This Week's Cover


Downtown Sounds

When Downtown Sounds began 11 summers ago, Bellingham’s downtown core was a different place. No, it was not some burned-out, rundown hellscape, but it did have more than its fair share of empty storefronts and was in need of both an image change and some revitalization.

Let’s face it: There comes a point in everyone’s life when a makeover is probably not the worst idea.

Enter the Downtown Bellingham Partnership.

Founded in 2000, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership has one singular,

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This Week

The Gristle

Four Promoting Five

FOUR PROMOTING FIVE: Despite the long and pretentious, preening moment of silence and quiet reflection the conservative caucus of the Whatcom Charter Review Commission invokes at the start of their meetings, caucus members nevertheless failed to gain divine insight on several key realities:

First, Whatcom County Council is the recognized authority able to affirmatively place charter amendment proposals on the ballot for voters in November. County Council also holds the legal authority to

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Terminator: Genysis

Enough, already


Arnold Schwarzenegger once again declares, “I’ll be back,” in this fifth installment of the Terminator franchise, but enough already. Spending half its time showing unkillable cyborg characters getting shot up only to quickly heal themselves, and the other half trying to explain a plot that rewrites the entire series, Terminator: Genisys will serve as a good litmus test of how keen the public is to see basically the same old thing in a new (but very similar) bottle.

At one point,

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When Marnie Was There

Studio Ghibli’s swan song?


“I hate myself.”

That’s an unusual statement coming from the hero of an animated film, let alone in the first two minutes. But 12-year-old orphan Anna (Sara Takatsuki), the protagonist of Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s lovely animated feature When Marnie Was There, has no illusions about her place in the world. There’s an invisible magic circle containing everyone else (i.e., all the seemingly normal, non-anhedonic people), and she’s forever on the outside. And as far as she’s concerned, she

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The Drive for Five

Fair representation with five equal districts


Whatcom County has breathtaking landscapes—from the islands in the Salish Sea, to the foothills of the North Cascades, and between them, the rich farms and waters that provide berries, milk, salmon and shellfish to the world. The breadth of our landscapes are matched by the diversity of our people—from software engineers in Bellingham, to fishermen and women in our coastal communities, to the farmers of Lynden. Unfortunately, the diversity of our people, and what matters to them most, is

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Urban Stream Series

Little Squalicum Creek needs you


We are blessed to have so many streams running through our community: Whatcom, Squalicum, Padden, Chuckanut, and Little Squalicum, to name a few. These special places are urban sanctuaries where we enjoy flowing water, wildlife and fresh air.

As our city grows, an increased amount of rainwater is routed away from roadways, parking lots and buildings into a system of underground pipes, and less water is filtered through vegetation and soil. This runoff is called stormwater, and as it flushes

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Grateful Bookshelf

A long, strange trip


When the remaining members of the Grateful Dead announced they would be playing a trio of farewell shows in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend to mark their 50th anniversary, it was unclear how the news would be received.

Was there still an appetite to hear music played by a bunch of semi-retired grandfathers sporting more than a little touch of gray? Had the legions of Deadheads hung up their tie-dyes and moved on? Would a final run of reunion shows have appeal without Jerry Garcia, the

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Finding the Freeze

No ice cream maker, no problem


Thanks to what I’m presuming is climate change, the blackberries lining my backyard fence are ripening much earlier than usual. I figure I have less than two weeks before I can start plucking. I am not prepared.

The problem, you see, is that I’ve still got two gallon-sized bags of blackberries and an equal amount of Italian plums from last summer taking up space in my freezer. I’d like to get rid of all of it before I start jamming the Frigidaire’s frosty chambers with more fruit.

It’s been

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On Stage

Curtains Up!

Seasonal surprises at the Mount Baker Theatre


You know that feeling of relief that can be found when you transition from being uncomfortably ensconced in the sweaty clutches of a hot summer day into that of a cool, air-conditioned oasis?

That sigh of climate-controlled assuagement could be heard by many last week at “Curtains Up!,” the preview for the Mount Baker Theatre’s 2015/2016 season, which begins July 21 with the sonic stylings of Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and ends May 14, 2016, with “’50s Dance Party,” an authentic

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Take Your Time

National Art Exhibition thinks big


Here’s a suggestion for those viewing the “Bellingham National Art Exhibition and Awards” exhibit currently on display at Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building: Walk through the collection once without reading the attached biographies and explanations accompanying each work of art, and then do so again while paying closer attention to what the artists had to say about their creations.

While the directive is merely a suggestion, it helped me stay focused when I toured the exhibition last

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Downtown Sounds

Calling out around the world


When Downtown Sounds began 11 summers ago, Bellingham’s downtown core was a different place. No, it was not some burned-out, rundown hellscape, but it did have more than its fair share of empty storefronts and was in need of both an image change and some revitalization.

Let’s face it: There comes a point in everyone’s life when a makeover is probably not the worst idea.

Enter the Downtown Bellingham Partnership.

Founded in 2000, the Downtown Bellingham Partnership has one singular,

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 04


Loggerodeo: A chainsaw carving competition, a carnival, a classic car show, parades, a foot race, a logging show, a street dance, food-related events, fireworks, a beard contest and much, much more will be part of the annual "Loggerodeo"—the longest-running 4th of July celebration in Washington State—taking place Thursday through Monday throughout Sedro-Woolley. Prices vary. more »

Northwest Tandem Rally: The multi-day Northwest Tandem Rally takes place from Thursday to Monday throughout Bellingham. The event includes organized, supported bicycle rides, a vendor fair, a banquet, Tour de France viewing parties, ice cream sampling, beer-tasting, Bellingham Bay cruising, and more. Registration prices vary. 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 »

Sin & Gin Tours: Learn more about the history of vice and sin that helped make the foundation of our urban locales what they are today at the annual "Sin & Gin Tours" at 7pm Friday in Fairhaven next to Skylark's Hidden Cafe (1308 11th St.) and 7pm Saturday at the Bureau of Historical Investigation (217 W. Holly St.). Tickets to take part in the historical tours are $15 general and $19 with a drink. Tours take place weekends through Aug. 29. more »

Holiday Book Sale: As part of Blaine's Old Fashioned 4th of July celebrations, attend a Holiday Book Sale from 10am-6pm Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St. At the event, you can expect to find some fantastic summer reads while at the same time supporting library programs and services. more »

Plover Ferry: The Plover ferry runs through the summer from 12-8pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor's Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor. Suggested donation for the excursions is $1 for kids and $5 for adults. more »

Bellingham Festival of Music: Guest musicians Vadim Gluzman, Katie Van Kooten, Christina Smith, Maria Valdes, Ilana Davidson, Morris Robinson, Alex Hann, and more will be part of the classical music extravaganza known as the Bellingham Festival of Music taking place July 3-19 at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center and the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. Tickets are $12-$50. Free community concerts also take place at Mallard Ice Cream (July 4) and Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall (July 9-17). more »

Fairhaven Walking Club: Whether you’re looking to improve or compete, all are welcome at the weekly Fairhaven Walking Club led by Cindy Paffumi starting at 8am at various locations in Fairhaven. Walk routes and meeting places change from week to week. All paces are welcome. more »

Ferndale Pancake Breakfast: A monthly Pancake Breakfast benefitting the Ferndale Food Bank takes place from 8-11am at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. more »

Blaine Pancake Breakfast: Pancakes, sausage, eggs and beverages can be had at an annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast happening from 8-11am at the Blaine Senior Center, 763 G St. Entry is $4 for kids and $6 for adults. Raffle tickets will also be available for $1 each. more »

Old-Fashioned 4th of July: The 15th annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration takes place from 8am-10pm throughout Blaine. Festivities kick off with a pancake breakfast, and from there there'll be a "Show N Shine" car show, a book sale, an arts and crafts street fair, a 4th of July Parade, Plover ferry rides, live music, fireworks and more. Entry to many events is free. more »

Mount Vernon Farmers Market: The Mount Vernon Farmers Market takes place from 9am-2pm at the city's Waterfront Plaza. In addition to the fresh, local food, expect activities for kids, cooking demos and special events through the season, which continues through Oct. 17. more »

Anacortes Farmers Market: Vegetables, fruit, baked goods, fresh meat and dairy, cut flowers, wine, eggs, art and much more can be found at the Anacortes Farmers Market, which takes place from 9am-2pm every Saturday through Oct. 24 at the Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. more »

Sedro-Woolley Footrace: As part of "Loggerrodeo," take part in the Great Sedro-Woolley Footrace starting at 9:30am at Sedro-Woolley High School, 1235 3rd St. Attendees can sign up for a 5.17-mile race or a two-mile fun run and walk. Entry is $20. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Peruse and purchase a plethora of locally grown produce, ready-to-eat foods, crafts and more at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. The market runs every Saturday through Dec. 19. more »

Haggen Family 4th of July: A "Hoop it Up" 3 on 3 basketball tournament kicks off the annual Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration at 10am at Zuanich Point Park, 2600 Harbor Loop. Starting at 11am, there'll be family friendly games (sack races, watermelon rolling, water balloon tossing, etc.), food trucks and more. Live music starts at noon and ends with a spectacular fireworks display. Parking is limited at the free event, so consider walking, biking or using a free passenger shuttle from Bellingham Technical College. more »

July 4th Celebration: Town photos, a parade, a patriotic program at Causland Park, a "Rock the Dock" gathering at Seafarers' Memorial Park, fireworks over Fidalgo Bay and more will be part of a July 4th Celebration happening from 10am-11pm throughout Anacortes. more »

Grovestock: Help raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Washington by attending the 11th annual "Grovestock" from 12-11pm in Ferndale at 7052 Tatlow Lane. Music by Gallow, the Scott Greene Band, the Blackouts, Rube Flambe, Clambake, Boris Budd, the JP Falcon Grady Band, Sam Chue, After the Festival, and more can be seen on two stages throughout the day and into the night. Fireworks and a family-friendly potluck and barbecue will be part of the festivities. Entry is $5 for kids, $10 for adults. more »

Fourth and Firework: The town of La Conner and the Port of Skagit combine forces to celebrate "Fourth of July 2015" the old-fashioned way starting with a noontime parade and continuing with a community picnic and family-friendly games and activities at Pioneer Park, a 5pm concert featuring nationally renowned electric six-string violinist Geoffrey Castle with his all-star band at the La Conner Marina, and a fireworks display over the Swinomish Channel. Entry is free. more »

Summer Book Sale: Pop in for a great opening day selection of used books, movies and other media at the Friends of Island Library All-Summer Used Book Sale from 1-4pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent Rd. The sale will continue through the summer on days the library is open; funds raised support programs and activities at the library. more »

Independence Day Dinner: Beef brisket, pork ribs, mussel and clam bakes, frankfurters, crab meat coleslaw, corn on the cob and much more will be on the menu at an Independence Day barbecue from 5-9pm at Blaine's Semiahmoo Resort, 9564 Semiahmoo Parkway. Entry is $20 for kids and $35 for adults. Live music, beach activities and a view of the fireworks over Drayton Harbor will be part of the fun. more »

Rock the Dock: DJ Mike Jenkins, Bobby Holland and the Breadline, and Massy Ferguson will perform at the Port of Anacortes' annual "Rock the Dock" 4th of July festivities happening from 5:30-10pm at Seafarer's Memorial Park. Food, a beer garden, children's activities, and fireworks will be part of the holiday fun. more »

Line Dancing Classes: Western Line Dancing classes are offered at 6pm (beginners) and 7pm (intermediates) every Friday night at Lynden’s Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. No experience or partner is needed. Cost is $5 per class. more »

Yes, We Can! Canned Craft Beer Festival: More than 40 breweries, cideries and meaderies will show off their best libations at the second annual "Yes, We Can! Canned Craft Beer Festival" taking place from 6-10pm next to Elizabeth Station (at the intersection of Astor and J streets). The all-ages street festival will also include live music from Polecat and Wild Rabbit, front-row viewing of the fireworks display over Bellingham Bay, and more. Tickets are $20-$25 and include three drink tickets. more »

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