This Week's Cover


Downtown Sounds

When Downtown Sounds began 11 summers ago, Bellingham’s downtown core was a different place. No, it was not some burned-out, rundown hellscape, but it did have more than its fair share of empty storefronts and was in need of both an image change and some revitalization.

Let’s face it: There comes a point in everyone’s life when a makeover is probably not the worst idea.

Enter the Downtown Bellingham Partnership.

Founded in 2000, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership has one singular,

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This Week

The Gristle

Four Promoting Five

FOUR PROMOTING FIVE: Despite the long and pretentious, preening moment of silence and quiet reflection the conservative caucus of the Whatcom Charter Review Commission invokes at the start of their meetings, caucus members nevertheless failed to gain divine insight on several key realities:

First, Whatcom County Council is the recognized authority able to affirmatively place charter amendment proposals on the ballot for voters in November. County Council also holds the legal authority to

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Terminator: Genysis

Enough, already


Arnold Schwarzenegger once again declares, “I’ll be back,” in this fifth installment of the Terminator franchise, but enough already. Spending half its time showing unkillable cyborg characters getting shot up only to quickly heal themselves, and the other half trying to explain a plot that rewrites the entire series, Terminator: Genisys will serve as a good litmus test of how keen the public is to see basically the same old thing in a new (but very similar) bottle.

At one point,

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When Marnie Was There

Studio Ghibli’s swan song?


“I hate myself.”

That’s an unusual statement coming from the hero of an animated film, let alone in the first two minutes. But 12-year-old orphan Anna (Sara Takatsuki), the protagonist of Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s lovely animated feature When Marnie Was There, has no illusions about her place in the world. There’s an invisible magic circle containing everyone else (i.e., all the seemingly normal, non-anhedonic people), and she’s forever on the outside. And as far as she’s concerned, she

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The Drive for Five

Fair representation with five equal districts


Whatcom County has breathtaking landscapes—from the islands in the Salish Sea, to the foothills of the North Cascades, and between them, the rich farms and waters that provide berries, milk, salmon and shellfish to the world. The breadth of our landscapes are matched by the diversity of our people—from software engineers in Bellingham, to fishermen and women in our coastal communities, to the farmers of Lynden. Unfortunately, the diversity of our people, and what matters to them most, is

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Urban Stream Series

Little Squalicum Creek needs you


We are blessed to have so many streams running through our community: Whatcom, Squalicum, Padden, Chuckanut, and Little Squalicum, to name a few. These special places are urban sanctuaries where we enjoy flowing water, wildlife and fresh air.

As our city grows, an increased amount of rainwater is routed away from roadways, parking lots and buildings into a system of underground pipes, and less water is filtered through vegetation and soil. This runoff is called stormwater, and as it flushes

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Grateful Bookshelf

A long, strange trip


When the remaining members of the Grateful Dead announced they would be playing a trio of farewell shows in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend to mark their 50th anniversary, it was unclear how the news would be received.

Was there still an appetite to hear music played by a bunch of semi-retired grandfathers sporting more than a little touch of gray? Had the legions of Deadheads hung up their tie-dyes and moved on? Would a final run of reunion shows have appeal without Jerry Garcia, the

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Finding the Freeze

No ice cream maker, no problem


Thanks to what I’m presuming is climate change, the blackberries lining my backyard fence are ripening much earlier than usual. I figure I have less than two weeks before I can start plucking. I am not prepared.

The problem, you see, is that I’ve still got two gallon-sized bags of blackberries and an equal amount of Italian plums from last summer taking up space in my freezer. I’d like to get rid of all of it before I start jamming the Frigidaire’s frosty chambers with more fruit.

It’s been

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On Stage

Curtains Up!

Seasonal surprises at the Mount Baker Theatre


You know that feeling of relief that can be found when you transition from being uncomfortably ensconced in the sweaty clutches of a hot summer day into that of a cool, air-conditioned oasis?

That sigh of climate-controlled assuagement could be heard by many last week at “Curtains Up!,” the preview for the Mount Baker Theatre’s 2015/2016 season, which begins July 21 with the sonic stylings of Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and ends May 14, 2016, with “’50s Dance Party,” an authentic

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Take Your Time

National Art Exhibition thinks big


Here’s a suggestion for those viewing the “Bellingham National Art Exhibition and Awards” exhibit currently on display at Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building: Walk through the collection once without reading the attached biographies and explanations accompanying each work of art, and then do so again while paying closer attention to what the artists had to say about their creations.

While the directive is merely a suggestion, it helped me stay focused when I toured the exhibition last

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Downtown Sounds

Calling out around the world


When Downtown Sounds began 11 summers ago, Bellingham’s downtown core was a different place. No, it was not some burned-out, rundown hellscape, but it did have more than its fair share of empty storefronts and was in need of both an image change and some revitalization.

Let’s face it: There comes a point in everyone’s life when a makeover is probably not the worst idea.

Enter the Downtown Bellingham Partnership.

Founded in 2000, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership has one singular,

Continue Reading »

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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Jul 03


Loggerodeo: A chainsaw carving competition, a carnival, a classic car show, parades, a foot race, a logging show, a street dance, food-related events, fireworks, a beard contest and much, much more will be part of the annual "Loggerodeo"—the longest-running 4th of July celebration in Washington State—taking place Thursday through Monday throughout Sedro-Woolley. Prices vary. more »

Northwest Tandem Rally: The multi-day Northwest Tandem Rally takes place from Thursday to Monday throughout Bellingham. The event includes organized, supported bicycle rides, a vendor fair, a banquet, Tour de France viewing parties, ice cream sampling, beer-tasting, Bellingham Bay cruising, and more. Registration prices vary. more »

Bard on the Beach: Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors plays in repertory with King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, and Shakespeare's Rebel at the 26th annual "Bard on the Beach" through September at Vancouver BC's Vanier Park, 1695 Whyte Ave. Tickets are $26-$45. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection; many performances sell out in advance. more »

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, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards. Registration for youth camps and adult classes are currently available online. more »

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 annual "Sin & Gin Tours" at 7pm Friday in Fairhaven next to Skylark's Hidden Cafe (1308 11th St.) and 7pm Saturday at the Bureau of Historical Investigation (217 W. Holly St.). Tickets to take part in the historical tours are $15 general and $19 with a drink. Tours take place weekends through Aug. 29. more »

Holiday Book Sale: As part of Blaine's Old Fashioned 4th of July celebrations, attend a Holiday Book Sale from 10am-6pm Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St. At the event, you can expect to find some fantastic summer reads while at the same time supporting library programs and services. more »

Plover Ferry: 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 Festival of Music: Guest musicians Vadim Gluzman, Katie Van Kooten, Christina Smith, Maria Valdes, Ilana Davidson, Morris Robinson, Alex Hann, and more will be part of the classical music extravaganza known as the Bellingham Festival of Music taking place July 3-19 at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center and the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. Tickets are $12-$50. Free community concerts also take place at Mallard Ice Cream (July 4) and Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall (July 9-17). more »

Valley Writers: Bring pen and paper or a digital device to the bimonthly "Valley Writers" meeting from 1-3pm at Sudden Valley's South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court. Participants write from prompts à la Natalie Goldberg. All adults are welcome. more »

Used Book Sale: Find a great selection of books, music and media at a Summer Festival Book Sale from 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday behind Peoples Bank across from the Everson Library, 104 Kirsh Dr. more »

VIGIL FOR PEACE: Join the longest-running Peace Vigil in the country—48 years and counting—from 4-5pm every Friday afternoon at the corners of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. more »

Friday Ferry Flotilla: Discounted rental fees for sailing dinghies and human-powered watercraft (kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards) will be part of a monthly Friday Ferry Flotilla starting at 5pm at the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave. Boats of all kinds are encouraged to join the gatherings, which bid adieu to Alaska ferry that departs Bellingham every Friday. Additional flotillas happen Aug. 22 and Sept. 26. more »

Salmon Dinner Sail: Combine your tastes for adventure and delicious food at a weekly three-hour "Bellingahm Bay Salmon Dinner Sail" aboard the Schooner Zodiac leaving at 6pm from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Tickets are $59 for kids and $79 for adults. more »

Art Walk: Allied Arts, the Alley District, the Bureau of Historical Investigation, Bayou on Bay, Rock & Rye Oyster House, Beauty Boutique, Creative Openings, the Hive, Make.Shift Art Space, Mount Bakery, Fourth Corner Frames, Naked Clothing, Opus Performing Arts, Pickford Art Studios, and more will take part in the monthly Art Walk happening from 6-10pm throughout downtown Bellingham. Entry is free. more »

Friday Night Dance Party: A mix of swing, Latin and ballroom will be highlighted and danced to with an introductory lesson at the weekly Friday Night Dance Party from 7:30-10pm at the Bellingham Dance Company, 1705 N. State St. Admission is $5-$7. more »

An Improvised Musical: Improvised scenes, songs, choreography and more can be experienced when "An Improvised Musical" opens tonight at 9pm at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. The format will show weekend nights through July. Please note that there's no show on Sat., July 4, and that summer hours are in effect at the theater through early September—meaning there's only one show a night on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. more »

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