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😍 What our sky SHOULD look like

BREATHE IT IN. “This whole state is like the Microsoft desktop,” reader Darcy Gabriele posted on Instagram back in July. Now where’s the “kill the smoke” keyboard shortcut? Thanks for tagging #theevergrey, Darcy!

Well hang tight. ‘Cause this nasty, soul-crushing wildfire smoke is supposed to start clearing out today and might look clean-ish by tomorrow. 🙏

While the weather gets on that, here’s another way to brighten things up…

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It’s nine days ‘til September, y’all. And even if it’s been years since you’ve gone “back to school,” this always feels like a time to give yourself some homework. How are you going to have more fun, get closer to the people and things you care about, and feel more at home in your own skin and your own city?

May we suggest volunteering? 💪

Seattle ranks no. 12 for volunteering among the 51 major metro areas in the country. Almost 900,000 locals around Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue take some time to give back. That’s pretty great, but we think we can rank even higher.

So as part of our Evergrey Giving Guide, we’re looking for awesome local volunteer opportunities to organize into a handful of volunteer field trips in the coming months. What kind of volunteer opportunities? The kind that…

  • …are meaningful and accessible
  • …help us get to know each other, our neighbors, and people and orgs doing good around the city
  • …make a difference around the biggest needs you’ve told us you’re seeing (here and here) — like homelessness, equity, the environment, education, and building the kinds of connections that get us working for the common good.

Dozens of you have been telling us about the local orgs — big and small — that you’d like us to spotlight this fall (thanks!). Now we’d love to hear from the volunteers among you:

🗣 What was the last wonderful volunteer experience you had around Seattle, and what made it great? 🗣

» Hit reply and let us know, or send an email to [email protected].

Can’t wait to get out there? Here are a few great volunteer calendars to browse and sign up for something right now. Know another great one we missed? Just let us know.

Thanks to everyone who’s emailed us ideas for our Evergrey Giving Guide, and to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for making this project possible.


Wake up with ‘StayWoke.’ Need that cuppa joe? Go to the corner of South Alaska Street and 31st Avenue South in Columbia City some weekday morning and you’ll see something awesome — 13-year-old Aaron Bossett and Jamaica Myres running a small business called Stay Woke Coffee stand. It started as a summer project, but now that they’ve gotten support from the likes of Food Network host Guy Fieri (here’s the Instagram pic) and ex-Seahawk Marcus Trufant (and here’s that one), it’s a lot more. “People think they’re just pouring Keurigs, but no,” said Aaron’s dad. “These guys are really taking the time to make you a good, good cup of coffee.” Their goal? Funding to open a cafe. ☕️ (Seattle’s Child)

‘We might as well be criticized doing something good.’ Our tech industry is behind a lot of our big growth. It also gets flack from locals who think it’s not pitching in enough on the city’s big problems. Enter Sea.citi. That’s a group started by two local tech execs — Flying Fish Partners’ Heather Redman and Amazon’s Eileen Sullivan — that’s rallying a lot of big companies behind its mission to plug the city’s tech employees into Seattle’s civic life. Its first project? Getting mentors and resources to 10 schools in South Seattle. (GeekWire)

‘Chefs across America should think about this.’ Renee Erickson isn’t just any Seattle chef. She’s a James Beard Award-winning Seattle chef. So when she told subscribers to her newsletter that she’s taking chinook salmon off her restaurants’ menus to leave more for our starving southern-resident orcas, foodies noticed. Will other chefs follow suit? Biologist Rob Williams hopes so. “The whales need it more than we do.” (The Seattle Times)

Seattle fans = the greatest fans? Here’s a fun mystery from the sporting world: Why is it that the Seattle Storm is drawing more fans, but overall attendance at WNBA games nationwide is down 12 percent? A killer season’s helped — the Storm is the No. 1 seed heading into its semifinal game on Sunday. Another big score? Community partnerships and marketing. (The Seattle Times)

What’s being done to prevent more people from becoming homeless?’ It’s one of the questions about homelessness you asked a group of us local media outlets to answer — and KUOW’s Kate Walters is out with her report. Seattle and King County do have programs to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place. But we’re spending just a fraction on them of what we spend on homelessness overall. Should that change? The math says maybe. The county spends $1,800 per family on its youth and family homeless prevention initiative and claims a success rate of 94 percent. Emergency shelter, on the other hand, costs $10,000 to $15,000 per person, per bed, per year. 💰 (KUOW)

Here's What's Coming Up

Partner Events

📅  Wednesday, August 29: Learn to master your calendar — and master your business — at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

✊  Wednesday, Sept. 5: Hear some real talk about confidence building from a queer woman of color in tech at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

Around Town


🎟  Get a babysitter so you can hang out with aquarium critters (Downtown)
🎨  Celebrate indigenous healing and survival through poetry and music (University District)
💡  Listen to your neighbors’ ‘stories of saying goodbye’ (Capitol Hill)
🎶  Sway to “passionate tango” and “sultry bossa nova” by Alma y Azucar (Shoreline)


🎟  Watch a drag tribute to your favorite Pixar films (Belltown)
🎟  Celebrate Mexico’s traditions and folklore for the Paramount Theatre’s 90th b-day (Downtown)
🍿  Dress your best (or don’t) to watch The Devil Wears Prada in the park (Capitol Hill)
🎶  Jam out to local artists The Moondoggies and The Black Tones at the Mural Amphitheatre (Queen Anne)
🍺  Sip beers and hand-crafted cocktails at West Seattle Beer & Music Fest — through Aug. 26 (West Seattle)


🎟  Get wowed by aerial and burlesque artists (Ballard)
🎈  Take your little ones to KidChella to dance to Caspar Babypants (Sand Point)
👋  Meet your neighbors and celebrate a brand new park (Yesler Terrace)
🎟  Fulfill your Great Gatsby dreams on a 1920s-themed cruise (South Lake Union)
🎨  Hear gospel music and listen to poetry among the trees — through Aug. 26 (West Seattle)


🎈  Take the kids to see critters and eat funnel cakes at the fair — through Sept. 3 (Monroe)
🍴  Celebrate “all things rolled” with performances and a pho eating contest (International District)
🎈  Take su familia to celebrate Central American foods, art, and music (South Park)

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. Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in tomorrow’s newsletter.


Chief Carmen Best got sworn in yesterday, and she’s the first person of color to permanently head up the Seattle Police Department.

Have a good one, all. — The Evergrey

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