May 16th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s got big plans for a post-Viaduct waterfront—if property owners don’t balk at the cost; SIFF gets more female (but the software biz doesn’t); head-tax talk goes on and on.

May 9th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Another old church building may go away; still more head-tax talk; the real cost to solve the homeless crisis is massive; the Lummi Tribe wants an aquarium orca back.

5/4/18: $50 MILLION WORTH OF ‘UFF DA!’
May 3rd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Nordic Museum’s big new debut; Cinco de Mayo’s new meaning; more head-tax and public-hearing-screamers fallout; Ichiro gets kicked upstairs.

4/24/18: COMING TO A ‘HEAD’
Apr 23rd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Head-tax supporters thrown out of City Council hearing; the opioid crisis’s costs (hidden and other); a state initiative aims to keep teens away from AR-15s; should the NFL have cheer squads anymore?

Mar 21st, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Another ‘brutalist’ edifice to be fought over; Bellevue mosque burns again; bike-share vandals get scarier; can the private sector solve homelessness? (probably not).

3/14/18: DOWN THE PIKE
Mar 13th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

The Pike Place Market as a mixed-economy role model; student walkout preview; Metro stuck with not-fully ‘accessible’ minivans; what’s really keeping more women from tech careers?

2/26/18: TEAM COCOA
Feb 25th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Startup chocolate maker snags a hi-profile storefront; more harassment charges against local politicos; could a hoops payoff scandal upend the NCAA?

Feb 19th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

On a relatively slow news day we discuss an ocean-themed bowling alley (really!); a Muslim activist speaking to Japanese Americans; the Yakama tribe suing polluters; and a costly, no-electronics, teen ‘unboot camp.’

Jan 24th, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Relics found in the Rainier Square demolition; different notions of who’s attracted to move to the NW; State House votes to punish Sound Transit; #MeToo in science.

1/23/18: TO BOLDLY ‘GO’…
Jan 22nd, 2018 by Clark Humphrey

Inside Amazon’s latest physical-store concept; women lacking on NW corporate boards; using ‘mindfulness’ for racial healing; Pearl Jam’s ‘homecoming’ benefit shows.

Nov 20th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Your Tuesday report mentions the local woman behind ‘Barbie’s Dream Hearse’; city budget details; a Memorial Stadium rebuild plan; a block to the latest threat to sanctuary cities; and the French media re-rediscovering Seattle.

11/7/17: ON THE SPOT
Nov 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your pre-election letter: Fun-folky art saved in Eastern Wash.; Capitol women workers demand change; John Oliver vs. HQ2; a local name in the ‘Paradise Papers.’

11/3/17: SLEEPING IN
Nov 3rd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your big weekend news: ‘Sleep-in’ and ‘die-in’ actions for the homeless; how open-source software can be even more ‘bro’-heavy than corporate code; a private ferry to Renton?

Oct 4th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The Seattle Public Library, in conjunction with my ex-Stranger colleague Charles Mudede, recently held a public workshop on the topic of “What Every American Needs to Know.”
Attendees were asked to make their own lists of subjects they want everybody to learn. With Mudede’s presence/influence, the topics nominated veered toward racial justice/awareness issues, past and present.

The event was inspired by, and named for the subtitle of, E.D. Hirsch Jr.’s 1987 book Cultural Literacy. Hirsch listed some 5,000 terms, people, historic events, popular movements, and concepts that ought to be familiar to citizens young, old, and new.

UW instructor Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University and author of the political-activism book You’re More Powerful Than You Think, recently revived Hirsch’s concept, as something to be “crowdsourced” from citizen contributions.

Since the library event, Anika Anand at TheEvergrey.com asked that site’s readers to nominate similar topics that every Seattleite needs to know.

Here are my own nominations, in 10 overgeneralized, inter-related categories:

1. Our history and heritage.

Why the Northwest is more “north” than “west”. The early explorers, missionaries, and fur trappers. The Nordic homesteaders arriving on the land-grant railroads. The Gold Rush and boosterism. How Seattle was “bourgeois from the start” (Roger Sale).

2. Our racial/cultural mosaic, past to present.

The rich indigenous heritage, and the people who fight to keep it alive. The Anti-Chinese Riots; the WWII Japanese-American internments. FIlipino cannery workers. Vietnamese refugees. The black struggle, from redlining to gentrification. Hispanic/Latinx immigrants, and their fight to stay.

3. Our homegrown pop culture.

Seattle black music/art (not just Hendrix). Seattle pop/rock music (not just Hendrix and Cobain). Seattle visual art and artists (not just Chihuly). Self-aware, self-deprecating humor, from The Egg and I to Almost Live. Twin Peaks and the “Northwest Noir” genre. Kids’ TV; drag clowning; neo-circus; performance art. Sports, from the Hawks to the Huskies to the hydros. Gone-but-not-forgotten restaurants, stores, and dive bars. Allegedly “Seattle” things we had nothing to do with (“designer grunge,” Fifty Shades of Grey).

4. Our boomin’ n’ bustin’ economy.

Timber and the original “Skid Road.” Railroads and steamships. The Alaska connection, from fishing to oil. Boeing. The Depression; hydro power as a “public works” project. WWII; “Rosie the Riveter;” Hanford. The Jet Age; the ’70s Boeing Bust. The baby-boomer entrepreneurs behind Starbucks, Costco, and the first microbrews. The early dotcoms’ rise and fall. Washington Mutual’s rise and fall.

5. Techie Seattle and its Boeing roots (really).

How a City of Engineers morphed into a City of Coders. The UW’s heritage in medical technologies. Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s “old Seattle” backgrounds. Why Jeff Bezos and Nintendo set up shop here. Video games as an art form. The “tech bro” stereotype and tech-biz sexism.

6. Our bio-region, its ecology, and threats to same.

The “natural Northwest” relentlessly reshaped, regraded, dredged, dammed, and filled in. Hanford. Trident. Clearcut forests. Depleted fish runs. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and wildfires. Climate change and weird weather.

7. Politics past and present.

Prohibition rum-runners; brothels and speakeasies. Labor radicals, and anti-radical “massacres.” ”The 47 states and the Soviet of Washington.” “Progressive Seattle” as an historically white-dominated movement. “Feel-good liberalism” vs. making the hard choices and doing the real work. Why gay marriage and legal pot were easier to achieve than economic or racial justice. The high-end housing boom; single-family neighborhoods; “Livability” vs. “affordability.”

8. “Seattle Nice” and its limits.

Why, personality-wise, we’re more like Canada than California. Nordic stoicism; passive-aggressive distancing. Why you MUST develop and use an “inside voice,” and stop screaming in public all the time.

9. Words and phrases and pronunciations.

It’s “I-5,” not “the 5.” It’s the Department of Licensing, not the DMV. There’s no “S” in “Pike Place Market.” How to pronounce “Puyallup” and spell “Weyerhaeuser.”

10. The (Real) World of Century 21

The future promised at the World’s Fair vs. what we really got. Making a better future, not just a profitable one. Saving our nation from social/political disaster. Saving our planet from ecological disaster. Saving our own corner of the planet from the side effects of its own “success.”

Aug 30th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

One of the principal engineers behind the now-razed domed stadium passed away, having outlived his creation by 17 years. Our further Thursday topics: tribal rights to privately-held art works; a WSU prof decrying neo-Nazi images on campus; a fired cop’s legal settlement; and whether Amazon should spin off its most profitable asset (in order to keep it profitable).

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