take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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« Walt Crowley's condition is grave | Main | Tuesday oddems: dittos betrayus; billo gives it up? loopy livershorts, and the big crapaud »

September 22, 2007



I'm so sorry about Walt. When I was organizing to move to Seattle 13 years ago mutual friends put us in touch and he was extremely generous to a perfect stranger with his time and counsel. Our discourse has lost a sensible and constructive voice, and we had few enough of those as it was. My thoughts are with Walt's family and friends.


My condolences abut Walt. I fondly remember him setting Carlson straight on that point'counterpoint thing on KIRO tv. I remember The Helix Magazine.



Thanks for your reminiscence about Walt. If you don't mind, I'd like to share a little about some little-known Crowleyisms.

In 1987, for the Spoken Words program directed by Mark McDonald at the Two Bells, we cooked up a play based on Archie and Mehitabel, the early 1900s column by Don Marquis. I played Archie, the cockroach who was a reincarnated vers libre poet. Ann Nofsinger played Mehitabel, the cat who claimed to be Cleopatra in a past life. And my future wife played a role in the insect chorus.

Walt sloughed off all dignity to play multiple roles: the columnist, Don Marquis, behind his manual typewriter; a moth drawn to a flame; and an elderly mother spider “grown gaunt and fierce and gray.” His game performance brought the house down.

I remember Walt’s various efforts to save the Blue Moon Tavern, under threat – variously - from developers, the City of Seattle and its own seeming anachronism. In 1990, Walt and owner Gus Hellthaler led the effort to obtain historical status for the time-worn institution. Historic status remained elusive but the public outcry forced the developers to reconsider plans and preserve the Blue Moon with a 40-year lease.

Then, in 1994, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Moon with a colossal reading and performance party. Tom Robbins was there, as were Jonathan Rabin and other assorted personalities. Walt also wrote a book called “Forever Blue Moon” to cement the memory.

To make the anniversary last even longer, we instituted a series of readings and, in response a dream of mine, a free magazine called Point No Point: A Blue Moon Reader. Bill Heintzleman, the beloved manager of the Moon who died of a brain tumor shortly after, took a role as publisher. But the real force behind the magazine was Marie, whose design was the driver of the whole affair. Walt decided he would take on a new role, writing a serial murder mystery, “The Ungrateful Dead.”

Point No Point gave us all a chance to do things we wanted – at no pay of course. We did pay the writers a token because that was how we thought it should work.

Walt was always one to take action and make things happen - often when you didn’t expect it. One time I jokingly threw out the idea of renaming the alley next to the Blue Moon after poet Theodore Roethke. My wife and I had just been to San Francisco and toured Jack Keroac Alley and William Saroyan Street, home of Spec’s, a famous bar. Roethke, my favorite poet, drank at the Blue Moon, so I boozily thought it would be appropriate for the alley to be so renamed.

Walt didn’t settle for it being a joke. He took it and ran. Before long, he had the City Council lined up, and Councilmember Martha Choe was teetering on a ladder to fix the Roethke Mews sign to the brick wall of the Blue Moon. The “Mews” part was Walt’s touch. I thought it was sort of pretentious but you can’t fault his initiative. It got done.

The same was true with Historylink. In the late 1990s, I remember sitting around with a group of diverse people that Walt had convened to help him and Marie and Paul Dorpat figure out how the website should work and what it should contain. There were “technologists” like Steve Leith and representatives of the black, Jewish, women’s, Asian and other communities. Walt didn’t want to start out with only the Denny Party and elite content. He wanted Historylink to start out deep and continue to run deep.

Walt was notable for his explosive laugh. It was a percussive “Hah!” that could be heard across any living room or bar in Seattle. In the end, when his voice failed, Walt’s sense of humor seemed only to rally. He could use his electronic voice device as Harpo Marx deployed his horn. He could draw laughs from a scrawl on his Etch-a-Sketch board.

Throughout our relationship, I was attracted to the conversation. Walt and Marie were terrific conversationalists. But conversations tend to be fleeting. We forget what we said. Walt didn't want us to forget. He thought remembering was important, ergo Historylink. Right now, I'm hoping we won't forget him or what he did. Thanks.

Mike Barer

Mike Webb, Karen Marchioro, and now Walt Crowley. This is not a good year for Democrats.


Thanks for this window into a life. I didn't comment earlier because I didn't know what to say. My heart goes out to Marie and all his friends. Such lives should not be allowed to end.

Sandeep Kaushik

I didn't know Walt for that long, or nearly as well as Michael and so many others who have lived here for decades and knew him way back when. Walt and I had beers together a handful of times over the last couple of years. Invariably a couple of hours would pass in the blink of an eye as he regaled me with colorful, gossip-y stories of long forgotten political battles in Seattle during the 60s, 70s and 80s, made all the more fascinating because many of the characters in those tales are still around today (and, sometimes, still making asses of themselves). He was one of my favorite people in Seattle. Given how much I feel the loss, I can't imagine what it is like for those who knew him so much longer or better than I did, or for his wife Marie. Walt was a joy to have a drink or three with -- and as far as I am concerned there is no higher praise than that.


Thanks so much for this tribute, Bla'M, et. al. I know that Walt and Marie were close friends of yours, and my heart goes out to you. Walt was, and is, a huge piece of Seattle's soul. I am so, so sorry for your personal loss and Seattle's hushed voice.


Crowley wasn't that active in politics in recent decades. HistoryLink is an innovative achievement and a lasting one. He invented a model useful not only by historians, but for other disciplines as well. Would that HistoryLink's model for the future of on-line public encylopediae dominate rather than that of the problematic Wikipedia whose flaws have been exposed lately as assorted entities with assorted political and commercial agenda scramble to write and rewrtie the histories of themselves.
Being in academia, I hope HistoryLink will survive and thrive the sad death of its co-founder.


I love it when Seattle's sense of humor shines through the usual, prissy, stolid muck. Walt Crowley's life was a beacon on that account.


...and took great joy in sometimes being an overlarge garlic fragment in baba ganoush of Seattle nice."

There is no such thing as an overlarge garlic fragment. Are you dissing baba ganoush? For shame!!

I DO love historylink.org. Too bad I never met this garlicky Walt!!


Godspeed Walter, or whatever speed it is for atheists...


It's impossible to imagine Seattle without Walt Crowley. He has been a golden thread running through the city for as long as I can remember. He was my first flesh and blood hero in the Helix days when he gave us a voice. He never stopped. We will miss him deeply and send ou condolences to his family and friends.

Karl Kotas

I met Walt when I sold the Helix during summer school at the UW in 1968. He was smart, funny and very kind and generous to me then and each and every time we met thereafter. He did a great deal of good for this town and I am very, very sad to hear about his passing. I am sorry for your loss.

Ken V

Michael-- Thank you so much for the nice words, pictures and memories of Walt Crowley. To me, Walt was the definitive Seattleite; I admired him for years before I achieved the privilege of getting to know him and then sharing friendship with him. It is comforting to read Walt’s life and legend marked by so many "important" and "unimportant" Seattleites. Of all the characterizations of Walt I’ve seen so far, two strike my heart the most: your line that Walt, "took great joy in sometimes being an overlarge garlic fragment in baba ganoush of Seattle nice" (he would have loved that); and this from today’s P-I: "In 1977, he returned to the private sector, beginning a long on-and-off career in journalism, eventually working as both a freelance and a staff writer for the Seattle Weekly and its founder, David Brewster.
On Friday, McCaffrey remembered Brewster talking about a particularly controversial story assignment that was destined to make its writer unpopular. His decision: Assign it to Crowley.
As McCaffrey remembered it, laughing, "(Brewster) said, 'Walt, you do it. You're the one guy who doesn't care if everyone hates you.' " http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/332802_crowley20.html

No matter what anyone thought of him, no one could question that Walt loved Seattle. His city will miss him, and his legacy will live on in many ways.

Ries Niemi

I am proud to say that Walt was my friend, for many years.
I will miss him.


Walt Crowley was a (gad)fly in the face of every crochit people have about Seattle: that it has no sense of humor, is too nice, or that it's unfriendly, politically correct, or too stuffy.


Walt Crowley!


It is apparent that Walt, like Mike Webb, was a liberal in the grandest sense of the word: an advocate of liberty.


Meet Walt's "new friend",
Captain Underpants!


The only thing that Walt Crowley and Mike Webb have in common is that they are both dead.


The Moon may as well go out; the Emerald City turn blue; the wolves' howls turn to wimpers and the gulls drop into the sea. I've been thinking a lot about Walt's effect on Seattle over the past two days and realized that just about everything we love about our city was shaped in some way by Walt. (I'm talking about the essential Seattle, here, not the money mongers and developers.) From the Helix days on, he was the essence of Seattle--the intangible difference that we were so proud of; the difference that people from around the country heard about that made them either want to move here or to stay far away...the difference that made preening fundamentalist neocons so furious with "Seattle liberals." To me, Walter embodied the Seattle ideal--socialist, activist, liberal, witty intellectual, literary whiz kid. He evolved, but he never sold out. Walt Crowley was our city's heart and soul.

My heart goes out to his family and friends.


Freemont...can't keep those books on the shelves...particularly popular with 2nd and 3rd grade boys. In the stores they come packaged with whoopie cushions!


We will miss Walt. He stood for a lot of great things. He was One of Us. Too bad he didn't live to see us crush the Republicans' nuts in 2008.


Gusto, you are a funny man. LOL

Bill Wilson

I did not know Walt personally but followed him in print and media over the years. And especially with historylink.org; a jewel of a website! God bless you Walt and my sympathies to your family.

Douglas Balles

It seems like only yesterday, I didn't know until today that Walt passed away, don't keep up on Seattle these days. I have a print of his titled "Vietnam a war like know other". Means even more to me now.

Douglas Balles

It seems like only yesterday, I didn't know until today that Walt passed away, don't keep up on Seattle these days. I have a print of his titled "Vietnam a war like know other". Means even more to me now.

Douglas Balles

It seems like only yesterday, I didn't know until today that Walt passed away, don't keep up on Seattle these days. I have a print of his titled "Vietnam a war like know other". Means even more to me now.

Lorraine Baker

I am so very sorry and shocked to hear of Walts passing. I am his (maternal) cousin in England, we lost touch years ago due to family arguments between his Mum and mine. My parents died four years ago and I was hoping to make contact with my long lost cousin. I have such happy memories when Walt Jnr came on relatively frequent visits to see his grandmother. We talked and talked for hours and I was convinced that only he understood my early teenage angst. My sympathies go to his friends. What a sad loss.

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