Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Elizabeth Park Summer Concerts

A tried-and-true tradition

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It’s been more than a decade since I lived in a bright purple house on Utter Street in the Columbia neighborhood, but my affection for that part of town remains strong. So much so that my frequent meanderings hither and yon often take back to that neighborhood, where I can identify my favorite stately mansions and cozy bungalows alike on a block-by-block basis.

My strolls through the Columbia always take me around—and sometimes through—Elizabeth Park, where the bustle of tennis…

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Outdoor Education

Nurturing a reluctant nature lover

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Owing to the fact that I grew up in family full of nature-loving outdoors enthusiasts, it’s hardly a fluke I turned out so crunchy. 

Before I started kindergarten, my dad took me hiking everywhere and taught me how to camp, backpack, use a compass and fish. The fever struck early and never broke.

Meanwhile, Grandpa Brunsvold let me shadow him all over his ranch, immersing me in the wonderful world of manual labor. Under his insightful tutelage, I experienced the thrill of…

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Cultural Contributions

A big unveiling at Riverwalk Park

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On a drizzly Saturday last April, a rapt audience sheltered under tents and umbrellas on Mount Vernon’s new Riverwalk Park, where at last, flood-defense measures have been put into place and the community can enjoy farmers markets and other gatherings. 

Attorney Joe Bowen was one of the speakers. He told how his ancestors met their relatives and friends from other tribes here—at that time the site of a massive logjam in the Skagit River. The visitors sang and beat drums in their…

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Life Lessons

Cooking with kids

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My mom was a teacher, so during our grade school and junior high years, my siblings and I would often arrive home at least an hour before she did. We’d be hungry, and would slap together peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches or snack on leftovers—always with the mantra to not spoil our dinners in the back of our minds.

When I was about 10 or 11, I got ambitious and decided I’d fry a few pieces of after-school bacon. Unfortunately, I walked away from the too-hot pan at a critical…

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The story of Mister Rogers

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I’m tempted to say that the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is exactly what we need in these scabrous times, but that makes it sound too self-important. And if there is one thing that Fred Rogers, the host and creator of the beloved educational children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, would disdain, it’s self-importance. That, and being disrespectful of children.

Morgan Neville’s movie is more than just a chronicle of Rogers’ career. In some not-quite-definable…

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On Stage

Creative Exchanges

A chautauqua for all ages

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

If your summer checklist involves goals such as finally learning how to make a campfire, taking a walk on the beach, dancing in the streets, trying your hand at clowning or juggling, or enjoying live entertainment from talented regional performers, the New Old Time Chautauqua’s Washington State Parks Tour has you covered on all accounts.

As part of a monthlong circuit throughout Washington state, the longtime creative collective will be in our corner of the region June 28-30, bringing…

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A Pipeline Controversy Explained

Is Washington now in the tar sands crosshairs?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It seems likely that the Canadian province of Alberta—home to a massive tar sands industry that produces some of the globe’s dirtiest and most polluting oil—has put the Pacific Northwest in its crosshairs. The province is partnering with the Canadian government to ram through the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a 715-mile conduit that would carry as much as 890,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian interior to southwest British Columbia. Much of that oil would…

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Best of Skagit
Best Tulip Farm


It’s tulip time, and the fields are alive with the light and color of spring. The word’s out, and this spectacular time in the Skagit Valley is no longer a secret.

But Skagit still holds a lot of secrets—mist-shrouded valleys, swollen and mighty rivers, and frosty high country thick with dark pines and devil’s club. And there are the hidey holes—the hamlets sprinkled along old forgotten highways, the winding sloughs and channels of the fertile delta, and the coast beyond—dotted with islands pungent from salt and rain. There are the bars and diners and coffeehouses, the playgrounds and trails. And there are the people who fill them, hearty and happy. And though our readers revealed some of these secrets, Skagit remains a treasure undiscovered.

Entries by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat
Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle and Andy Porter

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Pearl Surrounding the Oyster Dome

THE PEARL SURROUNDING THE OYSTER DOME: At a well-attended meeting in Mount Vernon last week, the healthy future of Blanchard Mountain began to take shape.

A proposed trust land swap would preserve the core of Blanchard State Forest trust lands—lands owned by the public and managed by the…

Alan Rhodes
Can We Talk?

Despite my reputation as an easygoing, cheerful optimist, I worry all the time. For example:

Emerald City Exodus. O.K., Seattle, I’ve read the data and know that a lot of you are moving to Bellingham. Who can blame you? If I lived in Seattle, I too would want to flee Amazon,…

Trove Web
‘Water-laden’ claims all wet

I have lived in Skagit Valley, particularly the Samish River valley, for 62 years. The 302 Glaciers in the North Cascades, which provide 12 percent of the Skagit’s water flow, have…

Honor our refugee commitments

June 20 is World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to honor the courage and resilience of refugees. We’re encouraging people to ask members of Congress to support refugees and…

Children, families, communities first.

Having worked with families and young people in and from Central America for many years, and knowing the violence and poverty from which young and old flee and its legacy in empire, I condemn…

Village Books
Today's Events
Bard on the Beach


Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata show in repertory through Sept. 22 at Vancouver, BC’s “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival at Vanier Park. Tickets start at $24…

Bellingham Dance Company's Hunchback


Bellingham Dance Company presents performances of Hunchback: A Dance Story at 7pm Thursday and Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Social and…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


Broadway’s greatest farce can be seen when A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum concludes with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Theatre…

Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike


Watch what happens when two middle-aged siblings’ mundane lives are shaken up by a visit from their movie star sister and her latest boy-toy when Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike concludes this…

Open Air Summer Rep


As part of an Open Air Summer Rep series, iDiOM Theater will present performances of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the amphitheater at Maritime Heritage…

Chuckanut Writers Conference


The eighth annual Chuckanut Writers Conference takes place Friday and Saturday at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg St. This year’s faculty includes “Writing Down the Bones”…

Lummi Stommish Water Festival


War canoe races, sla-hal games, foot races, dancers, a royalty pageant, salmon barbecues, a carnival, arts and crafts vendors, traditional singing and dancing, food vending and many other…

Whatcom Cultural Arts Festival


The Fairhaven Fourth Friday Art Walk will kick off Allied Arts’ inaugural Whatcom Cultural Arts Festival from 5-8 in historic Fairhaven, including live music performances from 4:30-8pm at the…

Keys for Kids


The Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County hosts “Keys for Kids: Dueling Pianos” fundraisers at 5:30pm Friday and Saturday at Stepping Stones Garden, 17503 Cook Rd. The outdoor event features…

Off Broadway


The Dance Studio presents its 39th annual year-end production, “Off Broadway,” at performances happening 7pm Friday, and 2pm Sunday at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Dancers…

Sin & Gin Tours


Through September, seasoned guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays in downtown…

Musicals and Brawls


“An Improvised Musical” returns to the stage with brand-new plots, lyrics, music, choreography and comedy at 8pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around…

Plant Hike


Local author and ethnobotanist Allan Richardson will lead a Washington Native Plant Society field trip along Hannegan Pass Trail today. Meet at 8am at the Sunset Square Safeway parking lot to…

Pancake Breakfast


Head to Ferndale for a Pancake Breakfast happening from 8-11am at the city’s American Legion Hall, 5537 2nd Ave. Entry is $3 for kids, $6 for adults.

Padden Triathlon


The Padden Triathlon begins at 8:30am (long course) and 1pm (short course) at Lake Padden Park, 4882 Samish Way. The annual event features swimming, biking and running, and celebrates…

March Point Run


The 24th annual Andeavor March Point Run starts at 9am in Anacortes at the Andeavor Refinery. The event includes a kid half-mile, a certified 5K/10K walk/run, and certified half marathon. All…

Mount Vernon Farmers Market


The Mount Vernon Farmers Market will feature more than 55 vendors from throughout the Skagit Valley from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 13 at the city’s Riverwalk Park. Through Sept. 26,…

Twin Sisters Market


Affordable, Whatcom County-grown produce can be procured at the Twin Sisters Farmers Market from 9am-3pm at the IGA parking lot on Nugent’s Corner, and 10am-2pm in Maple Falls at the North…

Anacortes Farmers Market


Find fresh produce and much more when the Anacortes Farmers Market continues its 29th season from 9am-2pm at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. The event continues Saturdays through Oct. 27.

Bellingham Farmers Market


The 26th season of the Bellingham Farmers Market continues from 10am-3pm Saturdays through Dec. 22 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. In addition to offering locally grown…

Welcome to Chickenlandia


Dalia Monterroso of the popular Facebook page Welcome to Chickenlandia will present a free workshop that covers raising chicks, selecting supplies, proper nutrition and natural care from…

Lynden Farmers Market


Local farmers and artisans will sell their edible and creative wares at the Lynden Farmers Market from 10am-2pm every Saturday through Sept. 29 at Centennial Park, 319 Grover St.

Lummi Island Saturday Market


Vendors will offer fresh produce, local honey, gorgeous flowers, landscape paintings and more at the Lummi Island Saturday Market happening from 10am-1pm Saturdays through the summer in the…

How to Renovate an Older Urban Garden


Whatcom County Master Gardeners will host a workshop on “How to Renovate an Older Urban Garden” from 10-11:30am at the Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Dr. Pruning handouts will be provided, and…

Imagine This! Home & Landscape Tour


Learn more about how to go green at Sustainable Connections’ 16th annual “Imagine This! Home & Landscape Tour” taking place from 10am-5pm at eight locales throughout Whatcom County. From…

Blaine Gardeners Market


Homegrown and handmade farm products, baked goods, arts and crafts and more can be found at the Blaine Gardeners Market from 10am-2pm Saturdays through October at the city’s H Street Plaza.

Sumas Writers Group


Aspiring writers can join the Sumas Writers Group to improve writing techniques, get feedback and gain information on how to get work published from 10-11am at the Sumas Library, 451 2nd St.…

Apps & Snaps for iPhone Gardeners


John and Kathy Wilson lead an"Apps & Snaps for iPhone and iPad Gardeners” workshop at 11am in Mount Vernon at Christianson’s Nursery, 15806 Best Rd. Take home skills with five new apps to…

A Novel Affair with Nancy Pearl


Help raise funds for the new La Conner Library by attending “A Novel Affair with Nancy Pearl” from 11:30am-2:30pm at the town’s Maple Hall, 104 Commercial St. Entry is $30 to attend the…

Ice Cream Class for Adults


Register in advance for a free “Homemade Ice Cream for Adults” workshop happening from 12-1:30pm at the Lynden Library, 216 4th St.  Cindy McKinney will demo a trio of delicious frozen…

Concrete Saturday Market


A Concrete Saturday Market can be visited from 1-3pm Saturdays through Labor Day weekend at the Concrete Community Center, 45821 Railroad Ave.

Lynden Cemetery Tour


A costumed guide will explore the many historic personages of Lynden when the Lynden Pioneer Museum helms a tour at 1pm every Saturday through September at the Lynden Cemetery, 1975 Front St.…

Tuesdays with Morrie


As part of a “Lend Us Your Ears” reading series, attend a pay-what-you-will performance of Mitch Ablom’s Tuesdays with Morrie at 2pm at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. Directed by…

Nooksack River Walk


Learn about local salmon species, discover native plants and find aquatic insects at the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s Nooksack River Walk starting at 3pm in Glacier at the…

Seafood Boil


Sockeye salmon, Caesar salad, and a traditional seafood boil with prawns, fish, andouille sausage, corn and clams can be had at a Saturday Seafood Boil from 5:30-8:30pm by the shore at…

Seafood Boil


Sockeye salmon, Caesar salad, and a traditional seafood boil with prawns, fish, andouille sausage, corn and clams can be had at a Saturday Seafood Boil from 5:30-8:30pm by the shore at…

Saturday Seafood Boil


Sockeye salmon, Caesar salad, and a traditional seafood boil with shrimp, fish, andouille sausage, corn and clams can be had at a Saturday Seafood Boil from 5:30-8:30pm by the shore at…

Sin & Gin Tours


Through September, seasoned guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays in downtown…

Chuckanut Writers Conference Open Mics


Chuckanut Writers Conference participants will read from their work at four open mics taking place concurrently at 7pm at four venues in historic Fairhaven—including Village Books Reading…

Musical Reunion


Jazz and blues guitarist and vocalist Albanie Falletta, string bassist Ryan Gould, and multi-instrumentalist Lauryn Gould perform at 7pm at the YWCA Ballroom, 1026 N. Forest St. The New…



Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the cult hit The Big Lebowski at the annual “Dudestock” starting at 7pm at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. Prizes will be awarded for best…

An Evening with Ira Glass


Tickets are still available for “Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass” at 7:30pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Glass is the creator, producer and host of…

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