Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Elizabeth Park Summer Concerts

A tried-and-true tradition

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It’s been more than a decade since I lived in a bright purple house on Utter Street in the Columbia neighborhood, but my affection for that part of town remains strong. So much so that my frequent meanderings hither and yon often take back to that neighborhood, where I can identify my favorite stately mansions and cozy bungalows alike on a block-by-block basis.

My strolls through the Columbia always take me around—and sometimes through—Elizabeth Park, where the bustle of tennis…

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Outdoor Education

Nurturing a reluctant nature lover

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Owing to the fact that I grew up in family full of nature-loving outdoors enthusiasts, it’s hardly a fluke I turned out so crunchy. 

Before I started kindergarten, my dad took me hiking everywhere and taught me how to camp, backpack, use a compass and fish. The fever struck early and never broke.

Meanwhile, Grandpa Brunsvold let me shadow him all over his ranch, immersing me in the wonderful world of manual labor. Under his insightful tutelage, I experienced the thrill of…

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Cultural Contributions

A big unveiling at Riverwalk Park

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On a drizzly Saturday last April, a rapt audience sheltered under tents and umbrellas on Mount Vernon’s new Riverwalk Park, where at last, flood-defense measures have been put into place and the community can enjoy farmers markets and other gatherings. 

Attorney Joe Bowen was one of the speakers. He told how his ancestors met their relatives and friends from other tribes here—at that time the site of a massive logjam in the Skagit River. The visitors sang and beat drums in their…

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Life Lessons

Cooking with kids

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My mom was a teacher, so during our grade school and junior high years, my siblings and I would often arrive home at least an hour before she did. We’d be hungry, and would slap together peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches or snack on leftovers—always with the mantra to not spoil our dinners in the back of our minds.

When I was about 10 or 11, I got ambitious and decided I’d fry a few pieces of after-school bacon. Unfortunately, I walked away from the too-hot pan at a critical…

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The story of Mister Rogers

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I’m tempted to say that the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is exactly what we need in these scabrous times, but that makes it sound too self-important. And if there is one thing that Fred Rogers, the host and creator of the beloved educational children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, would disdain, it’s self-importance. That, and being disrespectful of children.

Morgan Neville’s movie is more than just a chronicle of Rogers’ career. In some not-quite-definable…

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On Stage

Creative Exchanges

A chautauqua for all ages

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

If your summer checklist involves goals such as finally learning how to make a campfire, taking a walk on the beach, dancing in the streets, trying your hand at clowning or juggling, or enjoying live entertainment from talented regional performers, the New Old Time Chautauqua’s Washington State Parks Tour has you covered on all accounts.

As part of a monthlong circuit throughout Washington state, the longtime creative collective will be in our corner of the region June 28-30, bringing…

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A Pipeline Controversy Explained

Is Washington now in the tar sands crosshairs?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It seems likely that the Canadian province of Alberta—home to a massive tar sands industry that produces some of the globe’s dirtiest and most polluting oil—has put the Pacific Northwest in its crosshairs. The province is partnering with the Canadian government to ram through the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a 715-mile conduit that would carry as much as 890,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian interior to southwest British Columbia. Much of that oil would…

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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

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Pearl Surrounding the Oyster Dome

THE PEARL SURROUNDING THE OYSTER DOME: At a well-attended meeting in Mount Vernon last week, the healthy future of Blanchard Mountain began to take shape.

A proposed trust land swap would preserve the core of Blanchard State Forest trust lands—lands owned by the public and managed by the…

Alan Rhodes
Can We Talk?

Despite my reputation as an easygoing, cheerful optimist, I worry all the time. For example:

Emerald City Exodus. O.K., Seattle, I’ve read the data and know that a lot of you are moving to Bellingham. Who can blame you? If I lived in Seattle, I too would want to flee Amazon,…

Trove Web
‘Water-laden’ claims all wet

I have lived in Skagit Valley, particularly the Samish River valley, for 62 years. The 302 Glaciers in the North Cascades, which provide 12 percent of the Skagit’s water flow, have…

Honor our refugee commitments

June 20 is World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to honor the courage and resilience of refugees. We’re encouraging people to ask members of Congress to support refugees and…

Children, families, communities first.

Having worked with families and young people in and from Central America for many years, and knowing the violence and poverty from which young and old flee and its legacy in empire, I condemn…

Village Books
Today's Events
Bard on the Beach


Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata show in repertory through Sept. 22 at Vancouver, BC’s “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival at Vanier Park. Tickets start at $24…

Bellingham Dance Company's Hunchback


Bellingham Dance Company presents performances of Hunchback: A Dance Story at 7pm Thursday and Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Social and…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


Broadway’s greatest farce can be seen when A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum concludes with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Theatre…

Lummi Stommish Water Festival


War canoe races, sla-hal games, foot races, dancers, a royalty pageant, salmon barbecues, a carnival, arts and crafts vendors, traditional singing and dancing, food vending and many other…

Off Broadway


The Dance Studio presents its 39th annual year-end production, “Off Broadway,” at performances happening 7pm Friday, and 2pm Sunday at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Dancers…

Sin & Gin Tours


Through September, seasoned guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays in downtown…

Brunch on the Bay


A “Brunch on the Bay” sail aboard the Schooner Zodiac departs at 10am from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Entry to the three-hour sail is $49-$69 and includes a brunch…

Skagit Symphony Garden Tour


Get a sneak peek at six beautiful gardens when the Skagit Symphony hosts its 10th annual “Gardens of Note” Tour from 10am-4pm at locales throughout Mount Vernon. The gardens this year vary…

Junk in Your Trunk


Load up your junk and sell your “stuff” from the back of your vehicle, or on a table in your parking space, at a “Junk in Your Trunk” Sale taking place from 10am-3pm in Maple Falls at the…

Edison Farmers Market


Purchase fresh produce, art and more at the Edison Farmers Market from 10am-3pm at the Edison Granary, 14136 Gilmore Ave. The event continues Sundays through September.

La Conner Live


Blues Playground will perform as part of a “La Conner Live!” series taking place from 1-4pm Sundays through Sept. 2 at the town’s Gilkey Square. Entry is free and open to all; bring a chair…

Women on the Water


On-water sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding and outrigger canoeing lessons will be part of a “Women on the Water” event taking place from 1-6pm at the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave.…

Audubon at the Museum


Join experts from North Cascades Audubon Society for a monthly “Audubon at the Museum” gathering from 1:30-3:30pm at the new John M. Edson Hall of Birds at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121…

Trivia Time


Bring your thinking cap when host Jeff Zwiers presents brain-busters about history, sports, science, pop culture, music and more at a weekly Trivia! event starting at 3:30pm Sundays through…

Way North Comedy Triple Header


Standup comedians Andrew Rivers, Monica Nevi, and Cory Michaelis will be the featured performers at a Way North Comedy Triple Header at 8pm at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets are…

Take Me to Church


The iconic Betty Desire and the Panty Hoes present a weekly “Take Me to Church” drag production starting at 8pm at Rumors Cabaret, 1119 Railroad Ave. Entry is by donation; funds raised…

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