Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Ernest & Celestine

The enchanting French-Belgian animated feature Ernest & Celestine is so liltingly sweet and graceful that, a day or two after I saw it, it seemed almost as if I had dreamed it.

The real dreamers here are its young director, Benjamin Renner, co-directors Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier, and the novelist screenwriter Daniel Pennac, adapting material from the beloved children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, which she both wrote and illustrated, about the enduring friendship between a little

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This Week

The Gristle

Pass Through Costs

PASS THROUGH COSTS: Bellingham City Council this week took an important real step toward building a more socially equitable community as they considered an actual draft ordinance that might create a registration program for the city’s rental housing. The city estimates there are approximately 13,000 existing rental units that could be registered through this program.

Council has fretted for more than a decade—with numerous false starts—over the problem of substandard rental housing that

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Film

Jodorowsky’s Dune

The epic story of a never-was

Is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune the most influential movie never made?

Late in the lively, anecdote-strewn documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, director Frank Pavich enumerates the ways. The swordfights in Star Wars, the cyborg POV in The Terminator, the galaxy-spanning opening shot of Contact—all were prefigured in the massive Dune storyboard book that circulated through studio suites in the mid-1970s. Writer Dan O’Bannon and visual consultants Chris Foss, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, and H.R.

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Music

Signed Fest

Of labels and legacies

When a representative of Yellingham, Bellingham’s annual DIY all-ages music festival, announced in late January that, not only would there be no festival in 2014, but also that Yellingham was on indefinite hiatus, the news was disappointing, yet not surprising.

Disappointing because in the four years of its existence, Yellingham proved itself to be a welcome and fiercely supported part of Bellingham’s music community. Disappointing because Yellingham as both an event and an entity offered

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Outdoors

Good Wood

Sojourn in the cedars

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Like many greenhorn trail crew leaders before me, I did not endeavor to undertake my inaugural worksite encounter with an ancient grove of super-sized Western red cedars without briefing myself thoroughly on the signature structural and spiritual characteristics those shaggy-topped “transformer” evergreens have long been known to possess.

I soon surmised just how powerfully useful and life-affirming our most deeply revered and culturally valuable endemic conifers actually are. 

Tree-hugging

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Food

Food Haus

Bringing Germany to Market

When Riley White-Brainard first started talking about Food Haus, I figured we were having the standard restaurant fantasy conversation we’d had many times before, slurping whiskeys and dreamily discussing briskets and whether endive is an economically feasible vegetable.

We’d often wax poetic about food trucks and restaurants; excitedly blurting out whatever entrees we’d like to serve. So I was surprised when the next time I saw Riley he’d drawn up a menu—and two weeks later had

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Words

Roddy Returns

From music-maker to middle age

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Think back to 1991, when a (fictional) ragtag group of Irish soul musicians stormed the music scene in the profane but endearing film The Commitments

The movie was based on a novel by Roddy Doyle; both center around Jimmy Rabbitte, a working-class Dubliner with a passion for soul music. He sets his sights on forming the greatest soul band to ever play, and gathers together a motley (and very white) crew whose musical brilliance is matched by their complete dysfunction off-stage.

Fast

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Visual

By the Seaside

Blossoms and beauty in La Conner

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Now that he enjoys four other artists as congenial partners for his well-placed Seaside Gallery in La Conner, owner Mark Conley can breathe easy.

Running a gallery all by himself had been too much work. Next, when he operated it as a large co-op, difficulties only multiplied.

The gallery welcomes visitors with a museum-like atmosphere. You won’t trip over vases, paperweights and snow globes here. The paintings and photos are well-lighted and given their own space. 

Conley’s photography

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On Stage

The Vagina Monologues

Sisters are doing it for themselves

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What’s the worst word you can think of?

If it starts with a “c” and rhymes with “blunt,” you’re not alone in thinking the four-letter word can be distasteful and derogatory towards women.

I, too, was once wary of this particular linguistic unit. But after a month of uttering it more than a few times a day in an attempt to memorize my piece for upcoming performances of The Vagina Monologues, I’ve changed my mind.

In fact, my way of thinking about most phrases having to do with the intimate

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Film

Ernest & Celestine

A touching tale of an unlikely friendship

The enchanting French-Belgian animated feature Ernest & Celestine is so liltingly sweet and graceful that, a day or two after I saw it, it seemed almost as if I had dreamed it.

The real dreamers here are its young director, Benjamin Renner, co-directors Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier, and the novelist screenwriter Daniel Pennac, adapting material from the beloved children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, which she both wrote and illustrated, about the enduring friendship between a little

Continue Reading »

Today

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Apr 23

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival kicks off this week and continues through April 30 throughout the verdant valley. In addition to the hundreds of acres of blooming daffodils and tulips that will bloom according to Mother Nature through the month, there'll be street fairs, wine events, outdoor excursions, art displays, a home tour, live music, the "world's largest garage sale, a gala celebration, historic home tours, and much, much more. Go to the website to find out more. more »

Reduce and Reuse Sale: Whatcom Community College's Sustainability Club hosts an Earth Day fundraiser sale of books, clothing, sports equipment, toys and small furniture at a "Reduce and Reuse Sale" from 11am-3pm Tuesday and Wednesday at the school's Syre Student Center, 238 W. Kellogg Rd. more »

Spring Beer Dinner Deadline: Reserve seats by today for a Spring Beer Dinner happening this coming Sunday (April 27) at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen, 601 W. Holly St. Tickets to the five-course dinner—which will be paired with accompanying brews—are $40. more »

Jamie Ford Event: Join New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford for an afternoon discussion staring at 4pm at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island. Ford will talk about his book Songs of Willow Frost, and will share some of his favorite authors and books to read. Tickets are $75 and include a copy of the book and a private dinner with the author at the island's Beach Store Cafe. more »

World Book Night: As part of World Book Night, 50,000 volunteers around the globe will give away 20 specially printed copies of one of the 35 books on the WBN list—a book that he or she has read and loved—at various checkpoints. To find out how to get involved, check out the websites listed here. more »

GROUP RIDE: The Mt. Baker Bike Club hosts a Group Ride starting every Wednesday at 6pm at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Be prepared to ride for 30 miles at a race/training pace, and regroup at the brewery following the excursion. more »

Evening Epic Run: A weekly “Evening Epic Run” begins at 6pm at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. The strenuous runs are 1.5-2 hours in length on hilly terrain with experienced trail runners. Entry is free. more »

Non-GMO Corn Preservation: Backyard Beans & Grains Project's Krista Rome will lead a "Non-GMO Corn Preservation" course from 6:30-8pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Participants will also get cooking tips, and hear the results of hand- pollination trials. Entry is $5; register in advance. more »

Thai Classics: Coconut chicken curry and shrimp fishcake will be among the menu items at a "Thai Classics" course with Robert Fong from 6:30-9pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Entry is $39. more »

Northwest Coast Art Book: Editors Robin K. Wright and Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse share images and essays from In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Entry is free. more »

Scottish Country Dance Social: Join the Scottish Country Dance Club from 7-9:30pm every Wednesday for a public dance at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Beginners and intermediate dancers are welcome, and no partner or experience is needed. Drop-in fees are $8, but those who are showing up for the first time will gain free entry. more »

Jazz Band Concert: Hear big band songs such as "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Night and Day" when the Jansen Jazz Band, directed by Steve Herrick, performs at 7:30pm at Lynden's Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. Tickets will be $10 at the door. more »

Margo Murphy, John Roberts: Heartfelt harmonies and treasures of America music can be heard when Seattle's Margo Murphy and Bellingham's John Roberts perform at 7:30pm at the Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Dr. Suggested donation is $8-$15. more »

The Guest Reading: Free Key Productions will present a staged reading of The Guest, a new work by local playwright Fergus MacRoich, at 7:30pm at the Bellingham Children's Theatre, 1412 Cornwall Ave. The play is a searing portrait of a dysfunctional family dealing with issues ranging from spousal abuse to homosexuality to transgender. The audience is encouraged to provide feedback after the reading. Entry is by donation. more »

Four-handed Piano Performance: Christina Dahl and Oksana Ezhokina will perform an evening of four-handed piano pieces by Maurice Ravel, William Bolcom, and Sergei Rachmaninofc at 8pm at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $9-$16. more »

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