Alan Rhodes

Can We Talk?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Despite my reputation as an easygoing, cheerful optimist, I worry all the time. For example:

Emerald City Exodus. O.K., Seattle, I’ve read the data and know that a lot of you are moving to Bellingham. Who can blame you? If I lived in Seattle, I too would want to flee Amazon, million-dollar starter homes, motionless traffic, and Kshama Sawant. But you can’t all come up here or we’ll end up looking like the place you left. If you feel you have to come this way, spread yourselves out. Blaine is nice if you want to be on the water. Ferndale has a nostalgic small-town ambiance. Even the name sounds right. Another place with small- town character is Lynden, which is also a good choice if you have a fondness for cows. Sumas is a wise location if you want to be prepared for a quick escape across the border in case Trump completely flips out and starts lobbing missiles at Iran, California, CNN, and Robert Mueller.

By the way, if you hate Seattle because of its progressive orientation, you won’t like Bellingham either. Fear not. If you’re a paramilitary, white supremacist, survivalist, you can find your bros and their arsenals nestled about in the secluded recesses of rural Whatcom County.

Growing Pains. While we’re on the subject of extortionist housing prices, I recently read that Whatcom County real estate is appreciating so fast that we’re number 18 out of 245 U.S. metro areas for accelerating home prices. This might be good news if you’re selling your Edgemoor megahome and downsizing in rural Mississippi. It’s not so great for those folks seeking affordable digs in Bellingham. We need to become undesirable. It’s time for me to reactivate the organization I started years ago, Lesser Bellingham, a movement devoted to municipal shrinkage. I think I liked it here better when we were a working-class mill town and Fairhaven was a rough-edged, low-rent Bohemian enclave. On my crabbier days I find myself growing nostalgic for the smell of Georgia-Pacific. Maybe we could just recreate the odor and pipe it out over the town to discourage Seattleites who drive up here to check the place out.

What Have I Done? Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican congressman, recently enlightened an otherwise ignorant public on why the world’s oceans are rising. Climate change? Au contraire. Mo theorized that the problem is caused by rocks falling into the sea. Oh my God! For years now I’ve been nonchalantly skipping stones into Bellingham Bay. I could have flooded the entire waterfront redevelopment project!

Incidentally, Mo serves on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. I suspect this is not the sort of outcome that the republic’s founders had in mind when they envisioned a nation in which well-informed citizens would elect enlightened individuals to represent them.

Safe Spaces. I was happy to see the city is spiffing up Maritime Heritage Park (aka the Needle Depository). This little stretch of urban verdancy has been largely abandoned by families who see it as shabby, disreputable and dangerous. The city will improve facilities, install some oversized games, increase police presence and offer evening entertainment. These are swell ideas, especially the entertainment, as long as it doesn’t involve clowns. Clowns are creepy. They are way scarier than anyone I’ve ever seen in the park.

While all this cosmetic park upgrading is a dandy idea, I wonder if anyone at City Hall noticed it doesn’t actually do anything about the issues responsible for the park’s deterioration: homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse.

Inside Job. There was an interesting article in this very newspaper last month about Stoney Bird’s candidacy for the U.S. congressional seat currently held by Rick Larsen. Stoney, you have some terrific ideas on the environment, sustainability and curbing corporate power, but maybe it wasn’t a good idea to advance a theory that the twin towers did not fall because airplanes flew into them, but because of “controlled demolition.” I know from personal experience how an unusual theory can turn a narrow—minded public against you. I’ll never get over the time I sabotaged my campaign for Cleveland water commissioner by publicly speculating that Elvis was the second shooter in the JFK assassination. I guess there was also a problem because I’ve never lived in Cleveland.

Etc. I’m now stewing and fretting because I only had space to cover 5 of my top 50 worries this week.

Past Columns
A Second Spring

October 3, 2018

Dog Days Deliberations

September 12, 2018

Mr. Cranky’s Files

July 11, 2018

Midnight Musings

May 16, 2018

April Fools

April 4, 2018

Rollo and Me

March 7, 2018

Egregious linguistic offenses

February 14, 2018

Sharing Beauty

December 13, 2017

Subdued City Shakespeare

October 25, 2017

Events
Today
Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit County

Free Appliance Pickup

9:00am| Bellingham and Ferndale

Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Hattie Strother Chapter 1514 Meeting

12:30pm|Pickett House Museum

Teen Tech Tutors

4:00pm|Burlington Public Library

Home for the Holidays

5:00pm|Ferndale Events Center

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Pub Run

6:00pm|Illuminati Brewing

Bistro Classics

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

An Evening with Anne Lamott

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

You Can't Take It With You

7:00pm|BHS Performing Arts Center

Bhutan Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

An evening with Anne Lamott

7:00pm

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

The Devil's Slide

7:00pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

9 to 5, the Musical

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Seven Supermans

7:30pm|Heiner Theatre

Waiting for Godot

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Trove Web
Tomorrow
Home for the Holidays

5:00pm|Ferndale Events Center

You Can't Take It With You

7:00pm|BHS Performing Arts Center

Seven Supermans

7:30pm|Heiner Theatre

Waiting for Godot

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

9 to 5, the Musical

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Wild Things

9:30am|Cornwall Park

Where science meets winter

10:00am

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Peace Builder Awards Gala

5:00pm|Settlemyer Family Hall

Novmeber Knockout

5:00pm|Lynden Skateway

Rising Reception

6:00pm|Fourth Corner Frames & Gallery

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Blaine Library

Incognito Thanksgiving

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Gratitude Stew

6:30pm|Peter James Studio

Romeo and Juliet

7:00pm|Sehome High School Little Theatre

Desert Journey

7:00pm|Village Books

Kuinka

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Western Symphony Orchestra

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

A Chorus Line

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

A Chorus Line

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Secret Agents, LOL-apalooza

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

You can go home again

8:00pm

Peace Portal Podcast Anniversary Party

9:00pm|Studio B

Capital Steps Seattle Comedy
Saturday
Home for the Holidays

5:00pm|Ferndale Events Center

You Can't Take It With You

7:00pm|BHS Performing Arts Center

9 to 5, the Musical

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Waiting for Godot

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Seven Supermans

7:30pm|Heiner Theatre

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Romeo and Juliet

7:00pm|Sehome High School Little Theatre

A Chorus Line

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Secret Agents, LOL-apalooza

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

A Chorus Line

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Gardenview Montessori Holiday Bazaar

9:00am|Gardenview Montessori

Christmas in the Woods Open House

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Turkey Trot with GBRC

9:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Willow Creek

South Fork Winterfest

10:00am|Van Zandt Community Hall

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Holiday at the Port Farmers Market

10:00am|Port Transit Shed

Stuff the Trunk

10:00am|Haggen stores

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am| Depot Market Square

Poetry Workshops

10:00am|Mindport Exhibits

Anything Goes Arts and Crafts

10:30am|Sumas Library

Gnocchi Class

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Wine and Shop Weekend

11:00am|Eagle Haven Winery

Needle Felting Workshop

1:00pm|Skagit City School

Coffee and Conversation with Surge Artists

1:30pm|Museum of Northwest Art

A Local Treasure

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Fishboy Holiday Show

2:00pm|FishBoy Gallery

Beatles Sing-Along and Jam

2:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Pacific NW Insects

4:00pm|Village Books

Welcome to the 20th century

4:00pm

Skagit Wine & Beer Festival

4:00pm|Eaglemont Golf Club

Last Call Group Reading

7:00pm|Village Books

A Light in the Darkness

7:00pm|Church of the Assumption

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Sacred Heart Social Hall

Seattle International Comedy Competition

8:00pm

Childsplay

8:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

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