This Week's Cover


Do You Really Want to Know?

For almost 30 years of his life, Jeff Carroll was, as most of us are, ignorant of Huntington’s Disease. Then, when he was in his late 20s, his mother became ill and Huntington’s officially entered his lexicon and forever changed his life.

Exceedingly rare, Huntington’s Disease, or HD, is a degenerative neurological illness with effects on the body that are best described as having ALS, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s at the same time. Onset tends to be early, the progression is long and

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This Week

The Gristle

Taxation and Representation


All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
—Washington State Constitution Article One, Section One, Sentence One

The cardinal rule of representative government is, when the consenting governed have their infrequent and fragile moment to speak on what has been proposed in their name, you do not waste their precious time or dishonor their opinion. You do not challenge that opinion. You

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Do You Really Want to Know?

A life and death decision


For almost 30 years of his life, Jeff Carroll was, as most of us are, ignorant of Huntington’s Disease. Then, when he was in his late 20s, his mother became ill and Huntington’s officially entered his lexicon and forever changed his life.

Exceedingly rare, Huntington’s Disease, or HD, is a degenerative neurological illness with effects on the body that are best described as having ALS, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s at the same time. Onset tends to be early, the progression is long and

Continue Reading »


Record Store Day

Vinyl is forever

Given the general air of revelry and excitement that surrounds Record Store Day, it can be easy to forget that its creation was as much a response to a crisis as it was an excuse for celebration.

The year was 2007, and it was apparent that independent record stores were becoming casualties of the internet changing the price of music from already pretty cheap to free in nearly all cases. However, one retail sector of the music store was not just holding the line, it was actually experiencing

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Mixing matter at MoNA

A glorious assemblage of David Eisenhour’s sculptures of sea creatures, cast in silvered bronze, greets the visitor to “Neo-Naturalist,” currently at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA). These brilliant objects celebrate our joy of discovering the beauty in nature. 

Guest Curator Robert Yoder places a very different piece opposite the Eisenhour gems. The huge painting “Switchback,” by Michael Paul Miller, shocks with its pathos and despair. Here’s a ravaged old man who

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Breakfast on Blanchard

Switchbacks and squirrel chats

It was just a shade before sunup, and I’d already been chugging my way up through pitch-dark, mist-shrouded forest for the better part of an hour when daybreak finally broke over Blanchard Mountain enough for me to switch my headlamp off without worrying about inadvertently stepping off the trail and plummeting straight down-slope into Samish Bay.

Even though I could still hardly see beyond the next tree trunk and/or boulder at that point, a sudden surge of self-propelled animal joy jolted

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Burger Express

Get your caboose to Sedro-Woolley


As you drive east along Highway 20 heading into Sedro-Woolley, you might not notice the old red and white caboose in a parking lot just outside of town. Or if you do notice it, you might think twice about stopping there to order food. That, however, would be a mistake, because this caboose is Skagit Valley Burger Express, home of the best burgers in Skagit County.

Although the Burger Express has been around for a while now, I hadn’t seriously considered visiting it until personal

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Northwest Bookshelf

Native art, native trees and a journey to the north


Northwest Coast Indian Art
Bill Holm (University of Washington Press)

From blankets to gambling sticks, coffins to rain hats, spoons to shaman’s paraphernalia, seemingly every material aspect of the indigenous cultures of the northern Pacific Coast was decorated with representations of the natural world, usually animals. Salmon, bear, raven, wolf, whale, seal, beaver: the wild creatures of the British Columbian and southeast Alaskan coastlines and islands are memorialized in bold strokes of

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On Stage

Ded Reckoning

Singing their way through space


There’s a moment in Ded Reckoning: A Space Musical in Two Acts when Tiny, one of the five crew members aboard the Galaxy Guppy, finally understands what the space/time continuum is all about.

Thanks to the helpful (and catchy) lyrics in “Moving Fast”—the song that accompanied the “aha!” moment for Tiny—I also came much closer to comprehending why the six-plus years the crew had been adrift in space translated to nearly 48 years for those they left behind on planet Earth. 

Like the 11

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While We’re Young

Friends without borders

The title of Noah Baumbach’s wry generation-gap comedy, While We’re Young, could be read as an ode to youth, like the name of a lost Cole Porter tune.

It could also be taken as sarcasm, as when Rodney Dangerfield shouts, “Let’s go, while we’re young!” to Ted Knight’s slowpoke golfer in Caddyshack.

Either way works, and does it ever. While We’re Young pairs two New York couples, one middle-aged and anxious and the other millennial and carefree. Both are in for a satirical

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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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Apr 17


Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: The flower-focused Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place throughout the month of April at a variety of venues from Mount Vernon to Edison to La Conner, Anacortes, and beyond. In addition to being able to explore fields of budding daffodils and tulips, there'll be a street fair, arts events, a kids garage sale, a boat show, a tulip run and tulip pedal, live music, a quilt walk, a wine festival, roller derby, book sales, a parade and much more. Head to the website to check out the full roster more »

Art in Bloom: Twenty-eight regional artists will share their paintings, photography, sculpture, glass, ceramics, fiber art and mixed-media works at the Anacortes Arts Festival's second annual "Art in Bloom" exhibit from 11am-4pm April 10-18 at the town's Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. An "Evening of Color" auction takes place April 10 (cost is $45 for entry) and a free opening reception for the exhibit takes place at 6pm Sat., April 11. more »

Rexville Grange Art Show: Peruse and purchase a variety of fine arts and crafts from local artists—including painting, photography, pottery, glass, jewelry, weaving, woodwork, felted hats and more—at the annual Rexville Grange Art Show happening from 10am-6pm daily from April 10-19 at Mount Vernon's Rexville Grange, 19299 Rexville Grange Rd. more »

Ded Reckoning Space Musical: Kamarie Chapman and Spencer Willows' Ded Reckoning: A Space Musical in Two Acts concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The show deals with "issues of homesickness, sibling rivalry, and what happens when you are faced with the choice between carrying out your duty and following your passion." P.S. The soundtrack for the show features musicians from local bands Pan Pan, Party Favorites, and Cherry Blossom Family Delivery. more »

Harvey: The Lynden Performing Arts Guild continues its production of Harvey this weekend at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm Saturday and Sunday at the Claire vg Thomas Theatre, 655 Front St. The comedy focuses on Elwood P. Dowd, an affable man who claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend Harvey—a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch-tall rabbit. Tickets are $8-$12. Additional showings happen through April 26. more »

The Spitfire Grill: Performances of The Spitfire Grill continue this week with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The dramatic musical focuses on a girl trying to make a fresh start in a small town in Wisconsin, and the power of redemption. Tickets are $20; additional showings happen through April 25. more »

I Hate Hamlet: Find out what happens when an actor relocates to New York after his television series has been cancelled when I Hate Hamlet concludes this week with showings at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday, in Oak Harbor at the Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd. Tickets are $18. more »

Used Book Sale: Get great deals on gently-used books and other items at the Mount Vernon City Library's Used Book Sale from 3-6pm Friday and 10am-4pm inside Fire Station #1, 902 S. Second St. (behind City Hall). more »

Scratchpad, Bellinghamlet: Local poets will join improvisers onstage to write poems that will influence improv comedy scenes—and vice versa—at "Scratchpad" performances at 8pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around for "Bellinghamlet," an improvised Shakespeare format. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Additional showings of both formats take place throughout April. more »

Voices of the Children: View the fictional story of a female adolescent and the many difficulties she faces within the confines of a refugee camp when the Theater Arts Guild and the Mount Vernon School District present Voices of the Children at 7pm Friday and Saturday at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. The show was written by sixth-grade playwrights as part of the 2015 "Syria Project" and was inspired by iPhone photos taken by Syrian refugee teens inside the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. Tickets are $12. more »

One-Act Operas: Western Washington University's Western Opera Studio presents performances of Enrique Granados' tragic Goyescas and Puccini’s only comedy, Gianni Schicchi, at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the school's Performing Arts Center (choir room 16). Both one-act operas premiered at the Metropolitan Opera during World War I. Tickets are $13-$16. Additional shows happen April 24-25. more »

The Foreigner: Larry Shue's The Foreigner opens this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The comedy takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia and focuses on a man who overhears more than he should after being falsely identified as a French man who speaks no English. Tickets are $8-$14; additional showings happen through May 2. more »

Mount Vernon Street Fair: Attend the 31st annual Tulip Festival Street Fair from 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday, in downtown Mount Vernon. In addition to perusing the hundreds of juried arts and crafts vendors, there'll be live entertainment, food court offerings and plenty of family-friendly fun. Entry is free. more »

Wild Things: Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom Walks for "Wild Things" excursions from 9:30-11am every Friday in April at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve. Entry is by donation. more »

VIGIL FOR PEACE: Join the longest-running Peace Vigil in the country—48 years and counting—from 4-5pm every Friday afternoon at the corners of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. more »

Family Story Night: Professional tale-tellers from the Bellingham Storytellers Guild will present a free hour of coaching and an intro to the craft at 6pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. From 7-8:30pm, Family Story Night will commence. more »

Gatsby Party: The Bellingham High School Jazz Band, the BHS Showstoppers, and the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band will perform at a "Gatsby Party" fundraiser to support music education in Bellingham Public Schools from 6-9pm at the BHS Commons, 2020 Cornwall Ave. The all-ages concert and swing dance is $10. Swing dance lessons will be provided by the WWU Swing Kids. more »

Dare to Dream Fundraiser: Engedi Refuge Ministries presents its "Dare to Dream" Gala starting at 6pm at the Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn, 714 Lakeway Dr. Tickets are $75 and include cocktails, dinner, live music, an auction and dancing; funds raised benefit the leading restoration program in the Pacific Northwest for survivors of human trafficking. more »

Poetry Live: Mt. Baker High School graduate, local poet and teaching artist Matthew Brouwer will read from his first full-length collection of poems, The Last Time I Prayed, at a "Poetry Live" event from 7-9pm at the Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Hwy. Additional Foothills-based poets, including Lois Holub, will also read from their works. Entry is free and open to teens and adults. more »

Chuckanut Radio Hour: Brian Doyle will read from his latest tome, Martin Marten, as the featured author at the Chuckanut Radio Hour starting at 7pm at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg St. Performance poet Kevin Murphy, Weekly columnist Alan Rhodes, an episode of "The Bellingham Bean" and more will be part of the live taping. Entry is $5. more »

Peter Broderick, Simon Scott: The Business and Magic City host a concert with Peter Broderick (Efterklang and Horse Feathers), Simon Scott (Slowdive), and Marcus Fisher at 7pm in Anacortes at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance. more »

David Post: Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth founder David Post will sing and play jazz at a free concert from 7-9pm at Lummi Island's Beach Store Cafe, 2200 N. Nugent Rd. more »

Friday Night Dance Party: A mix of swing, Latin and ballroom will be highlighted and danced to with an introductory lesson at the weekly Friday Night Dance Party from 7:30-10pm at the Bellingham Dance Company, 1705 N. State St. Admission is $5-$7. more »

Chippendales: Dancing, singing and much more will be part of the Chippendales "Get Lucky" tour stop at 8pm at the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Resort, 4876 Haxton Way. Tickets to see the number-one male dance revue in the world are $25; audience members attending the "ultimate girls night out" must be 21-plus to attend. more »

Salsa Night: Rumba Northwest continues its "Friday Night Salsa" gatherings from 9pm-12am every Friday at Cafe Rumba, 1140 N. State St. The event kicks off with Salsa lessons by Antonio Diaz and Heather Haugland, followed by dancing to a variety of hot Latin rhythms until midnight. Entry to the all-ages event is $4. more »

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