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

Topic: Jonathan Martin

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June 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

What was your first minimum wage job? These were ours.

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Seattle has made history with this week’s approval of a $15 minimum wage schedule, phased in over a few years with different schedules for different sized businesses. The world, judging from from this editorial in the Oregonian and this blog in The Guardian,  is either marveling or criticizing the audacity of the action.

The interesting thing about the Seattle minimum-wage debate is that it became a debate about a livable wage. The value underpinning the proposal is that a worker should be able to support themselves independently on the minimum wage.

That prompted an interesting conversation among our Opinion department staff members about our first jobs. None of us stayed in those jobs, using education to advance our careers, but all were useful helping to pay for college or educational travel. Here are our first jobs. What was yours? Please tell us in the comment section.

Frank Blethen, publisher: Grocery bag boy at Bashas Family Grocery  in Arizona for 95 cents an hour. We had to endure

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Comments | Topics: Erik Smith, first jobs, Frank Blethen

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 letters@seattletimes.com.

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

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