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Crosscut Week in Review: Will Seattle be all-tunnel, all the time?

Seattle is fighting about the replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct. It's getting to the point that the single issue is dominating city politics.

It felt like Seattle politics went from being serious about the questions around the planned Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project to being all-tunnel, all the time.

Common sense would ordinarily suggest that people will get tired of the subject and everyone's attention, including political leaders, will drift to other subjects. But that hasn't happened yet. And Mayor Mike McGinn's administration, while certainly working on other issues ranging from the budget to how to help schools perform better, appears to want to keep the main focus on the tunnel, or specifically on the potential for cost overruns. As David Brewster noted, even the Gulf Oil spill and its failures of engineering can be seen as reflecting on whether Seattle should trust that the tunnel project will go well.

Into the middle of the hot topic, Crosscut writer Jordan Royer brought some cool insightful analysis about the larger social, economic, and political context behind the tunnel debate with his Thursday article, "How a quiet culture war is dividing Seattle." People seemed to jump at some fresh perspective beyond the day-to-day developments. The article sparked some very good discussion among readers commenting on it.

Royer also was invited to appear on 97.3 KIRO FM's "Northwest Nights with Frank Shiers." You can listen to a podcast of the show here. Royer is the first guest and the segment runs about 12 minutes.

Besides the tunnel, Crosscut's writers covered an array of topics this week. Here's a few of the articles that caused strong reader interest.

"Magnuson Park: where's Seattle's vaunted public process proved a sham," by Kent Kammerer, providing his own perspective as a student of city affairs on the park's development over the past 10 years.

"Should Seattle have an income tax?" by Knute Berger.

"Who does McKenna represent? Courts will decide," by Daniel Jack Chasan.

"An empty wall in place of 'magnificent' public art," by Michele Matassa Flores.

"David Brooks is the go-to guy for bringing theology into today's public sphere," by Anthony B. Robinson.

Have a great summer weekend.

Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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