Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

News

Standing Rock North

Canadian government approves pipeline expansion

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government picked winners and losers among a number of large energy export projects this week. Decisions were delivered on three crude pipelines—Enbridge’s Line 3 and Northern Gateway, and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain—and on a previously pledged tanker ban along British Columbia’s northwest coast.

The Trudeau government approved Trans Mountain and Line 3, but rejected the Northern Gateway project due to its impacts on coastal old…

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Music

Songs Not of the Season

Save the carols for later

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

After last week’s confession that I am an unrepentant Black Friday shopper (this year I scored some discount underwear and a glittery sweater, possibly to be worn together), it probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I set my radio to the station that plays nonstop Christmas music before the clock struck midnight on Thanksgiving.

However, unlike so many of the other holiday traditions I can’t get enough of, I do have a threshold when it comes to carols. Because I’m a musical…

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Words

Pickett House

A treasure chest of history

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There are ghosts at the George E. Pickett House in Bellingham. Chances are you won’t see them, but if you visit the house on Peabody Hill—the state’s oldest documented wooden structure on its original site—you’ll certainly feel them.

It was built by John Peabody, and if you venture up those rickety stairs and look carefully you’ll see the planks he used from the Roeder-Peabody lumber mill at Whatcom Falls. They expanded and contracted over the years, and to seal the cracks…

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Food

Hunting for Answers

Of elk and elections

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The day after the election, I went hunting for elk. Being away for a week gave me the space to begin wrapping my head around Trump’s victory. I could let my own thoughts percolate away from the noise and drama—except when I checked the news on my device. Obsessively. At the expense of scanning for elk.

Though I was in the middle of the wilderness, far removed from the chaos unfolding in Washington D.C., I was—like we all are—inextricably linked to those events. And I couldn’t…

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Outdoors

Polly Dyer

Honoring a conservation hero

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In the North Cascades, a mosaic of public lands—national, state and provincial parks; national forests; wilderness and recreation areas—protects many of the region’s most beloved areas.

It’s easy to take their stewardship for granted, but in truth, Washingtonians owe a great deal of gratitude to early visionaries like Polly Dyer, who passed away recently at age 96.

Without Dyer and her ilk, imagine what might have been: Clear-cuts in the Stehekin Valley. An open-pit copper…

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Visual

Downtown Visions

Weathering the storm at PAPO

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The windstorm that hit Western Washington on Aug. 29, 2015 was a whopper. In addition to knocking out power to much of Whatcom County, the angry gusts downed trees, sent debris flying to and fro and generally did its best to endanger human lives.

Before I took the advice of newscasters and holed up inside my house on that stormy summer day, I ran a couple of errands that had me driving down Bellingham’s Holly Street corridor.

Among the pedestrians who were hustling along the…

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Film

Manchester by the Sea

A masterpiece in a minor key

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Manchester by the Sea is a masterpiece in a minor key, an exploration of grief that never lets its characters—or its audience—off the hook.

It manages this even when it’s funny, which is surprisingly often. Kenneth Lonergan’s film, which understands the humor that can be found in unimaginable suffering, might be unbearable otherwise. But it would still be essential viewing.

Casey Affleck is magnificent as Lee Chandler, a janitor in Boston. We see him plunging toilets, repairing to…

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On Stage

Why Not

Working through the hard stuff

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

For many years, improviser and actor Robin Corsberg was used to being the life of the party.

And although the longtime performer still commands an audience—whether it’s making people laugh as a mainstage performer at the Upfront Theatre, in a juicy role at the iDiOM Theater, or onscreen in local and regional projects and commercials—she’s now doing so without a drink or two under her belt.

Corsberg’s two years of sobriety will be one of the topics she’ll tackle during “Why Not,”…

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Film

Nocturnal Animals

A story within a story

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

High art meets base behavior in Nocturnal Animals, the singular second feature from Tom Ford, the fashionista and filmmaker.

This melodramatic yet nihilistic thriller unfolds in two distinct yet connected locations and mindsets, like a collision between Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind and David Lynch’s Lost Highway. Adapting his screenplay from Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony and Susan, Ford interweaves influences and style obsessions with an exactitude bordering on…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood

Columbia

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 (versaphotography.com)

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Lawless

LAWLESS: Whatcom County’s commitment to lawlessness was on vivid display last week, as construction industry lobbyists, land speculators and property owners with trapped investments descended on County Council to protest a moratorium on development applications based on wells. Council…

MBT Mamma Mia Andrew Subin
Letters
Hold firm, Democrats

The recent election debacle has put the Republicans in control of both executive and legislative branches of our national government.…

Rights of peaceful assembly

The other day I observed a peaceful and well-regulated demonstration on a local railroad crossing. The demonstrators appeared particularly concerned…

Sanctuary, not sanctions 

Providing sanctuary is a primordial response of compassion and courage in the face of vulnerability and injustice.
Bellingham has…

Andrew Subin
Today's Events
Santa in Town

12:00pm

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…

Peter and the Starcatcher

7:30pm

A dozen actors will portray more than 100 unforgettable characters when Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter and the Starcatcher shows this week at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, 2pm and…

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

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

5:00pm

View festive holiday displays both outdoors and indoors at the annual “The Lights of Christmas” this week from 5-10pm Thursday through Sunday in Stanwood at the 15-acre Warm Beach Camp, 20800…

A Christmas Story

7:30pm

The Theater Arts Guild’s rendition of A Christmas Story: The Musical, continues this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 1:30pm Sunday at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln…

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

7:30pm

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

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

7:30pm

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…

The Happy Elf

7:30pm

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,…

20th annual Pacific Arts Market

10:00am

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 Port Festival

12:00pm

Music by dozens of local bands, orchestras, choirs and performance groups, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, art activities for kids, horse-and-wagon rides, gingerbread house viewings, Alaska…

Olde Fashioned Christmas

5:00pm

Members of the Ferndale Heritage Society will help visitors step back in time at the annual “Olde Fashioned Christmas” taking place from 5-9pm Friday, 1-9pm Saturday, and 1-4pm Sunday at the…

Santa Train

5:00pm

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…

Glad Tidings Christmas Concerts

7:00pm

The Whidbey Community Chorus presents a “Glad Tidings” Christmas Concert at 7pm Friday and 4pm Sunday at Oak Harbor’s First United Methodist Church, 1050 SE Ireland St. Entry is by…

Pippi Longstocking

7:00pm

Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth students bring an iconic character to life when they present performances of Pippi Longstocking at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at BAAY…

Carols of the World

7:30pm

The Cantabile Chamber Choir of Skagit Valley presents “Peace on Earth: Carols of the World” concerts at 7:30pm Friday at Anacortes United Methodist (2201 H Ave.); 7:30pm Saturday at the…

The Nutcracker

7:30pm

The Skagit Valley Academy of Dance will present their 27th annual performance of The Nutcracker at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Mount Vernon’s McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College…

Old Fashioned Holiday Weekend

8:00am

Head to Downtown Mount Vernon for an “Old Fashioned Holiday Weekend” starting Saturday with “Breakfast with Santa” from 8-11am at Hillcrest Park Lodge. That day’s events also feature a…

Old Fashioned Holiday Weekend

8:00am

Head to Downtown Mount Vernon for an “Old Fashioned Holiday Weekend” starting Saturday with “Breakfast with Santa” from 8-11am at Hillcrest Park Lodge. That day’s events also feature a…

Holiday Book Sale

10:00am

Find a huge selection of high quality children’s literature, superhero comics and a wide array of books for readers of all ages at a Holiday Book Sale happening from 10am-5pm Saturday and…

Sleighbells Ring

10:00am

Attend “Sleighbells Ring” events every weekend through December at Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. Fresh-cut trees and wreaths, ornament and cookie crafting, bonfires, distillery and…

20th annual Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Guided nature walks, presentations by guest speakers, sales by artisans and much more will be part of the 20th annual Skagit Eagle Festival taking place from 10am-4pm most Saturdays and…

Celebrate the Season

12:00pm

The Anacortes Schools Foundation presents family-oriented events at “Celebrate the Season” from 12-5pm Saturday and Sunday at the Port of Anacortes Event Center, 100 Commercial Ave. Live…

Community Breakfast

8:00am

Meet and greet local politicians as they serve you coffee and breakfast at the monthly Community Breakfast from 8am-12pm at the Rome Grange, 2821 Mt. Baker Hwy. Pancakes, French toast, eggs,…

Silver Tea

2:00pm

Refreshments, musical entertainment, crafts for kids and pictures with Santa will be part of the annual “Silver Tea” taking place from 2-5pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. Entry to…

Silver Tea

2:00pm

Refreshments, musical entertainment, crafts for kids and pictures with Santa will be part of the annual “Silver Tea” taking place from 2-5pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. Entry to…

Robrert Lashley Reading

4:00pm

Award-winning poet and author Robert Lashley will give a reading at 4:30pm at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom, 1224 Cornwall Ave. Tickets to the see the Bellingham-based writer—a 2016 Jack…

Christmas Parade

5:00pm

Expect to see a variety of holiday-themed floats, costumes, lights and decorations at the annual Christmas Parade starting at 5pm in historic downtown Mount Vernon. Last year more than 1,000…

A Shayna Maidel Auditions

7:00pm

Cold readings and prepared dramatic monologues will be part of auditions for upcoming performances of A Shayna Maidel at 7pm Sunday and Monday at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The…

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