This Week's Cover


Date Night

When I was performing improv on a regular basis, one of my favorite formats we presented to the crowd was a game called “Date Night.”

We’d call up a real-life couple from the audience, get the story of how they met and their subsequent first date, then re-create the action onstage as best we could. When we got something right, one half of the couple would ring a bell. When it was dead wrong, we’d hear a rude beep from a loud horn, and would have to go back to the basics. The end result was

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This Week

The Gristle

In a Bind

IN A BIND: “You break it, you own it” is an adage familiar to most people; and it was always understood that the next solutions to Whatcom County’s failed jail initiative would have to come from the communities most opposed to the $120 million sales tax proposal for a new justice center in Ferndale. The County Executive—who’d invested quite a bit of political capital in placing the initiative on the ballot last November, only to see it crater—had made it clear the next leadership

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Valentine’s Day

Spread your love around


Valentine’s Day brings out a lot of strong emotions in people. It should follow that, because this is a holiday intended to celebrate love and loved ones and loving loved ones and lovelovelove, that the emotions in question would be positive in nature. But the fact is, Feb. 14 and all it symbolizes is probably as loathed as it is loved.

Never is the line between love and hate thinner than it is on Valentine’s Day.

With Feb. 14 falling on a Sunday this year, that means a wealth of

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Tribal Images

A family affair in Ferndale


It’s funny how you can drive past something many times but never actually see it. For me, that was the case with the Lummi Te’Ti’Sen Center (formerly the Lummi Gateway Center) on Rural Avenue in Ferndale, seconds from the Slater Road exit off I-5.

The center has been there for five years, but I never noticed it until the day Google Maps directed me to its front door to explore tribal art and food.

Frank Goes Behind and his wife Kym are the masterminds behind Tribal Images and are

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Dope Desserts

For the love of brownies


A cautionary tale: Once upon a time, a friend of mine ate way too many pot brownies at a party she was hosting and ended up spending most of the night huddled in the fetal position in the bathtub and screeching with alarm whenever anybody tried to get in to use the bathroom.

Don’t be that person. If you’ve eaten an entire pot brownie, it stands to reason that something is going to happen eventually. As Kevin Nelson notes in a “Marijuana for Beginners” article in our inaugural Cannabis

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Safety First

The fine art of being careful


“Whether we’re chasing daylight with axes and chainsaws or just grunting out some pick-and-shovel work in the rain, we’ll be putting ourselves in harm’s way on a fairly frequent basis here at the ranch,” my buddy’s uncle told me when I arrived for my first day of work on his emergent 20-acre homestead in remote Snohomish County.

“Productivity is important,” the boss man said, ushering me along a rocky, root-gnarled trail to the half-buried shipping container where he kept his

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Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore’s roadshow


All has been fairly quiet on the pestering front for Michael Moore since Capitalism: A Love Story, his glum 2009 assessment of the greed-is-good culture that spawned the global financial crisis. But now this impassioned and unruly provocateur returns to further dismantle the myth of American supremacy with renewed optimism and sharpened comic instincts in Where to Invade Next, an impishly entertaining, career-summarizing polemic bent on demonstrating how other countries around the world—with

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On Stage

Date Night

An improvised Valentine


When I was performing improv on a regular basis, one of my favorite formats we presented to the crowd was a game called “Date Night.”

We’d call up a real-life couple from the audience, get the story of how they met and their subsequent first date, then re-create the action onstage as best we could. When we got something right, one half of the couple would ring a bell. When it was dead wrong, we’d hear a rude beep from a loud horn, and would have to go back to the basics. The end result was

Continue Reading »



Feb 11


Chocolate Pop-Up Lounge: Special discounted chocolate and tastings will take place from 2-4pm daily through Valentine's Day at the Evolve Chocolate Pop-up Lounge, 1313 N. State St. From 4-8pm there'll be an acoustic open mic, a "Lovers Flight of Cacao" (three confections served with sipping chocolate for two), seasonal specials and more. Entry is free. more »

The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin: A cast of 10 will portray everyone from a radical socialist to an Italian laundress to a scientific industrialist when The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday at Western Washington University's DUG Theatre. The play focuses on the events surrounding the titular character, who, through a strike at a Canadian zinc smelter, brought the World War I British war machine to a halt. Tickets are $7-$12. more »

Calendar Girls: Attend performances of Calendar Girls for the final weekend at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Based on a true story and the hit movie of the same name, the play tells the tale of Annie and her friends who, following the death of Annie's husband, resolve to raise money for the local hospital by posing nude for a fundraising calendar. Tickets are $20. more »

Baby: Meet three couples who are facing the brave new world of parenthood in humorous and poignant fashion when Baby concludes this week with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The musical examines how parents-to-be experience the emotional stresses and triumphs, as well as the desperate lows and the comic highs, that accompany the anticipation and arrival of a baby. Tickets are $12-$14. more »

Moon Over Buffalo: Hilarious misunderstandings pile on top of madcap misadventures in Ken Ludwig's valentine to theater hams everywhere when Moon Over Buffalo shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday, at Oak Harbor's Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd. Tickets are $20. Additional showings happen through Feb. 21. more »

Metales M5: Mexico's leading brass quintet, Metales M5, returns to Mount Vernon for shows at 10am and 12pm at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Expect to hear everything from baroque to contemporary music, opera and blues, pop, movie soundtracks, and folk music from Spain, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. Tickets are $5. more »

Museum Advocates Talk: George E. Thomas, former Executive Director of the Whatcom Museum (1978-1993), will discuss how the museum was saved from demolition in 1962 at a Museum Advocates discussion at noon at Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. He will also talk about the museum’s founding, struggles in the first decades and some of the personalities significant to its survival. Entry is free. more »

Intro to Improv: Sheila Goldsmith helms a free "Learn to Think on Your Feet" introductory improv class from 1:30-3pm at Improv Playworks, 1011 Girard St. Please register in advance. more »

Snowshoeing Basics: Find out more about a fun winter sport at a "Snowshoeing Basics" clinic with Kathy Whitman from 6-7:30pm at REI, 400 36th St. Whitman will focus on the appropriate selection of gear as well as the basics on what you need and where to go to get started. Please register in advance for the free course. more »

Strumming for Tami: A silent auction and music by Jasmine Green, Tom Sandblum, Sam Chue, Brian Hilman, and Stinky Pete will be part of a "Strumming for Tami" fundraiser starting at 6pm at the Underground Nightclub, 211 E. Chestnut St. The event will raise money for area resident Tami Davis, who recently suffered a brain aneurysm. Suggested donation is $10 at the door. more »

Peace Corps Talk: Hear Peace Corps volunteer stories at 6:30pm at Western Washington University's Communications Facility (CF), room 110. Vanessa Leja will be sharing her Peace Corps experience as an English teacher in South Africa. Join her to have your questions answered, learn about the Peace Corps application and more. Entry is free. more »

Firehouse Film Series: The kid-friendly Song of the Sea will be the featured flick at a Firehouse Film Series showing at 6:30pm at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Entry is $5 per person of $15 for a family. more »

Healthy Treats: "Healthy Treats for Your Sweetheart" will be the focus of a class with Alissa Segersten from 6:30-9pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Attendees will learn how to make sweets such as chocolate lava cakes, raspberry coconut ice cream, no-bake chocolate custards (and more); the menu will be free of grains, dairy, soy, refined sugar, GMOs, and is organic. Entry is $39. more »

Astronomy Meeting: The Whatcom Association of Celestial Observers will meet from 7-9pm at Ferndale's Whatcom Educational Credit Union, 5659 Barrett Rd. The event will include discussion of upcoming star parties, astronomy events within driving distance, outreach projects and more. Entry is free and open to the public. more »

Midnight Bird: Local performance poet Kevin Murphy shares mind-expanding pieces from his new CD, The Bird of Pure Midnight, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The disc is accompanied by a 32-page chapbook which includes lyrics to all of the poems—with subject matter ranging from the inner life of rocks to Abraham Lincoln to human-rodent relations. more »

Brian Regan Live Comedy Tour: See the standup comedian who made it onto The Late Show With David Letterman 28 times—the most of any comic since the show moved to CBS in 1993—when Brian Regan returns to Bellingham for a 7:30pm performance at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets to see the history-making funny fella are $50. more »

Lodge Lore: Lifetime Whatcom County resident Mike Impero shares research, photographs and historical documents from his recently published book, The Grand Lady of Mount Baker: A History of the Mount Baker Lodge from 1927-1931 at a Whatcom County Historical Society meeting at 7:30pm at Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Suggested donation is $3. more »

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