Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


It’s Spooktacular!

Don’t be a Halloweenie

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Normally, I’d start off my annual Halloween music roundup by talking about how I don’t wear costumes, and then try and justify that by talking about how much I love all things Halloween. But I have a lot of events to try and cram into this space, so I’m just going to cut to the chase, admit I’m a Halloweenie and get down to the details.

Boundary Bay Brewery: Community celebrations are in the very DNA of Boundary Bay, and they do not half-ass holidays. For five years they have…

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Cultivating Community

Whatcom Intergenerational High School

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Basking in the warm afterglow of the 2012 general election, two successful statewide initiatives struck me as being particularly momentous for determining a better and more equitable quality of life for all current and future generations of Washingtonians. 

Granted, Measure 502—concerning the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults—seemed like a no-brainer. And just as the initiative’s sponsors promised, 1.7 million or so other “yes” voters helped make that dream come…

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Vanishing Relics

Of ghosts, mystics and metal

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Todd Horton and Aaron Loveitt are neighbors along Blanchard Creek in Bow. Exhibiting together at Perry and Carlson Gallery in Mount Vernon, “Vanishing Relics” constructs a duet in paint and sculpture, each work employing historic materials.

Horton grew up in a “farming village” in Ohio. After studying history and political science at Ohio University, he taught English for a year in Japan, where, under the influence of its art, he began to paint on his own. Soon after, he was writing…

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Fearsome Fruit

The heads of Halloween

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

For the candy industry, Halloween is like Christmas. The five biggest candy shopping days of the year are all in October, as All Hallows’ Eve sells more candy than any other holiday.

While nature’s candy dangles from trees, we spend more than $9 billion each year on plastic sacks filled with shiny bits of chocolate-stuffed packaging.

Apples are the second-most popular fruit in America, after bananas. But fruit, alas, is not as popular as candy. The same way Samhain opens the door to…

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Gore and Lore

Welcome to the dark side

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Kolby LaBree has never actually seen a ghost, but she thinks it might be because she already spends so much time with dead people that a haunting wouldn’t actually scare her.

LaBree isn’t a mortician and she doesn’t work the night shift at a hospital, but as a longtime tour guide with the historically focused Good Time Girls, she’s spent a lot of time poring over stories of the deceased denizens of downtown Bellingham and historic Fairhaven.

What she and her fellow scholars have…

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On Stage


Staging a scare

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I’m a glutton for punishment. Despite the fact that what I typically find inside haunted houses scares the bejesus out of me and elicits screams that sound and feel primal in nature, I typically find myself entering the doors of at least one or two scary sites during the Halloween season. Apparently, being scared by the undead—or by convincing thespians who are taking on the personas of zombies, psychopaths, ghosts and ghouls—makes me feel more alive.

Although I didn’t drop by opening…

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Active Hope

The Salish Sea I love is dying. What can I do?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I have been called to the water for as long as I can remember. As a kid, you couldn’t get me out of the pool without tears. As a teen, every angsty after-school activity was at one of the dozen beaches within my 20-mile radius. As an adult, the water is where I went when each of my parents died before their time, when my sister had a psychotic breakdown, before I said my vows to my husband, before my son was born. Water has always been the refuge I turn to.

But something has changed…

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Best of Bellingham 2019
Best Neighborhood


The center of the universe has coasted north over the years of our annual Best of Bellingham reader survey—Columbia and Sunnyland neighborhoods feature a vital mix of charming long-established Craftsman homesteads, innovative businesses and artist studios. They’ve taken their share of infill, proving urban densities can make a city come alive. The city’s bike and pedestrian plans have matured in these neighborhoods. They feel centered. And it is not at all a coincidence that so many winners in our Best of Bellingham survey are located here.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Anchors Are Weighed

ANCHORS ARE WEIGHED: Ballots for the November general election dropped last week, and with them comes a seismic shift in local government.

The executive branch, and the administration it leads, receives the bulk of public attention. But it is in the legislative branch—the municipal…

Oil Slick

Big Oil is trying to buy Whatcom County’s elections, and they seem willing to break the law to win.  

Seventy thousand dollars is an enormous political donation in the little local elections in Whatcom County. It’s more than most candidates raise in an entire year and it’s one of…

Rumor Has It
But wait, there’s more:

One of the reasons I don’t dress up for Halloween is, frankly, it seems like a lot of work for minimal payoff. Costumes can be uncomfortable, they rarely work with the wet weather we get around these parts during this time of year, and, like bridesmaid dresses, you can’t really ever…

Bashaw for school board

I want to encourage your readers to vote for Kelly Bashaw for Bellingham School Board position 3. I have served with her on the Bellingham School Board for the past five years and found her…

Seek alternatives to jail

Whatcom County’s Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force has been interacting, since their creation a few years back, with the likes of incumbent candidate for Whatcom County…

Mark X for Xczar

The ballot is long this year so it can be easy to get overwhelmed, but please join me in supporting Rebecca Xczar for County Assessor.
She is well-qualified, passionate about the intricacies…

Today's Events
Whatcom Housing Week


Presentations from national experts, deep-dive workshops, housing tours, a celebration and much more will be part of the third annual Whatcom Housing Week taking place from Monday through…

City Club Meeting


“Healing the Salish Sea” will be the focus of a Bellingham City Club luncheon and presentation from 11:30am-1:30pm at Northwood Hall, 3240 Northwest Ave. Lummi Nation tribal member Ellie (Tah…

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…

Histories & Mysteries Book Club


Share your thoughts on this month’s book and enjoy games, book recommendations, treats and a hot cuppa at a “Histories & Mysteries” Book Club meeting from 6:30pm-8pm at the Everson Library,…

Advice for Future Corpses


Sallie Tisdale shares readings from her book Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them) at 7pm at St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy. Tisdale’s book…

MIke Allen Quartet


Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center will host a concert the Mike Allen Quartet at 7pm at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 207 Prospect St. From well-loved standards to hidden gems to captivating…

Decriminalize Sex Work


Join WWU’s YDSA and Whatcom DSA for a “Decriminalize Sex Work: An Inclusive Community Discussion” event at 7pm at Western’s Academic West 205. They’ll discuss why most sex workers advocate…

Matilda the Musical


META Performing Arts presents Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical continuing this week with performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday in Mount Vernon at the Lincoln…