This Week's Cover


Romeo & Juliet

Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story the

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This Week

That Which Is Permitted

THAT WHICH IS PERMITTED: This week marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the purchase and sale agreement that transferred the Bellingham tissue mill site and adjacent properties along Whatcom Waterway from Georgia-Pacific West into the ownership and control of the Port of Bellingham—or nearly a quarter of the portion of a 50-year plan projected to clean and redevelop the city’s central waterfront. Under the terms of the 2005 agreement, the port assumed all environmental liability of

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Feathers Fly

Hatching a large turkey from a small chicken


Wild ducks, flying from their far north nesting grounds last fall, brought along some deadly baggage. They carried strains of an avian influenza virus that kills domestic poultry without killing (so far) the wild birds themselves.

The international omelet that followed could make you think regulators of cross-border commerce might want to meet and talk between emergencies, but apparently they don’t.

Bellingham’s big-box stores—and thousands of Canadian customers who shop there—were

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Ag Gag

Farmworker groups oppose ‘agricultural interference’ bill

Driving through bucolic Whatcom County and snapping a photo of a farm or agricultural operation could potentially land you in jail if a bill currently being considered in the Washington State Legislature is approved in coming weeks.

On Jan. 9, State House Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) introduced HB 1104, a bill that would make it a crime to interfere with agricultural production or cause economic harm to the owners of that farm or operation. The bill, co-sponsored by the 42nd District’s own

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Kodo Drummers

Bang the drum slowly


Not long ago, an acquaintance who was a drummer in a rock band—a pretty good rock band that was enjoying a growing measure of regional success—gave up not just his burgeoning band, but also his home and all the friends, family and comforts that come with it to chase his dream of becoming a taiko drummer.

At the time, I chalked it up as yet another of my artistic friends exploring a whim, but as the years have passed, he has remained devoted to this very particular musical discipline, so much

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Big and Beautiful

The world of growing things at MoNA


On a recent wintry afternoon, Adrianne Smits introduced her monumental paintings to a gaggle of gray-haired docents at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA).

The title of Smits’ exhibit, “Immersion Redux: Buiten” is a way of saying “relived memories of being outside in the rain and biting bugs”—Buiten, Dutch for “outside,” pays tribute to her ancestry.

This articulate young artist and scientist brings back from her Ph.D. fieldwork in northern California and Alaska a

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On Stage

Romeo & Juliet

Conrad Askland scores a classic


Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story the

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This Changes Everything

Capitalism vs. the climate


In the same week Republicans put all of their political muscle into pushing the Keystone XL Pipeline, the New York Times reported the alarming news that 2014 was the “warmest year ever recorded on Earth.”

Another story the next day noted “humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.” The lead scientist of the new research warned, “We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event.”

No bother though, drill baby

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Twenty Years and Counting

The evolution of the cookie lady


Nope, Erin Baker didn’t change her name to fit her profession.

As the driving force behind Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods—a Bellingham-based company that was created two decades ago and has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in the years since—it’s purely serendipitous that the “cookie lady” has always had a yen to create things in the kitchen.

“I started baking and selling cookies at 9 years old, and I loved it so much that I made it my life’s work—and yes, my last name really

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Two Days, One Night

Money changes everything


In Two Days, One Night, Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne continue to explore their recurring theme of ordinary, working-class people on a quest that takes on larger-than-life dimensions (La Promesse, The Kid with a Bike, L’Enfant). Marion Cotillard stars as Sandra, a wife and mother recuperating from a bout of depression who learns she’s going to lose her job at a solar panel factory due to downsizing. Her coworkers were given the opportunity to decide whether to

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A not-so-sweet slice

A strong if self-consciously de-glammed performance from Jennifer Aniston deserves more honest story treatment than it gets in Cake, a darkly amusing but overly calculated dramedy about a Los Angeles woman whose struggles with chronic pain have made her a royal pain. Approaching such heavy issues as suicide, grief, separation and pill addiction with a disarming sense of humor, director Daniel Barnz and screenwriter Patrick Tobin attempt to pull off an emotional bait-and-switch by suddenly

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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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Jan 25


Bird Month Events: "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Snowy Owl" will be the theme of a monthlong exploration of snow owls and other winter migratory birds from 12-5pm Thursdays through Sundays through Feb. 5 at Whatcom Museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. Entry is $5. Entry is $5. Highlights this week include a "Migrating Birds of Whatcom County" presentation with Paul Woodcock at 2pm Saturday and a "Meet Our Raptors" event at 2pm Sunday. Entry is $5. more »

The Carrion Man: A comedic mystery/horror adventure about a teen put through a series of tests to gain great fortune can be seen when The Carrion Man opens this week at performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $10-$12; additional shows happen Jan. 29-Feb. 1. P.S. Opening night is free. more »

Damn Yankees: Young actors ages 12-15 will sing and dance their way through performances of Damn Yankees at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Tickets are $10 online or at the door (free for kids 5 and under). more »

Fish Hatchery Tours: In conjunction with the return of bald eagles to the Skagit River watershed system, volunteer guides will provide free tours from 11am-3pm every Saturday and Sunday through Feb. 1 at the Marblemount Fish Hatchery, 8319 Fish Hatchery Rd. Tours start inside the visitor's center and proceed outdoors. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Entry is free. more »

Skagit Eagle Festival: Raptor presentations, boat trips, hayrides, arts and crafts, wine tastings, live music, a 5K run and much more will be part of the Skagit Eagle Festival happening from 9am-4pm every Saturday and Sunday through January in Concrete, Rockport, and Marblemount (and beyond). Many events are free. Check out the website for a full roster of happenings. more »

FAIRHAVEN RIDE: Meet up with folks from Fairhaven Bike & Ski for a weekly race-pace ride at 8am at the Fairhaven Village Green. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mt. Baker Bike Club for the weekly “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8:30am at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route sees riders heading down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. more »

Sunday Brunch: All are welcome at a Sunday Brunch from 10am-1pm at the La Conner Retirement Inn, 204 N. 1st St. Suggested donation is $7; a portion of the proceeds will be donated to local charities. more »

Skagit Symphony’s Family Concert: Kids are welcome at the Skagit Symphony's annual "Family Concert" at 2pm at Mount Vernon's McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $10. Children attending with a ticketed adult can get in for free. more »

Salish Sea Science Festival: Engaging displays for all ages on current projects impacting the Salish Sea—and ways to support our environment—will be part of today's Salish Sea Science Festival starting at 2pm at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. The free event will also feature book sales and, at 3:30pm, a viewing of the documentary The Whale. more »

Bill Evans and Alan Munde: Banjo legends Bill Evans and Alan Munde will perform together for the first time at 2pm at Nancy's Farm, 2030 E. Smith Rd. Expect to hear bluegrass selections, original compositions, fiddle tunes on banjo, slow songs and much more. Suggested donation is $15. more »

Community Seed Swap: "Growing Seeds of Nourishment & Medicine"will be the theme of the seventh annual Community Seed Swap & Fundraiser from 2:30-5pm at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. The event is geared towards seed-savers and people donating heirloom seeds, or edible tubers or seed-potatoes (please label envelopes with the plant strain and date), as well as seedless visitors who commit to plant seeds, share their garden's abundance and learn about the seed-saving process. This is a pure "Safe Seed" (and more »

Percussion Fest: The Bellingham Chamber Music Society presents a "Percussion Fest" performance from 3-5pm at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg Rd. Percussionist Melanie Sehman will be features, as will with violist Leslie Johnson and bassoonist Pat Nelson. Entry is free for students, $5 general. more »

Extreme Life of the Sea: Father-and-son team Stephen and Anthony Palumbi share stories and images from their book Extreme Life of the Sea at at a 4pm presentation at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The illustrated lecture will take the audience "to the absolute limits of the aquatic world—the fastest and deepest, the hottest and oldest creatures of the oceans." more »

Art of Jazz: The Jud Sherwood Trio will be the featured ensemble at the Jazz Project's monthly "Art of Jazz" concert from 4-6:30pm at the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Entry is $10-$16. more »

Laughing with the Stars Comedy Show: Joel O'Conner will take on hosting duties at tonight's "Laughing with the Stars Comedy Show" at 8:30pm at the Star Club, 311 E. Holly St. O'Conner be joined by local acts, and possibly a touring one. Entry is free. more »

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