Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.
You are currently viewing all posts written by Sharon Pian Chan. Sharon is the associate opinions editor / digital. Follow her on Twitter @sharonpianchan.
December 4, 2013 at 6:03 AM
Barry Welch of Ferndown in the United Kingdom created this mock delivery receipt from an Amazon.com drone. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told “60 Minutes” that the company is testing the use of drones for delivering products, according to a Bloomberg story. Follow Welch on Twitter @quantumpirate.
We’re always looking to reinvent opinion commentary for a digital world. If you’re interested in sending us visual commentary on local topics, please email us at email@example.com.
November 5, 2013 at 5:58 PM
Replay the live election commentary from The Seattle Times editorial board from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Our writers covered election-night parties and shared opinions and perspectives from the newsroom on the results of the Nov. 5, 2013 general election.
November 5, 2013 at 7:40 AM
Tuesday is the deadline to turn in your election ballot. If you are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday. You can also drop off your ballot at a county drop box by 8 p.m.
If you have not filled out your ballot yet, check out our editorial board’s recommendations.
November 2, 2013 at 6:08 AM
Join us for a Google Hangout at noon Monday on money, media and elections.
Our guests will be joining us from all over the country to talk about the influence of big money on political equality just in time for election day on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
John Nichols is co-author of “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.” Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers.
Robert W. McChesney is co-author of “Dollarocracy.” He is a professor of communication at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Washington and he received his bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College.
Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the nonprofit Free Press. He joined Free Press in 2004 and speaks across the country on media, Internet and journalism issues. Craig is a frequent guest on talk radio and is quoted often in the national press. His commentaries also appear regularly in the Guardian and the Huffington Post. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine.
Thanh Tan, multimedia editorial writer, will moderate the Hangout. Tan is a former broadcast journalist for a local news station in Portland and the PBS station in Boise.
Lance Dickie, editorial writer, will also join the hangout. Dickie closely follows media consolidation and the Federal Communications Commission for the editorial board.
November 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM
A war is being waged in SeaTac over the minimum wage. Voters will decide Tuesday whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some airport and hospitality workers with Proposition 1. Organizers then plan to bring the campaign to Seattle, where both mayoral candidates have already expressed support.
Supporters say it would help low-income people and families achieve a better life. That’s a bit simplistic. Poor people are not a monolithic group. I argued in a Wednesday blog post that it would devastate immigrant-owned businesses. (Our editorial board has also recommended a no vote in an editorial.)
James Shin is one of those immigrants. Shin, 64, owns the Quality Inn SeaTac. In 2011, he used his life savings to buy the 104-room hotel, and he would be required to pay his workers $15 an hour if Proposition 1 passes. It would, in fact, be a crippling financial blow to Shin.
He’s not the chief executive of a hotel chain. He owns one hotel. And he used to be poor.
Shin, a U.S. citizen, immigrated here from South Korea in 1975. He had a bachelor’s degree from a Korean university, but he spoke little English. His first job in the U.S.? Dishwasher. He made $2.25 an hour. In his next job he was a janitor. “When I moved to the U.S. I worked hard. Some people didn’t want to work weekends. I worked on weekends for overtime,” he said. (more…)
October 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Raising the minimum wage to this level would be devastating to immigrant-owned small businesses.
On Nov. 5, SeaTac will consider whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some airport and hospitality workers with Proposition 1. Efforts are under way to raise the same issue in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn, who is running for re-election, has already made it an issue in a zoning permit spat with Whole Foods in Seattle. In fact, he would like to raise it even higher in Seattle. His challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray, has also indicated support for the $15 level. (Read both sides of the debate in Tuesday’s Pro/Con on Prop. 1. Our editorial board recommends a no vote on Proposition 1 in an editorial.)
And while the current ballot issue only affects SeaTac, the next stop for the minimum-wage campaign is Seattle.
Supporters of the $15 campaign say it would help low-income people and families working in these jobs. That presumes poor people are a monolithic group, all of whom want to work those jobs for the rest of their lives. (more…)
October 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Is it OK to turn off the porch light, hide in the basement and not open the door on Halloween to give out treats? Our Wednesday editorial says no. Here is an excerpt:
Certain blocks have become Halloween deserts, where an enterprising trick-or-treater practically needs a dowsing rod to locate some Reese’s Pieces.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us below. We’ll share the most interesting responses on the Opinion Northwest blog.
September 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Two readers complained in a Monday letter to the San Francisco Chronicle that the sound-record-breaking cheering of Seahawks fans on Sunday was unsportsmanlike.
Judy Spelman and Rich Schiller of Point Reyes Station wrote:
Was anyone else appalled by the unsportsmanlike conduct of the Seattle Seahawks and their fans…?
They go on to suggest that the NFL should implement a rule punishing a team if the fans get too loud.
…should this rule be violated in more than three games, no home games will be played at the offending field for the rest of the season, including playoff games.
Here is how I imagine Schiller’s reaction when the Seahawks trounced the 49ers in a 29-3 win Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Update 12:11 p.m.
The Chronicle is running comments from Seattle fans to the original letter in its Opinion Shop blog.
September 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM
It’s been a week of surreal debate about women and journalism.
Julie Chen, co-host of CBS show “The Talk,” revealed that she had undergone plastic surgery on her eyes after a former news director and an agent told her that she looked too Chinese.
Earlier, Harvard released a landmark study about why the news industry has floundered, showcasing interviews with more than 60 people — five of which were women.
Here’s the common thread between them: Men dictate how we see the world. Their perspective becomes the history of record and dictates the shape of things to come.
Why bother leaning in?
In Chen’s case, the words of powerful men made her future. Her news director in Akron, Ohio, and a talent agent’s remarks motivated her to get plastic surgery to enlarge her eyes. She is open about the fact that her career took off after she underwent the procedure. She moved out of local news to the network, joining CBS’s “The Early Show” before going to “The Talk.”
At Harvard’s Kennedy School, three male researchers undertook an important project to document the downturn in the news industry over the last 30 years. Funded by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, they interviewed 60 thought leaders in technology and journalism, ranging from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. Five of the people were interviewed were women. Dubbed Riptide, it was history told by men about men.
(The study had other serious diversity issues regarding race and age; here is a statement from UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, which I serve on the board of.)
I don’t have a problem with Chen’s decision. She was brave to share it and open herself up to the inevitable criticism. Hopefully she’s created space for people to talk openly about the challenges women face in in broadcast journalism.
Incidentally, many Asian women living in Asia get eyelid surgery. A cousin of mine, who grew up in Asia and now lives in the U.S., had the eyelid surgery done. (We have never talked about it. She’s a distant relation.)
It’s unfair to criticize Chen for her plastic surgery while overlooking the many other broadcast journalists of all races, men and women, who quietly undergo chin tucks, face lifts, hair implants and brow lifts.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Hate on the beauty and fashion industry that worships youth and European features. Remember when Don Draper said in “Mad Men” that love was invented by ad men to sell nylons? Beauty was invented too.
Here is video of Chen’s confession:
This blog post, originally published at 4:03 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2013, was corrected at 11:40 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2013. The previous version incorrectly referred to an organization by its former name UNITY: Journalists of Color.
September 12, 2013 at 7:35 AM
UW as an economic engine: Looking forward to seeing a report about the University of Washington from former University of Washington regent Bill Gates Sr., Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and former U.S. Sen. Dan Evans, among other heavyweights. They are set to present a report, “Washington Futures,” saying the UW must admit more state students and the state must direct more money to make the school an engine for economic growth, according to a Seattle Times news side story by news reporter Katherine Long.
Vladimir Putin: Check out the New York Times op-ed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He writes about Syria, the importance of the United Nations as arbiter of military action on a sovereign nation and ends with giving Obama the back of the hand:
And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.
Also this morning, Syrian President Bashir Assad said, “the U.S. threats hadn’t influenced” his government’s decision to give up chemical weapons, according to an AP news story.
Traffic woes. Sounds like Interstate 5 will be clogged all weekend through downtown Seattle, according to a Seattle Times news story by news reporter Mike Lindblom. The Highway 520 bridge will be closed all weekend. And the Seahawks home opener is Sunday. Don’t plan on leaving your house.