Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

Food

Leader Block

Ferndale’s Little Italy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

For a great Italian culinary experience, it’s not necessary to cross an ocean—or even leave Whatcom County.

Instead, head straight to Leader Block Wine Co. and Eatery. The moment you walk in, you’ll forget you’re in Ferndale, as owners Robert Pinkney, Amberleigh Brownson, and Brett Wiltse have transformed the ground floor and infused it with an ambient, old-world Italian feel.

Dark wood trims on the walls add a feeling of elegance and character to an intimate space where tables…

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Outdoors

Classic Rides

Mix and match

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

In Whatcom and Skagit counties, bicyclists have plenty of routes to choose from when it comes to where they pump their pedals. Following are a few events that showcase the scenic bounty of our region from atop two-wheeled conveyances. Choose one, or mix and match your scenic adventures.

Adroit athletes will need to rise before the sun to get to the parking lot at Boundary Bay Brewery by 6:30am on Sun., Aug. 25 for the Mt. Baker Bicycle Club’s annual Chuckanut Classic. The hardy souls…

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Visual

Flower Power

The art of arrangement

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I’ve long been of the opinion that flower arranging is an art form.

Unfortunately, it’s one I’ve yet to master. My problem isn’t with growing flowers, it’s with what to do with them after I’ve cut them and brought them inside. Typically, I just stick like with like in a vase—red dahlias with purple and orange dahlias, humongous sunflowers with smaller sunflowers, clusters of white hydrangeas—and call it good.

However, a Flower Bouquet Contest happening during Bellingham Farmers…

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Words

Readers Rights

Advocating for e-book access

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Troubling limits imposed by publishers on public library purchases of electronic books and audiobooks are inspiring a strong response from libraries across the country. We are raising awareness about this issue because pricing and access barriers make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission: ensuring access to information for all.

The Whatcom County Library System and Bellingham Public Library are proud to participate in the Washington Anytime Library, an e-book…

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On Stage

Standup Roundup

The laughter list

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The best comedians make telling jokes in front of an audience look easy, but anybody who’s ever witnessed one of their friends nervously testing out their routine in front of a mirror in their bathroom (been there, done that) knows full well it can be an arduous path to the punchline. Getting onstage takes guts, and that’s only one of the reasons you should pay attention to the following standup roundup.

At 9pm every Monday, as many as 20 comedians make their way to Guffawingham! to…

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Film

Cold Case Hammarskjold

Cracking a conspiracy

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

If you’ve seen The Red Chapel or The Ambassador, you already know that a common reaction to the documentaries of Danish filmmaker Mads Brugger is, “I’m not really sure what I just watched.”

Brugger is a journalist and a fabulist, a provocateur and a comedian. He makes films that are categorized as nonfiction—and yet, if I walked out of the theater and you told me everything I’d seen had been staged and manipulated toward a desired conclusion, I wouldn’t be the least bit…

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Music

North Cascades Bluegrass Festival

It’s all in the name

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t pay that much attention when the Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival changed its name. It’s not uncommon for newish events—this will be the festival’s fourth year—to see all manner of modifications both large and small during their formative years. So when I heard that the Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival had become the North Cascades Bluegrass Festival, I figured the switch had something to do with adopting a less local and more regional…

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The Gristle
Ground Zero

GROUND ZERO: Whatcom County Council made their final adjustments and recommendations to the Comprehensive Plan for the county’s heavy industry zone at Cherry Point before they adjourned for their summer recess. Their amendments will now be bundled up and presented to the County Planning…

Alan Rhodes
Pontifications and Postulations

The Aug. 6 primary election is over and the campaign smoke has temporarily cleared. Here are a few of my blatantly opinionated and highly subjective observations.

The Executive Suite: In the County Executive race Satpal Sidhu and Tony Larson will face off in November. Sidhu, who is…

Rumor Has It
Into the woods

No matter when you’re reading this, odds are better than decent that I’m still in the afterglow of having a day that began with a perusal of prizewinning chickens and ended with a raspberry milkshake with a whole lot of goats and hard seltzer (at the Lynden Fair!) and Cheap Trick…

Letters
Focus on affordable housing

The Gristle mentioned that April Barker has a “laser focus on affordable housing.” This focus is important because Bellingham is becoming an increasingly expensive place to live.
Rents…

April Barker for Climate Justice

Last week’s Gristle showed us that Bellingham has two great candidates for mayor.
April Barker received the sole endorsement of Washington Conservation Voters because she understands we…

Big picture

Last week’s Gristle stated regarding April Barker, “in politics a stated clarity of purpose is remarkable.”
That’s one of the reasons I support April Barker for mayor. She’s…

Today's Events
The Spitfire Grill

7:30pm

As part of Western Summer Theatre, attend showings of The Spitfire Grill at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Western Washington University’s…

Boating Center Open

10:00am

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

12:00pm

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

Skagit Guided Adventures

12:00pm

This summer, join Skagit Guided Adventures for “Explore n’ Cruise” outings to Vendovi Island Thursdays through Mondays. Outings leave from Skyline Marina in Anacortes. Reservations are…

An Iliad

7:30pm

iDiOM Theater’s Summer Rep season comes to an end with showings of An Iliad at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. Set in an empty theater in the…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

As part of the annual Skagit Tours, Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours, and Ladder Creek…

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm

The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor.…

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm

Enjoy the ultimate beach barbecue experience at a “Seaside BBQ” event from 5:30-8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 31 at Blaine’s Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy. The “party on…

Ferndale Street Festival

6:00pm

Attend the 17th annual Ferndale Street Festival from 6pm-11pm Friday, and 10am-11pm Saturday in downtown Ferndale. Live music, dancing, food trucks, activities for kids, a car show, a beer…

The Phantom Tollbooth

7:00pm

Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth performers ages 9-14 will bring The Phantom Tollbooth to life at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at BAAY Theater, 1059 N. State St. Adapted…

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm

Through September 21, costumed guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays at Saturdays in…

Dynamic Duos

9:00pm

Watch two-person teams push the boundaries of improv and comedy at showings of “Dynamic Duos” at 9pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets are $12. The format will…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

As part of the annual Skagit Tours, Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours, and Ladder Creek…

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am

All are welcome at a monthly Pancake Breakfast happening from 8am-10am in Ferndale at American Legion Post #154, 5537 2nd Ave. Entry is $3 for kids 12 and under, and $6 for adults.

Fidalgo Bay Day

9:00am

Attend the 20th annual “Fidalgo Bay Day” from 11am-3pm in Anacortes at the Samish Indian Nation’s Fidalgo Bay Resort, 4701 Fidalgo Bay Rd. Take part in beach seining demos and touch live…

Lake Whatcom Park Trail Build

9:00am

Join Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, Whatcom County Parks, and REI for a Trail Build event taking place from 9am-3:30pm at Lake Whatcom Park, 3220 N. Shore Rd. Activities will include…

Twin Sisters Farmers Markets

9:00am

Affordable, Whatcom County-grown produce can be procured at the Twin Sisters Farmers Market from 9am-3pm at the IGA parking lot on Nugent’s Corner, and 10am-2pm in Maple Falls at the North…

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am

Find fresh produce and much more at the 30th season of the Anacortes Farmers Market happening from 9am-2pm Saturdays through Oct. 26 at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave.

Concrete Saturday Market

9:00am

Fresh food, arts and crafts, and live music are part of the Concrete Saturday Market happening from 9am-3pm weekly through Labor Day weekend at the Concrete Community Center, 45821 Railroad St.

Mount Vernon Farmers Market2333

9:00am

Attend the Mount Vernon Farmers Market from 9am-2pm Saturdays through Oct. 12 at the city’s Riverwalk Park, 509 S. Main St. The market supports local farmers and growers in a family-friendly…

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am

The 27th season of the Bellingham Farmers Market continues from 10am-3pm Saturdays through Dec. 21 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. In addition to perusing and purchasing…

The Flower Festival

10:00am

Celebrate and showcase the region’s floral abundance at an inaugural “Flower Festival” taking place from 10am-3pm during the Bellingham Farmers Market at the Depot Market Square, 1100…

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am

Aspiring writers can join the Sumas Writers Group to improve writing techniques, get feedback and gain information on how to get work published from 10am-11am at the Sumas Library, 451 2nd…

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am

Local farmers and artisans will sell their edible and creative wares at the Lynden Farmers Market from 10am-2pm every Saturday through Sept. 28 at Centennial Park, 319 Grover St.

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am

Homegrown and handmade farm products, baked goods, arts and crafts and more can be found at the Blaine Gardeners Market from 10am-2pm Saturdays through October at the city’s H Street Plaza.

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am

Vendors will offer fresh produce, local honey, gorgeous flowers, arts and crafts and more at the Lummi Island Saturday Market happening from 10am-1pm Saturdays through the summer in the field…

Airfest

10:30am

Activities for kids, a static display of aircraft and helicopters, informational booths, aviation career opportunities, speakers, food trucks, airport rescue firefighter demos and more will…

Cemetery Tours

11:00am

The Lynden Pioneer Museum presents “A Walk Back in Time” tour from 11am-12pm at the Lynden Cemetery, 1975 Front St. Tour guides will explore the history of the city, burial practices and…

Weavings Pop-Up Sale

11:00am

Peruse handwoven pieces by women’s cooperatives in Oaxaca and Guatemala at a Weavings! Pop-Up Sale from 11am-5pm Saturday and Sunday in La Conner at Vida Nueva Rugs (606 Morris St.) and…

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm

The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor.…

Modern Quilts Final Weekend

12:00pm

As part of the “Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century” exhibit, attend the final “Ask a Quilter” event from 2:30pm-4:30pm Saturday at Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St.…

Sumi Fun for All Ages

1:00pm

Learn basic Sumi skills and experiment with Sumi materials when Janet Laurel helms “Sumi Fun for All Ages” from 1pm-4pm at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art, 121 S. First St. In this class,…

Summer Jazz Combo

2:00pm

Players from the Jansen Jazz Band will perform both jazz and pop selections at a lighthearted Summer Jazz Combo concert taking place from 2pm-3:30pm at the Piano Lounge at Lynden’s Jansen Art…

The Poetic Apothecary with Judith Adams

3:00pm

As part of a Humanities Washington Speaker Series, England-born poet and performer Judith Adams will present “The Poetic Apothecary: Poems for Healing & Comfort” at 3pm in Concrete at the…

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm

Learn about local salmon species, discover native plants and find aquatic insects at the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s Nooksack River Walk starting at 3pm in Glacier at the…

Summer Fun in the Park

4:00pm

Attend “Summer Fun in the Park” from 4pm-9pm at Blaine’s Marine Park, 272 Marine Dr. Activities for kids, delicious food, music, a beer garden and a family-friendly outdoor movie will be part…

Janie Cribbs and the T.Rust Band

5:30pm

Celebrate Woodstock and 50 years of peace, love and music when Janie Cribbs and the T.Rust Band perform at a fundraiser for the Rick Epting Foundation for the Arts at 5:30pm at the Heart of…

Seaside BBQ

5:30pm

Enjoy the ultimate beach barbecue experience at a “Seaside BBQ” event from 5:30-8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 31 at Blaine’s Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy. The “party on…

Lummi Island Crabfest Dinner

6:00pm

Enjoy local crab, organic corn on the cob and more at a Crabfest Dinner starting at 6pm at the Lummi Island Grange Hall, 2214 N. Nugent Rd. Suggested donation is $15 to attend the fun-filled…

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm

Through September 21, costumed guides will regale audiences with tales of fascinating characters at the margins of history at Good Time Girls’ “Sin & Gin” tours at 7pm Fridays at Saturdays in…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

As part of the annual Skagit Tours, Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours, and Ladder Creek…