahawks prepare to take on the 49ers. Seattle trounced San Francisco earlier this season at CenturyLink Field, when the fans broke the sound record. Two S.F. fans called for the NFL to punish a team for fan noise in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle. I called the letter-writers wussy babies in an earlier blog post. We’re not only louder, Seattle is better in a number of other ways:

San Francisco, we have news for you. You’re no longer the leftiest city on the left coast. In 2012, our state voters legalized same-sex marriage with Referendum 74. (California voters rejected same-sex marriage with Proposition 8.) Washington state also legalized recreational marijuana with Initiative 502. Eat your liberal heart out.


Comments | Topics: 49ers, san francisco, seahawks

Next Page »