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This Week's Cover

 

Community Media

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 Publishing, which owns several major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

This looming consolidation in

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This Week

The Gristle

Five Favor Five

FIVE FAVOR FIVE: The Gristle was optimistic in thinking there would be consensus in the effort to draw five new voting districts for Whatcom County elections. After all, representatives from the Democrats and the Republicans had already agreed on the shape of the coastal district that would include Blaine, Birch Bay, and Ferndale; and they’d agreed on shapes for Bellingham districts that closely followed the contours of city limits. That’s three out of five districts; and the particular point of contention remaining was whether an incorporated city would be included in the district that includes

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News

Climate Kids Win

Washington youths score in climate change lawsuit

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A judge’s ruling on Friday in a lawsuit filed by eight kids forces the state of Washington to get serious about the threat of climate change.

In what the activist teens and preteens called a surprise decision, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill ordered the state Department of Ecology to create rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2016. The judge said the urgency of climate change and the state’s responsibility to protect citizens required that Ecology be held to a deadline, rather than make its own timeline. 

“The reason

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Visual

Creative Camano

A spring studio tour

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Camano Island artists have scheduled their 18th annual studio tour for two consecutive weekends—May 6-8 and May 14-15. With 28 studios, there’s a whole lot to see.

When you go, pack a picnic lunch and something to drink. Camano Island is amenity-challenged, but there are several beautiful shoreline parks. At the welcoming tent at the intersection of Highway 532 and North Camano Drive, you can pick up a studio tour brochure with an indispensable map. 

No matter where you start, don’t miss Studio 6, the Karla Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park at 2345

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Outdoors

San Juan Sights

Following the food chain

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There’s an aura of mysterious, wild beauty that lingers in the San Juans, where close to 90 percent of the archipelago’s 172 islands remain untouched and unsettled. Kayak or boat to their shores and all you’ll find is raptors, the silvery heads of harbor seals and a few deer who braved the currents to get there.

Known as the “Orca Freeway,” San Juan Island is reputedly the best place for orca watching by land and the whales are often seen feeding, breaching, spyhopping and lobtailing between May and October. That’s when sea life is most

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On Stage

Fringe on Top

From sideshow to center stage

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It used to be that in order to run away with the circus and become a performer, one had to give up a goodly number of worldly possessions, sneak out of the house in the dark of night and leave behind a note explaining that it was time to cast off the shackles of normalcy and embrace the carnival lifestyle. These days? Not so much.

“Music, Magic & Mayhem” is but one example of how those who choose to live their lives in a continuously creative manner no longer have to be so sneaky about

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Food

Culture Cafe

Eat, drink, be healthy

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Behind the long bar counter at Kombucha Town’s Culture Cafe sits a large glass jar with something floating in it that looks suspiciously like something Victor Frankenstein might have kept in his laboratory.

However, visitors to the spacious eatery in the basement of the Herald Building shouldn’t worry. The murky entity that can be glimpsed within the confines of the container is simply the genesis of owner Chris McCoy’s passion for brewing kombucha.

“It all started with that one-gallon jar,” McCoy said when we sat down recently to have lunch. He then

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Words

Community Media

Amid media megamergers, a mosaic of local media thrives

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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 Publishing, which owns several major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

This looming consolidation in

Continue Reading »

Film

Captain America

Civil War

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The shaming of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will continue apace—or better still, be forgotten entirely—in the wake of Captain America: Civil War, a decisively superior hero-vs.-hero extravaganza that also ranks as the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Very much an Avengers movie in scope and ambition if not title (the conspicuous absence of Thor and Hulk notwithstanding), this chronicle of an epic clash between two equally noble factions, led by Captain America and Iron Man, proves as remarkable for

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Film

The Family Fang

The ties that bind

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There’s an illuminating moment late in Jason Bateman’s richly captivating film of The Family Fang, when the unorthodox patriarch played with a sardonic glint by Christopher Walken says to his adult offspring, “You think we damaged you? So what! That’s what parents do.” That’s close enough to a key to this smart, tart adaptation of Kevin Wilson’s bestselling 2011 debut novel, which thumbs its nose at the cliches of the over-trafficked dysfunctional family genre to dissect the sometimes lifelong quest of children to understand their parents in ways that are funny and bittersweet,

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Music

Charlie Musselwhite

The devil and the details

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One of best parts about my job is that it forces me to seek out information concerning bands and musicians about which I have little or no prior knowledge. The broad strokes are nice and all, but the devil, as they say, is in the details.

And so it goes with Charlie Musselwhite.

The broad strokes are indeed very broad when it comes to Musselwhite. His first album debuted nearly half a century ago, and he’s been very busy building a career as a legendary bluesman ever since. With harmonica in hand and a

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Today

Bellingham Music Club Concert:Pianist Jeremy DesChane will perform works by Beethoven, Debussy, Stravinksy, and Albeniz at a Bellingham Music Club concert at 10:30am at Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 Texas St. Entry is by donation.  »

Bellingham at Home:Whatcom County Council on Aging hosts a "Bellingham at Home" membership and volunteer information meeting at 10:45am at 6pm at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2224 Yew Street Rd. The program... »

Hexies & More Reception:An opening reception for Glenys Baker's "Hexies & More" takes place from 4-6pm at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, 703 S. Second St. The exhibit of hexagon quilts shows through... »

Green Drinks:Network with likeminded environmentally aware citizens at the monthly Green Drinks from 5-7pm at Solar Inc., 4041 Home Rd., Ste. A. At the event, you can also celebrate the conclusion... »

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... »

Garden Club Meeting:Dr. Lisa Wasko DeVetter from WSU will talk about the best growing practices and varieties of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries at the Birchwood Garden Club's monthly meeting from 7-9pm... »

Griffin & Sabine Return:Bestselling author and illustrator Nick Bantock returns to Bellingham to read from The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine's Missing Correspondence at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th ST. The book continues the... »

Climate, Class and Capitalism:The Blue-Green Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) will host a Climate, Class and Capitalism discussion focusing on "Strengthening Ties: Building Our Common Resistance" from 7-9pm... »

Cannabis Guide

 

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