Samoans in Seattle sue feds for citizenship

Imagine being born in a country where you can work, travel freely and even join the military, but you’re not considered a citizen. That’s the situation facing 56,000 residents of American Samoa, the only one of 14 US territories that does not allow an easy path to citizenship for people who move to the mainland […]
Jul 23, 2012

Seattle Muslims prepare for long Ramadan days

Fasting for 17 hours a day is no walk in the park. But it’s that much harder when the person sitting next to you is eating a cheeseburger, or a succulent slice of pizza. Or, for Mohammad Ismail, there’s that tempting looking Starbucks on the way to work. Born in Pakistan, this is the second […]
Jul 20, 2012
Farm laborers harvest asparagus in Eastern Washington. Many of the low-wage migrant laborers that harvest our fruits and vegetables depend on food stamp programs that are on the chopping block in the proposed version of the Farm Bill (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Why the food fight over the Farm Bill matters to you

The Farm Bill is a classic democratic-process-headache: a 1,000 page piece of legislation that takes on all things food and agriculture related. It covers everything from food stamps to farmland conservation to nutrition programs to farm subsidies. Past versions have mostly benefited big farmers of soy, corn, and other commodity crops, along with large corporations […]
Jul 18, 2012

Tips for traveling the world with a bike and a backpack

The 32nd annual Seattle to Portland (STP) Bicycle Classic is coming up this weekend.  Ten thousand riders will set out from the University of Washington and, after some 200 miles and 43,000 energy bars, end up in northeast Portland. Sadly, the trip has been sold out for months, so if you didn’t register way back […]
Jul 9, 2012
East Africa volunteer

Want to volunteer abroad? How to actually make a difference.

Every year, more young westerners are traveling to places like Africa, India, and South America in search of meaningful volunteer experiences. And why not? There’s plenty of valuable work to be done, travel and living expenses are low, and even the most challenging volunteer position might look easy compared to trying to find a job […]
Jun 19, 2012

Iranian-American candidates weigh in on foreign policy

This election season Washington has an unprecedented number of candidates who are of Iranian heritage. Sahar Fathi and Cyrus Habib for are running for State Representative (in the 36th and 48th districts respectively), and Shahram Hadian is running for Governor. Though Hadian isn’t likely to make it past the primary, Fathi and Habib both have decent chances […]
Jun 8, 2012

Japantown’s Panama Hotel hides a treasure trove of history

In 1942, in a fervor of wartime paranoia, President Roosevelt ordered Japanese-Americans into internment camps for the duration of WWII. The internment had an especially large impact in Seattle’s Japantown, where Japanese-Americans, many of them US-born citizens, were forced to abandon their homes and businesses almost overnight. Before they were led away to the camps, some […]
Jun 6, 2012

The visitor brings the sharpest knife

Telling the stories of others is a fraught endeavor. It’s hard enough when you’re doing it in your own city or community, but interpreting cultures and places that are not your own is especially problematic. International journalists and travel writers take (often deserved) criticism for superficiality, ethnocentrism or exoticizing their subjects. Not a day has passed since […]
Jun 4, 2012

Surf’s up: Couchsurfing community thrives in Seattle

Casey Fenton was traveling in Iceland in 1999 and decided he wanted to connect with locals. He sent a mass email to the student body at the University of Reykjavik, describing himself while asking for a place to stay. He was amazed at the number of offers he got. Inspired, he teamed up with some […]
May 29, 2012

Travel Technology: What gadgets (not) to bring on your trip

When it comes to packing for an international trip, I’ve always tried to live by the maxim, “if you’d be heartbroken to lose it, don’t bring it.” That means I’ll never take along my favorite old comfy T-shirt no matter how much I’d like to have it with me, for fear that it would be […]
May 17, 2012

Five global hipster meccas even cooler than Seattle

Last week hipster Seattleites shrugged indifferently at the news that our city had been named by Travel and Leisure as America’s best city for hipsters. Seattle took the prized vegan cupcake for first place, and was lauded by the site for our brains, Mac products, coffee snobbery and unique “buttoned-down” brand of hipster. We even […]
Apr 13, 2012