mossback

mossback

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…

The untold story of Seattle’s racist mayor

This is part of a series of Crosscut stories discussing race in the Puget Sound region. The legacy of the Civil War is in the…

A new “community of the book” begins in Seattle

Seattle often is touted for its literary bona fides. We frequently top the list of America’s “most literate” cities (we’re currently number 3, following Washington,…

New type of city council politics: Not so much

What if they gave a brand new district election and nobody came? You can be excused for wondering that based on the Aug. 4 primary…

The many forms of rage beneath “Seattle nice”

The Seattle Times recently did a story saying “pedestrian rage is on the rise.” The sidewalks are crowded, the intersections are dangerous, Amazonians are walking…

Housing and growth may fire up primary voters

The mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda just might be a gift to the new city council district elections. It has highlighted splits in Seattle's…

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…

Endangered species: Parking in Seattle

In a sense, I’m lucky that my morning commute is usually the distance between my laptop and my lap. My wife walks to work most…

Confederate symbols also blight the Northwest

We might seem removed from controversies like the one over the Confederate flag, but we’re not. The Pacific Northwest was very much involved in the…

My own ethnic identity ‘fraud’

Before the scandal in Spokane over the racial identity of the now former head of the local NAACP, I was preparing to make my own…

Does Seattle understand how to nurture its own creativity?

Just how creative is Seattle? We’re known as a city that has a burgeoning “creative class,” defined largely by people in the business research sector…

The little white house. And the medical visionary who made a difference.

It sat on 18th Avenue in Squire Park, across from the backside of Providence Hospital. It was a little, white turn-of-the-century house — it could…

Smoking in parks and motorcycles on sidewalks: Lessons from Italy

Seattle is banning all smoking in city parks. You already can’t drink in city parks, either. These are essentially civility laws designed to curb the…

Should Washington’s death penalty be dropped?

Is it time to kill the death penalty in Washington? That question has been brought to the fore in the last year. Gov. Jay Inslee…

Mossback does Milan’s Expo 2015

The “selfie” makes a perfect metaphor for a world’s fair: an event where the nations of Earth gather to show off what they know, and…

Survival of the richest: priced out of Seattle

An old colleague and friend recently sent out an appeal for help. Due to health and financial problems, he and his partner were struggling to…

Why Seattle should root for Tukwila’s arena

The plan to build a privately funded hockey and basketball arena in Tukwila is welcome and could be a big win for the region, especially…

Why everywhere is “The next South Lake Union”

South Lake Union is an urbanist bright spot, a soulless scourge and a popular meme. Seattleites have mixed feeling about what has been wrought there.…

Treasurer’s funding idea: Something there?

It’s not often you see folks who hold statewide elective office embrace the third rail of Washington politics, but state Treasurer Jim McIntire, a Democrat, has…

Landmark mansion is demolished, quietly

A Seattle landmark has been quietly razed, taking preservationists by surprise. The so-called George Carmack House at 16th and E. Jefferson in the Central District…

Seattle quake: Waiting on big one

The earthquake in Nepal is a jolting reminder of our own vulnerabilities. Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the 6.5 earthquake that rocked Seattle at 8:29…

Resisting Shell: Another WTO for Seattle?

A “Festival of Resistance” is planned for mid-May as kayaking environmental activists and others promise to meet the arrival of Shell’s Arctic oil rig on…

Seattle’s name: Ripe for a change that you can make.

A little more than a year ago, in my monthly column for Seattle magazine, I put forward the idea that Seattle needs a new nickname. We’ve been…

Will Washington state stop neglecting its own history and heritage?

Back when the recession hit and the budget watering holes in Olympia began to dry up, heritage advocates experienced some dark days. During the Christine…

Too soon to pull the plug on state auditor

State Auditor Troy Kelley, a Democrat, is under federal investigation, as is a key aide, Jason Jerue, who works from his home in California. Kelley…