Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

Music

Put the Jolly in Your Holly

Sounds of the season, pt. 2

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It has come to my attention that not all of you are as filled with the holiday spirit as I am. One of you recently told me that Christmas music is for masochists. You’d rather not haul out the holly, and all you want for Christmas is for Santa Claus not to come to town.

Well, jingle my bells.

You might think that what you want is a silent night, but I happen to believe you need a little Christmas. Right this very minute. So, come all ye faithful because it is beginning to look a…

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FCC Advent
Visual

Small Works

Enchantment on Camano

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Karla Matzke’s 28th annual small works show at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, “Honey, I Shrunk the Art,” arrives just in time for Christmas giving.

In the 10-acre sculpture garden visitors will find new pieces by Tracy Powell, Kevin Pettelle, and Aaron Haba. Also here is the rigorous geometry of Richard Nash and the realism of Sabah Al-Dhaher, whose “lifelong fascination with the human form in figurative art” has been so beautifully productive.

In the gallery…

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FCC Advent
Words

Virgil Wander

An antidote to what ails us

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Leif Enger’s first book in a decade (So Brave, Young, and Handsome was published in 2008) is a gentle, charming antidote to all that ails us as a society these days. 

The title character, Virgil Wander, is the unassuming sole proprietor of a rundown independent movie theater in a struggling Minnesota town. Virgil’s on autopilot, lonely and at an impasse in his life, when a slick road in a sudden snowstorm lands him 40 feet below the surface of Lake Superior. 

Rescued by a local…

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FCC Advent
On Stage

The Naughty List

A holiday cabaret

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

When we first caught up with Frisky Fandoms last summer, the burgeoning burlesque troupe had already focused their talents on iconic movies and television shows such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones—and were about to debut the racy things they’d done to Harry Potter.

Since then, founder Charlie Fun-Facts says, audiences have responded to the ensemble’s tagline of “nerds, sex and mayhem” by helping Frisky Fandoms sell out shows at the Firefly Lounge on a regular basis. The troupe has…

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FCC Advent
Film

Spider-Man

Into the Spider-Verse

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Like any film critic I have done my fair share of obnoxious ranting against a Hollywood culture that finds its most popular expression in the exploits of comic-book superheroes. And believe me, it gives my cold, contrarian heart no joy to acknowledge that the Spider-Man movies actually appear to be on the upswing.

This might come as a bit of a surprise, given the steady, enervating pileup of Spidey cinema in recent years, some of it prompted by Sony’s eagerness to hold onto the…

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FCC Advent
Food

Miracle

Seasonal sips at Swim Club

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Holiday-induced fatigue had set in, and my boyfriend and I were finding it difficult to remove ourselves from the comfort and joy to be found in our own living room.

But at about 3pm on Sunday afternoon, I suggested we get dressed and explore what was happening at the Holiday Port Festival taking place at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. Since it was the tail end of the three-day event, I figured we’d be able to peruse the long line of gingerbread houses on display without having to…

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FCC Advent
Outdoors

Illumination

Go toward the light

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

As the daylight hours continue to shrink to the point where confused humans are wondering why they feel the urge to begin cocktail hour by early afternoon and head to bed by 8pm, it’s important to remember that winter solstice is just around the corner, and we’ll soon be on the other side of the equatorial equation. In the meantime, it’s still possible to find additional light sources even when the nights are (so, so) long.

For example, the fourth annual Bowman Bay Holiday taking…

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FCC Advent
Community

Whatcom Water

Problems and prospects

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Water resource planners continue to meet to update the county’s Coordinated Water System Plan, a complex and often cumbersome attempt to inventory and manage Whatcom County’s diverse water systems.

Whatcom County has serious, long-term water quantity problems. Fortunately, solutions to these problems are at hand. Unfortunately, we largely ignore these problems and, therefore, are not adopting needed solutions.

PROBLEMS

The Nooksack River basin is home to several salmon species.…

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FCC Advent
Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood

Sunnyland

What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.
Info: http://www.sunnylandneighborhood.com

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Warning of the Black Fish

THE WARNING OF THE BLACK FISH: Indigenous people of the Salish Sea region, on both sides of the international boundary, testified before the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) last week, explaining how the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project will harm their culture, treaty…

Amy Goodman
The Missing Half

History was made in the U.S. midterm elections, most notably the Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. An unprecedented 100 women were elected to serve in Congress, among them Native American, Muslim, African-American, Latina and LGBTQ firsts.

But what is also true,…

Amethyst
Letters
Free Will not good enough

I am disgusted at the reference to “cocaine” in last week’s Sagittarius entry in Free Will Astrology. The whole piece is a fallacy and conjecture, with the allure to creative expression…

Solving the problem through innovation

The news has been filled with climate calamities: devastating fires, violent storms, endangered species.
There’s little reason to think this kind of story will go away, and there are plenty…

The warning of orcas

Maybe due to (everyone’s spaceship) Earth’s large size, there seems to be a general obliviousness in regard to our natural environment, as though toxic pollutants emitted through exhaust…

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Today's Events
The Giving Tree

10:00am

Through December, take part in the annual “Giving Tree” at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Choose an angel ornament from the tree in the store and purchase a book for a recipient. You will be…

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers

8:00am

The Whatcom Literacy Council is currently recruiting volunteers to work two to four hours a week with adults who have asked for help to improve their English, reading, writing, math and…

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 39th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm

Through Christmas Eve, a Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar can be visited at Swim Club, 1147 11th St. As one of only two locations in the state to be chosen to participate in the…

Whatcom Flute Ensemble

6:00pm

Listen to holiday and winter-themed music when the Whatcom Flute Ensemble performs at a “Music in the Library” event from 6-7pm at the Lecture Room at the Bellingham Public Library, 210…

Jagged Ridge Aerial Photography

6:00pm

Photographer John Scurlock helms a “Jagged Ridge Aerial Photography” photo show and talk at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. Since 2002, Scurlock has been documenting remote mountains, glaciers and…

All-Paces Run

6:00pm

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…

Urban Hiking with Craig Romano

6:00pm

Local author and hiking authority Craig Romano will share some of his favorite hikes from his new book, Urban Trails: Everett, including trails on Camano and Whidbey islands, at 6pm at the…

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm

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…

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm

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…

Mountaineers Winter Speaker Series

7:30pm

As part of a Bellingham Mountaineers Winter Speaker Series, Bellingham Mountain Rescue will give a presentation about what they do at 7:30pm at Backcountry Essentials, 214 W. Holly St. Entry is free.

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