♠️ Off with our head tax?

BERRY TIME: Reader John “Buddy” Beck was lucky enough to watch Instagram pie queen Lauren Koh, a.k.a. @lokokitchen, whip up a stunning berry pie earlier this year. Swoon.


Need something sweet while you’re summering in Seattle? We’re all in luck — because it’s almost blackberry season and blackberries are gonna be everywhere.

THE BLACKBERRY BOOM: Many of the blackberry plants around Puget Sound are of the Himalayan variety, which horticulturist Luther Burbank introduced to us in 1894. Burbank’s creation became famous for its large fruits and ability to, as KUOW put it, “[grow] like nobody’s business.”

Today, our non-local blackberry is so prolific that King County identifies it as a noxious weed that will “out-compete” native plants. While these thickets might be a gardener’s nightmare, they’re considered a special summertime treat for plenty of Seattleites.

ARE THEY SAFE TO EAT? The short answer: Snack at your own risk.

“As delicious as blackberries are — and we’d love to tell you to eat them wherever you find them — the truth is, it’s more complicated than that,” Frank Apa, spokesperson for King County Public Health, told us. “It’s hard to tell from the eye if the blackberries have been sprayed with herbicide or pesticide … [or] growing in a place that may have been contaminated.”

A LITTLE PEACE OF MIND: Seattle Parks and Recreation requires that blackberries and other edible plants growing in parks not be sprayed while they’re fruiting “to avoid any risk,” said Christina Hirsch, a spokesperson for the department. Our city municipal code also states plant matter shouldn’t be taken home from the park, which technically bars foraging.

So where can you find blackberries around the city?

  • At the Beacon Hill Food Forest, which is home to blackberries, raspberries, fruit and nut trees and veggie patches
  • ParentMap suggests heading to Magnuson Park’s trails and checking in with parks naturalists and environmental centers at Seward, Discovery, Carkeek, and Hamlin parks
  • U-Pick berry farms — just make sure to check out what’s in season before making the trek
  • Planning a hike? Here are a few trails you might be able to snag some berries over the summer

Pro-tip from local naturalist Stewart Wechsler: “The best spots to pick blackberries are generally among the sunniest spots, so a good south, southwest, or west exposure is the best bet for abundant, well ripened, sweet blackberries.”

Have a favorite fruit-picking spot around Seattle you want to shout-out? Or know a geeky blackberry expert we should meet? Hit reply or email [email protected] to let us know.

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Off with our head tax? Something big is happening at City Hall today. Less than a month after our city council passed a big tax on big local businesses, they’re getting ready to repeal it. Why? Lots of pushback. To back up: The head tax, which is supposed to raise $47 million a year for housing and homeless services, sparked debate all over the city before it passed on May 14. Some people loved that it’d get rich companies like Amazon to pay to fix our homelessness crisis, which they pin in part on their booming growth. Others hated that it’d burden and maybe chase off successful businesses with a big tax that would only get bigger with each new person they’d hire.

Just after the head tax passed, some local business leaders started a “No Tax on Jobs” campaign to kill it. The campaign got lots of dough from co’s like Starbucks and Vulcan to put a repeal of the tax on the November ballot. The campaign’s gotten plenty of signatures from folks in the city, and the prospect of a messy and divisive public fight is what seven of our nine council members say got them to make one of the biggest political 180’s in recent memory. More than 12,000 people are experiencing homelessness in our county. But just 29 percent of respondents to one new poll think we need more local taxes to solve the problem. Want to see the highlights of the head tax’s likely short life? Check out this timeline from Crosscut. (The Seattle Times)

‘They never got to say goodbye.’ Parents and their kids have been getting separated at Sea-Tac Airport. It’s due to a new federal “zero-tolerance” policy from the Trump administration that’s out to keep immigrant families from trying to enter the country undocumented. Enter the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac. That’s where more than 170 women — a lot of them moms — have been held ever since they flew in from their home countries, hoping to get asylum so their families could stay here. “They were taken to a different room from their child,” said U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who met with a lot of them and spoke with a crowd outside the detention center. “So they never got to say goodbye.” (KUOW)

Good news, Seattle sports fans. Our University of Washington Huskies will be heading off to Omaha, Nebraska for their first-ever College World Series. And the Seawolves — our brand new pro rugby team — just clinched a spot in the young league’s playoffs. 💪 (The Seattle Times, Twitter)

Crazy good restaurant for sale. The Herbfarm out in Woodinville has been serving some of the most drool-worthy (and priciest) farm-to-table meals in the region since 1986. Now its husband-and-wife owners, Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck, are ready to hang up the apron. How much does one of the nation’s 55 5-Diamond restaurants go for these days? Dunno. Tweet Ron and find out. 😉 (Eater Seattle)

Thanks to reader Kate Kourbatova for pointing out something important. Last Thursday, on the anniversary of the passing of Chief Seattle, we mentioned his leadership of the Suquamish Tribe, but left out that he also led our Duwamish Tribe, which has been struggling for years to be recognized by the U.S. federal government. We’re sorry about that, and grateful to everyone who helps us stay as true as possible to our city’s story.

The Center provides meals, warmth & housing assistance to seniors in need in downtown Seattle. Donate now to help prepare for fall/winter. Learn More ».
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📸 Picturing Trails Plan to hike this summer? If you hit up one of King County Park's trails, post your picture to Instagram for a chance to win a prize. #picturingtrails

Partner Events

👋  TODAY: Get tips on how to build an inclusive creative workplace at AIGA Seattle’s Diversity & Inclusion Workshop (Downtown)

🏆  Wednesday: Learn who you are as a leader at the next Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

💃  Friday: Watch amazing Northwest dancers do their thing at Pacific Northwest Ballet’s NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN performance and party (Queen Anne)

💪  Wednesday, June 20: When do you keep pushing, and when do you call it a day? Learn how to tell the difference at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.

Around Town


🏞  Sip sake in Seattle’s Japanese Garden (Montlake)
🍿  Watch a movie about Bill Nye’s fight against anti-scientific thinking (Beacon Hill)
💡  Dive into a fictitious dystopian future for women’s reproductive rights (Hillman City)
👋  Design a more inclusive workplace at this Evergrey partner event (Downtown)


💡  Peek into the world of coffee roasting (Pioneer Square)
🎨  Check out a new literary anthology and live poetry (Columbia City)
💡  Learn who you are as a leader at this Evergrey partner event (Pioneer Square)
🎨  See a legendary Central District photog’s pics — through June 17 (South Lake Union)


👋  Share golden year goals with fellow seniors (Green Lake)
💡  Learn about penguins who live in the desert (
West Seattle)
🗣  Hear women’s experiences being homeless in Seattle (Capitol Hill)
👋  Bring your transpo nerd A-game to transit-themed trivia (Pioneer Square)
🗣  Hear from the bishop who gave the sermon at the royal wedding (Capitol Hill)


🎟  Cheer on Rocky Horror-themed roller derby (White Center)
👋  Test your Seattle knowledge at Crosscut’s trivia night (Ballard)
🎟  Party with dancers at this Evergrey partner event (Queen Anne)
🍿  See the Seattle International Film Festival’s best flicks (All over)


🎈  Watch The Goonies under the stars (South Lake Union)
🏞  Explore some of North Seattle’s secret gardens (Lake Forest Park)
🎈  See some live music and handmade art — through June 17 (Edmonds)
🎈  Kick -off summer with the Solstice Festival’s naked bike riders (


🎈  Take a drive to gorge on strawberries (Marysville)
🎈  Celebrate black art, fashion, and culture with live music (Queen Anne)
🍺  Crack open a beer with dad at the Washington Brewers Festival (Redmond)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership.


The one just below the berry story? That ad wasn’t placed by the senior center itself, but by reader Jeff Carlson. Jeff is one of our winners of a free newsletter promo spot to shout out any awesome local person or organization he wanted. He picked the senior center, he said, “to help them out when the weather is nice to make sure they have resources for when it’s not.”

Go take care of each other, all. — The Evergrey

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