This Week's Cover


Lynden Music Festival

It was just about a year ago that I clambered into the backseat of a running vehicle in a downtown Bellingham parking lot, and then hurtled through a dark, rainy night with only a vague sense of the direction in which my cohorts and I were headed. Turns out, their sense of direction was vague as well, but what we lacked in navigational ability we made up for in purpose.

Our purpose was to seek entertainment of the musical kind, and our final destination—via a decidedly and accidentally

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This Week

The Gristle

The Tyranny of One

THE TYRANNY OF ONE: Bellingham City Council held a special meeting this week to study and receive comments on proposals that will appear on the countywide November ballot. As several proposals seek to curtail the participation of city residents and city taxpayers in future county elections, Council’s interest in the interlocking mechanisms of these proposals is appropriate.

Proposition 1 seeks to exploit a mathematical problem of apportioning the county population across three districts: It

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Satpal Sidhu

Wants more time on County Council


Satpal Sidhu was selected by County Council to replace Sam Crawford, who left office before the end of his term. That meant he had to hit the ground running on a number of complicated policy matters underway. It also meant his appointment would face immediate ratification by voters before he’d established a lengthy track record on Council.

A business executive, professional engineer and educator, Sidhu is former dean of Engineering & Trades at Bellingham Technical College with extensive

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Kathy Kershner

Seeks a return to County office


Kathy Kershner seeks a return to Whatcom County Council. She originally arrived at a contentious moment in county politics, in the trough of a deep recession and on the wave of a frothy conservative backlash. She ran to represent those interests, but her experience on the Council, and perhaps healthier county revenues in a recovering economy, opened her to a broader view of her role as a representative of county residents. Meanwhile, the political tides shifted again, ushering in new Council

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Lynden Music Festival

Everybody cut loose


It was just about a year ago that I clambered into the backseat of a running vehicle in a downtown Bellingham parking lot, and then hurtled through a dark, rainy night with only a vague sense of the direction in which my cohorts and I were headed. Turns out, their sense of direction was vague as well, but what we lacked in navigational ability we made up for in purpose.

Our purpose was to seek entertainment of the musical kind, and our final destination—via a decidedly and accidentally

Continue Reading »



Fun with flocks at River Gallery


Several paths lead to the River Gallery—from La Conner, from Fir Island, from Highway 20 south on Best Road. Each is a journey into the heart of the lower Skagit, into a pastoral stillness of grazing black-and-white cattle on green meadows punctuated by forested hillocks left by glaciers, millennia ago.

The gallery, once a commercial greenhouse, was strengthened and improved over the summer to prepare it for the carefully selected art by Washington artists for the Fall Show, which opened

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Fall Fun

Touring BelleWood Acres


It’s a gorgeous fall day, and I’m mesmerized by the view of snowcapped Mt. Baker against row upon row of neatly lined apple trees.

The sun is on my shoulders as I sit aboard a tractor on BelleWood Acres Farm and bump along the gravel path. I’m on an hour-long orchard tour with Dorie Belisle, who owns BelleWood Acres with her husband John and loves nothing more than to educate folks about her farm.

The two came to farming late in life, leaving longtime careers as a speech language

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Kitchen Confidential

A fascination with food


Readers who live to eat will devour Kitchens of the Great Midwest, J. Ryan Stradal’s debut novel that chronicles the meteoric rise to greatness of one Midwestern chef, Eva Thorvald. 

From infancy, Eva was destined to be a chef. Her doting father Lars, a frustrated lutefisk cook, introduces her to braised pork shoulder (puréed) and heirloom Moonglow tomatoes as soon as she can chew.  Then her mother runs off with a sommelier, and her father dies, and Eva’s life vacillates between tragic

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Time for Thai


Whoever coined the adage “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” may have been on to something.

When I got a call from an old friend recently, it was with an invitation to join him for a midday repast featuring Thai and Lao cuisine at Maikham in downtown Bellingham. It was his treat, he said.

Since one of my life mottos is to accept pretty much anything that comes my way without requiring payment—whether it’s cars, livestock, artisanal cocktails or pizza—I agreed to meet him at the

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On Stage

Forever Plaid

Heavenly harmonies and second chances


The news was bad, but it could’ve been so much worse.

Actor Sage Hoag had been injured, and a press release was issued noting that he had to bow out of his role as Smudge in the Mount Baker Theatre’s version of Forever Plaid—the first Autumn Rep offering for the in-house series, which also produces both summer and winter repertory theater.

While that was unfortunate news for Hoag, at least he didn’t suffer the same fate as the four main characters in the popular musical revue, which

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Steve Jobs

Man as machine


Aaron Sorkin opens up a new desktop icon with Steve Jobs, a briskly busy, talkative companion piece to the Newsroom and Moneyball writer’s Mark Zuckerberg–centric The Social Network. Adapting Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple innovator—and covering much of the same ground as Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine—Sorkin’s latest is less a novel expose than a distinctly Sorkinian dramatization of well-known material. Still, it’s helmed with whip-smart panache by

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Oct 10


The Art of Death: Workshops, presentations, music and more will be part of "The Art of Death: Shifting the Way We Look at Death" Conference taking place Fri., Oct. 2 through Sun., Oct. 11 at the Fairhaven Library, Fairhaven Park, Whatcom Cremation, Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building and beyond. Most events are free; some have a fee and will require pre-registration. more »

Forever Plaid: Expect classic barbershop harmonies and pitch-perfect melodies when Forever Plaid continues this week with performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, 3pm and 7:30pm Saturday, and 3pm Sunday at Mount Baker Theatre's Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The popular musical focusing on four young musicians who have returned from the afterlife for one final chance at musical glory is MBT's Fall Rep show. Tickets are $35; additional shows take place Oct. 14-18. more »

Oliver: The world of Charles Dickens will be given a fresh voice when the musical Oliver continues this weekend with 7:30pm performances Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Tickets to see the musical about an orphan and his adventures are $20; additional showings happen through Oct. 24. more »

Spamalot: King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table—as well as a bevy of beautiful showgirls, cows, killer rabbits and loads of French people—will make appearances when Monty Python's Spamalot concludes this weekend with showings at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. Tickets are $8-$14. more »

Fall PowWow: Drummers and dancers in full regalia, arts and crafts activities for kids, vendors selling traditional crafts, Native American art and food and much more will be part of a Fall Powwow taking place Friday through Sunday in Mount Vernon at the Duvall Pavilion at Skagit Valley College. Entry and parking for the all-ages event is free. more »

Whatcom Artists Studio Tour: More than 50 artists working in a variety of different forms of media will open their creative spaces to the public for the 21st annual Whatcom Artist Studio Tour happening from 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday throughout Whatcom County. Entry to the self-guided tour is free. Plan your route online, or pick up a map at businesses throughout the county. more »

Skagit Ride: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a breakfast ride through the Skagit Flats today. Meet at 8am at the former bamboo nursery at 3533 Chuckanut Dr. and head south through the flats to Rexville Grocery (40 miles round trip). more »

Garden Goodbye: "Putting Your Garden to Bed" will be the focus of a free workshop at 9am at Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Travis Dickson, of RainDance Landscapes, will share expert advice on transplanting, pruning and cleaning up your garden in preparation for the cool season ahead. Please register in advance. more »

Mount Vernon Farmers Market: The Mount Vernon Farmers Market takes place from 9am-2pm at the city's Waterfront Plaza. In addition to the fresh, local food, expect activities for kids, cooking demos and special events through the season, which continues through Oct. 17. more »

Anacortes Farmers Market: Vegetables, fruit, baked goods, fresh meat and dairy, cut flowers, wine, eggs, art and much more can be found at the Anacortes Farmers Market, which takes place from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 24 at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. more »

Autumn Arts Festival: Peruse and purchase handcrafted and sewn items, jewelry, home decorations and more at an Autumn Arts Festival from 9am-3pm in Mount Vernon at Saint Joseph Center, 214 N. 15th St. There'll also be live entertainment, a concession stand and hourly raffle drawing. Entry is free. more »

Superheroes Run: Raise funds for hospital employees and caregivers who are in financial need as a result of a tragedy in their own lives at today's "Everyday Superheros" 5K Run/Walk starting at 10am at Squalicum Creek Park, 1001 Squalicum Way. Entry is $20. more »

Community Meal: All are welcome at a bimonthly Community Meal taking place from 10am-12pm at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. Entry is free. more »

Stigma Stomp: Reject the stigma of mental illness by signing up for NAMI Whatcom's "Stigma Stomp" 5K starting at 10am at Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Ave. The race will be followed by a Mental Health Fair with an aim to connect the community to health and wellness resources. Entry is $21-$26. more »

Harvest Fair: Attend a Gardeners Market Harvest Fair from 10am-2pm at Blaine's H Street Plaza. In addition to the garden goods, there'll be pumpkin painting, refreshments, prize drawings and family fun. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Peruse and purchase a plethora of locally grown produce, ready-to-eat foods, crafts and more at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. The market runs every Saturday through Dec. 19. more »

Fall Festival: Local vendors, a silent auction, vegetable sales, door prizes, a lunch counter and bakery and more will be part of a "Fall Festival" happening from 10am-3pm at Everson's Immanuel Lutheran Church, 5782 Lawrence Rd. All proceeds go to local charities and those in need. more »

Oceanic Library Workshop: Explore the use of locally foraged, biodegradable materials as book covers at a "Making an Oceanic Library" workshop from 10am-4pm at Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress, 112 Grand Ave., suite #101. In this workshop, driftwood slabs and clam shells will be utilized to make a pair of journals. Exposed spines will be sewn using a combination of kettle, Coptic and running stitches. Entry is $65-$70, plus a $10 material fee. more »

Fall Family Fun: Hot dog and marshmallow roasting, leaf pile jumping, hay rides, sheep feeding, games, huge stump history and photo opportunities will be part of "Fall Family Fun" events from 10am-6pm Saturdays through Nov. 21 at Everson's Glen Echo Garden, 4390 Y Rd. Entry is $10 per family (up to four kids). more »

Dog-Toberfest: Bring your leashed four-legged friends along to a "Dog-toberfest" celebration taking place from 1-3pm at the Birch Bay Activity Center, 7511 Gemini St. Games and activities for dogs, a presentation by Nose Works Magic, and opportunities to get pictures taken with your pet will be part of the free fun. more »

MoNA Opening: Co-curator Gail Trembly leads a talk about the Contemporary Native American Arts Movement and the works of artists living in the Northwest at the opening of "Not Vanishing: Contemporary Expressions in Indigenous Art" 1pm at La Conner's Museum of Northwest Art, Museum of Northwest Art, 121 S. First St. A reception for exhibit featuring more than 40 artists from tribes throughout the region takes place from 2-5pm, and the show will be up through Jan. 3. Entry is free. more »

Semiahmoo Oktoberfest: Attend "Semiahmoo Oktoberfest" from 1-5pm at Blaine's Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy. Entry is $25 and includes five local beer tasters and five Oktoberfest taster plates. For $10 more you can purchase a souvenir mug, which you can fill once with your favorite from the tasters. more »

Intuitive Painting: Artist in residence Patty Bover demonstrates the art of intuitive painting with acrylics at a free event taking place from 2:30-4:30pm at the SkillShare Space at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Come down and watch Patty at work, and bring your questions. more »

Shoot the Trails Awards: The Whatcom Mount Bike Coalition will host its fifth annual "Shoot the Trails" Awards at 6pm at Settlemyer Hall at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. In addition to viewing mountain bike videos and photography, there'll be a huge raffle, prizes for contest winners, local beer and food from BTC's culinary program and more. Entry is $15. more »

Amber Darland: Folksinger Amber Darland―one of the most exciting emerging singer-songwriters of the Pacific Northwest―performs at 7pm at Blaine's Christ Episcopal Church, 382 Boblett St. Entry is $7. more »

Wintergreen: Join Robert Michael Pyle and David Guterson for a reading and discussion celebrating the 30th anniversary edition of Pyle’s award-winning natural history classic, Wintergreen, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The free event is part of the "Nature of Writing" series. more »

Girls Night: Follow five friends as they visit their past, celebrate their present and look to the future at a one-night-only performance of Girls Night: The Musical at 7:30pm in Mount Vernon at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets to see the "boisterous, bust-out, bawdy revue" are $30-$40. The show opens the new season at the performance space. more »

Original Comedy Night: The Skagit-Mount Vernon Kiwanis present their 20th annual "Original Comedy Night" fundraiser at 8pm in Mount Vernon at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. Larry Reeb, Brian Moote, and Silas Lindenstein will be on the laughable lineup. Tickets are $20; proceeds are returned to the community for assistance to Skagit-area kids. more »

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