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This Week's Cover

 

Bard Blowout

According to a slew of recent press releases in my email inbox, William Shakespeare is currently what’s trending—making it clear that despite the fact that the playwright died 400 years ago, his popularity shows no sign of waning.

Kicking off Shakespeare’s greatest hits is Western Washington University’s production of As You Like It June 1-4 at the school’s Performing Arts Center. The classic romantic comedy follows a young woman named Rosalind whose forced exile from her comfortable life leads her on a cross-dressing adventure that won’t end until she’s

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This Week

The Gristle

Roads to Nowhere

ROADS TO NOWHERE: OWW, that’s got to hurt: The Overwater Walkway is dead.

Originally proposed in a 2006 federal grant request, the $4 million project was intended to connect Boulevard Park with the proposed Cornwall Beach Park, bypassing at-grade rail crossings, and providing a continuous corridor south to link up with the popular Taylor Street boardwalk. The project was reviewed and provisionally approved by the Bellingham Hearings Examiner in 2010. But the project ran out of time to be eligible for the federal grant agreement.

“Given the time taken to review the permit and the

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News

Cherry Point

Citizen science can help manage marine treasures

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What’s next for Cherry Point? A detailed study of the health of this unique marine ecosystem, assisted in part by volunteers who serve as citizen scientists.

In October 2015, I received an email invitation to a public educational forum on the status of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve (CPAR). Living on Point Whitehorn, I was very familiar with Cherry Point and had walked its cobbled beaches enjoying Orca and other marine animals, birds and plants within the shadow of the heavy industry that dots its shoreline. Having been involved in salmon and riparian restoration projects in the

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Words

A Lifetime in Asia

40 Years on the Silk Road

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Father Dale Albert Johnson is a Skagit Valley native who has gained international recognition for his discovery, translation and interpretation of manuscripts written in the language of Jesus.

But that’s far from being his only accomplishment. Ordained as a Syriac Orthodox Priest in 1991, Father Johnson has served refugees, internally displaced people and religious minorities of the Middle East for the last 25 years. He’s also a winner of the prestigious Role Model Leadership Award awarded by North Carolina State University. (Previous winners have included Poet Maya

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Music

Urban Music Festival

It’s baaaaack!

I would guess that when most of us in this area think of longtime homegrown music festivals, we begin at the Subdued Stringband Jamboree and end at Summer Meltdown—or vice versa—with no stops in between. Maybe you’ll throw the Bellingham Festival of Music into that mix, if you’re feeling fancy.

I would further guess that when most of us think about festivals that take place, not in the hinterlands, but in the city, our minds tend to wander in the direction of Bumbershoot

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Visual

Engaging the Eye

Margy Lavelle’s empty spaces

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In Margy Lavelle’s large oil painting “Blue Bones,” a broke-back shack sinks into a field of brown and yellow. Around it swirls a golden glow. Someone has lived here and their spirit persists, painted with conviction and certainty.

“California Dreamin,” also a sizable oil painting, almost slakes my thirst for yellow: marigold, daisy, apple yellow/green, dabs of white. Palette knife scrapes reveal an under-painting of brown and red. She balances a figure at upper left with a sketch of lines on the right. It is

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Food

Fungi and Fire

The morel of the story

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Morel mushrooms are the stuff of legend and fantasy. Scattered upon the ground, they look like a little tribe of forest gnomes with magical powers. They taste like an earthy distillation of fungal flavors and aroma, and command respect from cooks and eaters alike, who speak of them with reverence. For pickers who hear the call, they are a beckon to adventure and profit.

This year’s flush of so-called “natural” morel mushrooms has begun to wane across North America. Naturals come up year after year in

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Outdoors

Indecent Exposure

Bellingham Naked Bike Ride

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On a sunny June afternoon a few years ago, I witnessed a horde of naked, painted and partially clothed humans climb aboard their two-wheeled conveyances and head out into the world as part of the annual Bellingham Naked Bike Ride.

Although I was a member of the press who was there in a professional capacity to document the start of the event—something I tried to tell the guy wearing nothing but a decorated bike helmet who snarled at me when I brought out my camera and

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Film

Me Before You

Happily never after

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A bubbly, broody love triangle in which death is the third party, Me Before You stars Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke as the caregiver of a quadriplegic, portrayed by The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin. Brought together by need—hers for a job, his for a friend—they’re chalk and cheese, and therefore, by the rules of the movie-romance game, meant for each other. There’s no question Jojo Moyes’ adaptation of her popular novel, directed by Thea Sharrock, has more on its

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On Stage

Bard Blowout

Shakespeare’s greatest hits

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According to a slew of recent press releases in my email inbox, William Shakespeare is currently what’s trending—making it clear that despite the fact that the playwright died 400 years ago, his popularity shows no sign of waning.

Kicking off Shakespeare’s greatest hits is Western Washington University’s production of As You Like It June 1-4 at the school’s Performing Arts Center. The classic romantic comedy follows a young woman named Rosalind whose forced exile from her comfortable life leads her on

Continue Reading »

Cannabis Guide

 

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