Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Gift Picks

A book for every reader

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A basic philosophy shared by librarians and booksellers alike is that there is a book for every reader. Books make great gifts for this reason, and the book experts at your local library or bookstore can help you match the people in your life with books they will enjoy.

On a recent “best holiday gift books” scouting trip, Village Books co-owner, Paul Hanson, suggested The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime by local celebrities Misha and Vicki Collins.…

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On Stage

The Nutcracker

A Christmas countdown

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Renditions of the winter ballet The Nutcracker proliferate in Whatcom and Skagit counties, with numerous dance companies working overtime on an annual basis to bring to life the tale of a young girl’s journey to a magical land—typically beginning at the tail end of November, and continuing until late December.

This year is no different. While Fidalgo Danceworks, Harper&I Dance Center, and the Skagit Valley Academy of Dance have already brought their acclaimed visions of the classic…

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Tide Guide

Drayton Harbor Oyster Company

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

My date and I arrived at the Drayton Harbor Oyster Company in the early afternoon after taking a long and winding route from Bellingham to Blaine through a late-fall drizzle, and I was hungry—not only for the taste of briny bivalves, but also for a new experience. Over the course of the next hour or so at the warm and inviting space, both my appetite and my psyche were sated.

After ordering and paying, we claimed a couple of stools at a tall common table overlooking the Blaine Marina.…

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Valley Made

More than a market

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Years ago, Phoebe Carpenter Eells of elSage Designs sent me a framed block print with the phrase “work hard and be nice to people” artfully emblazoned in red text on a white background. To this day, the small piece of art sits on a bookshelf to the left of my work desk, and is a constant reminder of how to interact with fellow humans.

“If we have any mantra that we’re living, it’s that,” Phoebe says of the ethos of the company she operates with her husband Jonathan using a mix of…

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Escape to Blaine

Book sales and bivalves

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The roads were wet and rain was threatening as the Lady of the House and I rolled out of Bellingham on an important journey of rejuvenation and discovery. 

Ever since Drayton Harbor Oyster Company moved into their new location at H Street Plaza in Blaine, we’d been plotting a sojourn to savor the bounteous bivalves they cultivate in their sheltered waters.

“The short way or the long way?” I asked my lady as we approached a critical junction at the edge of city limits.


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Sounds of the Season

The sequel

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Like it or not, the holiday season is happening

Personally speaking, I like it. But then again, everyone already knew that. Per usual, no physical evidence of my seasonal spirit exists anywhere in my life—no stockings have been hung, no presents procured, my tiny artificial tree remains in storage along with the snowboard helmet I’ve never used and some of the Shakedown’s former barstools. I probably won’t even get around to baking the 40 or so dozen Christmas cookies that is my…

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Best of Bellingham 2019
Best Neighborhood


The center of the universe has coasted north over the years of our annual Best of Bellingham reader survey—Columbia and Sunnyland neighborhoods feature a vital mix of charming long-established Craftsman homesteads, innovative businesses and artist studios. They’ve taken their share of infill, proving urban densities can make a city come alive. The city’s bike and pedestrian plans have matured in these neighborhoods. They feel centered. And it is not at all a coincidence that so many winners in our Best of Bellingham survey are located here.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
War Waged on Two Fronts

WAR WAGED ON TWO FRONTS: A packed house in both their afternoon and evening sessions this week greeted the anticipated release of Bellingham City Council’s Climate Protection Action Plan. The plan was presented by members of the Climate Action Task Force (CATF), a nine-member advisory…

Saying Goodbye

Elected officials get melancholy at the end of their service and as we prepare for the transition to a Greg Hansen administration, I want to ponder where we’ve journeyed as a city.

When I took the reins from Mayor Gary Jensen, the city was in good shape. We were coming out of the…

Amy Goodman
Guiding through dark days

More than 1,000 people packed into the historic Cirkus Arena in downtown Stockholm last week. It wasn’t for the building’s original purpose, an actual circus, or for a rock concert, which is one of the contemporary uses of the building. What drew this remarkable cross section of Swedish…

Rumor Has It
It’s Baaaack:

Back in September, I got a text from Brent Cole, What’s Up! Magazine editor and founder and person who knows the greatest number of embarrassing things about me. No words, just a screen grab of a convo between him and the Wild Buffalo’s Craig Jewell that begins with Cole asking if Jan.…

Choice in health care

I think it is great that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and others are striving to provide a way for everyone to have access to health care. I also appreciate that they are opposed to…

Deflating the gas bag

As the impeachment hearings proceed, it seems the Republicans could use a new symbol for their party: the Trump baby balloon. Its thin skin and emptiness is an apt symbol of what they are…

Stains on our fabric

Let’s remember Trump lost the popular vote. He was ‘’unpopular’’ before he ever arrived at the White House. Now in addition to his long list of unpresidential traits we can add…

Today's Events
Holiday Pet Food Drive


Whatcom Pet Care Network is hosting a Holiday Pet Food Drive through December with barrels for donations in multiple locations in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, and Blaine. Donations will…

Deck the Old City Hall


Get in the holiday spirit when the annual “Deck the Old City Hall” continues this week from 12-5pm Wednesday through Sunday at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Entry is by…

Giving Tree


Take part in the annual “Giving Tree” at Village Books locales in Bellingham (1200 11th St.) and Lynden (430 Front St.) Choose an angel ornament from the tree in the store and purchase a book…

Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 40th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

Holiday Favorites


The Museum Advocates present a “Holiday Favorites” concert with the award-winning small mixed vocal ensemble, the Bellingham High School Showstoppers, at 12pm at Whatcom Museum’s Old City…

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret


THE NAUGHTY LIST: Frisky Fandoms Burlesque will present “The Naughty List” Holiday Market and Cabaret Thursday and Friday at Broadway Hall, 1300 Broadway St. Support local artists and browse…

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar


From 4pm-1am daily through New Year’s Eve, a Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar can be visited at Swim Club, 1147 11th St. At the international event that started and continues in New York…

Songs of Peace with Kulshan Youth Choir


“Songs of Peace” will be the focus of the Kulshan Youth Choir inaugural holiday concert at 5:30pm at Bellingham’s First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave. Students in grades 3-6…

Bellwether Premiere Wine Social


Sample Northwest-produced, limited-production wines and the finest bites from the restaurant at a Bellwether Premiere Wine Social taking place from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Hotel Bellwether’s…

Holiday Party


A latte art throw-down, an ugly Christmas sweater contest, a holiday popup shop, music by the Pickle Company, drink specials and more will be part of a Holiday Party starting at 6pm at Camber…

DSA Movie Night


Join Whatcom Democratic Socialists of America for a free screening of The Young Karl Marx (2018) from 6pm-8pm Western Washington University’s Academic West auditorium, room 210. The film is…

Winter Pop-Up with Taylor Shellfish


Taylor Shellfish will host a Winter Pop-Up from 6pm-9pm Thursdays through the winter at Aslan Depot, 1322 N. State St. Enjoy Dungeness crab, oysters, deals on beer pairings, 20 percent off…

Peaceful Poetry Reading


Talented young writers from the Peaceful Poetry Youth Contest will read their award-winning poems at 6:30pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Light refreshments will be provided, as will…

Shrek the Musical


The Burlington-Edison High School drama department presents its fall show, Shrek the Musical at 7pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7pm Saturday at the school’s Cafetorium. Guest-directed by…

Balkan Folk Dancers


The Balkan Folk Dancers meet from 7-9:30pm Thursdays at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. There is teaching early in the evening, and no experience or partner is necessary as most dances…

Storm Music Extravaganza


Hear performing ensembles from the Squalicum High School Music Department for its annual Storm Music Extravaganza at 7pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The concert will…

Treasure Island


Drama students will present showings of Treasure Island at 7pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm Saturday at the Sehome High School Theater, 2700 Bill McDonald Pkwy. Ticket prices vary to see the…

Peace, Love, and Ukuleles


The Bellingham Ukulele Orchestra will present “Peace, Love, and Ukuleles” at a 7pm concert at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St. The program will include a special guest…

Avalanche Awareness


Learn more about where and why avalanches occur at an “Avalanche Awareness” clinic taking place from 7pm-8:30pm at Backcountry Essentials, 214 W. Holly St. Among other things, you can find…

History Holiday


Local authors will sign and sell books as part of Whatcom County Historical Society’s annual History Holiday Open Mic happening from 7:30pm-9pm at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect…

Good, Bad, Ugly


Watch “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” at 7:30pm every Thursday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 9:30pm, stick around for “The Project”—which tonight will feature “Three French Hens”—a…

Crazy for You


Judith Owens-Lancaster directs showings of the musical Crazy for You, which concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Theatre…

Number the Stars


Drama, adventure and humor can be expected when showings of the stage adaptation of the World War II-era bestseller Number the Stars continue this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday…

A Christmas Carol


iDiOM Theater revives one of its most popular shows ever with performances of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday in the Lucas Hicks Theater at the Sylvia…