This Week's Cover


Bite Local

I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from any

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This Week

The Gristle


PDA DOA: Bellingham City Council returned from their August recess to a market analysis for economic development downtown of sufficient gloom to probably doom the Bellingham Public Development Authority.

“Overall, the time is good to consider a catalytic development project in downtown,” the consultants’ report, prepared by Portland-based Leland Consulting Group, began on a hopeful note. “Downtowns across the country are seeing a resurgence in economic development, largely driven by

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Wolf Recovery

On the brink of forever


Sunset is an angel weeping, holding out a bloody sword,” begins Bruce Cockburn’s lyrics for “Pacing the Cage.” I identify with these lyrics, of Cockburn writing of growing older, the expectations of others, to the feeling of being without a clear path. And when the song continues, “I never knew what you all wanted, so I gave you everything… all the spells that I could sing,” my thoughts turn to wolves.

In 1973, Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The following

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Anais Mitchell

Anything but ordinary


“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”—Anais Nin

Anais Nin is a hard woman to try and explain. Some of that is

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The Possibilities

A road trip with detours


When the publishers re-released the paperback version of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ first novel The Descendants with a picture of George Clooney on the cover, that’s all it took for me to pick it up and check it out.

The writing—direct and honest—hooked me from page one.  I zipped through the book, then watched the movie, and each were excellent in their own way. So when I came across Hemmings’ latest, The Possibilities, I did not hesitate, even if George Clooney was nowhere to be found.

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Skagit Spotlight

Time traveling in Mount Vernon


Next time you find yourself on the I-5 highway going south, consider stopping in Mount Vernon and spending a few hours in the historic, often overlooked city of 32,000 people.

Surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and dotted with farmlands, Mount Vernon has been shielded from the forces of modernity. Whether you’re exploring local farms or strolling along First Street, walking around Mount Vernon feels like stepping back in time. Lace up some sturdy shoes that can withstand the mud on working

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Bite Local

Food, farms and fun


I’d never actually do it, but I’ve theorized that attempting to not eat locally during the month of September while living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge that would be extremely difficult to take on.

In order for that to happen, I’d have to let the plums, blackberries, tomatoes, chard and kale that are growing in profusion in my garden wither and die rather than harvest them for instant gratification or to store for the fall and winter.

I’d also have to stay far away from any

Continue Reading »


The Trip to Italy

A sequel worth making


Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan team up again as traveling companions checking out high-end restaurants in The Trip to Italy, the sequel to The Trip, a movie so funny it sometimes left me gasping for air. The premise of that first film was that these two comic actors, improvising as themselves, were on assignment from London’s Observer magazine to check out swank eateries along the coast of northern England while retracing the peregrinations of Wordsworth and Coleridge.

The joke was that

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God Help the Girl

Belle & Sebastian makes a movie


“Just for this summer we were all in the right place and the possibilities were endless.” The light and wistful pop music of Glasgow band Belle & Sebastian was tailor made for two things: coming-of-age stories and trendy art house movies. And that sound has been the soundtrack for plenty of both, but with God Help the Girl its frontman Stuart Murdoch who spins a wondrously surreal and intoxicating fairy tale for those who love and draw strength from the power of music. In essence, it’s a movie

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The Station Agent

Bikes, benches and serendipity


When the stars align, it’s best to open your eyes wide, watch for signs and act accordingly.

Professional welder and woodworker Andy Phillips of Black Fin Design says this was the case when he was asked to design a three-piece set of benches and tables for the patio at Bellingham’s Elizabeth Station recently.

Because the neighborhood market on the corner of Holly Street and Broadway also caters to fans of craft beer who like to hunker down and sit for a spell while sipping on pints,

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On Stage

Emergency Circus

When laughter is the best medicine


“The role of a clown and a physician are the same—it’s to elevate the possible and to relieve suffering.”
—Patch Adams

Many who hear the name “Patch Adams” may associate the moniker with the clown-nose-wearing character that actor and comedian Robin Williams portrayed in the 1998 movie of the same name.

And while the doctor whose life the movie was based on—Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams—was glad to get the media scrutiny that drew attention to his life’s work, he didn’t use the

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Sep 16


Eat Local Month: Local foods, farmers and fishers will be celebrated during Sustainable Connections' "Eat Local Month" at a variety of events happening through September throughout Whatcom County (and beyond). Nineteen participating restaurants will have locally sourced specials, and there'll be a Sept. 13 Farm Tour, an Incognito Dinner by Ciao Thyme, the Bite of Bellingham, an "Eat Local Dinner Theater" with the Community Food Co-op, a food trail trek, a brewers cruise, Bellingham Oktoberfest, and more. See more »

Whatcom Water Weeks: Hatchery tours, a salmon habitat bike tour, Marine Center animal feedings, guided river walks, campfire talks, bird presentations, a rain barrel tour, an educational cruise i Drayton Harbor, the Whatcom County Farm Tour, a cloud formation experiment, storytelling events with water themes, a green building users group, a tour of Bellingham Cold Storage, a "Gardening Green" series, an agricultural buffer walk, a beach cleanup, the Bellingham Traverse and more will be part of the annual "Whatcom more »

Bard on the Beach: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream will play in repertory with the Bard's The Tempest and Cymbeline, and Bill Cain's Equivocation, during the 25th annual "Bard on the Beach" season through Sept. 20 at Vancouver, B.C.'s Vanier Park. Tickets are $33-$47 (Canadian). more »

Boating Center Open: All are welcome to check out the Community Boating Center, which is open for the summer season at its headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. (near the Amtrak Station). Upcoming classes and excursions include bioluminescence paddles, introductions to sea kayaking, sunset paddles, dinghy sailing 101, full moon paddles, paddleboarding 101, and more. Boat rentals and storage and moorage are also available. Check the website for times and prices. more »

Bellingham Beer Week: A Bellingham Tap Trail's Trail Breaking Party happening from 4:30-7:30pm at Kulshan Brewery and a "First Call" event from 5-9pm Friday, Sept. 12 at Elizabeth Station will kick off the Bellingham Beer Week events. The brew-haha continues through Sept. 21 with a plethora of brewers nights at various restaurants and breweries, beer trivia, tap takeovers, cask nights, a Brewer's Cup, films, brewers cruises, an Oktoberfest celebration, hikes, meet-and-greets, and much more. Head to the website for a more »

Gardening Green: WSU Whatcom Extension presents a "Gardening Green: Sustainable Landscaping" course from 9am-2pm Tuesdays and Thursdays starting today and continuing through Oct. 2 in Bellingham. The six-session class includes presentations, demos, hands-on experience and landscape tours. Register in advance for the free workshops. more »

Ancestry Workshops: Learn how to access historical records with the Library Edition at an in-depth class starting at 9am at the Lynden Library, 216 4th St. Register in advance, please, as space is limited. Researcher and certified librarian Sheryl Fullner will lead two other classes at 4pm and 6pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. All classes are free. more »

Business Book Group: "Sharpen Your Saw: A Business Book Discussion Group" meets for the first time from 11am-1pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The discussion of Adam Grant's Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success will be facilitated by Mike Cook, local business coach, faculty member at WWU, and author. The group will meet on the third Tuesday of each month. more »

Sign Language Classes: The Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center offers American Sign Language classes as a free service to the community from 12-1pm on the first three Tuesdays of each month in Bellingham. Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. more »

Eat Local Class: A "Cafe Favorites: Eat Local" course begins at 6:30pm at Ciao Thyme, 207 Unity St. Cooks from the establishment will share recipes that feature local chicken, corn, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, plums, blackberries and more. Fees are $58. more »

Discovering History: "Discover History at the Library" will be the focus of a free presentation with reference librarian and historian Karen Prasse at 7pm at the Burlington Public Library, 820 E. Washington St. more »

Strangers with Candy: Traveling artist and writer Margaret Meps Schulte shares stories from Strangers Have the Best Candy: How Talking to Strangers Leads to a Life of Crazy Adventure and Lasting Friendship at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. more »

Community Chorus Rehearsal: The non-auditioning choral group known as the Bellingham Community Chorus will host a beginning rehearsal at 7pm at Moles Farewell Tributes, 2465 Lakeway Dr. If you're interested in taking part, show up and see what it's all about. The ensemble hosts performances in December and April. more »

A Streetcar Named Desire: View a live-day broadcast of the National Theatre's production of A Streetcar Named Desire at 7:30pm at Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. Tickets are $12-$16; an additional showing of the Tennessee Williams masterpiece takes place at 2pm Sun., Sept. 28. more »

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