This Week's Cover



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 bigger

Continue Reading »

This Week

The Gristle

The Bigness of De Minimis

THE BIGNESS OF DE MINIMIS: Developers of a proposed coal export pier at Cherry Point appear to have been snared by their own media hype, misinterpreting a key communication by the federal agency authorized to issue the shoreline permit and very nearly missing a deadline for response.

At the opening of the year, Lummi Nation asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, arguing that capacity to ship 54 million metric tons of coal per year out

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Shell v.Skagit

Court rules the public is entitled to more information about oil train transport


“Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.”
—Abraham Lincoln

Shell Oil didn’t get far last week in its effort to head off a study of Bakken oil transport in the Skagit Valley. Its lawsuit rolled backward down a legal slope, like the unattended oil train that blew up in Quebec in 2013.

Nobody got hurt when the rhetorical brakes failed in Skagit County Superior Court last week. The world’s second-biggest oil company (or biggest, depending on how you measure it)

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The Great Symmetry

James Wells’ novel of knowledge screaming to be free


The most compelling speculative fiction comments on the present day.

James Wells says the seeds of his novel of a dystopian future were long germinating, but the soil required something more to bring it all to vivid life. And that ingredient was fertilizer of the most pungent variety—modern corporate excess, the despair of the faceless, grinding oligarchs rising as monoliths in our world today, and the chance—by no means certain, and therein lies the drama—that small acts of curiosity

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Over Easy

Sweet and savory in Sunnyland


It’s great to see a new restaurant packed with happy customers, and that was certainly the case this past Mother’s Day when my family and I popped into Over Easy, the new breakfast and brunch eatery in Bellingham’s Sunnyland neighborhood, next to Trader Joe’s.

Proprietors Jamie and Colleen Bohnett were run off their feet by the steady influx of hungry diners ready to celebrate the women in their lives. But their kitchen and staff were in peak form, delivering a great selection of sweet and

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On Stage

Bard on the Beach

All Shakespeare, all the time


I’m quite certain William Shakespeare would have approved of the birthday party I hosted for myself a few nights ago.

The evening’s festivities featured a few costumes, a spread including grilled meat and intoxicating spirits, the telling of many stories, dancing, gift-giving, pie-eating, the sharing of epic poems and—after a couple shots of Jose Cuervo—a recitation of the final lines of the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, courtesy of yours truly.

While wearing a celebratory

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Art in the City

The pop-up particulars


If you find yourself at the intersection of Bellingham’s Cornwall Avenue and Holly Street in the next couple of weeks, take a short stroll and don’t stop until you’ve passed the Greenhouse, Café Akroteri, and India Grill. If you come to Eva Salon, you’ve gone too far.

Perhaps I should be more specific about what exactly you’ll be on the lookout for. For at least a little while longer, the space at 1213 Cornwall Avenue that was formerly a dance studio—but has been empty for the

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Style for miles


Iris Apfel isn’t exactly a household name, unless we’re talking about very stylish households. From 1950 to 1992, Apfel ran Old World Weavers, the business she cofounded with her husband, Carl, which faithfully re-created antique textiles for use in home decorating. From grand Park Avenue drapes to demure White House settees, the duo’s historically accurate fabrics made their way into any number of upper-crusty redecorating schemes. But today Apfel, 93, is less well known for dressing interiors

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Pull up a patch of grass


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 bigger

Continue Reading »


Take Me to the River

The subtle pleasures of the Samish


My friend Jesse really likes rivers.

Jesse has been a fisherman, rafting guide and all-around river bum for many years. We go way back: I have known him since he was five years old. So when he offered to take me on a paddle on the tiny Samish River, I said yes without hesitation.

We drove down through the vibrant green fields and marshes of the Skagit Valley near Edison and pulled over near an unmarked bridge. The spot was obscure—that’s the way Jesse likes it. We carried his canoe down

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Best of Bellingham

What's the best neighborhood? The one you live in, judging from this fiercely competitive category. With more than 2,400 entries in the Cascadia Weekly readers choice awards, every neighborhood was named again and again. But with so many terrific places--Trader Joe's, Hardware Sales, Kulshan Brewing Company, Jeckyl & Hyde, Homeskillet, on and on--Sunnyland comes out on top.

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May 30


Final Spring Rep Shows: A Spring Rep series concludes this week with showings of Best of Brass Monkey at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Additionally, there'll be a "Jazz Jam and Poetry Slam" at 10pm Saturday. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. more »

Honk! The Musical: Squalicum High School's drama department finishes up its season with performances of Honk! The Musical at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday, at the school's Forum Theater, 3773 E. McLeod Rd. Tickets to the family-friendly adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling are $5-$10. more »

Blender: Mainstage players will join forces with other top-notch improv groups from around the region at "Blender" shows at 8pm and 10pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. more »

To Kill a Mockingbird: Veteran director Billy Hendrix will direct a version of the American classic To Kill a Mockingbird starting this weekend with performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The story is narrated by an adult "Scout" as she looks back on the summer when she faced the good and evil of her world. Tickets are $18 and additional showings happen through June 20. more »

Plover Ferry Returns: The Plover ferry runs through the summer from 12-8pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor's Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor. Suggested donation for the excursions is $1 for kids and $5 for adults. more »

Bellingham Repertory Spring Concert: Bellingham Repertory dancers will push the boundaries of what is possible at performances of their ninth annual Spring Concert, "Up/Rooted," at 7:30pm Friday, 5pm and 7:30pm Saturday, and 5pm Sunday at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. The shows will include a much-anticipated new work commissioned from Seattle choreographer Mary Sheldon specifically for the Bellingham Rep dancers. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Student rush tickets will be available for more »

BFA Capstone Concert: The annual BFA Dance Capstone Concert can be seen at performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center, room 16. Entry is $12. more »

DPS Improv Festival: Western Washington University's Dead Parrots Society present a "DPS Improv Festival" with performances at 7pm and 9pm Friday and Saturday, and 8:30pm Sunday, at the Old Main Theater. The shows will feature improvisers from across North America, including the Upright Citizens Brigade and DPS alumni. Entry is $3-$5 at the door. more »

Little Shop of Horrors: An uproarious version of Little Shop of Horrors performed by youth ages 13-16 can be seen for the final weekend at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Tickets to the musical are $10. more »

Fairhaven Walking Club: Whether you’re looking to improve or compete, all are welcome at the weekly Fairhaven Walking Club led by Cindy Paffumi starting at 8am at various locations in Fairhaven. Walk routes and meeting places change from week to week. All paces are welcome. more »

Color Me 5K: Be sure and wear white for the "Color Me 5K" starting at 9am at Lynden High School, 1201 Bradley Rd. Entry to the race is $20 and includes sunglasses, a wristband and a color packet to the throw at the "color explosion" at the end of the race. more »

NSEA Work Party: Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and Bellingham Parks to remove invasive plants and spread mulch at a Work Party from 9am-12pm at Little Squalicum Creek. Park in the lower parking lot at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave., and sign in at the blue NSEA tent. (The event is also part of "Puget Sound Starts Here Month" activities.) more »

Mount Vernon Farmers Market: The Mount Vernon Farmers Market takes place from 9am-2pm at the city's Waterfront Plaza. In addition to the fresh, local food, expect activities for kids, cooking demos and special events through the season, which continues through Oct. 17. more »

Anacortes Farmers Market: Vegetables, fruit, baked goods, fresh meat and dairy, cut flowers, wine, eggs, art and much more can be found at the Anacortes Farmers Market, which takes place from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 24 at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. more »

Boathouse Open House: The Whatcom Rowing Association will host a Boathouse Open House from 10am-12pm at Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Ave. Come tour the new building, check out the boats and oars, meet coaches and hear about the programs. The all-ages event is free. more »

Veteran Benefits: If you need to enroll in VA health care, need a DD 14, or want information about your benefits, come to a "Veteran Benefits Enrollment" event from 10am-1pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Peruse and purchase a plethora of locally grown produce, ready-to-eat foods, crafts and more at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. The market runs every Saturday through Dec. 19. more »

Boating Center Open: The Community Boating Center has resumed operations for the 2015 season from 10am until sunset on Saturdays and Sundays at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards. Registration for youth camps and adult classes are currently available online. Starting June 22, the center will operate through the week. more »

Bridge of Aloha Festival: Hawaiian music and Polynesian dance, arts and crafts vendor booths, cultural workshops and Hawaiian food will be part of the annual "Bridge of Aloha Festival" from 10am-9pm at the Ferndale Events Center, 5715 Barrett Rd. Entry to the fun-filled festival is $10-$12; kids 8 and under are free. more »

Green Eileen Pop-Up Sale: Around 500 gently used designer garments will be on sale at a fraction of their original prices at today's "Green Eileen Pop-Up Sale" from 11am-2pm at Ragfinery, 1421 N. Forest St. Attendees can shop for sustainable clothing and explore Ragfinery’s warehouse of textile resources and upcycled goods. Entry is free. FYI: the first Green Eileen collaboration last October was highly attended, so get there early for the best deals. more »

GEMS Fair: Bring your kids to the Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS) Fair from 11am-3pm at Western Washington University's Academic West Building. The free, family-friendly event showcases groups around the campus and Bellingham that have ties to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Science) community. Learn about careers in STEM fields, watch demos and enter raffles. There will also be a silent auction. more »

Swing Kids Anniversary Celebration: Help celebrate 20 years of Western Washington University's Swing Kids at a "Swing Into Spring" anniversary party from 11:30am-11pm at the ballroom at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Classes will take place throughout the day, and there'll be an evening dance happening from 7-11pm. Entry is $45 for WWU students with ID, and $60 general (includes classes and dance); individual classes and entry to the dance only are $15-$20. more »

Zombies Vs. Survivors: The Black Drop Coffeehouse hosts its sixth annual "Zombies Vs. Survivors" water balloon tag event from 12-3pm starting at Maritime Heritage Park and continuing throughout downtown Bellingham. Participants start out as “survivors” who hunt “zombies” with water balloons, and become “infected” if they are tagged. Players also can form teams to complete objectives and compete against other teams to be the first to finish the course. Free zombie makeup is provided for those who want it, more »

Fidalgo Youth Symphony: The final Fidalgo Youth Symphony concert of the season takes place at 1pm in Mount Vernon at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. General admission is $15. more »

Multicultural Family Festival: Entertainment featuring a diverse range of performers, cultural activities, international cuisine, arts and crafts and a children's village will be part of "Celebrate the World! A Multicultural Family Festival!" taking place from 2-5pm in Mount Vernon at Skagit Valley College's Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center and Phillip Tarro Theatre, 2405 E. College Way. Entry to the family-friendly event is free. more »

Wages of Sin: Author Rustan Roberts brings The Wages of Sin: The True Story of the Great Sedro-Woolley Bank Robbery of 1914 to life with digitized pictures and personal stories at 3pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. The book will be for sale at the program. Entry is free. more »

Death in Life: Psychology professor and author Sheldon Solomon shares ideas from The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Solomon co-wrote the book with Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski. more »

Line Dancing Classes: Western Line Dancing classes are offered at 6pm (beginners) and 7pm (intermediates) every Friday night at Lynden’s Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. No experience or partner is needed. Cost is $5 per class. more »

Sips & Cigars: Enjoy an evening of spirits, beer and cigars at a Sips & Cigars "Cigar and Spirit Festival" from 6-10pm at the Silver Reef Event Center, 4876 Haxton Way. Tickets are $60 in advance and $75 at the door and include appetizers, beer samples, spirit samples, premium cigars and entry to a door prize. Funds raised benefit the Bellingham Sunrise Rotary. Attendees must be 21 or over. more »

The Great Symmetry: Local author James Wells reads from The Great Symmetry at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The tome by Wells—the great-grandson of pioneering sci-fi author H.G. Wells—focuses on exo-archeologist Evan McElroy, who has made a discovery about the Versari, a long-departed alien race. more »

Stories We Must Tell: Attend "Stories We Must Tell"—an evening of poetry, music and artwork with Matthew Brouwer, Carol McMillan, Kevin Murphy, Betty Scott, Tsena Paulson, and Jasmine Jean—at 7pm at Bellingham's Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave. Entry will be $5 at the door. more »

Contra Dance NYE Gala: Join the Bellingham Country Dance Society for its last regularly scheduled dance of the season from 7-10:30pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Beauty and the Beats will provide live music, and Karen Marshall will call. No partner is needed, and no experience is necessary. Entry is $8-$10. more »

Bayshore Symphony: Bayshore Symphony and soloist Randi Sulkin present Vivaldi's "Concerto for Piccolo, Strings and Continuo in C Major" and other classical works at 7:30pm Saturday at Mount Vernon's St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 415 S. 18th St. An additional concert takes place at 3pm Sunday in Bellingham at Central Lutheran Church, 925 N. Forest ST. Suggested donation for each performance is $10 (children 12 and under are free). more »

Faculty Recital: Western Washington University music department staff will perform at a free Faculty Recital at 8pm at the school's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. more »

Ridley Creek Work Party: Join the Mount Baker Club for a Volunteer Work Party today to help rebuild the historic Ridley Creek Trail on Mt. Baker. (Originally known as the Deming Mt. Baker Trail, it was built in 1909 and was the inspiration for the 1911-1913 Mt. Baker Marathon.) Meet at 8am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool, or meet at 9:30am at the Ridley Creek trailhead. more »

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