Letters to the Editor for April 27, 2017

Minimum wage charge at Camas restaurant is unsavory practice

We recently ate at a local restaurant in downtown Camas. We noticed an additional fee automatically added to our bill along with a red card explaining the charge.

The additional 5-percent fee called the Shared Hospitality Charge is due to “rising minimum wage,” to “compensate all non-tipped employees,” and “ensure that all staff members behind the scenes receive adequate compensation for the work they do.” This is called wages. Paid for by the owners of the business that is providing a service or product while still making a profit.

The restaurant industry will be quick to point out they are in a very competitive business and margins are tight. As a business owner, I don’t know of an industry that does not face the same dilemma. While I am willing to pay the prices this restaurant is charging, I find it difficult to believe a small increase in their prices to fairly compensate their employees would result in a drop in sales. This 5-percent fee is also keeping the income out of the company owner’s tax burden.

Business owners have a social responsibility to pay their employees a fair wage. They also have a responsibility to know their costs and what prices to charge to be a profitable company — not use covert fees to cover your employee overhead and then force them to be on the front line to have to explain the owners actions to your customers.

Dave Henzi, Washougal

American people need to know the truth about Russia and Trump connections

It’s time to demand an independent investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, and the connection to the Trump campaign.

The American people need to know the truth about Russian interference and Trump campaign involvement. High-level members of Trump’s staff lied about contacts with Russians during the campaign and transition period. We need an explanation for this secrecy about contacts with a country that is our adversary.

We need an independent investigation because the congressional investigations are not adequate. The Republican leader of the House investigation was forced to step down and is now under investigation.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden reported that he has serious concerns about the progress of the Senate investigation. It is clear that Congress is not able to effectively conduct an unbiased investigation.

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported that 73 percent of Americans want an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Congress can create a special commission and should do so immediately.

Contact Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler and ask her to support House Bill H.R.356 to establish the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election.

Geni Donaghey, Vancouver