Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

Words

Holiday Reads

More than stocking stuffers

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bibliophiles looking to gift books or simply stock up on reading material for the holidays might enjoy these new titles that express the power of reading to entertain, inspire, comfort, teach and build bridges.

As a librarian and lifelong book lover, Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks is my new “go-to” book to give to friends and family who are avid readers. Recognizing the significant role that certain books have played in her life, librarian Annie Spence sets…

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ICU Roof #2
Outdoors

Festive Fidalgo

A pre-Christmas getaway

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Christmas season is upon us, so if you need a break from your shopping list, consider a quick jaunt to Anacortes. The city’s spectacular ocean views will rescue you from your winter blues, and its delightful mom-and-pop stores on Commercial Avenue promise a welcome break from big-box retailers.

I felt the tension slip away on Memorial Highway as soon as Fidalgo Bay came into view, flanked by Mt. Baker in a scene straight out of a postcard. After an afternoon rock-hopping for the…

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First Congregational Church
Visual

Dialogues

From Seattle to Skagit

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Many Skagit Valley artists are inevitable satellites of Seattle; they train there and market their work down south. Two new shows this month underscore that connection. 

At i.e. gallery in Edison, owner and artist Margy Lavelle brings the whimsical and edgy work of Seattleites Julie Paschkis, Warren Dykeman, and Joe Max Emminger to the forefront. And in Mount Vernon, transplants Trina Perry Carlson and Christian Carlson offer a joint exhibition of their own work.

The title of the…

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btown holiday
On Stage

Tea Party

A calamitous Christmas

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don’t be alarmed, but by procuring tickets to “O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy,” there’s a chance you might spend a minute or two under the spotlight dressed as a shark, or find yourself onstage portraying a member of the royal family.

And via the power of imagination, those in attendance at the Tues., Dec. 19 show at the Mount Baker Theatre can also expect to be surrounded by an endless sea of tea.

The premise of “O Christmas Tea” focuses on James (Aaron Malkin) and Jamesy…

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Anniversary
Film

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The force is strong

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Making a movie like The Last Jedi takes a special blend of deep respect for the mythology of Star Wars and a strong impulse to keep the 40-year-old material fresh. Few franchises are this closely cherished by its fans (or its production studio), which makes any radical reinvention out of the question. Yet a series that doesn’t evolve eventually will waste away.

So kudos to writer/director Rian Johnson (who created clever genre twists on detective work in Brick and time travel in…

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ICU Roof #2
Food

Melvin Mania

Now brewed in Bellingham

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If you felt an unusual exuberance in the vicinity of the Fountain District late last week, it was likely radiating from Melvin Brewery.

Thursday saw the release of Melvin’s first Bellingham-brewed beers—indeed the first beers they’ve brewed outside of their home base in western Wyoming—and the response among local hopheads was overwhelming. It was standing-room-only in their bustling taproom as the citizenry welcomed the latest brews to the Bellingham scene by quaffing $3…

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Anniversary
News

Energy Export

Permit approved for Skagit xylene project

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Skagit County moves forward with a project to ship 15,000 barrels of xylene per day to Asia.

Hearing Examiner Wick Dufford last week approved a key shoreline permit for the Andeavor Anacortes Refinery’s proposed Clean Products Upgrade Project, finding that it would not result in negative impacts from increased tanker traffic to and from the refinery. Skagit County Planning and Development recommended approving the permit.

The refinery at March Point—formerly Tesoro—has been…

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First Congregational Church
News

Energy Import

Regulators approve plan to retire coal energy

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

State regulators approve a plan that could help sunset the region’s reliance on coal-fired energy.

The Utilities and Transportation Commission last week unanimously approved a multi-party settlement of Puget Sound Energy’s request to increase electric rates and decrease natural gas rates for its customers. The three-member commission approved a 1 percent increase in electric rates, allowing an increase of $20 million in PSE’s electric revenues, and a decrease in natural gas rates…

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First Congregational Church
Music

A Cabin Christmas

Introducing Fruit Cocktail

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If you happen to find yourself at the Cabin Tavern at 7pm Sun., Dec. 17 for “A Cabin Christmas,” you will be treated to, among other things, a performance by Fruit Cocktail, a dynamic duo that bears a striking resemblance to Jeff and Patti Braimes, musicians and longtime pillars of this fine community. Do not be fooled, however. The people you see before you are Frank Breech and Mona Hart, and they are the entertainment sensation you didn’t know you were looking for but have been…

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First Congregational Church
Best of Bellingham
Best Band

The Wednesdays

Music scenes, including ours, have traditionally been boys’ clubs—but the Wednesdays win in this category is a welcome indication of a change that has been a long time in coming. Unabashedly feminist and unapologetically political, the Wednesdays are making music with a message—and people are listening. With a motto of “Dismantling the patriarchy by day, playing basement blues punk by night,” coupled with an electrifying live show, the Wednesdays are making their mark and making it count.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Gifts of the Three Magi

GIFTS OF THE THREE MAGI: Whatcom County Council used their last meeting of the year to employ departing colleagues and approve a number of familiar and long-hammered policy goals before their membership shifts a bit next year. These actions included the creation of a Lake Whatcom Stormwater…

Alan Rhodes
Sharing Beauty

A few months ago New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a piece titled “When Beauty Strikes.” The column itself was a work of beauty as well as a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be fully human. A ballet school had opened across the street from Brooks’ Washington, DC…

Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Letters
Sea ice decline

With the smallest winter sea ice coverage since record-keeping began and the second warmest year ever in the Arctic, a new NOAA-sponsored study reveals the polar region continues to bear the…

Preserve net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission is voting this week on whether to repeal the “Net Neutrality” rule adopted in 2015.
Since its creation, the internet has been an open exchange of…

Bad bill

I have written to my representatives about how the Republican Party can justify this horrific tax reform bill.
This bill does not help us, only the wealthiest in our society and large…

Trove
Today's Events
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 38th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

Santa's in Town

10:00am

For the 35th year, the Fairhaven Lions will host Santa Claus through the holidays at Yeager’s Toyland, 3101 Northwest St. Visits are free. You can take pictures with your own camera at no…

The Lights of Christmas

5:00pm

View festive holiday displays both outdoors and indoors at the annual “The Lights of Christmas” continuing this week from 5-10pm Thursday through Sunday in Stanwood at the 15-acre Warm Beach…

Little Women, the Musical

7:00pm

Northwest Washington Theatre Group concludes its performances of Little Women, the Musical at 7pm Thursday through Saturday at the Sudden Valley Dance Barn, 8 Barnview Court. Tickets are $12-$15.

Anne of Green Gables

7:30pm

Attend the final weekend of performances of Anne of Green Gables at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The stage adaptation promises to capture…

Wild Things

9:30am

Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” Community Program from 9:30-11am every Friday in December at the Connelly Creek Nature Area. Please bring…

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am

Several dozen local artists and crafters will show and sell a variety of work—including jewelry, fine art, photography, textiles, clothing, bath and body, specialty foods, home decor, paper…

Hot Cider & Cool Art

10:00am

Painter Ben Mann will host “Hot Cider & Cool Art” from 10am-4pm Fridays and Saturdays through December 23 at his third-floor space in the Morgan Block Studios, 1000 Harris Ave.

COffee Tasting

3:00pm

Attend a weekly coffee tasting from 3-3:30pm at Camber Cafe, 221 W. Holly St. Entry is free, and no RSVP is needed to come in and enjoy a small tasting flight of the venue’s single-origin…

Hidden Narrative Tour

3:30pm

Educators will facilitate discussions on select works of art from the permanent collection at a “Hidden Narrative” tour using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) from 3:30-4:30pm at La Conner’s…

Jingle Belles

4:00pm

Select merchants will stay open late for “Jingle Belles: A Ladies Night of Shopping” from 4-7pm throughout La Conner. Find a full listing of participants online, and enjoy a an evening of…

Drayton Harbor Shell-ebration

4:00pm

Celebrate the one-year anniversary of lifted shellfish harvesting restrictions in Drayton Harbor at a “Shell-ebration” taking place from 4-6pm at Blaine’s H Street Plaza. The free event will…

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm

All are welcome to partake of nutritious and delicious vegan meals when Food Not Bombs offers a community meal from 4-6pm every Friday on the corner of Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue…

Ukulele Concert

5:00pm

The Bellingham Ukulele Orchestra will perform a variety of holiday music for all to enjoy at a free “Music in the Library” concert from 5-6pm in the Lecture Room at the Bellingham Public…

Holiday Night Market

6:00pm

Fifteen artisan vendors, live entertainment, speciality food stands, live video projection, a beer garden and a fire pit will be part of a Holiday Night Market taking place from 6-10pm on the…

Holiday Movie Night

6:00pm

Bellingham High School’s Technical Entertainment Crew presents its second film-related fundraiser at a Family Holiday Movie Night showing of The Polar Express from 6-8:30pm at the school’s…

Family Story Night

6:00pm

Bellingham Storyteller’s Guild members will lead an hour of coaching and an introduction to the craft at 6pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. At 7pm, Family Story Night will commence.…

The Snow Queen

7:00pm

Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth students ages 9 to 12 will bring Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale The Snow Queen to life at performances at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and…

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm

Attend the Bellingham Circus Guild’s monthly uncensored variety show, “Vaudevillingham,” at 7pm and 9pm performances at the Cirque Lab, 1401 6th St., suite #102. Expect to see everything from…

Holiday Ball

7:00pm

USA Dance Bellingham hosts a “Holiday Ball” featuring the Alicia Dauber Band from 7:15-10pm at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. A waltz lesson will kick off the festivities. All are welcome,…

Skagit Valley Chorale's Heralding Christmas

7:30pm

The Skagit Valley Chorale and guest percussionist Patrick Roulet will explore Christmas and winter-themed music from many different lands and traditions at performances of “Heralding…

Community Orchestra Winter Concert

7:30pm

The North Sound Community Orchestra presents its “Winter Concert” at 7:30pm at Squalicum High School, 3337 E. McLeod Rd. Entry and refreshments are free; donations will be welcomed.

Ghosts and Brawling

8:00pm

Imagine the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future and help move the story forward when “My 3 Ghosts” continues this weekend with 8pm shows Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre,…

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