Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Left of Larsen

Liberal district receives a 
Green challenge

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Here’s a bold prediction for the 2018 elections: Democrat Rick Larsen of Everett will keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This may elicit a collective groan from progressives in the 2nd Congressional District, who have maligned Larsen for catering to corporations and the military. They point to his campaign donors: In this latest cycle, three-fourths of his contributions have come from major corporate and union political action committees. The list includes Amazon,…

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Smoking Crow

Ski to Sea

For you and me

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

I cannot predict the future. Even so, it’s probably a safe bet that I will never compete as part of a Ski to Sea team, unless I am forced to do it to save someone’s life. And it would have to be someone I’m close to, mind you. Not just anyone will do.

Even so, I can—and frequently do—participate in Ski to Sea. I simply choose a slightly different adventure than the one embarked upon by the athletes. My own annual tradition also tends to be a multi-stage affair, the difference…

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Smoking Crow

Dandelions 101

Mixing bitterness with pleasure

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Our country was born loving dandelions, having been brought—intentionally—on the Mayflower by the pilgrims, presumably as an easy source of nutrition, but also perhaps for its medicinal value as a digestive aid and blood thinner.

Somewhere along our personal journeys, grownups manage to convince us dandelions are bad, because of what they do to the grass monocultures most Americans cultivate instead of food.

Eating dandelions make me feel good, so it isn’t surprising to learn…

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Smoking Crow

Ski to Sea

The big picture

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

I spent at least an hour last Sunday afternoon sitting on a piece of driftwood on a beach on Lummi Island and gazing across the expanse of low-tide sandbars and eelgrass beds to the scenic vista beyond.

Although Mt. Baker was temporarily hidden behind a haze of clouds, I pictured its ice-capped glory and the tenacity it would take for a human being to make her or his way from its elevated environs to the waterfront city sprawled below—not via sitting inside a vehicle or an airplane,…

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Smoking Crow


A story of forbidden love

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

It would be a lovely thing if you, the reader, knew less about Disobedience than you already do. Every trailer, every advertisement, every interview in connection with this film has revealed it as a tale of lesbian love set in an intensely Orthodox Jewish community in London. And the reason for this is obvious: You can persuade a lot more people to see a forbidden love story than a movie about a religious community.

But if you do see Disobedience, and you should, try not to think about…

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Smoking Crow
On Stage

Fear of Fascism

It Can’t Happen Here

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dr. Lawrence Britt’s “14 Characteristics of Fascism” reads kind of like Donald Trump’s “to-do” list.

Among the biggies the President of the United States has thus far checked off are rampant sexism, controlled mass media, obsession with national security, powerful and continuing nationalism, disdain for the recognition of human rights, identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause, the protection of corporate power and cronyism.

Behind the scenes of It Can’t Happen…

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Smoking Crow


A voice reclaimed

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In her time studying at Harvard and Cambridge, Tara Westover often discovered profound gaps in her knowledge. Teachers would refer to specific events or places that she’d never heard of; other students would make cultural references she didn’t understand.

These discoveries sometimes upended Westover’s worldview, sending her scurrying to learn more, an effort to cover the truth about her past.

That she was accepted to study at such prestigious academic institutions was in itself…

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Smoking Crow

Time for Art

Bellingham sundial mural project

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Where some people see blank spaces, Sasch Stephens is apt to visualize sundials, at least if the area of reference he’s looking at is south-facing and can aptly trace the passage of time.

This was the case when Stephens, a solar energy consultant for NW Sunworks and gnomonist—that’s “professional sundialist” for those who aren’t familiar with the sunny side of the street—happened upon the large wall housing Ciao Thyme on Flora and Unity streets in downtown Bellingham.…

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Smoking Crow
Best of Skagit
Best Tulip Farm


It’s tulip time, and the fields are alive with the light and color of spring. The word’s out, and this spectacular time in the Skagit Valley is no longer a secret.

But Skagit still holds a lot of secrets—mist-shrouded valleys, swollen and mighty rivers, and frosty high country thick with dark pines and devil’s club. And there are the hidey holes—the hamlets sprinkled along old forgotten highways, the winding sloughs and channels of the fertile delta, and the coast beyond—dotted with islands pungent from salt and rain. There are the bars and diners and coffeehouses, the playgrounds and trails. And there are the people who fill them, hearty and happy. And though our readers revealed some of these secrets, Skagit remains a treasure undiscovered.

Entries by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat
Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle and Andy Porter

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The Gristle
Bungle in the Jungle?

BUNGLE IN THE JUNGLE?: The particular political makeup of the 40th Legislative District practically guarantees no conservative can ever be elected to represent the district in Olympia. For decades, the district has been considered “safe” for Democrats. But the exuberant enthusiasm of…

Housing Crisis Solutions

In Sarah Bond-Yancey’s April 25 column in Cascadia Weekly, she outlined pathways to homeownership, detailing the current housing crisis in our area and across the country.

“The inadequate supply of Whatcom County homes in the $125,000 to $300,000 price range keeps average wage earners…

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We’re responsible for our guest workers

Oxford Dictionaries defines oversight as “1. An unintentional failure to notice or do something,” or “2. The action of overseeing something.”
In her recent letter Naomi Murphy said,…

Roots of misogyny and misanthropy

The recent arrest of New York state’s Attorney General on domestic violence charges should force us to consider two main sources of such abuse in our nation.
First and foremost, the source…

‘Don’t do A’

Do you print the same advice telling people to avoid getting robbed, don’t own valuables? No. You don’t. It makes as much sense as saying “To avoid getting punched in the face, don’t…

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Today's Events
Ski to Sea Book Sale


Find used books, DVDs, CDs and much more at the annual Ski to Sea Book Sale happening from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday at the Bellingham Public Library, 210…

BC Morgan Horse Show


Attend the BC Morgan Horse Show from 9am-8pm Thursday through Sunday at the Equine Event Center at Lynden’s Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, 1775 Front St. Exhibitors from near and far,…

The Gun Show


Bellingham TheatreWorks presents The Gun Show at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St. The one-man show featuring actor Ian Bivins reprising his…

The Aliens


Western Washington University’s Rich Brown directs showings of Obie Award-winning playwright Annie Baker’s The Aliens at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Lucas Hicks Theater at the…

It Can't Happen Here


The Skagit Valley College drama department presents showings of Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the school’s Philip Tarro Theatre. Additional showings of…

Baywatch and Brawls


“Improvised Baywatch” brings beach adventures onstage at 8pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around for “Backyard Brawl,” which pits two teams of…

Pancake Breakfast


All ages are welcome at a Pancake Breakfast taking place from 8-11am at Ferndale’s American Legion Post #154, 5537 Second Ave. Entry is $3 for kids 12 and under, $6 for adults. The event…

Mount Vernon Farmers Market


The Mount Vernon Farmers Market will feature more than 55 vendors from throughout the Skagit Valley from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 13 at the city’s Riverwalk Park. From 11am-4pm…

Anacortes Farmers Market


Find fresh produce and much more when the Anacortes Farmers Market continues its 29th season from 9am-2pm at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. The event continues Saturdays through Oct. 27.

Bellingham Farmers Market


The 26th season of the Bellingham Farmers Market continues from 10am-3pm Saturdays through Dec. 22 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. In addition to offering locally grown…

Lummi Island Artists' Studio Tour


Peruse paintings, glass art, jewelry, fiber arts, pottery, sculpture, photography and much more during the self-guided Lummi Island Artists’ Studio Tour taking place from 10am-5pm Saturday…

Birch Bay Kite Festival


Families can celebrate the end of spring and the start of summer at the annual Birch Bay Kite Festival happening from 10am-2pm Saturday and Sunday at Birch Bay State Park, 7930 Birch Bay Dr.…

Sumas Writers Group


Aspiring writers can join the Sumas Writers Group to improve writing techniques, get feedback and gain information on how to get work published from 10-11am at the Sumas Library, 451 2nd St.…

Correspondence Club


Anyone over 8 years old can show up for the monthly Correspondence Club gathering from 10:30am-12:30pm at Mindport Exhibits, 210 W. Holly St. Supplies, materials and instructional guidance…

Public Sail


Sign up now for a Public Sale taking place on the Schooner Adventuress from 1-4pm, starting at the Squalicum Harbor Marina, 722 Coho Way. Sails on the 105-year-old boat are designed to get…

Mark Twain Bench Dedication


Attend an unveiling and dedication of the “Mark Twain Bench” at 3:30pm in front of Village Books, 1200 11th St. The program will include a “Mark Twain in Fairhaven” presentation by author and…

Artist Talk with Sheila Klein and Ries Niemi


Spouses Sheila Klein and Ries Niemi will discuss work from their latest show, “Making Up Stories and Looking at Things Sideways,” at an Artist Talk at 4pm at Edison’s i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains…

Saturday Seafood Boil


Sockeye salmon, Caesar salad, and a traditional seafood boil with prawns, fish, andouille sausage, corn and clams can be had at a Saturday Seafood Boil starting tonight from 5:30-8:30pm at…

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