Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Halloween Cover Show

Sit down, Santa

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Christmas creep has begun.

Ads for Christmas-related products are showing up in my newsfeed. Television promos tout upcoming marathons of holiday movies. A piece of spam asking if I’d started making holiday travel plans yet showed up in my inbox.

It’s not even daylight savings time yet. We have whole months and other major holidays to dispense with before we haul out the holly.

Sit down, Santa. Halloween is on the horizon.

Supposedly Christmas is the most wonderful time of…

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Passionate about sustainability

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

With Blaine’s first-ever vegan cafe opening quietly last month in a space formerly occupied by Subway and a pizza shop, residents and border crossers now have a selection of super-healthy meals and beverages to fuel their day.

The new cafe is two-thirds retail store, selling apparel made from organic cotton, linen and hemp, and one-third restaurant, with 24 seats inside and a deck under construction out back. For now it’s open from 11am-6pm daily, but there are plans for a dinner…

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On Stage

Bread & Puppets

Paper mache and politics

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Can eating bread be considered a political act?

If it’s done following a performance by the renowned Bread & Puppet Theater, the answer is a resounding “hell yes.”

Thanks to a collaboration by the Alternative Library and the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, those attending the one-time showing of The Grasshopper Rebellion Circus Fri., Oct. 19 at Bellingham’s Laurel Park won’t just be craving a serving of the traveling troubadours’ fresh-baked sourdough rye bread with aioli—they’ll…

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Dark Visions

Casting shadows in Skagit

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

It’s not only the time of year, but the state of the world, that is casting shadows over artwork in two Skagit galleries this month. Smith & Vallee in Edison hosts work by Jasmine Valandani and Peregrine O’Gormley, as Natalie Niblack is featured at Perry and Carlson in Mount Vernon. 

Valandani, whose previous work explored subtleties in white upon white, surprises with black compositions in ink, watercolor and gouache on Indian handmade paper.

At a recent exhibit opening I asked…

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Wild and Scenic

Protecting the Nooksack

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

If you were trying to reach photographer and outdoor activist Brett Baunton last week to discuss his ongoing efforts in helping to get the upper Nooksack River protected as a part of the National Wild and Scenic River System, he likely didn’t respond because he was off the grid on a journey to the actual headwaters of the North Fork of the body of water he’s championing.

The river-crossing, bushwhacking adventure was a challenge, he says, but well worth it.

“We saw no one else…

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The Library Book

A hot read

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Susan Orlean loves libraries, but she didn’t set out to write a book about them. In fact, the bestselling nonfiction author and staff writer for The New Yorker had decided that she was done writing books entirely. “Working on them felt like a slow-motion wrestling match,” she declares, “and I wasn’t in the mood to grapple with such a big commitment again.”

But in 2011 Orlean learned about the devastating fire that swept through the Los Angeles Public Library’s Central…

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He’s baaaack

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

As a sequel to the most iconic slasher movie of all time, the new Halloween sets itself up for failure. Forty years after silent killer Michael Myers donned a leathery white mask and hacked up a handful of teens in John Carpenter’s 1978 original, this campy follow-up acknowledges that a lot has happened since then. As one young character complains when considering the mythology early on, by today’s standards Myers’ killing spree is “not that big a deal.”

It’s hard to argue…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
As Above, So Below

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW: Election ballots are in the mail—so declare press releases from election officials around the state, including the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office—in what’s being touted as the most important midterm election in a generation. And while every election is important…

Support a safe, healthy community

Imagine a society that connects housing to health, and a health care system that helps the most vulnerable among us to live in safe, affordable homes. Also imagine health care professionals who assess for risk and prescribe a “housing vaccine” to prevent disease and promote health. As…

Village Books
Wake up, patriots

I am writing this as a wake up call for all patriotic Americans young and old.
Initiative 1639 is written in such a manner that it will destroy our constitutional rights of the Second…

Justice infrastructure needed

Modern criminal justice systems must increasingly collect usable information of high enough quality to understand, measure and defend their performance. According to the National Institute of…

Institutional change needed

I am writing to urge voting for James Erb for county prosecutor. Though I don’t doubt my friend who has observed his opponent,  Eric Richey,  interact with mentally ill clients in a…

Trove Web
Today's Events
Bellingham at Home Informational Meeting


Find out about membership, services, and volunteer opportunities offered by Bellingham’s virtual village at Bellingham At Home presentation from 1-3pm at the Senior Activity Center, 315…

Endangered Species Curator's Tour


oin Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art, for an inside view of “Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity” at a Curator’s Tour taking place from 1:30-2:30pm at Whatcom…

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market


Produce, crafts and more can be procured at the Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market from 3-7pm Wednesdays through Oct. 17 at Hammer Heritage Square, 118 Ferry St.

Creekside Open Mic


Sign up to read your poetry and prose or play music—or simply listen in—at a Creekside Open Mic starting at 6:30pm at Sudden Valley’s South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court, Gate 2.…

Walking to the End of the World


Beth Jusino reads from Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles of the Camino de Santiago at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. In April 2015, Beth and Eric Jusino, laden with…

Brian Dean Trio


Jazz pianist, composer and educator Brian Dean will be joined by trumpeter Kevin woods and bassist Michael Glynn for a Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center concert at 7pm at the Sylvia Center, 205…

Climate Change and Forests


The local chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society invites you to a public meeting from 7-9pm at the RE Store’s Sustainable Living Center, 2309 Meridian St. At the free event, Nobel…

Modified documentary and Panel Discussion


As part of Doctober, join the Community Food Co-op for an evening featuring a viewing of Modified—a documentary featuring a filmmaker who embarks on a personal and poignant investigative…

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