Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Sour Apple

Diesel refinery plan withdrawn after county launches review

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Officials with Phillips 66 say they will discontinue plans to construct a large-scale renewable diesel plant on the Phillips 66 Ferndale refinery property at Cherry Point. The decision comes days after Whatcom County planners and the Washington State Department of Ecology determined the proposal likely posed adverse impacts on the environment, and called for a more extensive public review.

“While we believe the Ferndale Refinery is a strategic fit for this renewable diesel project,…

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A Lively Whodunit

The Word is Murder

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Chances are, you’ve read one of British author Anthony Horowitz’s novels or seen one of his television shows. With more than 40 books under his belt (the Alex Rider series about a teenage spy has sold over 19 million copies) and BAFTA Awards for the television series Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders, Horowitz has also written 11 episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

Horowitz received a commission from the Conan Doyle estate to write two original Sherlock Holmes novels and…

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Winter Warmers

Cups for community

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Last week, when snowstorms blanketed the region and frigid temperatures persisted throughout the lengthening January days, not much beat wrapping my cold hands around a ceramic mug of coffee or hot chocolate as I gazed out my kitchen window onto a world that had been transformed into a winter wonderland.

In those moments, I found myself thankful for the safety my home provides when the weather outside is frightful. I was also grateful to have been able to stock my larder with enough…

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Winter Greens

Kale for the win

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Shortly before the first major storm of the new year swooped in to cover my vegetable garden with six inches of snow and send the temperatures plummeting, I spent a couple of hours harvesting many of the remaining greens that had been planted during warmer months.

By the time I was finished, I had unearthed more than a dozen leeks and collected sizable mounds of curly and dinosaur kale, spinach greens, the last of the rainbow chard, and bunches of hardy parsley. While I was out there,…

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On Stage

Winter Dances

Students storm the stage

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

By the time Western Washington University students make their way onstage for annual “Winter Dances” performances taking place Jan. 23-26 at the school’s Performing Arts Center mainstage, the work they will have put in to ensure their audiences are entertained will have gone far beyond what those seated in the theater will see when the curtain goes up.

That’s because in addition to putting their bodies on the line, those studying to secure their Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degrees offered…

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Take Flight

Wing it for the weekend

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Now that the recent snowfall has (mostly) melted, there’s no excuse not to take flight and get better acquainted with the wildlife among and above us. We’ve already written about the Skagit Eagle Festival—which comes to an end Jan. 25-26 in eastern Skagit County—so you may already be aware winter is the perfect time to find out even more about our resident and visiting feathered friends.

A good place to begin is the third annual La Conner Birding Showcase happening Sat., Jan. 25 at…

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Bellingham Folk Festival

They come in peace

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Last year, Cayley Schmid, the mastermind behind Bellingham’s folk and Irish festivals, told me that one of her favorite things about the events is spying folks downtown with musical instruments during festival weekend and trying to figure out who they are and what they’re up to.

My curiosity piqued, I decided to try and see things from her perspective, and, sure enough, seemingly everywhere I looked was someone hauling a fiddle or guitar through the rainy streets of the downtown…

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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

PRIORITIES: The opening of the 2020 legislative session in Olympia kicked into high gear last week, and Democrats wasted little time in setting their priorities and advancing bills that had stalled or languished in their session last year.

Majority Democrats elected Rep. Laurie Jinkins…

Amy Goodman

One hundred years ago, women won the right to vote in the United States. The women’s suffrage movement took decades of organizing to achieve success, from the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, to mass civil disobedience and protest leading up to the adoption and ratification of the 19th…

Rumor Has It
Hot in Herre

One of the enduring mysteries and source of speculation in my life revolves around the musical acts at the Northwest Washington Fair.

Much more than any other annual entertainment event, the fair’s booking hews to no genre or style and seems to fall under the general header of “stuff…

Unanswered questions

We still have soldiers in Iraq, in a war the president says he did not agree with, hunkered down in Saddam-era bunkers, hiding from bombs launched by Iran in retribution of an attack on an…

Bag ban panned

Recently the Anacortes City Council banned plastic grocery bags, beginning in May 2020. I think that is a big mistake. For responsible people, those bags serve myriad uses, such as carrying…

A painful extraction

With all of the mainstream news media support for some form of military action against Iran, I (even after three decades of news consumption) still have yet to come across an outlet noting…

Today's Events
Winter Book Sale


Find books and media for all ages at a Winter Book Sale taking place from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Tables…

Salish Sea Early Music Festival


The Salish Sea Early Music Festival series begins with a “Louis XIV” concert at 7pm Wednesday at the Fir-Conway Lutheran Church, (18101 Fir Island Rd.) and 7pm Friday at St. Paul’s Episcopal…



Witness a clever retelling of a beloved fairytale at showings of Cinderella at 7pm Thursday through Saturday at Lynden Christian Worship and Fine Arts Center, 515 Drayton St. Tickets are…

Winter Dances


Original student choreography will be part of the annual “Winter Dances” performances happening at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Western Washington University’s…



Find out what happens after the tragic death of a cat unleashes a bizarre series of events in the life of his owner Nate at showings local playwright Dinah Lankerovich’s Davis at 8pm Thursday…

Wild Things


Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” Community Program from 9:30am-11am every Friday in January at Lake Padden Park (East). Please bring a…

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition


Teens in grades 6-12 are invited to enter original poems for inclusion in an annual teen poetry anthology, A Forest of Words, through Sun., March 15. Along with having their poems published…

Deep Forest Experience


Attend “Deep Forest Experience” events from 11am-2pm Fridays through Sundays through February at Rockport State Park, State Route 20, milepost 96. Guided hikes will depart hourly from the…

Bellingham Folk Festival


Workshops, performances, dances and jams for all ages and abilities will be part of the Bellingham Folk Festival, which takes place from 4:30pm-9:30pm Friday, 9am-9:30pm Saturday, and…

Fourth Friday Art Walk


Whatcom Art Market, Peter James Photography, Current & Furbish, Tony’s Coffee & Tea/Harris Avenue Cafe, Village Books, Paper Dreams, Colophon Cafe, Chuckanut Center, Artwood Gallery, Morgan…

Opera Scenes


Western Washington University’s Voice Area and Opera Club presents performances of “Opera Scenes” from 6pm-8pm Friday and Saturday at the school’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.…



Get relief from seriousness at a conscious dance party, “Levity: An Evening of Music, Movement and Mirth,” from 7pm-10pm at Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave. Silly improv sound yoga,…

Greyson Chance


As part of his Portraits World Tour, singer and songwriter Greyson Chance will make a stop in Bellingham for a 7pm concert at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. His second studio…

The Good Doctor


Watch a Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov collaboration when The Good Doctor opens this weekend with performances at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Theatre Guild,…

Space Trek


The men and women of the USS Upfront will return to the stage when the popular improvised sci-fi show, “Space Trek,” returns to the stage for 7:30pm and 9:30pm performances Fridays and…

The Cocoanuts


Skagit Valley College presents performances of The Cocoanuts starting this weekend at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the school’s Phil Tarro Theatre. This vaudeville spectacular starring…