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Seattle City Council expands support for local businesses by boosting business improvement areas in Ballard, downtown  – Seattle City Council Blog

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Seattle City Council expands support for local businesses by boosting business improvement areas in Ballard, downtown  – Seattle City Council Blog





Seattle City Council expands support for local businesses by boosting business improvement areas in Ballard, downtown  – Seattle City Council Blog
















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Seattle, WA

Seattle Restaurant Workers Could See a Big Spike in Pay Next Year

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Seattle Restaurant Workers Could See a Big Spike in Pay Next Year


As restaurant owners wait for the Seattle City Council to deal with high delivery app fees, there’s another challenge facing their businesses, reports the Seattle Times: The minimum wage at restaurants could go up by as much as $3 next year. That would be a huge boost for many low-wage workers, and also potentially an existential threat for restaurants that rely on those workers.

As of 2024, the minimum wage in Seattle is $19.97 an hour, unless you employ fewer than 500 employees, in which case you are allowed to pay them $17.25, provided the difference is made up by tips or medical benefits. According to the Times, this exception was carved out during negotiations over the minimum wage law passed nearly a decade ago, as then-Mayor Ed Murray attempted to assemble as broad a coalition as possible for the groundbreaking wage hike.

When that law went into effect in 2015, everyone was referring to it as a “$15 minimum wage,” then seen as a high number. (Small businesses then had to pay workers an $11 minimum wage.) Since then, Seattle’s minimum wage has risen beyond that number because the law ties it to inflation; Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards will announce the 2025 minimum wage in the fall. But the provision that allows small businesses to pay certain employees less will expire next year unless lawmakers take action, which means that in addition to the usual inflation-adjusted bump, smaller businesses will have to pay their employees as much as large ones do, and they won’t be able to factor tips into the equation.

This impacts the restaurant industry in particular because very few Seattle restaurant groups have more than 500 employees. The exception is Ethan Stowell Restaurants (ESR), which, the Times notes, hit that mark last year and responded by putting all workers, including servers, on an hourly rate and adding a service charge to checks.

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“You either have to change the model next year or prices are going to go astronomically high or places are going to have to close down,” CEO Ethan Stowell told the Times.

The ESR example provides a window into how the industry could change if this small business exception expires. “The reaction among staff was mixed” at ESR, the Times writes. “For some, it was a positive, because it meant they earned more on sick days or when taking leave. Others quit.” This reflects a divide among restaurant workers — some want their pay to be more stable, while some servers and bartenders make good money thanks to tips and might see their earnings drop if they had to become hourly workers. Meanwhile, some customers really, really hate the service fees that tend to come with the hourly wage restaurant model.

According to the Times, restaurant industry lobbyists have been asking the City Council to make the small business exception in the minimum wage law permanent. But this is a tough ask. The Council also has other issues to deal with, and some members have conflicts of interest — Council President Sara Nelson is a co-founder of Fremont Brewing and still owns a portion of the company.

If politicians tried to tweak the minimum wage law, they would also face opposition from labor groups. David Rolf, a former union president who helped negotiate the law in the first place, was blunt about this when he spoke to the Times: “Undermining Seattle’s minimum wage law is political suicide for anyone who tries.”



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Seattle Orcas Hit Rock Bottom After Crushing Defeat To LA Knight Riders

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Seattle Orcas Hit Rock Bottom After Crushing Defeat To LA Knight Riders


The Seattle Orcas remain at the bottom of the table after suffering a crushing defeat yesterday, against the resolute Los Angeles Knight Riders, who held their nerve and crossed the line despite several glitches to win by four wickets at Church Street Park. Professional players such as Jason Roy and Unmukt Chand contributed significantly to this match, while Kumar and Saif Badar formed a mini-strong connection that kept them on track.

Andre Russell managed to lessen the stress with a couple of nice hits near the end, and they cruised to victory with 5 balls to spare, leaving Orcas short by 15-20 runs. De Kock and Heinrich Klassen lacked a furious finish in this game, which harmed the team’s chances of winning and led to this devastating loss. 

Ryan Rickelton, the standout player of the Seattle Orcas, was named player of the match despite his teammates’ terrific performances, demonstrating that he is still in his red-hot form this season and that not even a poor performance by his teammates could knock him off the podium.

“Wasn’t the easiest getting in. It started nicely when the ball was hard, got difficult when it got softer. Thought 140 was a good score but frustrating that we were in for 150. When it was full, it was easy to hit, the tougher length was a bit off-pace and slower. Disappointing as I could have hit one or two more and we could have got 160. And that could have been the difference,” Rickelton said in media reports.

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The Orcas kept locating the ball till the end, and fortunately, Harmeet Singh and Cameron Gannon came through with two wickets each, while Keemo Paul kept it tight, returning 1/25. The LA Knight Riders really needed this win to keep up with the astounding speed of the other teams in the MLC 2024, and it improved their chances of staying in the top four with one game remaining. “Was definitely a much-needed win, we started well in the powerplay and tried to squeeze as much as we could. It was a total team effort; we could have done better with the bat but a win is a win. At this stage of the tournament, all we could do is win. We have one more game and we will try to execute as well as we can. [on Chand] He has form and he is confident. When you have local guys doing well it gets the senior guys going. We need to play our best cricket on the day and try and get to the knockout stage,” Sunil Narine, LAKR captain, said in media reports.

These valuable two points keep LAKR in the playoff race, thanks to an excellent performance from Chand, who made it count with a 62. Roy strengthened his partnership with Chand, who led 58 for the second wicket, and crucial calculated knocks from Saif Badaar and Russell sent the Seattle Orcas home in tears.



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Kelsey Grammer got emotional when ‘Frasier’ returned to Seattle for Season 2 episode

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Kelsey Grammer got emotional when ‘Frasier’ returned to Seattle for Season 2 episode


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“Frasier” is heading back to Seattle in Season 2.

Kelsey Grammer’s Boston-based Dr. Frasier Crane will return to his talk show radio roots at KACL in Seattle for an episode in the new season, which returns Sept. 19 with a two-episode Paramount+ premiere. 

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The Seattle homecoming − the setting for the original “Frasier” that ran for 11 seasons on NBC until 2004 − required an entirely new set to be built for the KACL radio studio. Crane frequently opened the original “Frasier” episodes in the host’s chair of his radio call-in show.

“At first I was like, this is just a set, nothing was really happening to me,” Grammer tells USA TODAY of filming the homecoming. “But that was before I sat down in that chair.”

At that point, Grammer stopped talking, explaining that he is “an emotional guy” prone to sudden bursts of sentimentality.

“Frasier” returns: How Kelsey Grammer’s reboot honors original with new cast and bar

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Which original ‘Frasier’ stars will return for the Seattle episode?

The return to Seattle revolves around Crane’s former radio show producer Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), who will be a recurring guest star on Season 2 of “Frasier.”

The Seattle episode will include original “Frasier” luminaries such as Dan Butler as Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe, host of the KCAL Gonzo Sports Show, and Edward Hibbert as Gil Chesterton, host of KCAL’s “Restaurant Beat” show. Harriet Sansom Harris, who starred as Frasier’s devilish agent, Bebe Glazer, will also return for the episode.

The revamped “Frasier” will primarily be back in Boston in Season 2, where “Cheers” alum Crane has set up a new life as a Harvard professor and drinking with his university friends Alan (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Olivia (Toks Olagundoye) at a new bar Mahoney’s.

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Which ‘Cheers’ stars will appear on ‘Frasier’ Season 2?

Grammer says he hopes to have his former “Cheers” co-star Ted Danson, who played bar owner Sam Malone, and Shelley Long, who played Crane’s love interest Diane Chambers, appear on the new “Frasier.”

“I have always nursed a longing for doing a show with Shelley Long to have closure with Diane in some strange way,” Grammer told a panel of the Television Critics Association on Wednesday. “I’d love to see that happen. There’s a world of this character’s past that needs to be put to rest.”

But Grammer said that Crane would never travel across town to go back to Cheers, saying that his former bar is essentially “closed” in the eyes of “Cheers” creator James Burrows.

“There’s a sense of respect that we owe him and the idea (“Frasier”) exists in another world,” says Grammer. “It’s gone, the bar is gone.”

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Burrows, who directed the first two episodes of the new “Frasier,” will also return to direct two more episodes on Season 2.

The original “Frasier” still holds the record for most Emmy wins for a comedy series, with 37 wins and 107 nominations. On Wednesday, the new “Frasier” and Grammer missed out on major nominations ahead of the 76th Primetime Emmy Awards.



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