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mossback

Seattle isn’t the national leader it thought it was

On election night 2016, Seattle learned just how much of a national outlier it is. During the previous eight years, the uplifting message of hope…

What surviving Nixon teaches us about Trump

When I was a boy, I worshipped the presidents. Some kids collected baseball cards. I ordered a sheet of faux postage stamps from a comic…

Under Trump, Seattle and its businesses come together

Neo-feudalism seems to be the order of the day. Voters in cities like Seattle prepare for a long siege behind their urban walls, though political…

Fake news: Been there, done that

It’s time for a confession: I have perpetrated fake news. In fact, I got my start as a writer doing that. And I did it…

The summer of 1970: When Seattle erupted

Monica Guzman of the Evergrey asked me recently about the intense feelings pulsing through Seattle in response to Donald Trump. The demonstrations at Kane Hall…

Political football: Should Trump fear Russell Wilson?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has long been criticized for saying little of substance. His press conferences are filled with platitudes. He looks great and…

Turning away refugees can be a death sentence

In May of 1939, more than 900 Jewish refugees, many of them women and children, left Hamburg aboard the MS St. Louis for a two-week voyage to…

The media and Trump: What the Nazis can teach us

We’re in a “post-factual” world, a phenomenon embraced by the Trump administration from Day One when White House spokespeople blatantly lied to the press and…

WA: More conservative, and more divided, than you think

In a year when election outcomes shocked many people in the polling industry into self-reflection, Seattle pollster Stuart Elway came out feeling pretty good. Elway,…

Busting the myth of two Washingtons

In the wake of the election, some would tear Washington state asunder. The returns showed a deep red-blue divide between rural and urban areas, as…

Belles of the wrecking ball: Meet 2016’s Heritage Turkeys

For 2016, here’s a “basket of deplorables": our annual collection of failures, crimes and bad behavior when it comes to protecting — or rather, not…

The best Northwest nonfiction of 2016

Here’s my mossy list of the year’s best reads in Northwest nonfiction, with an emphasis on, surprise, history. Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker…

Courts rule on future of Pioneer Square, Olympic National Park

Two recent legal decisions have notched significant wins for heritage and historic preservation in both wild and urban settings in the Pacific Northwest. One will…

Why Seattle can’t let go of the past

The media is full of stories bemoaning change in Seattle. Old cafes closing, landmarks demolished, efforts to save legacy businesses like that dive bar down…

How fascism crept into America

Since the presidential election Nov. 8, there has been much discussion of the “f” word, as President-elect Donald Trump and some of his advisors and…

Portland has what Seattle lost

For a Seattleite, entering Oregon is like visiting a foreign country. It’s familiar, but an alternate reality. Here we pump our own gas, in Oregon…

How animals have shaped Seattle. And still do.

Animals have played enormous roles in shaping of modern cities, though few of us stop to think about it. Take Boston, which was developed around…

A solution for Seattle’s homeless: Bring Hooverville back

With the debate raging over how best to deal with homeless encampments in the Seattle region, and no consensus on how to deal with the…

The War on Bikes should be history

The Seattle Police Department is investigating who has been spreading carpet tacks along the Westlake bike track in recent weeks. At first speculated to have…

How Seattle stopped a freeway, and may gain a monument

Maybe’s it’s an “only in Seattle” type of story, but for years citizen activists have been trying to get the state to preserve a small…

Seattle Nasty: The new politics, and how we got here

“How did we get so nasty?” a relative newcomer to Seattle asked me recently about our local political tone. In a city where most people…

George Washington owned slaves. Should we rename the state?

Our American legacy of slavery and racism is being wrestled with everywhere. We’ve gone from demanding removal of the Confederate flag to rethinking the Star…

Rethinking Seattle: What if we could start over?

Consider our “natural” city. In the last 150 years, we have reshaped the local landscape on the greatest scale since a vast ice sheet moved into…

Is this the worst election ever?

This sometimes feels like the worst presidential election of my lifetime. Then I remember: Oh, 1968. Bobby was assassinated. OK, there have been worse. In…

Tearing down walls this election year, not building them

This election season seems to have a theme of walls. Donald Trump has proposed building a tall, “beautiful” wall along the United States’ border with…