Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

When Worlds Collide

18th Annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Now in its 18th year, the Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival offers 25 films on timely topics, including environmental activism, health care, indigenous rights in the Americas, prisons, and women’s issues. Many events are facilitated, and in some cases the filmmakers are on hand to discuss their work.

See the complete schedule online at

Thurs., Feb. 15

All Governments Lie

With government deception rampant, and intrusion of state surveillance into private…

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West Coast

Mavis Staples

Time for truth

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

In this world, there are legends—and then there’s Mavis Staples.

Sure, “legendary” is the descriptor that’s most often applied to the longtime gospel singer and civil rights activist, but it doesn’t quite do her justice. More than just a legend, Staples is a force of nature.

First, Staples is part of a musical dynasty. She’s part of the famed Staples Singers, which, led by her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, and rounded out by siblings Cleotha, Yvonne, and Pervis,…

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West Coast

Flights of Fancy

Even the birds are excited

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Five bald eagles watched me turn off Highway 11 on my way to see “Flight of Fancy,” the new show of works by 50 artists at Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison. So, even the birds are excited. 

What better place to mount an avian art show than in the Skagit Valley, where you can count as many as 362 species, plus 50,000 migrating geese and swans?

Vikki Jackson’s heron portrait, “Sentinel,” stands watch at the entrance. Jackson is a professional ecologist as well as a wildlife…

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West Coast

Special Delivery

A damp tramp to camp

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ever since my old trail crew buddy and his business partners in Gold Bar decided to acquire an abandoned gold mine deep in the remote defiles of Eastern Snohomish County a few years ago, I’ve found myself drawn into a Promethean progression of arduous undertakings to help improve and maintain the infrastructure attendant to their claim.

I don’t do it for gold. I do it for outdoor adventure. It’s the perfect excuse to perform invigorating feats of manual labor in a restorative…

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Smoking Crow

Green Scene

Dining downtown sustainably 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dining out may not seem like a green way to spend an afternoon, but it can be. There’s no reason to forgo chowing down for the environment’s sake. As an eco-conscious, food-loving Bellinghamster, I want to share my go-to green tips for enjoying Bellingham’s bustling food scene. 

Eat Local. The term “food miles” refers to the distance comestibles must travel to reach our plate. Higher food miles mean a bigger carbon footprint due to the CO2-emitting trucks carrying the…

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West Coast
On Stage

Mom Jokes

Jo Koy breaks the mold

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Political humor isn’t Jo Koy’s thing, but that doesn’t mean the standup comedian’s material is void of topical anecdotes—it simply means they’re cloaked in stories about his family.

For example, at a recent gig in Seattle the former Washingtonian did a lot more than skirt around the subject of racism when talking about his parents, and his ethnicity.

“I’m half-white, half-Filipino—which means my dad was in the military,” Koy said, eliciting a burst of laughter from the audience.…

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Smoking Crow

The Newcomers

A refuge for refugees

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The refugees arrive with nothing, not even the language, having escaped violence, poverty, unspeakable loss. Their destination is Denver, Colorado. There they will land in a classroom helmed by Eddie Williams, the teacher tasked with orienting refugees from around the globe to their new home in the United States.

Mr. Williams will teach English, yes, but also survival skills that are critical to transition. This is the Newcomers class, a Denver Public Schools program designed to…

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Smoking Crow
Best of Bellingham
Best Band

The Wednesdays

Music scenes, including ours, have traditionally been boys’ clubs—but the Wednesdays win in this category is a welcome indication of a change that has been a long time in coming. Unabashedly feminist and unapologetically political, the Wednesdays are making music with a message—and people are listening. With a motto of “Dismantling the patriarchy by day, playing basement blues punk by night,” coupled with an electrifying live show, the Wednesdays are making their mark and making it count.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Power Play

POWER PLAY: The Trump administration’s war against renewable power escalated this week with a proposal to sell off the transmission assets of Bonneville Power Administration, the great engine of hydroelectric power to the Pacific Northwest and—notably—Whatcom County heavy…

Alan Rhodes
Egregious linguistic offenses

Poughkeepsie, New York is of crucial importance to the preservation of civilization. This is, of course, because Poughkeepsie is the home of Marist College, which every December publishes the results of a poll that determines the most annoying word of the year. The 2017 winner, for the…

Celtic Nights
A gathering storm

A constitutional crisis is looming. Get ready!
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is narrowing in on Donald Trump, Trump’s associates, and Trump’s family members. The tipping point will be if…

Practice what you eat

I have for years enjoyed your publication. Your progressive political and social commentary, both national and local. Your informative listings of local events, entertainment, gatherings,…

Wild ideas

I feel compelled to speak for the wild things in Bellingham. The owl, hawk, deer and hummingbird have shown up as a reminder of how important the little wild areas are to our city. They are…

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Today's Events
Bellingham Cocktail Week


Special drink and food menus, a cocktail art competition taking place during the Feb. 2 Art Walk, a CLUE-style murder mystery featuring themed cocktails and small bites, whiskey flight…

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival


The 18th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival will feature films and facilitated discussions designed to foster dialogue, promote action and encourage the community to explore and…

Birding for Kids


Skagit Guided Adventures offers a fun and easy way to introduce kids to identifying and learning about the birds of winter at “Birding for Kids: An ‘I Spy Adventure’ in Skagit Valley” from…

Cuban Salsa


Rumba Northwest hosts a “Cuban Salsa for Beginners” class at 6pm at Bell Tower Studios, 1430 N. Garden St. At 7pm, a “Cuban Salsa Advanced” class takes place. Entry to the classes is $8 for…

Controlling Cravings


Bring home practical tips both for immediate relief and sustainable success when Karl Mincin, CN, leads a “Controlling Cravings” presentation from 6:30-8:30pm at the Community Food Co-op,…

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