On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Wage Disinformation, Transit Disinformation, and GMO Information
Our daily roundup.
1. In the Seattle Times' ongoing disinformation campaign against a proposal to increase the minimum wage for some airport-related businesses in SeaTac (see also: editorial writer Sharon Pian Chan's sensationalistic and fact-free assertions that paying a living wage will "devastate" immigrants who own small businesses), the Seattle Times' Nancy Bartley reports today on two businesses that will, according to Bartley, have to pay their workers more—in the case of one restaurant, up to "about $30 an hour"—if voters raise the minimum wage to $15.
The first, Taqueria El Rinconsito, has 15 employees, "whose salaries," according to the Times, "would be increased under Proposition 1. It would be a disaster for the business, said Enrique Islas, a company spokesman."
The second, Pancake Chef, would see wages skyrocket as high as "$30 an hour," according to the Times, once tips are included.
Because neither restaurant is inside the airport or inside a large hotel, neither business would have to comply with the proposed new law.
Just one problem: Because neither restaurant is inside the airport or inside a large hotel, neither business would have to comply with the proposed new law.
Even if Proposition 1 passes, both Taqueria El Rinconsito and Pancake Chef will be free to pay their workers the state minimum wage of $9.19 an hour.
The paper subsequently corrected its error about Pancake Chef, but not about El Rinconsito.
2. Speaking of the Seattle Times, Seattle Transit Blog offers a convincing takedown of Seattle Times editorial writer Bruce Ramsey's recent piece bashing light rail, noting that the "misleading" piece conflates capital and operating costs, ignores the agency's (declining) cost per boarding, and ignores Sound Transit's overall ridership number, which is currently 28 million a year, or a quarter the size of Metro's ridership, even before new extensions open to the U District, Northgate, Lynnwood, Des Moines, and Overlake.
And, STB concludes, "even if ST matches but never exceeds Metro’s size, overall transit ridership will have doubled in Central Puget Sound and we’ll all be better off for it."
3. And speaking of the minimum-wage proposal: the LA Times picked up on the story this morning, running a piece about the men and women who would benefit from making $15 an hour.
According to the story, fully 37 percent of cleaning and baggage workers at airports live at or near the poverty line, and many must rely on food banks and public resources to make it from paycheck to paycheck.
TheAP reports that mayoral candidate Ed Murray got "free meals from a Comcast lobbyist"—a seeming bombshell after the Internet giant's contributions on Murray's behalf became national news last week.
4. If you want to know more about genetically modified foods before you vote on Initiative 522, the statewide measure that would require companies to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms, Civil Eats (a new member of the OOBT pantheon) has a helpful primer, answering questions like, "What are GMOs?" "Are industry claims about higher crop yields and lower pesticide use proving true?" and "Are genetically engineered foods safe to eat?"
(The answer to the final question: Because no long-term studies of humans have ever been done, we have no idea—but "The industry did not anticipate the explosive growth of superweeds"—weeds that are resistant to Monsanto's ubiquitous Roundup herbicide—so "does it really know for sure what the long-term effects of eating GE foods will be?")
5. The AP reports that mayoral candidate Ed Murray got "free meals from a Comcast lobbyist"—a seeming bombshell after the Internet giant's contributions on Murray's behalf became national news last week. (As we reported back in August Comcast is all in for Murray because Mayor Mike McGinn is all in for Gigabit Squared, a competing startup that has proposed a high-speed broadband network in Seattle.)
Despite the AP's damning headline and lead today that Murray "accepted free meals from lobbying firms who work with Comcast on 12 occasions over the first four months of this year," (with a total value of $250), the story later reveals that only two of the meals concerned Comcast, and those meals were held to discuss a Democratic priority bill to repeal a $109 million telcom industry tax loophole.