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This Week's Cover

 

Summer Meltdown

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 ongoing scheduling conundrum that I will do anything to resolve it, freeing

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This Week

The Gristle

Lockup Lockstep

LOCKUP LOCKSTEP: Imagine a game show in which contestants must choose between two doors to move on to the final round. The catch is—whichever door they choose, there is a burly Sheriff on the other side eager to lay down some hurt on the contestants.

In June, the City of Bellingham approved a new Jail Facilities Use Agreement (JFUA) with the county in response to the announcement by Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo that he intended to reduce the population in the main jail following the outcome of a 2015 voter initiative to fund and

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News

Intermission? Or curtains?

Mount Baker Summer Rep goes on hiatus

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“Ciao.” 

Ralph’s whisper to the absent Carol, the tearful last word of The Last Romance—part of last year’s Summer Rep series at the Mount Baker Theatre (MBT)—may have carried a lot more meaning than we knew. Summer Repertory itself seems to have ended as suddenly as Ralph and Carol’s chaste and emotional fling.

The series, which would have played its 10th season this month, was cancelled after 2016’s three plays were picked and directors chosen—just before actors were to be hired and rehearsals scheduled.

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Music

Summer Meltdown

Coming full circle 2

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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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Words

The Dinner

A multi-course mystery

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One of the interesting things about reading fiction is that it allows the reader to explore the darker side of human nature from the safety of a favorite armchair or hammock. 

You’ll need some distance to delve into Dutch author Herman Koch’s 2012 thriller The Dinner. It’s a gripping novel, recounting one night (and one meal) at a trendy Amsterdam restaurant, where two sets of parents meet to discuss an incident involving their sons. As each chapter unfolds, the tone

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Food

Summer Soup

Gazpacho, past and present

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In high school, I was the cook at a small Harvard Square Café called the Blacksmith House. Today, one would probably need a culinary degree—not to mention a high school diploma—to suck on the rarified air of that closet of a kitchen, but this was the 1970s, before the food revolution, and you didn’t need any special training to pronounce, much less prepare, the dishes on the menu.

I look back fondly on those days and the wacky cast of characters, such

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Visual

Festival Fun

Arts at the Port

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Every summer, the Anacortes Arts Festival—which this year takes place Aug. 5-7—puts on an extravaganza of fine painting, photography, fiber art, ceramics, glass, sculpture, mixed media and video. For the chosen 45 artists whose work has been accepted by the jury to exhibit in “Arts at the Port,” it’s a great distinction and a boost to careers.

A few artists from the local community are chosen in advance to contribute works for the parallel Allen Family Focus Gallery. This year, its theme is

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Outdoors

Chautauqua 101

Party in the parks

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When the Chautauqua Movement kicked off in 1874 on the shores of New York State’s Chautauqua Lake, it was with the clever idea that learning should continue throughout the course of one’s life.

Akin to a summer camp for adults, that first Chautauqua, and many that followed, offered a mix of entertainment and education, often including speakers, performers, musicians, teachers, preachers and specialists of the day (Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony, etc.).

“When a Chautauqua came to town, all normal activity stopped

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On Stage

The Shoe Play

A sole-searching story

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There were a few moments during last Friday’s showing of Quality: The Shoe Play when the fourth wall got a bit wobbly.

It wasn’t a big surprise. Since Bellingham TheatreWorks is staging the play about two women fighting a sole-searching battle for supremacy at a high-end shoe store at an actual shoe store, the conceptual barrier between the fictional work and its viewers was already thinner than one would expect at a night at the theater.

But

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Film

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Catch them if you can

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Life has a funny way of interfering with, well, life.

In the case of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the captivating new film from New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows), it’s definitely for the better when a taciturn city ‘tween enters the world of a set-in-his-ways, country-dwelling senior citizen. Their lives will forever change, no matter how much they think they don’t want them to.

The kid in question is pudgy and

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Film

Captain Fantastic

Father knows best

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It’s always tricky using a modifier like “fantastic” in a movie’s title, because if the film doesn’t live up to it, the snarky review headlines just sort of write themselves. Sadly for copy editors the world over, Captain Fantastic won’t have that problem. Not only is it wonderful, but it is also heartfelt, comedic, gorgeous and just the right amount of sad.

Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six children off the grid in rural Washington. They live

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Cannabis Guide

 

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