This Week's Cover


Summer Meltdown

As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the Summer

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This Week

The Gristle

Deflating Expectations

DEFLATING EXPECTATIONS: What a difference an economic downturn makes!

Bellingham City Council this week listened to extensive public comments but took no immediate action on estimating growth in the city’s population and employment over the next 20-year planning horizon. Staff presented four potential scenarios for City Council to debate, settle upon and forward to Whatcom County planners later this year.

Under the state’s Growth Management Act, counties and their cities are required to

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An Oasis of Quiet

Greenways levies fund Northridge Park


I walked into Northridge Park on a May morning when the sun was just starting to break through the night’s cloud cover, crossing the walkway from Magrath Road into the park.

The park is a mixed forest with an unusually large number of deciduous trees for northwest Washington, probably because this land was first clearcut and then likely harvested again. There may be some second growth, but most of the forest is probably mature third growth, with tall birch, alder, cottonwoods, bitter cherry

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Instant Gratification

Acting on impulse in America


What happens to society when instant gratification, once scorned as a sign of personal weakness, becomes the driving force in our political and economic life?

Paul Roberts, a journalist and author whose previous works include The End of Oil and The End of Food, has penned a call for self-examination of how our quest for the largest, quickest, most efficient rewards have long-term costs, both personally and globally.

In The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification, Roberts

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Block Party

Taking it to the streets


Although I’m an early riser, I am not the type of human who wakes up at the break of dawn in order to get my caboose to a mountain trail and spend the day hiking ever-upward to immerse my being in an alpine wonderland.

These days, my outdoor explorations tend to be more of the urban variety, as I’m of the opinion that watching humans in the throes of having a good time can be just as interesting as happening upon mating marmots in the wild.

This weekend, in fact, will lend itself well to

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On Stage

Park It

Join the circus, one more time

It was early June when Karl Meyer first contacted me about the possibility of including the Community Food Co-op’s annual Community Party in one of the Weekly’s upcoming issues.

As Community Outreach Coordinator for the longtime grocery store with a hyper-local focus, Meyer knows it’s best to contact media outlets early, give them a few reasons to cover the event, and follow up to ensure everybody’s got what they need.

Meyer did all that, and more. This year, a focal point of his missives

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Electric Beet Juice Co.

From Farm to Glass


Grabbing a handful of fresh clover sprouts, shredded carrots, basil, chives and tofu, Heidi Ormbrek stretches rice paper around the raw ingredients. The spring roll looks like it’s ready to burst. She carefully lays the colorful, opaque roll on a plate next to a bowl of sunflower butter sauce.

Ormbrek, 32, works at the Electric Beet Juice Company in the Bellingham Public Market. She is preparing to make a rice paper-wrapped spring roll. She dunks the wrapper in warm water and lays it down on a

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Mission: Impossible

Rogue Nation


At 53 years old, Tom Cruise is past the retirement age of every James Bond except Roger Moore. Yet his 19-year-old Mission: Impossible series ticks on, counting down the seconds till its next explosion—and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is determined to unman his cross-Atlantic competition. Forget high-tech gadgets. The older Cruise gets, the more he relies on his fists. (And his abs, and his nerves—he’ll never let you forget he does his own stunts, and why should he?) His body is the wonder-gizmo, and

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The Threshold Project

A global journey through glass


Can art save the world?

According to glassblower Christopher Morrison, it sure can’t hurt it.

That’s one reason “The Threshold Project,” Morrison’s exhibit opening Aug. 6 at Western Washington University’s Western Gallery, isn’t just about how the handblown glass sculptures that will be on display catch the light, or what they might look like being displayed in an admiring patron’s living room.

“The purpose of this art is to compel viewers into action, resulting in a movement toward

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Infinitely Polar Bear

A slightly skewed family portrait


Deeply personal and filled with love, Maya Forbes’ Infinitely Polar Bear is nonetheless a hard movie to watch—hard to watch comfortably. Based on her experiences growing up with a father who was in and out of institutions, diagnosed with manic depression, Forbes’ film throws a memoir-ish lasso around late-1970s Cambridge, Mass., where a family with a wildly careening dad, a mom trying to pursue a career, and two girls caught in the throes go about their lives.

Not an easy thing when Cam Stuart

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Summer Meltdown

Where the music meets the mountains


As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the Summer

Continue Reading »

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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Jul 29


Bard on the Beach: Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors plays in repertory with King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, and Shakespeare's Rebel at the 26th annual "Bard on the Beach" through September at Vancouver BC's Vanier Park, 1695 Whyte Ave. Tickets are $26-$45. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection; many performances sell out in advance. more »

Tractor and Machinery Show: The Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association hosts its 44th annual "Tractor and Machinery Show" from 7am-7pm Wednesday through Friday, and 7am-4pm Saturday at Lynden's Berthusen Park, 8836 Berthusen Rd. Daily events include threshing bees, sawmill demos, gas engines, tractor pulling, antique vehicles, a bookstore, corn grinding, blacksmithing, an adult pedal tractor pull, activities for kids and more. Entry is $3-$7. more »

Movement Graffiti: New dance works by choreographers Nolan Hoppe-Leonard, Tara Reiter, Eli Madsen, Cassandra Howlet, and Artistic Director Nolan Dennett can be seen at "Movement Graffiti: Dance Theater" performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at Western Washington University's Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Entry to see the impressionistic works is $6-$10. more »

Summer Reading Demo: Discover how reading, reviewing books, taking quizzes and participating at the library will earn you badges and chances to win prizes all summer long at an Adult Demo Day meeting for teens and adults focusing on "Online Summer Reading" at 12pm at the SkillShare Space at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. more »

Wednesday Farmers Market: The Wednesday Farmers Market takes place from 12-5pm at the Fairhaven Village Green, 1207 10th St. (behind Village Books). The market continues weekly through Sept. 30. more »

Children’s Craft Fairs: Kids can buy or sell their homemade crafts and treats at Children's Craft Fairs happening from 2-3pm Wednesday at the Ferndale Library (2125 Main St.) and 10:30am-11:30am Thursday at the Lynden Library (216 4th St.). Registration is required to sell; anyone can shop. more »

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market: Suss out summer offerings at the weekly Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market from 3-7pm every Wednesday through September at Hammer Heritage Park. more »

Chuckanut Writers Workshop: As part the Chuckanut Writers series, sign up for a workshop with suspense novelist Jenny Milchman focusing on "Killing People for a Living: The Art of Crime Fiction" at 5pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Entry is $45 and includes a copy of Milchman's latest thriller, As Night Falls. At 7pm, Milchman will read from the novel at a free event that is open to the public. more »

Final Downtown Sounds: Baby Cakes and Five Alarm Funk will perform at the final "Downtown Sounds" concert of the season starting at 5:30pm in downtown Bellingham on Bay Street. The 11th annual music series is free. more »

GROUP RIDE: The Mt. Baker Bike Club hosts a Group Ride starting every Wednesday at 6pm at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Be prepared to ride for 30 miles at a race/training pace, and regroup at the brewery following the excursion. more »

Evening Epic Run: A weekly “Evening Epic Run” begins at 6pm at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. The strenuous runs are 1.5-2 hours in length on hilly terrain with experienced trail runners. Entry is free. more »

Group Run: All levels of experience are welcome at a weekly Group Run beginning at 6pm in Mount Vernon at the Skagit Running Company, 702 First St. The 3- to 6-mile run is great for beginners or for others wanting an easy recovery. Entry is free and no registration is required. more »

Summer Concert Series: The Port of Anacortes' Summer Concert Series continues with a performance by the Fidalgo Swing from 6:30-8pm Wednesday at the city's Seafarers' Memorial Park, 601 Seafarers' Way. Cherry Cherry performs at 6:30pm Friday. The free series continues Wednesdays and Fridays through Aug. 28. more »

Brewers Cruise: Sample liquid goods from Boundary Bay Brewery, Flyers Brewery, and Skagit River Brewery at San Juan Cruises' "Bellingham Bay Brewers Cruise" starting at 6:30pm at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Entry is $35. more »

As Night Falls: Mystery writer Jenny Milchman reads from her latest thriller, As Night Falls, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Described as a "breathless new novel of psychological suspense about a dark, twisted turn of events that could shatter a family," the book focuses on prison escapees who terrorize a trio in the Adirondack mountains. more »

Scottish Country Dance Social: Join the Scottish Country Dance Club from 7-9:30pm every Wednesday for a public dance at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Beginners and intermediate dancers are welcome, and no partner or experience is needed. Drop-in fees are $8, but those who are showing up for the first time will gain free entry. more »

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