This Week's Cover


Adoration of Dora

Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after meeting

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This Week

The Gristle

The Rule of No Rule

THE RULE OF NO RULE: “The future is brighter today,” political organizers at SAVE Whatcom crowed in response to a decision by a panel of three state Court of Appeal judges last week that overturned the finding of the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board that Whatcom County had been heedless in planning growth in tandem with adequate water supply. “The county won a clear victory in the case,” the conservative political group broadcast, ”a victory also perceived to apply to rural

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Living in the volcano’s shadow


Lava and pyroclastic flows (avalanches of hot rocks and gasses), mudslides and lahars (flowing, concrete-like soups of rock fragments and water), highway realignments and lane closures! The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

On Thurs., Feb. 19, representatives from Whatcom County Sheriff’s Division of Emergency Management and others gathered at the East Whatcom Resource Center in Maple Falls for short talks on disaster preparedness in light of the State Highway 542 Realignment Project and

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Feel good all over again


Roughly midway through The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a lovesick Bill Nighy notes that Judi Dench’s character has “checked out,” referring of course to her status at the hotel. Still, the pun hangs in the air, suggesting a possible euphemism for a more permanent condition. The imminence of death serves as a source of both comedy and poignant self-reflection in this spirited sequel to the unexpected 2012 success.

If the first Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was all about seeking rest

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Vacation Bookshelf

Dispatches from paradise


For me, one of life’s greatest luxuries is finding time to read. On a recent Hawaiian getaway—in between whale- and sea-gazing, plentiful swimming expeditions and sunset cocktail hour—I spent two weeks doing just that.

My trusty Kindle provided me with some of my reading material—such as Alice Munro’s award-winning 1986 short story collection, The Progress of Love; Caitlin Moran’s intriguing and salacious How to Build a Girl; and a spooky tale dubbed The Regulators by Richard Bachman

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What We Do in the Shadows

A bloody good time


In Twilight, in True Blood, in Hammer horror titles and Draculas down through the decades, vampires have functioned as a metaphor for sexual hunger, passion above reason, seduction, temptation, addiction, infection and the lure of immortality, not to mention the pluses of pointy dentition.

The vampires in What We Do in the Shadows are symbolic of something else altogether: epic unkemptness.

A you-are-there mockumentary about a trio of bloodsuckers who inhabit a creaky abode in Wellington, New

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Red Army

The real miracle on ice

Three things the Russians take very seriously: ballet, chess, and hockey. Red Army, Gabe Polsky’s lively documentary about the famous Soviet hockey team of the 1970s and ’80s, is, in a sense, about all three. The team known as the Red Army combined balletic grace with chesslike strategy on the ice. Most hockey aficionados consider them to be the greatest squadron of all time.

Polsky, whose parents were Soviet Ukrainian immigrants and who himself played hockey for Yale, centers his film on

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The Calm Before the Storm

A winter’s weekend beside the sea


We were headed to the beach for some midwinter R&R. A couple of days beside the hissing surf—that kind of thing.

Sure, there was a storm in the forecast. Heavy rain. High winds. But maybe it would hold off for a few days. We were feeling lucky.

Although it was only 3pm when we reached road’s end at Rialto Beach, the light was already fading. We quickly donned our backpacks and headed north up the beach on an outgoing tide. After a mile and a half our progress was halted by Ellen Creek,

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On Stage

Adoration of Dora

Madness and the muse


Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after meeting

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Love and Other Demons

Animal attractions at Honey Salon


In a large painting titled “Nightmares,” a horde of black horses seems to be materializing out of thin air; there doesn’t appear to be any solid ground beneath their feet, and the sky above them is a nebulous, hazy white.

Longtime Bellingham artist Michelle Schutte says the painting—part of her “Love and Other Demons” exhibit currently on display at Honey Salon—has nothing to do with a fear or distrust of those of the equine persuasion, but rather is part of a bigger picture.

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Lentil Underground

A movement with staying power


Lentils are a humble ingredient that appear in many earthy foods; simple, nourishing foods like Indian dal or hippie mush—the kind of food that feeds villages.

It turns out that lentils come from a plant that has a similarly beneficial impact on the land where it grows, and on the communities that cultivate it.

During the height of the 1980s farm crisis, four Montana farmers joined forces in a hunt for alternatives to the commodity agriculture system that was destroying their land and

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Mother Russia or Mommy Dearest?


Vladimir Putin’s Russia—brutal, carnivorous, delusional, but monstrously well-evolved for crushing both spirits and lives large and small—is taken to task in this excoriating portrait of the state’s omnivorous hunger for control in a far-flung northern fishing community on the Barents Sea. The Russian Federation’s 2015 Academy Award entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category (it lost to Poland’s Ida) lives up to its title and then some.

Director Zvyagintsev (2003’s The Return)

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The Sidekicks

You can go home again


Bellingham is rife with people who possess great skills and talents, are generous with their time and expertise, unselfishly work for the good of the whole of the music community, and are just plain delightful to be around.

I’d like to say that we could not do without them, but all too often we know these treasures are really only on loan to us, their stay here is finite and at some point they will leave to seek other opportunities, different landscapes, new lives.

When this happens, we

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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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Mar 04


High School Bands: After performing in festivals throughout Washington, the Mount Vernon High School bands and orchestras present a performance of music from their core repertoire at 7pm at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $4 for students, $6 for seniors, and $8 for adults. more »

Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is accepting single-poem submissions from Whatcom County residents until March 31. Winners are invited to read their poems at a free public awards ceremony on Thurs., May 14, and winning poems are displayed for a year in front of the library and on WTA buses. Walk Award poems are displayed on plaques in front of the Bellingham Public Library for a year; placards of both Walk and Merit Award poems circulate in WTA buses throughout the county. See the guidelines more »

Music Club Concert: Winners of the Nicholas Brussard High School Instrumental Awards and the Ethel Crook High School String Awards will perform at a Bellingham Music Club concert at 10:30am at Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 Texas St. Admission will be free to the public, with donations accepted to support future student award. more »

Lentil Underground: Liz Carlisle shares ideas from Lentil Underground at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book tells the story of the renegade band of farmers Carlisle met during her stint with United States Senator Jon Tester, an organic farmer from her home state of Montana. more »

Strait Talk: Barry Gough, internationally recognized author and historian, will share stories from his new book Juan de Fuca's Strait, at 4pm at Western Washington University's Wilson Library (in the Special Collections room on the sixth floor). The free talk on “Sailing the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams: Art and European Vision on the Northwest Coast in the Age of Juan de Fuca and his Successors" is open to the public. more »

Green Drinks: Network with likeminded environmentally aware community members at the monthly Green Drinks gathering from 5-7pm at the Powerhouse, 2515 St. Paul St. The locale is a Net Zero Plus co-housing project in the Sunnyland neighborhood. TCLegend Homes, the builder of the project, will also be giving personal tours. 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 »

Springtime in Paris: Seattle-based chef Olaiya Land focuses on "Paris in the Springtime" courses such as chicken liver pate, mache salad, roasted duck and souffle at 6pm at Ciao Thyme, 207 Unity St. Entry is $58. more »

Examining Race: "Examining Race, Civic Engagement, and Citizenship Post-Ferguson: Where Do We Go From Here?" will be the focus of a panel discussion and plenary session from 6-9pm at the Bellingham City Council Chambers, 210 Lottie St. The event, which is being put on by WWU's Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education, is free and open to all. more »

Lentil Underground: Liz Carlisle shares ideas from her debut book, Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book tells the story of a renegade band of farmers she met during a stint as a legislative correspondent for agriculture and natural resources in the office of U.S. State Senator Jon Tester. more »

In the Mood Musical Revue: The In The Mood singers and dancers with the sensational String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra present "In the Mood: A 1940s Musical Revue" at 7pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets to hear the "music that moved the nation’s spirit" are $20-$49. more »

Kareem Kandi Trio: The Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center presents a concert by the Kareem Kandi Trio at 7pm at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Entry is $5 for students, $10 general. 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 »

Downbeat: As part of a WWU faculty jazz series, attend a "Downbeat" performance at 8pm at the BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State St. Additional shows take place April 1, May 6, and June 3. Tickets are free for students, $10 general. more »

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