Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Panopticon

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

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This Week

The Gristle

On the Spectrum

ON THE SPECTRUM: In a convoluted and disappointing process, Bellingham City Council last week overrode the objections of vocal critics and amended the Sunnyland neighborhood plan to include a variety of housing forms on a four-acre parcel formerly owned by the state Dept. of Transportation, the DOT property known as Area 8 in the neighborhood plan.

Concerned that hazy zoning could permit the development of a garish, out-of-character apartment complex, the Sunnyland Neighborhood Association in

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News

Panopticon

Can cameras help police the police?

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

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News

Panopticon II

City attempts to settle wire complaint

Police broke the law. It may take a jury to determine how badly police broke it.

Prosecutors and drug task force officers readily admit inadequate records were maintained for an electronic surveillance that was part of a 2011 drug arrest. In March of that year, Bellingham resident Todd Newlun delivered more than three pounds of marijuana to Washington State Patrol Agent Brent Hanger, working undercover with Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF). Newlun was arrested in Sudden Valley at

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Music

The Beach Boys

They get around

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How do you get people to engage you in a decade-plus-long musical argument that they will pursue with the kind of dogged determination usually reserved for solving cold cases or making it to the end of Infinite Jest? Simply posit that you believe the Beach Boys to be the best American band of all time.

For some reason, either because no one wants to believe the Beach Boys could be worthy of such an honor (sacrilege!) or because they don’t like truth and facts and things that are factually

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News

Panopticon

Can cameras help police the police?

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

Continue Reading »

Food

The Woolley Market

Building community around food

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Sedro-Woolley, despite being surrounded by fertile Skagit Valley farmland, has never been known as a food town. Few restaurants and only a single grocery store have resulted in residents heading to Mount Vernon or even farther for shopping and dining. That’s beginning to change, thanks to a new business now anchoring the corner of Metcalf and State streets in the downtown core. The Woolley Market, which opened in the old JC Penney building in late July, has the air of a place that is already a

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Words

Kicking and Burning

Booking time in Bellingham

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Despite being dragged into the 21st century whining and bellowing, I’ve recently become a Kindle addict who blows through ebooks with alacrity.  Recently, however, I found myself in possession of two “real”  books—you know, the kind with pages that actually make a noise when they turn. In addition to the solid heft they added to my reading experience, both authors will also visit Bellingham in the near future, making the experience that much more, well, real.

First in the queue was a new

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Outdoors

Kyuquot Adventure

Fun on a freighter

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The cruise was billed as an “adventure.”

By the time the hawser wrapped around the propeller and everything had come to a stop, we had sailed on the motor vessel Uchuck III for two glorious days along Vancouver Island’s west coast. It had looked like we would arrive back at Gold River on schedule.

We passengers had seen sea otters, spouting whales, harbor seals, sea lions, eagles and high, snow-capped peaks above narrow fjords, which rival anything in New Zealand or Norway. 

Gold

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Visual

Public Painters

Area artists take to the streets

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Every August for the past eight years, dozens of artists have taken to the streets of downtown Bellingham to spend one of the last Saturdays of the summer painting in public as part of the Plein Air Paint Out (PAPO). They’ll do so again this Sat., Aug. 23.

Spearheaded by Studio UFO’s Trish Harding, the reason for the popular event is twofold; in addition to drawing attention to the plethora of artists who live and work in Whatcom County and beyond, the event also gives the participants

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On Stage

Dancing for Dollars

Saints and sweets at iDiOM fundraiser

Typically, one has to be dead, holy and the focus of a miracle or two in order to be considered for sainthood. All I had to do to achieve benediction was agree to host a fundraising party for the iDiOM Theater in my house and backyard.

I’m not waiting around for a papal blessing to crow about my saintly status, either. It’s written in capital letters on the printed invitations to the “Desserts and Dancing” gathering happening Friday, Aug. 22, and that’s good enough for me.

Truth be told, I

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Film

Life After Beth

True love never dies

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For those wondering if there’s any fresh meat left to chew on in zombie cinema, relationship comedy Life After Beth answers a resounding yes. Blending smart fantasy elements, broad comedy, tender romance and an atypically slow-burning apocalypse, the directorial debut of I Heart Huckabees co-writer Jeff Baena is charming, thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny.

The film opens with a very much alive Beth (Aubrey Plaza) hiking in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, before immediately cutting to

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Film

Land Ho

A charming odd couple

Calling something a feel-good film always feels like a pejorative, so let’s just say that after seeing Land Ho! you are very likely to feel a good deal better.

This rather unassuming film is a bit like an amiable Iceland travelogue with plentiful shots of the country’s stunning landscape and two aging gents as tour guide—one randy and gregarious, the other refined and reticent.

But don’t be misled by its simple premise. Land Ho! is full of surprises, rich in the way it noses around the rocky

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Today

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Aug 22

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