Northwest Knows Best?

But Citizens United left us some nasty residue.

Research by Jane Harvey

Last time, I described Buckley v Valeo, the seminal Supreme Court ruling that teed up Citizens United and that forbids caps on political spending in the United States. In that case, Chief Justice Warren Burger dissented, writing, “What remains after today’s holding leaves no more than a shadow of what Congress contemplated. I question whether the residue leaves a workable program.”

This article documents the residue—the unworkable program that attempts to regulate money in politics—in  …  read more »

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Highest and Best Use…Or Not.

When NOT improving property is highly profitable.

­­With the sharp rise in Seattle real estate values over the last several years, you might assume that landowners have been champing at the bit to redevelop some of the low-value, dilapidated properties that they own in and around downtown.

Yet in many cases you’d be wrong. As it turns out, holding onto a crumbling building, and even letting it slowly deteriorate, can be a terrific business proposition. As the surrounding neighborhood develops, growing in value by attracting new residents and  …  read more »


A Downtown School Just Dropped in Seattle’s Lap

For free (maybe). Will the school district take it on?

Andrea Miller’s third-grader has never been to school on May Day. She stays home each year, rather than risk the chance that her school bus will become hopelessly mired in the occasionally violent protests that engulf downtown Seattle streets.

Theoretically, it’s only an 8-minute drive between the Millers’ downtown Seattle apartment and John Hay Elementary, the public elementary school near the top of Queen Anne Hill to which (until recently) most children living downtown were assigned. But the family  …  read more »


Weekend Reading 7/18/14

Readers make the best lovers, the 8-minute Comcast plea, and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of


Why readers, scientifically, are the best people to fall in love with.


The Gaza-Israel situation is beyond words. InFocus had a stunning set of photos of the conflict’s impact (warning to the weak of stomach: some are graphic) last week.

“Corrupt, f*****, and broken.” That, essentially, is what Millennials think of their political system. Alternatively (worse?), we are just completely confused. Argument #1,436 for why we need better civic education in this country.

Okay, we actually  …  read more »

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A Move to Ban the Most Dangerous Oil Trains

Environmental law group petitions regulators to follow safety recommendations.

5 Elements of Good Stories—5 Deadly Sins

How to win (or lose) the "Story Wars" (Part I).

Stand by Me

How providers can better meet kids on their own turf.

Industry To Feds: We Will Keep Using Old Unsafe Tank Cars For Three More Years, or Longer If We Feel Like It

Ignoring safety reports, oil train industry tries to roll regulators.

Seattle Sets Ride-Service Companies Free

The city council's about-face is a win for Lyft, uberX, consumers.

Want to see a post-Citizens United America? Look North

Canadian politicians do not dial for dollars.