Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Mary and Joseph

Immaculate conception is pretty cool—unless you don’t believe in God, have never wanted to give birth to a baby, and have a sweet-but-stoned fiance who’d rather take bong hits on the floor with you than shop for furniture for your shared apartment.

Such is the case with Tim Greger’s Mary and Joseph…A Bible Story currently playing at the iDiOM Theater.

But, despite the reticence of the titular couple to embark on their own Christmas miracle, don’t go thinking that this modern-day take on

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This Week

The Gristle

Divergent Streams

DIVERGENT STREAMS: A ship broke loose from its mooring along Whatcom Waterway last week but grounded in shallows before it could swing far. It’s a sham ship, mothballed here as a dodge of arcane U.S. maritime restrictions, parked along a sham pier generating rents in the illusion of a working waterfront. Briefly it became a shipwreck piled against an even bigger shipwreck—the Port of Bellingham’s plan for the central waterfront.

Port commissioners earlier this month authorized $216,333

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News

Mi Casa

Bellingham approves a rental safety program

Details remain, but Bellingham City Council made history this week, unanimously approving a program intended to ensure the health and safety of the city’s rental housing supply, an effort more than 16 years in the making. The program is intended to make sure rental housing in Bellingham meets minimum health and fire safety standards.

Designed in two parts intended to complement each other, the rental registration and inspection program will attempt to register and catalogue thousands of

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Film

The Hobbit

The Battle of the Five Armies

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After six films, 13 years and 1,031 minutes of accumulated running time (far more if you count the extended versions), Peter Jackson has concluded his massively remunerative genuflection at the altar of J.R.R. Tolkien with a film that may be the most purely entertaining of any in the collection (tellingly, it is also, by far, the shortest of the sextet).

Much as The Return of the King wrapped up the Lord of the Rings saga on an action-dominated high note, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five

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Film

Annie

One unlovable orphan

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Think you’ve got a hard-knock life?

Try sitting through the new Annie.

A rewritten, re-orchestrated but far from revitalized version of the old Broadway musical, this latest edition moves it out of the Depression and into a modern, tech-driven New York.

That’s a big change but not necessarily a bad one. Since the script starts off in a classroom, with Annie summing up the idea of the New Deal as “work hard and get rich,” perhaps the less this movie tries to deal with the Roosevelt

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Food

Warmed by Wassail

Making spirits bright

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I’m sitting next to our Christmas tree—a Noble fir covered with 700 tiny lights and taller than my 6-foot husband. Heavily laden with sequined ornaments made by tiny hands, draped with strands of fake jewels and wooden cranberries, dotted with dried orange slices and shimmering bows, the tree has become a visual archive of our family’s history. It holds remembrances of people we have loved and places we have lived.

I find that each branch holds a symbol of the deeper meaning in my life

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Words

The Round House

Mystery on the reservation

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Cold nights cry out for spellbinding books that captivate readers and take their minds off the weather howling outdoors. 

Louise Erdrich, one of our country’s master storytellers, delivers just such a tale with The Round House. If you missed it when it won the National Book Award a few years back, now’s the time to pick up a copy at your local library and settle in for some rewarding reading.

The novel begins on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota in 1988. Geraldine Coutts, a tribal

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On Stage

Mary and Joseph

Oh little town of Bellingham

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Immaculate conception is pretty cool—unless you don’t believe in God, have never wanted to give birth to a baby, and have a sweet-but-stoned fiance who’d rather take bong hits on the floor with you than shop for furniture for your shared apartment.

Such is the case with Tim Greger’s Mary and Joseph…A Bible Story currently playing at the iDiOM Theater.

But, despite the reticence of the titular couple to embark on their own Christmas miracle, don’t go thinking that this modern-day take on

Continue Reading »

Outdoors

Solstice Burn

Stoking the flames of winter

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I’ve lit a lot of things on fire in my backyard.

Years ago, for example, I had a group of female friends who would gather under the light of the full moon every month to engage in a fire-fueled cleansing ritual.

On small scraps of paper, we’d write about the things we wanted to let go of—everything from petty grudges against our fellow humans to self-pity about the paths we’d not taken in life, to anger against men or women who’d done us wrong—read them aloud (if we chose to), put a

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In the Moment

Seeing the world in black and white

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A profusion of ferns seems to grow out of a trio of stone and iron trestles under a dark and mossy bridge, making the scene one the Three Billy Goats Gruff would be hesitant to enter into lest they encounter a sinister, hungry troll.

A closer look at the black-and-white image, however, reveals that the scene looks decidedly more familiar than fearsome. In fact, says photographer Shawn Pagels, it’s a scene he shot within the Bellingham city limits.

“Some people have lived here all their

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Music

Bellingham Folk Festival

The beginning of something big

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We like to think of our music community as a unique entity—which, in some ways, it is—but it shares some commonalities with music scenes both near and far, one of which is in the underrepresentation of women. Without getting all political about it, this scarcity of ladies is problematic in the same way that not having viable all-ages venues or gritty rock bars or open mic nights are problematic: weakness in one part of the community limits the strength of it as a whole.

While what you see

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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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Today

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Dec 19

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Allied Arts Holiday Festival: The annual Allied Arts Holiday Festival takes place for the final week from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Tuesday, and 10am-3pm Wed., Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) at 4145 Meridian St. (near Park Bowl). The works of more than 100 local artisans and craftspeople can be perused and purchased at the festival. more »

Bob’s Your Elf: Comedy and the holidays combine when Bob's Your Elf concludes this weekend with 7:30pm shows Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The play focuses on an elf who's been banned from the North Pole and is ordered by Santa to learn a lesson or two about cooperating by others—via helping out a small town with the production of their annual Christmas pageant. Tickets are $18. more »

Christmas Capers and Carols: The Whidbey Playhouse's youth theater troupe, the Would Be Players, presents "Christmas Capers and Carols" at 7pm Thursday and 2pm and 7pm Saturday at the Star Studio at the Whidbey Island locale at 730 SE Midway Blvd. Audiences will see what happens when Santa loses his Naughty and Nice List, listen to traditional carols, witness some dance and witness a production of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas go wrong. Tickets are $5 for kids and $10 for adults. more »

Mary and Joseph: Playwright Tim Greger's Serial Killers-winning play, Mary and Joseph: A Bible Story, returns as a full-length production continuing this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The show features a modern take on the trials and tribulations of one young couple's unplanned immaculate conception. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. more »

Deck the [Old City] Hall: Shop, sing, see Santa, enjoy dozens of decorated trees and enter to win a special "decked out' tree for your home at part of "Deck the [Old City] Hall" from 12-5pm every Thursday through Sunday through Dec. 28 at Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Entry is free with museum admission. more »

Saving Christmas Town: Watch elves defend their territory from the "naughty and ominous" characters of Oogie Boogie Land at the Dance Studio's third annual performances of Saving Christmas Town at 7pm Thursday through Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $12 in advance at the Dance Studio or at the door. more »

Bellingham Folk Festival: Anna Schaad, Brian Bowers, Laurel Bliss, Clyde Curley, Coty Hogue, Kat Bula, Geof Morgan, Richard Scholtz, Lucas Hicks, Flip Breskin, Jenny Rose, Aaron Guest, Cayley Schmid, Jeff Lefferts, Melanie Flink, Norah McLaughlin, the Gallus Brothers, and Rattletrap Ruckus will be among the performers and instructors taking part in the Bellingham Folk Festival from 7-9pm Friday and 10am-9pm Saturday at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St. Prices vary for concerts and workshops. more »

Home for the Holidays: The seasonal "Home for the Holidays" show can be seen at 8pm and 10pm every Friday and Saturday through December at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. The improvised hilarity will focus on three characters and their arrival home for holiday get-togethers. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. more »

Wild Things: Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom Walks for "Wild Things" excursions from 9:30-11am every Friday in December at the Connelly Creek Nature Area in the Happy Valley neighborhood. A frequently traveled corridor for wildlife of all kinds, this trail winds through surprisingly diverse and mature tree stands. Entry is by donation. more »

Pacific Arts Market: Several dozen well-known local artists and crafters will show and sell a variety of work—including jewelry, fine art, photography, textiles, clothing, bath and body, specialty foods, home decor, paper crafts and much more—at the 18th annual Pacific Arts Market for the final weekend from 10am-6pm Friday through Sunday at Sunset Square, 1125 E. Sunset Dr. Live music and artist demos will happen throughout the weekend. Admission is free. more »

VIGIL FOR PEACE: Join the longest-running Peace Vigil in the country—48 years and counting—from 4-5pm every Friday afternoon at the corners of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. more »

Family Story Night: Professional tale-tellers from the Bellingham Storytellers Guild will provide an hour of coaching and an introduction to the craft at 6pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. At 7pm, Family Story Night will commence. Both all-ages events are free. more »

Christmas Concert: Songs from the "Messiah" and other traditional holiday favorites can be heard at Shelter Bay Chorus Christmas concerts at 7:30pm Friday and 3pm Saturday in La Conner at the Shelter Bay Clubhouse, 1000 Shoshone Dr. Suggested donation is $10 at the door. more »

Noel Christmas Concert: Harps, strings, flute and percussion will join in when the Noel Harp Ensemble presents its annual "Noel: The Magic of Christmas in Concert" performance at 7:30pm at Lynden's Third Christian Reformed Church, 514 Liberty St. Tickets are $15-$20. more »

Dance Party: A mix of swing, Latin and ballroom will be highlighted and danced to with an introductory lesson at the weekly Friday Night Dance Party from 7:30-10pm at the Bellingham Dance Company, 1705 N. State St. Admission is $5-$7. more »

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