This Week's Cover


On the Road

It’s been a sweltering summer in the Pacific Northwest, but signs of fall are on the horizon in the form of cooler mornings, surreptitiously falling leaves and a plethora of back-to-school sales.

But it’s not time to head inside just yet.

Case in point: The Colorado-based 5Point Film Festival will return to Bellingham Sun., Aug. 30 to share a number of short documentary films culled for an “On the Road” series from their homegrown festival that are, per usual, focused on adventures of the

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This Week

The Gristle

No Fine for Nooksack Nine

NO FINE FOR NOOKSACK NINE: With August arrives the earliest and most vulnerable of the Cascadia salmonids. Chinook require abundant cold, clean water to spawn, and the challenged species is returning to find the Nooksack River historically low, warm and cloudy with glacial milk. Chinook are an indicator species that yield clues about the health of the environment. The milk is an indicator, too, not only of a vanished seasonal snowpack, but loss of the icy heart of the glaciers themselves that

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Saving the world

Of fun and fundraising

Along with being a population that loves coffee and microbrews in equal measure, prefers to commute via bike on the Interurban rather than by car on surface streets and fully embraced the concepts of “slow food” and “eating local” before that was a thing, Bellingham residents also tend to be committed and avowed do-gooders.

No matter how long a person has lived here—whether they’re longtime locals or newly arrived residents—it seems just about everyone is involved in some effort or

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American Journey

In a rut on the Oregon Trail


Although thinking of himself as a history buff, while visiting a small-town museum near the Oregon Trail route, Rinker Buck realized that he knew very little about this early- to mid-19th century exodus when about 400,000 settlers made their way west seeking brighter futures.

The presence of still-visible wheel ruts from the passing of the wagons captivated Buck’s imagination and kindled a passion to retrace the journey of these earlier emigrants—also traveling in a covered wagon pulled

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On the Road

5Point Film Festival heads out


It’s been a sweltering summer in the Pacific Northwest, but signs of fall are on the horizon in the form of cooler mornings, surreptitiously falling leaves and a plethora of back-to-school sales.

But it’s not time to head inside just yet.

Case in point: The Colorado-based 5Point Film Festival will return to Bellingham Sun., Aug. 30 to share a number of short documentary films culled for an “On the Road” series from their homegrown festival that are, per usual, focused on adventures of the

Continue Reading »


Taste of Kulshan

Following the foothills


The meal I experienced at Deming’s Il Caffe Rifugio a few years back was one for the books.

The late-February night was dark, cold, wet and dreary as all get-out, but inside proprietor and chef Richard Balogh warmed us up from the inside out.

Throughout the course of the evening, our party dined on everything from ravioli with curry cream sauce to salads drizzled with marionberry vinaigrette, lambwiches with aioli on Breadfarm baguettes (pictured), Italian grilled cheesed sandwiches, and

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Destination Lynden

Happy anniversary, Jansen Art Center


On any given week, those visiting the Jansen Art Center can peruse quality artwork from around the region, listen to live music in the space’s piano lounge, try their hand at activities such as pottery, silk painting, ballet and more, and engage in a variety of other creative pursuits.

Come Sat., Aug. 29, those visiting the former Lynden City Hall can also gather for a Neighborhood Block Party celebrating the three-year anniversary of the creative collaborative.  The music will be flowing, as

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On Stage

Into the Woods

Back to the basics at BAAY


The kids who take part in Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth’s song-and-dance productions may grow up, but many of them don’t grow out of their enduring affection and admiration for the performing arts school.

This is evident in upcoming performances of Into the Woods, the Stephen Sondheim musical that intertwines characters culled from fairy tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk to tell the story of a childless baker and his wife.

It’s not

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Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet

A labor of love

Think of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet as a gift: a work of essential spiritual enlightenment, elegantly interpreted by nine of the world’s leading independent animators, all tied up and wrapped in a family-friendly bow by The Lion King director Roger Allers. A longtime passion project for producer Salma Hayek (credited here as Salma Hayek-Pinault), Lebanese philosopher-poet Gibran’s cherished guide to life, death, love, art and so forth doesn’t naturally lend itself to big-screen

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See it, don’t climb it


The documentary Meru charts the attempts of a trio of American climbers to be the first to scale Mount Meru, a 21,000-foot Himalayan mountain that begins near the headwaters of the Ganges River in India.

It’s the sort of movie that’s frequently called “inspiring” for its depiction of humans testing themselves physically, emotionally and perhaps even spiritually against the elements, and I get that. But I wasn’t inspired. I was nearly out of my mind with terror.

Although no one in the film

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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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Aug 29


Schoolhouse Rock Live!: As part of the Western Summer Theatre series, Deb Currier directs Schoolhouse Rock Live! showing at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, and 2pm Saturday and Sunday at Western Washington University's Old Main Theater. The musical is based on the Emmy Award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math and more through clever, tuneful songs such as "Just A Bill," "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly," and "Conjunction Junction." Tickets are $11-$15. more »

Bard on the Beach: Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors plays in repertory with King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, and Shakespeare's Rebel at the 26th annual "Bard on the Beach" through September at Vancouver BC's Vanier Park, 1695 Whyte Ave. Tickets are $26-$45. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection; many performances sell out in advance. more »

Boating Center Open: The Community Boating Center is open from 12pm to sunset on weekdays, and 10am to sunset on weekends through the summer 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. more »

The Hybrid Show: Both classic and new games and long-form improv will be highlighted at "The Hybrid Show" at 9pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. The performances are part of the theater's 11th anniversary celebrations taking place through August. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. more »

Ferndale Street Festival: Live music and stage acts, a car show, various food outlets, vendors of all trades, events for kids, a wine and beer tent, sales from local businesses and much more will be part of the 12th annual Ferndale Street Festival from 6-11:30pm Friday and 10am-11:30pm Saturday on the town's Main Street. Entry is free and open to all ages. more »

Summer Studio Tour: Whidbey Working Artists presents its Summer Open Studio Tour at more than 30 creative locales from 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday throughout Whidbey Island. Entry to the self-guided tour is free; expect to see the work of painters, sculptors, woodworkers, jewelers, photographers, mixed-media artists and more. more »

Plover Ferry: The Plover ferry runs through the summer from 12-8pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor's Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor. Suggested donation for the excursions is $1 for kids and $5 for adults. more »

Salmon Dinner Sail: Combine your tastes for adventure and delicious food at the final "Bellingham Bay Salmon Dinner Sail" of the season aboard the Schooner Zodiac leaving at 6pm from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Tickets are $59 for kids and $79 for adults. more »

Birch Bay Discovery Days: A grand parade, an arts and crafts fair, live music, crab boils and a crab derby, a Ducky Derby Race, activities for kids, a variety of food vendors and more will be part of the 36th annual Birch Bay Discovery Days from 10am-8pm Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday on the 7800 block of Birch Bay Drive and beyond. Entry to most events is free. more »

Taste of Kulshan: Celebrate the food, art, music, history and natural wonders of the northern foothills of Mount Baker at the inaugural "Taste of Kulshan" taking place Saturday and Sunday from the Nooksack River all the way to milepost 35. Events include—but are not limited to—samplers, small plates and specials for $5 or under at area restaurants; outdoor yoga, Pilates and energy workshops; Sunday breakfasts; wild and scenic river tours; bike rentals with shuttles to Artist Point and access to local trails more »

Whatcom Skillshare Faire: Chicken and beekeeping, rain gardens, shoe-making, Coast Salish ethnobotany and wild food foraging, gardening with medicinal herbs, auto and bike mechanic basics, raccoon hat-making, outdoor worm bin building, bookbinding, wine making at home, water witching and many more topics and skills can be explored at the fourth annual Whatcom Skillshare Faire taking place from 10am-9pm Saturday and 8am-6pm Sunday at the Center for Self-Reliance and Fairhaven Park, 107 Chuckanut Drive North. The Faire 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 »

Conifer Conversation: "Conifers for Fall & Winter Interest" will be the focus of a free presentation at 9am at Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. If you're tired of looking at a drab and dreary garden through the colder months, sign up and find out how. more »

Mount Vernon Farmers Market: The Mount Vernon Farmers Market takes place 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 »

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 »

Muds to Suds: Twenty-two "dirty obstacles"—including eight mud pits—will be part of the annual "Muds to Suds" event starting at 9am at Ferndale's Hovander Homestead Park, 5299 Nielson Ave. Day-of registration will be available, and heats will leave every 15 minutes. Entry to the all-ages 5K is $35-$59 and include a T-shirt, a brat and a brewski (or root beer float). more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: 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 »

Summer Reading Celebration: Meet some of Everson's local heroes and representatives from the town's police and fire departments at a Summer Reading Celebration at 10:30am at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. Come hear their stories and see their vehicles, have a snack, and find out who wins the grand prize. Entry is the all-ages event is free. more »

Fidalgo Bay Day: Attendees can check out beach-seining demonstrations, touch live marine critters in an underwater zoo, taste seafood chowder samples (and more), join the Samish Indian Nation canoe family on a traditional canoe ride, play games and learn about local projects and volunteer opportunities at a variety of educational exhibits at "Fidalgo Bay Day" from 11am-3pm in Anacortes at the Samish Indian Nation's Fidalgo Bay Resort, 4701 Fidalgo Bay Rd. Entry is free. more »

Mount Baker Club Social: The Mount Baker Club will host its annual Potluck Social from 1-3pm at the picnic shelter at Lake Padden Park, 4882 Samish Way. Bring a dish to share and a kayak, walking shoes and/or yard games. more »

This Old House: Listen to or tell stories about old homes in Point Roberts—either yours or someone's else's—at the final "This Old House" gathering at 2pm at Point Roberts Community Center, 1487 Gulf Rd. more »

Memoir of Place: Author Marion Johnson West shares stories from Clearbrook: A Memoir of Place from 3-4:30m at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. Her story—focusing on the small farming community located between Sumas and Lynden—is a microcosm of its time in history--the details of the settlers’ lives and how they responded to broad American social trends during the Depression and World War II. more »

Jansen Art Center Block Party: Help Lynden's Jansen Art Center celebrate its third anniversary at a Block Party from 4-8pm on the back lawn, deck and surrounding alley at the organization's headquarters at 321 Front St. Live music, dancing, art appreciation, food, beverages and more will be part of the evening's festivities. Businesses that will be opening in the Waples Mercantile Building will be part of the celebration so they can introduce themselves to the community. Tickets are $25. more »

Benefit Concert: Leroy Bell and His Only Friends will headline an annual benefit concert to help raise funds for Toys for Tots from 4-10pm at Sedro-Woolley's Eagle Haven Winery, 8243 Sims Rd. The Highway 9 Band will open the show, and there'll be food, fine wine, raffle prizes and a live auction. Tickets start at $25. more »

Chris Eger Band: Food vendors, local craft beer and music by the Chris Eger Band will be part of a fundraising event for the Rick Epting Foundation's "Summer Festival and Silent Auction" starting at 5pm at the Heart of Anacortes, 1014 4th St. Tickets will be $15 at the door. 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 »

Winery Concert: Bellingham's premier cover band, R Factor 5, performs at 6pm at Vartanyan Estate Winery, 1628 Huntley Rd. Expect to hear songs "on the mellow side" from the 1970s-1990s. Entry to the 21-and-over event is $7; feel free to bring lawn chairs and a picnic. more »

Grange Music: Listen to the a cappella sounds of Valley Voices and the gospel tunes of Bellingham Blend and the Elation Quartet at a 7pm concert at the Rome Grange, 2821 Mt. Baker Hwy. Suggested donation is $10. more »

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