This Week's Cover


Meet the Beast

It rises 355 feet high, like a football field stood on end that keeps going. From front to back its sprawling platform spans 400 feet, held up by eight giant iron legs, four to a side, thicker than bridge supports. A white derrick rises from the middle like an elongated eye; or a raised middle finger. With a little imagination, it could be an erector-set nightmare created by a comic book villain, or an oversized “transformer” character.

It’s an arctic drilling rig, which its operators,

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This Week

The Gristle

Double-Jointed, Still Clumsy

DOUBLE-JOINTED, STILL CLUMSY: Bellingham City Council sat through two joint meetings with other governmental entities last week. The first convened the annual meeting of the Joint Councils responsible for the Lake Whatcom Cooperative Management Program to update the work plan for the reservoir and watershed through the end of this decade. The second convened a smaller subset of City Council, its planning committee, who met with appointed members of the Bellingham Planning Commission to

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Adventures Festival

Music at the margins

It is very easy to tout both the quality and quantity of music to be found in Bellingham—indeed, I do it often, and I’m far from the only one. How nice then, that our bragging is backed up by the hard fact that, most nights a week, a stroll from stem to stern can involve encountering a variety of music disparate enough to only be united by geography.

That said, while Bellingham’s prevalent genres might differ from each other, sometimes wildly, there are not as many of them in regular

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Meet the Beast

Activists raft up to protest Shell oil rigs


It rises 355 feet high, like a football field stood on end that keeps going. From front to back its sprawling platform spans 400 feet, held up by eight giant iron legs, four to a side, thicker than bridge supports. A white derrick rises from the middle like an elongated eye; or a raised middle finger. With a little imagination, it could be an erector-set nightmare created by a comic book villain, or an oversized “transformer” character.

It’s an arctic drilling rig, which its operators,

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Sea Lion Safari

Majestic mammals make a comeback


We’re just a half-hour boat ride from Steveston Harbor in Richmond, BC when we see the first few 750-pound California sea lions basking languidly on the breakwater boulders of the Fraser River’s South Arm.

The mammals spread their gleaming bodies over the rocks, fully engaged in repose and utterly unperturbed that our boat is idling just 25 feet away from them.

“They may look like they’re sunning themselves,” Captain Bruce Livingston, owner of Steveston EcoTours, says. “But

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Bellweather Rhapsody

Moonrise Kingdom meets The Shining


A friend from book club recently remarked that most of the books we have read in the past year have some sort of plot line involving World War II, so when someone suggested we read Bellweather Rhapsody—a book about child prodigies attending a music camp in a ramshackle hotel in the Catskills—we quickly latched onto it. 

Author Kate Racculia did not disappoint, with a zany, odd, highly entertaining tale that comes across as a written equivalent of a Wes Anderson movie—think Moonrise

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On Stage

Sir Edwards Tourney

Getting medieval in the modern age


By day, Ravyn Schmidt runs a small graphic design business with her husband, gardens and occasionally rescues reptiles.

In her off time, however, Schmidt can often be found taking on the persona of Jadwiga Radomyskowa, a lesser noble living in Rodom, Poland in the year 1569.

Among other things, Radomyskowa is married to a Hussar (a cavalry soldier) and enjoys reading, painting and running her husband’s village when he’s off at war.

As members of the Whatcom County chapter of the Society

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Say Yes to the Dress

Not your average wedding wear


In the span of time that many spring brides have been freaking out about finding the perfect wedding dress and planning their upcoming nuptials, 30 teams of fabric artists have been hard at work doing something a little different with the white gowns that typically hearken a walk down the aisle.

While the finished products for the “Upcycle Challenge: Transform a Wedding Dress” are being kept under wraps until a Red Carpet “Show-Off” taking place Fri., May 1 at Ragfinery, organizers say those

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Going Greene

Slices, storms and sustainability


He Said: When the lady of the house asked me to drive her to Greene’s Corner, she was in luck. Having frequented the establishment for coffee, beer and/or pizza slices on numerous occasions during my brief but illustrious stint as sports/education reporter for the Ferndale Record-Journal a few moons back, I knew exactly how to get there.

“No problemo,” I exclaimed as I fired up the jalopy. “It’s a straight shot up Northwest Avenue to the intersection of West Smith Road, just

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

2015, meet your box-office god


Three years after saving New York from an alien apocalypse, Marvel’s superhero all-stars once again find the weight of the world—or, at least, an airborne chunk of Eastern Europe—thrust upon their mighty shoulders in Avengers: Age of Ultron, a super-sized spandex soap opera that’s heavy on catastrophic action but surprisingly light on its feet, and rich in the human-scale emotion that can cut even a raging Hulk down to size. Having gotten over the hump of assembling his six main characters

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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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May 03


Sound Culture Festival: Adventurous music, sound art and intermedia will be part of the Sound Culture Festival happening Thursday through Sunday on the campus of Western Washington University and in downtown Bellingham. Evening concerts, lectures, presentations and gallery pieces will explore experimental strains of pop, ambient, noise, and hybrid genres; as well as multiple aesthetics of electroacoustic, modern classical and free improvisation. Festival passes are $20; single tickets are also available. See the full more »

The Foreigner: Larry Shue's The Foreigner concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The comedy takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia and focuses on a man who overhears more than he should after being falsely identified as a French man who speaks no English. Tickets are $8-$14. more »

Spring Rep: A Spring Rep series continues this week with showings of Broken Holmes and In a Handbag Darkly at 7:30pm Thursday and Saturday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The lineup also includes a May Day Cocktail Party and season unveiling at 7pm Friday, and performances of The Glasses at 9:30pm Saturday and 7:30pm Sunday. Tickets for the plays are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The May 1 event is $25 and includes short previews of upcoming shows and appetizers and drinks. more »

Skagit Valley Chorale: "Celebrating in Song: Spring Dawning" will be focus of the Skagit Valley Chorale's performances at 7:30pm Friday and 2pm Sunday at Mount Vernon's McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Fidalgo Danceworks will join the chorale for part of the performance. Tickets are $16-$25. more »

Skagit Community Band: "Artistry in Rhythm" performances by the Skagit Community Band take place at 7:30pm Friday at La Conner's Maple Hall, and 3pm Sunday in Anacortes at Brodniak Hall. Admission is $10-$15 per person or $30 per family. more »

Plant and Book Sale: Help support library programming by attending a Spring Plant and Book Sale Ferndale Library from 10am-5pm Saturday and 1-4pm Sunday at the Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. more »

Rare Plant Sale: A wide variety of rare, reasonably priced perennials, trees and shrubs can be found at an annual Spring Rare Plant Benefit Sale taking place from 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday at Bob Bornter and Larry Straka's home in Ferndale at 1685 Grandview Place. Proceeds will benefit the Community Empowerment Network. more »

FAIRHAVEN RIDE: Meet up with folks from Fairhaven Bike & Ski for a weekly race-pace ride at 8am at the Fairhaven Village Green. more »

Community Breakfast: Registered dietician and nutritionist Lisa Samuel will focus on "Eating with Mindfulness" at a class from 6:30-8:30pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Applying mindful eating to your daily life can have a profound effect on your digestion, your health and your relationship with food. A light meal will be served. Please indicate any food allergies when you register. Entry is $20. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mt. Baker Bike Club for the weekly “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8:30am at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route sees riders heading down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. more »

The Cantrells: Original folk music and bluegrass can be heard when the Cantrells return to Bellingham for a 2pm concert at Nancy's Farm, 2030 E. Smith Rd. Suggested donation is $15. more »

Singing and Swinging: Greta Matassa will join the Whatcom Sound Jazz Singers and other area performers for a "Singing & Swinging" concert at 2pm at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Entry is $15 in advance or at the door. more »

Bellingham Community Chorus: Timothy M. Black will make his debut as the Bellingham Community Chorus conductor and artistic director at a Spring Concert at 3pm at Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave. Jazz, spirituals and the music of Appalachia can be heard. Entry is by donation. more »

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra: Superstar cellist Johannes Moser joins the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra for a 3pm concert at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. A pre-concert lecture by Dr. Ed Rutschman will take place one hour prior to the concert. Tickets are $13-$39. more »

Photographic Journeys: Guidebook authors Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring share slides and stories from Washington: A Photographic Journey at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book of images is dedicated to celebrating the diversity and beauty of the entire state, and includes a plethora of recreational opportunities. more »

Bells of the Sound: Puget Sound's premier handbell ensemble, Bells of the Sound," present a "Reverberations" concert at 5pm at Bellingham's First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave. Suggested donation is $8-$10. more »

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