Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Record Store Day

Let your freak flag fly

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Most days of the year—almost all of them, in fact—Avalon Records leads a pretty unassuming life. It has been holding down the same corner of downtown Bellingham at Railroad Avenue and Magnolia Street for three decades, and owes a decent portion of its longevity to its nonmusical inventory. Odds are, if you have ever had use for a bong, a tapestry for your wall or bed, a poster of “The Great Wave of Kanagawa,” incense, cheeky stickers or a hacky sack, you have purchased one or more…

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Sustainable Sipping

Inside Bellingham Beer Week

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

If it were possible to save the world simply by drinking beer, Bellingham would be way ahead of the game.

This observation is not based solely on the premise that a city of 80,000 enthusiastically supports a whopping 10 breweries (and counting). It’s also predicated on the fact that this year’s Bellingham Beer Week—which kicks off Fri., April 21 with events at the Local, Elizabeth Station, McKay’s Taphouse, and Kulshan Brewery and concludes Sat., April 29 with April Brew’s…

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History and Fiction

The true cost of war

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quick: name the ship whose sinking is responsible for the most deaths. The Titanic? 1,500. Lusitania? 1,198. Bismarck? 2,000.

No. The dubious honor goes to the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a German military transport ship that sank off the coast of Poland in January 1945, torpedoed by a Russian submarine.

Between 9,400-10,582 people were estimated to be onboard. More than 5,000 of them were children. Most died. Several other ships also sank during Operation Hannibal, Germany’s desperate…

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On Stage

Canada or Bust

Help! I’m American!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

When asked if he’d consider deflecting when he takes his “Help! I’m American!” sketch comedy show north for a five-month Canadian Fringe Festival tour later this spring, actor and improviser DK Reinemer admits that the original title of the one-man performance piece was almost “American and Looking”—indicating he’d be up for moving to Justin Trudeau’s stomping grounds if he met the right gal.

These insights, among others, can be gleaned when the former Bellinghamster and current Los…

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Textile Talk

Waste not, want not

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I was rooting through a gigantic pile of clothes at Shuksan Middle School’s annual fundraising sale last weekend when one of the organizers announced that, since the event was in its final hour, all clothing could be purchased for 50 cents per bag.

As my boyfriend patiently waited below the stage where the men’s and women’s choices were scattered pell-mell, I burrowed deeper into the mountain of fabric, pulling out items I thought might fit my form and tossing them to him. I didn’t…

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Science Week

Earth Day and the March for Science

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It’s no coincidence that Earth Day, the first anniversary of the signing of the climate agreement, and the March for Science are all taking place on the same day, April 22. It is the people’s day. It has been the people’s day since 1970, when Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisc.), Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.), and lead organizer Denis Hayes turned out 20 million ordinary citizens in what is still regarded as the largest-ever single social mobilization effort in world history.


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March for Science

A push for climate control

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Late last week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt called for an exit from the climate change-related Paris Agreement.

Dubbed a “historic turning point” in the goal of reducing global warming by France’s foreign minister, the language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries—including the United States—and was adopted by consensus on Dec. 12, 2015. It was opened for signature at a ceremony in New York City on Earth Day 2016,…

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The Lost City of Z

Welcome to the jungle

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is James Gray the best American filmmaker most Americans haven’t heard of?

Critics love him, and with good reason. His The Immigrant was a beautifully photographed and complex tale of 1920s New York strivers. Pictures like The Yards and We Own the Night took on crime and family and class.

Yet studios have been less supportive (Harvey Weinstein reportedly tried to butcher The Immigrant, and when Gray fought him, petulantly dumped it, instead). And audiences haven’t exactly flocked…

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Best of Skagit
Best Tulip Farm


If you were to wend your way to RoozenGaarde, you would find field after field ablaze with the tulips for which the area is so famous. It is a carefully cultivated, wholly natural wonder of the world, and it draws thousands every year who make the pilgrimage to the Skagit Valley to take in the riot of color that has made the region famous. But the tulip fields, while certainly a sight unto themselves, are merely the gateway to a county that boasts a rich history of agriculture and art, and is inhabited by folks who proudly hew to a fiercely local lifestyle. With its distinct and disparate cities and towns, natural beauty from field to sea and the miles of scenic routes and backroads that link it all, there is much treasure to found in Skagit, if only you know where to look. What follows is that which you’ve deemed the region’s best, the places that have earned your votes and your love, the ones that exist right in your own bountiful backyard.

Best of Skagit compiled by Carey Ross, Amy Kepferle, Tim Johnson, Scott Pelton, and Trail Rat. Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle

See all the winners »
The Gristle
April Showers 2

APRIL SHOWERS 2: More rain is on the horizon, but with rising temperatures and buds in bloom, spring has clearly arrived. We described last week the conditions months of elevated rainfall has created on the region’s steep slopes and high country, but what of the lowlands?


Amy Goodman
Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions and the unleashing of police power

As the world focusses on state violence from Syria to Iraq to Yemen to North Korea, the groundwork is being laid in the United States for unchecked state violence here at home. Donald Trump is making good on at least one of his many campaign promises: promoting unfettered police power. His…

MBT Hur Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Rebuild economies we’ve destroyed

In the context of the crimes committed by the United States since 1945—the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the…

Be thoughtful 
to wildlife

Boaters in Southern California were recently asked to look out for a gray whale entangled in what was most likely…

A fight for the soul of America

I have growing concern for the immigration policies in the United States that are being enforced today. Those policies have…

Lester and Hyldahl
Today's Events
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival


The flower-focused Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place throughout the month of April at a variety of venues from Mount Vernon to Edison to La Conner, Anacortes, and beyond. In addition…

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival


The flower-focused Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place throughout April at a variety of venues from Mount Vernon to Edison to La Conner, Anacortes, and beyond. In addition to being able…

Spring Fest Fine Art Show


As a precursor to the Anacortes Arts Festival’s upcoming “Spring Fest” happening April 22-23, peruse the fourth annual Fine Art Exhibition from 11am-4pm daily (except Easter) at the city’s…

Don't Drink the Water


The Northwest Washington Theatre Group presents dinner theater showings of the Woody Allen comedy Don’t Drink the Water at 7pm Thursday through Saturday at Lynden’s Grace Baptist Fellowship,…

Lynden Friends Book Sale


Adult fiction and nonfiction, religion, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, crafts, cooking, health, old and vintage, romance, biography, movies, music, kids books and more can be found at…

Tulip Festival Street Fair


The 33rd annual Tulip Festival Street Fair takes place from 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday along First Street in downtown Mount Vernon. Arts & crafts vendors from six…

Sin & Gin Tours


Join the Good Time Girls for their sixth “Sin & Gin” tour season every Friday and Saturday through August starting at 4pm at Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism’s Downtown Info Center, 1306…



Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth’s Pixie Theatre students will share their singing and dancing talents at showings of Aristokittens at 6pm Friday and Saturday at BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State…

O Canada! Heritage Weekend


Genealogists from both sides of the border are encouraged to attend the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society’s “O Canada! Heritage Weekend” starting with a 7pm reception Friday at the…

Kiss Me, Kate


The Opera Studio of Western Washington University’s Music Department will present the Cole Porter Broadway hit Kiss Me, Kate at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Performing…

Lifeguards and Pirates


Improvisers will jump into action as lifeguards to save the day from any beach catastrophe imaginable when “Improvised Baywatch” shows at 8pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208…

Pancake Breakfast


Attend a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at Ferndale’s American Legion Hall, 5537 2nd Ave. The breakfasts are held on the fourth Saturday of most months.

Whidbey Island Sculpture Tour


Join Sculpture Northwest for a Whidbey Island Sculpture Day Tour leaving Bellingham at 8:30am and returning at 7pm.  The tour will include stops at Freeland Art Studios in Langley and…

Earth Day Work Party


Celebrate Earth Day by joining Whatcom Land Trust to pull scotch broom and plant trees at a Work Party happening from 9am-1pm at the organization’s Maple Creek Reach. After getting down and…

Grow a Homestead-Style Food Garden


Author and small-scale farmer Susan Colleen Browne leads a “Grow a Homestead-Style Food Garden” class from 9am-12pm at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg Rd. The workshop covers…

Planting Day


Bring containers from home or choose from a fabulous selection at a “Planting Day” event starting at 9am at Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Expert staff will help you gather the right…

NSEA Earth Day Work Party


Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for an Earth Day Community Celebration Work Party from 9am-12pm at NSEA’s home base at 3057 W. Bakerview Rd. See NSEA’s new campus, help pot…

Fun with the Fuzz


Sign up for the eighth annual “Fun with the Fuzz 5K” starting at 9am at the Bellingham Police Department, 505 Grand Ave. The road race supports families of police officers who are killed in…

Superhero 5K


Help low-income children in Bellingham get the chance to play, grow and explore during summer and after school at the Firs’ Firecreek Day Camp by taking part it the “Superhero 5K” Run/Walk…

Do the Bloom Color Run


As part of Anacortes Arts Festival’s “Spring Fest,” take part in the “Do the Bloom” Color Run starting at 10am at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. Entry is $30 ($10 for a kids’ run) and…

Anacortes Arts Festival's Spring Fest


Booths, music, food, a beer garden, youth activities, a Fine Arts Exhibit, the “Do the Bloom” Color Run, and much more will be part of the Anacortes Arts Festival’s “Spring Fest” taking place…

Library Meeting


The public is invited to attend the annual meeting of the friends of the Bellingham Public Library from 10am-1pm at the Fireplace Room at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Enjoy delicious…

Earth Day Beach Cleanup


RE Sources for Sustainable Communities will team up with Students for the Salish Sea to host an Earth Day Beach Cleanup from 10am-1pm at Locust Beach (at the dead end of Locust Avenue, off…

Love Your Leftovers Earth Day Block Party


Sustainable Connections will host a free “Love Your Leftovers” Earth Day Block Party from 10am-3pm in front of Depot Market Square and Boundary Bay on Railroad Avenue. Earth Day vendors, live…

Community Shredding Event


Bring sensitive documents and take advance of a free “Community Shred” event from 10am-1pm at the Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave. The shredding limit will be three boxes of…

Compost Class


Learn the basics of food waste recycling with compost bins at a free “Vermiculture/Composting” workshop with Blaine Community Orchards for Resources and Education (CORE) from 10am-12pm at the…

Earth Day Celebration


Interactive displays and activities that focus on the planet and environment—and what we can do to help keep them healthy—will be part of a free Earth Day Celebration from 10am-2pm at the…

UFO 101 Class


Matthew Thuney leads a “UFO 101: From Sumeria to Lummi Island” course from 10am-2pm at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg St. The class—which will also include a dose of humor—is…

Skagit Earth Day Work Party


Help with a salmon restoration project, see juvenile salmon in a restored stream, take bird walks, peruse archeological presentations and more at an Earth Day Celebration and Work Party with…

Safe Spider


Bellingham-based children’s author Leah Randolph reads from A Safe Place for Justin at a special story time at 10:30am at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book focuses on a gentle spider…

Correspondence Club


Anyone over 8 years old can show up for the monthly Correspondence Club gathering from 10:30am-12:30pm at Mindport Exhibits, 210 W. Holly St. Supplies, materials and instructional guidance…

Earth Day Sale


Attend an Earth Day Sale from 11am-1pm at Buffalo Exchange, 1209 N. State St. A selection of men’s and women’s clothing will be sold for $1 a piece (cash only), with proceeds going to the…

Tulip Time


Trish Harding, the featured poster artist for this year’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, will sign posters and talk with visitors from 11am-3pm Saturday at RoozenGarde (15867 Beaver Marsh…

Mural Painting Party


Birchwood residents can help re-imagine their neighborhood at a KAPOW! mural painting party from 11am-3pm at Shuksan Meadows Park. The event is the first in a series of community-directed…

Earth Day with the Green Party


The Green Party of Whatcom County will host an Earth Day Celebration from 12-3pm at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. The family-friendly event honoring the earth will include a…

Hypertufa Class


Space is limited, so sign up in advance for a “Pots with a Personal Touch: Hypertufa” class from 2-6pm at Sudden Valley’s South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court. Attendees will use this…

Sudden Valley Jazz Series


As part of the Sudden Valley Jazz Series, jazz vocalists Greta Matassa and her husband Clipper Anderson will present “He Said, She Said” from 3-5pm at the Sudden Valley Dance Barn, 8 Barn…

Cornhold for a Cause


Thirty-two teams will compete at “Cornhole for a Cause” from 3-8pm at the Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. Tournament registration is $100 per team, and general admission is $5.…

Fruit and Beer


“Growing Perennial Fruit in Small Spaces” will be the topic of a Earth Day workshop led by staff from the Cloud Mountain Farm Center from 3:30-5pm in the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery,…

Essays and Poems


Skagit Valley-based author Abbe Rolnick reads from Tattle Tales: Essays & Stories Along the Way at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. At 7pm, Bellingham scribe Susan Erickson reads from her…

Raise the Roof Auction


Habitat for Humanity hosts its annual “Raise the Roof” Auction from 5:30-9pm at Bellingham Technical College’s Settlemyer Hall, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. Entry is $40 and includes dinner, live…

Nooksack News


Historian and author Mike Impero will present “Stories and Research on the Nooksack Indians” from 7-9pm in Maple Falls at the North Fork Library, 7506 Kendall Rd. Entry is free to all…

Inside Indonesia


Travelers Ed Lowe and Pam Gould will helm a “Wild and Remote Indonesia” presentation from 7:30-9pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent Rd. At the free event, enjoy stories and images…

Drag Night


Contestants will strut their stuff at the Rainbow Alliance’s fifth annual “Drag Night” starting at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon’s McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. (Audience members are…

Firefly Classics


Longtime Western Washington University piano faculty Jeffrey Gilliam brings his sought-after talents to Lynden for a “Firefly Classics” performance at 7:30pm at the Jansen Art Center, 321…

The Mark Holt Band


“Family, Strangers & Waylon” will be the theme of a concert by the Mark Holt Band at 7:30pm at Ferndale’s Kickin’ A Saloon and Dance Hall, 5225 Industrial Way. Holt has been performing blues,…

Salsa Night


Join DJ Antonio Diaz as he mixes a fabulous combination of the best Latin rhythms at Rumba Northwest’s weekly “Saturday Salsa Night” taking place from 9:30pm-12am at Cafe Rumba, 1140 N. State…

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