This Week's Cover


Scott Kelly

To me, musicians’ side projects have long been a source of fascination. Since I’ll probably never get to go rummaging through any of their medicine cabinets or read their diaries, side projects are one of the means by which formerly familiar musicians reveal the deeper mysteries that drive them.

Even for those auxiliary bands whose intentions are only half serious—take, for instance, Queens of the Stone Ages’ Josh Homme’s Eagles of Death Metal—the devotion of time and precious

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This Week

The Gristle

Good, Bad, Ugly

Good, Bad, Ugly: As the Holy Roman Empire was risible in all three of its nominative declarations (neither Roman nor empire) so too is the Majority Caucus Coalition®, the unified whole of the Republican caucus in Olympia empowered by a lone traitorous DINO, Democrat Tim Sheldon of the archly named community of Potlatch, to make mischief on a hairsbreadth Democratic majority. All three of its declarations of bipartisan consensus and brotherhood must be uttered with a smirk and a hard swallow.

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An Obscure Little Election

Conservation District helps farmers thrive


“Whatcom County faces several natural resource challenges that threaten our health, culture, economy and quality of life,” notes Joy Monjure. “We’ve made progress towards salmon recovery, but still have a long way to go to improve habitat conditions. Shellfish harvest areas continue to close due to worsening water quality. The impacts of climate change, including warmer temperatures and more extreme weather events, are expected to drive a significant migration of ‘climate refugees’

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Scott Kelly

Taking the Road Home


To me, musicians’ side projects have long been a source of fascination. Since I’ll probably never get to go rummaging through any of their medicine cabinets or read their diaries, side projects are one of the means by which formerly familiar musicians reveal the deeper mysteries that drive them.

Even for those auxiliary bands whose intentions are only half serious—take, for instance, Queens of the Stone Ages’ Josh Homme’s Eagles of Death Metal—the devotion of time and precious

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Still Life

When old is new again


Showing off stunning recent acquisitions by La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA), Exhibitions Director Lisa Young has assembled “Still Life”—which is, incidentally, an excellent introduction to the unique and vibrant art of the Northwest.

The colorful and influential Mark Tobey was the center of the early 20th century “Big Four,” along with Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, and Guy Anderson. The Tobey painting on display, “Pink Flower” (1928), shows the inspiration of natural

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Winter Warmers

Drinking local, lifting spirits


It’s that time of year again, when the chilly weather and the short, dark days usher us indoors. Fortunately, winter beers, also called winter warmers, are here to lift our spirits.

“Winter” beer is a loose category of seasonal ales and lagers that are released during the winter months. There is no strict style guideline, but they tend to have a big malt presence (from lightly sweet to heavily sweet), a relatively high amount of alcohol (most commonly 6 to 9 percent alcohol by volume, or

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On Stage

Late Nighters

Staying up at the iDiOM

Tobias Childs has a couple of simple tricks that allow him to stay up late; he gets at least eight hours of sleep a night and drinks lots and lots of coffee—“a gravy boat of coffee,” he says.

That regimen will come in handy over the next four months, when the actor, improviser and writer both performs in and hosts a plethora of late-night shows every weekend at Bellingham’s iDiOM Theater.

PETER Comedy, the trio Childs developed with Levi Friedman and Jacob Foerg—fellow improvisers he

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The Boys in the Boat

Of rowing and reading


In 1948, my uncle, Warren DeHaven Westlund, was the stroke-man of the American boat that won the gold medal in the coxed four event during the Summer Olympics in London, England.

But until I started reading more about Daniel James Brown’s book The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, I didn’t realize how important the games “Uncle Warren” competed in were—or how much those who rowed before them had risked to make the same athletic

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The American Nightmare


An ominous pall hangs over Foxcatcher, an aura of dread and unnerving quiet that announces right from the start of the film that things are not going to end well. The story of the strange relationship between billionaire John E. du Pont (Steve Carell) and Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) has been widely documented in the news media, but for those who come into the movie not knowing what awaits, that discomfiting feeling that permeates the early scenes is not your imagination.

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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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Jan 31


Bird Month Events: "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Snowy Owl" will be the theme of a monthlong exploration of snow owls and other winter migratory birds from 12-5pm Thursday through Sunday at Whatcom Museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. Entry is $5. Entry is $5. more »

The Carrion Man: A comedic mystery/horror adventure about a teen put through a series of tests to gain great fortune can be seen when The Carrion Man concludes this week at performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $10-$12. more »

Neil Simon’s Rumors: Neil Simon's classic farce, Rumors, continues this weekend with 7:30pm shows Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Tickets are $18 and additional showings happen weekends through Feb. 14. more »

Blender: Improv featuring performers from near and far—Seattle, Canada, Bellingham, and beyond—will be part of "Blender" performances 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 »

Romeo & Juliet the Musical: META Performing Arts opens its world premiere of Rome & Juliet—The Musical this weekend with showings at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. Set to the original words of William Shakespeare with music composed, orchestrated and conducted by music director Conrad Askland, the play promises to entertain and enlighten. Tickets are $10-$22 (all seats are $10 Sat., Jan. 31 on a first-come, first-served basis). Additional showings happen Feb. 5-7 and more »

Beauty & the Beast: Students from Lynden Christian High School presents showings of Disney's Beauty & the Beast at 7pm Friday and Saturday at the Lynden Christian Worship & Fine Arts Center, 515 Drayton St. Tickets to the see the musical are $6-$10, and additional performances happen Feb. 3-7. more »

The Rainmaker: The Alger Lookout Thespian Association (ALTA) presents showings of N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker at starting this weekend at performances 7pm Friday and Saturday at the Alger Community Church, 1475 Silver Run Lane. The romantic and poignant comedy focuses on the 1935 Nebraska drought happening both in the fields and the hearts of the characters. Tickets are $10-$14; additional showings happen Feb. 6-8 and 13-15. more »

Outsiders Auditions: Young actors ages 12 to 15 can audition for The Outsiders from 4:30-6:30pm Friday and 10am-12:30pm Saturday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Directed by Maddy Hamilton, this show will be performed March 13-15. Fee for participation in the play is approximately $80 a month. Scholarships are available. more »

Final Fish Hatchery Tours: In conjunction with the return of bald eagles to the Skagit River watershed system, volunteer guides will provide free tours for the final weekend from 11am-3pm Saturday and Sunday at the Marblemount Fish Hatchery, 8319 Fish Hatchery Rd. Tours start inside the visitor's center and proceed outdoors. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Entry is free. more »

Tax Help: AARP Tax-Aide will be offering free tax preparation service from 1-4:30pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. IRS-certified volunteers will assist people on a first-come, first-served basis. The service will be available from 1-4:30pm Saturdays and 4-7pm Monday through Thursday through April 15. Starting in February, the Ferndale and Blaine senior centers and the Lynden and Ferndale libraries will also offer tax help by appointment. 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 »

Pancake Breakfast: All-you-can-eat pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, scramble eggs and more will be on the menu at a Community Pancake Breakfast from 8-10:30am at the Lynden Community Center, 401 Grover St. Entry is $3 for kids and $5 for adults; proceeds benefit senior programs. more »

Orchid Basics: A free "Orchid Basics for an Indoor Oasis" workshop begins at 9am at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. You'll learn how orchids thrive and how to have successful blooms and re-blooms year after year. If you have an orchid, bring it with you for complimentary repotting and soil. Please register in advance. more »

Washington Park Outing: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for an excursion to explore the 2.5 miles of paved trails at the 220-acre Washington Park in Anacortes today. Meet at 9am at Sunnyland Elementary in Bellingham to carpool (costs are estimated at $4). Bad weather will likely cancel the hike. more »

Country Living Expo: Classes on everything from keeping bees to building cob ovens, making cheese, growing tomatoes, raising chickens and pigs, smoking fish, cutting meat, making pie crust and much more—including many classes that have nothing to do with food—will be part of the annual Country Living Expo and Cattleman's Winter School happening from 9am-5pm at Stanwood High School, 7400 272nd St. Entry is $40-$70 and includes five class sessions, a prime rib lunch, entry to a trade show and more. more »

Big Screen Opera: Attend a big-screen broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's Les Contes D'Hoffman at 9:55am at Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. In the performance, the magnetic tenor Vittorio Grigolo takes on the tortured poet and unwitting adventurer of the title of Offenbach's operatic masterpiece. Tickets are $16-$23. An additional viewing happens at 1pm Sun., Feb. 8. more »

Microgreens 101: Learn how to grow your own from your kitchen windowsill at a "Microgreens: Keepin' It in the Kitchen" class at 2pm at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. For those not in the know, micro greens are an excellent source of proteins and vitamins—not to mention being tasty. Entry is $39 and includes all supplies. more »

Wine Tasting: Attend a "Demystifying Aperitif and Digestif Wines" tasting starting at 2pm at Siefert & Jones Wine Merchants, 19 Prospect St. The wines are commonly used as an addition to cocktails, but quality producers are making stunning examples. Entry is free. more »

Rowing Club Thrills: "Girls, Boys, Women, and Men in Rowing Boats" will be the focus of a presentation by Whatcom Rowing Association members from 3-4:30pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. The event—which is inspired by the Whatcom READS! book The Boys in the Boat—will focus on the thrills and challenges of rowing in Bellingham, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Entry is free. more »

Into the Darkened Night: The Allegra Women's Ensemble presents "Into the Darkened Night," a concert of winter-themed choral music, at performances at 3pm and 7pm at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 1720 Harris Ave. Pianist Hadassah McGill and cellist Carol Anderson will also take part. Suggested donation is $10 at the door. 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 »

West of Sunset: Stewart O'Nan reads from his new book of fiction, West of Sunset, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The tome is set in 1937, and follows the last three years of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life—troubled years that saw him in poor health with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruins. more »

Contra Dance NYE Gala: The Bellingham Country Dance Society hosts a Contra Dance from 7-10:30pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Tonight's dance will feature live music by Countercurrent and calling by Michael Karcher. No partner or experience is needed. Entry is $6-$10. more »

Bellingham Talent Show & Raffle: Bellingham Circus Guild performers, stand-up comedians, poets, singers and songwriters, short-story spinners and other will take part in a monthly Bellingham Talent Show & Raffle starting tonight at 10pm at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The event is part of the theater's new late-night series of shows. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. more »

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