4 Good calls by the Weekly

In 1976, still licking our wounds from the recent Boeing bust, everyone was talking about how to stimulate growth in the region. Not the Weekly, however, which made probably its most prescient projection of all time. "This state, far from being an economic backwater, is poised to enter a period of very rapid growth, whose consequences could be catastrophic to the Northwest lifestyle," David Brewster wrote, in a cover story called "Here comes the boom." The Weekly picked up on growth newly emerging in what it called "third-tier cities," such as Redmond and Woodinville, and suggested some new policies for "growth management."

"Stand-up coffee, Italian-style: Columbia Center today, the nation tomorrow." That was the cover line for a 1986 story about a new espresso bar, called Il Giornale, just opened by a former New Yorker named Howard Schultz. Schultz "may be on the leading edge of another new wavelet, if not a full-fledged wave," said the Weekly, noting Schultz's expansion plans. "He envisions Il Giornales packing them in on opposite sides of the same street." The Il Giornale name was ultimately abandoned, and Schultz instead executed his world-conquering concept at Starbucks.

Writer Rebecca Boren took a hard look at a 1990 taxpayer-funded renovation plan for the Pacific Medical Center (or Pac Med) on Beacon Hill and concluded: "The public hospital—which is no longer a hospital—is turning itself into an office developer." The president of Pac Med denied her contention. Eight years later, Pac Med leased the place to Amazon.com.

In his 1987 cover story, "Semi-Pop," Bart Becker explored Seattle's creative rock underground—where bands were carving out "a distinctive 'slow, heavy, physical sound,' a middle ground between thrash and punk-folk" with verse-chorus forms and "a congenital distrust of popularity." "There is a growing sense," Becker wrote, "that Seattle is sending out heavy ripples and is due for its 15 minutes of influential notoriety on the international music scene." Nirvana's Nevermind was released four years later.

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