This Week's Cover


Ski to Sea

Although the racecourse itself has undergone some rerouting due to the nearly nonexistent snowpack in the mountains (climate change is real, folks), Ski to Sea soldiers on with all the pluck, creativity and dogged determination the event has shown since its inception some 40 years ago.

Which is a good thing, not just because the multi-stage race has become a highlight and hallmark of our community, participated in and watched by thousands every year, but also because with Ski to Sea come Ski

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This Week

The Gristle

The Election That Wasn’t

THE ELECTION THAT WASN’T: For all the fussing and farting about “fair and equitable representation by district” that has consumed the Charter Review Commission this cycle, more attention might be spent encouraging and recruiting excellent people into public office. Filing Week ended for local elections last week, and what a lackluster show it was. Incumbents filed early and vigorously for reelection; challengers trickled in late in a footsore and tuneless, glum parade. A few last-minute

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Weekend of Action

No snow won’t stop race; it will activate it


Memorial Day is coming again and in these parts that means another chance for the region to show off its marquee civic event: Ski to Sea. Folks are rightly proud. Where else can you start atop a mountain, ski down, cross- country ski, run, bicycle, canoe and finally trail-bike to the sea; then climb in a kayak and paddle in the presence of lush, low-slung islands? It’s called a race, but it’s really more a celebration. In one exuberant relay, Ski to Sea manages to sum up the entire region,

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Ski to Sea

For you and me


Although the racecourse itself has undergone some rerouting due to the nearly nonexistent snowpack in the mountains (climate change is real, folks), Ski to Sea soldiers on with all the pluck, creativity and dogged determination the event has shown since its inception some 40 years ago.

Which is a good thing, not just because the multi-stage race has become a highlight and hallmark of our community, participated in and watched by thousands every year, but also because with Ski to Sea come Ski

Continue Reading »


Dead Wake

A tale of transatlantic troubles


Say the name “Lusitania” and most people can conjure a luxury ocean liner, glamorous passengers and tragedy.

An iceberg? No, that’s the Titanic. Disastrous fire? The Hindenburg zeppelin. Torpedo? That’s it!

Named for the ancient Roman province which covered most of modern Portugal and part of Spain, the RMS Lusitania was a British ship of the Cunard line. Built in 1906, it was outfitted with sumptuous furnishings, a wireless telegraph and electric lights.  Capable of speeds up to 25

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Beer and Brats

Invite your grill friends


People from Wisconsin are generally a congenial, easygoing lot. Until Scott Walker came around, there wasn’t much to argue about, except, well, beer and bratwurst.

Wisconsin’s largest ancestry group is German, and the original immigrants brought their bratwurst with them. Today, bratwurst are a defining characteristic of the local cuisine. And while brats—which rhymes with “pops,” not “rats”—are beloved by all Sconnies, there is quiet discord with respect to the purely Wisconsin ritual of

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A new look at nature


One sunny Thursday, I stretched out in my self-driving car and typed in: “Great food and someplace beautiful.” Opening my eyes, I found myself in Edison. How does this tiny village enjoy a monopoly on tasty eats and good art? 

I enjoyed sandwiches and homemade soup in a blooming garden overlooking the slough, then stepped next door to Smith & Vallee Gallery. Their current homage to the work of Sharon Kingston and Eric Eschenbach is more than merely beautiful; it’s a comment on the clash

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Throwback Thursdays

Kickball and community at Maritime Heritage Park

As the Executive Director of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, Nick Hartrich has a duty to make sure the city’s urban core is both vibrant and inclusive for all. It’s one of the reasons he’s excited about the new “Throwback Thursdays” Urban Kickball League taking place every Thursday at Maritime Heritage Park. We caught up with “NickySix”—Hartrich’s kickball alias—to find out more.

Cascadia Weekly: Come rain, come shine, return to Maritime” is the tagline of the Throwback Thursdays

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On Stage

Short Shots

Best of Brass Monkey


I’m a dedicated reader of short stories. Why? For one thing, there’s no beating around the bush when it comes to character development. If something momentous and interesting—or at least pertinent to the story arc—doesn’t take place in the first few pages, it’s probably not going to.

The same school of thought also translates to short plays. Events and relationships need to move along quickly when you’ve only got 10 or 15 minutes to tell a tale, and the playwrights penning the scripts are

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Far From the Madding Crowd

A modern love story


Far From the Madding Crowd is a Masterpiece Theatre version of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, shot with sumptuous taste and care, rife with emotions repressed and unbound, and featuring expertly nuanced performances from a tony, mostly British cast. It will greatly please discerning audiences while causing Hardy to spin discreetly in his grave. That’s a fair tradeoff, especially if the movie sends you back to the book.

Carey Mulligan (An Education) makes for a more modern Bathsheba Everdene

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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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May 23


Ski to Sea Book Sale: The annual Ski to Sea Book Sale takes place from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday, at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Most items are $1, and, on Saturday, purchases will be $4 a bag. more »

Spring Rep: A Spring Rep series continues this week with showings of Best of Brass Monkey at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. See Broken Holmes and In a Handbag Darkly at 9:30pm Friday and 7:30pm Saturday. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Additional Spring Rep shows continue through May 30. more »

Marina: Bellingham TheatreWorks presents the world premiere showing of the musical Marina at performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The story focuses on Marina, a grief-stricken woman who owns a cabaret and must deal with "the woes and wonders of life in Blaine, Washington circa 1908." Tickets are $10-$24. more »

Marina: Experience the story of a tough, brokenhearted widow struggling to survive the rowdy fishing and canning industry of Blaine, circa 1908, when Bellingham TheatreWorks presents the world premiere of the musical Marina at 8pm THursday through Saturday at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The play was written by Semiahmoo playwright Sandy Wolf and is being directed by Mark Kuntz. Tickets are $10-$24. more »

Blender: Mainstage players will join forces with other top-notch improv groups from around the region at "Blender" shows at 8pm and 10pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door; see the mingled magic happen again at May 29-30 performances. more »

Art by the Airport: The Whatcom Art Guild will host its annual "Art by the Airport" spring show from 2-8pm Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday at Hampton Inn's Fox Hall, 3985 Bennett Dr. The judged show will feature the work of more than 45 well-known community artists. Offerings include fine art originals, affordable prints, photography, handcrafted fabrics, pottery, jewelry and more one-of-a-kind items. Demos and a daily raffle will also be part of the festivities. Entry is free. more »

Inflammable Circus: Della Moustachella hosts "Inflammable Circus" shows at 8:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Bellingham Theatre Guid's Cirque Lab, 1401 6th St., suite #102. The third annual fundraising fire show features stunning aerials, flaming bellydancing, torch juggling, fire contortion, world-class fire poi spinning and more, all set to music by Bar Tabac, the Cornwall Marching Band, and Strangely. Tickets are $12-$22. Show up starting at noon Sunday for a variety of circus performances happening throughout more »

Northwest Folklife Festival: More than 5,000 performers from throughout the region and beyond will perform at the 44th annual Northwest Folklife Festival 11am-10pm Friday through Sunday, and 11am-9pm Monday, at the Seattle Center grounds. This year's cultural focus, "Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today's Branches," will highlight in great depth the cross-cultural roots of Hip Hop in the Northwest. Per usual, the event is free. more »

Lummi Island Studio Tour: More than 40 artists and craftspeople will be showing their work at 23 locations as part of the semiannual Lummi Island Artists' Studio Tour taking place from 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday throughout the lovely land mass. Peruse and purchase everything from paintings to prints, notecards, jewelry, photography, sculpture, glass, pottery, metalwork, stonework and more. Entry to the self-guided tour is free; pick up maps at participating locales, or at the Islander store (directly to your left when more »

Community Boating Center Open: The Community Boating Center has resumed operations for the 2015 season from 10am until sunset on Saturdays and Sundays at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards. Registration for youth camps and adult classes are currently available online. Starting June 22, the center will operate through the week. more »

Fairhaven Walking Club: Whether you’re looking to improve or compete, all are welcome at the weekly Fairhaven Walking Club led by Cindy Paffumi starting at 8am at various locations in Fairhaven. Walk routes and meeting places change from week to week. All paces are welcome. more »

Pancake Breakfast: Attend a monthly Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at Ferndale's American Legion, 5537 2nd Ave. The breakfasts are held on the fourth Saturday of every month, excluding July and December. more »

Blossom Time Breakfast: Get fed before the Ski to Sea Parade at an annual "Blossom Time Breakfast" taking place near the parade route from 8am-12pm at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. Tickets are $4 for kids, $6 for adults or $18 per family. more »

Pacific Trail Hike: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a hike on the Capilano Pacific Trail in North Vancouver, BC. The trail follows the Capilano River, passing through a variety of terrain, including beaches, rocky shores, steep canyon cliffs, and dense rainforest. Meet at 8am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool. more »

Anacortes Farmers Market: Vegetables, fruit, baked goods, fresh meat and dairy, cut flowers, wine, eggs, art and much more can be found at the Anacortes Farmers Market, which takes place from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 24 at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. more »

Mount Vernon Farmers Market: The Mount Vernon Farmers Market opens for the season today from 9am-2pm at the city's Waterfront Plaza. In addition to the fresh, local food, expect activities for kids, cooking demos and special events through the season, which continues through Oct. 17. more »

Community Meal: Peruse and purchase a plethora of locally grown produce, ready-to-eat foods, crafts and more at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. The market runs every Saturday through Dec. 19. more »

Blossom Time Parade: Floats, marching bands, firetrucks and horses can all be expected at the annual Ski to Sea Blossom Time Parade beginning at noon in downtown Bellingham. The route will begin at the corner of Alabama Street and Cornwall Avenue and finish at N. State and York streets. more »

Wisdom of the Grandmothers: Women's Voices: The Wisdom of the Grandmothers author and filmmaker Susan Stark Christianson shares the book and documentary film of the same name at 2pm at the Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. The project initially grew out of a desire to find out more about the indigenous prophesy that states there won't be peace on earth until the voices of the grandmothers are heard, and shares the stories of grandmothers from Siberia to Patagonia. more »

Line Dancing Classes: Western Line Dancing classes are offered at 6pm (beginners) and 7pm (intermediates) every Friday night at Lynden’s Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. No experience or partner is needed. Cost is $5 per class. more »

Ballroom Dancing: All ages and levels of experience can attend "Ballroom Dancing" events from 6:30-9pm on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. The social dances feature traditional ballroom and swing music for foxtrot, east coast swing, waltz, nightclub two-step, cha cha, rumba, salsa, samba and more. Entry is $5. more »

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