Demise of the Urban Farm

Thirty years ago in Seattle Weekly.

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This is one of a series looking back at Seattle Weekly's first year.

30th Anniversary

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Editor Patrick Douglas took the week's cover with the not at all rhetorical question: "Can We Save the Urban Farm?" An inside subhead warns that "our last remaining green space may be gone in 25 years." Douglas was thinking mainly of the Kent Valley, where that dire prophecy has been fulfilled. Fortunately, King County's campaign to preserve agricultural land in its eastern watersheds had already begun to take root by 1976. We're not out of the woods, but cottage agriculture still thrives in the county, thanks to that farsighted program.

An anonymous news item chided Washington Secretary of State Bruce Chapman for wavering about running again, while a mob of Republican hopefuls were tapping their feet in impatience. In the end, Chapman chose to run and was elected, serving in the office until his unsuccessful 1980 bid for governor. (If he had won the latter race, would there ever have been a Discovery Institute?)

On the culture beat, arts writer Steven Winn took a close look at the fledgling Pacific Northwest Ballet and detected the fine conspiratorial hand of the late Glynn Ross, who saw the ballet initiative as a handy way of providing dance trimmings for his productions at Seattle Opera. And, continuing his campaign to rediscover neglected dining gems, Lars Henry Ringseth reminded us all that old Ballard's Hattie's Hat, best known as a watering hole for the inordinately thirsty, was also a great place to belly up to a plate of salt cod and potatoes.

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