This Week's Cover


Summer Meltdown

As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the Summer

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This Week

The Gristle

Deflating Expectations

DEFLATING EXPECTATIONS: What a difference an economic downturn makes!

Bellingham City Council this week listened to extensive public comments but took no immediate action on estimating growth in the city’s population and employment over the next 20-year planning horizon. Staff presented four potential scenarios for City Council to debate, settle upon and forward to Whatcom County planners later this year.

Under the state’s Growth Management Act, counties and their cities are required to

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An Oasis of Quiet

Greenways levies fund Northridge Park


I walked into Northridge Park on a May morning when the sun was just starting to break through the night’s cloud cover, crossing the walkway from Magrath Road into the park.

The park is a mixed forest with an unusually large number of deciduous trees for northwest Washington, probably because this land was first clearcut and then likely harvested again. There may be some second growth, but most of the forest is probably mature third growth, with tall birch, alder, cottonwoods, bitter cherry

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Instant Gratification

Acting on impulse in America


What happens to society when instant gratification, once scorned as a sign of personal weakness, becomes the driving force in our political and economic life?

Paul Roberts, a journalist and author whose previous works include The End of Oil and The End of Food, has penned a call for self-examination of how our quest for the largest, quickest, most efficient rewards have long-term costs, both personally and globally.

In The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification, Roberts

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Block Party

Taking it to the streets


Although I’m an early riser, I am not the type of human who wakes up at the break of dawn in order to get my caboose to a mountain trail and spend the day hiking ever-upward to immerse my being in an alpine wonderland.

These days, my outdoor explorations tend to be more of the urban variety, as I’m of the opinion that watching humans in the throes of having a good time can be just as interesting as happening upon mating marmots in the wild.

This weekend, in fact, will lend itself well to

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On Stage

Park It

Join the circus, one more time

It was early June when Karl Meyer first contacted me about the possibility of including the Community Food Co-op’s annual Community Party in one of the Weekly’s upcoming issues.

As Community Outreach Coordinator for the longtime grocery store with a hyper-local focus, Meyer knows it’s best to contact media outlets early, give them a few reasons to cover the event, and follow up to ensure everybody’s got what they need.

Meyer did all that, and more. This year, a focal point of his missives

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Electric Beet Juice Co.

From Farm to Glass


Grabbing a handful of fresh clover sprouts, shredded carrots, basil, chives and tofu, Heidi Ormbrek stretches rice paper around the raw ingredients. The spring roll looks like it’s ready to burst. She carefully lays the colorful, opaque roll on a plate next to a bowl of sunflower butter sauce.

Ormbrek, 32, works at the Electric Beet Juice Company in the Bellingham Public Market. She is preparing to make a rice paper-wrapped spring roll. She dunks the wrapper in warm water and lays it down on a

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Mission: Impossible

Rogue Nation


At 53 years old, Tom Cruise is past the retirement age of every James Bond except Roger Moore. Yet his 19-year-old Mission: Impossible series ticks on, counting down the seconds till its next explosion—and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is determined to unman his cross-Atlantic competition. Forget high-tech gadgets. The older Cruise gets, the more he relies on his fists. (And his abs, and his nerves—he’ll never let you forget he does his own stunts, and why should he?) His body is the wonder-gizmo, and

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The Threshold Project

A global journey through glass


Can art save the world?

According to glassblower Christopher Morrison, it sure can’t hurt it.

That’s one reason “The Threshold Project,” Morrison’s exhibit opening Aug. 6 at Western Washington University’s Western Gallery, isn’t just about how the handblown glass sculptures that will be on display catch the light, or what they might look like being displayed in an admiring patron’s living room.

“The purpose of this art is to compel viewers into action, resulting in a movement toward

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Infinitely Polar Bear

A slightly skewed family portrait


Deeply personal and filled with love, Maya Forbes’ Infinitely Polar Bear is nonetheless a hard movie to watch—hard to watch comfortably. Based on her experiences growing up with a father who was in and out of institutions, diagnosed with manic depression, Forbes’ film throws a memoir-ish lasso around late-1970s Cambridge, Mass., where a family with a wildly careening dad, a mom trying to pursue a career, and two girls caught in the throes go about their lives.

Not an easy thing when Cam Stuart

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Summer Meltdown

Where the music meets the mountains


As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the Summer

Continue Reading »

Best of Bellingham

What's the best neighborhood? The one you live in, judging from this fiercely competitive category. With more than 2,400 entries in the Cascadia Weekly readers choice awards, every neighborhood was named again and again. But with so many terrific places--Trader Joe's, Hardware Sales, Kulshan Brewing Company, Jeckyl & Hyde, Homeskillet, on and on--Sunnyland comes out on top.

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Jul 30


Children’s Craft Fairs: Kids can buy or sell their homemade crafts and treats at Children's Craft Fairs happening from 2-3pm Wednesday at the Ferndale Library (2125 Main St.) and 10:30am-11:30am Thursday at the Lynden Library (216 4th St.). Registration is required to sell; anyone can shop. more »

Tractor and Machinery Show: The Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association hosts its 44th annual "Tractor and Machinery Show" from 7am-7pm Wednesday through Friday, and 7am-4pm Saturday at Lynden's Berthusen Park, 8836 Berthusen Rd. Daily events include threshing bees, sawmill demos, gas engines, tractor pulling, antique vehicles, a bookstore, corn grinding, blacksmithing, an adult pedal tractor pull, activities for kids and more. Entry is $3-$7. more »

Movement Graffiti: New dance works by choreographers Nolan Hoppe-Leonard, Tara Reiter, Eli Madsen, Cassandra Howlet, and Artistic Director Nolan Dennett can be seen at "Movement Graffiti: Dance Theater" performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at Western Washington University's Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Entry to see the impressionistic works is $6-$10. more »

Shakespeare Northwest: Audiences can view Shakespeare Northwest's version of The Noble Kinsmen, a comedic tale about two cousins who are vying for the affection of the same maiden, at 7pm Thursday at Mount Vernon's Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheater, 19299 Rexville Grange Rd. Romeo & Juliet shows at 7pm Friday, and from 1-9pm Saturday, "Iron Man" features the two plays, plus a showing of the ensemble's traveling show, "Shakespeare's Wonderland." Tickets are $10-$12 for the regular shows, $30 to attend "Iron Man." more »

Office Hours: Local playwright Brian Toews' Office Hours premieres this week with showings at 7:30pm at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The play is inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Medea, and tells the story of the personal and professional fall of a distinguished English professor at a prestigious liberal arts university. Tickets are $10-$12 and additional showings take place Aug. 6-8. P.S. Due to adult language, viewer discretion is advised. more »

Three Times a Bridesmaid: The world premiere or Three Times a Bridesmaid continues this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The original play by ACT's Willow McLaughlin focuses on the dilemma of an engaged woman as she recounts the many trials, tribulations and farcical tragedies in weddings she has participated in. Tickets are $18 and additional showings happen through Aug. 15. more »

MBT Summer Rep: Joe Dipietro's The Last Romance, Neil Simon's Jakes's Women, and Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities, continue this week at showings at 7:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, 3pm Sunday, and 7:30pm Tuesday as part of the MBT Summer Rep at the Mount Baker Theatre's Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets are $25. The plays show in repertory through Aug. 9. more »

Bard on the Beach: Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors plays in repertory with King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, and Shakespeare's Rebel at the 26th annual "Bard on the Beach" through September at Vancouver BC's Vanier Park, 1695 Whyte Ave. Tickets are $26-$45. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection; many performances sell out in advance. more »

Boating Center Open: The Community Boating Center is open from 12pm to sunset on weekdays, and 10am to sunset on weekends through the summer at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards. Registration for youth camps and adult classes are currently available online. more »

Marrowstone Music Festival: Orchestral and chamber music rehearsals, master classes, and professional performances for the public will be part of the 72nd annual Marrowstone Music Festival taking place from July 26-Aug. 9 at Western Washington University. Students ages 14-25 come from more than 30 states and several countries to study with internationally acclaimed faculty. Public concerts take place July 30 and Aug. 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9. Prices vary. more »

Lynden Farmers Market: Procure goods from local growers at the Lynden Farmers Market from 12-5pm at 324 Front St. (across from the Jansen Art Center). The market continues Thursdays through Oct. 29. more »

Beer, Brats, Art: Whatcom Museum hosts a 5th Thursday "Beer & Brats" gathering from 5-7pm in the courtyard at the Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. Socializing, brats paired with local beer byWander Brewing, and a chance to explore the current exhibits via a Bingo game will be part of the fun. Entry is $5 for members, $10 otherwise. Attendees must be 21 or older. more »

Blues and Brews: The Stacy Jones Band will perform at a "Blues, Brews & BBQ" summer concert series taking place from 5-9pm every Thursday through Aug. 27 on the waterfront terrace at Hotel Bellwether, One Bellwether Way. The free event features a variety of live music, local beer and a delicious barbecue menu. more »

Elizabeth Park Concert Series: Band Zandt, the east county's favorite dance band, performs from 6-8pm in Bellingham's Columbia Neighborhood at Elizabeth Park. The free, family friendly summer concert series features live music every Thursday through Aug. 27. more »

History Cruise: Whatcom Museum's "Sunset History Cruise" starts at 6pm at Island Mariner Cruises, 2621 S. Harbor Loop Dr. Bellingham historian Brian Griffin leads the popular Bellingham Bay excursions, which, in addition to beautiful scenery, includes stories about the region's fascinating history. Tickets are $30-$35; additional cruises take place Thursdays through Aug. 27. more »

Main Course Salads: Cindy McKinney focuses on "Main Course Salads" at a class taking place from 6-8:30pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Entry is $39. more »

Speaker Series: "What Are All Those Algae in the Bay? What Makes Algal Blooms Harmful and How it Affects Coastal Communities" will be the focus of a free public speaker series event with Dr. Robin Kodner at 7pm at Birch Bay Bible Community Church, 4460 Bay Rd. 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 »

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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