This Week's Cover


Romeo & Juliet

Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story the

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This Week

That Which Is Permitted

THAT WHICH IS PERMITTED: This week marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the purchase and sale agreement that transferred the Bellingham tissue mill site and adjacent properties along Whatcom Waterway from Georgia-Pacific West into the ownership and control of the Port of Bellingham—or nearly a quarter of the portion of a 50-year plan projected to clean and redevelop the city’s central waterfront. Under the terms of the 2005 agreement, the port assumed all environmental liability of

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Feathers Fly

Hatching a large turkey from a small chicken


Wild ducks, flying from their far north nesting grounds last fall, brought along some deadly baggage. They carried strains of an avian influenza virus that kills domestic poultry without killing (so far) the wild birds themselves.

The international omelet that followed could make you think regulators of cross-border commerce might want to meet and talk between emergencies, but apparently they don’t.

Bellingham’s big-box stores—and thousands of Canadian customers who shop there—were

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Ag Gag

Farmworker groups oppose ‘agricultural interference’ bill

Driving through bucolic Whatcom County and snapping a photo of a farm or agricultural operation could potentially land you in jail if a bill currently being considered in the Washington State Legislature is approved in coming weeks.

On Jan. 9, State House Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) introduced HB 1104, a bill that would make it a crime to interfere with agricultural production or cause economic harm to the owners of that farm or operation. The bill, co-sponsored by the 42nd District’s own

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Kodo Drummers

Bang the drum slowly


Not long ago, an acquaintance who was a drummer in a rock band—a pretty good rock band that was enjoying a growing measure of regional success—gave up not just his burgeoning band, but also his home and all the friends, family and comforts that come with it to chase his dream of becoming a taiko drummer.

At the time, I chalked it up as yet another of my artistic friends exploring a whim, but as the years have passed, he has remained devoted to this very particular musical discipline, so much

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Big and Beautiful

The world of growing things at MoNA


On a recent wintry afternoon, Adrianne Smits introduced her monumental paintings to a gaggle of gray-haired docents at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA).

The title of Smits’ exhibit, “Immersion Redux: Buiten” is a way of saying “relived memories of being outside in the rain and biting bugs”—Buiten, Dutch for “outside,” pays tribute to her ancestry.

This articulate young artist and scientist brings back from her Ph.D. fieldwork in northern California and Alaska a

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On Stage

Romeo & Juliet

Conrad Askland scores a classic


Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story the

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This Changes Everything

Capitalism vs. the climate


In the same week Republicans put all of their political muscle into pushing the Keystone XL Pipeline, the New York Times reported the alarming news that 2014 was the “warmest year ever recorded on Earth.”

Another story the next day noted “humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.” The lead scientist of the new research warned, “We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event.”

No bother though, drill baby

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Twenty Years and Counting

The evolution of the cookie lady


Nope, Erin Baker didn’t change her name to fit her profession.

As the driving force behind Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods—a Bellingham-based company that was created two decades ago and has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in the years since—it’s purely serendipitous that the “cookie lady” has always had a yen to create things in the kitchen.

“I started baking and selling cookies at 9 years old, and I loved it so much that I made it my life’s work—and yes, my last name really

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Two Days, One Night

Money changes everything


In Two Days, One Night, Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne continue to explore their recurring theme of ordinary, working-class people on a quest that takes on larger-than-life dimensions (La Promesse, The Kid with a Bike, L’Enfant). Marion Cotillard stars as Sandra, a wife and mother recuperating from a bout of depression who learns she’s going to lose her job at a solar panel factory due to downsizing. Her coworkers were given the opportunity to decide whether to

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A not-so-sweet slice

A strong if self-consciously de-glammed performance from Jennifer Aniston deserves more honest story treatment than it gets in Cake, a darkly amusing but overly calculated dramedy about a Los Angeles woman whose struggles with chronic pain have made her a royal pain. Approaching such heavy issues as suicide, grief, separation and pill addiction with a disarming sense of humor, director Daniel Barnz and screenwriter Patrick Tobin attempt to pull off an emotional bait-and-switch by suddenly

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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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Jan 27


Winter Fish: Learn to prepare Alaskan true cod and petrale sole using various techniques at "Winter Fish" courses with Chef Robert Fong from 6-8:30pm Tuesday at the Cordata Community Food Co-op and 6:30-9pm Wednesday at the downtown Community Food Co-op. Entry is $45, with a $7 wine option payable at class. more »

Sign Language Classes: The Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center offers American Sign Language classes as a free service to the community from 12-1pm on the first three Tuesdays of each month in Bellingham. Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. more »

Pierogi Party: Learn how to make Polish dumplings at a "Pierogi Party" at 4pm in Anacortes at Potluck Kitchen Studio, 910-A 11th St. Entry is $50 and includes recipes, instruction and a light appetizer, green salad, roasted vegetables and wine pairing. more »

All-Paces Run: Staffers and volunteers are always on hand to guide the way at the weekly All-Paces Run starting at 6pm every Tuesday at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. The runs are 20 minutes out and back on two key routes—by the water or through the woods. During these cold, dark months a headlamp or flashlight is required. Entry is free. more »

Waxing Basics: Expert technician Kristi Kucera will focus on "Ski/Snowboard Waxing Basics" at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. The free class will focus on a wide variety of subjects including base preparation, structure, and minor repair. Please register in advance. more »

Nerd’s Night Out Comic Book Convention: Sell your comics, trade your comics, buy comics, talk shop, have drinks and more at the latest iteration of Pacific Nerdwest's "Nerd's Night Out" from 6-9pm at the Shakedown, 1212 N. State St. Entry to the mini comic book convention is free. more »

Writing Workshop with Christina Nelson: Village Books and Whatcom Community College team for a Chuckanut Writers class focusing on "Creating and Sustaining a Writing Practice" with instructor Joel Gillman starting tonight from 6:30-8pm at the Fairhaven Village Inn. Classes continue weekly through Feb. 24. Entry is $95. more »

Bellingham Reads: Discuss Daniel James Brown's Boys in the Boat as today's Bellingham Reads book group at 6:30pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. New members are always welcome. more »

Paddleboard Class: "Loft, Build, Paddle: A Complete Paddleboard Experience" will be the focus of a class starting tonight at 6:30pm at the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave. The class continues Tuesdays and Thursdays through Feb. 26. Entry is $260 and includes the process of constructing a paddleboard. more »

Bite of Bali: Nourish's Lisa Samuel will helm a "Bite of Bali" course at 6:30pm at Ciao Thyme, 207 Unity St. The menu items will feature recipes Samuel picked up on her recent travels to the island. Entry is $58. more »

Ayurvedic Cuisine: Balabhadra will focus on "Ayurvedic Cuisine" at a course from 6:30-9pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Guest Juliet Jivanti of Bellingham's Ayurvedic Health Center will talk about khichari in relation to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health. Entry is $35. more »

Carnivore Recovery: Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest's Executive Director, will focus on "The Status of Carnivore Recovery in Washington State" at an Audubon Society presentation at 7pm at Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Population status/trends, recovery efforts and legal protection information for Washington's gray wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, fishers and wolverines will be on the roster. Suggested donation is $3. more »

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