Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Panopticon

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

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This Week

The Gristle

On the Spectrum

ON THE SPECTRUM: In a convoluted and disappointing process, Bellingham City Council last week overrode the objections of vocal critics and amended the Sunnyland neighborhood plan to include a variety of housing forms on a four-acre parcel formerly owned by the state Dept. of Transportation, the DOT property known as Area 8 in the neighborhood plan.

Concerned that hazy zoning could permit the development of a garish, out-of-character apartment complex, the Sunnyland Neighborhood Association in

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News

Panopticon

Can cameras help police the police?

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

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News

Panopticon II

City attempts to settle wire complaint

Police broke the law. It may take a jury to determine how badly police broke it.

Prosecutors and drug task force officers readily admit inadequate records were maintained for an electronic surveillance that was part of a 2011 drug arrest. In March of that year, Bellingham resident Todd Newlun delivered more than three pounds of marijuana to Washington State Patrol Agent Brent Hanger, working undercover with Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF). Newlun was arrested in Sudden Valley at

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Music

The Beach Boys

They get around

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How do you get people to engage you in a decade-plus-long musical argument that they will pursue with the kind of dogged determination usually reserved for solving cold cases or making it to the end of Infinite Jest? Simply posit that you believe the Beach Boys to be the best American band of all time.

For some reason, either because no one wants to believe the Beach Boys could be worthy of such an honor (sacrilege!) or because they don’t like truth and facts and things that are factually

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News

Panopticon

Can cameras help police the police?

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

Continue Reading »

Food

The Woolley Market

Building community around food

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Sedro-Woolley, despite being surrounded by fertile Skagit Valley farmland, has never been known as a food town. Few restaurants and only a single grocery store have resulted in residents heading to Mount Vernon or even farther for shopping and dining. That’s beginning to change, thanks to a new business now anchoring the corner of Metcalf and State streets in the downtown core. The Woolley Market, which opened in the old JC Penney building in late July, has the air of a place that is already a

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Words

Kicking and Burning

Booking time in Bellingham

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Despite being dragged into the 21st century whining and bellowing, I’ve recently become a Kindle addict who blows through ebooks with alacrity.  Recently, however, I found myself in possession of two “real”  books—you know, the kind with pages that actually make a noise when they turn. In addition to the solid heft they added to my reading experience, both authors will also visit Bellingham in the near future, making the experience that much more, well, real.

First in the queue was a new

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Outdoors

Kyuquot Adventure

Fun on a freighter

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The cruise was billed as an “adventure.”

By the time the hawser wrapped around the propeller and everything had come to a stop, we had sailed on the motor vessel Uchuck III for two glorious days along Vancouver Island’s west coast. It had looked like we would arrive back at Gold River on schedule.

We passengers had seen sea otters, spouting whales, harbor seals, sea lions, eagles and high, snow-capped peaks above narrow fjords, which rival anything in New Zealand or Norway. 

Gold

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Visual

Public Painters

Area artists take to the streets

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Every August for the past eight years, dozens of artists have taken to the streets of downtown Bellingham to spend one of the last Saturdays of the summer painting in public as part of the Plein Air Paint Out (PAPO). They’ll do so again this Sat., Aug. 23.

Spearheaded by Studio UFO’s Trish Harding, the reason for the popular event is twofold; in addition to drawing attention to the plethora of artists who live and work in Whatcom County and beyond, the event also gives the participants

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On Stage

Dancing for Dollars

Saints and sweets at iDiOM fundraiser

Typically, one has to be dead, holy and the focus of a miracle or two in order to be considered for sainthood. All I had to do to achieve benediction was agree to host a fundraising party for the iDiOM Theater in my house and backyard.

I’m not waiting around for a papal blessing to crow about my saintly status, either. It’s written in capital letters on the printed invitations to the “Desserts and Dancing” gathering happening Friday, Aug. 22, and that’s good enough for me.

Truth be told, I

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Film

Life After Beth

True love never dies

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For those wondering if there’s any fresh meat left to chew on in zombie cinema, relationship comedy Life After Beth answers a resounding yes. Blending smart fantasy elements, broad comedy, tender romance and an atypically slow-burning apocalypse, the directorial debut of I Heart Huckabees co-writer Jeff Baena is charming, thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny.

The film opens with a very much alive Beth (Aubrey Plaza) hiking in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, before immediately cutting to

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Film

Land Ho

A charming odd couple

Calling something a feel-good film always feels like a pejorative, so let’s just say that after seeing Land Ho! you are very likely to feel a good deal better.

This rather unassuming film is a bit like an amiable Iceland travelogue with plentiful shots of the country’s stunning landscape and two aging gents as tour guide—one randy and gregarious, the other refined and reticent.

But don’t be misled by its simple premise. Land Ho! is full of surprises, rich in the way it noses around the rocky

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Today

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Aug 22

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Summer Book Sale: A Summer Book and Media Sale takes place from 10am-6pm Thursday and Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday, at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. P.S. On Saturday, you can score the goods for $4 per bag. more »

Syre Education Center Open: See the Whatcom Museum's 500-plus bird collection and special education exhibits—like Northwest Coast First Nations, Pioneer Life, and Logging—from 12-5pm every Thursday through Sunday through Sept. 12 at the museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. A number of bird-related events will also be taking place. 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 »

Ferndale Street Festival: Live music, a car show, various food outlets, vendors of many trades, a beer and wine tent, activities for kids and much more will be part of the annual Ferndale Street Festival happening from 6-11:30pm friday and 10am-11:30pm Saturday in downtown Ferndale. Local restaurants and retail stores will also get in on the action with plenty of specials and sales. Entry is free. more »

Sacred Alchemy Festival: Attend the inaugural Sacred Alchemy Festival from 10am-10pm Friday, 9am-12am Saturday, and 8am-3pm Sunday in Lynden at Mystic Valley (on the north side of Kok Rd.). The event—which is meant to bring the "sacred elements of heartbeat, sweat, drum, earthen floor, fire, dance and tribes together"—includes workshops and performances from belly and fire dancers, 5Rhythms dancers, healers, storytellers, poets and actors, circus folk, and more. Entry is $35 for a day pass, $90 for a weekend pass, more »

Wild Things: Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom Walks for "Wild Things" excursions from 9:30-11am at Lake Padden every Friday in August. Entry is $5. more »

Follow That Fiddle: National Symphony Orchestra's Glenn Donnellan plays his one-of-a-kind Electric Slugger—an electric violin he crafted out of a Louisville Slugger baseball bat—at a "Follow That Fiddle" Family Concert at 11am at Lynden's Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. Entry to hear the musical journey is fee. more »

Wednesday Market: Peruse local fruits and vegetables, diverse handcrafted works and ready-to-eat items when the Bellingham Farmers Market continues its Wednesday Market from 12-5pm at the Fairhaven Village Green, 1207 10th St. (behind Village Books). The market continues weekly through Sept. 24. more »

Cemetery Tour: "Literary Remembrances" will be the focus of a Cemetery Tour put on by the City of Bellingham at 1pm at Bayview Cemetery, 1420 Woburn St. The excursion will feature literary quotations inspired by monument in the cemetery. Entry is free; please make a reservation in advance. more »

For the Birds: "Everyone Can Draw Birds" will be the focus of a workshop from 2-3:30pm at Whatcom Museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. The workshop includes a birding sketchbook to take home. Cost is $13; please register in advance. more »

VIGIL FOR PEACE: Join the longest-running Peace Vigil in the country—48 years and counting—from 4-5pm every Friday afternoon at the corners of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. more »

Ferry Flotilla: Get a 20 percent discount on rental fees for sailing dinghies and human-powered watercraft as part of the monthly "Ferry Flotilla" starting at 5pm at the Community Boating Center, 555 Harris Ave. The monthly event bids adieu to the departing Alaska Ferry. more »

Western Line Dancing: A new Western Line Dance class meets at 6pm Friday at Lynden's Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. The group dances the oldies to the latest western, with a little bit of rock and roll. Entry is $5 per class. more »

DVSAS Auction: Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS) hosts an "Enchanted Garden" gala and auction at 6pm in Anacortes at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Dr Entry is $60 per person, or $440 for a table of eight. more »

Women, Words, Works: A reception and poetry reading for the "Whatcom Women Words and Works" exhibit happens from 6:30-8:30pm at the Firehouse Cafe at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. The artwork and poetry by Anita K. Boyle, Nancy Canyon, J.I. Kleinberg, and Sheila Sondik will continue to show through Aug. 31. more »

Sin & Gin Tours: The Good Time Girls host a "Sin & Gin Tour" tonight at 7pm starting at the Bureau of Historical Investigation, 217 W. Holly St. The walking tours―which continue Fridays and Saturdays through next weekend in downtown Bellingham and historic Fairhaven―feature stories about Bellingham's history and sometimes salacious past. Entry is $15-$19. more »

A Pair of Poets: James Meetze reads from his poetry collection, Dayglo, and Frank Montesonti reads from his, Hope Tree, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Entry to hear the California-based poets is free. more »

Pirate Party: Support the Anacortes Seafarers Memorial Foundation and honor those who work and have been lost at sea at a "Party Like a Pirate" fundraiser from 7-11pm at the Port of Anacortes Transit Event Shed, 100 Commercial Ave. In addition to music by Barrel Springs Road, John Holmes, Jon Parry, and others, there'll be a costume contest, grog and more. Tickets are $15. more »

Friday Night Dance Party: A mix of swing, Latin and ballroom will be highlighted and danced to with an introductory lesson at the weekly Friday Night Dance Party from 7:30-10pm at the Bellingham Dance Company, 1705 N. State St. Admission is $5-$7. more »

Dessert and Dancing Fundraiser for iDiOM Theater: Partake of many sweet things—including a chocolate fountain!—at a "Desserts and Dancing" fundraiser for the iDiOM Theater happening from 8-11pm at a private residence in the York neighborhood (1535 Humboldt St.). Entry to the event—which will feature desserts (including Mallard ice cream), a DJ and hours of dancing under the stars—is $10. Please RSVP by phone if you plan on coming so organizers can get a head count. more »

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