United States

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.…

Orchards, wilderness, a mountain town: Who gets the water?

Beyond the water, green in the sunlight, Dragontail Peak rises from the shore of Colchuk Lake, its peak hidden in cloud, dark conifers on its…

At Hanford, a chance for a fuller telling of atomic history

In a Hiroshima restaurant one evening last fall, a Japanese peace movement leader and former mayor leaned toward me with a frown and asked, “Do…

Judge: Failed salmon restoration has cost billions

It's Groundhog Day. Again. Or maybe not. On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon trashed the federal government’s plan for managing dams on the…

Coal exports stopped by Lummi Nation fishing rights?

Environmental reviews of a coal-export terminal that would be the largest in the nation were summarily suspended on April 1 — but it was no…

How wildfires pump millions into Washington’s rural economy

On a sunny March day just south of Yakima, Greg Bailey is standing next to his firetruck. For now the truck looks like any other…

Bitcoin miners have discovered Washington

Most of the Pacific Northwest’s power comes from hydroelectricity. Central Washington counties like Chelan –well-positioned to tap the powerful Columbia River cutting through it – enjoy some of…

Oregon standoff: White and exempt in the wide open West

A splinter group of anti-government militants has occupied a building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Oregon. They include the sons of Cliven…

“Environmental company” racks up biggest pollution fines of the year

The first image on the website for Emerald Services is a stream fringed by grass and trees. The Tacoma-based recycler of used oils, solvents, and other toxic…

Cantwell measure allows more irrigation in return for fish, land protections

Getting U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's bill through committee was definitely a milestone — but whether it marked progress forward toward a more rational and cooperative…

Portland throws a mayoral election. One candidate applies.

Watching the constant political clashes of recent years, Seattle voters could be forgiven for yearning for a simpler time in urban democracy. A time of…

Battered rent control resolution crawls its way to the full council

Although a resolution in support of lifting the statewide ban on rent control is not dead, its future isn't bright, either. The Seattle City Council’s…

Racism and the public lands: the case of Coon Lake

President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of the official name change of Mount McKinley to Denali has reawakened interest in the longtime dispute over whether we…

Wildfires threaten Methow’s long road to recovery

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 3, 2015 issue of High Country News. Since its publication, fires have again blown up in north-central Washington.…

Small nukes: a long-term prospect for Tri-Cities?

The Tri-Cities face a good wait before learning whether the area could be home to a new nuclear enterprise. The designers of the nation’s first…

I-732 is how we make progress on climate

As environmentalists, activists and concerned citizens, we have sat on the sidelines for too long as progress on climate remained stagnant. Another legislative session has…

Court keeps Tim Eyman initiative on November ballot

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1366 survived a request for an injunction Friday that would have kept it off November's ballot. I-1366 gives the Washington State Legislature a…

Guest Opinion: ‘Second paycheck’ shouldn’t kill good jobs

As reported by Crosscut, a new wrinkle in the ongoing discussions about the Bellingham region’s future is the notion of a “second paycheck.” This is…

Digital surveillance firm has local police contacts, leaked emails reveal

A digital tool to monitor “all the devices,” whether they be smartphones or laptop computers. One that is “invisible to the user, evades antivirus and…

Washington burning: Wildfires are adding up

Wildfires have burned about 74,000 acres of Washington since June 1 — roughly twice the acreage that burned in the same period in 2014. And…

In Hanford, the hunt for black holes and gravity waves enters new era

In 2000, Betsy Weaver got hooked on a vision of things unseen. As a student at Washington State University, Weaver’s physics program was visited by…

Small nuke reactors: Search for site is planned

  The Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will begin searching for potential sites to  locate small modular reactors. That information came from a recent…

Joint Base Lewis-McChord cuts less than feared

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is expected to lose 1,250 military soldiers over the next two years due to federal cutbacks — a significantly smaller figure than…

The unique economics of Washington craft beer

There are currently 274 breweries in Washington state, and 78 in the Emerald City. No other city in the world can boast Seattle's numbers. Even San…

Measure to build nuclear reactors nears breakthrough in Legislature

Washington is one House vote away from beginning to search for a potential manufacturing site for small modular reactors. That site will likely be at…