Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Election Reflections

‘Perfect storm’ hits district deemed safe for GOP

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Some Said it couldn’t be done.

A Democrat can’t win Washington state’s 42nd Legislative District, which consists of Whatcom County but carves out the county’s southwest corner, from State Street in south Bellingham to South Fork Valley. No Democrat had won there since Kelli Linville in 2008, and the part of Bellingham that is inside the 42nd shrunk after the 2010 census.

Recent history has shown the conservative rural vote will overwhelm the liberal urban vote in a district…

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Snow School

Where science meets winter

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I love the anticipation of winter—the ski-film fests, the patrol fundraisers, the dusting of snow on ridges. But at this moment, hoping for snow so I can ski powder seems pretty darn trivial. Luckily, something more meaningful is behind that wish.

Mt. Baker Snow School is where powder day perma-grin and “we can make a difference” warm fuzzies intersect. We don’t have control over freezing levels, precipitation amounts or high-pressure systems, but we can effect change in…

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Welcome to the 20th century

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We live in a time when all past artistic styles are relevant and flourish. In two Skagit Valley galleries through November, the spirit of 20th century abstraction lives on in the work of the late Joseph Goldberg, of Harrington, Washington, and Amy Carson of La Conner.

Goldberg’s work at i.e. gallery in Edison reveals the joy and sadness of this secretive artist, who was important enough to have been memorialized in a University of Washington monograph, Joseph Goldberg, Jeweled…

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Fall Fare

A Thanksgiving test run

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Every fall, I wait until the temperatures drop before heading to the Bellingham Farmers Market to purchase locally grown garlic for planting purposes.

After waking up to a light frost last Saturday morning, I knew the time had come, and made my way to the Depot Market Square to suss out the offerings. Once again, the wide variety of produce at Rabbit Fields Farm’s booth won my heart, and I soon secured two-plus pounds of Spanish Roja, a hardneck variety of heirloom garlic I’ve grown…

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On Stage

Standup Stars

Seattle International Comedy Competition

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By the time the 10 semifinalists taking part in the 39th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition make their way to the area for a Sat., Nov. 17 show at the Mount Baker Theatre, they’ll have already shown they have what it takes to rise to the top of the comedic crop.

From the first round of preliminaries that took place Thurs., Nov. 2 at Seattle’s Unexpected Productions until the final show Sun., Nov. 25 at the Comedy Underground, the 32 performers who made the initial cut…

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Pedro the Lion

You can go home again

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

David Bazan has always been a conflicted man.

The Seattle songwriter has made a name for himself by laying his soul bare, detailing his struggles with religion, capitalism, love, booze, existential doubt and his place in the world—among other things. He’s performed this intense public examination for all of his musical life. We first came to know him and his brand of self-confessional angst as the leader of Pedro the Lion, then when he decided to sunset that band in 2006, Bazan went…

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Crossword Clues

The clues to this week’s crossword puzzle

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By error, the wrong clues were attached to this week’s crossword puzzle. We regret the error.

“Free Reign”—another freestyle for everyone.
Matt Jones

1 Competition with bonus questions
9 “Let’s do this!”
14 Buster’s stance, maybe
16 MacGowan of the Pogues
17 “Animal” band whose name was inspired by In-N-Out Burger signage
18 Staves (off)
19 Word after fake or spray
20 “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Ferrer
21 Mid-sized string ensemble
22 “... so long ___ both shall live”
24 ___…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Divisions Between Us

THE DIVISIONS BETWEEN US: With margins continuing to narrow and automatic recounts in last week’s election assured as supporters for all candidates chase remaining ballots that were unsigned or improperly submitted or otherwise spoiled, the takeaway lesson for Whatcom County is (once…

Amy Goodman
Making election firsts last

“Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and dreamer who helped make this movement happen,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to the ecstatic crowd that packed the election night party celebrating her victorious run for Congress.…

Seattle Comedy
Contemplating end of life

My husband and I are retired healthcare workers who are always open to new ideas and new perspectives on this great adventure of living and dying. Because of that curiosity, I was pleased…

A matter of life and death

La Crosse, Wisconsin, is the healthcare advance directives capital of the world. That’s a verifiable fact.
Advance directives lay out and document wishes for end-of-life care, and designate…

Direct instruction defines basic education

Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute defines direct instruction (or basic education) simply as “just plain teaching” when one studies current methods of teaching in public schools here…

Village Books
Today's Events
Home for the Holidays


Handmade items crafted in the Pacific Northwest by talented artisans, home decor, gourmet foods and more can be found at the 37th annual “Home for the Holidays” event from 5-9pm Thursday,…

You Can't Take It With You


Bellingham High School Drama Club presents Hart and Kaufman’s heartwarming classic, You Can’t Take It with You, at 7pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7pm Saturday at the school’s…

9 to 5, the Musical


Come see three strong and dedicated women of character turn their lives—and everybody’s elses’s—around for the better when Squalicum High School Drama presents performances of 9 to 5,…

Seven Supermans


Sean Walbeck directs Whatcom Community College students in performances of Rinne Groff’s Seven Supermans— a spoof of the movies Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven—at 7:30pm Thursday…

Waiting for Godot


Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece of existentialism, Waiting for Godot, concludes this week with showings at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St.…

Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 39th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” starting this week and continuing from…

Romeo and Juliet


View a reimagined Shakespearean classic when Romeo and Juliet concludes this weekend with shows at 7pm Friday and 2pm Saturday at the Sehome High School Little Theatre, 2700 Bill McDonald…

A Chorus Line


Skagit Valley College’s Drama Department kicks off its season with showings of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Chorus Line at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday in Mount Vernon…

Secret Agents, LOL-apalooza


Improvisation and spy-related adventures can be experienced at showings of “Double Uh-Oh Seven” at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 9:30pm, stick around for…

A Chorus Line


Skagit Valley College’s Drama Department kicks off its season with showings of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Chorus Line at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday in Mount Vernon…

Pancake Breakfast


Choose from pancakes, French toast or biscuits and gravy at a Pancake Breakfast taking place from 8-11am at the Ferndale Senior Center, 1999 Cherry St. Entry is $2.50 for kids and $6 for…

Gardenview Montessori Holiday Bazaar


Offerings by local artist and craft vendors, a silent auction, a bake sale and activities for kids will be part of the 12th annual Holiday Bazaar happening from 9am-3pm at Gardenview…

Turkey Trot with GBRC


Join the Greater Bellingham Running Club for its annual “Turkey Trot” starting at 9am at Squalicum Creek Park, 1001 Squalicum Way. Entry to the 5K run and walk is $5-$30; 100 percent of the…

NSEA Work Party


Remove invasive vegetation with NSEA and City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation at a Work Party taking place from 9am-12pm along Willow Creek. Parking will be available at Squalicum Creek…

Christmas in the Woods Open House


Attend a “Christmas in the Woods” Open House from 9am-4pm at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. The garden will be decorated for winter with evergreens, holiday gifts and plenty of…

South Fork Winterfest


Check out arts and crafts from local artisans, partake of refreshments and enjoy holiday fun for the entire family at the South Fork Winterfest happening from 10am-4pm in Deming at the Van…

Holiday at the Port Farmers Market


Anacortes Farmers Market hosts its annual “Holiday at the Port” Market from 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday at the Port Transit Shed, 100 Commercial St. The event will feature two days of fresh…

Stuff the Trunk


From 10am-2pm, representatives from Meals on Wheels and More and Dewey Griffin Subaru will be at the Barkley, Fairhaven, Ferndale, Meridian, and Sehome Haggen stores for a “Stuff the Trunk”…

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show


Paintings, pottery, glass art, photography, jewelry, fine crafts, weaving, woodwork and much more will be available for perusal and purchase at the Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show from…

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…

Poetry Workshops


As part of a fundraiser for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, Jane Wong will teach “Revisiting the Ode” from 10am-12pm at Mindport Exhibits, 210 W. Holly St. From 1-3pm, Bruce Beasley will…

Anything Goes Arts and Crafts


Bring your own project to work on—and maybe teach others your skill—or work on a craft selected by library staff at an “Anything Goes Arts and Crafts” gathering from 10:30-11:30am at the…

Wine and Shop Weekend


Enjoy a glass of wine, peruse the fare of various vendors and find the perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer at a “Wine and Shop Weekend” happening from 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday in…

Gnocchi Class


Culinary wizard Suzanne Butler will focus on “Gnocchi: A Delicious Winter Meal” at a workshop happening from 11am-12pm in Mount Vernon at Christianson’s Nursery, 15806 Best Rd. Butler will…

Needle Felting Workshop


Skagit County Historical Museum hosts a “Needle Felting” workshop with Amy Green from 1-5pm in Mount Vernon at the Skagit City School, 17508 Moore Rd. Attendees will create a bird or small…

Coffee and Conversation with Surge Artists


Have coffee and chat with some of the artists and scientists who contributed to the “Surge” exhibit from 1:30-3pm at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art, 121 First St. There will be…

Fishboy Holiday Show


Peruse new and classic works by folk artist R.R. Clark, sip wine and get started on your seasonal shopping at a FishBoy Holiday Show taking place from 2-9pm at FishBoy Gallery, 617 Virginia…

A Local Treasure


The North Cascades Audubon Society (NCAS) will speak about the lives of eagles, how to observe these majestic birds without disturbing them, and eagle-watching field trips to take this winter…

Beatles Sing-Along and Jam


Wear your favorite Sergeant Pepper regalia and bring your voices, guitars and even ukuleles to a Beatles Sing-Along and Jam taking place from 2-5pm at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship,…

Pacific NW Insects


Merrill A. Peterson, Professor and Chair of Biology and Insect Collection Curator at Western Washington University, shares his book Pacific NW Insects at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St.…

Skagit Wine & Beer Festival


The Skagit Wine & Beer Festival happens from 4-8pm in Mount Vernon at the Eaglemont Golf Club, 4800 Eaglemont Dr. Visitors can sample wine, beer and spirits from area purveyors, as well as…

Last Call Group Reading


James Bertolino will emcee a group reading of works from Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine, & Spirits Poetry at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Poets Jeanne Yeasting, Richard…

Contra Dance


Buddy System will provide live music when the Bellingham Old-Time Country Dance Society hosts a special Contra Dance from 7-10:30pm at the Sacred Heart Social Hall, 1110 14th St. George…

A Light in the Darkness


The Western Washington University Concert Choir performs at annual “A Light in the Darkness: Songs of Hope and Comfort” at 7pm at the Church of the Assumption, 2116 Cornwall Ave. The concert…



More than two dozen virtuosos in traditional and contemporary fiddle music from across the United States and Europe will perform at a Childsplay concert at 8pm in Mount Vernon at the Lincoln…

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