Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

On Stage


The spirit of Christmas past

Monday, December 5, 2016

In Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol, a grumpy guy named Ebeneezer Scrooge is scared into being a stalwart citizen after being visited by a slew of spirits who show him not only that his atrocious actions matter, but also that it’s never too late to change.

Although it’s not described as a “ghost story,” per se, that’s exactly what A Christmas Carol is. From the time Scrooge is visited by his long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley—who advises him that…

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The Bellingham Folk Festival

Learn a little, dance a little

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I’m a proud, born-and-bred Pacific Northwesterner, and as such, you won’t often hear me complaining about the dark, cold, wet, cold, windy, wet, dark weather we usually experience this time of year. When the sun disappears over the horizon at 3:45 in the afternoon, I don’t pay it much mind. When the rain pounds down, day after day to become week after week, I shrug it off. When the wind blows sideways, rattling the windows and freaking people out, I remain serene and can sometimes…

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Miss Sloane

Such a nasty woman

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Further evidence of the Aaron Sorkinization of American screenwriting, Miss Sloane is a talky, tense political thriller, full of verbal sparring and fiery monologues, undone by a really dumb ending. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t smart for most of its running time. Constructed like a magic act by first-time screenwriter Jonathan Perera, with tricks up every sleeve that keep audiences guessing, this twisty peek inside the sausage factory of American politics features characters who…

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Torrey Pines

A stop-motion labor of love

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I’m not sure if Clyde Petersen knows this, but he is one of my personal heroes.

Clyde appeared in Bellingham’s music scene at about the same time I began writing about it, a little more than 15 years ago. His band, Your Heart Breaks, was one of the first that I watched grow from its beginnings into the form it takes today. His was a typical Bellingham existence for that time—he was a Fairhaven graduate, Boundary Bay employee, lived at the Gimli House, and hung out at the Showoff…

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Ramen Express

A culinary journey through Japan

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Award-winning food writer and traveler Michael Booth had been training in Paris to be a chef, and the butter-and cream-laden diet was starting to impact his waistline.

He’d seen research about the health benefits of a traditional Japanese diet, so when given the opportunity to spend three months in Japan researching and writing about Japanese cuisine, he eagerly packed his bags and flew to Tokyo with wife and kids in tow.

Starting in Tokyo, the Booth family ate their way north to…

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Holiday Helper

Making Christmas creative

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In the vein of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” I’d like to offer a day-by-day highlight of how to secure gifts that won’t involve a trip to the mall or the click of a mouse. Instead, the focus is on creative community members and the work they’re doing to ensure nobody has to endure a big-box holiday (partridges in pear trees are optional).

We’ll begin with Fri., Dec. 9 and the seasonal Commercial Street Night Market taking place from 6-10pm in and around the Commercial Street Parking…

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Ticket Cascadia

Welcoming the Eagles

Masters of their domain

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes.”
—E. F. Schumacher

Maybe it’s the way they soar, but bald eagles are absolute masters of their domain. It could also be their regal stance when perched, like monarchs of the northern forests. Perhaps it is their fierce stare. Eagles capture the imagination.

As a symbol of the United States, they represent dominance. In real life, they’re part of an intricate web of…

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Northwest Bookshelf

A gift guide for greenies

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest
Edited by Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick Swanson

In a mossy, tangled grove of old-growth conifers east of Eugene, Ore. in the 15,800-acre Lookout Creek watershed, sits a nondescript campus of buildings operated by Oregon State University: the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Willamette National Forest, on the verdant and soggy west slope of the Oregon Cascades.

Since 2003, many notable scribes of…

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Jail Mailer

County fined for improper election materials

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Following a year-long investigation, County Executive Jack Louws faces a sanction and fine from a state review board for his role as head of county administration for a political mailer in support of Proposition 2015-1, a sales tax initiative to construct a new jail facility. The state Public Disclosure Commission will consider a recommendation to fine the executive $1,000 for violations of state election laws, with half the amount suspended.

“The system of governance in Whatcom…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? In the years we’ve been polling readers for their favorite places, this category has moved steadily north—as has the emphasis on great parks, trails, schools, places to hang out, and homes that are stylish, established yet affordable have come into focus. The Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series is just one example of a neighborhood laying out all of its finest for the enjoyment of others. Roll on, Columbia!

Best of Bellingham write-ups by Tim Johnson, Carey Ross, Amy Kepferle, Scott Pelton, and Trail Rat
Photos by Patrick Beggan (

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Jack’s Attack

JACK’S ATTACK: Acrimony continues to widen between the legislative and executive branches of Whatcom County, as last week County Executive Jack Louws announced he would veto his own budget submittal over additional appropriations requested by County Council. The veto requires an override…

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Palestine to 
Standing Rock

Water is crucial for life, dignity and sovereignty! The drama playing out in North Dakota echoes what I learned from…

End of the world?

For young people who think Trump’s election is bad news, I felt the same way in 1980.
Of course…

Ain’t over ’til it’s over

The election is not over, is not final until the Electoral College votes on Dec. 19.
For the first…

Andrew Subin
Today's Events
Deck the Old City Hall


The annual “Deck the Old City Hall”  continues from 12-5pm Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 31 at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Visitors can view more than 20…

Santa at Yeager's


For the 34th 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…

Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 37th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

The Lights of Christmas


View festive holiday displays both outdoors and indoors at the annual “The Lights of Christmas” event starting this week from 5-10pm Thursday through Sunday in Stanwood at the 15-acre Warm…

Irving Berlin's White Christmas


Transport yourself to a lodge in Vermont when Irving Berlin’s White Christmas concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the newly renovated…

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


Find out what happens when church volunteers, struggling to present a Christmas pageant, are faced with casting the Herdman kids, the most inventively awful kids in history, when The Best…

The Happy Elf


A new musical comedy by the Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Harry Connick, Jr. can be seen at performances of The Happy Elf at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday,…

20th annual Pacific Arts Market


Several dozen well-known local artists and crafters will show and sell a variety of work—including jewelry, fine art, photography, textiles, clothing, bath and body, specialty foods, home…

Bellingham Folk Festival


Workshops, performances, dances and jams for all ages and abilities will be part of the Bellingham Folk Festival, which takes place from 4:30-9:30pm Friday, 9am-9:30pm Saturday, and 1-9:30pm…

Santa Train


The Forest of Imagination changes into a magical wonderland full of more than one million lights brightly twinkling in the night at “Santa Train” excursions from 5-9pm Friday through Sunday…

Pippi Longstocking


Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth students present performances of Pippi Longstocking for the final weekend at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State…

Skagit Eagle Festival


Guided nature walks, presentations by guest speakers, sales by artisans and much more will be part of the 20th annual Skagit Eagle Festival taking place from 10am-4pm most Saturdays and…

Sleighbells Ring


Attend “Sleighbells Ring” events every weekend through December at Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. Fresh-cut trees and wreaths, ornament and cookie crafting, bonfires, distillery and…

Winter Wonderland


Indoor and outdoor activities, breakfast with Santa, an indoor carnival, a sing-along, a magic show and the chance to play in real snow will be part of a “Winter Wonderland” event taking…

Fidalgo DanceWorks' Nutcracker


A cast of nearly 60 dancers from Fidalgo DanceWorks will bring Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, The Nutcracker, to life at performances at 7pm Saturday and 2:30pm Sunday at Anacortes High…

Skagit Valley Chorale's Christmas Journeys


The Skagit Valley Chorale presents “Christmas Journeys” performances at 7:30pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. In addition to featuring music from around the…

Rabbit Ride


Join members of the Mount Baker Bicycle Club for a “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8am every Sunday at Fairhaven Bicycle, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route takes riders down Chuckanut and back via…

Supplies to Standing Rock


A “Supplies to Standing Rock” event takes place from 10am-10pm in Mount Vernon at 18318 Periwinkle Lane. Skagit Valley residents Quan Pemberton and James VanSalee will be taking supplies to…

Chorus Christmas


The Bellingham Community Chorus and Whatcom Youth Choirs’ Harmonia will feature a variety of winter and holiday selections when they present a Holiday Benefit Concert at 3pm at the United…

Greeting and Giving


The Friends of the Island Library will host the Holiday Season Silent Auction of gifts donated by island friends and artists from 3-5pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent Rd. You can…

Nativity Dance


Lyrical, modern and ballet dance styles will be utilized when Dancing for Joy presents its annual “Nativity: We Danced Our Best for Him” performances at 3:30pm and 6:30pm at the Mount Baker…

Jack Straw Readings


Robert Lashley, Casandra Lopez and others will read from their selections in the 20th Jack Straw Writers Anthology at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The Jack Straw Writers Program was…

Holiday Special


Bells of the Sound, the Puget Sound’s premier handbell ensemble, will present a “Holiday Special” from 5-6:30pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 2530 Cornwall Ave. The show will features songs…

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