Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Trans Mountain

Canada moves forward with pipeline

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

First Nations vowed to keep their fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion going, despite losing what appears to be the last known legal option to overturn Canada’s approval of the project.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal from Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and Coldwater Indian Band that tribes had not been properly consulted about the expansion proposal. The ruling, which arrived last week with no explanation from the judges, effectively upholds a…

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Field Notes

Alfred Currier’s Skagit scenes

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The unforgettable oil paintings of Skagit scenes by Alfred Currier may be viewed at his studio in Anacortes during the month of July.

Currier learned “straightforward traditional landscape and figurative work” while a student at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. This is the style to which he remains dedicated, and his art enjoys a wide, even international, following. But it was only when he settled in the Skagit Valley in his mid 40s that he found the land and the people that…

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Fish Fry

A summertime staple

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The last time I ate fish and chips was from a takeout container precariously placed on the dashboard of my car, which was parked near the boat launch in Bayview.

My date and I had gotten takeout from the Old Edison Inn—battered cod, fries and coleslaw for me, and half a pound of clam strips with the works for him—but hadn’t thought ahead about where we’d enjoy our repast. Bayview State Park was days away from opening for camping or day use, so we risked making a mess in our vehicle in…

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Take Flight

What It’s Like to Be a Bird

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about being home so much during Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive is setting up bird feeders and spending time birdwatching.

Resulting questions about bird behavior, nesting practices and communication led me to David Allen Sibley’s new book, What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing: What Birds are Doing, and Why.

When Sibley’s first bird guide was published in 2000, the birding world snapped to…

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Summer Blockbusters

Tis the season—sort of

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Independence Day is usually a holiday in which we celebrate our freedom by trying to burn the entire country down with explosives—if ever there was an example of America doing America in the most American way possible, the Fourth of July is definitely it.

Since everything is different these days, so was how we marked the day that marks our freedom. Large municipal displays were out, but it seems the citizenry around these parts more than made up for it, laying in and lighting off a…

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On Stage

Change of Plans

When the screen is your stage

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

If all had gone according to plan, Lummi Islanders could’ve turned out in spades this summer to watch theater camp students in grades K-12 explore the age-old rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks during showings of the high school version of the musical West Side Story.

The eighth annual camp that would’ve preceded the performances was scheduled to run from June 29-July 11, and there’s little doubt the finished product would’ve made for a memorable night at the theater. Kuntz and…

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Bike for Change

Of cycling and suffrage

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

As the summer of 2020 is teaching us, even a global pandemic won’t stop Americans from rallying against this country’s many inequities—preferably with a mask covering their mouth and nose, hand sanitizer at the ready and a handmade sign pointing the way to the changes they want to see.

If you’re one of the countless brave souls that has been taking to the streets lately to demand that it’s way past time to pay attention to the ongoing horrors that centuries of systemic racism has…

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Patio Music

Where sounds can be found

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Since we seem to be going backward in terms of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start phased reopening plan—wear your damn masks and stay six feet away from each other, people!—and COVID-19 continues to be a wily beast, the reopening of music venues is getting further and further out on the horizon.

As I have mentioned a time or 10, this is troubling, not just for venues themselves, but also for every business, most of them small, that rely on venues for customers and revenue. Insert my heartfelt…

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The Gristle

MOMENTUM: Bellingham City Council made progress this week in advancing public goals in the midst of a public health crisis and economic recession.

Council members received a progress report on steps underway for the use of the former site of the Bellingham Public Market as an emergency…

Alan Rhodes
Covidiots Unmasked

Given the alarming increase in coronavirus infections, Governor Inslee finally had to make mask wearing mandatory throughout the state. The anti-maskers are, naturally, hopping mad about this, viewing a common sense public health measure as an attack on freedom, capitalism, the Constitution…

Rumor Has It
It’s Tinga Time!

During these quarantine/lockdown/work-from-home/Safe Start days of COVID-19, my life is comprised of small pleasures that I string together to form what passes for good days under the present circumstances.

That sounds a lot sadder and more apocalyptic than I intended it to. By and large,…

End the disease

It would be wonderful to be able to blame COVID-19 for all the absolute political craziness we are seeing around the country on a daily basis, but I have not heard a single medical expert…

Use crisis to enact change

Who would have ever imagined that a racist, narcissistic, amoral white supremacist who has no relationship with the truth would be elected to become President of the United States in 2016?…

James Erb for judge

When someone accused of a crime enters the courtroom, they should be confident that the judge who will hear their case is fair and impartial. Not only must the judge act fairly and…