This Week's Cover


Bite Local

I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from any

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This Week

The Gristle


PDA DOA: Bellingham City Council returned from their August recess to a market analysis for economic development downtown of sufficient gloom to probably doom the Bellingham Public Development Authority.

“Overall, the time is good to consider a catalytic development project in downtown,” the consultants’ report, prepared by Portland-based Leland Consulting Group, began on a hopeful note. “Downtowns across the country are seeing a resurgence in economic development, largely driven by

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Wolf Recovery

On the brink of forever


Sunset is an angel weeping, holding out a bloody sword,” begins Bruce Cockburn’s lyrics for “Pacing the Cage.” I identify with these lyrics, of Cockburn writing of growing older, the expectations of others, to the feeling of being without a clear path. And when the song continues, “I never knew what you all wanted, so I gave you everything… all the spells that I could sing,” my thoughts turn to wolves.

In 1973, Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The following

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Anais Mitchell

Anything but ordinary


“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”—Anais Nin

Anais Nin is a hard woman to try and explain. Some of that is

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The Possibilities

A road trip with detours


When the publishers re-released the paperback version of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ first novel The Descendants with a picture of George Clooney on the cover, that’s all it took for me to pick it up and check it out.

The writing—direct and honest—hooked me from page one.  I zipped through the book, then watched the movie, and each were excellent in their own way. So when I came across Hemmings’ latest, The Possibilities, I did not hesitate, even if George Clooney was nowhere to be found.

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Skagit Spotlight

Time traveling in Mount Vernon


Next time you find yourself on the I-5 highway going south, consider stopping in Mount Vernon and spending a few hours in the historic, often overlooked city of 32,000 people.

Surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and dotted with farmlands, Mount Vernon has been shielded from the forces of modernity. Whether you’re exploring local farms or strolling along First Street, walking around Mount Vernon feels like stepping back in time. Lace up some sturdy shoes that can withstand the mud on working

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Bite Local

Food, farms and fun


I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from any

Continue Reading »


The Trip to Italy

A sequel worth making


Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan team up again as traveling companions checking out high-end restaurants in The Trip to Italy, the sequel to The Trip, a movie so funny it sometimes left me gasping for air. The premise of that first film was that these two comic actors, improvising as themselves, were on assignment from London’s Observer magazine to check out swank eateries along the coast of northern England while retracing the peregrinations of Wordsworth and Coleridge.

The joke was that

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God Help the Girl

Belle & Sebastian makes a movie


“Just for this summer we were all in the right place and the possibilities were endless.” The light and wistful pop music of Glasgow band Belle & Sebastian was tailor made for two things: coming-of-age stories and trendy art house movies. And that sound has been the soundtrack for plenty of both, but with God Help the Girl its frontman Stuart Murdoch who spins a wondrously surreal and intoxicating fairy tale for those who love and draw strength from the power of music. In essence, it’s a movie

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The Station Agent

Bikes, benches and serendipity


When the stars align, it’s best to open your eyes wide, watch for signs and act accordingly.

Professional welder and woodworker Andy Phillips of Black Fin Design says this was the case when he was asked to design a three-piece set of benches and tables for the patio at Bellingham’s Elizabeth Station recently.

Because the neighborhood market on the corner of Holly Street and Broadway also caters to fans of craft beer who like to hunker down and sit for a spell while sipping on pints,

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On Stage

Emergency Circus

When laughter is the best medicine


“The role of a clown and a physician are the same—it’s to elevate the possible and to relieve suffering.”
—Patch Adams

Many who hear the name “Patch Adams” may associate the moniker with the clown-nose-wearing character that actor and comedian Robin Williams portrayed in the 1998 movie of the same name.

And while the doctor whose life the movie was based on—Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams—was glad to get the media scrutiny that drew attention to his life’s work, he didn’t use the

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Sep 14


Eat Local Month: Local foods, farmers and fishers will be celebrated during Sustainable Connections' "Eat Local Month" at a variety of events happening through September throughout Whatcom County (and beyond). Nineteen participating restaurants will have locally sourced specials, and there'll be a Sept. 13 Farm Tour, an Incognito Dinner by Ciao Thyme, the Bite of Bellingham, an "Eat Local Dinner Theater" with the Community Food Co-op, a food trail trek, a brewers cruise, Bellingham Oktoberfest, and more. See more »

Whatcom Water Weeks: Hatchery tours, a salmon habitat bike tour, Marine Center animal feedings, guided river walks, campfire talks, bird presentations, a rain barrel tour, an educational cruise i Drayton Harbor, the Whatcom County Farm Tour, a cloud formation experiment, storytelling events with water themes, a green building users group, a tour of Bellingham Cold Storage, a "Gardening Green" series, an agricultural buffer walk, a beach cleanup, the Bellingham Traverse and more will be part of the annual "Whatcom more »

Bard on the Beach: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream will play in repertory with the Bard's The Tempest and Cymbeline, and Bill Cain's Equivocation, during the 25th annual "Bard on the Beach" season through Sept. 20 at Vancouver, B.C.'s Vanier Park. Tickets are $33-$47 (Canadian). more »

Boating Center Open: All are welcome to check out the Community Boating Center, which is open for the summer season at its headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. (near the Amtrak Station). Upcoming classes and excursions include bioluminescence paddles, introductions to sea kayaking, sunset paddles, dinghy sailing 101, full moon paddles, paddleboarding 101, and more. Boat rentals and storage and moorage are also available. Check the website for times and prices. more »

Hotbox: Do you want to see what a brand-new, full-length play created in less than a week looks like? If so, then attend "HOTBOX" showings at 7:30pm Friday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Bellingham playwright and director Ben Eisner will have less than a week to create an entirely new full-length play based on the same theme chosen for Night 1 of the preceding weekend’s 48-Hour Theater Festival. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. more »

Bellingham Beer Week: A Bellingham Tap Trail's Trail Breaking Party happening from 4:30-7:30pm at Kulshan Brewery and a "First Call" event from 5-9pm Friday, Sept. 12 at Elizabeth Station will kick off the Bellingham Beer Week events. The brew-haha continues through Sept. 21 with a plethora of brewers nights at various restaurants and breweries, beer trivia, tap takeovers, cask nights, a Brewer's Cup, films, brewers cruises, an Oktoberfest celebration, hikes, meet-and-greets, and much more. Head to the website for a more »

Summer Music Series: As part of a summer-long series of concerts, Dillinger's Clambake will present its swing and R&B sounds at a performance from 6-8:30pm Saturday at the Heart of Anacortes, 1014 4th St. Entry is $8 at the door. At 2pm Sunday, attend a free concert featuring the jazz-based talents of Tubaluba. more »

Sedro-Woolley Founders Days: The final reenactment of Sedro-Woolley's dramatic 1914 bank robbery will be part of a 20th annual "Founders Days" celebration happening from 8am-4pm Saturday and 8am-3pm Sunday throughout the town. Events will also include a breakfast, a book signing of The Wages of Sin: The True Story & Photos of the Great Sedro-Woolley Bank Robbery of 1914, a car show, a Founder's Day breakfast, activities for kids, a community picnic, and an open house at Sedro-Woolley Museum. Many events are free. more »

Art in the Park: Visual artists, artist demos, art activities for kids, performing artists, storytellers, food, music and more will be part of the third annual "Art in the Park" from 10am-5pm Saturday and 12-5pm Sunday at Ferndale's Pioneer Park, 2007 Cherry St. Entry to the family-friendly event is free. more »

Chuckanut Century: The Mt. Baker Bike Club's signature ride, the "Chuckanut Century," begins at 7am at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Riders can choose distances ranging from 25 to 124 miles—all on "one of the most scenic rides in Washington." Fees are $60; funds raised benefit Our TreeHouse. 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 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 »

Studebaker Car Show: The Whatcom County chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club will host its 42nd annual Classic Car Show from 9am-3pm at Ferndale's Hovander Homestead Park, 5299 Nielsen Ave. Entry to show your ride is $10, and admission is free otherwise. more »

Fairhaven Sculpture Unveiling: Attend an unveiling of a new bronze statue by Robert McDermott of historic citizen J.J. Donovan at 11am on the corner of Fairhaven's 11th Street and Harris Avenue. In addition to a few remarks from local notables, there'll be music by the Bellingham High School Alumni Band, and comments by members of the Donovan family. more »

Bite of Bellingham: Bare Bones BBQ, Bayou on Bay, Bellingham Flatbread, Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, Chow Gourmet Hot Dogs, Chuckanut Manor, Delicious Mischief, Evolve Chocolate Truffles, The Green Frog, Gypsies and Ginger Snaps, India Grill, Kurly's Kart, Leaf & Ladle, Mad Batter Cupcakes and Confections, Mi Casa Catering, Pure Bliss Desserts, Rock & Rye Oyster House, Silver Reef Casino, Semiahmoo Resort, Slo Pitch Sports Grill and Casino, StrEAT Food, Street Dogz, and The Table by Bellingham Pasta Co. will more »

Reaching Beyond Opening: More than 140 works by 90 artists from around the Pacific Northwest can be viewed as part of opening day for "Reaching Beyond: Northwest Designer Craftsmen at 60" from 12-5pm at Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. The exhibit features pieces in clay, glass, wood, metal, fiber and mixed-media. The exhibit shows through Jan. 4. more »

Swing Connection: Songs of the swing era, along with a selection of more contemporary arrangements, can be heard at a free concert featuring the Swing Connection big band from 1-4pm at BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. more »

Opera Popolare: Soloists and ensembles from Opera Poplare will perform selections from Semele, Samson, and other Handel works from 3-4:30pm at Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Entry is free and open to all. more »

Wander to Wander 1K: Raise funds for the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center by taking part in the inaugural "Wander to Wander 1K" starting at 4pm at Johnny's Donuts, 2201 Cornwall Ave. Participants will "wander" along the route to Wander Brewery, 1807 Dean Ave. Your $20 registration includes a pint of beer or root beer at the finish line. Costumes are encouraged and families are welcome. more »

Love Tips: Kac Young shares tips from her how-to tome, 21 Days to the Love of Your Life, at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Attend this free presentation and learn the basics of what anyone needs to know to attract a mate. more »

Exploration Film Tour: The National Outdoor Leadership School presents the "Exploration Film Tour" at 7pm at the Mount Baker Theatre's Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The event features two hours of exciting short films based on themes of wonder, discovery, curiosity and the timelessness of the wilderness experience. Entry is free, but tickets are required. more »

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