Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

Film

Good Boys

Out of the mouths of babes

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A nearly one-note comedy about a trio of 12 year-old boys who will do anything they must to get to a “kissing party” attended by the girl one of them adores, Gene Stupnitsky’s Good Boys has an endless fascination with hearing preteens curse. Is it funny the first and fourth and seventh time? Sure. Does the novelty wear off? A bit.

The film—produced by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen—has very funny moments, don’t misunderstand.

Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and…

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Film

Mike Wallace Is Here

The hero we need

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

At first the title seems too simple, if not a bit stilted, especially for those who had never heard the name: Mike Wallace Is Here.

Yet as the documentary about the hard-hitting TV newsman soon makes clear, those are the four words no crooked politician or conniving businessperson ever wanted to hear.

The film deftly weaves news and interview clips from Wallace’s half-century on TV with the times he himself answered questions as tough as those he asked, fleshing out one of the…

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Words

Before the Wind

A family at sea

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Several years ago, Whatcom READS featured Jim Lynch’s excellent novel Border Songs, about a dutiful, extremely tall, bird-loving rookie Border Patrol officer and his observations of life along the 49th parallel between the United States and Canada. 

Since then, he has written several fine books. Before the Wind continues Lynch’s tradition of finding the humanity in a lovable cast of eccentric characters and setting them in the glorious scenery of coastal Washington state.

As its…

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Food

Skagit Picnic

Feed your summer adventures

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

It’s mid-August, that moment when it still feels like summer but foggy mornings and cooler nights are reminding us that fall is just around the corner.

Suddenly you realize you need to get out there and do everything on your summer to-do list. Maybe you thought you’d finally hike Oyster Dome, or take a ferry to the San Juans, or head up the Skagit to spend a day on the river. In any case, a good day trip requires a good picnic. Here are a few great places to stock up on supplies for a…

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Outdoors

Grape Escape

A Willamette Valley road trip

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

If you need a few days break from “real life,” consider heading south to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Sandwiched between the coastal mountains and the North Cascades, the valley is the state’s burgeoning wine country, where lush, meandering hills and dales are heavily populated with wineries, the majority of them small, family-owned enterprises.

I spent the night at one of them, the Black Walnut Inn and Vineyard, a Tuscan-style inn that sits high up on a hill overlooking rows of…

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Visual

Pottery Party

Fifty years and counting

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The summer of 1969 was a busy one. Not only did astronauts land on the moon, but the Stonewall riots became a symbolic force for the burgeoning gay rights movement, Muhammad Ali was convicted of evading the draft, and Woodstock made musical history. Additionally, a cooperative studio space dubbed Good Earth Pottery opened in mid-August in the historic Fairhaven district in Bellingham. Fifty years later, owner Ann Marie Cooper says the ceramics-focused venue is still going strong,…

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On Stage

Iceland Invasion

Comedy for a cause

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What happens when a gaggle of Icelanders strut into a performance venue in a small town to share their comedic chops while guests dine on lamb chops?

If you’re referring to the interactive comedy dinner show, Waiter!...There’s an Icelander in My Soup!, the seven actors sharing their talents Aug. 18-19 at the Conway Muse will be helping raise funds for Theater Artists for Social Action, a small group of socially minded thespians whose intention is to focus on the needs of marginalized…

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Music

Woodstock Turns 50

Celebrate Skagit-style

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

For the upcoming 50th anniversary of Woodstock, which took place Aug. 15-18, 1969, I considered claiming that I had been there. After all, people have been doing that very thing for the duration of the half-century that has passed the historic weekend of music, chaos and mythmaking took over Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in rural New York.

The number of people who attended Woodstock: 400,000.

The number of people who say they attended Woodstock: millions.

Sadly, I am too young…

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Best of Skagit
Best News Story

Save the Whales

Skagit is a land of wild rivers, soaring glacier peaks, fertile valleys and forested dots of islands sprinkling an inland sea. Powerful predatory whales live in these waters and feed on the tastiest wild fish on earth, the Chinook. Ours is as exotic as any landscape on the planet, and perhaps it is more threatened than many.

Those whales—the southern resident orcas—aren’t especially shy and can be viewed almost daily, although their numbers are in precipitous decline. Deaths in their pods have exceeded live births, threatening a spiral to extinction. They’re sick, and they’re starving. The cause? Increased human activity around the Puget Sound, as a region that is loved too much and too recklessly.

Alarmed by the decline of these iconic creatures, the Washington Legislature this session passed sweeping protections for the Salish Sea’s ailing orca population. Championed by lawmakers who represent Skagit and the San Juans, a quartet of bills cover a variety of measures, including whale watching, pollution and more. Yet budgets passed by the House and Senate so far contain no funding to continue the governor’s task force on orca recovery. There’s no agreement on plans to increase Chinook runs. And revenue measures to help pay for everything, from increasing hatchery production to enforcement of habitat protections, have yet to be decided.

As we dedicate this issue to celebrate all the best our region has to offer in scenic beauty, in recreation, in menus and samplings that are unique to who we are, let us acknowledge how fragile it is and how fierce we must be in its protection.

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The Gristle
Fire and Frost

FIRE AND FROST: The most remarkable outcome of last week’s local election was, of course, the astonishing performance of Seth Fleetwood for mayor of Bellingham.

Let’s be clear: Seth was always the safe, reliable bet to come through the Top-Two primary in first or second place; but by…

Amy Goodman
Trump’s America

The country was rocked by two mass killings this past weekend. The first was in El Paso, Texas. The slaughter of 22 people in El Paso’s Cielo Vista Walmart was an act of a white supremacist. A manifesto he allegedly posted online shortly before the massacre echoed President Donald…

Rumor Has It
Bands at Barkley

Perhaps it is because I lack imagination, but when I think about places to see live music in Bellingham, Barkley Village is not the first—or even the third or fourth—place to come to mind.

Evidently, the folks at Barkley Village and its anchor store, Haggen Food and Pharmacy, have all of…

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Letters
Shameless hypocrisy

This week our President eagerly deported hundreds of illegal immigrants from several Mississippi meat-processing plants, leaving numerous children without parents—just to fire up his white…

Differences we have in common

If white supremacists had their way and non-white races vanished, I wonder how long it would take before we Caucasians began to segregate ourselves according to subracial or ethnic identities…

Subdued Rebellingham

The Downtown Partnership is tasked with creating a vibrant atmosphere to make downtown a key business location, visitor destination and residential setting. And they should be applauded for…

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Today's Events
Boating Center Open

10:00am

Bellingham’s Community Boating Center will be open through the summer from 10am until sunset daily at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and…

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm

A Wild West-inspired version of The Taming of the Shrew will be part of the 30th Bard on the Beach season at Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC. Through Sept. 21, the Shakespearean favorite will…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

As part of the annual Skagit Tours, Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours, and Ladder Creek…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

As part of the annual Skagit Tours, Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours, and Ladder Creek…

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm

The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor.…

Skagit Tours

10:53pm

As part of the annual Skagit Tours, Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours, and Ladder Creek…

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm

The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor.…

Rock Painting Workshop

12:00pm

Adults and kids in grades 6 and up can attend a “Rock Painting” workshop from 12pm-2pm at the Sumas Library, 461 2nd St. Learn tips and techniques for rock painting, then let your imagination…

Camp Cooking Classes

5:30pm

A “Dutch Oven Cooking” workshop takes place from 5:30pm-7:30pm Monday at REI, 400 36th St. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to prepare food for your next adventure, how to put…

Hamster Church with Christen Mattix

6:30pm

Artist, writer and community builder Christen Mattix will be the featured guest when Echoes Bellingham hosts “Hamster Church” at 6:30pm at the Old Parish Hall, 2117 Walnut St. The monthly…

Poetrynight

7:00pm

Those looking to share their creative verse as part of the weekly Poetrynight can sign up starting at 6:30pm at the Alternative Library, 519 E. Maple St. Readings begin at 7pm. Entry to the…

Guffawingham

9:00pm

A weekly open mic for comedians, “Guffawingham!,” takes place at 9pm every Monday at the Firefly Lounge, 1015 N. State St. Entry is free. The event features approximately 20 standup…

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