Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Ernest & Celestine

The enchanting French-Belgian animated feature Ernest & Celestine is so liltingly sweet and graceful that, a day or two after I saw it, it seemed almost as if I had dreamed it.

The real dreamers here are its young director, Benjamin Renner, co-directors Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier, and the novelist screenwriter Daniel Pennac, adapting material from the beloved children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, which she both wrote and illustrated, about the enduring friendship between a little

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This Week

The Gristle

Pass Through Costs

PASS THROUGH COSTS: Bellingham City Council this week took an important real step toward building a more socially equitable community as they considered an actual draft ordinance that might create a registration program for the city’s rental housing. The city estimates there are approximately 13,000 existing rental units that could be registered through this program.

Council has fretted for more than a decade—with numerous false starts—over the problem of substandard rental housing that

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Film

Jodorowsky’s Dune

The epic story of a never-was

Is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune the most influential movie never made?

Late in the lively, anecdote-strewn documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, director Frank Pavich enumerates the ways. The swordfights in Star Wars, the cyborg POV in The Terminator, the galaxy-spanning opening shot of Contact—all were prefigured in the massive Dune storyboard book that circulated through studio suites in the mid-1970s. Writer Dan O’Bannon and visual consultants Chris Foss, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, and H.R.

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Music

Signed Fest

Of labels and legacies

When a representative of Yellingham, Bellingham’s annual DIY all-ages music festival, announced in late January that, not only would there be no festival in 2014, but also that Yellingham was on indefinite hiatus, the news was disappointing, yet not surprising.

Disappointing because in the four years of its existence, Yellingham proved itself to be a welcome and fiercely supported part of Bellingham’s music community. Disappointing because Yellingham as both an event and an entity offered

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Outdoors

Good Wood

Sojourn in the cedars

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Like many greenhorn trail crew leaders before me, I did not endeavor to undertake my inaugural worksite encounter with an ancient grove of super-sized Western red cedars without briefing myself thoroughly on the signature structural and spiritual characteristics those shaggy-topped “transformer” evergreens have long been known to possess.

I soon surmised just how powerfully useful and life-affirming our most deeply revered and culturally valuable endemic conifers actually are. 

Tree-hugging

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Food

Food Haus

Bringing Germany to Market

When Riley White-Brainard first started talking about Food Haus, I figured we were having the standard restaurant fantasy conversation we’d had many times before, slurping whiskeys and dreamily discussing briskets and whether endive is an economically feasible vegetable.

We’d often wax poetic about food trucks and restaurants; excitedly blurting out whatever entrees we’d like to serve. So I was surprised when the next time I saw Riley he’d drawn up a menu—and two weeks later had

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Words

Roddy Returns

From music-maker to middle age

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Think back to 1991, when a (fictional) ragtag group of Irish soul musicians stormed the music scene in the profane but endearing film The Commitments

The movie was based on a novel by Roddy Doyle; both center around Jimmy Rabbitte, a working-class Dubliner with a passion for soul music. He sets his sights on forming the greatest soul band to ever play, and gathers together a motley (and very white) crew whose musical brilliance is matched by their complete dysfunction off-stage.

Fast

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Visual

By the Seaside

Blossoms and beauty in La Conner

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Now that he enjoys four other artists as congenial partners for his well-placed Seaside Gallery in La Conner, owner Mark Conley can breathe easy.

Running a gallery all by himself had been too much work. Next, when he operated it as a large co-op, difficulties only multiplied.

The gallery welcomes visitors with a museum-like atmosphere. You won’t trip over vases, paperweights and snow globes here. The paintings and photos are well-lighted and given their own space. 

Conley’s photography

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On Stage

The Vagina Monologues

Sisters are doing it for themselves

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What’s the worst word you can think of?

If it starts with a “c” and rhymes with “blunt,” you’re not alone in thinking the four-letter word can be distasteful and derogatory towards women.

I, too, was once wary of this particular linguistic unit. But after a month of uttering it more than a few times a day in an attempt to memorize my piece for upcoming performances of The Vagina Monologues, I’ve changed my mind.

In fact, my way of thinking about most phrases having to do with the intimate

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Film

Ernest & Celestine

A touching tale of an unlikely friendship

The enchanting French-Belgian animated feature Ernest & Celestine is so liltingly sweet and graceful that, a day or two after I saw it, it seemed almost as if I had dreamed it.

The real dreamers here are its young director, Benjamin Renner, co-directors Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier, and the novelist screenwriter Daniel Pennac, adapting material from the beloved children’s books by Gabrielle Vincent, which she both wrote and illustrated, about the enduring friendship between a little

Continue Reading »

Today

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Apr 24

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival kicks off this week and continues through April 30 throughout the verdant valley. In addition to the hundreds of acres of blooming daffodils and tulips that will bloom according to Mother Nature through the month, there'll be street fairs, wine events, outdoor excursions, art displays, a home tour, live music, the "world's largest garage sale, a gala celebration, historic home tours, and much, much more. Go to the website to find out more. more »

The Mastodon: Bellingham-based playwright Ben Eisner's The Mastodon concludes this week with 8pm performances Thursday through Saturday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The "gripping crime drama" examines predatory relationships, and chronicles a young call girl's ascent from the bottom to the top of the metaphorical food chain of inner-city Los Angeles. Tickets are $10. more »

Les Miserables: Redemption and revolution will take center stage when Les Miserables concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M. Ave. Tickets to the award-winning musical are $20. more »

Poem in Your Pocket Day: Celebrate "Poem in Your Pocket Day" and National Poetry Month by selecting a poem, carrying it with you and sharing it with other throughout the day. Poems from pockets are unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. more »

Skagit Ride: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a bike ride from 10am-4pm in the tulip fields in Skagit County from 10am-4pm. The route and destination will be based on field conditions. Meet at 170333 Bennett Rd. (intersection of Avon-Allen Rd.). more »

Skagit Valley Ride: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a bike ride from 10am-4pm in the tulip fields in Skagit County from 10am-4pm. The route and destination will be based on field conditions. Meet at 170333 Bennett Rd. (intersection of Avon-Allen Rd.). more »

Spring Career Fair: Aramark, CampusPoint, Everett and Olympia Police Departments, Logos Bible Software, Medical Consultants Network, PACCAR, Pacific Capital Resource Group, Pexco, Target, and more will be among the employers at the Spring Career Fair happening from 11am-3pm at Western Washington University's Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Entry is free and open to the public. more »

Incognito: Locally sourced edibles and succulent surprises will be part of the monthly six-course "Incognito" dinner at 6pm at Ciao Thyme, 207 Unity St. Entry is $68, and reservations are required. more »

Writers League Talk: "How Small Bookstores Can Help You Sell Your Book" will be the focus of a Skagit Valley Writers League talk with Village Books' Paul Hansen at 6:30pm at the Mount Vernon Community Center, 1401 Cleveland St. Suggested donation is $5 for non-members. Register in advance. more »

Healthcare Meeting: "Communication for Single-Payer Health Care Supporters" will be the focus of a United for National Healthcare meeting at 7pm at St. Luke's Community Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy. Entry is free. more »

Folk Dance Party: Learn Balkan, Israeli, Romani and Greek dancing with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers from 7-10pm every Thursday at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Suggested donation is $5 (first-time visitors and students are free). more »

Fitness Forum: Physical therapist Daryl Smith leads a Fitness Forum focused on "Overcoming Common Running Injuries" at 7:15pm at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. Entry is free. more »

Fourth Corner Folk Dancers: Learn Balkan folk dances with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers from 7:15-10:15pm every Thursday at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. All ages are welcome, and no partner is necessary. Suggested donation is $5; first-time visitors and students are free. more »

GOOD, BAD, UGLY: Watch “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” at 8pm every Thursday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around for “The Project.” Entry is $7 for the early show, $4 for the late one. more »

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