Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


LA 92

A cautionary tale

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Often, documentaries about historic events prompt the question, “Why now?” Sadly, that will never be asked about Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin’s searing LA 92, which arrives on the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots to address an America more conscious than ever of the problems between the country’s law-enforcement institutions and the black populations they are supposed to protect and serve. Unmediated by historians, journalists or any other interviewees and seething with…

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Skagit-Stack the Deck

Ruffled Feathers

Coping with a cooper’s hawk

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The mystery started when one of our free-range hens turned up dead behind our garden shed with a small puncture wound on her breast and half her feathers plucked out.

During our previous seven years of urban chicken ranching, the Lady of the House and I have scraped a few savagely mangled Rhode Island Reds off our lawn, but we’d never encountered a carcass so fully intact and relatively unblemished as this one.

“It looks like some sort of tiny surgeon poked a tiny scalpel into…

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Skagit-Stack the Deck

House Arrest

A Gentleman in Moscow

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Living one’s entire life in a posh hotel sounds like the ultimate dream—think of the precocious children’s book character, Eloise, who ran rampant at the Plaza in New York, or Coco Chanel at Hôtel Ritz Paris in the 1930s. 

But what if you weren’t there by choice, rather as an extended house arrest? Such is the case for Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a genteel aristocrat who is spared from a Bolshevik firing squad but forced to live out his days in the attic at the Hotel…

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Fungi Feasts

Mushrooms gone wild

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I typically hear from fungi enthusiast Erin Moore when the days have shortened, the nights have cooled and seasonal rain has come to the Pacific Northwest. That’s when the longtime Northwest Mushroomers Association member reaches out to remind me about the club’s annual Wild Mushroom Show, and when I respond by taking full advantage of her expertise.

This year, Moore suggested a focus on the edible elements of toadstools, and being someone who would willingly choose to eat creamed…

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Pioneer Museum

Bringing history into sharp focus

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If there’s one museum I love to get lost in, it’s the Lynden Pioneer Museum on the city’s Front Street.

The 28,000-square-foot space has an amazing series of exhibits that take visitors back in time and give them a glimpse of city life, the agricultural history of Lynden, modes of transportation and the lives of local pioneers.

My favorite exhibit is the re-creation of historic Front Street to the way it looked between 1885 and 1935. I could spend hours perusing the thoroughfare…

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On Stage


The fabric of our lives

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

She died 30 years ago, but I still have a couple of my mother’s cardigans hanging in the far corner of my closet—along with a blue silk bathrobe of my grandmother’s, a faded T-shirt I wore while traveling in Central America in 1997, and assorted other items of adornment I can’t bear to get rid of.

The memories I associate with each article of well-worn clothing are dear to me. And apparently, I’m not not alone in holding on to the past in this fashion. In “Threads,” Kuntz and…

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ICU Roof #2

Making a musical shift

It’s a rap revolution

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If you had told me when I began writing about music in this area all those years ago that the day would come when the surest way to sell out a show in Bellingham would be to book a hip-hop act, I might not have believed you.

Hip-hop? More popular than garage rock? More popular than bluegrass? In Bellingham?

I didn’t see it coming, but I’ll take it.

Although various forces have brought about this cultural and musical shift, the Wild Buffalo is currently at the forefront of the…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


It’s because of the zoning, I tell people as they roll their eyes and return to their burgers and brews. Sunnyland’s special zoning allows commerce to snuggle up near residences, and for businesses to operate inside—and out of—homes. That means artists can run their studios out of their shops, tinkerers can run their shops out of their studios. It means stores and restaurants are within easy walking distance of neighborhoods, and the whole has a vibrant feel.
On a broader scale, it is this connectedness that makes Bellingham work. But Sunnyland is a nucleus for this year’s best places, best nooks and hidey-holes, and best experiences as chosen by our readers.

This week we focus on the places and businesses that keep Bellingham vibrant. Next Wednesday, tune in for the best in food and drink, and the people who make living here worthwhile.

Compiled by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat

Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle

See all the winners »
The Gristle
A Creeping Paralysis

A CREEPING PARALYSIS: Senator Doug Ericksen followed Governor Jay Inslee on to the stage at Western Washington University last week. Inslee met with students on Wednesday to discuss climate change and the need for individuals and local and state leaders to take action. Ericksen followed on…

No on Jail

Proposition 2017-6 is a bad deal for Whatcom County.

Whatcom County’s proposed new jail in Ferndale will be the largest capital improvement project in Whatcom County history. In November 2015, voters rejected a .2 percent increase in the Jail Sales Tax to build that jail. The County…

Mt. Baker Theatre Undersea Bubble
Right skills for port

I support Barry Wenger as port commissioner.
Barry has the credentials and experience to balance the need for jobs with the critical need to support a healthy and sustainable environment. His…

Support Barry Wenger

We recently had the pleasure of  meeting Barry Wenger at a political function in order to hear more about his reasons for running for the Port Commissioner District 2 position. We were…

Compassionate voice for schools

Jenn Mason is running for school board and she deserves your vote.
Having worked in all district schools as a community educator, she has seen firsthand the importance of working toward…

Today's Events
MVHS Fall Concert


More than 200 talented Mount Vernon High School students will perform at a Fall Concert at 4pm and 7pm at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. The diverse performance will feature musical…

Book Group Mixers


Drinks, cheese, discussion and much mirth and merriment will be part of Book Group Mixers taking place at 5:30pm Wednesday at Drizzle (next to Lynden’s Village Books at 430 Front St.) and…

Group Run


All levels of experience are welcome at a weekly Group Run beginning at 6pm in Mount Vernon at the Skagit Running Company, 702 First St. The 3- to 6-mile run is great for beginners or for…

Life of the Arctic Polar Bear


Wildlife biologist David Drummond focuses on “Life of the Arctic Polar Bear” at a multimedia presentation from 6:30-8:30pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Drummond will draw…

Creekside Open Mic


Sign up to read your poetry and prose or play music—or simply listen in—at a Creekside Open Mic starting at 6:30pm at Sudden Valley’s South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court, Gate 2.…

Anyone for Stew?


Leslie Collings will focus on Mexican pozole with roasted sweet peppers and poblano pepper tostada salad at an “Anyone for Stew?” course from 6:30-8:30pm at Gretchen’s Kitchen, 509 S. First…

Seasonal Beers


Coco Ryan will focus on “Beers of Fall and Winter” from 6:30-8pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Ryan will cover some of the history behind fall and winter beers, along…

Birds and Plants


Join the Washington Native Plant Society for a “Birds and Plants” presentation from 7-9pm at the event room at the RE Store, 2309 Meridian St. Evolutionary biologist Dennis Paulson will talk…

Thriving in the Middle


Mike Cook, a former Human Resource professional for Standard Oil of California, shares ideas from Thriving in the Middle: How the Best Managers Create Mutual Success, at 7pm at Village Books,…

Jeremy Kahn Quartet


Noted pianist Jeremy Kahn will be joined by Mike Allen (tenor sax), Julian MacDonough (drums), and Michael Glynn (bass) for a Whatcom Jazz Music Art Center concert from 7-9pm at the Sylvia…

Scottish Dancing


Join the Bellingham Scottish Country Dancers to learn about the social dancing of Scotland from 7:30-9:30pm every Wednesday through May at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. No partner is…

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