Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Holiday Reads

More than stocking stuffers

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bibliophiles looking to gift books or simply stock up on reading material for the holidays might enjoy these new titles that express the power of reading to entertain, inspire, comfort, teach and build bridges.

As a librarian and lifelong book lover, Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks is my new “go-to” book to give to friends and family who are avid readers. Recognizing the significant role that certain books have played in her life, librarian Annie Spence sets…

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btown holiday

Festive Fidalgo

A pre-Christmas getaway

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Christmas season is upon us, so if you need a break from your shopping list, consider a quick jaunt to Anacortes. The city’s spectacular ocean views will rescue you from your winter blues, and its delightful mom-and-pop stores on Commercial Avenue promise a welcome break from big-box retailers.

I felt the tension slip away on Memorial Highway as soon as Fidalgo Bay came into view, flanked by Mt. Baker in a scene straight out of a postcard. After an afternoon rock-hopping for the…

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ICU Roof #2


From Seattle to Skagit

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Many Skagit Valley artists are inevitable satellites of Seattle; they train there and market their work down south. Two new shows this month underscore that connection. 

At i.e. gallery in Edison, owner and artist Margy Lavelle brings the whimsical and edgy work of Seattleites Julie Paschkis, Warren Dykeman, and Joe Max Emminger to the forefront. And in Mount Vernon, transplants Trina Perry Carlson and Christian Carlson offer a joint exhibition of their own work.

The title of the…

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First Congregational Church
On Stage

Tea Party

A calamitous Christmas

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don’t be alarmed, but by procuring tickets to “O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy,” there’s a chance you might spend a minute or two under the spotlight dressed as a shark, or find yourself onstage portraying a member of the royal family.

And via the power of imagination, those in attendance at the Tues., Dec. 19 show at the Mount Baker Theatre can also expect to be surrounded by an endless sea of tea.

The premise of “O Christmas Tea” focuses on James (Aaron Malkin) and Jamesy…

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ICU Roof #2

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The force is strong

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Making a movie like The Last Jedi takes a special blend of deep respect for the mythology of Star Wars and a strong impulse to keep the 40-year-old material fresh. Few franchises are this closely cherished by its fans (or its production studio), which makes any radical reinvention out of the question. Yet a series that doesn’t evolve eventually will waste away.

So kudos to writer/director Rian Johnson (who created clever genre twists on detective work in Brick and time travel in…

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First Congregational Church

Melvin Mania

Now brewed in Bellingham

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If you felt an unusual exuberance in the vicinity of the Fountain District late last week, it was likely radiating from Melvin Brewery.

Thursday saw the release of Melvin’s first Bellingham-brewed beers—indeed the first beers they’ve brewed outside of their home base in western Wyoming—and the response among local hopheads was overwhelming. It was standing-room-only in their bustling taproom as the citizenry welcomed the latest brews to the Bellingham scene by quaffing $3…

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First Congregational Church

Energy Export

Permit approved for Skagit xylene project

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Skagit County moves forward with a project to ship 15,000 barrels of xylene per day to Asia.

Hearing Examiner Wick Dufford last week approved a key shoreline permit for the Andeavor Anacortes Refinery’s proposed Clean Products Upgrade Project, finding that it would not result in negative impacts from increased tanker traffic to and from the refinery. Skagit County Planning and Development recommended approving the permit.

The refinery at March Point—formerly Tesoro—has been…

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btown holiday

Energy Import

Regulators approve plan to retire coal energy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

State regulators approve a plan that could help sunset the region’s reliance on coal-fired energy.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission last week unanimously approved a multi-party settlement of Puget Sound Energy’s request to increase electric rates and decrease natural gas rates for its customers. The three-member commission approved a 1 percent increase in electric rates, allowing an increase of $20 million in PSE’s electric revenues, and a decrease in natural gas rates…

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First Congregational Church

A Cabin Christmas

Introducing Fruit Cocktail

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If you happen to find yourself at the Cabin Tavern at 7pm Sun., Dec. 17 for “A Cabin Christmas,” you will be treated to, among other things, a performance by Fruit Cocktail, a dynamic duo that bears a striking resemblance to Jeff and Patti Braimes, musicians and longtime pillars of this fine community. Do not be fooled, however. The people you see before you are Frank Breech and Mona Hart, and they are the entertainment sensation you didn’t know you were looking for but have been…

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First Congregational Church
Best of Bellingham
Best Band

The Wednesdays

Music scenes, including ours, have traditionally been boys’ clubs—but the Wednesdays win in this category is a welcome indication of a change that has been a long time in coming. Unabashedly feminist and unapologetically political, the Wednesdays are making music with a message—and people are listening. With a motto of “Dismantling the patriarchy by day, playing basement blues punk by night,” coupled with an electrifying live show, the Wednesdays are making their mark and making it count.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Gifts of the Three Magi

GIFTS OF THE THREE MAGI: Whatcom County Council used their last meeting of the year to employ departing colleagues and approve a number of familiar and long-hammered policy goals before their membership shifts a bit next year. These actions included the creation of a Lake Whatcom Stormwater…

Alan Rhodes
Sharing Beauty

A few months ago New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a piece titled “When Beauty Strikes.” The column itself was a work of beauty as well as a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be fully human. A ballet school had opened across the street from Brooks’ Washington, DC…

Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Sea ice decline

With the smallest winter sea ice coverage since record-keeping began and the second warmest year ever in the Arctic, a new NOAA-sponsored study reveals the polar region continues to bear the…

Preserve net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission is voting this week on whether to repeal the “Net Neutrality” rule adopted in 2015.
Since its creation, the internet has been an open exchange of…

Bad bill

I have written to my representatives about how the Republican Party can justify this horrific tax reform bill.
This bill does not help us, only the wealthiest in our society and large…

Village Books
Today's Events
Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 38th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

Santa's in Town


For the 35th year, the Fairhaven Lions will host Santa Claus through the holidays at Yeager’s Toyland, 3101 Northwest St. Visits are free. You can take pictures with your own camera at no…

Winter Art Camps


Kids and teens can spend the holiday break at Children’s Winter Art Camps taking place Monday through Thursday at Bellingham Art, 1701 Ellis St. Fees range from $180-$200 and include all…

Cross-Country Skiing Basics


Learn more about the fundamental differences between backcountry, telemarking and touring ski styles at a free “Cross-Country Skiing Basics” class at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. In addition, the…

VB Reads


Come discuss thought-provoking speculative fiction in a group that welcomes diversity at a monthly “VB Reads” Speculative Fiction meeting at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Tonight’s…



Those looking to share their creative verse as part of Poetrynight can sign up at 7:45pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Readings start at 8pm. Entry is by donation.



A weekly open mic for comedians, “Guffawingham!,” takes place at 9:30pm every Monday at the Green Frog, 1015 N. State St. Entry is free. Each week, the event features approximately 20…

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