A city slicker finds the ultimate place to unplug

I grew up on Puget Sound, where islands meant a chance of solitude and escape. I’ve long assumed such experiences required water, but I recently…

Can ghosts save Colfax?

Editor's note: Crosscut columnist Knute Berger has been examining the challenges facing Washington's rural communities, even in the middle of a boom for urban areas.…

Funeral for a piece of Seattle’s atomic past

How do you lay a landmark to rest? Holding a wake is one idea. Advocates of the saving More Hall Annex, aka the Nuclear Reactor Building,…

As Seattle booms, we’re trashing our history

A version of this column appeared in the July issue of Seattle Magazine. It has been updated. The annual list of “most endangered” historic properties…

Is there ancient treasure to be found on our coasts?

The Oregon coast is encrusted with vacationers this time of year, many of them beach combing for items ranging from Japanese fishing floats and tsunami…

Give City Council more power in neighborhoods

Mayor Ed Murray’s abrupt dismissal of the three-decades old district council system neatly encapsulates the dynamic neighborhood activists have complained of for generations: Seattle process…

With Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Battle of Seattle goes mainstream

The WTO anti-globalization demonstrations of 1999 — the so-called “Battle in Seattle” — have pretty much faded into history. Some have debated their lasting effect…

Rebranding the Seattle waterfront

Sometime after 2020, Seattle will wake up to a spanking new waterfront. Assuming Bertha finishes her work, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is replaced with a…

UW’s ‘Nuke Building’ bites the dust

For nearly a decade, students and faculty at University of Washington, as well as Seattle preservationists, have fought to protect the More Hall annex — also…

He stole $200K and leapt from a plane. Where is D. B. Cooper?

One way to kill a mystery is to stop trying to solve it. If we stopped looking for Bigfoot, the Northwest wilds would lose some…

In remote North Cascades, bigotry gets beaten back

On a day in early July, Howard Lake in the Stehekin Valley of the North Cascades was the picture of placid. Its blue waters, surrounded…

Seattle needs parks, not just ‘parklets’

I admit that my expectations might be way off. I grew up in Seattle in a part of town you might call The People’s Republic…

Mysterious seafloor relic stumps scientists

On a clear day in June 1792, the first tendrils of empire were working their way through the channels and islands of Puget Sound. The…

Orlando shootings were part of a dark American tradition

In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, the topic of massacres is having (another) 15 minutes of fame. When news outlets billed the shooting…
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