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Commentary

Seattle politicians should curb their arena enthusiasm

There’s something about pro sports that makes us gluttons for punishment. And no, I am not just talking about the annual abuse dished out to…

Inslee to allow severe layoffs for state spending watchdogs?

There’s extra money flowing in to state government, enough that the Legislature added $200 million in new spending in the supplemental budget passed last week.…

Homeowners cut 100+ trees for better views. It’s time to lower the boom

UPDATE: There have been developments in this case since this story was published in March. Details at the end of this article.  Cold-blooded revenge is…

McGinn: Superdelegates poison the democratic process

On Saturday, Bernie Sanders voters (including me) flooded Washington’s caucuses and carried the day with 72.7% of the delegates awarded.  In my Greenwood precinct, the…

5 real fixes for homeless encampments

Shutting down a homeless encampment undeniably feels like decisive action against the phenomenon of people living outdoors, and is therefore gratifying to some. But it…

Why Seattle must tame “The Jungle”

For the past 20 years, the area at the base of Beacon Hill known as “The Jungle” has been a haven for homeless encampments, drug…

Oregon occupiers aside, there’s restlessness about West’s governance

The occupation of Malheur National Wildlife refuge in southern Oregon has generated national attention to rural angst and the revolutionary discontent in the West. While…

5 things lawmakers shouldn’t ignore

Gov. Jay Inslee will get the 2016 session of the Legislature into high gear with his State of the State speech today. He is already…

Why a blue state elects a purple government

Seattle residents, even the newest ones, know it in their hearts: Washington is a blue state. A lot of those newcomers, in fact, may have…

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…

The cutest local animal videos of 2015, reviewed by a nihilist

As purveyors of online content, we at Crosscut are under constant pressure to add more animal videos to the site. Animal videos mean clicks, our…

Year of the Seattle urbanist? Not quite yet

When the Sierra Club worked to defeat the Roads and Transit measure in 2007, a smart politico told us “you want to win the election,…

Mercer Islanders showcase a purer form of entitlement

When citizens gather to engage government employees, the results can be illuminating. Public town halls, “listening tours” and forums are ideal showcases for – as one…

Will Seattle get a more accountable City Council?

I have to admit to a certain lack of enthusiasm about the City Council races. In this first round, the new district system is less…

Welcome, President Xi. Now about those dissidents…

In Seattle, it’s déjà Henry Kissinger all over again. Like Woody Allen’s Zelig, Kissinger is the omnipresent figure who inserts himself into historic grip-and-grin photos, shape-shifting…

Kennewick Man: a never-ending nightmare for tribes

The most unique quality of Kennewick Man, the 8,500-year-old skeleton that eroded out of a Columbia River bank nearly 20 years ago, is his knack…

Guest Opinion: Historic Pioneer Square is under threat

I have been called a socialist. I have been called anti-development. I have been called a NIMBY. Call me what you will for defending my…

City may push aside history, the poor in Pike Place & Pioneer Square

We know that Seattle’s rapid growth is putting pressure on our architectural heritage with demolitions and façadism. The city is being remade at an unprecedented…

‘Honest Elections’: Does all this add up?

Looking at the latest campaign finance reform effort to hit the November ballot, Initiative 122 – Honest Elections Seattle, I have to wonder if there…

Point: Opponents of Eyman initiative don’t trust the voters

Last month, Initiative 1366 qualified for the November ballot, which seeks to instate a two-thirds requirement for any new taxes passed by Washington Legislature. Voters have approved…

Counterpoint: Eyman initiative undermines our constitution

Last month, Initiative 1366 qualified for the November ballot, which seeks to instate a two-thirds requirement for any new taxes passed by Washington Legislature. Voters have approved…

Land use: Seattle’s oh-so-human hesitations about change

Now that Mayor Ed Murray has shifted Housing and Livability Agenda (HALA) priorities away from changes to single-family zones and back toward Seattle’s traditional focus…

Guest Opinion: Fight black market poachers, and support I-1401

With each passing day, some of our planet’s most rare and iconic animal species are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction. Poachers, acting…

9 words that shook Seattle: Are our zoning roots really racial?

UPDATE, 6/20/15, 12:32 p.m.: Following publication of this article, the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project posted a response to the HALA report's citation of the…

Seattle growth: How to stand up to developers, City Hall

Last week, the U.S. weather service issued a warning that the dry summer was replicating the conditions seen when the Great Seattle Fire of 1889…