This Week's Cover


Through the Lens

From the searing deserts of Namibia to the soaring glacial moraines of deep Alaska and the saturated rainforests of the Olympic Coast, photographers Dennis Walton and John D’Onofrio present the trophies they’ve captured of photographic expeditions across the world’s great landscapes. Their work is both sweeping and personally intimate.

Walton has lived and travelled abroad for much if his life, photographing extensively in Burma, Tibet, Ladakh, Java, India, and Japan, where he captured

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This Week

The Gristle

The Permanence of Variance

THE PERMANENCE OF VARIANCE: A remarkable schism opened between the afternoon and evening sessions of Bellingham City Council this week, although perhaps too few noticed.

The central puzzle facing the city—and indeed communities throughout the West and across the country—is the affordability of housing and its attendant concerns, as middle incomes have remained relatively flat while home prices continue to rise precipitously. The balance between what one earns and what one pays for a roof

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It's Complicated

About that “Local Taxes” item on your Comcast bill

If you’re confused by your Comcast bill for cable TV—the one you got in January or February—don’t feel dumb.

Batches of Comcast subscribers have complained to the City of Bellingham about some jolting December-to-January increases in a Comcast billing item listed as “Local Taxes.”

The increases varied from one Comcast subscriber to another. One billing increased from 14 cents in December to $6.35 in January. Another, from 22 cents in December to $7.66 in January.  Another, from

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Through the Lens

Exotic landscapes, far and near


From the searing deserts of Namibia to the soaring glacial moraines of deep Alaska and the saturated rainforests of the Olympic Coast, photographers Dennis Walton and John D’Onofrio present the trophies they’ve captured of photographic expeditions across the world’s great landscapes. Their work is both sweeping and personally intimate.

Walton has lived and travelled abroad for much if his life, photographing extensively in Burma, Tibet, Ladakh, Java, India, and Japan, where he captured

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Station Eleven

Weaving stories from gossamer thread


Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven is one of those books that sweeps you up and doesn’t put you down until the last page is turned. I picked up a copy at the Whatcom Literacy Council Breakfast last November, where Nancy Pearl touted it as one of her recent favorites, a book that restored her “heretofore flagging faith that wonderful novels are still being written.” It languished on the coffee table for several months until I picked it up on a slow Sunday and became lost in it.


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On Stage

Challenge America

A world of learning


When Kuntz and Company founder Pamela Kuntz found out her dance and community organization had qualified for a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of a “Challenge America” competition, she and her crew promptly got things rolling. The first of three dance residencies takes place this week with both public performances and classes at local schools throughout Whatcom County.

Cascadia Weekly: What were the parameters of the “Challenge America” grant?

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Red is Neutral

Collage and collaboration with Freddy Moran


“Freddy” Moran had been quilting for 20 years when, at 80, she thought she was burned out. Said her son: “Think what you can do in the next 20 years!” The result is her “Collage” exhibit at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum.

Here in the historic mansion atop the hill in the tiny artist town, you’ll discover fabric art from the 19th century to the present.

On the first floor, examine handmade clothing and quilts. Children’s frocks from the early 1900s remind us that once

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Colophon Cafe

Comfort food with a history


There are some restaurants that grab you by the heart and won’t let go. They offer that brilliant combination of consistently good comfort food, great service, a warm, ambient environment and a location that’s convenient and attractive. The Colophon Café nails every one of those.

We started coming back in 2003 on our first foray to Bellingham, with a new babe in an infant carseat and all the worries of first-time parenthood. By then the café had been open 18 years in Fairhaven’s

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Song of the Sea

A selkie’s tale


Song of the Sea is another satisfying smack in the face of computer-generated 3D animation from Irish director Tomm Moore, after his earlier, Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells. Working with wondrous watercolor backgrounds and 2D animation in which the impressions of depth and perspective are almost exclusively suggested through overlapping flat surfaces, this pleasingly old-school item again relies on Irish folklore and legends to color a familiar story about a young boy venturing out into a

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Howlin’ Rain

A new deal


I’ve been around musicians long enough to know that, whatever kind of music of whatever kind of genre they might create, they all tend to do it for similar reasons, generally speaking. It goes without saying that musicians have a creative itch they need to scratch, as well as a need to put forth what they’ve created into the world. Regardless what degree of stage fright they may feel, I think most musicians would agree that nothing feels quite like the support and validation they receive

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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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Feb 26


Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival: The 15th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival takes place Feb. 19-28 at a variety of Whatcom County venues, including Bellingham High School, Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, the Deming Library, Fairhaven College, Ferndale Public Library, Northwest Indian College, the Pickford Film Center, Sehome High School, and Whatcom Community College. All events are free, and many films will be followed by facilitated discussions—some led by the filmmakers more »

Daniel James Brown Visits: The annual "Whatcom READS!" community-wide reading event concludes with visits by The Boys in the Boat author Daniel James Brown this week in Whatcom County. Brown will present "The Art and Craft of Writing" from 3:30-5:30pm Tuesday at Whatcom Community College's Heiner Theater before heading to Lynden for a talk at 7:30pm at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. On Wednesday, he'll discuss the book at 2pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St., and at 7pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. more »

The Underpants: Professional and community actors can be seen onstage when the Mount Baker Theatre presents its sixth year of Winter Repertory Theatre with performances of Steve Martin's The Underpants concluding this week at showings at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, 3pm and 7:30pm Saturday, and 3pm Sunday at the MBT's Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets to the see the satire—which takes place in 1910 and focuses on a scandal caused when the wife of a government clerk loses control of her more »

Leading Ladies: Ken Ludwig's Leading Ladies—a comedy about down-on-their-luck English Shakesperean actors attempting to fool a rich old lady out of her money by posing as long-lost relatives—concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. Tickets are $8-$12. more »

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot: The Skagit Valley College Drama Department presents showings of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for the final week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the school's Phil Tarro Theatre. Tickets are $5. more »

Winter Feast: Learn how to make a cassoulet of baked beans and homemade sausages, cornbread with carrots and hazelnuts and an arugula salad with satsuma mandarins and cheese shards when Mary Ellen Carter leads a "Fireside Winter Feast" course from 6-8pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Entry is $39. more »

Solar Workshop: Tim Nelson of Fire Mountain Solar will teach the basics of home and commercial solar system at a free "Solar Workshop" from 6:30-8pm at Mount Vernon's Skagit Valley Food Co-op, 202 S. First St. Locally-made solar components will be on hand at the workshop, including a solar panel made in Bellingham and a micro-inverter made in Poulsbo. Please register in advance. more »

Skagit Writers League Meeting: Join the Skagit Valley Writers League for a "Mythic Method" workshop with Ashland Pym from 6:30-8:30pm at the Burlington Library, 820 E. Washington Ave. Entry to take part in the event is free; please register in advance. more »

Incognito: Expect the unexpected at the monthly "Incognito" dinner starting at 6:30pm at Ciao Thyme, 207 Unity St. Entry to the six-course dinner—which aims to use as many seasonal and local ingredients as possible—is $68 per person. Reservations are a must. more »

Chuckanut Radio Hour: Kristin Hannah reads from her new novel The Nightingale as the featured author of the second Chuckanut Radio Hour of the month at Whatcom Community College, 734 Kellogg Rd. Additional highlights include a new essay by Weekly columnist Alan Rhodes, poetry by Kevin Murphy, an episode of the "Bellingham Bean," and more. Entry is $5. more »

Folk Dance Party: Learn Balkan, Israeli, Romani and Greek dancing with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers from 7-10pm every Thursday at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Suggested donation is $5 (first-time visitors and students are free). more »

Fourth Corner Folk Dancers: Learn Balkan folk dances with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers from 7:15-10:15pm every Thursday at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. All ages are welcome, and no partner is necessary. Suggested donation is $5; first-time visitors and students are free. more »

The Adoration of Dora: Lojo Simon's The Adoration of Dora begins this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The play is an exploration of the life of surrealist photographer Dora Maar as she "lives with the threat of war and in the shadow cast by her lover, Pablo Picasso." Opening night is free; otherwise, tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Additional showings happen March 5-8. more »

GOOD, BAD, UGLY: Watch “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” at 8pm every Thursday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around for “The Project.” Entry is $7 for the early show, $4 for the late one. more »

WWU Wind Symphony: Western Washington University's Wind Symphony presents a concert at 8pm at the school's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Entry is free and open to the public. more »

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