Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

Cannabis Guide

The Numbers

on Legal cannabis use

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Percent reduction for low-level marijuana offenses for adults 21 and older since marijuana reform became law in Washington. All categories of marijuana law violations are down 63 percent and marijuana-related convictions are down 81 percent.


Estimated amount of a single arrest and prosecution for the possession of marijuana in police, prosecutor, defense attorney and court expenses. The state spent more than $200 million on marijuana enforcement between 2000 and 2010.

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Green Space

Cultivating cannabis cognizance

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Although the days when I pulled down five-foot tubes of OG Kush on the regular have long since evaporated, I still partake in a well-placed toke (or three) now and again.
More than ever, getting high outside is the way I roll. A forest. The mountains. A beach. Even my own backyard. The deeper into the natural world I can get, the better. It’s all about stony adventures for me.
Sometimes it’s a hike. Sometimes it’s a bike. Sometimes it’s a multi-day backpack/fishing…

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Baked Goods

Getting an edibles education

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The first time I ate a pot brownie, I was cautioned by the chef to not consume more than one.
“These are strong, and if you’re not used to the body high, it can be overwhelming,” she said, handing over a medium-sized portion of the sweet treat.
I’m glad I listened to my friend. Although I’d started smoking marijuana on a semi-regular basis a couple of years earlier, I’d never introduced it to my digestive system. When the effects kicked in an hour later, I entered a…

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The Form of Reform

New federal directives may challenge state marijuana initiatives

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A new administration has restated its opposition to marijuana use and offered an ominous warning about state-level marijuana legalization efforts, suggesting that such policies would open states to potential repercussions from the federal government. Washington’s system of legalized marijuana does not preempt federal law. Presently Washington state residents involved in marijuana production/retailing could still be subject to prosecution if the federal government chooses to do so.

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Subdued Stringband Jamboree

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I first met singer/songwriter Robert Sarazin Blake not long after I moved to Bellingham, now half of my life ago. For a few memorable years, he was my next-door neighbor and I would see him on a near-daily basis, which was a little weird for both of us. I have made more jokes in print at his expense than I have anyone else in Bellingham—and he has taken every last one of them in stride, a quality that can be hard to come by in local musicians.

I have also watched him grow the Subdued…

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Summer Meltdown

Coming full circle 2

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It happens every year. No, not just the Summer Meltdown Festival, but also the Subdued Stringband Jamboree. Every single year since the inception of both homegrown, homemade music festivals (with the exception of that one year, and possibly some time near the beginning that is so far back in history that it no longer counts), they have happened during the exact same weekend.

Every single year.

I talk about it every year as well. I don’t necessarily think by pointing out this…

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Lee Ann Womack

My kind of woman

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

For a time, the song was impossible to escape.

It seemed that every time I turned on Top 40 radio, I would hear the song that began with, “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,” and then continued in that vein—“May you never take one single breath for granted,” “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,” etc.—before it reached its soaring chorus, “And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance… I hope you dance… I hope you dance.”


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Be Happy! Right Meow!

Local Breweries partner with the Bellingham Energy Prize

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Kilowatt Kitty says, Mark your calendars, right meow!

Throughout the month of July, the Bellingham Energy Prize (BEP) will toast Independents Month with local Bellingham breweries, and there’s a lot to celebrate.

Bellingham continues to score well in the fierce competition for the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize, one of a winnowing number of semifinalist communities invested in reducing energy use in creative ways. If Bellingham comes out on top, the winning funds…

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Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Run for the border 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Owing to the splendor and wonder that is summer in this region, it can be hard to convince any Whatcom or Skagit county resident to leave and go anywhere once shoulder season shines down around these parts.

After all, putting up with nine months of rain and wind and more rain and more wind and then come bone-rattling cold has to have some kind of reward, and around here, the payoff for months of seasonal suffering is glorious indeed. That’s why you won’t catch me taking tropical…

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Music is Everywhere

From the streets to the sea

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

With July 4 on the horizon, I’ve been assessing my feelings with regard to this most American of occasions and have reached the conclusion that I’m into it. I’d say Independence Day is a pretty good holiday, as these things go. Aside from that one time that I took a bottle rocket to my right temple, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed July 4 and all it has to offer.

As much as I like the Fourth of July, it’s just a precursor to the (as yet unofficial) holiday that I really care about:…

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Border Crossings

An international affair

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

International travel can get real hairy, real quickly.

Case in point: A friend of mine was once awoken from a backseat slumber to find the car he was a passenger in at the United States/Canada border in Blaine surrounded by a bunch of border agents with guns. The license the driver of the vehicle had handed the authorities misidentified my buddy as a wanted criminal with the same name, and it was many hours before he could convince them he wasn’t the perp they were looking for.…

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The Green Frog

Another week (or so) in the life

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It was not long ago that I took a look at the upcoming week’s worth of shows at the Green Frog and realized the calendar was rife with top-drawer musical entertainment. That roundup included everyone from Ruth Moody to Tim Easton, with stops at Jeffrey Foucault and Richard Smith in between.

That was a pretty good week in the life of the State Street staple, and in keeping with the venue’s habit of stacking up great shows with little fanfare, the upcoming week (in both cases,…

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Latin Lineup

Pablo Francisco makes an impression

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

If one were to compile a dossier on longtime comedian Pablo Francisco, bullet points would tell information-gatherers that he’s 42 years old, perfected most of his early material while working with a bunch of weirdos as a delivery driver at Domino’s Pizza, went to film school with Jamie Foxx, and has been known to visit strip clubs on occasion.

It would also likely include the fact that although his parents are from Santiago, Chile, once they moved to Tucson, Ariz. and had a son, they…

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Bard Blowout

Shakespeare’s greatest hits

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

According to a slew of recent press releases in my email inbox, William Shakespeare is currently what’s trending—making it clear that despite the fact that the playwright died 400 years ago, his popularity shows no sign of waning.

Kicking off Shakespeare’s greatest hits is Western Washington University’s production of As You Like It June 1-4 at the school’s Performing Arts Center. The classic romantic comedy follows a young woman named Rosalind whose forced exile from her…

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Ski to Sea

Of parties and pig’s eyes

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Last year, immediately following Ski to Sea, I moved to a place with a view of Boulevard Park and almost dead center between Fairhaven and the downtown core. It occurred to me that had I moved in a couple of weeks earlier, I would’ve been perfectly situated for maximum Ski to Sea weekend action.

Timing has never really been my thing.

This year, however, things will be different.

Now firmly ensconced in my centrally—at least as far as Ski to Sea is concerned—located abode, I can…

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Worlds of Words

Skagit River Poetry Festival

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

When Daemond Arrindell leads a “Found Poetry” workshop at the tail end of the Skagit River Poetry Festival, it’ll be with an emphasis on finding creative wordplay where you least expect it—whether it’s in a science textbook, on billboards, in pop music, Yelp reviews, or in the form on graffiti on an alley wall.

Arrindell’s subject matter is fitting, as the ninth biennial extravaganza taking place May 19-22 at various venues throughout La Conner makes it easier than usual to uncover…

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Kwel Hoy'!

Army Corps denies shoreline permit for Cherry Point

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The long, long coal train has come to a halt.

Years ago, Lummi Nation declared Kwel Hoy’!, “We Draw the Line,” and vowed the coal trains would not unload at their fishing grounds and sacred burial site, Xwe’chieXen. They called upon the federal government to honor its treaty to protect those heritage assets.

In a decision of profound impact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week agreed, and denied Pacific International Terminals’ application to build North America’s…

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Community Media

Amid media megamergers, a mosaic of local media thrives

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The business press is all atwitter with merger news, as federal regulators are set to approve a massive deal between cable giants Charter, Time Warner and Bright House Networks. The $78 billion transaction will create the second-largest cable TV/Internet company, dubbed “New Charter,” next to Comcast, and leave just three major cable providers in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Gannett Company, which owns more than 100 newspapers, including USA Today, is attempting to acquire Tribune…

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Creative Collaboration

Whatcom Art Market makes a move

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Painter James Williamson takes his Whatcom Art Guild (WAG) membership seriously.

The maritime-focused watercolor artist joined the organization when he moved to Bellingham in 1975 as a way to become a part of the art community, and has spent the last 41 years partaking of the numerous perks that come with being a part of the creative club.

“I enjoy exchanging ideas and information with other artists, displaying work at various venues and establishing ties in the community by…

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Patti LuPone

Coulda, woulda, shoulda

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Patti LuPone is pretty much a total badass.

Which is kind of a strange thing to say about a highly respected, Juilliard-educated, Tony-winning Broadway denizen, but facts is facts, and the fact is, LuPone fits the description of one who is a badass.

You can see it in the kind of stage roles she tackles—she was Broadway’s first Evita, a role that won her her first Tony. She played Fantine in Les Miserables, Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (and scored a…

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Hero Worship

Portraits for the people

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When Art Walk strollers make their way inside Novato Shop & Studio on Fri., April 1, they can expect to see a whole lot of familiar faces gazing back at them—among them Macho Man Randy Savage, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Morrissey, Milo Aukerman, Jon Stewart, Bob Ross, and local artist Steeb Russell. The slew of paintings by past Best of Bellingham winner Toby Stanger and Novato owner Logan McQuaig have one thing in common; all the portraits in the “Make•up” exhibit are inspired by people…

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Feel the Bern

Radical, but not revolutionary

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hours before Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke in Seattle, an estimated crowd of 20,000 had gathered in the drizzle to get into an arena that holds 17,000. By mid-afternoon, the line coiled from the Space Needle and EMP Museum and along Fifth Avenue.

Logistically, the crowd overwhelmed KeyArena.  Seattle Center staff estimated the crowd for the speech at 10,300 inside the arena, with 5,500 more outside. Another 1,500 listened eagerly as the Vermont Senator briefly…

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Whatcom 2036

County Council begins hearings on growth plan

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Green and productive lands—they might just be the most important concern to people who live in Whatcom County: The farms, the forests, the lakes and mountains. When family and friends come to visit, these are the sights visitors long to see. They’re our bragging rights.

A natural tension exists in these natural lands, though, between keeping them pristine and keeping them in use as commercially productive areas.

Whatcom County Council continues its update of the county’s…

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St. Patrick’s Day

Prepare to be pinched

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Know this: If I see you on St. Patrick’s Day and you’re not wearing green, I will pinch you.

I issue this warning to stem the tide of indignation that has flowed my way in recent years when I have visited this custom on the unsuspecting. After all, this is not some secret tradition, known and acted upon by only a few. Rather the pinching of the sans-green sect dates back to the 1700s. Does it really matter that the pinching, like so many things associated with this holiday,…

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Modern Movement

The power of three

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A trio of press releases came across my desk last week that drew attention to the state of contemporary dance in Bellingham (hint: it’s mostly alive and well). And, while each company who shared their news with me will also be showcasing their talents at public performances in the near future, what’s happening with all three is worth expounding upon.

Kuntz and Company, long known for using dance and theater to draw attention to heady issues affecting the community—such as caring for…

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The Oscars

Mining for gold

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Although I have my quibbles with Hollywood—and they are many—I am an unabashed lover of Oscar season. It’s the one time of the year when Tinseltown celebrates itself for those few movies it puts out during any given year that are not pure, unadulterated crap.

I think we can all get behind that.

Of course, this year’s Academy Award nominations were not without controversy. They never are, but instead of the typical hullabaloo about this worthy film or that piece of cinematic art…

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Cascades Rock

Climb every mountain

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Blake Herrington doesn’t live in Bellingham anymore, but the time he spent here before graduating from Western Washington University and moving to Leavenworth directly correlates to the publication of his new mountain climbing guidebook, Cascades Rock.

For example, three of the primary photographers who contributed to the book—which features location details, death-defying images and intricate maps related to 160 multi-pitch and alpine climbing routes in Washington state and…

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Date Night

An improvised Valentine

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When I was performing improv on a regular basis, one of my favorite formats we presented to the crowd was a game called “Date Night.”

We’d call up a real-life couple from the audience, get the story of how they met and their subsequent first date, then re-create the action onstage as best we could. When we got something right, one half of the couple would ring a bell. When it was dead wrong, we’d hear a rude beep from a loud horn, and would have to go back to the basics. The end…

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Ginger's Ballad

Workers of the world, unite!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It’s been nearly a century since Albert “Ginger” Goodwin was shot and killed in the Cumberland bush on Canada’s Vancouver Island, but thanks to people such as playwright Elaine Avila, the legacy of the workers’ rights activist won’t soon be forgotten.

The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin, the play Avila penned after visiting Vancouver Island and realizing Goodwin’s story had been quelled in the decades since his death, tells the story of the titular character who, through a strike at a…

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Talib Kweli

Truth to power

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Expressing an opinion can be tricky for anyone, but for those who live in the public eye, the backlash can be brutal. Those of us in the general public seem to vacillate between wanting celebrities or people we admire to shut their mouths and stay in their lanes, and wanting them to use their voices for the greater good of society.

But more and more often, we expect those with a platform to use it. And in a world where rapper Killer Mike is interviewing presidential candidate Bernie…

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Medium Hero

Reconnecting with Korby Lenker

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I found it to be auspicious that when I sat down to read Korby Lenker’s Medium Hero last weekend, I had to forcibly detach my furry feline from my shoulder a couple of times before diving into “Cat Lady,” the first offering in the 27-story collection. 

In the true-life tale, the former Bellingham-based musician and author bemoans the fates that have turned him from a brave young man—a guy who wasn’t afraid to grab an electric fence, hitchhike the 2,500 miles between Alaska and…

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Pink Martini

A study in musical diplomacy

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

People start bands for all kinds of reasons, but most of those reasons fall under the general heading of “I have musical desire/skill/wherewithal and time to kill/a rehearsal space/likeminded friends.” Such reasoning generally does not include considering what music the world needs to hear, and tends to be focused squarely on more self-serving considerations.

Thomas Lauderdale, on the other hand, came to the creation of his band via a slightly different route.

It was the mid-90s,…

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Raptor Rapture

Eye on the eagles

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It’s probably too late to sign up for renowned field biologist Bud Anderson’s perennially popular “Raptors of Western Washington” series of classes—which begin Thurs., Jan. 7 at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship in partnership with Whatcom Land Trust—but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo both viewing and learning about the eagles, falcons and hawks that flock to Whatcom and Skagit counties this time of year to feast on spawning salmon.

For example, a recent email update by…

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New Year’s Eve

Ring it in, round two

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Last week, as I was compiling events for my annual roundup of New Year’s Eve musical what-doings, I quickly realized that the holiday action was greater than my limited space would allow.

I have a sneaking suspicion this increased number of parties, celebrations and other related confabs has to do with the fact that with New Year’s Eve taking place on a Thursday, meaning a whole bunch of people are on the receiving end of a three-day weekend (thanks, 2015) and are therefore ready…

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Healing Through Art

The Malissa Perry Project

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Malissa Perry likes to listen to Christmas music throughout the year. The 46-year-old artist is also known for waking up at 6am to start her day—typically by dancing, followed by making her bed and practicing her own version of yoga.

“She is absolutely herself, completely authentic and free,” says Christen Mattix, who’s been one of Malissa’s caregivers since the summer of 2013, when a chance meeting with Malissa’s mother at the Community Food Co-op led to a meaningful career change.…

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Under the Tree

A spectacle for the season

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

For me, the Christmas season isn’t so much a secular celebration as it is a reason to cram as many weird and wonderful events into my December day-planner as I can. Some are designed to kindle the holiday spirit, while others remind me not to take it so damn seriously.

Last weekend was a prime example of what I’m talking about. In addition to showing up at Bellingham’s Grand Avenue Alehouse to witness a Friday-night smack-down of those taking part in both Santa Con and Krampus Con—a…

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It's All Relative

Home for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It was Christmas Eve, and my brother and I had departed from his downtown Chicago apartment before dawn to catch the subway in time to get to O’Hare International Airport, where we’d be leaving to visit my dad in rural Hazard, Ky. for the holidays. 

I won’t bore you with every last detail of what went wrong that day, but the main issue that arose was that my dad—who’d booked our tickets—had gotten it wrong when he told us what airport we’d be flying out of. But despite having to…

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Pan Pan

A room of her own

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

If you ask Sarah Jerns what her music sounds like, odds are decent she will use the words “sad piano” to characterize it. The description is classic Jerns: a little self-deprecating, a lot understated and with a certain undeniable ring of truth.

In a town that cultivates artistic vision, but doesn’t always reward it, Jerns neither conforms nor rebels. She simply makes her music, her way, and trusts people will get it. A straightforward enough proposition around these parts if…

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Project Censored 2015

Ten news items the media ignored

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When Sonoma State University professor Carl Jensen started looking into the new media’s practice of self-censorship in 1976, the internet was only a dream and most computers were still big mainframes with whirling tape reels and vacuum tubes.

Back then, the vast majority of Americans got all of their news from one daily newspaper and one of the three big TV networks. If a story wasn’t on ABC, NBC, or CBS, it might as well not have happened.

Forty years later, the media world is a…

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Melissa Etheridge

Reaping the whirlwind

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I remember very clearly the moment I realized that Melissa Etheridge was singing her emotionally raw, powerfully honest songs, not to the man in her life, but to a woman.

Because I was a teenager at the time and not the emotionally mature specimen of humanity I am today, the ramifications of that realization in my life were mostly limited to wondering whether my mom knew that the hits she was singing along to with such great gusto were lady-to-lady love songs (the answer: She knew.…

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Nature’s Trust

Kids sue the state to fight climate change

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Children huddled in the autumn chill outside the King County Courthouse on Tues., Nov. 3. They weren’t waiting to cast a vote. They’re too young for that. They were taking action of another sort. They were lending their support to a decision underway in Courtroom W-941, a decision that could be the most profound and consequential legal decision in their lifetimes.

Inside, Superior Court Judge Hollis R. Hill listened to oral arguments in a case brought by seven youths to address…

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Darkness falls across the land

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I’ve seen some weird and wonderful things in the years I’ve attended “Thrillingham” performances in downtown Bellingham.

For example, the first time I encountered the spectacle of a horde of dancing zombies recreating Michael Jackson’s spooky “Thriller” dance—the same year the troubled 50-year-old singer accidentally overdosed on prescribed meds and left his earthly remains behind for his siblings to fight over—the resulting hubbub shut down a good portion of the Holly Street…

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Clown Bar

No rules, no problem

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I’m of the opinion that clowns are creepy.

If you don’t agree with me, read or watch the miniseries version of Stephen King’s It and meet the predatory life form going by the name of Pennywhistle the Dancing Clown. Or recall that serial killer John Wayne Gacy was also known as the “Killer Clown” due to the fact that he was known to have worked kids’ parties dressed in face paint and a big red nose. Hell, even Krusty the Clown on The Simpsons isn’t a character most people would care to…

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Standing on Ceremony

Saying ‘I do’ to gay marriage

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In the summer of 2010, I flew to Idaho to attend a close friend’s wedding.

It was a lovely affair. The sun was shining, the flower girl was as cute as a kitten meme and scores of friends and family were on hand to help usher the couple into the next phase of their lives. The only problem with the ceremony was that, since the duo getting married were both women, it wasn’t a legal, binding commitment.

“I never thought I’d actually see the day when gay marriage would be legalized in…

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Lynden Music Festival

Everybody cut loose

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It was just about a year ago that I clambered into the backseat of a running vehicle in a downtown Bellingham parking lot, and then hurtled through a dark, rainy night with only a vague sense of the direction in which my cohorts and I were headed. Turns out, their sense of direction was vague as well, but what we lacked in navigational ability we made up for in purpose.

Our purpose was to seek entertainment of the musical kind, and our final destination—via a decidedly and…

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You can handle the truth

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

During my time as a part-time projectionist at the Pickford Film Center, I have learned many things about the likes, dislikes and habits of its engaged and enthusiastic patrons. For instance, although the unfailing generosity and support of the PFC’s membership base helped finance its beautiful, state-of-the-art home on Bay Street, if the powers that be ever do away with the free popcorn (with real butter!) for members on Mondays, there will be swift and certain hell to pay. Patrons…

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Think Pink

Tig Notaro stands with Planned Parenthood

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Despite winds that rattled houses, felled trees and shut down power to much of Whatcom County, the crowd in front of Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood during last month’s surprising storm stood strong.

Like many other people around the country, they were there to lend support to Planned Parenthood, who had recently been the target of a smear campaign alleging the longtime healthcare organization was selling tissue from aborted fetuses for profit.

Missives written by windblown attendees on…

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Salmon Says

Follow the fish

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

There’s no denying that denizens of Whatcom County are interested in what happens to the salmon who spawn in local waters every fall. 

Whether they’re attending Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association-led outdoor work parties to help maintain or improve their habitat, creating art to donate to local auctions to do the same, or—in the case of two events taking place Sat., Sept. 19—partaking in feats of athleticism with fish-focused themes, it’s clear our community is behind the…

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Festival of Ideas

Ending summer with a Sh’Bang

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Meteorologically speaking, this coming weekend is expected to dazzle.

If all goes according to plan, daytime temperatures will be warm enough for those who refuse to give up on tank tops, shorts and flip-flops until the first frost to continue to don their seasonal attire, yet cool enough at night that socks (or long johns) might become a necessity.

The fair-weather forecast bodes well for the organizers of the eighth annual “Sh’Bang! A Festival of Ideas,” which is set to take place…

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Songs of Seattle

Thursday, September 3, 2015

With the first real rain of the season now upon us, it occurs to me that I’ve never been to a rainy Bumbershoot. Typically, when my Labor Day weekend has been spent at the Seattle Center and its trademark music festival, the experience is associated with heat—and lots of it. My memories are marked, not just by music, but also by the combination of high temperatures and many bodies in constant motion and close proximity.

It’s not nearly as sexy as it sounds.

And though we’ve gone…

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On the Road

5Point Film Festival heads out

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It’s been a sweltering summer in the Pacific Northwest, but signs of fall are on the horizon in the form of cooler mornings, surreptitiously falling leaves and a plethora of back-to-school sales.

But it’s not time to head inside just yet.

Case in point: The Colorado-based 5Point Film Festival will return to Bellingham Sun., Aug. 30 to share a number of short documentary films culled for an “On the Road” series from their homegrown festival that are, per usual, focused on adventures…

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Helmi's World

A woman ahead of her time

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

At times, Helmi Juvonen’s biographical timeline reads like a soap opera.

For example, even though the Montana-born painter, printmaker and sculptor wasn’t technically insane, she still spent the last 26 years of her life at Elma’s Oakhurst Convalescent Center, where she landed after being involuntarily committed to Northern State Hospital in Sedro-Woolley with a (mistaken) diagnosis of schizophrenia.

And although the accomplishments noted in Helmi’s history—from her birth in 1903…

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Northwest Washington Fair

A fair love affair

Thursday, August 13, 2015

To know me is to know that the only thing I love more than a Swedish pancake breakfast (never forget) is the Northwest Washington Fair, more commonly known as the Lynden Fair.

Every year, I look forward to it. Every year, my expectations are high. Every year, it seems like I must be setting myself up for a letdown.

But, nope.

The Fair never lets me down. It never disappoints. It never leaves me feeling like it could’ve somehow been bigger, better, more. Instead, it is everything…

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Subdued Stringband Jamboree

Of labor and love

Thursday, August 6, 2015

After having spent the past 15 or so years working for an organization that relies on an army of volunteers for basic daily operations, I have learned that you can tell a lot about an event/entity/etc. by the attitude of its volunteer staff.

When volunteers treat their service as though it is an obligation or job they can barely stand, it tends to speak less to what they are being asked to do, and more to who is doing the asking. When volunteers are cheery, helpful and seem grateful to…

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Summer Meltdown

Where the music meets the mountains

Thursday, July 30, 2015

As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the…

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Music at Maritime

Pretty on paper

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

With its amphitheater, salmon hatchery, native plant trail, lush grassy area, burbling creek running through it, and more, Maritime Heritage Park is a place of many charms. Add to that a location across the street from Bellingham Bay and nestled up against downtown Bellingham, and it can be hard to remember this glittering jewel in a parks system that boasts many jewels was built on the site of a former landfill. Of late, Maritime Heritage has also been getting a city-funded makeover,…

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Lucinda Williams

In praise of difficult women

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I first came to Lucinda Williams via Steve Earle, after the alt-country icon helped produce Williams’ stunning 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Ironically, it was the always-outspoken Earle’s characterization of collaborating with Williams as the “least amount of fun I’ve ever had working on a record” that drew me to the singer/songwriter.

What can I say? I’ve always had a thing for difficult women, with the understanding that “difficult” is often code for…

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Finding Folk

Run for the border

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I’m told it’s wrong to sit in judgment of others, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a person of many strong opinions that I express too freely and probably too forcefully.

For instance, if you were to tell me you were planning a summer vacation to a far-off exotic locale, outwardly, I would express interest and might even feign envy. Inwardly, however, my only thought would be “Why the hell would you ever leave the paradise that is this region during the summertime?”…

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Downtown Sounds

Calling out around the world

Thursday, July 2, 2015

When Downtown Sounds began 11 summers ago, Bellingham’s downtown core was a different place. No, it was not some burned-out, rundown hellscape, but it did have more than its fair share of empty storefronts and was in need of both an image change and some revitalization.

Let’s face it: There comes a point in everyone’s life when a makeover is probably not the worst idea.

Enter the Downtown Bellingham Partnership.

Founded in 2000, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership has one…

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Yes, We CAN!

Canned craft beer festival is 100 percent recyclable fun

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Fourth of July, the Yes We, CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival returns, and it’s expected to be much bigger and even better than last year.

This celebration of community, country and delicious craft beer—all for a great cause—will feature beer from 50 craft breweries, music from bluegrass/Americana-stomp bands Polecat and Wild Rabbit, live performances from the Bellingham Circus Guild, games for the kids, local food trucks, and one of the best views in town of the fireworks…

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Roberta Flack

Killing us softly

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Depending on your age, the voice you hear in your head when the song “Killing Me Softly with His Song” is mentioned is quite possibly that of Lauryn Hill, who, with her fellow Fugees, saw her cover of it hit the top of the pop charts in 1996.

With all due respect to Hill—she’s a goddess, her version of “Killing Me Softly” is iconic and her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is flawless—but when I hear “Strumming my pain with his fingers/Singing my life with his…

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David Suzuki

A lifetime of wisdom deserves to be passed along

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The governments of more than 190 nations will gather in Paris later this year to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and thus avoiding the threat of dangerous climate change. Meanwhile, ahead of the United Nations climate summit, leaders of the world’s seven largest economies met in Germany this week. Leaders stressed that “deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions” were required with “a decarbonization…

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A Tangled Jungle

Filmmakers document the homeless in Bellingham

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Perhaps no narrative more starkly illustrates the despair, the cycle of decay that can await the homeless than the story of a man who cut his own throat with a shaving razor while in Whatcom County jail last week.

Timothy Blair Drafs, 50, a homeless man from Bellingham, was being held alone in a cell block on the second floor of the jail, awaiting trial. He was given a safety razor to clean himself up and make him presentable. Deputies, making the rounds to collect razors from inmates…

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Pull up a patch of grass

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Once upon a time, not so long ago, Western Washington University, under the auspices of Associated Students Productions (or ASP Pop Music as it was once known before being incorporated under the AS Productions umbrella), was responsible for bringing bands and musicians to campus for the entertainment of the student body.

This was an arrangement with benefits beyond the confines of the WWU campus, as, thanks to the miracle of plentiful university funding, AS Productions was able to book…

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Ski to Sea

For you and me

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Although the racecourse itself has undergone some rerouting due to the nearly nonexistent snowpack in the mountains (climate change is real, folks), Ski to Sea soldiers on with all the pluck, creativity and dogged determination the event has shown since its inception some 40 years ago.

Which is a good thing, not just because the multi-stage race has become a highlight and hallmark of our community, participated in and watched by thousands every year, but also because with Ski to Sea…

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Welding Rodeo

Wrangling scrap into sculpture

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Typically, rodeos focus on the domination of one species over another—whether it’s cowboys wrangling half-ton steers or bucking broncos successfully upending the two-legged homo sapiens who are trying to stay put in their saddles.

At the Bellingham Technical College’s (BTC) annual “Welding Rodeo,” however, it’s strictly human versus metal.

While it’s true that some of the concepts are similar—for example, both types of rodeos are designed to test the skill and speed of their…

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Digging In

Stock up for the season

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I like to talk about plants, but I’m not an expert. That’s why when people ask my advice about gardening issues—whether it’s how to keep “those darn aphids” off roses or what kind of veggie starts they should purchase—I simply direct them to the following events.

Last May, when I showed up early for the annual WSU Whatcom County Master Gardener Plant Sale at Ferndale’s Hovander Homestead Park, I was a little too eager to peruse the premises, and made the mistake of entering the…

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Meet the Beast

Activists raft up to protest Shell oil rigs

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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…

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A Weedy Problem

Medical marijuana reform heads for governor’s signature

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A document will arrive soon on the governor’s desk he’s indicated he will sign. When he does, if he does, the document will radically transform the delivery of medical marijuana in Washington, reducing its availability to patients and dramatically increasing its cost. Ironically, this arrives at a moment of bated success in the state’s cautious yet ambitious experiment with marijuana, and at a moment of ferment in the reconsideration and reform of drug laws nationally.


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Do You Really Want to Know?

A life and death decision

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

For almost 30 years of his life, Jeff Carroll was, as most of us are, ignorant of Huntington’s Disease. Then, when he was in his late 20s, his mother became ill and Huntington’s officially entered his lexicon and forever changed his life.

Exceedingly rare, Huntington’s Disease, or HD, is a degenerative neurological illness with effects on the body that are best described as having ALS, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s at the same time. Onset tends to be early, the progression is…

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Carrying Coal to Custer

Is it coal or oil that moves BNSF to close Valley View Road?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Out on Valley View Road, in the peaceful rolling pastures and blossoming apple orchards of north county, an exceptional dispute is developing. County officials are talking back to North America’s second largest railroad.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe wants to do away with its crossing at Valley View Road, effectively closing the road, southwest of Portal Way and a half-mile or so from Birch Bay Center.

BNSF asked the state Utilities and Transportation Commission to approve doing…

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Animal Homes

Chris Morgan studies the blueprints of nature’s homes

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bellingham ecologist Chris Morgan wants us to know that each animal home is magic in its own way. After studying DIY homes constructed by a wide array of wildlife, from hummingbirds to black bears, leafcutter ants to beavers, Morgan shares in Animal Homes, a three-part series on PBS’ Nature, his wonder for these treasures found among the wilds of the world and sometimes, in our own backyards.

Hosted by Morgan, Animal Homes begins with the first visually stunning and thought-provoking…

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Go Fish!

City recommends a cleaner standard for state waters

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You can now safely eat a forkful of fish each week—mostly because the state proposes to fudge the meaning of “safe” by an order of magnitude.

The debate on fish consumption carries deep ironies. Nutritionists say fish and shellfish are part of a healthy diet and should be consumed regularly. But clinicians and oncologists warn that toxic chemicals that can build up in the flesh of aquatic life can increase the risk of certain diseases like cancer.

The state uses the fish…

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Joe Pug and Metalachi

Let’s get weird

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Most of the time, when you set foot inside the welcoming confines of the Green Frog, you know what you’re going to get: strong drinks, grilled cheese sandwiches of obscene size and someone onstage that probably has more than a passing relationship with a little twang.

But owing to the fact that the Green Frog plays host to more shows per week, hands down, than any other venue in town, and that owner James Hardesty is a bit of a musical explorer willing to take a flyer on whatever…

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Around Town

Bellingham Comic Arts Festival

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cullen Beckhorn is a busy guy.

In addition to founding and maintaining the Bellingham Alternative Library—a volunteer-run lending library in the downtown core focused on unconventional literature and graphic novels—he also publishes and distributes a variety of comics via Neoglyphic Media.

On top of these not-insubstantial duties, Beckhorn and his publishing company are also behind this weekend’s inaugural Bellingham Comic Arts Festival (BellCAF), a one-day event highlighting…

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Adoration of Dora

Madness and the muse

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after…

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Through the Lens

Exotic landscapes, far and near

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

From the searing deserts of Namibia to the soaring glacial moraines of deep Alaska and the saturated rainforests of the Olympic Coast, photographers Dennis Walton and John D’Onofrio present the trophies they’ve captured of photographic expeditions across the world’s great landscapes. Their work is both sweeping and personally intimate.

Walton has lived and travelled abroad for much if his life, photographing extensively in Burma, Tibet, Ladakh, Java, India, and Japan, where he…

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Sit-In Special

Youth claim their own space in documentary film

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fifty years ago, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. Their destination was the state capital of Montgomery, some 54 miles away. And though they sang “We Shall Overcome,” marchers did not get far. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma.

While the courage of the Selma marchers electrified the country in March of 1965,…

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Battle of the Sexes

Peace, love and plov

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Variations on plov, a meaty, rice-based dish, are found throughout Central Asia. The word plov is the root of pilaf, its more delicate spawn. Many give Uzbekistan credit for being the birthplace of plov, but it’s been a beloved dish for centuries among many of the other “stans” in the region. More recently, it’s become a cult dish farther afield, and is very popular in Ukraine.

I learned much of what I know about plov at a dinner party, when 14 Uzbek businessmen showed up and proceeded…

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Las Cafeteras

A spoonful of sugar

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lecture-based learning certainly has its place in the annals of education, but often it can be easier to get a point across by employing, for lack of a better way to phrase it, a little trickery.

Just ask any parent who has tried to get a child to eat their vegetables. Nutrition lectures tend to leave kids nonplussed, commanding them can bring out a stubborn streak and pleading with someone who is pint-sized is a little demoralizing. Smart parents know to give up before mealtime…

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Scott Kelly

Taking the Road Home

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

To me, musicians’ side projects have long been a source of fascination. Since I’ll probably never get to go rummaging through any of their medicine cabinets or read their diaries, side projects are one of the means by which formerly familiar musicians reveal the deeper mysteries that drive them.

Even for those auxiliary bands whose intentions are only half serious—take, for instance, Queens of the Stone Ages’ Josh Homme’s Eagles of Death Metal—the devotion of time and precious…

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Romeo & Juliet

Conrad Askland scores a classic

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Anyone who’s familiar with the plot of Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love gone horribly awry, knows in advance that things don’t end well for the titular teens—who eventually decide they’d rather be dead than live without each other.

But despite knowing the passion in the play doesn’t quite manage to overcome familial friction—or a lethal dose of poison and a sharp dagger to the heart—audiences over the past four centuries have reveled in the story…

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Living the Dream

Erin Jones celebrates King’s legacy every day

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., is not confined to a single day, but is a way of being thoughtful and intentional about how we translate that dream into everyday action, says educator Erin Jones. She will keynote the 17th annual conference on human rights at Whatcom Community College.

As the director of Equity and Achievement for the Federal Way School District, Jones was honored as a Champion of Change during an event at the White House in 2013. The award was given to ten…

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Repertory Dance Theatre

A century of artistic exploration

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is thought to have been painted between 1503-1506, and its continued longevity over the centuries has ensured that people around the world know as much (or more) about the artist and his masterworks as did those who first saw what is now the best-known piece of art in the world.

While visual artists have concrete, viewable examples of the contributions they have made to history, those who have created masterpieces in other creative genres—such as…

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Eating and Embargoes

The changing face of Cuban food

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Eleven years ago on New Year’s Day, I arrived in Cuba with a group of students from the University of Montana in tow. We were there on a hard-to-get educational permit. Our goal was to get a handle on the state of Cuba’s agriculture system, which, thanks to geopolitical circumstances, had been thrust in an aggressively organic direction.

We also wanted to get our mouths around some Cuban food, and our minds around the enigma that is Cuba. Now, with President Obama’s recent steps taken…

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Of songs and sketches

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Although I am fond of blathering on about the myriad music options this area offers, this embarrassment of riches does not exist 100 percent of the time. As painful as it is for me to admit, we do experience an entertainment dry spell from time to time.

One such dearth of ready amusement tends to occur directly post-Christmas—especially if the holiday falls directly prior to a weekend, as it does this year. Sure, opportunities abound to dance and sing karaoke—we are not savages, after…

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Mary and Joseph

Oh little town of Bellingham

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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…

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Welcoming the White

Snow and safety in the North Cascades

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

As winter snows fall in the mountains, a great softening occurs. The sharp and angular peaks are frosted with white and the rough-and-tumble highlands are rendered whipping-cream smooth.

If you think this is an invitation to explore, you are correct.

Our own beloved Mt. Baker Highway will whisk you from the soggy-gray saltwater lowlands to soul-stirring scenes of winter beauty in a thrice. It is certainly our good fortune to have such ready access to a sublime winter wonderland so…

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Small Works, Big Ideas

Honey, I Shrunk the Art

Monday, December 1, 2014

Small works pay off with big satisfaction in the new Karla Matzke show, “Honey, I Shrunk the Art.” Her gallery opening was the best thing going on a rainy, dark Camano Island evening. We stepped out of the car into fragrant salt air, perfumed with cedar.

Many artists and friends celebrated together. Newcomers were Ante and Lisa Svircic, who also show at Gallery West in Fairhaven. She, with a painting and drawing degree, has been sculpting since 2008, when she bought a piece of stone…

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Project Censored

The news that didn’t make the news

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Our oceans are acidifying — even if the nightly news hasn’t told you yet.

As humanity continues to fill the atmosphere with harmful gases, the planet is becoming less hospitable to life as we know it. The vast oceans absorb much of the carbon dioxide we have produced, from the industrial revolution through the rise of global capitalism.

Earth’s self-sacrifice spared the atmosphere nearly 25 percent of humanity’s CO2 emissions, slowing the onslaught of many severe weather…

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One-Man Wimbledon

Mike Mathieu meets his match

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

If you’re a tennis fan, you likely already know that the match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Wimbledon finals in 2008 is widely considered to be the greatest tennis match ever played—and was also the longest finals match in the competition’s history. Even if you don’t know jack about the historic sports event, you’ll still want to get in on the love when actor, writer and Renaissance man Mike Mathieu returns to Bellingham’s iDiOM Theater Nov. 21-22 to bring the match…

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Joan Baez

Worth the wait

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The problem in trying to talk about Joan Baez is that there’s so much to talk about when it comes to the legendary folk musician. One could easily focus solely on her music career, which has spanned some 60 years and includes, among many other achievements and accolades, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and millions of fans the world over. But to do that would be to ignore her extensive commitment and boots-on-the-ground devotion to causes relating to social justice, which predates…

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The Wild Nearby

Seeking beauty in the North Cascades

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The North Cascades are surrounded by seven million people, crisscrossed by jetliners, and threaded by highways. Their retreating glaciers have become a barometer of climate change.

At the same time, grizzly, wolf, wolverine and eagle, once shot and trapped, are coming back. There is a new Environmental Learning Center across Diablo Dam, and new philosophies about forest fires, ecosystem management and outdoor recreation.

The North Cascades are exactly the same, and completely…

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Happy Halloweekend!

It’s spooktacular

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Because I have not donned a costume in more than a decade, people often think I’m some sort of Halloween killjoy. That could not be further from the truth. Like most people who live around these parts, I’m a diehard devotee of this particular holiday, and my Halloween season typically involves numerous visits to spook shops, in-depth conversations about the costume ideas of others, and the excited making of plans. Occasionally, I am afforded an opportunity to spend Halloween…

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Voter’s Guide

Two principles should guide voters on election day:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two principles should guide voters on election day:

The first is an Iron Law—you vote for the individual, but you elect the caucus. Within that is a second rigid requirement—what’s this guy done for us lately?

American politics operates in an era where polarities are stronger than the parties that promote them, which is a way of saying that parties no longer control and restrain strongly held views in the pursuit of consensus and the compromise of lawmaking. Strongly held views…

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These Seven Sicknesses

Epic entertainment at iDiOM Theater

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When looking at iDiOM Theater’s upcoming production of These Seven Sicknesses (T7S), the numbers start to add up.

First off,  those who attend the four-and-a-half-hour theatrical spectacle opening Thurs., Oct. 9—which includes two 30-minute breaks for dinner and dessert—should know they’ll be viewing the seven remaining works by Sophocles, the Greek playwright who, approximately 2,500 years ago, wrote an estimated 100 plays.

Another important equation regarding T7S is the number…

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Rock out with your doc out

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bellingham is a town with a passion for the silver screen. Not only does it support an astonishing number of movie screens—19 at last count—but shows routinely sell out, sometimes days in advance. As well, the Pickford Film Center is one of this town’s biggest arts organizations, and, along with such venerated local institutions as the Mount Baker Theatre and Whatcom Museum, helps to anchor the downtown Arts Districts—not bad for a nonprofit staffed mostly by volunteers.

As a…

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Naomi Klein

Only a reverse shock doctrine can save our world

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Half a million people crowded into the streets of mid-town Manhattan over the weekend in a call to action to curb carbon emissions and to protest stalled policy on a climate treaty. Crowds threaded through canyons of stone and steel to the United Nations to protest the sluggishness of world leaders, but on their way they passed through the camp of an even more determined opponent to climate change—Wall Street.

“We been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to…

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Sonny Sixkiller

Buys the Washington Redskins

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here’s a different spin on the controversy surrounding the name of the NFL football team in the nation’s capital: What would happen if Sonny Sixkiller, a Cherokee and one of the greatest quarterbacks to play for the University of Washington, bought the team? And then kept the offensive name and instead changed the players’ names? That’s the story inside a new play, Sonny Sixkiller Buys the Washington Redskins, by Lummi elder Darrell Hillaire.

The Redskins organization has tried to…

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Bite Local

Food, farms and fun

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from…

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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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