This Week's Cover


Do You Really Want to Know?

For almost 30 years of his life, Jeff Carroll was, as most of us are, ignorant of Huntington’s Disease. Then, when he was in his late 20s, his mother became ill and Huntington’s officially entered his lexicon and forever changed his life.

Exceedingly rare, Huntington’s Disease, or HD, is a degenerative neurological illness with effects on the body that are best described as having ALS, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s at the same time. Onset tends to be early, the progression is long and

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This Week

The Gristle

Taxation and Representation


All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
—Washington State Constitution Article One, Section One, Sentence One

The cardinal rule of representative government is, when the consenting governed have their infrequent and fragile moment to speak on what has been proposed in their name, you do not waste their precious time or dishonor their opinion. You do not challenge that opinion. You

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Do You Really Want to Know?

A life and death decision


For almost 30 years of his life, Jeff Carroll was, as most of us are, ignorant of Huntington’s Disease. Then, when he was in his late 20s, his mother became ill and Huntington’s officially entered his lexicon and forever changed his life.

Exceedingly rare, Huntington’s Disease, or HD, is a degenerative neurological illness with effects on the body that are best described as having ALS, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s at the same time. Onset tends to be early, the progression is long and

Continue Reading »


Record Store Day

Vinyl is forever

Given the general air of revelry and excitement that surrounds Record Store Day, it can be easy to forget that its creation was as much a response to a crisis as it was an excuse for celebration.

The year was 2007, and it was apparent that independent record stores were becoming casualties of the internet changing the price of music from already pretty cheap to free in nearly all cases. However, one retail sector of the music store was not just holding the line, it was actually experiencing

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Mixing matter at MoNA

A glorious assemblage of David Eisenhour’s sculptures of sea creatures, cast in silvered bronze, greets the visitor to “Neo-Naturalist,” currently at La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA). These brilliant objects celebrate our joy of discovering the beauty in nature. 

Guest Curator Robert Yoder places a very different piece opposite the Eisenhour gems. The huge painting “Switchback,” by Michael Paul Miller, shocks with its pathos and despair. Here’s a ravaged old man who

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Breakfast on Blanchard

Switchbacks and squirrel chats

It was just a shade before sunup, and I’d already been chugging my way up through pitch-dark, mist-shrouded forest for the better part of an hour when daybreak finally broke over Blanchard Mountain enough for me to switch my headlamp off without worrying about inadvertently stepping off the trail and plummeting straight down-slope into Samish Bay.

Even though I could still hardly see beyond the next tree trunk and/or boulder at that point, a sudden surge of self-propelled animal joy jolted

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Burger Express

Get your caboose to Sedro-Woolley


As you drive east along Highway 20 heading into Sedro-Woolley, you might not notice the old red and white caboose in a parking lot just outside of town. Or if you do notice it, you might think twice about stopping there to order food. That, however, would be a mistake, because this caboose is Skagit Valley Burger Express, home of the best burgers in Skagit County.

Although the Burger Express has been around for a while now, I hadn’t seriously considered visiting it until personal

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Northwest Bookshelf

Native art, native trees and a journey to the north


Northwest Coast Indian Art
Bill Holm (University of Washington Press)

From blankets to gambling sticks, coffins to rain hats, spoons to shaman’s paraphernalia, seemingly every material aspect of the indigenous cultures of the northern Pacific Coast was decorated with representations of the natural world, usually animals. Salmon, bear, raven, wolf, whale, seal, beaver: the wild creatures of the British Columbian and southeast Alaskan coastlines and islands are memorialized in bold strokes of

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On Stage

Ded Reckoning

Singing their way through space


There’s a moment in Ded Reckoning: A Space Musical in Two Acts when Tiny, one of the five crew members aboard the Galaxy Guppy, finally understands what the space/time continuum is all about.

Thanks to the helpful (and catchy) lyrics in “Moving Fast”—the song that accompanied the “aha!” moment for Tiny—I also came much closer to comprehending why the six-plus years the crew had been adrift in space translated to nearly 48 years for those they left behind on planet Earth. 

Like the 11

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While We’re Young

Friends without borders

The title of Noah Baumbach’s wry generation-gap comedy, While We’re Young, could be read as an ode to youth, like the name of a lost Cole Porter tune.

It could also be taken as sarcasm, as when Rodney Dangerfield shouts, “Let’s go, while we’re young!” to Ted Knight’s slowpoke golfer in Caddyshack.

Either way works, and does it ever. While We’re Young pairs two New York couples, one middle-aged and anxious and the other millennial and carefree. Both are in for a satirical

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Best of Bellingham

What's the best neighborhood? The one you live in, judging from this fiercely competitive category. With more than 2,400 entries in the Cascadia Weekly readers choice awards, every neighborhood was named again and again. But with so many terrific places--Trader Joe's, Hardware Sales, Kulshan Brewing Company, Jeckyl & Hyde, Homeskillet, on and on--Sunnyland comes out on top.

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Apr 18


Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: The flower-focused Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place throughout the month of April at a variety of venues from Mount Vernon to Edison to La Conner, Anacortes, and beyond. In addition to being able to explore fields of budding daffodils and tulips, there'll be a street fair, arts events, a kids garage sale, a boat show, a tulip run and tulip pedal, live music, a quilt walk, a wine festival, roller derby, book sales, a parade and much more. Head to the website to check out the full roster more »

Art in Bloom: Twenty-eight regional artists will share their paintings, photography, sculpture, glass, ceramics, fiber art and mixed-media works at the Anacortes Arts Festival's second annual "Art in Bloom" exhibit from 11am-4pm April 10-18 at the town's Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. An "Evening of Color" auction takes place April 10 (cost is $45 for entry) and a free opening reception for the exhibit takes place at 6pm Sat., April 11. more »

Rexville Grange Art Show: Peruse and purchase a variety of fine arts and crafts from local artists—including painting, photography, pottery, glass, jewelry, weaving, woodwork, felted hats and more—at the annual Rexville Grange Art Show happening from 10am-6pm daily from April 10-19 at Mount Vernon's Rexville Grange, 19299 Rexville Grange Rd. more »

Ded Reckoning Space Musical: Kamarie Chapman and Spencer Willows' Ded Reckoning: A Space Musical in Two Acts concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The show deals with "issues of homesickness, sibling rivalry, and what happens when you are faced with the choice between carrying out your duty and following your passion." P.S. The soundtrack for the show features musicians from local bands Pan Pan, Party Favorites, and Cherry Blossom Family Delivery. more »

Harvey: The Lynden Performing Arts Guild continues its production of Harvey this weekend at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm Saturday and Sunday at the Claire vg Thomas Theatre, 655 Front St. The comedy focuses on Elwood P. Dowd, an affable man who claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend Harvey—a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch-tall rabbit. Tickets are $8-$12. Additional showings happen through April 26. more »

The Spitfire Grill: Performances of The Spitfire Grill continue this week with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The dramatic musical focuses on a girl trying to make a fresh start in a small town in Wisconsin, and the power of redemption. Tickets are $20; additional showings happen through April 25. more »

I Hate Hamlet: Find out what happens when an actor relocates to New York after his television series has been cancelled when I Hate Hamlet concludes this week with showings at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30pm Sunday, in Oak Harbor at the Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd. Tickets are $18. more »

Voices of the Children: View the fictional story of a female adolescent and the many difficulties she faces within the confines of a refugee camp when the Theater Arts Guild and the Mount Vernon School District present Voices of the Children at 7pm Friday and Saturday at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. The show was written by sixth-grade playwrights as part of the 2015 "Syria Project" and was inspired by iPhone photos taken by Syrian refugee teens inside the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. Tickets are $12. more »

Scratchpad, Bellinghamlet: Local poets will join improvisers onstage to write poems that will influence improv comedy scenes—and vice versa—at "Scratchpad" performances at 8pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around for "Bellinghamlet," an improvised Shakespeare format. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Additional showings of both formats take place throughout April. more »

Used Book Sale: Get great deals on gently-used books and other items at the Mount Vernon City Library's Used Book Sale from 3-6pm Friday and 10am-4pm inside Fire Station #1, 902 S. Second St. (behind City Hall). more »

Mount Vernon Street Fair: Attend the 31st annual Tulip Festival Street Fair from 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday, in downtown Mount Vernon. In addition to perusing the hundreds of juried arts and crafts vendors, there'll be live entertainment, food court offerings and plenty of family-friendly fun. Entry is free. more »

One-Act Operas: Western Washington University's Western Opera Studio presents performances of Enrique Granados' tragic Goyescas and Puccini’s only comedy, Gianni Schicchi, at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the school's Performing Arts Center (choir room 16). Both one-act operas premiered at the Metropolitan Opera during World War I. Tickets are $13-$16. Additional shows happen April 24-25. more »

The Foreigner: Larry Shue's The Foreigner opens this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The comedy takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Georgia and focuses on a man who overhears more than he should after being falsely identified as a French man who speaks no English. Tickets are $8-$14; additional showings happen through May 2. more »

Free Parks Day: Celebrate 100 years of discovery in America's parks at National Park Free Entrance Day Saturday and Sunday as part of National Park Week. Head to the website listed here to see what parks throughout Washington will be waiving entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees. more »

Stamp & Coin Show: View and purchase collectible stamps, coins, postcards, covers, gold, silver and supplies from professional dealers from across the Northwest at the annual Stamp & Coin Show taking place from 10am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday at Hampton Inn's Fox Hall, 3985 Bennett Dr. Admission and parking are free. more »

Brigid Collins Benefit: Nashville-based songwriter Shauna Rae Samograd and singer Sharon Mayson will perform at a Benefit Concert for the Brigid Collins Family Center at 7pm at the Mount Baker Theatre's Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Bellingham musicians Diane Leigh, Ray Wolpow, Les Browning, Carly Gilliland, and others will also share their talents. Tickets are $15. more »

Tulip Pedal: Ride on your own on 20-, 40- and 60-mile routes (or ride all three) at the 34th annual "Tulip Pedal" leaving from the La Conner Middle School, 503 N. 6th St. You can register between 7am-12pm, and the courses will be open through 4pm. Entry is $35-$40 (kids 14 and under are free). more »

Fairhaven Walking Club: Whether you’re looking to improve or compete, all are welcome at the weekly Fairhaven Walking Club led by Cindy Paffumi starting at 8am at various locations in Fairhaven. Walk routes and meeting places change from week to week. All paces are welcome. more »

Ferndale Pancake Breakfast: Choose from pancakes, French toast or biscuits and gravy at a monthly Pancake Breakfast taking place from 8-11am at the Ferndale Senior Center, 1999 Cherry St. Entry is $2.50 for kids and $6 for adults and also includes scrambled eggs, ham or sausage and beverages. more »

Blaine Pancake Breakfast: All are welcome at a monthly Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am at the Blaine Senior Center, 763 G St. Entry is $4 for kids and $6 for adults. more »

Guemes Island Bike and Hike: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a Guemes Island bike-and-hike tour today. Meet at 8:40am at Sunnyland Elementary in Bellingham to carpool. For those not in the know, Guemes Island is just a short five-minute ferry ride from Anacortes. more »

Vertical Gardening: Horticulturalist Rachel Zeutenhorst of Tissues and Liners Nursery will focus on "Vertical Gardening: Vines and Climbing Plants" at a free workshop at 9am at Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Attendees need to register in advance. more »

Do the Bloom Color Run: Sign up for the Anacortes Arts Festival's inaugural "Do the Bloom: 5K Color Run" starting at 9am at town's Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. Runners will be dusted in beautiful colors at stations along the way, so by the end of the race, all participants will resemble works of art. Entry is $30; kids can also sign up for a one-mile run for $10. more »

Parks Work Party: Join the Bellingham Parks volunteer program for an Earth Day Work Party from 9am-12pm at Franklin Park to remove invasive plants and weed. Park on Grant or Whatcom Street and follow signs to the work site. more »

Earth Day Work Party: Celebrate Earth Day with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Whatcom Conservation District, and the Chums of Terrell Creek at a Work Party from 9am-12pm along Terrell Creek. Parking is available at the former Birch Bay Bible Community Church, 7039 Jackson Rd., Blaine. You'll be planting native trees, mulching and removing blackberries; gloves and tools will be provided. more »

Fun with the Fuzz 5K: Help raise funds for the Behind the Badge Foundation—an organization that supports families of police officers who are killed in the line of duty—at the annual "Fun with the Fuzz 5K" happening from 9am-12pm starting at the Bellingham Police Department, 505 Grand Ave. Entry to the road race is $20. more »

Bellingham Bay Bocce Ball Tournament: Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center will host its 13th annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament fundraiser from 9:30am-5pm at the Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. All ages are invited to come cheer on the teams; in addition to the tournaments, there'll be a beer garden, a salmon barbecue lunch, local food trucks, live music and entertainment, raffle drawings, a kids' area and more. Entry is free. more »

StashFest: The La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum hosts its annual "StashFest" from 10am-5pm at the La Conner Civic Garden Club, 622 S. Second St. (across the street from the museum). It's free to peruse the eclectic fabrics, designer clothing, vintage linens and textiles and more, but if you want to get a sneak peek at 9am, a limited amount of preview tickets are available for $20. more »

Wild Food Foraging: Abe Lloyd, the director of Salal, the Cascadian Food Institute, leads a hands-on "Wild Food Foraging: Spring Greens" workshop from 10:30am-3:30pm starting at the Connection Building at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Be prepared to walk about one mile on uneven terrain as you explore and harvest what is edible locally, and then return to the kitchen to transform raw ingredients into Radical cuisine. Entry is $39. more »

Beading Class: Lummi artist Earline Hanson demonstrates "Applique Beading"—the art of sewing beads onto leather using the colors and pattern of the Native American medicine wheel—from 11am-1pm at the Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. Attendees will be able to make their own pin or barrette. Entry is free and open to adults; please register in advance. more »

Blessing of the Animals: Animals as Natural Therapy will host an open house an its 13th annual "Blessing of the Animals" from 12-2pm at Windy Acres Farm, 721 Van Wyck Rd. Horse demos, animal interactions, children's activities and more will be part of the fun; visitors are also encouraged to bring pictures of their animals to be blessed and appreciated. Entry is free. more »

Friends of Fish 2 Opening: The work of more than 70 artists capturing the spirit of fish and its relationship to humanity and the environment can be seen at an opening reception for "Friends of Fish 2," an art show to benefit the education programs of the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, from 5-9pm at the Edison Eye Gallery, 5800 Cain Court. A portion of proceeds from all artwork sold will go toward supporting these education programs and enable the program to continue to be offered free of charge to local schools. more »

Line Dancing Classes: Western Line Dancing classes are offered at 6pm (beginners) and 7pm (intermediates) every Friday night at Lynden’s Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. No experience or partner is needed. Cost is $5 per class. more »

Out of the Drawing Room: View works from more than 30 artists portraying various aspects of the struggle for women's suffrage and the women's movement at an "Out of the Drawing Room: Into the Intersection of Art and Women's Rights" presentation from 6-8pm at Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Diane Martindale, president of the League of Women Voters of the San Juan Islands, and a member of the Washington State Arts Commission, will lead the interpretive slide show. Entry is free. more »

Heritage Dinner: Western Washington University's Khmer Student Association hosts its fifth annual heritage dinner, "Journey Through Srok Khmer," at 6:30pm at the Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 general and include Cambodian cuisine, live performances, singing, dancing and entry to a silent auction. more »

Family Field Trip: Join Wild Whatcom for a "New Moon Night Prowl" Family Field Trip from 7-9pm at Ferndale's Tennant Lake Interpretive Center. Attendees can discover what they need to be a nocturnal animal in this sensory exploration. Entry is $8 per child, $12, per adult. Please register in advance. more »

Headwaters Poetry: Poet, naturalist, educator and North Cascades Institute executive director Saul Weisberg reads from his new book of poetry, Headwaters, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The poetry focuses on specific images and distinct moments gathered from the natural world. more »

Tulip Festival Concert: The Bethany Bells present "Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs: A Tulip Festival Concert" at 7pm at Mount Vernon's Bethany Covenant Church, 1318 S. 18th St. Admission is free. more »

Harmonizing Fundraiser: The Valley Voices women's barbershop chorus and the Bellingham Blend men's gospel chorus will join up for a night of musical entertainment at a Harmonizing Fundraiser from 7-9pm at Lynden's Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. Suggested donation is $10; proceeds will benefit the Ten Mile Grange Building Improvement Fund. more »

Tango Concert: Argentine folklorico music and dance will be highlighted at a Tango Concert and Mini-Milonga from 7-9:30pm at the YWCA Ballroom, 1026 N. Forest St. In addition to music by pianist Claudio Mendez, bandoneonista Bertram Levy, there'll be an introductory tandas lesson and dancing. Tickets are $15-$20. more »

Cherokee Secrets Magic Show: Frank Dunn presents "Cherokee Secrets: A Native American Illusion Magic Show" at 7:30pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Native American dancing, drumming, culture, and authentic Native American artwork by numerous artists help tell this beautiful, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny story. Tickets are $20-$32. more »

Kuuskmann and Neto: Grammy-nominated bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann and three-time Latin Grammy-nominated pianist, composer and arranger Jovino Santos Neto will share their big talents at a concert at 7:30pm at Lynden's Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. Tickets are $30. more »

Comedy Nite: Ralph Porter will be the headlining standup comedian at the monthly Comedy Nite starting at 9pm at Poppes 360, 714 Lakeway Dr. Randall Ragsdale hosts the event; DJ Clint Westwood will also be sharing his talents. Entry is $10. more »

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