Heads up to a great event happening next Saturday, August 23: the 9th Annual Duwamish River Fest! It’s a completely free afternoon of food, art, boat and kayak rides, kids’ activities, live music, and more. I’ll be there and volunteering (still a few more spots to fill!), so come out with the fam for some local river fun.

Wow, this is powerful. After the controversial shooting of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last weekend, this hashtag collected the commentary of black youth across the country wondering about mass media’s selective portrayal of gun victims of color: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. Here’s a sobering “Hands up, don’t shoot” photo collection from Vox, and historically black Howard University’s own contribution to the conversation.

In more local related news, this past weekend, a guard at Seattle’s Westlake Mall pepper-sprayed a bystanding young black man, Raymond Wilford, instead of the white agitator who was heckling a pro-Gaza demonstration. From the article:

“I’ve been treated like that all my life, so it kinda brushes off,” Wilford, who has two kids, says. “I’m from the South, I’m from New Orleans. I’ve seen the worst of it.” He lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and came to Seattle a decade ago “to try to redo my life,” he says.

“People here seem to be more secretive about their not liking black people, or their racism,” he says. “I’m so used to it I don’t know what’s wrong and what’s right half the time.”

And now for something completely different: a photo project to temporarily sate my endless fascination with (slash admitted terror at the prospect of) living off the grid.

I had the privilege of seeing the brilliant and hilarious Sherman Alexie interview the overnight sensation (thanks in large part to this Colbert bump) Edan Lepucki at Seattle Public Library on Tuesday night (thanks, Library Foundation and Elliott Bay Books!)—which was, in fact, the first time the two authors had ever met. Bummer if you missed it, but I am looking forward to diving into both my personally signed new books, Alexie’s Blasphemy and Lepucki’s California. Hot tip: Sherman Alexie recommends reading all things Paul Constant (of The Stranger) to learn about the insatiable Amazon behemoth.

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  • Finally, if you missed this article in our Sightline Daily news picks earlier this week about PR firm Edelman shilling for climate-change-denying clients, read it! And no, not just because it briefly mentions Sightline research, but because I literally laughed out loud at some of the statements the company’s CEO made in response to the author’s critical articles. A sampling:

    “I just want you to know we’re not bad people, that’s all.”

    “I actually don’t believe that API [American Petroleum Institute] is a bad actor in this, I really don’t.”

    “Look, yes, we do represent in the UK office that E.On factory, whatever, the coal plant. But they also do a lot of work on renewables, and whatever.”

    Um, really?! It gets even better on ALEC campaigns, which the company wouldn’t comment on, but rather referred further questions to a blog post. The author pretty much summed up his point about the issue: “…it’s pretty simple: enacting a policy that states you will not ‘accept a client that seeks to deny climate change’ requires dismissing those clients that seek to deny climate change. Otherwise, it’s not a policy, it’s just a blog post.”