This Week's Cover



Once upon a time, not so long ago, Western Washington University, under the auspices of Associated Students Productions (or ASP Pop Music as it was once known before being incorporated under the AS Productions umbrella), was responsible for bringing bands and musicians to campus for the entertainment of the student body.

This was an arrangement with benefits beyond the confines of the WWU campus, as, thanks to the miracle of plentiful university funding, AS Productions was able to book bigger

Continue Reading »

This Week

The Gristle

The Bigness of De Minimis

THE BIGNESS OF DE MINIMIS: Developers of a proposed coal export pier at Cherry Point appear to have been snared by their own media hype, misinterpreting a key communication by the federal agency authorized to issue the shoreline permit and very nearly missing a deadline for response.

At the opening of the year, Lummi Nation asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, arguing that capacity to ship 54 million metric tons of coal per year out

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Shell v.Skagit

Court rules the public is entitled to more information about oil train transport


“Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.”
—Abraham Lincoln

Shell Oil didn’t get far last week in its effort to head off a study of Bakken oil transport in the Skagit Valley. Its lawsuit rolled backward down a legal slope, like the unattended oil train that blew up in Quebec in 2013.

Nobody got hurt when the rhetorical brakes failed in Skagit County Superior Court last week. The world’s second-biggest oil company (or biggest, depending on how you measure it)

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The Great Symmetry

James Wells’ novel of knowledge screaming to be free


The most compelling speculative fiction comments on the present day.

James Wells says the seeds of his novel of a dystopian future were long germinating, but the soil required something more to bring it all to vivid life. And that ingredient was fertilizer of the most pungent variety—modern corporate excess, the despair of the faceless, grinding oligarchs rising as monoliths in our world today, and the chance—by no means certain, and therein lies the drama—that small acts of curiosity

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Over Easy

Sweet and savory in Sunnyland


It’s great to see a new restaurant packed with happy customers, and that was certainly the case this past Mother’s Day when my family and I popped into Over Easy, the new breakfast and brunch eatery in Bellingham’s Sunnyland neighborhood, next to Trader Joe’s.

Proprietors Jamie and Colleen Bohnett were run off their feet by the steady influx of hungry diners ready to celebrate the women in their lives. But their kitchen and staff were in peak form, delivering a great selection of sweet and

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On Stage

Bard on the Beach

All Shakespeare, all the time


I’m quite certain William Shakespeare would have approved of the birthday party I hosted for myself a few nights ago.

The evening’s festivities featured a few costumes, a spread including grilled meat and intoxicating spirits, the telling of many stories, dancing, gift-giving, pie-eating, the sharing of epic poems and—after a couple shots of Jose Cuervo—a recitation of the final lines of the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, courtesy of yours truly.

While wearing a celebratory

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Art in the City

The pop-up particulars


If you find yourself at the intersection of Bellingham’s Cornwall Avenue and Holly Street in the next couple of weeks, take a short stroll and don’t stop until you’ve passed the Greenhouse, Café Akroteri, and India Grill. If you come to Eva Salon, you’ve gone too far.

Perhaps I should be more specific about what exactly you’ll be on the lookout for. For at least a little while longer, the space at 1213 Cornwall Avenue that was formerly a dance studio—but has been empty for the

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Style for miles


Iris Apfel isn’t exactly a household name, unless we’re talking about very stylish households. From 1950 to 1992, Apfel ran Old World Weavers, the business she cofounded with her husband, Carl, which faithfully re-created antique textiles for use in home decorating. From grand Park Avenue drapes to demure White House settees, the duo’s historically accurate fabrics made their way into any number of upper-crusty redecorating schemes. But today Apfel, 93, is less well known for dressing interiors

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Pull up a patch of grass


Once upon a time, not so long ago, Western Washington University, under the auspices of Associated Students Productions (or ASP Pop Music as it was once known before being incorporated under the AS Productions umbrella), was responsible for bringing bands and musicians to campus for the entertainment of the student body.

This was an arrangement with benefits beyond the confines of the WWU campus, as, thanks to the miracle of plentiful university funding, AS Productions was able to book bigger

Continue Reading »


Take Me to the River

The subtle pleasures of the Samish


My friend Jesse really likes rivers.

Jesse has been a fisherman, rafting guide and all-around river bum for many years. We go way back: I have known him since he was five years old. So when he offered to take me on a paddle on the tiny Samish River, I said yes without hesitation.

We drove down through the vibrant green fields and marshes of the Skagit Valley near Edison and pulled over near an unmarked bridge. The spot was obscure—that’s the way Jesse likes it. We carried his canoe down

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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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May 29


Final Spring Rep Shows: A Spring Rep series concludes this week with showings of Best of Brass Monkey at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. Additionally, there'll be a "Jazz Jam and Poetry Slam" at 10pm Saturday. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. more »

Honk! The Musical: Squalicum High School's drama department finishes up its season with performances of Honk! The Musical at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday, at the school's Forum Theater, 3773 E. McLeod Rd. Tickets to the family-friendly adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling are $5-$10. more »

Blender: Mainstage players will join forces with other top-notch improv groups from around the region at "Blender" shows 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 »

To Kill a Mockingbird: Veteran director Billy Hendrix will direct a version of the American classic To Kill a Mockingbird starting this weekend with performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The story is narrated by an adult "Scout" as she looks back on the summer when she faced the good and evil of her world. Tickets are $18 and additional showings happen through June 20. more »

Bellingham Repertory Spring Concert: Bellingham Repertory dancers will push the boundaries of what is possible at performances of their ninth annual Spring Concert, "Up/Rooted," at 7:30pm Friday, 5pm and 7:30pm Saturday, and 5pm Sunday at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. The shows will include a much-anticipated new work commissioned from Seattle choreographer Mary Sheldon specifically for the Bellingham Rep dancers. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Student rush tickets will be available for more »

BFA Capstone Concert: The annual BFA Dance Capstone Concert can be seen at performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center, room 16. Entry is $12. more »

DPS Improv Festival: Western Washington University's Dead Parrots Society present a "DPS Improv Festival" with performances at 7pm and 9pm Friday and Saturday, and 8:30pm Sunday, at the Old Main Theater. The shows will feature improvisers from across North America, including the Upright Citizens Brigade and DPS alumni. Entry is $3-$5 at the door. more »

Little Shop of Horrors: An uproarious version of Little Shop of Horrors performed by youth ages 13-16 can be seen for the final weekend at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Tickets to the musical are $10. more »

Plover Ferry Returns: 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 »

Ten Strings and a Goat Skin: Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, a young award-winning bilingual trad/fusion trio that celebrates the music of the Irish, Francophone, and Maritime cultures and integrates modern and world rhythms with traditional and original tunes, performs at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon's McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $20. more »

Wild Things: Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom Walks for "Wild Things" excursions from 9:30-11am every Friday in May at Cornwall Park. Entry is by donation. more »

Gardening Presentations: "Using Plants in the Japanese Garden" will be the focus of a presentation with Hans Wressnigg at 11am in Mount Vernon at Christianson's Nursery, 15806 Best Rd. At 1pm, expert photographers John and Kathy Willson will lead a virtual tour of "The Traveling Gardener: Victoria's Butchart Gardens." Each presentation is $8; please register in advance. more »

Photography Workshop: "Compose Like a Pro" will be the focus of a photography workshop taking place from Friday through Sunday at Art of Photography Studio and Gallery, 4493 Aldrich Rd. Entry is $89. The class happens again June 12-15. 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 »

Children’s Art Show Reception: Meet the talented students of art instructor Brenda Culvert at a reception for a "Children's Art Show" from 6:30-8pm at the Lynden Library, 216 4th St. The exhibit shows from May 26-30. more »

Ukulele Concert: The Bellingham Ukulele Orchestra presents its third annual "I Love a Ukulele" concert at 7pm at the Heiner Theater at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg Rd. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Community Food Co-op. more »

Walking Home: Arleen Williams reads from her new book of fiction, Walking Home, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book completes the Alki Trilogy, and focuses on a man who has escaped his country violence in Africa, but can't seem to escape the nightmares and despair of his past. Williams will be joined by local authors Pamela Beason (Undercurrents) and Susan Colleen Browne (Mother's Love). 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 »

Penn & Teller: The world-famous magicians known simply as Penn & Teller will bring their talents to Bellingham for an 8pm performance at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. With sold-out runs on Broadway, world tours, Emmy-winning TV specials, and hundreds of outrageous appearances on everything from Letterman to Fallon, Friends to The Simpsons, Modern Family to Top Chef, the comedic duo shows no signs of slowing down. Tickets are $45-$150. more »

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