a private joke, I guess - I have to tell you-- Start a text message, but wait. It won't make you laugh.
3 years ago
The rambling thoughts of a former retail worker, investigative engineer, store owner, editor and freelance writer.
Sound Transit's costs are rising dramatically, and it's hard to tell if it's because more service is being provided or individual costs are being inflated, an oversight group said.
In a report issued last week, the agency's Citizen Oversight Panel said "costs in virtually every area of Sound Transit operations continue to grow rapidly, reflecting increases both in transit service and base agency operations."
The report, presented to the agency's board, said operating costs are set to increase nearly 8 percent this year from last year, to $65.4 million, which includes salaries and benefits for 394 employees. The staff will include 22 new positions, 18 of them in transportation services.
The report urged the Seattle-based transit agency to more closely monitor costs "so that a culture of cost control and operational efficiency becomes established."
honda Porter says it's not just losing a little slice of Americana that has her lamenting the dwindling number of mail collection boxes in Seattle.
After all, she said, she still mails a check to pay her bills -- it just feels safer than paying online -- so when the blue mailbox on Beach Drive Southwest near her West Seattle home disappeared, she complained about the inconvenience.
But, she admits that she's succumbed a bit to the societal shift that's led the Postal Service to remove about a fifth of the roughly 800 mailboxes that were on Seattle-area streets five years ago.
Seventy more were removed last week, dropping the number below 600, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley told Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer that U.S. employees must have priority over immigrants working under visa programs in a round of job cuts announced Thursday.
Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, asked Ballmer how many of the jobs cut will include those with H-1B visas or other immigrant-worker credentials, according to a letter dated Thursday on Grassley's Web site.
"During a layoff, companies should not be retaining H-1B or other work visa program employees over qualified American workers," the Iowa senator said in the letter. "Our immigration policy is not intended to harm the American work force.
Diane Daggatt, a managing director at McAdams Wright Ragen, wrote in a note to clients, "Locally, we're hearing another big round of layoffs is coming at SBUX. Perhaps 1,000 or one-third of SBUX's headquarters may be cut as well as some district managers and field employees, but not baristas.
In a press release issued moments ago, Microsoft announced that it is cutting up to 5,000 jobs in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources and IT in the next 18 months, starting with 1,400 today.
It marks the first company-wide layoff in Microsoft's history and comes as the company reports fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed the low-end of its own guidance for sales and earnings per share. Its Windows business declined 8 percent as PC sales growth ground to a virtual halt in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
Boeing said Friday it will cut its Commercial Airplane workforce in 2009 by about 4,500 people, mostly in Washington State.
A "progressive" tax is one where the tax rate increases as income increases. A progressive tax structure consists of brackets. You pay a certain tax rate on income up to the next bracket. After that bracket is reached, a higher tax rate applies to income that is earned that is above that amount. Let's say that you pay 5% on income below $10,000 and 7% on income above $10,000. So if you make exactly $10,000 of income the tax is $500. At $10,100 the tax is still that $500 on the amount below $10,000 and $7 on the additional $100, for a total of $507. The key point is that only the amount in the new bracket is taxed at the higher rate.
Many people believe that once you reach a higher bracket you pay the higher tax rate on all the income that falls below that bracket amount as well. I have actually talked to people who think they need to "get their income into a lower bracket" to avoid paying a higher tax rate, because they think that a higher tax rate would apply to all of the income they earned.