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Bite Local

I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from any

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This Week

The Gristle

PDA DOA

PDA DOA: Bellingham City Council returned from their August recess to a market analysis for economic development downtown of sufficient gloom to probably doom the Bellingham Public Development Authority.

“Overall, the time is good to consider a catalytic development project in downtown,” the consultants’ report, prepared by Portland-based Leland Consulting Group, began on a hopeful note. “Downtowns across the country are seeing a resurgence in economic development, largely driven by

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News

Wolf Recovery

On the brink of forever

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Sunset is an angel weeping, holding out a bloody sword,” begins Bruce Cockburn’s lyrics for “Pacing the Cage.” I identify with these lyrics, of Cockburn writing of growing older, the expectations of others, to the feeling of being without a clear path. And when the song continues, “I never knew what you all wanted, so I gave you everything… all the spells that I could sing,” my thoughts turn to wolves.

In 1973, Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The following

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Music

Anais Mitchell

Anything but ordinary

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“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”—Anais Nin

Anais Nin is a hard woman to try and explain. Some of that is

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Words

The Possibilities

A road trip with detours

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When the publishers re-released the paperback version of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ first novel The Descendants with a picture of George Clooney on the cover, that’s all it took for me to pick it up and check it out.

The writing—direct and honest—hooked me from page one.  I zipped through the book, then watched the movie, and each were excellent in their own way. So when I came across Hemmings’ latest, The Possibilities, I did not hesitate, even if George Clooney was nowhere to be found.

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Outdoors

Skagit Spotlight

Time traveling in Mount Vernon

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Next time you find yourself on the I-5 highway going south, consider stopping in Mount Vernon and spending a few hours in the historic, often overlooked city of 32,000 people.

Surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and dotted with farmlands, Mount Vernon has been shielded from the forces of modernity. Whether you’re exploring local farms or strolling along First Street, walking around Mount Vernon feels like stepping back in time. Lace up some sturdy shoes that can withstand the mud on working

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Food

Bite Local

Food, farms and fun

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I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from any

Continue Reading »

Film

The Trip to Italy

A sequel worth making

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Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan team up again as traveling companions checking out high-end restaurants in The Trip to Italy, the sequel to The Trip, a movie so funny it sometimes left me gasping for air. The premise of that first film was that these two comic actors, improvising as themselves, were on assignment from London’s Observer magazine to check out swank eateries along the coast of northern England while retracing the peregrinations of Wordsworth and Coleridge.

The joke was that

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Film

God Help the Girl

Belle & Sebastian makes a movie

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“Just for this summer we were all in the right place and the possibilities were endless.” The light and wistful pop music of Glasgow band Belle & Sebastian was tailor made for two things: coming-of-age stories and trendy art house movies. And that sound has been the soundtrack for plenty of both, but with God Help the Girl its frontman Stuart Murdoch who spins a wondrously surreal and intoxicating fairy tale for those who love and draw strength from the power of music. In essence, it’s a movie

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Visual

The Station Agent

Bikes, benches and serendipity

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When the stars align, it’s best to open your eyes wide, watch for signs and act accordingly.

Professional welder and woodworker Andy Phillips of Black Fin Design says this was the case when he was asked to design a three-piece set of benches and tables for the patio at Bellingham’s Elizabeth Station recently.

Because the neighborhood market on the corner of Holly Street and Broadway also caters to fans of craft beer who like to hunker down and sit for a spell while sipping on pints,

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On Stage

Emergency Circus

When laughter is the best medicine

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“The role of a clown and a physician are the same—it’s to elevate the possible and to relieve suffering.”
—Patch Adams

Many who hear the name “Patch Adams” may associate the moniker with the clown-nose-wearing character that actor and comedian Robin Williams portrayed in the 1998 movie of the same name.

And while the doctor whose life the movie was based on—Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams—was glad to get the media scrutiny that drew attention to his life’s work, he didn’t use the

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