This Week's Cover


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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This Week

The Gristle


ALOHA: Hello and goodbye to the Bellingham Public Development Authority, and with it the latest stumble in the city’s journey to employ public land as the nucleus to fuel an urban village planning concept. The BPDA died without a whimper last week after Bellingham City Council declined to discuss restoring the organization’s funding to the mayor’s proposed 2015-16 biennial budget. The BPDA board met the following day and terminated the contract with its executive director, Jim Long.

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Art Chantry

Bellingham’s poster boy

Because I am a person of a certain age, as long as I’ve been into music, I’ve been an admirer of the work of Art Chantry.

At this point in his career, Chantry has been long hailed as a graphic artist of unusual vision and influence, and his work has hung in museums from the Museum of Modern Art to the Louvre to the Smithsonian. When I first encountered his work, grunge was rapidly becoming Seattle’s soundtrack but was not yet a word, and Chantry was busy putting his distinctive stamp all

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Raspberry Redo

From simple to sublime


It is a grey, chilly Monday morning and no amount of Earl Grey tea will warm my soul. I’m trying to stay positive and think good thoughts about dark days, dead leaves and itchy sweaters, but it’s hard. The passing of summer and the imminence of winter months have gotten me down and, sadly, it’s only October.

I revert to my favorite method of surviving the cold: I bake. I do not hibernate, like a bear, although a long nap somewhere in the mountains sounds heavenly. I do not fly to Tahiti.

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On Stage

Halloween Preludes

Scaring up a good time

In Bellingham, Halloween isn’t just a one-night affair. Historically speaking, its residents love to celebrate spookiness throughout the entire month of October. To that end, I’d like to draw your attention to three events happening before the calendar hits Oct. 31.

Last Friday night, the early Hellingham show at the Upfront Theatre was sold out, so my friends and I had to repair to a nearby bar to wait for the late one. It wasn’t a big surprise that we were turned away; the event has become

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Accreted Terraine

An artist’s amusement park


Guest curator David Francis offers a cornucopia of delights in “Accreted Terraine,” the new exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Art. This theme challenged 42 artists to depict things that multiply or accumulate.

Many of the artists have backgrounds in the natural sciences and their work depicts data accumulation, such as Adele Caemmerer’s “Morning watch, 3 weeks Rickshaws and Green Buses.”  Some of the creations are lovely to look at, like Russell Prather’s “Loaf,” which glows

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Transition Time

Last call in the North Cascades

A majestic coda to summer’s music, autumn in the North Cascades is a resolving chord that is allowed to ring out like the concluding passage of a tone poem, settling the nerves and invigorating the adventurous spirit. Extinguishing the forest fires of summer and preparing us for the winter ahead.

But October is fading fast, my friends, and soon it will be November.

November is—despite what the calendar may say—winter. And we know what that means. So savor October while it’s here and urge

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Just Do It

Make a Difference Day


It’s apt that our Best of Bellingham issue is coming out during the same time frame that the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County is once again taking the lead in organizing its 22nd annual “Make a Difference Day.”

The Volunteer Center’s program director, Hollie Moe, says the late October event—which this year happens throughout the day on Sat., Oct. 25—always brings out the best in those living in our burg, but also points out that residents of Bellingham and Whatcom County can be counted

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John Wick

Man’s best friend

There are no good guys in John Wick, but there are some great actors working alongside Keanu Reeves in his darkest and most tormented role yet: a stunningly lethal contract killer who goes on a rampage after a Russian thug murders his dog. Yes, his dog. If you can stomach the setup, then the rest is pure revenge-movie gold, as Reeves reminds what a compelling action star he can be, while the guy who served as his stunt double in The Matrix makes a remarkably satisfying directorial debut,

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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.

Continue Reading »



Oct 25


Anything Goes: Stowaways, mistaken identity and hilarity will all make appearances when the Tony Award-winning musical Anything Goes concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Entry is $20. more »

Vietnam Plays at WWU: View two plays honoring the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War when Streamers and Piece of My Heart—works that explore the full spectrum of the Vietnam experience—have alternate-night showings from Oct. 23-Nov. 1 at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7-$12. more »

Zombie Asylum: A "Zombie Asylum" Haunted House will be open from 7-10pm nightly through Nov. 1 at the former Billy McHale's site at 4301 Guide Meridian. Entry is $15. more »

Scream Fair: Visit the annual haunted house known as "Scream Fair" from 6:30-10:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Henry Jansen Building at Lynden's Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, 1775 Front St. Entry is $10-$13, or $24 for a ticket that lets you skip the (typically long) line. The fright fest continues Oct. 30-31, as well as Sat., Nov. 1. more »

Gore & Lore Tours: Bellingham's scariest stories and real-life horrors can be experienced when the Good Time Girls host their infamous spooky "Gore & Lore" history tours at 6pm Friday and Saturday at the Bureau of Historical Investigation (217 W. Holly St.) and 6pm Friday at Sycamore Square (12th and Harris). Entry is $15. more »

Hellingham: Help figure out whodunnit when the perennially popular improvised murder mystery known as "Hellingham" returns to the stage for 8pm and 10pm shows every Friday and Saturday through October at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets to view the comedic carnage are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. more »

These Seven Sicknesses: Settle in to view These Seven Sicknesses this weekend at 6:30pm shows Friday and Saturday, and 3pm Sunday, at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Dubbed the theater's "greatest undertaking yet," the four-and-a-half hour play features performances of the seven remaining plays by ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. Tickets are $25 and include dinner and dessert. Additional performances happen through Nov. 2. more »

Hide & Seek: Kuntz and Company delves into the complexities of caring for the kids in our community at performances of Hide and Seek this weekend at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 5pm Sunday, at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. The dance and theater piece combines the talent of professional performers with the community members whose stories are being told. The show contains mature subject matter, and is not recommended for children. Tickets are $15. more »

Murder Mystery Fundraiser: Enjoy laughs, snacks, beverages and a chance to guess whodunnit when the Everson Library hosts its third annual murder mystery, The Case of the Malted Falcon, at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday, at the Hopewell Grange, 3440 Hopewell Rd. Tickets to the fundraiser are $10. more »

Skagit Community Band: "People, Places or Swing" will be the theme of Skagit Community Band performances at 7:30pm Friday at La Conner's Maple Hall and 3pm Sunday in Anacortes at Brodniak Hall. Tickets to each show are $10-$15. more »

Dracula at BAAY: Western Washington University graduate Danielle Grant directs the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth's production of Dracula at performances at 7pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the BAAY Theatre, 1056 N. State St. Tickets are $5-$10. 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 »

Photography Workshop: Professional photographer Mark Turner will host a "Five Steps to Better Pictures!" workshop from 8:30am-12pm at his studio at 4682 Wynn Rd. Entry is $65; please register in advance. more »

Run Wild Whatcom: Gnomes, costumes, running and family Halloween fun will be part of a "Run Wild Whatcom" fundraiser for Wild Whatcom starting with a Derby Dash Kids Run at 9am at Whatcom Falls Park. The main event kicks off at 10am. Entry is $10-$40. more »

Final Anacortes Farmers Market: Attend the final Anacortes Farmers Market of the season from 9am-2pm at the town's Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. (Although they're shutting down for the season, they will also host a Holiday Farmers Market from 10am-4pm Nov. 22-23 at the Anacortes Port Warehouse.) more »

Food Hub Conference: Learn more about pioneering direct relationships between farmers and buyers when the Northwest Agriculture Business Center hosts a "Food Hub Conference" from 9am-4:30pm at La Conner's Maple Hall, 104 Commercial St. Entry is $20. more »

Make a Difference Day: Bring friends and family along when you take part in the Whatcom Volunteer Center's annual "Make a Difference Day" event starting at 9am and continuing throughout the day in Whatcom County. More than 15 local nonprofits will organize 19 projects for more than 500 volunteers, so go to the website to find out what you can do to help—whether it's planting trees, helping seniors maintain their homes or making "thank you" cards for hospice volunteers. Sign up in advance. more »

Scottish Highland Dancing Competition: The Clan Heather Dancers will host their annual Scottish Highland Dancing Competition and celebrate their 40th anniversary from 9am-5pm at Whatcom Community College's Syre Center, 237 W. Kellogg Rd. Entry to view the dancers of many ages and abilities compete is $3-$6. more »

Scream & Scamper 5K: The Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County host a "Scream & Scamper 5K" starting at 9:30am at La Conner's Skate Park. Entry is $10 for kids and $40 for adults. In addition to the run, there'll also be costume contests, music, face painting and more. more »

Bike Coalition Work Party: Join the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition and REI for a Work Party from 9:30am-3pm at the top of Cleator Road on Chuckanut Mountain. This trail day will consist of trail maintenance along with cutting in some new re-routes on some of riders favorite trails. Sign up in advance. more »

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

Costume Sale: Come find the perfect Halloween getup at a Costume Sale taking place from 10am-2pm at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. Entry is free. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Attend the weekly Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm every Saturday through Dec. 20 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. more »

Harvest Festival: Arts, crafts, live music, children's activities, plant sales, cider pressing, and more will be part of an annual Harvest Festival happening from 10am-4pm at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St. Entry is free and open to the public. Costumes are encouraged. more »

Dia de los Muertos Family Activity Day: Art projects, face painting, entertainment and much more will be part of a "Family Activity Day: Dia de los Muertos" event happening from 10am-4pm at Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. All ages are welcome celebrate the Mexican festival that bring family and friends together to remember loved ones who have died. Entry is $3. more »

Kitchen Gifts: "Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen" will be the focus of a cooking class with Cindy McKinney from 11am-2pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Ginger pear jam, apple pie moonshine, quick bread in a bottle and more will be on the menu. Entry is $39. more »

Boneshaker Bicycle Festival: Choose from short (6.5K) to long (100K) routes as part of the annual Boneshaker Bicycle Festival and Metric Century ride starting at 9am at the La Conner Channel Lodge, 205 N. First St. From 11am-3pm there'll be music, entertainment, games, contests, Halloween bicycle art and true ghost story contests. Entry is $35-$75. more »

Fidalgo Youth Symphony: The Fidalgo Youth Symphony presents a Fall Concert at 1pm at Mount Vernon's McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $15. more »

Three Minus One: Wendy Colbert, Ashley Kimberly, Barbara Mulvey Little, and Abbie Smith share their stories from Three Minus One: Parents' Stories of Love and Loss at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The collection includes stories and artwork by parents who have lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage or neonatal death. more »

Art Chantry Q&A: One of the American underground's premier graphic artist-designers, Art Chantry, will lead a Q&A session focused on his work from 4-6pm at Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St. Chantry's gig posters are currently on display at the space. Entry is free. 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 »

Fundraising Square Dance: Lucas Hicks will do the calling at a fundraising Square Dance for Cascades Montessori School from 6:30-9pm at Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave. In addition to the dancing and music, there'll be homemade chili and cornbread, baked goods and more. Entry is $5 for students, $10 for adults or $25 per family. more »

FASA DInner: The Filipino American Student Association at WWU hosts its "As One Family: 20 Year's Strong" Heritage Dinner from 6:30-9:30pm at the Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Entry is $10 for students and $15 general. more »

Isaac the Fortunate: Author A. Ka reads from Isaac the Fortunate: The Autumn at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book details the exploits of Fernando, a Spanish peacekeeper, who finds his home city of Valencia ravaged by a plague of insanity. more »

Mt. Baker History Presentation: "The Grand Lady of Mt. Baker: History of the 1927 Mt. Baker Lodge" will be the focus of a presentation by historian and author Michael Impero at 7pm in Maple Falls at the North Fork Library, 7506 Kendall Rd. Entry is free; refreshments will be provided. more »

Contra Dance: Noisy Water Band will perform at the Bellingham Country Dance Society's bimonthly Contra Dance from 7-10:30pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. No experience is necessary, and no partner is needed. Entry is $6-$10. more »

NBT’s Dracula: Josh Deininger returns to take the lead role when Northwest Ballet presents its movement-focused version of Dracula at performances at 7:30pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets are $20-$34. more »

Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler): "Why Does Lemony Snicket Keep Following Me?" will be the focus of a presentation with bestselling author Daniel Handler—a.k.a. Lemony Snicket—at 7:30pm at Western Washington University's PAC Mainstage. Handler's new book, Shouldn't You Be in School?, will be available to purchase, and a book signing will follow the event. Entry is $20-$25. more »

Beautiful Bali: Ed Lowe and Pam Gould host a multimedia tour focused on "Bali, the Island of the Gods" at 7:30pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent Rd. The Friends of Island Library will also hold their annual meeting and serve refreshments at this event. Entry is free. more »

Coco Montoya: Guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya brings his considerable talents to Mount Vernon for a 7:30pm performance at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. Tickets to hear "the hottest southpaw in the blues" are $35. more »

Skagit Symphony Gala Concert: Get transported to places both familiar and imagined when Skagit Symphony's "Gala Concert" is presented at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon's McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Entry to the season kickoff concert is $20-$45. more »

All-Stars Comedy Nite: Rip Michaels, K-Dubb, and Kool Bubba Ice bring their headlining talents to the stage for full-length sets as part of an "All-Stars Comedy Nite" show happening from 7:30-11pm at the Grand Ballroom at the Lakeway Inn, 714 Lakeway Dr. Tickets to see the "hilarious, shocking, crowd-stunning comics from East and West" are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. more »

Salsa Night: Join Rumba Northwest for "Salsa Night" starting at 9pm every Saturday at Cafe Rumba, 1430 N. State St. After an introductory lesson, attendees can dance to the a mix of Latin rhythms, including salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha-cha, and more. Entry to the all-ages event is $4. more »

Fright Night with the Roller Betties: Join the derby girls known as the Bellingham Roller Betties for their annual "Fright Night" fundraiser and costume contest starting at 9pm at Rumors Cabaret, 1119 Railroad Ave. Entry is $4 with a costume and $5 without. more »

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