Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


From Budd to Blake

A musical mashup

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The majority of time that I sit down to write, I am able to focus on one thing—one band or musician, one venue, one festival, etc.

But sometimes I just want to write about everything. And this happens to be one of those weeks. If the following events could be arranged according to a similar theme, I suppose it would be that they are hyperlocal. Each, whether it be a benefit, an album release or a wingnut idea brought to life, speaks to something uniquely Bellingham. If you’d like to…

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Spring Forward

Still time for soup

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A really good soup can be a difficult thing to find—unless you’re an expert in the kitchen or you have an inside scoop on where to go in Whatcom County to find hearty, wholesome bowls of broth that will warm your insides and chase the winter blues far away.

Our neighbors down south have long known that Ivar’s is a go-to place for incredible seafood soups. That tradition started back in 1938 with Ivar Haglund’s homemade clam chowder. Today, Ivar’s is still churning out…

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Pool Project

In search of safer swimming

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Full disclosure: I’ve seen Molly Monahan in a bathing suit.

On a recent visit to Hawaii, Monahan, 64, was among a posse of vacationers sharing living space at a remote property on the Big Island. I joined her for a couple of snorkeling sojourns to nearby tidal pools, and can attest to the fact that, if humans had gills, Monahan would probably choose to live in the water.

Back on the mainland, Monahan reached out to me about her efforts to work with the Whatcom Family YMCA in…

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On Stage

Support System

Arts under attack in Trump’s budget

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mary Poppins is pissed, and Elmo was just given his walking papers.

While this may seem like the beginning of a weird joke, it’s not a laughing matter. When Donald Trump announced his first federal budget plan late last week, his presidential proposal featured a bloated military fund and the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting—a key source of revenue for PBS and National…

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Stand & Resist

Artists protect the Salish Sea

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

For years, Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples have been fighting back against an onslaught of fossil fuel projects trying to push coal, tar sands, oil and gas to the shores of the Salish Sea, almost exclusively for export.

Among the leaders of that resistance movement have been artists of all styles and stripes, but their work is rarely seen by the public except as a banner in the background of a group shot in the newspaper.

With so many concerns about how the current presidential…

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Saunders' Story

Inside Lincoln’s White House

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

George Saunders is known as a short story genius; his 2013 collection, The Tenth of December, was a National Book Award finalist and named one of the 10 best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review. Saunders is also an accomplished essayist of darkly humorous pieces exploring consumerism and the role of mass media in modern life, taking an often satirical look at corporate capitalism.

Now comes his first novel, and to hear Saunders discuss it, he might have preferred that…

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SVCR Vanessa


A former U.S. ambassador speaks out

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

John M. Koenig is a former U.S. ambassador to Cyprus who also held positions in Germany, Greece, and with NATO, an organization that has in recent weeks come under criticism by the new administration. After a 31-year career, Koenig retired in 2015, returning to his native Northwest and settling in Bellingham. I sat down with him recently to get his perspective on foreign relations in these days of President Donald Trump.

Alan Rhodes: Donald Trump had been in office for only one week…

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SVCR Vanessa


A one-name curmudgeon

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Graphic novels, and the movies based on them, work better with certain topics than others. Sixteen years ago, Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, centered on a pair of more-blase-than-thou teenage girls who walked, and talked, outside the loop of everything they deemed boring and conventional; it was the perfect movie about the perfect hipsters at the perfect “whatever” moment. Wilson, directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins), is also…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


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 (

See all the winners »
The Gristle
High Barriers for Low Barriers

HIGH BARRIERS FOR LOW BARRIERS: The mayor has encountered headwinds in her long journey to site a homeless shelter near homeless services.

Earlier this month, the City of Bellingham—after years of searching—identified a potential location for a new emergency night shelter to serve…

MBT HBIII Lester and Hyldahl
End military excess

The Trump administration and some members of Congress are developing plans to increase defense spending by $54 billion in the…

Wealth care, 
not health care

The GOP’s Orwellian-inspired naming of their Obamacare replacement as the “American Health Care Act” is designed to divert attention from…

St. Joseph, patron 
saint of workers

Women founded St. Joseph Hospital more than 100 years ago and worked for nothing. Then, in 2015, the lab workers…

Lester and Hyldahl
Today's Events
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest


The annual Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is accepting submissions through March 31. Winning entries are displayed for a year on placards in front of the Bellingham Public Library, and inside…

Avenue Q


Show up to see a fast-moving adult take on Sesame Street when the school edition of Avenue Q shows at 7pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Anacortes High School’s Brodniak Hall,…

The Little Mermaid


META Performing Arts presents its final week of showings of Disney’s The Little Mermaid at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. Tickets to see…

Spanish Storytime


Families interested in hearing stories, songs and rhymes in Spanish can attend “Spanish Storytime” for kids ages 3-5 at 10:30am most Fridays through May 19 at the Lynden Library, 216 4th…

SICBA Home & Garden Show


Seminars, vendors, a Lego Build Contest,  activities for kids, live music and much, much more will be part of the SICBA Home & Garden Show happening from 12-7pm Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday, and…

Not Just for Kids


Humanities Washington speaker and University of Washington senior lecturer Anu Taranath will discuss how kids—and adults—can use children’s books from around the globe to navigate our…

Studio Sale and Concert


Celebrate spring at a Studio Sale taking place from 3-6pm at the Cooper Lanza Gallery (formerly Tillie Lace Gallery), 1415 13th St. Cooper’s unique paintings and drawings will be available…

Food Not Bombs


All are welcome to partake of nutritious and delicious vegan meals when Food Not Bombs offers a community meal from 4-6pm every Friday on the corner of Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue…

Vintner Dinner


Meet Dynasty Cellars winemaker Peter Osvaldik and enjoy the chance to mingle with fellow wine lovers at a Vintner’s Dinner from 5:30-9:30pm at Blaine’s Great Blue Heron Grill, 8720 Semiahmoo…

Live Souls


Serge Alternes shares stories and images from Live Souls: Citizens & Volunteers of Civil War Spain at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The memoir is focused on his father Alan Wainman’s…



Dana Crediford makes her directorial debut when Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth students present showings of the award-winning musical Godspell at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm…

Always…Patsy Cline


The Theater Arts Guild presents a musical tribute to a beloved country western star when Always…Patsy Cline continues this weekend with 7pm performances Friday and Saturday at the Conway…

The 25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee


“Tweenagers” played by adults will disclose hilarious and touching stories from their home lives as they spell their way through a series of words hoping never to hear the “ding” of the bell…

Friday Night Flicks


The Acme Diner and the South Fork Valley Community Association will host a “Friday Night Flicks” viewing of The Emperor’s New Groove at 7pm at Deming’s Van Zandt Community Hall, 4106 Valley…

Men are from Mars—Women are from Venus


Theater and standup combine at showings of the Off-Broadway hit comedy Men are from Mars—Women are from Venus in Mount Vernon at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College…

Against All Odds


View a fully improvised journey of underdogs working their way to victory when “Against All Odds” shows at 8pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around…

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