Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Election Reflections

‘Perfect storm’ hits district deemed safe for GOP

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Some Said it couldn’t be done.

A Democrat can’t win Washington state’s 42nd Legislative District, which consists of Whatcom County but carves out the county’s southwest corner, from State Street in south Bellingham to South Fork Valley. No Democrat had won there since Kelli Linville in 2008, and the part of Bellingham that is inside the 42nd shrunk after the 2010 census.

Recent history has shown the conservative rural vote will overwhelm the liberal urban vote in a district…

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Snow School

Where science meets winter

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I love the anticipation of winter—the ski-film fests, the patrol fundraisers, the dusting of snow on ridges. But at this moment, hoping for snow so I can ski powder seems pretty darn trivial. Luckily, something more meaningful is behind that wish.

Mt. Baker Snow School is where powder day perma-grin and “we can make a difference” warm fuzzies intersect. We don’t have control over freezing levels, precipitation amounts or high-pressure systems, but we can effect change in…

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Welcome to the 20th century

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We live in a time when all past artistic styles are relevant and flourish. In two Skagit Valley galleries through November, the spirit of 20th century abstraction lives on in the work of the late Joseph Goldberg, of Harrington, Washington, and Amy Carson of La Conner.

Goldberg’s work at i.e. gallery in Edison reveals the joy and sadness of this secretive artist, who was important enough to have been memorialized in a University of Washington monograph, Joseph Goldberg, Jeweled…

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Fall Fare

A Thanksgiving test run

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Every fall, I wait until the temperatures drop before heading to the Bellingham Farmers Market to purchase locally grown garlic for planting purposes.

After waking up to a light frost last Saturday morning, I knew the time had come, and made my way to the Depot Market Square to suss out the offerings. Once again, the wide variety of produce at Rabbit Fields Farm’s booth won my heart, and I soon secured two-plus pounds of Spanish Roja, a hardneck variety of heirloom garlic I’ve grown…

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On Stage

Standup Stars

Seattle International Comedy Competition

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By the time the 10 semifinalists taking part in the 39th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition make their way to the area for a Sat., Nov. 17 show at the Mount Baker Theatre, they’ll have already shown they have what it takes to rise to the top of the comedic crop.

From the first round of preliminaries that took place Thurs., Nov. 2 at Seattle’s Unexpected Productions until the final show Sun., Nov. 25 at the Comedy Underground, the 32 performers who made the initial cut…

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Pedro the Lion

You can go home again

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

David Bazan has always been a conflicted man.

The Seattle songwriter has made a name for himself by laying his soul bare, detailing his struggles with religion, capitalism, love, booze, existential doubt and his place in the world—among other things. He’s performed this intense public examination for all of his musical life. We first came to know him and his brand of self-confessional angst as the leader of Pedro the Lion, then when he decided to sunset that band in 2006, Bazan went…

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Crossword Clues

The clues to this week’s crossword puzzle

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By error, the wrong clues were attached to this week’s crossword puzzle. We regret the error.

“Free Reign”—another freestyle for everyone.
Matt Jones

1 Competition with bonus questions
9 “Let’s do this!”
14 Buster’s stance, maybe
16 MacGowan of the Pogues
17 “Animal” band whose name was inspired by In-N-Out Burger signage
18 Staves (off)
19 Word after fake or spray
20 “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Ferrer
21 Mid-sized string ensemble
22 “... so long ___ both shall live”
24 ___…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Divisions Between Us

THE DIVISIONS BETWEEN US: With margins continuing to narrow and automatic recounts in last week’s election assured as supporters for all candidates chase remaining ballots that were unsigned or improperly submitted or otherwise spoiled, the takeaway lesson for Whatcom County is (once…

Amy Goodman
Making election firsts last

“Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and dreamer who helped make this movement happen,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to the ecstatic crowd that packed the election night party celebrating her victorious run for Congress.…

Post Modern
Contemplating end of life

My husband and I are retired healthcare workers who are always open to new ideas and new perspectives on this great adventure of living and dying. Because of that curiosity, I was pleased…

A matter of life and death

La Crosse, Wisconsin, is the healthcare advance directives capital of the world. That’s a verifiable fact.
Advance directives lay out and document wishes for end-of-life care, and designate…

Direct instruction defines basic education

Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute defines direct instruction (or basic education) simply as “just plain teaching” when one studies current methods of teaching in public schools here…

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’ 39th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” starting this week and continuing from…

Wheelchair Gangball


Attend Indoor Wheelchair Gangball from 3:30-5:30pm every Monday through May at Bloedel Donovan, 2200 Electric Ave. Sport wheelchairs will be provided, and able-bodied participants are…



Those looking to share their creative verse as part of the weekly Poetrynight can sign up starting at 6:30pm at the Alternative Library, 519 E. Maple St. Readings begin at 7pm. Entry to the…



A weekly open mic for comedians, “Guffawingham!,” takes place at 9pm every Monday at the Firefly Lounge, 1015 N. State St. Entry is free. The event features approximately 20 standup…

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