Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

On Stage


The spirit of Christmas past

Monday, December 5, 2016

In Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol, a grumpy guy named Ebeneezer Scrooge is scared into being a stalwart citizen after being visited by a slew of spirits who show him not only that his atrocious actions matter, but also that it’s never too late to change.

Although it’s not described as a “ghost story,” per se, that’s exactly what A Christmas Carol is. From the time Scrooge is visited by his long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley—who advises him that…

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The Bellingham Folk Festival

Learn a little, dance a little

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I’m a proud, born-and-bred Pacific Northwesterner, and as such, you won’t often hear me complaining about the dark, cold, wet, cold, windy, wet, dark weather we usually experience this time of year. When the sun disappears over the horizon at 3:45 in the afternoon, I don’t pay it much mind. When the rain pounds down, day after day to become week after week, I shrug it off. When the wind blows sideways, rattling the windows and freaking people out, I remain serene and can sometimes…

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Miss Sloane

Such a nasty woman

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Further evidence of the Aaron Sorkinization of American screenwriting, Miss Sloane is a talky, tense political thriller, full of verbal sparring and fiery monologues, undone by a really dumb ending. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t smart for most of its running time. Constructed like a magic act by first-time screenwriter Jonathan Perera, with tricks up every sleeve that keep audiences guessing, this twisty peek inside the sausage factory of American politics features characters who…

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Torrey Pines

A stop-motion labor of love

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I’m not sure if Clyde Petersen knows this, but he is one of my personal heroes.

Clyde appeared in Bellingham’s music scene at about the same time I began writing about it, a little more than 15 years ago. His band, Your Heart Breaks, was one of the first that I watched grow from its beginnings into the form it takes today. His was a typical Bellingham existence for that time—he was a Fairhaven graduate, Boundary Bay employee, lived at the Gimli House, and hung out at the Showoff…

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Ramen Express

A culinary journey through Japan

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Award-winning food writer and traveler Michael Booth had been training in Paris to be a chef, and the butter-and cream-laden diet was starting to impact his waistline.

He’d seen research about the health benefits of a traditional Japanese diet, so when given the opportunity to spend three months in Japan researching and writing about Japanese cuisine, he eagerly packed his bags and flew to Tokyo with wife and kids in tow.

Starting in Tokyo, the Booth family ate their way north to…

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Holiday Helper

Making Christmas creative

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In the vein of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” I’d like to offer a day-by-day highlight of how to secure gifts that won’t involve a trip to the mall or the click of a mouse. Instead, the focus is on creative community members and the work they’re doing to ensure nobody has to endure a big-box holiday (partridges in pear trees are optional).

We’ll begin with Fri., Dec. 9 and the seasonal Commercial Street Night Market taking place from 6-10pm in and around the Commercial Street Parking…

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Welcoming the Eagles

Masters of their domain

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes.”
—E. F. Schumacher

Maybe it’s the way they soar, but bald eagles are absolute masters of their domain. It could also be their regal stance when perched, like monarchs of the northern forests. Perhaps it is their fierce stare. Eagles capture the imagination.

As a symbol of the United States, they represent dominance. In real life, they’re part of an intricate web of…

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Northwest Bookshelf

A gift guide for greenies

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest
Edited by Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick Swanson

In a mossy, tangled grove of old-growth conifers east of Eugene, Ore. in the 15,800-acre Lookout Creek watershed, sits a nondescript campus of buildings operated by Oregon State University: the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Willamette National Forest, on the verdant and soggy west slope of the Oregon Cascades.

Since 2003, many notable scribes of…

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Jail Mailer

County fined for improper election materials

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Following a year-long investigation, County Executive Jack Louws faces a sanction and fine from a state review board for his role as head of county administration for a political mailer in support of Proposition 2015-1, a sales tax initiative to construct a new jail facility. The state Public Disclosure Commission will consider a recommendation to fine the executive $1,000 for violations of state election laws, with half the amount suspended.

“The system of governance in Whatcom…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? In the years we’ve been polling readers for their favorite places, this category has moved steadily north—as has the emphasis on great parks, trails, schools, places to hang out, and homes that are stylish, established yet affordable have come into focus. The Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series is just one example of a neighborhood laying out all of its finest for the enjoyment of others. Roll on, Columbia!

Best of Bellingham write-ups by Tim Johnson, Carey Ross, Amy Kepferle, Scott Pelton, and Trail Rat
Photos by Patrick Beggan (

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Jack’s Attack

JACK’S ATTACK: Acrimony continues to widen between the legislative and executive branches of Whatcom County, as last week County Executive Jack Louws announced he would veto his own budget submittal over additional appropriations requested by County Council. The veto requires an override…

MBT Mamma Mia Andrew Subin
Palestine to 
Standing Rock

Water is crucial for life, dignity and sovereignty! The drama playing out in North Dakota echoes what I learned from…

End of the world?

For young people who think Trump’s election is bad news, I felt the same way in 1980.
Of course…

Ain’t over ’til it’s over

The election is not over, is not final until the Electoral College votes on Dec. 19.
For the first…

Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Today's Events
Winter Book Sale


Used books, DVDs, CDs and more can be found at a Friends of the Library Winter Book Sale from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday at the Bellingham Public Library, 210…

Deck the Old City Hall


The annual “Deck the Old City Hall”  continues from 12-5pm Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 31 at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Visitors can view more than 20…

Santa at Yeager's


For the 34th year, the Fairhaven Lions will host Santa Claus through the holidays at Yeager’s Toyland, 3101 Northwest St. Visits are free. You can take pictures with your own camera at no…

A Christmas Story


The Theater Arts Guild’s rendition of A Christmas Story: The Musical concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, and 3pm Saturday at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln…

Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 37th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

The Lights of Christmas


View festive holiday displays both outdoors and indoors at the annual “The Lights of Christmas” event starting this week from 5-10pm Thursday through Sunday in Stanwood at the 15-acre Warm…

Teen Art Show


Attend an opening reception for a Teen Art Show from 6:30-8:30pm Thursday at the Oak Harbor Library, 1000 SE Regatta Dr. All ages can visit the show from 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday. Entry is free.

The Happy Elf


A new musical comedy by the Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Harry Connick, Jr. can be seen at performances of The Happy Elf at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday,…

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


Find out what happens when church volunteers, struggling to present a Christmas pageant, are faced with casting the Herdman kids, the most inventively awful kids in history, when The Best…

Irving Berlin's White Christmas


Transport yourself to a lodge in Vermont when Irving Berlin’s White Christmas concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the newly renovated…

Toys for Tots


Donate new, unwrapped toys, cash and more at the annual “Toys for Tots” event taking place from 9am-5pm Friday and Saturday at a distribution center at 1650 Birchwood Ave. The all-local event…

Sumas Mountain Hike


Join members of the Mount Baker Club today for a Sumas Mountain hike. Meet at 9am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool, or at 9:30am at the Everson Red Apple.

Wild Things


Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for “Wild Things” Community Program from 9:30-11am every Friday in December at the Connelly Creek Nature Area—a frequently…

20th annual Pacific Arts Market


Several dozen well-known local artists and crafters will show and sell a variety of work—including jewelry, fine art, photography, textiles, clothing, bath and body, specialty foods, home…

Holiday Stories


Kids and their keepers can listen in on readings of The Nutcracker and other holiday classics from 10:30-11:30am at the Readings Gallery at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The free event will…

Bellingham Folk Festival


Workshops, performances, dances and jams for all ages and abilities will be part of the Bellingham Folk Festival, which takes place from 4:30-9:30pm Friday, 9am-9:30pm Saturday, and 1-9:30pm…

Wonderland Walk


Take a walk in the woods and enjoy lights, music, hot chocolate and generous servings of holiday cheer at the annual “Wonderland Walk” taking place from 5-8pm Friday and Saturday in Anacortes…

Santa Train


The Forest of Imagination changes into a magical wonderland full of more than one million lights brightly twinkling in the night at “Santa Train” excursions from 5-9pm Friday through Sunday…

Commercial Street Night Market


Fifteen artisan vendors, unique eating, live music and rare entertainment will be part of Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s final Commercial Street Night Market of the year taking place from…

Special Collections


Join the Red Wheelbarrow Writers when they read from their fifth annual collective novel, Special Collections, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. To celebrate NaNoWriMo, 30 different…

Winter Wonderland


Join Infinity Dance Company for “Winter Wonderland” performances at 7pm Friday and 1pm Sunday at Everson’s Nooksack High School Auditorium, 3326 E. Badger Rd. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop,…

A Night of Drama (and Comedy)


Theater students present “A Night of Drama (and Comedy)” at 7pm Friday and Saturday at Explorations Academy, 1701 Ellis St. Tickets to see the night of one-act plays, music —and a…

Pippi Longstocking


Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth students present performances of Pippi Longstocking for the final weekend at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State…

The North Pole Express


The Bellingham Figure Skating Club presents “The North Pole Express” at performances at 7pm Friday and 4pm Saturday at the Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. The show will consist…

Ballet Bellingham's Nutcracker


Prepare to be transported on a magical journey with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince when Ballet Bellingham presents its rendition of The Nutcracker at 7:30pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104…

Skagit Symphony Holiday Concert


The Skagit Symphony Chorus will join the orchestra in a performance of selections of Christmas carols by Rutter at its annual Holiday Concert at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon’s McIntyre Hall, 2501…

Ghosts and Games


Expect seasonal hilarity at improvised versions of The Christmas Carol when “My Three Ghosts” shows at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays through December at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm…

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