Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Elizabeth Park Summer Concerts

A tried-and-true tradition

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It’s been more than a decade since I lived in a bright purple house on Utter Street in the Columbia neighborhood, but my affection for that part of town remains strong. So much so that my frequent meanderings hither and yon often take back to that neighborhood, where I can identify my favorite stately mansions and cozy bungalows alike on a block-by-block basis.

My strolls through the Columbia always take me around—and sometimes through—Elizabeth Park, where the bustle of tennis…

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Outdoor Education

Nurturing a reluctant nature lover

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Owing to the fact that I grew up in family full of nature-loving outdoors enthusiasts, it’s hardly a fluke I turned out so crunchy. 

Before I started kindergarten, my dad took me hiking everywhere and taught me how to camp, backpack, use a compass and fish. The fever struck early and never broke.

Meanwhile, Grandpa Brunsvold let me shadow him all over his ranch, immersing me in the wonderful world of manual labor. Under his insightful tutelage, I experienced the thrill of…

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Cultural Contributions

A big unveiling at Riverwalk Park

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On a drizzly Saturday last April, a rapt audience sheltered under tents and umbrellas on Mount Vernon’s new Riverwalk Park, where at last, flood-defense measures have been put into place and the community can enjoy farmers markets and other gatherings. 

Attorney Joe Bowen was one of the speakers. He told how his ancestors met their relatives and friends from other tribes here—at that time the site of a massive logjam in the Skagit River. The visitors sang and beat drums in their…

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Life Lessons

Cooking with kids

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My mom was a teacher, so during our grade school and junior high years, my siblings and I would often arrive home at least an hour before she did. We’d be hungry, and would slap together peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches or snack on leftovers—always with the mantra to not spoil our dinners in the back of our minds.

When I was about 10 or 11, I got ambitious and decided I’d fry a few pieces of after-school bacon. Unfortunately, I walked away from the too-hot pan at a critical…

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The story of Mister Rogers

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I’m tempted to say that the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is exactly what we need in these scabrous times, but that makes it sound too self-important. And if there is one thing that Fred Rogers, the host and creator of the beloved educational children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, would disdain, it’s self-importance. That, and being disrespectful of children.

Morgan Neville’s movie is more than just a chronicle of Rogers’ career. In some not-quite-definable…

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On Stage

Creative Exchanges

A chautauqua for all ages

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

If your summer checklist involves goals such as finally learning how to make a campfire, taking a walk on the beach, dancing in the streets, trying your hand at clowning or juggling, or enjoying live entertainment from talented regional performers, the New Old Time Chautauqua’s Washington State Parks Tour has you covered on all accounts.

As part of a monthlong circuit throughout Washington state, the longtime creative collective will be in our corner of the region June 28-30, bringing…

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A Pipeline Controversy Explained

Is Washington now in the tar sands crosshairs?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It seems likely that the Canadian province of Alberta—home to a massive tar sands industry that produces some of the globe’s dirtiest and most polluting oil—has put the Pacific Northwest in its crosshairs. The province is partnering with the Canadian government to ram through the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, a 715-mile conduit that would carry as much as 890,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian interior to southwest British Columbia. Much of that oil would…

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Best of Skagit
Best Tulip Farm


It’s tulip time, and the fields are alive with the light and color of spring. The word’s out, and this spectacular time in the Skagit Valley is no longer a secret.

But Skagit still holds a lot of secrets—mist-shrouded valleys, swollen and mighty rivers, and frosty high country thick with dark pines and devil’s club. And there are the hidey holes—the hamlets sprinkled along old forgotten highways, the winding sloughs and channels of the fertile delta, and the coast beyond—dotted with islands pungent from salt and rain. There are the bars and diners and coffeehouses, the playgrounds and trails. And there are the people who fill them, hearty and happy. And though our readers revealed some of these secrets, Skagit remains a treasure undiscovered.

Entries by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat
Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle and Andy Porter

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Pearl Surrounding the Oyster Dome

THE PEARL SURROUNDING THE OYSTER DOME: At a well-attended meeting in Mount Vernon last week, the healthy future of Blanchard Mountain began to take shape.

A proposed trust land swap would preserve the core of Blanchard State Forest trust lands—lands owned by the public and managed by the…

Alan Rhodes
Can We Talk?

Despite my reputation as an easygoing, cheerful optimist, I worry all the time. For example:

Emerald City Exodus. O.K., Seattle, I’ve read the data and know that a lot of you are moving to Bellingham. Who can blame you? If I lived in Seattle, I too would want to flee Amazon,…

Trove Web
‘Water-laden’ claims all wet

I have lived in Skagit Valley, particularly the Samish River valley, for 62 years. The 302 Glaciers in the North Cascades, which provide 12 percent of the Skagit’s water flow, have…

Honor our refugee commitments

June 20 is World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to honor the courage and resilience of refugees. We’re encouraging people to ask members of Congress to support refugees and…

Children, families, communities first.

Having worked with families and young people in and from Central America for many years, and knowing the violence and poverty from which young and old flee and its legacy in empire, I condemn…

Village Books
Today's Events
Bard on the Beach


Macbeth, As You Like It, Timon of Athens, and Lysistrata show in repertory through Sept. 22 at Vancouver, BC’s “Bard on the Beach” Shakespeare Festival at Vanier Park. Tickets start at $24…

Rainbow Reads


All teen readers 8th grade and up are welcome to attend and engage in fun, respectful dialogue facilitated by WCLS and Northwest Youth Services staff at Rainbow Reads Book Club meetings…

Plant Diagnostic Clinics


Local Master Gardeners will be on hand for Plant Diagnostic Clinics from 5-7:30pm Mondays through June at the SkillShare Space at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave.  Bring your…

Hammocking Basics


Register in advance for a free “Elevated Camping: Hammocking Basics” clinic at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. Attendees will glean tips and tricks that will have the flying in no time.

Hammocking Basics


Register in advance for a free “Elevated Camping: Hammocking Basics” clinic at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. Attendees will glean tips and tricks that will have the flying in no time.

Monday Night Pizza


Live music and pizza from a wood stone oven will be part of the monthly Monday Night Pizza gathering at 6pm at the Ciao Thyme Commons, 207 Unity St. Entry is $30 and includes a seasonal…

Cuban Salsa


Rumba Northwest hosts a “Cuban Salsa for Beginners” class at 6pm at Bell Tower Studios, 1430 N. Garden St. At 7pm, a “Cuban Salsa Advanced” class takes place. Entry to the classes is $8 for…

Orca Month Kayak Tour


In celebration of Orca Month, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities and Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures invite the public to join a kayak tour of Bellingham’s waterfront from 6-8:30pm…

Books on Tap Two


South Whatcom Library manager Brian Hulsey helms a “Books on Tap 2” discussion from 6:30-8pm at Tino’s Pizza & Pasta Co., 2275 Lake Whatcom Blvd. The book to read for this month is Olivia…

Open Mic Night


Published and unpublished writers are encouraged to attend and enjoy a welcoming audience when they share their stories, poems and essays at a monthly Open Mic Night starting at 7pm at…



A weekly open mic for comedians, “Guffawingham!,” takes place at 9pm every Monday at the Firefly Lounge, 1015 N. State St. Entry is free. The event features approximately 20 standup…

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