Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

On Stage

Way North

A triple shot of comedy

Monday, June 11, 2018

Clay Christofferson didn’t plan for the standup show he first produced in a north suburb of Houston to make its way to the Skagit Valley, but since Way North Comedy debuted at Farmstrong Brewing Co. approximately a year and a half ago, it’s become clear he and partners Lee Cox and Kyle Engberg made the right decision to forge ahead with the funny business.

“I found that craft beer crowds made really great comedy crowds,” Christofferson says of the successful monthly show—which takes…

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Thunder from Down Under

Blues, Brews & BBQ

Signs of summer

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It is here.

Not summer, exactly. As we saw last weekend, sunny days are not quite here again. And the skies above are not yet clear again. It is, after all, still Juneuary.

However, I’ve checked the forecast and things are looking good—and I’m not just talking about the weather.

What’s here is the start of the abundance of outdoor music series, the majority of which are set in scenic locales and nearly all of which take place during hours convenient to many and at prices and…

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The Ensemble

No wrong notes

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

If you need a little extra inspiration before shelling out for tickets to one or more of the many performances taking place at the Bellingham Festival of Music next month, check out a copy of Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble from your nearest public library. 

The Bellingham Festival of Music is celebrating its 25th year during its Silver Anniversary Season June 30-July 20, and The Ensemble, with its warm, sensitive portrayal of up-and-coming chamber musicians, puts a human face on the…

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Imagine This!

Inside the green building scene

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Passive solar, creative infill, adaptive reuse, low-impact development, LEED, RECs, IEQ, HSPF—the amount of confusing jargon and acronyms used by the green building industry is impressive.

In fact, an energy consultant compiled a list of more than 153 terms for Green Building Advisor that all building professionals should be familiar with. Dang.

Thankfully, there’s a much better way to learn about what all these terms mean and why they are so important. You can experience them…

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Seafood Saturday

Semiahmoo’s summer scene

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Diners probably won’t see historic tall ships pass directly in front of their tables during Semiahmoo Resort’s next “Saturday Seafood Boil,” but on a recent weekend night, my date and I were lucky enough to be front and center when the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain sailed by us on their way through Drayton Harbor as part of a weekend of public tours.

That said, it became clear within seconds of sitting down for our open-air supper that those who hang out near the…

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Limited Engagements

Here today, gone tomorrow

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Don’t blink, because you might miss a few noteworthy events. They’re limited engagements, so be prepared to show up and represent by perusing creative works, entering into meaningful dialogue with those you’re sharing space with and perhaps offering financial support by purchasing a piece of art.

If you’ve never wandered through Bellingham’s Alley District, “Art on Tap: End of an Era” will be your chance to get in on the associated action on “Block 52” one last time. Located in the…

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Opiate Debate

ACLU lawsuit demands jail opioid treatment

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

In a novel case with national implications, the Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Whatcom County jail administrators to force the facility to provide opiate-withdrawal medication to prisoners, rather than requiring them to go cold turkey.

The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, says the Whatcom County Jail’s refusal to provide the medicine violates the Americans with Disability Act, because opioid…

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The Rider

Home on the range

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Subtle, elemental and powerfully beautiful, writer-director Chloe Zhao’s The Rider is the Western of the new century, and the most enveloping film experience I’ve had this year.

Even a hack director could make something of the southwestern South Dakota landscapes near Wounded Knee, lined by the Badlands, and foregrounded by the people who live, work, ride and risk their lives there. But with this, the second feature written and directed by Beijing-born and American-educated Zhao,…

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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

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The Gristle
Last Ditch Effort Ditched

LAST DITCH EFFORT DITCHED: A divided U.S Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision this week in Washington state’s culvert case, leaving in place the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state has an obligation under federal treaties to correct certain road culverts for fish passage and…

Threshold Fund

In their April 25 and May 23 opinion pieces, Sarah Bond-Yancey of Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County (Habitat) and Dean Fearing of Kulshan Community Land Trust (KulshanCLT) shared perspectives on Whatcom County’s dire affordable housing situation and ways their organizations are…

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Mythologies and misrepresentation

I took part in the Lynden Farmer’s Day parade on June 2. I walked with the Whatcom Democrats contingent in that parade. Beforehand, I had an opportunity to speak with Vincent Buys about…

Bitter bitumen

Various environmental groups have been vocal in stating that when released into gritty British Columbia coastal waters, diluted bitumen (dilbit) sinks to the bottom within a few hours.

Smart Trips

Forty percent of Americans car trips are for two miles or less.
Most of us live in Bellingham because of the natural beauty, clean air, clean water and access to parks. More and more people…

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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…

Neverwonderland of OZ


Dancing for Joy presents performances of Neverwonderland of OZ at 1pm and 6:30pm Saturday, and 6:30pm Sunday and Monday at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The original…

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…

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…

SUP Basics


Register in advance for a free “SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) Basics” starting at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. The program will you an overview of SUP and the necessary equipment.

Cookbook Club


Read, cook and then share your dish at today’s Ferndale Cookbook Club meeting taking place from 6:30-8pm at the Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. “Mexican Cooking” is the theme for this month.…

Sunset Cruise


Help raise funds for Whatcom Humane Society by signing up for a Sunset Cruise aboard the Victoria Star starting at 6:30pm at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Tickets are $55…



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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