Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

Music

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Let your folk flag fly

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Without going too deep into the details, it is fair to say that life today in these United States occasionally has me casting longing glances toward Canada. Sure, our neighbors to the north are dealing with their fair share of problems—a once-dreamy prime minister that has become a sentient oil pipeline comes to mind, not to mention the steep price of milk—but on certain days, the grass really does look greener just across the border.

While the socialized medicine, access to education,…

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On Stage

Bard Alert

All the world’s his stage

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

William Shakespeare never had a Twitter account, but there’s no doubt he’s trending—at least in Whatcom and Skagit counties, where his words and his works are set to sparkle on stages throughout much of the summer.

For Shakespeare Northwest’s 18th annual Skagit River Shakespeare Festival, that stage will once again be the natural environs of the Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheater. This will be the ninth year the company with the motto of performing “outdoors and under the stars, the way…

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Words

The Way Home

No tech, no problem

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mark Boyle is no stranger to remaking himself. In the fall of 2008, he embarked on an experiment in living without money, documenting the experience with the publication of The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living (2010) and a follow-up guide, The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free.

He has been a vegan and a hunter; a business school graduate and an organic food company manager. In 2007, he set out to walk from southwest England to the birthplace of Gandhi in…

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Silver Reef Stay and Fly
Film

The Lion King

When recycling goes wrong

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

I don’t know how they did it. But Disney’s pristine, photorealistic rendering of the animated smash The Lion King trades one style of animation for another, marking a simultaneous advance and retreat for modern filmmaking.

It’s a step forward technologically and three steps back every other way. It represents a new high and a new low in Disney’s ongoing recycling program.

It’s persuasive, meticulous work within its chosen visual landscape, as far as it goes.

And for me it…

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Silver Reef Stay and Fly
Food

All That Razz

A festival for fruit

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Practically overnight, our backyard raspberry canes went from “I think the fruit is getting close to being ripe” to “oh my lord, what are we gonna do with all of these lovely red raspberries?”

Last weekend, my fella and I attempted to answer that question by throwing freshly picked handfuls in bowls of cereal, muddling them with a mortar and pestle to add to vodka spritzers, baking some in a pie along with strawberries and rhubarb, freezing them on top of parchment paper on a baking…

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Visual

To be Continued

Realism and abstraction at MoNA

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The two exhibits currently on display at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner reveal different perspectives of Washington painting in the last century. 

On the main floor, “continuum…continued” includes selections from the museum’s collection that illustrate the best of the Northwest “mystic” artists.

A 1953 Life magazine article introduced Americans to Seattle painters Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan, Guy Anderson, and Morris Graves, proclaiming “They translate reality into…

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Hotseat Silver Reef
Outdoors

Tour de Whatcom

Four routes, endless views

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

“Is the Tour de Whatcom a race or a ride?” is the first FAQ query on the website promoting the outing happening Sat., Jul 20, and the distinction is an important one for those contemplating whether they want to don a helmet and hop on their two-wheeled conveyance to take part.

“The Tour de Whatcom is a bicycle ride and although the course is marked, the START/FINISH line is the only street along the route that is completely shut down,” Whatcom Events explains. “Riders are expected to…

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News

Paddle To Lummi

Honoring a way of life

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

They touched the shore of the Olympic Peninsula on the weekend and were greeted in the Klallam language. Coastal tribes from Washington and British Columbia were welcomed to the revitalized estuary of the Elwah by youth of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe for the first time since 2005.

Growing in numbers as they travel, tribes paddle to Port Townsend, and on to Port Gamble, greeting and merging with other tribes as they travel the Salish Sea to Lummi. They’re expected to arrive July…

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Silver Reef Stay and Fly
Film

The Art of Self-Defense

Don’t count Jesse out

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

By now it should be clear that we underestimate Jesse Eisenberg at our own peril. His characters are often walking demonstrations of this principle: Think of the Harvard elites who scorned his young Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, or the assassins who made the mistake of taking on his stoner Jason Bourne in American Ultra. Eisenberg excels at playing an easily dismissible type—the nebbish, the misanthrope, the loner—but within that type he often discovers a startling range of…

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Silver Reef Stay and Fly
Best of Skagit
Best News Story

Save the Whales

Skagit is a land of wild rivers, soaring glacier peaks, fertile valleys and forested dots of islands sprinkling an inland sea. Powerful predatory whales live in these waters and feed on the tastiest wild fish on earth, the Chinook. Ours is as exotic as any landscape on the planet, and perhaps it is more threatened than many.

Those whales—the southern resident orcas—aren’t especially shy and can be viewed almost daily, although their numbers are in precipitous decline. Deaths in their pods have exceeded live births, threatening a spiral to extinction. They’re sick, and they’re starving. The cause? Increased human activity around the Puget Sound, as a region that is loved too much and too recklessly.

Alarmed by the decline of these iconic creatures, the Washington Legislature this session passed sweeping protections for the Salish Sea’s ailing orca population. Championed by lawmakers who represent Skagit and the San Juans, a quartet of bills cover a variety of measures, including whale watching, pollution and more. Yet budgets passed by the House and Senate so far contain no funding to continue the governor’s task force on orca recovery. There’s no agreement on plans to increase Chinook runs. And revenue measures to help pay for everything, from increasing hatchery production to enforcement of habitat protections, have yet to be decided.

As we dedicate this issue to celebrate all the best our region has to offer in scenic beauty, in recreation, in menus and samplings that are unique to who we are, let us acknowledge how fragile it is and how fierce we must be in its protection.

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The Gristle
The Real Social Network

THE REAL SOCIAL NETWORK: This week’s meeting of Bellingham City Council was a masters’ course in current social justice and social equity issues.

Council appears inclined to continue their ban on the conversion of the city’s dwindling supply of manufactured home parks, one of the…

Alan Rhodes
Rescued by Rachmaninoff

Recently, I was looking over the slate of candidates in next month’s local primary election.  There are some really excellent people running, but the appearance of three names on the list left an unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach.

While he was on Whatcom County Council, Tony…

Rumor Has It
Remembering Peter Gunn

My dad is the kind of guy who will stop and give five minutes of his time to just about anyone. Because of this, I have learned that it is entirely possible to form lasting, meaningful bonds with people five minutes at a time. 

If ever there was anyone made for friendships formed in…

Village Books
Letters
‘Build, baby, build’

At a recent meeting of the City Council Planning and Development committee, Council member Michael Lilliquist discussed the affordable housing issue facing Bellingham and the entire Puget…

Affordable Housing

Our best-intended leaders talk about improving housing, but “affordable housing” keeps slipping further out of reach.
Zoning in unincorporated Whatcom County that allows more affordable…

Smoke evacuation at jail

Thank you for your balanced approach to the reporting of the smoke evacuation issue in the existing jail in last week’s Gristle. 
I do have one item that has a material impact related to…

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Today's Events
Boating Center Open

10:00am

Bellingham’s Community Boating Center will be open through the summer from 10am until sunset daily at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and…

Skagit Guided Adventures

10:00am

This summer, join Skagit Guided Adventures for “Explore n’ Cruise” outings to Vendovi Island Thursdays through Mondays. “Hike n’ Cruise to Cypress Island” outings happen July 17, 27, 26 and…

Summer Reading Bingo Challenge

10:00am

As part of a Summer Reading challenge, children, teens and adults can pick up a BINGO card at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Prizes will be available for all age levels.…

Tall Ship Tours and Sails

10:00am

History will come alive when the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain make their return to the area from Friday and Saturday at Squalicum Harbor Marina, 722 Coho Way. Educational…

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm

A Wild West-inspired version of The Taming of the Shrew will be part of the 30th Bard on the Beach season at Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC. Through Sept. 21, the Shakespearean favorite will…

The Birds

7:30pm

iDiOM Theater’s Summer Rep continues with a production of The Birds at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. The comedy by Ancient Greek playwright…

Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre

8:00pm

As part of Bellingham TheatreWorks’ inaugural Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre, Tennessee Williams’ family drama, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, plays in repertory with Sarah Ruhl’s comedic The…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

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 Ladder Creek…

NW Raspberry Festival

10:00am

Celebrate the largest harvest of raspberries in North America at the annual Northwest Raspberry Festival taking place from 10am-8pm Friday, and 8am-5pm Saturday throughout Lynden. In addition…

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm

The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 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.…

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm

Enjoy the ultimate beach barbecue experience at a “Seaside BBQ” event from 5:30-8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 31 at Blaine’s Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy. The “party on…

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm

Through September 21, costumed guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays at Saturdays in…

Shakespeare Northwest

7:00pm

Head to William Shakespeare’s mystical woods when A Midsummer Night’s Dream kicks off Shakespeare Northwest’s summer season with a performance at 7pm Friday at Mount Vernon’s…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

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 Ladder Creek…

Tour de Whatcom

7:30am

Choose from scenic 22-, 44-, 62- or 100-mile bicycle rides as part of the 15th annual “Tour de Whatcom” starting at 7:30am in front of the Farmers Market at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107…

Shipwreck Day

8:00am

More than 200 vendors will show and sell their wares at the massive community garage sale known as Shipwreck Day from 8am-5pm along Commercial Avenue in downtown Anacortes from 10th to 4th…

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am

Choose from hotcakes, French toast or biscuits and gravy at a Pancake Breakfast happening from 8am-11am at the Ferndale Senior Center, 1999 Cherry St. Entry is $2.50 for kids and $6 for…

Concrete Saturday Market

9:00am

Fresh food, arts and crafts, and live music are part of the Concrete Saturday Market happening from 9am-3pm weekly through Labor Day weekend at the Concrete Community Center, 45821 Railroad St.

Mount Vernon Farmers Market2333

9:00am

Attend the Mount Vernon Farmers Market from 9am-2pm Saturdays through Oct. 12 at the city’s Riverwalk Park, 509 S. Main St. The market supports local farmers and growers in a family-friendly…

Ayurveda, Eat Right for Your Type

9:00am

Bharti Nagal helms “Ayurveda: Eat Right for Your Type” from 9am-2pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. This is the first in a series of classes combining yoga practice and…

Ferndale Renaissance Faire

9:00am

Attend the inaugural Ferndale Renaissance Faire from 9am-6pm Saturday, and 9am-4pm Sunday at the Pioneer Park Soccer Fields, 2241 2nd St. Attendees can enjoy the royal Scottish court,…

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am

Find fresh produce and much more at the 30th season of the Anacortes Farmers Market happening from 9am-2pm Saturdays through Oct. 26 at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave.

Twin Sisters Farmers Markets

9:00am

Affordable, Whatcom County-grown produce can be procured at the Twin Sisters Farmers Market from 9am-3pm at the IGA parking lot on Nugent’s Corner, and 10am-2pm in Maple Falls at the North…

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am

The 27th season of the Bellingham Farmers Market continues from 10am-3pm Saturdays through Dec. 21 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. In addition to perusing and purchasing…

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am

Vendors will offer fresh produce, local honey, gorgeous flowers, arts and crafts and more at the Lummi Island Saturday Market happening from 10am-1pm Saturdays through the summer in the field…

Summer Book Sale

10:00am

Purchase gently used books and DVDS when the Friends of the Birch Bay Library host a Summer Book Sale from 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday at their booth at the annual Sand Sculpture Competition…

Summer Seersucker Bicycle Ride

10:00am

Dress in vintage wear from the 1920s and ’30s (think seersucker suits, leather lace-up shoes and flat caps) and take part in the Summer Seersucker Social Bicycle Ride starting at 10am at La…

NW Art Beat Studio Tour

10:00am

Twenty-two artists will show and sell their work at 15 creative spaces during Skagit Artists’ 16th annual “NW Art Beat” from 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday throughout the Skagit Valley. The…

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am

Homegrown and handmade farm products, baked goods, arts and crafts and more can be found at the Blaine Gardeners Market from 10am-2pm Saturdays through October at the city’s H Street Plaza.

Mind, Body, Spirit Fair

10:00am

Discover the “power of you” at a Mind, Body, Spirit Fair taking place from 10am-4pm at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2224 Yew Street Rd. Create your healing network, listen to inspiring…

Sand Sculpture Competition and Rollback Weekend

10:00am

The annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Competition will be combined with the Rollback Weekend Car Show from 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday throughout the Birch Bay waterfront. The two-day event…

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am

Local farmers and artisans will sell their edible and creative wares at the Lynden Farmers Market from 10am-2pm every Saturday through Sept. 28 at Centennial Park, 319 Grover St.

Correspondence Club

10:30am

Anyone over 8 years old can show up for the monthly Correspondence Club gathering from 10:30am-12:30pm at Mindport Exhibits, 210 W. Holly St. Supplies, materials and instructional guidance…

Your Fall Gardening Starts Now

11:00am

Whatcom Master Gardeners will discuss cool-weather crops, perennial vegetables, protective covers and how to prepare your garden for winter at a “Your Fall Gardening Starts Now” presentation…

Camping at the Library

11:00am

Kids in grades K-5 can sit around the “campfire” and listen to scary stories, sing camp songs and eat s’more in a cup at a “Camping at the Library ” event at 11am at the Deming Library, 5044…

Cemetery Tours

11:00am

The Lynden Pioneer Museum presents “A Walk Back in Time” tour from 11am-12pm at the Lynden Cemetery, 1975 Front St. Tour guides will explore the history of the city, burial practices and…

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm

The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 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.…

Ask a Quilter

2:30pm

As part of the “Modern Quilts” exhibit, attend “Ask a Quilter” events from 2:30pm-4:30pm Saturdays through Aug. 24 at Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. Members of the…

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm

Learn about local salmon species, discover native plants and find aquatic insects at the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s Nooksack River Walk starting at 3pm in Glacier at the…

SpeakEasy 25

4:00pm

“Pig Tales: A Passel of Poetry” will be the theme of SpeakEasy 25 at 4pm in Everson at Alluvial Farms, 6825 Goodwin Rd. Paul Hunter will open the special reading, and nationally recognized…

Artist Talk with Judy Talley and Elizabeth Sandvig

4:00pm

Attend an Artist Talk with Judy Talley and Elizabeth Sandvig at 4pm in Edison at i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court. Before or after, check out Talley’s prints of barns that evoke the Skagit…

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm

Enjoy the ultimate beach barbecue experience at a “Seaside BBQ” event from 5:30-8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 31 at Blaine’s Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy. The “party on…

Feast and Frolic in the Field

5:30pm

Join Viva Farms to celebrate its farmers and the preservation of sustainable family farming at its third annual “Long Live Farms: Feast & Frolic in the Field” starting at 5:30pm in Mount…

Heart of Anacortes Summer Concert Series

6:00pm

Hear funk, Latin, jazz, R&B and more when Cascadia Groove continues the City of Anacortes’ free Summer Concert Series from 6pm-8pm at the Heart of Anacortes, 1014 Fourth St. The all-ages…

Andrew Rivers

7:00pm

Standup comedian Andrew Rivers bring personal and hilarious storytelling to the stage for a 7pm show at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay. Aside from his television appearances on NBC and FOX,…

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm

Through September 21, costumed guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays at Saturdays in…

Salsa Night

9:00pm

Join DJ Antonio Diaz as he mixes a fabulous combination of the best Latin rhythms at Rumba Northwest’s bimonthly “Saturday Salsa Night” taking place from 9pm-12am at Cafe Rumba, 1140 N. State…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

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 Ladder Creek…

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