Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Palindrome

Although I am fond of blathering on about the myriad music options this area offers, this embarrassment of riches does not exist 100 percent of the time. As painful as it is for me to admit, we do experience an entertainment dry spell from time to time.

One such dearth of ready amusement tends to occur directly post-Christmas—especially if the holiday falls directly prior to a weekend, as it does this year. Sure, opportunities abound to dance and sing karaoke—we are not savages, after all—but

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This Week

The Gristle

New Directions

NEW DIRECTIONS: With the squirmy awkwardness that comes from making a complex decision in public when you’ve fiercely pledged against any prior consideration, negotiation or organization of choices, Bellingham City Council appointed Dan Hammill to replace Cathy Leh­man, who resigned her term for employment in Seattle. He will serve out her term until a general election is called in 2015. Hammill is an excellent choice in a constellation of outstanding applicants to represent the city’s

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News

Less Carbon for Christmas

Governor proposals transition to cleaner sources of energy

Washington residents got a little less coal in their stockings this holiday, and heavy industry got a tough message: If you want to pollute in this state, you’re going to pay a little for the privilege.

Gov. Jay Inlsee announced a set of proposals last week that may introduce a discussion on carbon pricing in the state Legislature next session. Inlsee’s propooals are designed to transition Washington to cleaner sources of energy and meet carbon pollution limits adopted by lawmakers in

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Outdoors

Candy canes and couscous

Christmas in Morocco

I managed to limp my way solo for the better part of 10 days through variable terrain in the rugged Moroccan countryside with a gimpy right knee and a blown-out left hiking boot before it finally came to my attention that somewhere along the way I’d become deeply, catastrophically lost. 

“Which way to Tangier?” I soon found myself asking a small band of Berber shepherds who seemed to take more than a passing interest at my predicament as I foolishly came floundering through the middle

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Music

Palindrome

Of songs and sketches

Palindrome5-o.jpg

Although I am fond of blathering on about the myriad music options this area offers, this embarrassment of riches does not exist 100 percent of the time. As painful as it is for me to admit, we do experience an entertainment dry spell from time to time.

One such dearth of ready amusement tends to occur directly post-Christmas—especially if the holiday falls directly prior to a weekend, as it does this year. Sure, opportunities abound to dance and sing karaoke—we are not savages, after all—but

Continue Reading »

Food

Via Birch Bay Café

Hunger at high tide

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If you want a ship-like dining experience without any possibility of seasickness, head to Via Birch Bay Café & Bistro for a meal at high tide.

The lunch-and-dinner restaurant on Birch Bay Drive boasts unparalleled views of the Salish Sea, with table-side windows located directly over the beach.

“High tide waves splash up on our windows,” owner Yoon Oh says. “For diners, it’s almost like being at sea.”

Via Birch Bay had an unfortunate start when the restaurant opened in September

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Words

By Christian Martin

Notable environmental books, Part 1

The Ecopoetry Anthology
Edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street, Trinity

In this new anthology of poetry, the editors are quick to explain that poetry has involved itself with the natural world since the very first poems were written, and that their collection is focused on poetry that is influenced by contemporary developments: the birth of the environmental movement, the incredible discoveries made in the natural sciences and the growing awareness and magnitude of ecological crises

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On Stage

Downton Fever

A masterpiece classic, indeed

If you happen to find yourself strolling the halls of Semiahmoo Resort this coming Sunday afternoon, don’t be surprised if you unexpectedly run into women in 1920s-era beaded dresses and men in ties and top hats roaming the expansive Blaine locale. It’s not an anomaly; they’ll be there to catch a sneak peek of the premiere episode of Season 5 of Downton Abbey.

Although it’s probably too late to join the party—tickets for the free event went wicked quick, but those who are jonesing for a

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Visual

Eastern Light

Leo Adams’ living landscapes

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At a recent perusal of Whatcom Museum’s latest exhibit, “Leo Adams: Eastern Light,” my date instantly recognized the area the longtime artist depicts in many of his works.

“It definitely looks like a Yakima Valley hillside in full bloom,” he said, pointing to a medium-sized painting aptly titled “Hillside.”

At first glance, I wondered aloud if he was seeing something I wasn’t. While it was an eye-catching painting, I didn’t quite see the “full bloom” he spoke of.

“It’s rich with color you

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Film

The Babadook

Things that go bump in the night

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Here’s one of the strongest feature film debuts in a long time, in any genre. The Babadook comes from Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent, whose short film Monster, made nearly a decade ago, inspired her full-length treatment of the same story.

That story deals in familiar tropes having to do with a troubled young boy, his widowed mother and a not-so-imaginary creature, sprung from a malevolent pop-up storybook. But Kent has taste, an eye and a knack for brisk, accelerated pacing. In the

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Best of Bellingham

What's the best neighborhood? The one you live in, judging from this fiercely competitive category. With more than 2,400 entries in the Cascadia Weekly readers choice awards, every neighborhood was named again and again. But with so many terrific places--Trader Joe's, Hardware Sales, Kulshan Brewing Company, Jeckyl & Hyde, Homeskillet, on and on--Sunnyland comes out on top.

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Today

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Dec 28

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The Lights of Christmas: View festive holiday displays both outdoors and indoors at the annual "The Lights of Christmas" event from 5-10pm Friday through Tuesday in Stanwood at the 15-acre Warm Beach Camp, 20800 Marine Dr. In addition to the more than one million lights that will be lit up, there will be activities for kids, live entertainment, music, dinner theater, holiday shopping and more. Tickets are $10-$15. Dec. 29-30 are pay-what-you-can nights. more »

Fish Hatchery Tours: In conjunction with the return of bald eagles to the Skagit River watershed system, volunteer guides will provide free tours from 11am-3pm every Saturday and Sunday through Feb. 1 at the Marblemount Fish Hatchery, 8319 Fish Hatchery Rd. Tours start inside the visitor's center and proceed outdoors. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Entry is free. more »

FAIRHAVEN RIDE: Meet up with folks from Fairhaven Bike & Ski for a weekly race-pace ride at 8am at the Fairhaven Village Green. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mt. Baker Bike Club for the weekly “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8:30am at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route sees riders heading down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mount Baker Bicycle Club for a "Rabbit Ride" starting at 8:30am every Sunday at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route takes riders down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. This is intended to be a fitness ride, and you're encouraged to push yourself. The group also holds weekly rides Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. more »

The Nutcracker Screening: View a live screening of the Bolshoi Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at 2m at Friday Harbor's San Juan Community Theatre, 100 2nd St. Tickets to see the Russian company excel at telling Tchaikovsky's classic Christmas tale through dance are $10-$20. more »

Downton Abbey Screening: Get a sneak peek at the premiere of Season 5 of Downton Abbey at an exclusive viewing of the BBC hit at 3:30pm at Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy. Costumes—1920s-style beaded dresses, cloche and top hats, headbands, etc.—are encouraged. Door prizes and prize for best costume will be awarded. In the episode, the United Kingdom has its first Labor Party prime minister, the radio is the latest miracle of the age, and Downton’s traditions are besieged on all fronts. The screening and more »

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