This Week's Cover


Go Fish!

You can now safely eat a forkful of fish each week—mostly because the state proposes to fudge the meaning of “safe” by an order of magnitude.

The debate on fish consumption carries deep ironies. Nutritionists say fish and shellfish are part of a healthy diet and should be consumed regularly. But clinicians and oncologists warn that toxic chemicals that can build up in the flesh of aquatic life can increase the risk of certain diseases like cancer.

The state uses the fish consumption

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This Week

The Gristle

Gut Check

GUT CHECK: “To the winners go the spoils,” Sam Crawford observed, after a rightward lurch in election results in 2009 allowed him—as council president and in control of their process and procedures—to pack the planning commission and other county appointments into an echo chamber of likeminded fellow travelers. But he was right, though; and it is with a small irony County Council in a new majority chose to replace Crawford himself, who resigned his position last month, with Satpal

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Geographer and the Velvet Teen

Indie rock tries a takeover


Historically, Bellingham’s musical reputation has always been built on rock ’n’ roll, the louder and grittier the better. More recently, we’ve become a destination known for bluegrass and Americana bands, their numbers and influence growing stronger with each passing year. We’ve also nurtured a burgeoning, but ever-growing hip-hop scene, one that pairs local talent with touring acts probably better and more effectively than other genres that regularly grace the stages of our music

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Radio Waves

New station gives voice to the community


“Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?”
― Ralph Ellison,
Invisible Man

Imagine live, local music, culture and in-depth news and analysis about issues that matter to you most and brought to you by independent local reporters you know and trust. Imagine local community radio by Bellingham, for Bellingham. It’s not just a dream, it is actually happening.

In 2013, Bellingham art cooperative Make.Shift, with the help of radio advocacy group Common Frequency,

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Go Fish!

City recommends a cleaner standard for state waters


You can now safely eat a forkful of fish each week—mostly because the state proposes to fudge the meaning of “safe” by an order of magnitude.

The debate on fish consumption carries deep ironies. Nutritionists say fish and shellfish are part of a healthy diet and should be consumed regularly. But clinicians and oncologists warn that toxic chemicals that can build up in the flesh of aquatic life can increase the risk of certain diseases like cancer.

The state uses the fish consumption

Continue Reading »


Wine and History

Day sipping in Langley


Vancouver gets all the limelight for its big-city feel and its great arts and culture scene. But the truth is, it’s just one glimpse of British Columbia.

For something completely different, try a day drive to Langley in the Fraser Valley, a city with a strong claim to British Columbia’s history, yet one that still has the feel of the countryside. Leave Langley’s main roads and you’re surrounded by green, open spaces containing farms, a few vineyards and horse paddocks.

Being wine

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Can You Dig It?

The dirt on native plant sales


When I first moved into my York neighborhood house, I had a roommate who worked for a native plant nursery. During the three years she lived in my basement, my friend would occasionally bring home samples of her work with her. Fifteen years later, the Indian plums, red-flowering currants and assortment of ferns and other growing goods she gifted the garden with have thrived, and have helped make the formerly barren yardage come alive.

While not every plant I tend is endemic to Washington, I

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Get Hard

Or stay at home, whatever


If you’re disturbed by white-collar crime, but not quite as disturbed as you are by gay sex, then congratulations: You might possess just the right combo of social conscience and unexamined homophobia needed to fully enjoy Get Hard. Not even two of America’s most reliable funnymen can eke consistent laughs out of this sloppy odd-couple comedy about a wrongly convicted millionaire (Will Ferrell) who asks the nearest black guy (Kevin Hart) to toughen him up in preparation for a decade behind

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On Stage

Divided They Stand

Comedy with a catch


Ian Harris isn’t afraid to bring religion onstage.

Whether he’s talking about the irony of purchasing a book called Christianity for Dummies or pointing out that his dog is a devout Christian Scientist (at least when it comes to choosing whether or not to sign his canine up for a $12,000 surgery) the standup comedian says he’s not squeamish about tackling taboo subjects—especially if they’re not supported by science or facts.

Ty Barnett, Harris’ longtime friend and Last Comic Standing

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Seconds Sale

Pottery by the pound at Blue Water

Once upon a time, potter Jeremy Noet and his wife Megan lived aboard a sailboat in Bellingham. Eventually they had a baby, but stayed on the sailboat. However, after having their second child, everything changed.

“We sold our boat three years ago to some beautiful people, who, like us many years ago, had more time than money,” Noet says.

One thing that hasn’t differed since their days of living aboard a watercraft is how the couple likes to surround themselves with cherished

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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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Mar 28


Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is accepting single-poem submissions from Whatcom County residents until March 31. Winners are invited to read their poems at a free public awards ceremony on Thurs., May 14, and winning poems are displayed for a year in front of the library and on WTA buses. Walk Award poems are displayed on plaques in front of the Bellingham Public Library for a year; placards of both Walk and Merit Award poems circulate in WTA buses throughout the county. See the guidelines more »

Wonderheads present Grim and Fischer: The multiple award-winning physical theater company, Wonderheads, presents showings of "Grim and Fischer" at performances March 19-29 at the Mount Baker Theatre's intimate Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. In the wordless mask comedy, an aging grandmother is pitted against the Grim Reaper and must fight for survival. Tickets are $16-$32. more »

The Birthday Party: iDiOM Theater and Stone Town Theatre Works team up to present Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, which concludes this week at 7:30pm showings Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM's headquarters at 1418 Cornwall Ave. Expect absurdist dialogue, themes of identity and social conformity, and a birthday party that "heads off the rails and into uncharted, nightmarish territory." Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. more »

Grim and Fischer: The multiple award-winning physical theater company, Wonderheads, presents showings of Grim and Fischer at 7:30pm Thursday, 3pm and 7:30pm Saturday, and 3pm Sunday at the Mount Baker Theatre's intimate Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. In the wordless mask comedy, an aging grandmother is pitted against the Grim Reaper and must fight for survival. Tickets are $16-$32. more »

Improvathon: tay up late—heck, stay up all night—when the Upfront Theatre revives its 27-hour Improvathon starting at 8pm Friday night and continuing until 11pm Saturday night at the theater's headquarters at 1208 Bay St. The even features a new show every hour, including some of the Upfront's most popular formats. Individual shows are $5-$12 depending on the hour; a "Stay as Long as You Can" pass is $20 and a "Hardcore" pass is $40 (includes food and beverages). more »

The Jungle Book: Actors ages 9 to 12 present song-and-dance performances of the musical The Jungle Book at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Tickets are $10. more »

The Spitfire Grill: Performances of The Spitfire Grill begin this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The dramatic musical focuses on a girl trying to make a fresh start in a small town in Wisconsin and the power of redemption. Tickets are $20; additional showings happen through April 25. more »

Fundraising Garage Sale: Donated items covering more than 6,000 square feet of space can be perused at a fundraising Garage Sale for WeSNIP from 9am-4pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am-2pm Sunday, in Ferndale at 1920 Main St., #1. (WeSNiP's support for low- income families has resulted in more than 13,000 spay and neuter surgeries for dogs and cats in Whatcom County.) The sale happens again April 3-5. more »

Rock & Gem Show and Sale: The Mt. Baker Rock & Gem Club will host its 54th annual Rock & Gem Show & Sale from 10am-6pm Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday at the Bloedel Donovan Community Center Building, 2214 Electric Ave. Among other things, the show will feature an ongoing fluorescent rock show, lapidary demonstrations, gold panning, rocks, gems, jewelry, dealers and some 30 cases of rock exhibits. Entry to the family-friendly event is free. more »

Diploma Art Exhibit: View an exhibition of Diploma Students' Work from 11am-5pm Saturday and Sunday in Mount Vernon at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts, 12636 Chilberg Rd. Work on display will include wall hanging, 3-D items, and a portfolio of samples. Entry is free. 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: Attend a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at Ferndale's American Legion Post 154, 5537 2nd Ave. Entry is $3 for kids and $6 for adults. The event is held on the fourth Saturday of every month (expect in July and December). more »

Birch Bay Road Race: Choose from a 5K, 15K or 30K as part of the 10th annual Birch Bay Road Race beginning at 8:30am in Blaine near the Water Slides area on Birch Bay-Lynden Rd. Entry is $40-$85. more »

Stimpson Nature Reserve Hike: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a five-mile loop through the Stimpson Nature Reserve today. Meet at 9am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool, or at 9:30am at the parking lot on Lake Louse Rd. The event may be cancelled if weather is bad. more »

Plant Crush: Tadd Storrer of Monrovia will share the latest and greatest from their extensive collection of plants and give design tips at a "Plant Crush" class at 9am at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Entry is free; register in advance. more »

NSEA Work Party: Plant native trees and shrubs and remove invasive plants with the Whatcom Land Trust and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association at a Work Party from 9am-12pm at Upper Landingstrip Creek. Parking will be available at Acme Elementary School, 5200 Turkington Rd. more »

Whatcom Conservation District Plant Sale: Purchase a variety of low-cast native plants at the Whatcom Conservation District's 22nd annual Plant Sale & Expo happening from 9am-2pm at the Roe Studio at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg Rd. This year there will be 40 different species of native, bareroot trees and shrubs along with a variety of potted perennials. Some of this year’s species include yellow and western red cedars, Puget Sound juniper, western larch, garry oak, red elderberry, red flowering currant, beaked more »

Health and Wellness Fair: In collaboration with the Meals On Wheels and More Program and March for Meals Campaign, attend "What’s Next? A Healthier You! Take Charge of Your Health!" from 9am-4pm at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. The open-house health and wellness fair is free to attend. The event will cover many aspects of health and wellness which are important for keeping the body and mind revitalized. more »

Community Meal: Beef stroganoff, mixed veggies, green salad, bread and cookies with ice cream will be on the menu at the bimonthly Community Meal happening from 10am-12pm at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. Per usual, entry is free and open to all. more »

Planting Party: Help restore native riparian plants in the Skagit and Samish watersheds by joining Skagit Fisheries for a planting party from 10am-1pm at the group's nursery near Sedro-Woolley (see the website for directions). more »

Dandy Daffodil Tweed Ride: Flat roads and beautiful scenery can be expected at today's Dandy Daffodil Tweed Ride starting at 10am in front of the La Conner Channel Lodge, 205 N. First St. From 10am-2pm, bicyclists wearing tweed or other fancy clothing can ride along the route, stop for a picnic lunch, take pictures of daffodils and much, much more. An after-party happens from 2-6pm at Hellam's Vineyard, 109 N. First St. Contests for "most dapper chap," "most snappy lass" and more will be part of the fun. Entry is $10. more »

Fairhaven Plant and Tree Sale: Along with expert advice, gardeners will find perennials, annuals, ornamentals, trees, native plants, herbs, vegetable starts, blueberries, bamboo, garden décor and much more at the 27th annual Fairhaven Plant and Tree Sale happening from 10am-3pm at the outdoor parking lot at the Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave. (on the corner of Old Fairhaven Pkwy and 14th St.). Entry is free. more »

Studio Seconds Sale: Find mugs, bowls and all sorts of functional pottery and planters at the second annual Studio Seconds Sale from 10am-5pm at Blue Water Pottery Studio, 2521 Vallette St. (behind the house, with alley access). In addition to being able to purchase seconds—old, flawed or just plain weird pieces—for $5 a pound (less for planters), children can experience hand-on wheel throwing and more. Entry is free. more »

Bellingham Family Fair: More than 35 local businesses will share information on products, services and activities for local families at the inaugural Bellingham Family Fair from 10am-5pm at the Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. There will also be family-friendly entertainment (Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey) activities (jump castles, climbing wall, ice skating, face painting, etc.) and more. Entry is $6 in advance or $8 at the door. more »

Veggie Garden Primer: "Starting Your Vegetable Garden" will be the focus of a workshop with George Kaas from 11am-1pm at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St. Included will be discussion on planting the right plant in the right place, plotting one's garden sun patterns, soil testing, reasons and seasons for mulching, and composting. Entry is free. more »

Spring Garden Walk: Join John Christianson for a "Spring Garden Walk" at 1pm in Mount Vernon at Christianson's Nursery, 15806 Best Rd. The tour will take place in the lovely English style gardens of the La Conner Flats located next to the nursery. Entry is free; reservations are required. more »

K.W. Harris Book Signing: Author K.W. Harris will sign copies of his new thriller Left No Choice: Jon Blake Become J.J. Tracker from 1-3pm in La Conner at the Faded Cover, 105 S. First St. Books will also be available onsite to purchase. more »

Bingo Fundraiser: Cash prizes can be had at a Spring Fling Bingo Fundraiser from 1-3pm at the Ferndale Senior Activity Center, 1999 Cherry St. Admission is $20 and includes three cards for each of the nine games (extra card packs are $15). 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 is also available from 4-7pm Monday through Thursday through April 15. The Ferndale and Blaine senior centers and the Lynden and Ferndale libraries are also offering tax assistance by appointment. more »

Bookmaking Workshop: Pam Miller will lead a "Bookmaking with Folded and Cut Paper" workshop from 2-3:30pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2114 S. Nugent Rd. Materials will be provided, or you're welcome to bring your own paper, photos and decorations for your creations. Entry to the all-ages event is free. more »

Blooming Scraps Workshop: Learn (or practice) basic hand-sewing techniques with endless variations for creating flowers from scrap material when Bellingham fiber artist Libby Chenault (of Moth and Squirrel) helms a "Blooming Scraps" class from 2-4pm at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St. Attendees will leave with at least one pin or hair clip and inspiration to continue customizing projects at home. Preregistration is recommended. more »

Anna Evelina: Authors Lisbeth Hadden Fritzberg and Alan Richard Fritzberg share stories from Anna Evelina from 3-4:30pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. "Coming of Age on the Stickney Island Road (1910-1917) will include a slideshow and discussion about the discovery of a treasure trove of letters and post cards, diaries and old photographs. more »

Boocoo Dinky Dow: Julie Titone shares images and stories from Grady Myers' memoir, Boocoo Dinky Dow: My Short, Crazy Vietnam War, at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Titone—who co-authored the book—has made a personal journey of sharing the book with audiences and honoring veterans since Myers, her ex-husband, died in 2011. 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 »

Producers Night Fundraiser: "Casino Royale" will be the theme of the Lincoln Theatre's "Producers Night" fundraiser starting at 6pm in Anacortes at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge. Tickets are $75 and include hors d'oeuvres, wine, dinner, live music, and live and silent auctions. more »

Family Field Trip: Join Wild Whatcom Walks for a Family Field Trip from 6:30-8:30m at Squires Lake. Sign up for the "Beaver Prowl" by Thurs., March 26, and bring your binoculars along to spy on the beavers as they "swim to and fro in their search for breakfast by moonlight." Entry is $8 for kids, $12 for adults. more »

Ballroom Dancing: All ages and levels of experience can attend "Ballroom Dancing" events from 6:30-9pm on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. The social dances feature traditional ballroom and swing music for foxtrot, east coast swing, waltz, nightclub two-step, cha cha, rumba, salsa, samba and more. Entry is $5. more »

Show of Champions: Barbershop quartets and choruses from around the Northwest will share their a cappella talents at a "Show of Champions" performance at 6:30pm at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. The show is a culmination of a two-day convention and contest attended by 400 "barbershoppers." Tickets are $20. more »

Contra Dance: Come play in the band, call a dance—or just dance—when the Bellingham Country Dance Society hosts an Open Band Night Contra Dance from 7-10:30pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. No experience is necessary, and no partner is needed. Entry is $6-$10. more »

Bellingham Firefighters Community Ball: Music, dancing, a silent auction, appetizers and desserts will be part of the 117th annual Bellingham Firefighters Community Ball happening from 7pm-12am at the Leopold, 1224 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $25-$30; proceeds raised go to the Burned Children Recovery Foundation. more »

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