Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Elizabeth Park

A tale of tells

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

In poker, a tell is an unconscious behavior that gives away something about a player’s hand. Maybe they scratch their ear every time they’re about to bluff. Or they drum their fingers on the table in a particular rhythm when they’ve got a good hand. The thing about a tell is that it’s a compulsion, not a deliberate behavior. Players often know what their tells are, but are unable to exert control over them.

Tells are not limited to the poker table, however. In fact, I would go…

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The Honey Bus

Saved by bees

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Recent news stories have drawn attention to the plight of pollinators like the honeybee, and the potential for Colony Collapse Disorder and the endangered status of several bumble bee pollinators to impact our food supply. But how many people understand the world of the honeybee, with its complex and orderly society and absolute allegiance to a queen?

Meredith May, a fifth-generation beekeeper and former journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, gently illuminates this world in her…

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Strings and Things

The art of puppetry

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Creating dramatic performances using both human and animal images has been a part of the experience of homo sapiens for thousands of years.

“Shadows, Strings and Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets,” a thrilling exhibit currently on display at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC, displays more than 250 puppets both old and new from 15 countries in Asia and Europe, along with puppetry’s modern incarnation, stop-motion animation.

The storytelling-focused exhibit…

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Paradise Silver Reef


Fab Four no more

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What would you do if you woke up one day and realized you were the only one in the world who remembered the songs of the Beatles? It’s the kind of daydream many of us have had, usually combined with time travel—maybe you’d go back and dribble paint before Jackson Pollock, beat Agatha Christie to the mystery-novel racket or invent Twitter so you’d have the power to ban racist world leaders from the service. If you were screenwriter Richard Curtis, though, and you found yourself in…

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Tales of the city

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

There’s a brief but memorable scene in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, director Joe Talbot’s soulfully poignant and magically melancholic feature debut, that sums up much of what the film has to say with minimal dialogue.

Jimmie (Jimmie Fails), the movie’s title character, is seated at a San Francisco bus stop when an elderly nudist sits beside him. Then a party bus pulls up, groaning under the weight of inebriated, monied millennials laughing, pointing and gawking. In that…

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On Stage

Sinful Sunday

Dance like everybody’s watching

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

When Kelsey Burghoffer joined the Provocateurs last year, she was going through a difficult time in her life and hoped sharing space with the longtime burlesque-focused dance troupe would help her let off some creative steam.

It did, and along the way it also changed her life. She soon discovered that being part of an ensemble that has a mission to “provoke, confront, and elevate” came with a few perks—including renewed self-confidence, empowerment and a continuous flow of positive…

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Bantam 46

Winner winner chicken dinner

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Next time you’re in the mood for some really tasty chicken, you’ll want a table at Bantam 46. The restaurant on Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham is the brainchild of Ben Scholtz, who owns Mallard Ice Cream—directly next door.

Scholtz is a serious 48-year-old who approaches his restaurant projects with a deep sense of purpose and strategy. When Mad Hatter Vintage Clothing, the previous neighbor to Mallard, shuttered its doors he knew the time was ripe for a new project.…

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Go Steelers!

A slo-pitch story

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

It was 1969, the year of Woodstock, the moon landing, and the formation of a slo-pitch team called the Parberry Steelers.

At least two of these three events have already been remembered and celebrated, and we are hoping to celebrate the third from 1pm-5pm Sat., June 29 at Lake Padden Park with a gathering of as many big-ball slo-pitchers as can reunite for an afternoon of memories of athletic endeavors from a golden bygone Bellingham recreational era.

In 1969, Bellingham was becoming…

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Paradise Silver Reef
Best of Skagit
Best News Story

Save the Whales

Skagit is a land of wild rivers, soaring glacier peaks, fertile valleys and forested dots of islands sprinkling an inland sea. Powerful predatory whales live in these waters and feed on the tastiest wild fish on earth, the Chinook. Ours is as exotic as any landscape on the planet, and perhaps it is more threatened than many.

Those whales—the southern resident orcas—aren’t especially shy and can be viewed almost daily, although their numbers are in precipitous decline. Deaths in their pods have exceeded live births, threatening a spiral to extinction. They’re sick, and they’re starving. The cause? Increased human activity around the Puget Sound, as a region that is loved too much and too recklessly.

Alarmed by the decline of these iconic creatures, the Washington Legislature this session passed sweeping protections for the Salish Sea’s ailing orca population. Championed by lawmakers who represent Skagit and the San Juans, a quartet of bills cover a variety of measures, including whale watching, pollution and more. Yet budgets passed by the House and Senate so far contain no funding to continue the governor’s task force on orca recovery. There’s no agreement on plans to increase Chinook runs. And revenue measures to help pay for everything, from increasing hatchery production to enforcement of habitat protections, have yet to be decided.

As we dedicate this issue to celebrate all the best our region has to offer in scenic beauty, in recreation, in menus and samplings that are unique to who we are, let us acknowledge how fragile it is and how fierce we must be in its protection.

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The Gristle
Thin Green Line

THIN GREEN LINE: Whatcom County Council continues to slowly shape land-use policies for the Cherry Point industrial area—but with a changing council roster and Canada’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, their work can’t be completed fast enough. Council last week…

Road to ‘Nowhere’

When governments work together for the benefit of everyone, good things happen. That was definitely the case with the Lummi Nation and the City of Ferndale as we worked on a deal to vacate a section of road to make way for retail development.

It’s a literal road to nowhere that serves no…

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Peace with Iran

What Trump could do if he really wants peace with Iran:
• Quit threatening to bomb and destroy the country and the Iranian people.
• Bring all the aircraft carriers, naval ships, and…

Drumbeats of war

Our mainstream media have used the downing of a U.S. drone to turn the concept of “provocation” on its head.
The Empire has established strings of military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan…

Bellingham needs a listener

I met April Barker in the summer of 2015 at the Sunnyland Stomp. She’d signed her two children up for a clay class with my teenage son, who was demonstrating his work at the event. I was…

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Today's Events
Community Boating Center Open


Bellingham’s Community Boating Center will be open through the summer from 10am until sunset daily at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and…

Bard on the Beach


A Wild West-inspired version of The Taming of the Shrew kicks off the 30th Bard on the Beach season at Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC. Through Sept. 21, the Shakespearean favorite will show in…

Scrubs Camp


A free “Scrubs Camp” designed to introduce high school students to a variety of healthcare careers takes place from 8:45am-2:30pm at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. Students…

Perspectives from the Port


Bellingham City Club’s monthly presentation and luncheon features Port of Bellingham Executive Director Rob Fix discussing “Perspectives from the Port” from 11:30am-1:30pm at Northwood Hall,…

Wellness Wednesdays


The Mount Vernon Downtown Association concludes its “Wellness Wednesdays” event at 12pm at the Skagit Riverwalk Plaza. The Riverside Health Club will lead the lunch-hour workout.

Wednesday Farmers Market


Attend the Bellingham Farmers Market’s Wednesday Market from 2pm-6pm at the Barkley Village Green, 2215 Rimland Dr. The midweek market continues through September.

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market


The Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market takes place from 3pm-7pm at Hammer Heritage Square, 200 Metcalf St. Vendors will offer a selection of produce, crafts and more through September.

Group Run


All levels of experience are welcome at a weekly Group Run beginning at 6pm in Mount Vernon at the Skagit Running Company, 702 First St. The 3- to 6-mile run is great for beginners or for…

Backdoor to Baker


Runners Jeremy Wolf and Krissy Moehl will be joined by adventure photographer Ben Groenhout for a “Backdoor to Baker” presentation focusing on their run from the Fairhaven Village Green to…

Brewers Cruise


“Bellingham Bay BREWers Cruise” features liquid fare from Boundary Bay Brewery and two other local or regional breweries at 6:30pm at San Juan Cruises’ dock at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal,…

Thomas Harris and Kevin Woods Quintet


The Thomas Harris and Kevin Woods Quintet closes out Whatcom Jazz Music Arts Center’s fifth season with a 7pm concert at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St. Bring your instrument…

Summer Funny


Twelve area comedians will ply their trade at a “Summer Funny” Stand Up Comedy show starting at 9pm at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Joel O’Connor hosts. Tickets are $5 to the R-rated…

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