Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Unseasonal Sounds

Say no to Christmas creep

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas creep is real.

This year, I saw my first Christmas display the day after Halloween. I walked into a store in downtown Bellingham expecting to see marked-down candy and costumes and instead walked smack into Kris Kringle, his associates and some of their accoutrements. I’m unabashedly, annoyingly infected with the spirit of the season every year, but even so, I was like, “Go home, Santa. It’s November 1. No one wants to see your bowl full of jelly just yet.”


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Magpie Murders

A mystery within a mystery

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Now that there’s been snow in the lowlands of Whatcom County and the sun sets before 5pm, it’s time to flip on the gas fireplace and cozy up with a stack of mysteries from the library. Anthony Horowitz’s latest thriller is just the thing to take your mind off the weather and distressing news headlines.

The tale begins in the London flat of Susan Ryeland, longtime editor of the Atticus Pünd detective novels. She’s just received the manuscript of Magpie Murders, Alan Conway’s…

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Storm Warning

Blessings of a blowdown

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

When a limb from a century-old tree hits a house, it feels like it’s been rammed by a Humvee.

I know this because during a gnarly windstorm in mid-October, the stately maple that has been gracing the second lot of my front yard since long before I moved to Bellingham’s York neighborhood in the winter of 2000 succumbed to the elements.

I was vacuuming the basement when the tree attacked the roof, but I still heard the reverberating boom. As I rushed upstairs, I took note of a jagged…

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ICU Roof #2


Doing good things

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spend half an hour in a restaurant and you can typically tell if its owners know what they’re doing.

At Camber, one of the newest additions to Bellingham’s food and coffee scene, it’s obvious from the get-go that the three partners at its helm are nothing short of brilliant. The food is exceptional, the atmosphere is warm, bright and friendly, the coffee is utterly divine and the space itself is nothing short of wow.

David Yake and his partners Andrew Bowman and Todd Elliott…

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On Stage

Alps Alert

Getting in on the act

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Last week, my officemate and I spent a few minutes of our deadline countdown belting out verses from “My Favorite Things.”

It may not have been the appropriate time or place to croon about “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” or “bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,” but once we started singing the hit from The Sound of Music, it was difficult to stop.

Truth be told, I could’ve sung the entire canon from the 1965 Academy Award-winning musical starring a dewy-eyed…

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ICU Roof #2

Loving Vincent

Art imitates art

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Loving Vincent is billed as the “world’s first fully painted feature film,” and I have no reason to doubt the claim. The Vincent in the title of this very strange movie is the great Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, and you would think he already had more than his share of biopics.

The most famous, of course, is Vincente Minnelli’s very fine Lust for Life, starring Kirk Douglas in one of his best seething performances. Maurice Pialat’s Van Gogh has its adherents, as does Paul…

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ICU Roof #2

Creative Gifting

Holiday helpers, take two

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

In an era when it’s possible to knock items off a holiday shopping list without even having to get out of your bathrobe and leave your domicile, it’s refreshing to find that there still remains a plethora of choices for those who are still willing to step away from the computer screen to focus on creative gifting. For those on the lookout for options about what to get art-lovers in their lives, read on for details about a few events taking place this coming weekend that will help…

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State of the Sound

Progress in Whatcom County, but poor marks for the Salish Sea

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

As the number of endangered Southern Resident orca whales continues to decline and Puget Sound Chinook salmon remain threatened, officials say the need to save the two species is becoming dire.

A leading theory is the whales are starving because they cannot find enough Chinook salmon, the endangered fish that the resident orcas eat almost exclusively. Concerns are increasing that the iconic whales are on a path to extinction.

The leadership council for the state’s Puget Sound…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Band

The Wednesdays

Music scenes, including ours, have traditionally been boys’ clubs—but the Wednesdays win in this category is a welcome indication of a change that has been a long time in coming. Unabashedly feminist and unapologetically political, the Wednesdays are making music with a message—and people are listening. With a motto of “Dismantling the patriarchy by day, playing basement blues punk by night,” coupled with an electrifying live show, the Wednesdays are making their mark and making it count.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Napkin Plan

NAPKIN PLAN: While late ballots were flooding in countywide on Election Day, outgoing Port of Bellingham Commissioner Michael McAuley used one of his last opportunities to cast a different kind of vote—a vote of no confidence in a flawed process that has produced a startlingly different…

Big Blue Wall

Last week, with the election of Manka Dhingra, Democrats gained control of the Washington State Senate and we finished building the Blue Wall between California, Oregon, and Washington.

Today, we begin implementing an agenda that truly represents our core values. We will now block Trump…

Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Gambling for the thrill of the kill

A month later, the authorities, despite great efforts, have been unable to unearth a motive for the horrendous slaughter in Las Vegas. Investigators may still discover an explanation that…

Freed from jail

A hardy thank you to everyone who stood tall in opposition to the now-defunct jail tax–Proposition 2017- 6.  You did not “stand down,” it was not a “done deal,” the “ship had not…

Seek a common good

Who are we? What are we looking for in a leader?
We are stuck in a paradigm that does not work. The world is more than black and white.
Our two political parties are stuck in an…

Today's Events
Peter and the Star Catcher


Squalicum High School Drama presents showings of Peter and the Star Catcher at 7pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the school’s Forum space, 3773 E. McLeod Rd. Tickets to the…



Neil Simon’s comedic fable, Fools, concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday at the Mount Baker High School auditorium, 4936 Deming Rd. The…

Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 38th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” starting this week and continuing from…

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge


Expect to see debut performances of new works by nationally acclaimed choreographers when Bellingham Repertory Dance presents showings of “Emerge” at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 5pm…

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show


Paintings, pottery, glass art, photography, jewelry, fine crafts, weaving, woodwork and much more will be available for purchase and perusal at the Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show from…

Cheese Fest


Sample exotic internationally and locally sourced sheep, goat and bovine cheeses at the 47th annual “Cheese Fest” taking place from 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday in Van Zandt at Everybody’s…

Holiday Farmers Market


Stock up on holiday produce, your favorite vendors’ goods, handmade gifts and much more when the Anacortes Farmers Market hosts it annual Holiday Market from 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday at…

Rabbit Ride


Join members of the Mount Baker Bicycle Club for a “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8am every Sunday at Fairhaven Bicycle, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route takes riders down Chuckanut and back via…

Community Breakfast


Eggs to order, omelets, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, French toast and more can be had at a monthly Community Breakfast from 8-11am at Sedro-Woolley’s American Legion Post #43, 701…

Rabbit Ride


Join members of the Mount Baker Bicycle Club for a “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8:30am every Sunday at Fairhaven Bicycle, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route takes riders down Chuckanut and back via…

Sound of Music Singalong


Wannabe nuns, goat herders, baronesses and beyond can get in on the auditory action at the annual pre-Thanksgiving screening of the Sing-A-Long Sound of Music from 1-3:30pm at Mount Vernon’s…

A Musical Thanksgiving


Members of the Skagit Community Band and the Skagit Valley College choirs will present “A Musical Thanksgiving” from 2-4:30pm in Mount Vernon at the school’s McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College…

Harmony from Discord with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra


World-famous Israeli cellist Amit Peled will be the featured soloist at Whatcom Symphony Orchestra’s third “Harmony from Discord” concert at 3pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial…

The 25th Hour


Dr. Karen McLean Dade shares ideas from Christopher Donaldson, Jr.‘s The 25th Hour at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. With one out of 100 people incarcerated in the United States, it is…

Southside Community Meal


All are welcome at the monthly Southside Community Meal happening from 5-6:30pm at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 1720 Harris Ave. Meals include a main dish, salad and more. Entry is free;…

Way North Comedy Showcase


Four of the Pacific Northwest’s best comics—including Glen Bristow, Claire Webber, Birungi Birungi, and headliner Sam Miller—will perform at the WAY North Comedy Showcase at 7pm at Mount…

Rutie Dornfeld, John Miller


Violinist Ruthie Dornfeld will join guitarist John Miller in an instrumental duo that specializes in the finest of cafe music from around the world at a 7pm concert at the YWCA Ballroom, 1026…

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