This Week's Cover


Romeo & Juliet

Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story the

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This Week

That Which Is Permitted

THAT WHICH IS PERMITTED: This week marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the purchase and sale agreement that transferred the Bellingham tissue mill site and adjacent properties along Whatcom Waterway from Georgia-Pacific West into the ownership and control of the Port of Bellingham—or nearly a quarter of the portion of a 50-year plan projected to clean and redevelop the city’s central waterfront. Under the terms of the 2005 agreement, the port assumed all environmental liability of

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Feathers Fly

Hatching a large turkey from a small chicken


Wild ducks, flying from their far north nesting grounds last fall, brought along some deadly baggage. They carried strains of an avian influenza virus that kills domestic poultry without killing (so far) the wild birds themselves.

The international omelet that followed could make you think regulators of cross-border commerce might want to meet and talk between emergencies, but apparently they don’t.

Bellingham’s big-box stores—and thousands of Canadian customers who shop there—were

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Ag Gag

Farmworker groups oppose ‘agricultural interference’ bill

Driving through bucolic Whatcom County and snapping a photo of a farm or agricultural operation could potentially land you in jail if a bill currently being considered in the Washington State Legislature is approved in coming weeks.

On Jan. 9, State House Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) introduced HB 1104, a bill that would make it a crime to interfere with agricultural production or cause economic harm to the owners of that farm or operation. The bill, co-sponsored by the 42nd District’s own

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Kodo Drummers

Bang the drum slowly


Not long ago, an acquaintance who was a drummer in a rock band—a pretty good rock band that was enjoying a growing measure of regional success—gave up not just his burgeoning band, but also his home and all the friends, family and comforts that come with it to chase his dream of becoming a taiko drummer.

At the time, I chalked it up as yet another of my artistic friends exploring a whim, but as the years have passed, he has remained devoted to this very particular musical discipline, so much

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Big and Beautiful

The world of growing things at MoNA


On a recent wintry afternoon, Adrianne Smits introduced her monumental paintings to a gaggle of gray-haired docents at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA).

The title of Smits’ exhibit, “Immersion Redux: Buiten” is a way of saying “relived memories of being outside in the rain and biting bugs”—Buiten, Dutch for “outside,” pays tribute to her ancestry.

This articulate young artist and scientist brings back from her Ph.D. fieldwork in northern California and Alaska a

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On Stage

Romeo & Juliet

Conrad Askland scores a classic


Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story the

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This Changes Everything

Capitalism vs. the climate


In the same week Republicans put all of their political muscle into pushing the Keystone XL Pipeline, the New York Times reported the alarming news that 2014 was the “warmest year ever recorded on Earth.”

Another story the next day noted “humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.” The lead scientist of the new research warned, “We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event.”

No bother though, drill baby

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Twenty Years and Counting

The evolution of the cookie lady


Nope, Erin Baker didn’t change her name to fit her profession.

As the driving force behind Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods—a Bellingham-based company that was created two decades ago and has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in the years since—it’s purely serendipitous that the “cookie lady” has always had a yen to create things in the kitchen.

“I started baking and selling cookies at 9 years old, and I loved it so much that I made it my life’s work—and yes, my last name really

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Two Days, One Night

Money changes everything


In Two Days, One Night, Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne continue to explore their recurring theme of ordinary, working-class people on a quest that takes on larger-than-life dimensions (La Promesse, The Kid with a Bike, L’Enfant). Marion Cotillard stars as Sandra, a wife and mother recuperating from a bout of depression who learns she’s going to lose her job at a solar panel factory due to downsizing. Her coworkers were given the opportunity to decide whether to

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A not-so-sweet slice

A strong if self-consciously de-glammed performance from Jennifer Aniston deserves more honest story treatment than it gets in Cake, a darkly amusing but overly calculated dramedy about a Los Angeles woman whose struggles with chronic pain have made her a royal pain. Approaching such heavy issues as suicide, grief, separation and pill addiction with a disarming sense of humor, director Daniel Barnz and screenwriter Patrick Tobin attempt to pull off an emotional bait-and-switch by suddenly

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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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Jan 24


Bird Month Events: "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Snowy Owl" will be the theme of a monthlong exploration of snow owls and other winter migratory birds from 12-5pm Thursdays through Sundays through Feb. 5 at Whatcom Museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. Entry is $5. Entry is $5. Highlights this week include a "Migrating Birds of Whatcom County" presentation with Paul Woodcock at 2pm Saturday and a "Meet Our Raptors" event at 2pm Sunday. Entry is $5. more »

The Carrion Man: A comedic mystery/horror adventure about a teen put through a series of tests to gain great fortune can be seen when The Carrion Man opens this week at performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $10-$12; additional shows happen Jan. 29-Feb. 1. P.S. Opening night is free. more »

Blender: Improv featuring performers from near and far—Seattle, Canada, Bellingham, and beyond—will be part of "Blender" performances at 8pm and 10pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Additional "Blender" shows happen Jan. 30-31. more »

Opera Scenes Concert: Students from Western Washington University's Opera Club present "Opera Scenes" at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Performing Arts Center, room 16. Selections from "Die Fledermaus," "Orphee Aux Enfers," "Don Giovanni," "Little Women," "Hansel and Gretel," "Le Nozze Die Figaro," "La Fille Du Regiment," "H.M.S. Pinafore," and more will be on the roster. Tickets are $10-$12. more »

Damn Yankees: Young actors ages 12-15 will sing and dance their way through performances of Damn Yankees at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Tickets are $10 online or at the door (free for kids 5 and under). more »

Skagit Eagle Festival: Raptor presentations, boat trips, hayrides, arts and crafts, wine tastings, live music, a 5K run and much more will be part of the Skagit Eagle Festival happening from 9am-4pm every Saturday and Sunday through January in Concrete, Rockport, and Marblemount (and beyond). Many events are free. Check out the website for a full roster of happenings. more »

Fish Hatchery Tours: In conjunction with the return of bald eagles to the Skagit River watershed system, volunteer guides will provide free tours from 11am-3pm every Saturday and Sunday through Feb. 1 at the Marblemount Fish Hatchery, 8319 Fish Hatchery Rd. Tours start inside the visitor's center and proceed outdoors. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Entry is free. more »

Fairhaven Walking Club: Whether you’re looking to improve or compete, all are welcome at the weekly Fairhaven Walking Club led by Cindy Paffumi starting at 8am at various locations in Fairhaven. Walk routes and meeting places change from week to week. All paces are welcome. more »

Princess Breakfast: Help raise dough for the Squalicum High School Concert Choir at a "Princess Breakfast" fundraiser from 8-10am at Bellingham's Applebee's, 1069 E. Sunset Dr. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at Village Books. more »

Pancake Breakfast: Attend a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at Ferndale's American Legion, 5537 2nd Ave. The event is held on the fourth Saturday of every month (except in July and December). more »

Lake Whatcom Hike: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a 6.5-mile North Lake Whatcom hike today. Meet at 8:30am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool, or at 9am at the trailhead. more »

Lake Whatcom Hike: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a 6.5-mile North Lake Whatcom hike today. Meet at 8:30am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool, or at 9am at the trailhead. more »

Garden Classes: "Bonsai 101" will be the focus of a free workshop at 9am at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. At 2pm, attend a "Kids' Mini-Indoor Terrariums" course. Cost is $39 and includes all supplies (container, plants and soil). Please register in advance for both classes. more »

Community Meal: Ravioli, mixed veggies, green salad, bread and cake will be on the menu at the bimonthly Community Meal from 10am-12pm at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. Entry is free and open to all. more »

Boy Scouts Primer: Stop by for a Q&A session with local scouts and troop leaders at a Boy Scout Meet and Greet from 10:30am-2:30pm at the SkillShare Space at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. There will also be scout projects and equipment on display, as well as details on how to get involved locally. more »

Food Forests: "Demystifying Food Forests" will be the focus of a workshop with sustainable landscape designer Zsofia Pasztor at 11am in Mount Vernon at Christianson's Nursery, 15806 Best Rd. She'll focus on how to transform a landscape into a beautiful and productive layered perennial food system for increased abundance and food security. Entry is $8. more »

Winter XC Series: Join Bellingham BMX & Cascade Cross for its monthly "Winter XC" 5K cross country running race starting at noon at 5022 Guide Meridian. Entry is $10 onsite. Additional races in the series take place Feb. 21 and March 21. more »

An Afternoon with Conrad Askland: Find out more about a new musical version of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at "An Afternoon with Composer Conrad Askland" at 2pm at the Mount Vernon City Library, 315 Snoqualmie St. Askland will discuss his adaptation and talk about the upcoming performances, which begin Feb. 5 at the Lincoln Theatre. more »

Story and History: "How Story Becomes History: Writing Your Family Story" will be the focus of a presentation by WWU History Professor Kevin Lombard from 3-5m at the Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Hwy. The Whatcom READS! event repeats at 6pm Tues., Feb. 3 at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. more »

Line Dancing Classes: Western Line Dancing classes are offered at 6pm (beginners) and 7pm (intermediates) every Friday night at Lynden’s Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. No experience or partner is needed. Cost is $5 per class. more »

Ballroom Dancing: All ages and levels of experience can attend "Ballroom Dancing" events from 6:30-9pm on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. The social dances feature traditional ballroom and swing music for foxtrot, east coast swing, waltz, nightclub two-step, cha cha, rumba, salsa, samba and more. Entry is $5. more »

A’Capella West: Ensembles from Western Washington University, University of Utah, Pacific Lutheran University, Brigham Young, Gonzaga, Central Washington University and more will performs at the A'Capella ICAA West quarterfinals at 7pm at WWU's Performing Arts Center Mainstage. Tickets are $16-$21.50. more »

Contra Dance: Incognito Band will provide live tunes at the Bellingham Country Dance Society's Contra Dance from 7-10:30pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Beginners are welcome, as are singles. Entry is $8-$10. more »

Salish Sea Early Music Festival: The Salish Sea Early Music Festival series continues with a "1700: Baroque Winds" performance at 7:30pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St. Anna Marsh (baroque bassoon), Jeffrey Cohan (baroque flute), and Jonathan Oddie (harpsichord) will be the featured performers. Suggested donation is $15-$25. more »

Jekyll & Hyde: View the epic struggle between good and evil when a musical version of Jekyll & Hyde comes to Bellingham for one show only at 8pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The Grammy-nominated play has been called a "gripping musical thriller resplendent with a sumptuous score." Tickets are $30-$59. more »

Under the Sea Ball: Don your favorite mermaid gown for an "Under the Sea" Ball starting at 8pm at the Star Club, 311 E. Holly St. The event will feature a costume contest, music, drink specials, a photo booth and glitter tattoos. Entry is free. more »

Late-Night Improv Lab: PETER Comedy will take the audience on an improvised theatrical experience at an "iDiOM Improv Lab" performance kicking off an upcoming slew of late-night shows starting at 10pm at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. more »

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