Crosscut week in review (June 26)

The future of Seattle waterfront is a big topic for readers.
The future of Seattle waterfront is a big topic for readers.

In the online world, some stories seem to draw lots of readers, while others attract more comments by readers. Sometimes, a story has large numbers of readers and commenters.

That was the case this week with "Can Seattle make a great waterfront park?" by David Brewster. It had more readers and more comments than any of other story published on Crosscut this week.

There were some very good comments about lessons to be drawn from other cities with waterfront parks, whether a park will have enough authenticity to fit into the life of the city, and even about general park design. Clearly, Seattleites care about the future of their city, the environment, and their parks. In the most recent posting, at least as of this writing, reader "mhays" suggests the biggest error of park designs in Seattle tends to be the lack of shade trees, noting: It's appalling to see designs for the Seattle Center, for example, with giant barren lawns we're expected to watch concerts from during the height of summer.

Go to the Space Needle on a warm day during a festival. Look straight down at the amphitheater. I've done this repeatedly. The crowd is ALWAYS huddled around the trees, not in the sunny middle.

Early in the week, writer Knute Berger proposed that we would have smarter development if there were a kind of Sierra Club to fight for historic preservation. He lays out a very strong argument, noting that the way issues around archeology and construction are laid out fails to even connect with the public.

It's here: "Help wanted: A 'Sierra Club' for historic preservation to fight development."

From Bellingham, Bob Simmons wrote about the effects of a surprising state tax ruling that will exempt British Columbia shoppers from paying the sales taxes so important to local governments near the border. The Whatcom Transit Authority could be particularly hard hit.

"State tax ruling strikes blow to Whatcom's acclaimed bus system."

Chris Vance took a comprehensive look at the election prospects in the federal and state races here this year.

"Look out, Democrats. National politics will drive state's election."

Lawrence W. Cheek examined the significant legacy of Seattle architect Paul Thiry, as well as noting that the city failed to listen to his proven-to-be-correct concerns about building the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The story included a small photo gallery (which can be accessed from blue links under the photo that appears with the article).

"Paul Thiry: pioneer of architectural modernism in Seattle."

Here's a quick selection of some of the other fine stories:

"Southeast Seattle, 98118: Yes, my diverse zip code is cool," by Anthony B. Robinson.

"Rejuvenating one of Seattle's oldest theaters," by Travis Hay.

"Crying foul over state liquor store's deal with Edgar Martinez," by Ronald Holden.

UW's new Environment College: just for the believers?" by Daniel Jack Chasan.

Finally, editors of two other publications requested permission, which we happily granted, to reprint a couple of Crosscut stories from this week:

"A last dance with Merce?" by Spider Kedelsky, writing about efforts to bring a farewell tour of the late Chehalis-born dance star's company here.

"Looking from Seattle when your homeland is on fire," by Collin Tong, reporting on Thai-Americans' feelings about political turmoil in Thailand.


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