Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Thelma Houston

Getting the last word

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

On paper, Thelma Houston is a one-hit wonder from the disco era.

But with Houston, as with so many things, what’s on paper isn’t even the first word, much less the last one.

To begin with, Houston (no relation to Whitney because it probably needs to be said) didn’t just have a hit song. She had a Grammy-winning, number-one hit, “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” that was also a disco anthem. And for Houston, it was the foundation for an entire career.

Before she was a disco…

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A New Vitality

City proposes agreement to purchase former JCPenney building

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

It’s been called the key to a revitalized downtown and an economic drag on what was once the most prosperous street in Bellingham. Now a building that has sat empty for 30 years may see new life through a partnership between two local developers and the city.

On Mon., Sept. 10, Bellingham City Council officially learned the mayor’s office had helped broker a deal to redevelop 1314 Cornwall Ave., the former JCPenney building and adjacent Woolworth’s building, into a mixed-use…

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Moe and Singleton

Two takes on abstraction

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Allen Moe’s work (now at i.e. gallery in Edison) and that of Susan Singleton (currently showing at Perry and Carlson Gallery in Mount Vernon) equally result from launching into the unknown, something that Singleton describes as a “liminal” state of mind focused and conscious, close to meditation, from which their best art arises.

It’s not a mistake each artist has been honored with the invitation to create works for the Anacortes Arts Festival within the past few years.

Moe is a…

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A DIY smorgasbord

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I’m proud of the year’s supply of garden-grown garlic bulbs hanging in our shed and the servings of beefsteak tomato sauce stacked in the freezer, but if the apocalypse ever came knocking, our household would still be sorely lacking when it came to storing up supplies for long-term survival.

And while the focus of the seventh annual Cascadia SkillShare & Barter Faire taking place Sept. 15-16 at a scenic locale near Lake Whatcom isn’t necessarily on how to emerge unscathed from the end…

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Activism for Kids

Three ways to make a difference

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Someone you know went to a march this summer.

It was a pretty big deal, and it sounded like fun. It was a time for people to gather and take advantage of their rights. It’s something you’d like to do, too, someday, and with the following three books, you’ll see how you can start getting involved.

First of all, never say you’re “just” a kid. Kids can make a difference, as you’ll see in What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris.

No matter who you…

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Water Week

It’s everybody’s business

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Just in time for Whatcom Water Week, the rain gods have returned in full force to remind us the vital resource is one we can’t take for granted.

While the recent change in weather might’ve curtailed late-summer plans for one last dip in your favorite swimming hole or caused grumbling attendees to bring umbrellas along to long-planned outdoors events, it’s difficult to argue that the moisture falling from the sky isn’t welcome.

If you don’t think that’s true, many of the…

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On Stage

Love is Love

La Cage aux Folles

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Love scenes can be difficult to pull off with finesse, but a memorable moment of tenderness during Bellingham Theatre Guild’s rendition of the musical La Cage aux Folles had me not only reaching for a hankie, but also grinning from ear to ear.

While much of the show is gloriously bawdy, colorful and celebratory—more on that in a minute—the more restrained scene I’m thinking of came when longtime lovers Georges (Brian Francis) and Albin (Jordan Smith) sat on a bench in the French…

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Best of Skagit
Best Tulip Farm


It’s tulip time, and the fields are alive with the light and color of spring. The word’s out, and this spectacular time in the Skagit Valley is no longer a secret.

But Skagit still holds a lot of secrets—mist-shrouded valleys, swollen and mighty rivers, and frosty high country thick with dark pines and devil’s club. And there are the hidey holes—the hamlets sprinkled along old forgotten highways, the winding sloughs and channels of the fertile delta, and the coast beyond—dotted with islands pungent from salt and rain. There are the bars and diners and coffeehouses, the playgrounds and trails. And there are the people who fill them, hearty and happy. And though our readers revealed some of these secrets, Skagit remains a treasure undiscovered.

Entries by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat
Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle and Andy Porter

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Open Secret Disclosed

OPEN SECRET DISCLOSED: The purchase of the long-empty JCPenney department store building and a partnership to redevelop it into rental housing for middle incomes was an open secret in downtown Bellingham; and it was kept a secret for a good reason, that premature disclosure of the…

Alan Rhodes
Dog Days Deliberations

While I get pretty lazy during the summer, I still faithfully keep my journal going, so I thought I’d share some random entries from July and August.

The August Bellingham Bake-Off. It’s too damn hot! I’m tired of seeing heat waves rising from my body whenever I unwrap the wet towel…

Blue Brothers
Honor our rights

Donald Trump’s wish to make protests illegal echoes a similar wish one of our legislators running for re-election uttered. Unfortunately, another legislative candidate of the other major…

Leadership for positive change

I am voting for James Erb to be our next Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s office represents county government in all civil and criminal matters and is one of…

Caring is curing

Knowing Luanne Van Werven for many years there’s one thing I’m sure of—she cares deeply about the people of the 42nd District. She cares about our jobs, health, schools, families,…

Blue Brothers
Today's Events
Eat Local Month


Sustainable Connections’ helms the annual Eat Local Month taking place throughout September in Whatcom County. Events include specials at approximately 20 restaurants, a Farm Fund Hootenanny…

Boating Center Open


The Community Boating Center will be open from 10am until sunset daily through the summer at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards.

Bard on the Beach


Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata show in repertory through Sept. 28 at Vancouver, BC’s “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival at Vanier Park. Tickets start at $24…

Summer Book Sale Final Day


Attend the final day of a Summer Book Sale from 10am-8pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent St. Proceeds support library programs and provide maintenance and improvements for the…

Rainbow Reads


Students in 8th grade and up can attend Rainbow Reads, an LGBTQ-plus-centered book group that explores Stonewall Book Award Winners and Honor books, from 3-4pm at the Ferndale Library, 2125…

Artist Demo


Watch artist Neal Cronic create an acrylic painting and learn about creating a background using a wash technique to make clouds and more at a free Artist Demo from 4:30-5:30pm at the…

Last Gasp of Summer Run


Staff and volunteers are always on hand to guide the way at the weekly All-Paces Run starting at 6pm every Tuesday at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. The runs are 20 minutes out and back on…

Skagit Folk Dancers


Join the Skagit-Anacortes Folk Dancers for a weekly International Folk Dancing event from 7-9:30pm at Bayview Civic Hall, 12615 C St. No partners are needed; just show up and dance. Entry to…

Books on Tap


Deming Library staff Erin Suda and Katrina Carabba helm a lively “Books on Tap” discussion focusing on Moshin Hamid’s Exit West from 7-8:30pm at the North Fork Brewery, 6186 Mt. Baker…

Comedy Open Mic


The weekly Shakedown Punch Up Comedy Open Mic begins at 7:30pm at the Shakedown, 1212 N. State St. Entry is free. If you’d like to take your turn onstage, show up at 7pm to sign up for a…

Fancy Bingo


Aireekah hosts Fancy Bingo from 8-11pm in the Mountain Room at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Feel free to dress your best or silliest if it strikes your fancy. Bingo cards are $2…

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