This Week's Cover


Skagit Surprises

One of the interesting things about living in Skagit Valley is watching the traffic patterns during the Tulip Festival. Most people, following instructions from their GPS, all get to the fields the same way, crawling through downtown Mount Vernon and onward through the several-mile-long traffic jam that Memorial Highway and McLean Road turn into every April. Those in the know, however, get off the freeway at Conway and take Fir Island Road, a route that adds a small amount of distance but has

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This Week

The Gristle

Drip, Drip, Drip

DRIP, DRIP, DRIP: In 2011, Lummi Nation and other tribal authorities requested a declaratory judgement by the federal government on their treaty-reserved water rights, concerned that the oversubscription of water withdrawals threatened tribal fisheries. While the tribes wait for a federal response, case law continues to accumulate that suggests the federal government will indeed take their tribal water claims very seriously, including a decision in March of last year that requires the state to

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Record Store Day

Hooked on the needle


Back in 2007, the year Record Store Day was founded, independent music stores were in freefall, decimated by the ready availability of all the music on Earth on the World Wide Web, just a click—or, more likely, an illegal download—away. Like a fast-moving train they could see coming from a mile away but were powerless to avoid, independent record stores, not just in the United States but the world over, could only react to the digital revolution after impact. Indeed, many did not survive,

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Skagit Surprises

Shopping and snacking on the tulip route


One of the interesting things about living in Skagit Valley is watching the traffic patterns during the Tulip Festival. Most people, following instructions from their GPS, all get to the fields the same way, crawling through downtown Mount Vernon and onward through the several-mile-long traffic jam that Memorial Highway and McLean Road turn into every April. Those in the know, however, get off the freeway at Conway and take Fir Island Road, a route that adds a small amount of distance but has

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Money Matters

Walking away from legal tender

April is here, the longer days are evident, rain is broken up by occasional deliciously warm and sunshiny days and our collective thoughts turn to…taxes.

It’s a fact that Americans in April have money on our minds. As frustrating as tax time can be, have you ever really considered what it would mean to live without money? Not without income, but actually without using money in any form.

Daniel Suelo thought about it much of his life, but it wasn’t until he was 39 years old that he

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Spring Migration

David Allen Sibley is for the birds


It’s that time of the year again, when millions of birds are on the wing.

The night skies are filled with flocks heading north, empty roosts are filling up again and our local wildlands and neighborhoods are reignited with the songs of our feathered friends taking up residence in their seasonal homes.

Spring migration is underway, and many different avian species are either passing through on their way to points farther north, or else arriving in the Fourth Corner with intentions to stick

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On Stage

Taking Flight

Grief and acceptance in Women of Lockerbie


Although the powers that be at the Bellingham Theatre Guild couldn’t possibly have known that their spring production, The Women of Lockerbie, would coincide with a remarkably related major news story, that’s exactly what happened.

The recent event I’m referring to is the ongoing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth more than a month ago on what was supposed to be a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Women of Lockerbie,

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Quintessential Skagit

Treasure hunting at River Gallery


You must be resourceful to find the River Gallery on Landing Road, just south of La Conner. From a low ridge, the gallery looks out over mysterious, forested hummocks forming islands in the Skagit flats, where peaceful sheep and black and white cows graze. On my visit, it stood in glorious sun, backed by billowy, white clouds.

Formerly a small commercial greenhouse, the gallery is the creation of Silvia Strong. For a dozen years it has been a magnet for creative artists and the sophisticated

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Finding Vivian Maier

A portrait of an enigma

When Vivian Maier, who worked most of her life as a nanny in the tony suburbs of Chicago’s North Shore, died in 2009 at the age of 83, a storage facility auctioned off her voluminous personal effects. John Maloof, a 26-year-old amateur historian, purchased a box of undeveloped negatives of hers, then set them aside after a cursory look-see. Two years later, he revisited the trove and realized Maier’s work was as good as anything by Weegee, Helen Levitt, or Dorothea Lange.

Finding Vivian

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The Unknown Known

Errol Morris vs. Donald Rumsfeld


People will walk out of The Unknown Known convinced that Donald Rumsfeld is an awful man—and just as convinced that others will love him. They will be dispirited, imagining that he dominated filmmaker Errol Morris, not realizing that they have just witnessed one of the great rope-a-dopes in documentary history—one all the more impressive, because Rumsfeld is no dope.

Yes, Morris could have confronted him. He could have pressed him on his insistence that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk, that

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Best of Bellingham

The center of gravity has shifted in Bellingham.
In the years we’ve been polling readers on their favorite haunts and hidey-holes, we’ve seen the focus crawl from the Southside to Columbia, veer south again to the central district and now eastward to what was not so very long ago perhaps the least likely of favorite neighborhoods, Sunnyland. Why Sunnyland? Well, Trader Joe’s, for starters. HomeSkillet. Kulshan Brewery and StrEAT Food. Hardware Sales. In fact, it is that delightful mix of residence and industrial-strength business that yields Sunnyland its wondrous, quirky charm. Artists work from their back of their homes and sell from their commercial storefronts—their efforts showcased each summer in the Sunnyland Stomp.
But favorite places are found all over Bellingham. Here again we present our readers picks of the best, brightest and boldest in the City of Subdued Excitement.

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Apr 19


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 »

The Mastodon: Bellingham-based playwright Ben Eisner's The Mastodon opens this week with 8pm performances Thursday through Saturday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The "gripping crime drama" examines predatory relationships, and chronicles a young call girl's ascent from the bottom to the top of the metaphorical food chain of inner-city Los Angeles. Tickets are $10 and additional showings happen April 24-26. more »

Les Miserables: Redemption and revolution will take center stage when Les Miserables continues this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M. Ave. Tickets are $20. Additional performances of the award-winning musical happen through April 27. more »

The Women of Lockerbie: A poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate can be seen when Deborah Brevoort's The Women of Lockerbie continues this weekend at shows at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. Tickets are $8-$14, and additional shows happen through April 27. more »

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Western Washington University's Department of Music, along with the Department of Theater and Dance, team up to present musically enhanced showings of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the school's Performing Arts Center Mainstage. Members of the Whatcom Symphony will also take part. Tickets are $10-$16 and additional showings happen April 25-27. more »

Scratchpad and Pulp Improv: Watch improv inspired by poetry, which is inspired by improv, when "Scratchpad" returns to the stage at 8pm shows through April at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, show up (or stick around) to view the fully improvised, Tarantino-inspired format, "Pulp Improv." Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. more »

Comedy Nite: Emmett Montgomery will be the featured performer at the monthly Comedy Nite at 8pm Friday in Anacortes at the H20 Club, 314 Commercial Ave. Rip Michaels will headline a show at 9pm Saturday in Bellingham at Poppes 360, 714 Lakeway Dr. Tickets to each show are $10. 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 »

Swedish Pancake Breakfast: Enjoy "Swedish pancakes made by Norwegians" at the monthly Swedish Pancake Breakfast happening from 8-11am at Bellingham's Norway Hall, 1419 N. Forest St. Entry is $3 for kids and $7 for adults. Please take note: This is the second-to-the-last event, as the building has been sold, so get there early to get your fill. more »

Pancake Breakfast: Pancakes, biscuits and gravy, French toast, eggs and more will be on the menu at Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at the Blaine Senior Center, 763 G St. Entry is $4 for kids and $6 for adults. more »

Peony Particulars: Renel Anderson of Pure Peonies leads a free "Peony Cultivation and Care" at 9am at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Please register in advance. more »

Fun with the Fuzz 5K: Help raise funds for the Behind the Badge Foundation at the annual "Fun with the Fuzz" 5K starting at 9am at the Bellingham Police Department, 505 Grand Ave. Entry is $20-$25. more »

Earth Day Work Party: Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for an Earth Day Tree Planting Work Party from 9am-12pm along the Nooksack River in Ferndale's Hovander Homestead Park. The first 200 volunteers will receive a free T-shirt. No registration is required. more »

Golden Egg Hunt: More than 4,000 eggs containing $10,000 in prizes will be hidden on the slopes of Mt. Baker as part of the 15th annual Golden Egg Hunt starting at 9am at the Mt. Baker Ski Area. In addition to the main hunt—which could net the winner a pass for next season—there will be four separate hunts for kids 10 and under. Participants must have a valid day pass or season pass. more »

Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament: Help raise funds for the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center at the annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament happening from 9am-5pm at the Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. Entry is free to watch the 32 teams competing teams. There'll also be a salmon barbecue, beer garden, music, raffles and more. more »

Waldorf Tea & Tour: Find out more about early childhood education at a Spring Tea and tour from 10-11:30am at the Whatcom Hills Waldorf School, 941 Austin St. In addition to visiting with nursery, preschool and kindergarten teachers, attendees can watch a puppet play and have tea. Please register in advance. more »

Underwater Beach Cleanup: Divers can help clean up part of Lake Whatcom at an "Underwater Beach Cleanup" from 10am-12pm at Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Ave. Non-divers are welcomed and encouraged to help from shore. Check out the website listed here for the particulars. more »

Easter Fair: An indoor Easter Egg Hunt, pics with the Easter bunny, games, prizes, a coloring contest and much more will be part of the third annual Kids Easter Fair from 10am-12pm at St. Luke's Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy. Suggested donation is $5 per child. more »

Adult Acting Class: Sign up for a free Adult Acting Class happening from 10am-12pm at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Classes include scripted scenes and a variety of acting games, with a different topic on the third Saturday of every month. more »

Skagit Work Party: Join the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and Mount Vernon City Parks for a Work Party celebrating Earth Day from 10am-1pm along the Skagit River and Edgewater Park. Activities will include planting native trees and shrubs, removal of invasive plant species, garbage removal, and education about vegetation and fish use in the Skagit watershed. Please register in advance. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Attend the weekly Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm every Saturday through Dec. 20 at the Depot Market Square, 1000 Railroad Ave. New and returning vendors will be selling fresh produce and ready-to-eat goods, local crafts, and more. more »

Ferndale Public Market Opening: Attend opening day at the Ferndale Public Market from 10am-3pm at the city's Centennial River Walk, 5667 First Ave. The market continues Saturdays through the summer. more »

Lea Kelley Studio Sale: View and purchase original works by Bellingham-based painter Lea Kelley and an Artist's Studio Exhibit and Clearance from 11am-3pm at the Washington Grocery Building, 1133 Railroad Ave., #303 (directly across from the Farmers Market). The painting will be available for 50- to 75-percent off. Preview them at the website listed here. more »

Zodiac Cruise: Benefit youth sailing in the community by signing up for a fundraising cruise on the Schooner Zodiac from 11:15am-4:30pm leaving from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Entry is $30-$75. more »

Limelight Writer: Attend an onscreen talk and interview with My Share of the Task: A Memoir author General Stanley McChrystal at a "Writers in the Limelight" event at noon at the Pickord's Limelight Cinema, 1416 Cornwall Ave. Copies of the book will be available. more »

Radical Repetition Opening: Prints, painting and sculptures can be seen when "Radical Repetition: Albers to Warhol" opens today from 12-5pm at Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, 205 Flora St. The exhibit examines recurring imagery in art since the 1960s, which has led to unexpected stylistic transformations and reinvigorated content. See it through Aug. 17. more »

Worthy Finale Prefunk: Music by Pacific High, 50 Cent Chicken, Show Kick Poney, La Dolce Vita, Reverend JD and the Blackouts, Junkyard Aymee, Amish Warfare, and others will be part of a Worthy Finale Prefunk starting at 3pm in Ferndale at 6987 Vista Dr. Entry is $10. Parking is $5, and camping is free. more »

The Favorite: Bellingham-based author Franklyn Thomas reads from The Favorite: A Novel at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The fictional tome follows a star-crossed veteran prizefighter. more »

Dinner on the Farm: Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland will host a "Celebrate Skagit: Dinner on the Farm" fundraiser starting at 4:30pm with appetizers and tours at La Conner Flats, 15978 Best Rd. The four-course dinner will showcase and celebrate the bounty of food and produce grown in and around the Skagit Valley. Entry is $75, and registration is required. more »

Bunny Hop Fundraiser: The 20-piece big band known as Swing Connection will perform at a "Bunny Hop" fundraiser for KMRE from 5:30-8:30pm at the Spark Museum, 1312 Bay St. In addition to music and dancing, there'll be comedy skits, a cake walk, face painting, food and drink, and more. Entry is $10 (kids 12 and under are free). 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 »

Bobby Lee McMurray: Listen to live music by Bobby Lee McMurray at a free concert from 6:30-8pm in the Firehall Cafe at Lynden's Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. more »

Murder and Music: A showing of Murder on the Oriental Rug will be accompanied by performances by local musicians at 7pm at Deming's Mt. Baker High School, 4936 Deming Rd. Admission is by donation; funds raised support Deming Library programs and services. more »

Piano with Pan Pan: Bellingham pianist Sarah Jerns—also known as Pan Pan—will perform at a "These Are Our Stories, Too" concert at 7pm at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Drawing on a classical background, Pan Pan will perform original compositions similar to the likes of Philip Glass, Yann Tiersen, and Max Richer. A backing band will assist. Tickets are $10. more »

Flute Presentation: Native American flutist Peter Ali will intermix performances of original songs with stories about his music and rich ethnic heritage at a presentation at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Entry is free. more »

Life Cycles: Team Pilchuck and the Pilchuck Mount Bikers Club team up to show the documentary film Life Cycles at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. In addition to the main attraction—which tells the story of a mountain bike and its culture—attendees can also view Follow Me, a film that looks at why we love to ride. Entry is $10. more »

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