This Week's Cover


Ski to Sea

Although the racecourse itself has undergone some rerouting due to the nearly nonexistent snowpack in the mountains (climate change is real, folks), Ski to Sea soldiers on with all the pluck, creativity and dogged determination the event has shown since its inception some 40 years ago.

Which is a good thing, not just because the multi-stage race has become a highlight and hallmark of our community, participated in and watched by thousands every year, but also because with Ski to Sea come Ski

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This Week

The Gristle

The Election That Wasn’t

THE ELECTION THAT WASN’T: For all the fussing and farting about “fair and equitable representation by district” that has consumed the Charter Review Commission this cycle, more attention might be spent encouraging and recruiting excellent people into public office. Filing Week ended for local elections last week, and what a lackluster show it was. Incumbents filed early and vigorously for reelection; challengers trickled in late in a footsore and tuneless, glum parade. A few last-minute

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Weekend of Action

No snow won’t stop race; it will activate it


Memorial Day is coming again and in these parts that means another chance for the region to show off its marquee civic event: Ski to Sea. Folks are rightly proud. Where else can you start atop a mountain, ski down, cross- country ski, run, bicycle, canoe and finally trail-bike to the sea; then climb in a kayak and paddle in the presence of lush, low-slung islands? It’s called a race, but it’s really more a celebration. In one exuberant relay, Ski to Sea manages to sum up the entire region,

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Ski to Sea

For you and me


Although the racecourse itself has undergone some rerouting due to the nearly nonexistent snowpack in the mountains (climate change is real, folks), Ski to Sea soldiers on with all the pluck, creativity and dogged determination the event has shown since its inception some 40 years ago.

Which is a good thing, not just because the multi-stage race has become a highlight and hallmark of our community, participated in and watched by thousands every year, but also because with Ski to Sea come Ski

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Dead Wake

A tale of transatlantic troubles


Say the name “Lusitania” and most people can conjure a luxury ocean liner, glamorous passengers and tragedy.

An iceberg? No, that’s the Titanic. Disastrous fire? The Hindenburg zeppelin. Torpedo? That’s it!

Named for the ancient Roman province which covered most of modern Portugal and part of Spain, the RMS Lusitania was a British ship of the Cunard line. Built in 1906, it was outfitted with sumptuous furnishings, a wireless telegraph and electric lights.  Capable of speeds up to 25

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Beer and Brats

Invite your grill friends


People from Wisconsin are generally a congenial, easygoing lot. Until Scott Walker came around, there wasn’t much to argue about, except, well, beer and bratwurst.

Wisconsin’s largest ancestry group is German, and the original immigrants brought their bratwurst with them. Today, bratwurst are a defining characteristic of the local cuisine. And while brats—which rhymes with “pops,” not “rats”—are beloved by all Sconnies, there is quiet discord with respect to the purely Wisconsin ritual of

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A new look at nature


One sunny Thursday, I stretched out in my self-driving car and typed in: “Great food and someplace beautiful.” Opening my eyes, I found myself in Edison. How does this tiny village enjoy a monopoly on tasty eats and good art? 

I enjoyed sandwiches and homemade soup in a blooming garden overlooking the slough, then stepped next door to Smith & Vallee Gallery. Their current homage to the work of Sharon Kingston and Eric Eschenbach is more than merely beautiful; it’s a comment on the clash

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Throwback Thursdays

Kickball and community at Maritime Heritage Park

As the Executive Director of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, Nick Hartrich has a duty to make sure the city’s urban core is both vibrant and inclusive for all. It’s one of the reasons he’s excited about the new “Throwback Thursdays” Urban Kickball League taking place every Thursday at Maritime Heritage Park. We caught up with “NickySix”—Hartrich’s kickball alias—to find out more.

Cascadia Weekly: Come rain, come shine, return to Maritime” is the tagline of the Throwback Thursdays

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On Stage

Short Shots

Best of Brass Monkey


I’m a dedicated reader of short stories. Why? For one thing, there’s no beating around the bush when it comes to character development. If something momentous and interesting—or at least pertinent to the story arc—doesn’t take place in the first few pages, it’s probably not going to.

The same school of thought also translates to short plays. Events and relationships need to move along quickly when you’ve only got 10 or 15 minutes to tell a tale, and the playwrights penning the scripts are

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Far From the Madding Crowd

A modern love story


Far From the Madding Crowd is a Masterpiece Theatre version of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, shot with sumptuous taste and care, rife with emotions repressed and unbound, and featuring expertly nuanced performances from a tony, mostly British cast. It will greatly please discerning audiences while causing Hardy to spin discreetly in his grave. That’s a fair tradeoff, especially if the movie sends you back to the book.

Carey Mulligan (An Education) makes for a more modern Bathsheba Everdene

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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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May 24


Inflammable Circus: Della Moustachella hosts "Inflammable Circus" shows at 8:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Bellingham Theatre Guid's Cirque Lab, 1401 6th St., suite #102. The third annual fundraising fire show features stunning aerials, flaming bellydancing, torch juggling, fire contortion, world-class fire poi spinning and more, all set to music by Bar Tabac, the Cornwall Marching Band, and Strangely. Tickets are $12-$22. Show up starting at noon Sunday for a variety of circus performances happening throughout more »

Art by the Airport: The Whatcom Art Guild will host its annual "Art by the Airport" spring show from 2-8pm Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday at Hampton Inn's Fox Hall, 3985 Bennett Dr. The judged show will feature the work of more than 45 well-known community artists. Offerings include fine art originals, affordable prints, photography, handcrafted fabrics, pottery, jewelry and more one-of-a-kind items. Demos and a daily raffle will also be part of the festivities. Entry is free. more »

Northwest Folklife Festival: More than 5,000 performers from throughout the region and beyond will perform at the 44th annual Northwest Folklife Festival 11am-10pm Friday through Sunday, and 11am-9pm Monday, at the Seattle Center grounds. This year's cultural focus, "Beats, Rhymes and Rhythms: Traditional Roots of Today's Branches," will highlight in great depth the cross-cultural roots of Hip Hop in the Northwest. Per usual, the event is free. more »

Community Boating Center Open: The Community Boating Center has resumed operations for the 2015 season from 10am until sunset on Saturdays and Sundays at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards. Registration for youth camps and adult classes are currently available online. Starting June 22, the center will operate through the week. more »

Lummi Island Studio Tour: More than 40 artists and craftspeople will be showing their work at 23 locations as part of the semiannual Lummi Island Artists' Studio Tour taking place from 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday throughout the lovely land mass. Peruse and purchase everything from paintings to prints, notecards, jewelry, photography, sculpture, glass, pottery, metalwork, stonework and more. Entry to the self-guided tour is free; pick up maps at participating locales, or at the Islander store (directly to your left when more »

Ski to Sea: The reconfigured multi-sport Ski to Sea race begins at 7:45am at the Mt. Baker Ski Area and ends at 5pm. View the competitors along the way, or head to the Historic Fairhaven Festival to check out the final leg of the race at at Fourth Street and Harris Avenue, outside the Index Industries building, near the entrance to Marine Park. more »

FAIRHAVEN RIDE: Meet up with folks from Fairhaven Bike & Ski for a weekly race-pace ride at 8am at the Fairhaven Village Green. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mount Baker Bicycle Club for a "Rabbit Ride" starting at 8am every Sunday at Fairhaven Bike, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route takes riders down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. The group also holds weekly rides Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mt. Baker Bike Club for the weekly “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8:30am at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route sees riders heading down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. more »

Good Earth Seconds Sale: Reap the rewards of imperfection, experimentation and maturation at the annual "Ski to Sea Seconds Sale" from 10am-5pm at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave. Bring boxes and bags along to stock up on "perfectly good pots at perfect prices." more »

Historic Fairhaven Festival: Arts and crafts vendors, a beer and wine garden, live music, exhibits from nonprofits, children's activities, food booths and an opportunity to watch the final leg of the Ski to Sea race will be part of the Historic Fairhaven Festival happening from 12-7pm throughout the historic district. Entry to the block party is, per usual, free and open to all ages. Whatcom Transportation Authority buses will be running throughout the day from downtown Bellingham and the WWU campus. more »

Bird Tour: North Cascades Audubon Society president Pam Borso leads an "Audubon Bird Tour: Meet Our Raptors" at 2pm at Whatcom Museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. Borso will introduce key owl and hawk species and share how these birds of prey are faring in our changing land and sea habitats. Entry is free with museum admission. more »

Laughing at the Stars: Comedians from Bellingham and beyond entertain the masses at the weekly "Laughing at the Stars" Stand-Up Comedy Show at 8:30pm at the Star Club, 311 E. Holly St. Joel O'Connor hosts the entertaining event. Entry is free. more »

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