Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


50 Years of Spills

Canadian oil in Washington’s waters

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An election hangs in the balance, and with it the future of Northwest marine waters.

The final count from the recent provincial election in British Columbia is expected to be completed next week, with the Green party poised to hold the balance of power if a minority government is confirmed. The election was charged with concerns about a proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. The Trans Mountain project and expanded capacity would mean a seven-fold increase in…

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3 Oms 8th Anniversary (Spotlight)

Ski to Sea

I’ll see you at the party

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Surprising though it may be considering my current lack of sportiness, I spent the first half of my life as an athlete of sorts. I started playing soccer when I was in kindergarten, and for several years before I hung up my cleats, I played year-round, on indoor and outdoor teams. For much of that time, I also spent every winter weekend skiing, just one in a veritable army of ski-bus kids who descended on local mountains and managed to survive despite an almost total lack of adult…

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West Coast Wellness

Ski to Sea

Back to the basics

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Shortly before Christmas, Whatcom Events sent out a press release letting the media—and the public—know that registration for the perennially popular 44th annual Ski to Sea Race would commence on the second day of the new year.

Although that was welcome news to the racers and athletic supporters who make it a point to be a part of the 92-mile, eight-person relay race every May, what wasn’t so warmly received was the fact that organizers had decided to cull the cross-country ski…

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Cup Show

An exhibit that runneth over

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I have three coffee cups I keep in constant rotation. One is a dark blue and dense, and was handcrafted by a ceramicist who obviously knew exactly what they were doing. The second has a hairline fracture in it, but the painted-on fir trees and snow on it are so lovely I can’t bear to ditch it. The third is white and delicate and decorated with gold filagree and flowers, and it’s difficult to believe I haven’t broken it yet.

I thought about these receptacles when I received notice…

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On Stage

Ballet Blowout

A regional roundup of talent

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Delci Syvertson is only 17, but she’s already been studying ballet for six years. At 18, Henry Winslow has a year more under his pointe shoes. But the two dancers have more than that in common. Both are high school seniors studying at Whatcom Community College through Running Start, as well as performers in the Portland Ballet’s Spring Concert happening May 26-27 at Portland State University. It’s understandable if you can’t make it to Oregon this weekend to see what the duo have…

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West Coast Wellness

Western Reads

Tulalip, From My Heart

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We hear much of property rights and fourth-generation settlers in the Fourth Corner—but where and how were the rights to that property originally obtained? From the people who were here first, obviously. Treaties are the famous mechanism that made such transfers legal; a less obvious one is the scourge of slavery.

Washington was hotly competitive territory for slavers to expand their fading trade in the 19th century, and many Native peoples were enslaved. The women were taken as…

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3 Oms 8th Anniversary (Spotlight)

Hot Stuff

The art of fermenting

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

If you happen upon Kirsten and Christopher Shockey’s website, Ferment Works, the tagline “vegetable + salt + time = yum” might have readers believe the art of fermenting is an easy one.

The equation doesn’t lie.

“Fermenting vegetables into condiments is so simple that even if you think you can’t cook, you can ferment,” Kirsten says. “All you need is vegetables, salt, a bowl, a cutting board, a knife, a jar and a zip-style plastic bag to get started.”

In the Shockeys case, living…

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West Coast Wellness

The Lovers

Something old, something new

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It’s been painful in recent years to see Todd Solondz, the once-inspired director of Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, making his characters so lowly and pathetic they no longer seem real. If Solondz had kept his empathy for life’s everyday losers but put aside his compulsion to punish them for it, he might have made a comedy of barbed humanity like Azazel Jacobs’ The Lovers.

It stars Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as Mary and Michael, a couple in their late 50s who have…

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3 Oms 8th Anniversary (Spotlight)
Best of Skagit
Best Tulip Farm


If you were to wend your way to RoozenGaarde, you would find field after field ablaze with the tulips for which the area is so famous. It is a carefully cultivated, wholly natural wonder of the world, and it draws thousands every year who make the pilgrimage to the Skagit Valley to take in the riot of color that has made the region famous. But the tulip fields, while certainly a sight unto themselves, are merely the gateway to a county that boasts a rich history of agriculture and art, and is inhabited by folks who proudly hew to a fiercely local lifestyle. With its distinct and disparate cities and towns, natural beauty from field to sea and the miles of scenic routes and backroads that link it all, there is much treasure to found in Skagit, if only you know where to look. What follows is that which you’ve deemed the region’s best, the places that have earned your votes and your love, the ones that exist right in your own bountiful backyard.

Best of Skagit compiled by Carey Ross, Amy Kepferle, Tim Johnson, Scott Pelton, and Trail Rat. Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle

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The Gristle
The Cherry on Cherry Point

THE CHERRY ON CHERRY POINT: Another long, long evening session last week, filled with diverse and thoughtful (and respectful) comments representing a broad swath of opinion, and Whatcom County Council at last—after more than a year of work—approved a series of amendments to govern…

Alan Rhodes
A Downtown Odyssey: Mr. Cranky’s Excellent Adventure

Not having what one would call a responsible job, I wander around a lot looking for things to write about. I didn’t come up with any good ideas for a column on my last downtown jaunt, but here are some things I noticed.

The most interesting exterior of an edifice might be the apartment…

Lester and Hyldahl
‘Every gun made, every warship launched’

The White House requested another $54 billion to add to the Pentagon’s bloated, unaudited budget. Congress has already granted a portion of the Trump administration’s request by approving…

‘Membering Manning

On May 17, I cried in celebration for the freedom of Chelsea Manning. I cried also in grief and mourning for what she endured for seven years in prison, including 11 months in solitary…

Create a living will

Many of us are pleased that PeaceHealth Medical Group is rolling out a more robust program to motivate patients, their family members and physicians to address the proven benefits of health…

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Today's Events
Open Mic


Published and unpublished writers are encouraged to attend and enjoy a welcoming audience when they share their stories, poems and essays at a monthly Open Mic at 7pm at Village Books, 1200…



A weekly open mic for comedians, “Guffawingham!,” takes place at 9:30pm every Monday at the Green Frog, 1015 N. State St. Entry is free. Each week, the event features approximately 20…

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