Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


A Week at the Shakedown

Your cure for cabin fever

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Some things I learned about myself during the recent snowpocalypse: 1. I do not favor terms like “snowpocalypse.” 2. I do not favor snow. It makes me mad. 3. Conveniently, I also do not get cabin fever.

The first two items on that list are hardly shocking to anyone who knows me, even only peripherally. The last one, however, is a little surprising. I’m a social creature. I talk to people everywhere I go. And not just people I know. I will—and often do—chat up total strangers.…

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Sugar Ray

Solid Green

Mulch ado about nothing

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A kitchen garden is as much an act of self-expression as a means of growing food. But not all of a garden’s expressiveness is intentional. In the same way that pets and their owners can grow to resemble one another, gardens can reflect their gardeners’ personality, including how fastidious, lazy or greedy they are.

It would be a stretch to accuse me of being overly tidy, and the same can be said for my garden. But lazy and greedy? Guilty as charged. And when I allow these tendencies to…

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Sugar Ray
On Stage

Kinky Boots

A fetish for footwear

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

True story: In the 1990s, a British guy named Steve Pateman did some heavy duty sole searching and soon thereafter worked to save his family-run shoe factory from demise by deciding to produce fetish footwear for men. On the path to trying to save his business, the formerly strait-laced boss had to learn to shave his legs and walk in six-inch stiletto heels.

It’s also correct that a short BBC2 documentary about Pateman’s “Divine Footwear” inspired the 2005 film Kinky Boots,…

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Sugar Ray

Springtime Revolution

Heroes of the resistance

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

When you plant a garden, you join a springtime revolution against the agricultural industrial complex. Snapdragons, foxglove and lavender support much-needed pollinators like honeybees. Heirloom vegetables defend the biodiversity of our food system. And when you impress your friends with the meal you grew yourself, you revitalize a sense of community around wholesome food.

But the heart and soul of any decent rebellion, peaceful or otherwise, resides underground. In this case, that…

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Sugar Ray

By Design

The accidental gardener

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Each spring, I’m amazed anew at the sheer amount of green things budding on limbs and poking out of the thawing soil in my front and backyard.

I’m vaguely referring to the miracle of nature and the cyclical joy the eventual warming of the seasons brings, but a large part of the wonder is that I don’t remember planting even half of what’s in the ground and am agog that what is growing often turns out to be aesthetically appealing.

I may have a couple of forgetful green thumbs, but…

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Sugar Ray

We Are The Warriors

19th Annual Bellingham Human Rights Festival

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Warrior Women is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, a leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM) who cultivated a rag-tag gang of activist children—including her daughter Marcy—into a group called the “We Will Remember” survival group. Together, Madonna and Marcy fought for Native rights in an environment that made them more comrades than mother and daughter.

Today, with Marcy now a mother herself, both women are still at the forefront of Native issues, fighting against the…

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Sugar Ray

The Academy Awards

Heavy metal Hollywood

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Oscar is having a tough year.

It would seem the road to Hollywood’s heavy metal is paved with poor decisions and murky intentions on the part of the possibly still esteemed Academy. First, was that thing with the proposed and then rescinded Best Popular Picture category, which was followed by proposed host Kevin Hart rescinding himself after firestorm of controversy about his past tweets—resulting in the first host-free telecast in three decades. Then, in an effort to shorten the…

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Sugar Ray
Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Marina Lacuna

MARINA LACUNA: The proposed amendments to the Bellingham waterfront district sub-area plan are available at the city’s website, in preparation for a meeting of the Bellingham Planning Commission to consider these changes on Feb 21.

The comprehensive plan is an instructive document, and a…

Amy Goodman
The Green New Deal

In recent weeks, a polar vortex blew across the United States, killing at least 20 people. At the same time, U.S. government scientists reported that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, with the five hottest years occurring in the past five years. A huge hole in one of the largest…

Trove Web
Persuasion from other side of spectrum

Are you stupid or something? Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? You are a bunch of socialist idiots who want the working people of the country to pay for your ignorant, lazy, group who didn’t…

Stop the drilling

Once again, oil development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is on the table. This time it comes as a rider on a tax bill with no transparent discussion of the…

Devastating wall

Trump’s wall will endanger Washington’s migratory species. At least 93 endangered and threatened species, including the jaguar, ocelot, and Mexican gray wolves will be impacted by…

MacMaster and Leahy
Today's Events
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 Fri.,  March 15. Along with having their poems published…

Skagit Birding Adventures


Skagit Guided Adventures hosts “Birding for Kids” and “Birding for Seniors” excursions from 9am-12pm and 1-4pm on a daily basis through March. Prices vary; binoculars will be…

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers


The Whatcom Literacy Council is currently recruiting volunteers to work two to four hours a week with adults who have asked for help to improve their English, reading, writing, math and…

Makerspace Classes


Sign up for “Learn to Solder” from 5-6:30pm Thursday at Bellingham Makerspace, 1000 F St. On Friday, attend “Make Art: Handbuilding” from 4-5pm, and “Vector Graphics 101” from 5-6:30pm.…

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival


The films Water Warriors and Keepers of the Future will kick off the 19th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival at 7pm Thurs., Feb. 21 at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St. (Show…

The Addams Family


Students from Ferndale High School will present showings of The Addams Family (School Edition) at 7pm Thursday through Saturday at the school’s theater at 5830 Golden Eagle Dr. Tickets to the…

Shakespeare in Love


Mistaken identity, scheming and backstage theatrics, love stories and more will be part of Shakespeare in Love performances concluding this weekend at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the…

West Side Story


META Performing Arts presents West Side Story for the final week at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday in Mount Vernon at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. The…

Wild Things


Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” Community Program from 9:30-11am every Friday in March at Whatcom Falls Park. Please bring a simple,…

Wild Things


Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” Community Program from 9:30-11am every Friday in February on the Interurban Trail. Please bring a simple,…

Deep Forest Experience


Attend “Deep Forest Experience” events from 11am-4pm Friday through Sundays through Feb. 24 at Rockport State Park, State Route 20, milepost 96. Guided hikes will depart from the Discovery…

Peace Vigil


All people of goodwill are invited to join the weekly Peace Vigil from 4-5pm every Friday on the corner of Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue (in front of the Federal Building). Started by…

Fourth Friday Art Walk


More than a dozen venues will open their doors for the monthly Fourth Friday Arts Walk taking place from 5-8pm throughout historic Fairhaven. With the exception of December, each month a new…

Bellingham Youth Jazz Band


Mark Kelly directs the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band at a concert at swing dance happening from 7-9pm at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. The 22-piece band composed of…

The Book of Help


Megan Griswold reads from The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The tome traces Griswold’s lifelong lifelong quest for love, connection and peace of…

Always...Patsy Cline


Witness a musical tribute to a beloved country western star when Always…Patsy Cline concludes this weekend with 7pm performances Friday and Saturday at the Conway Muse, 1844 Spruce St. Ria…

Salish Sea Early Music Festival


“Early 19th Century Trios” will be the theme of Salish Sea Early Music Festival’s second concert of its season at 7pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St. Guitarist Oleg Timofeyev,…

Heavy Metal


Works by Gabrieli, Verdi, Clinard, and student composers can be heard when Heavy Metal performs at a free concert at 7:30pm at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center Concert…

Richard III


Journey to 14th century England when Skagit Valley College’s drama department presents showings of Shakespeare’s Richard III at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the school’s Phillip Tarro…

Cupid's Arrow


The improvised dating game dubbed “Cupid’s Arrow” returns to the stage at 7:30pm and 9:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. The show is inspired by the classic 1960s…

Serial Killers, Episode Four


iDiOM Theater’s annual “Serial Killers” continues this weekend at 7:30pm and 9:30pm showings Friday at the Lucas Hicks Theater at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St. The…

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