Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


LA 92

A cautionary tale

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Often, documentaries about historic events prompt the question, “Why now?” Sadly, that will never be asked about Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin’s searing LA 92, which arrives on the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots to address an America more conscious than ever of the problems between the country’s law-enforcement institutions and the black populations they are supposed to protect and serve. Unmediated by historians, journalists or any other interviewees and seething with…

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Ruffled Feathers

Coping with a cooper’s hawk

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The mystery started when one of our free-range hens turned up dead behind our garden shed with a small puncture wound on her breast and half her feathers plucked out.

During our previous seven years of urban chicken ranching, the Lady of the House and I have scraped a few savagely mangled Rhode Island Reds off our lawn, but we’d never encountered a carcass so fully intact and relatively unblemished as this one.

“It looks like some sort of tiny surgeon poked a tiny scalpel into…

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House Arrest

A Gentleman in Moscow

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Living one’s entire life in a posh hotel sounds like the ultimate dream—think of the precocious children’s book character, Eloise, who ran rampant at the Plaza in New York, or Coco Chanel at Hôtel Ritz Paris in the 1930s. 

But what if you weren’t there by choice, rather as an extended house arrest? Such is the case for Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a genteel aristocrat who is spared from a Bolshevik firing squad but forced to live out his days in the attic at the Hotel…

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Fungi Feasts

Mushrooms gone wild

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I typically hear from fungi enthusiast Erin Moore when the days have shortened, the nights have cooled and seasonal rain has come to the Pacific Northwest. That’s when the longtime Northwest Mushroomers Association member reaches out to remind me about the club’s annual Wild Mushroom Show, and when I respond by taking full advantage of her expertise.

This year, Moore suggested a focus on the edible elements of toadstools, and being someone who would willingly choose to eat creamed…

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ICU Roof #2

Pioneer Museum

Bringing history into sharp focus

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If there’s one museum I love to get lost in, it’s the Lynden Pioneer Museum on the city’s Front Street.

The 28,000-square-foot space has an amazing series of exhibits that take visitors back in time and give them a glimpse of city life, the agricultural history of Lynden, modes of transportation and the lives of local pioneers.

My favorite exhibit is the re-creation of historic Front Street to the way it looked between 1885 and 1935. I could spend hours perusing the thoroughfare…

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Skagit Buffet
On Stage


The fabric of our lives

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

She died 30 years ago, but I still have a couple of my mother’s cardigans hanging in the far corner of my closet—along with a blue silk bathrobe of my grandmother’s, a faded T-shirt I wore while traveling in Central America in 1997, and assorted other items of adornment I can’t bear to get rid of.

The memories I associate with each article of well-worn clothing are dear to me. And apparently, I’m not not alone in holding on to the past in this fashion. In “Threads,” Kuntz and…

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Making a musical shift

It’s a rap revolution

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If you had told me when I began writing about music in this area all those years ago that the day would come when the surest way to sell out a show in Bellingham would be to book a hip-hop act, I might not have believed you.

Hip-hop? More popular than garage rock? More popular than bluegrass? In Bellingham?

I didn’t see it coming, but I’ll take it.

Although various forces have brought about this cultural and musical shift, the Wild Buffalo is currently at the forefront of the…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


It’s because of the zoning, I tell people as they roll their eyes and return to their burgers and brews. Sunnyland’s special zoning allows commerce to snuggle up near residences, and for businesses to operate inside—and out of—homes. That means artists can run their studios out of their shops, tinkerers can run their shops out of their studios. It means stores and restaurants are within easy walking distance of neighborhoods, and the whole has a vibrant feel.
On a broader scale, it is this connectedness that makes Bellingham work. But Sunnyland is a nucleus for this year’s best places, best nooks and hidey-holes, and best experiences as chosen by our readers.

This week we focus on the places and businesses that keep Bellingham vibrant. Next Wednesday, tune in for the best in food and drink, and the people who make living here worthwhile.

Compiled by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat

Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle

See all the winners »
The Gristle
A Creeping Paralysis

A CREEPING PARALYSIS: Senator Doug Ericksen followed Governor Jay Inslee on to the stage at Western Washington University last week. Inslee met with students on Wednesday to discuss climate change and the need for individuals and local and state leaders to take action. Ericksen followed on…

No on Jail

Proposition 2017-6 is a bad deal for Whatcom County.

Whatcom County’s proposed new jail in Ferndale will be the largest capital improvement project in Whatcom County history. In November 2015, voters rejected a .2 percent increase in the Jail Sales Tax to build that jail. The County…

Right skills for port

I support Barry Wenger as port commissioner.
Barry has the credentials and experience to balance the need for jobs with the critical need to support a healthy and sustainable environment. His…

Support Barry Wenger

We recently had the pleasure of  meeting Barry Wenger at a political function in order to hear more about his reasons for running for the Port Commissioner District 2 position. We were…

Compassionate voice for schools

Jenn Mason is running for school board and she deserves your vote.
Having worked in all district schools as a community educator, she has seen firsthand the importance of working toward…

Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Today's Events
Book and Bake Sale


Find some fantastic fall reads at bargain prices at a Lynden Friends Book and Bake Sale happening from 10am-5pm Friday, 10am-4:30pm Saturday, and 1-4pm Sunday at the Lynden Library, 216 4th…

Harvest Happens


U-pick pumpkins and apples, a corn maze, apple bin train rides, live music, distillery tours, corn cannons and face painting will be part of “Harvest Happens” events weekends through October…

98221 Studio Tour


More than 40 artists will show their work and share their creative spaces (and processes) at 30-plus venues as part of the Anacortes Arts Commission’s second annual 98221 Studio Tour taking…

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…

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…

Church of Brunch


Join local bakery owner Laura Hartner for a “Church of Brunch” class from 10:30am-12pm in Mount Vernon at Gretchen’s Kitchen, 509 S. First St. Sweet ricotta and berry-filled blintzes served…

Bellingham Repertory Dance Open Rehearsal


Get a peek at a work in progress when Bellingham Repertory Dance hosts an Open Rehearsal for their upcoming fall performance, “Emerge,” from 11:30am-1:30pm at the Firehouse Performing Arts…

Wild Mushroom Show


The Northwest Mushroomers Association hosts its 28th annual Wild Mushroom Show from 12-5pm at the Bloedel Donovan Community Building, 2214 Electric Ave. Displays of locally collected…

Fresh-Milled Whole Grain Baking


Attend a “Fresh-Milled Whole Grain Baking” class from 1-5pm at King Arthur Flour at Burlington’s Bread Lab, 11768 Westar Lane. Entry is $100 (add $50 for a second adult).

Audubon at the Museum


Join experts from North Cascades Audubon Society for a monthly “Audubon at the Museum” gathering from 1:30-3:30pm at the new John M. Edson Hall of Birds at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121…

The Answer Tour


Award-winning songwriter and recording artist Jeremy Camp will be joined by instrumentalist Royce Lovett for a stop in Bellingham as part of “The Answer Tour” at 6pm at the Mount Baker…

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