Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival

Party in the park

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Several years ago, after undergoing a series of personal setbacks, I decided it was time to take my show on the road. Generally speaking, I’m a firm believer that wherever you go, there you are. But in this case, a change in geography seemed in order.

So, I moved to Ferndale.

While not exactly an exotic locale, it had the benefit of being not-Bellingham but still nearby. I found myself a small house on five acres of former farmland just outside the city limits, packed up my cat, my…

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The art of transition

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

“Thus did Odin establish that all dead men should be burned, and their belongings laid with them upon the pile, and the ashes be cast into the sea…“ recounts the saga of the Norse Vikings.

So perhaps it was no surprise when Steve Jensen’s best friend, dying of AIDS, asked him to carve a miniature longboat as a repository for his ashes.

The son and grandson of Norwegian fishermen and boat-builders, himself a Cornish-trained artist, Jensen knew that, for many cultures, a boat…

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Bike & Build

Pedaling for a purpose

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A few days before summer became official, recent Western Washington University graduate Sean Petersmark dipped his bike’s rear tire in the Atlantic Ocean in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

By the time he dips “Simba’s” front tire in the Pacific Ocean at Bellingham’s Marine Park on Thurs., Sept. 1, Petersmark and 29 other young adults from around the country will have ridden more than 4,000 miles as part of Bike & Build, a nonprofit that, since 2003, has sent approximately 3,000 riders…

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Eat Local Month

A gold medal standard

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

If eating local were an Olympic sport, Whatcom County would likely be in the running for a gold medal.

In fact, every September we enter an intense training period known as Eat Local Month. Competitors join Sustainable Connections to celebrate the bounty that comes from the area’s farmers, fishers, dairies, meat producers and more in a variety of ways, and, ultimately, we all come out winners.

Among two big events—a Farm Fund Hootenanny on Sun. Sept. 4 at Boundary Bay Brewery’s…

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Library Love

Crossing the digital divide

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

For me, frugality is a way of life.

Even when my coffers are full, I look for the best ways to save money—whether it’s by buying items at thrift stores or garage sales, growing my own food, utilizing coupons for nights out on the town or scouring Craigslist’s free section.

When I got a press release from Whatcom County Library System’s (WCLS) community relations coordinator Lizz Roberts recently, I realized my library usage also saves me money in a big way.

Roberts’ missive noted…

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Ticket Cascadia
On Stage

Circus Al Fresco

Summer’s last Sh’Bang

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

By the time you read these words, it might be too late to sign up for the Circus Campout taking place Aug. 25-28 at the Lookout Arts Quarry.

Luckily, visitors to the 50-acre property near Alger can still reap the rewards of what happens when creative humans gather together for three days of skill-sharing.

“Circus on the Water,” an outdoor show featuring performers from across the country and abroad, will be the Saturday-night feature. From terraced seats on the shore of the former…

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The 2016 Lummi Totem Journey begins

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Q’al. The word means “belief” in the Lummi language.

It is a fitting title for this year’s totem pole journey. The journey, the fourth in four years, will unite tribes and communities all along the 4,865-mile, 18-day sojourn with the totem pole.

It is belief that helped defeat the various coal port proposals over the past three years, tribal leaders say. And it is belief that is needed now as tribes and their supporters continue to oppose projects that would deliver toxic tar…

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Southside With You

Barack gets the girl

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A 20-something woman living at home prepares for a day out. Her parents tease her as she fixes her hair. Is it a date? No, just a work associate, a Harvard law student with the firm for the summer, taking her to a community meeting to discuss “broken faucets and underfunded schools.” Across town, a man in an undershirt chats with his grandmother by telephone between cigarettes and says, “Yes, her skin is of the darker persuasion.” This is how Barack met Michelle, and Southside…

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The Gristle
A Matter of Equity

A Matter of Equity: In the fierce cyclonic thunderstorm of a heated petroleum industry, there is perhaps an eye of calm and equilibrium.

Whatcom County was scheduled to appear in Olympia this week to defend against what might’ve been the largest property tax reassessment in county…

Artifacts Wine Bar
Nukes know no sarcasm

A U.S. President is elected to a term of 1,461 days (including a leap year), or 2,922 days if…

Justice through the tax code

Issues from differences between the 99 percent and the one percent could be reduced within a generation by limiting inheritance…

A brew long in the making

Hillary can’t be trusted on the TPP because of her husband’s NAFTA? President Reagan spoke of an Americas Trading Pact…

5 Point Film Festival
Today's Events
5Point Adventure Film Festival


Rock climbing and bicycling clinics, yoga, free community parties, a Van Life Rally, a food truck rally, live music, athlete and filmmaker panel discussions with Pacific Northwest locals, and…

Skagit Tours


As part of the annual “Skagit Tours,” Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours and Newhalem tours…

Boating Center Open


The Community Boating Center is open from 12pm to sunset on weekdays, and 10am to sunset on weekends through the summer at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks,…

Bard on the Beach


William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, and Pericles are currently showing in repertory as part of the 27th “Bard on the Beach” season at Vancouver, BC’s…

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead


After leaving their home of 14 years and before moving permanently into the Sylvia Center for the Arts, iDiOM Theater will present Sir Tom Stoppard’s “sparkling and absurdist” tragicomedy,…

Plover Rides


The Plover ferry runs through the summer from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor. Suggested…

Barbecues and Beach Parties


Live music and “ridiculously good food” straight off the grill can be had at “Barbecues and Beach Parties” gatherings from 5:30-9:30pm Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 10 at Blaine’s…

Ferndale Street Festival


Live music, a “Festival of Fenders” car show, vendors of all trades, a wine and beer tent, activities for families and kids, various food outlets and much, much more will be part of the 13th…

Final Sin & Gin Tours


Learn more about the history of vice and sin that helped make the foundation of our urban locales what they are today at the Good Time Girls’ final “Sin & Gin Tours” of the season at 7pm…

A Little Night Music


A concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music will close out Western Summer Theatre’s season with performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Western…



Two-person improv teams will “take on the weight of multiple performers” at “Doubles” shows at 9pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. With only each other to rely on,…

Pancake Breakfast


Attend a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at Ferndale’s American Legion Hall, 5537 2nd Ave. Entry is $3 for kids, $6 for adults. The event happens on the fourth Saturday of most months.

Mount Vernon Farmers Market


As many as 60 vendors will share their wares through the season at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market, which takes place 9am-2pm Saturdays through Oct. 15 at the city’s Riverfront Plaza. A…

Twin Sisters Farmers Market


Purchase farm-fresh goods at the Twin Sisters Market taking place from 9am-3pm in Deming at Nugent’s Corner, and 3-6pm in Maple Falls at Kendall Elementary School every Saturday through October.

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 from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 29 at…

Sedro Car Show


Attend a fundraising Car Show from 9am-3pm in Sedro-Woolley at United General Fitness Center, 2000 Hospital Dr. The car show is open to all, and “people’s choice” prizes will be…



Whatcom Events will host “Wondermud” (formerly “Muds to Suds”) from 10am-4pm at Bellingham BMX, 5022 Guide Meridian. The family-friendly event will feature more than 20 obstacle courses and…

Sumas Writers Group


Aspiring writers can join the Sumas Writers Group to improve writing techniques, get feedback and gain information on how to get work published from 10-11am at the Sumas Library, 451 2nd St.…

Discover Birch Bay Days


A grand parade, an arts and crafts fair, live music, a beer garden, a Ducky Derby race, a crab derby and boil and more will be part of the 37th annual Discover Birch Bay Days & Crab Fest…

Island Market


Peruse arts and crafts, partake of food and listen to music at the Lummi Island Saturday Market from 10am-4pm in the field next to the Islander Grocery, 2106 S. Nugent Rd.

Bellingham Farmers Market


Attend the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm every Saturday through Dec. 17 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. In addition to perusing and purchasing locally grown produce,…

Blaine Gardeners Market


Procure produce, crafts, food from vendors and more at the Blaine Gardeners Market from 10am-2pm Saturdays through Oct. 29 at 685 Peace Portal Dr.

Improv for Kids


Youth ages 9 and up can sign up in advance for a free “Learn to Think on Your Feet” introductory improv class happening from 10:30am-12pm at Improv Playworks, 1011 Girard St.

Fidalgo Bay Day


Attend the 13th annual “Fidalgo Bay Day” and celebrate National Estuaries Day from 11am-3pm in Anacortes at the Samish Indian Nation’s Fidalgo Bay Resort, 4701 Fidalgo Bay Rd. Take part in…

A Swinging Weekend


Swing Connection, Skagit Swings and the A Band will perform at a Big Band Bash from 12-5pm Saturday at the Fairhaven Village Green, 1207 10th St. From 2-4pm Sunday, Swing Connection and…

Holly Street History Tour


The Bureau of Historical Investigation teams up with the City of Bellingham to offer “Holly Street History Tours” at 1pm starting in front of the Chuckanut sandstone building at 311 E. Holly…

This Old House


Listen to or tell stories about old homes in Point Roberts at a “This Old House” gathering at 2pm at the Point Roberts Community Center, 1487 Gulf Rd.

Nooksack River Walk


Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for a free Nooksack River Walk at 3pm at the Horseshoe Bend Trailhead on the Mt. Baker Hwy. Attendees can learn about salmon, discover native…

Drinking for Dogs


Silent auctions, food, drinks, live music and more will be part of Happy Tails Happy Homes’ fifth annual “Drinking for Dogs” fundraiser from 4-8pm at the Green Frog Acoustic Tavern, 1015 N.…

Downtown Throwdown


Come see what the Bellingham Roller Betties are all about when the roller derby team hosts the second annual “Downtown Throwdown” starting with a bout at 5pm at the parking lot at Terra…

Scary Monster & the Super Creeps


Listen to Prince’s Purple Rain soundtrack in its entirety when Scary Monster & the Super Creeks perform at a summer concert series from 5-8pm at the Heart of Anacortes, 1014 4th St. The…

Toys for Tots Benefit Concert


Help raise funds for Toys for Tots at an annual benefit concert featuring LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends from 5-10pm at Sedro-Woolley’s Eagle Haven Winery, 8243 Sims Rd. Local favorite Rabbit…

Moonlight in Margaritaville


The Rotary Club of La Conner hosts its 10th annual Harvesting Hope fundraising auction, “Moonlight in Margaritaville,” from 5:30-9pm at the town’s Maple Hall, 104 Commercial St. Entry is $90…

An Evening with Ann Morris


Attend “An Evening with Sculptor Ann Morris” from 7:30-9pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent Rd. Morris—whose home and studio is on the island—has moved from large bronze work…

Circus on the Water


Attend “Circus on the Water” at 8pm at the Lookout Arts Quarry, 246 Old Highway 99 N. Rd. The spectacle of juggling, acrobats, comedy and aerials will take place on a floating dock or…

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