Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Skagit Surprises

One of the interesting things about living in Skagit Valley is watching the traffic patterns during the Tulip Festival. Most people, following instructions from their GPS, all get to the fields the same way, crawling through downtown Mount Vernon and onward through the several-mile-long traffic jam that Memorial Highway and McLean Road turn into every April. Those in the know, however, get off the freeway at Conway and take Fir Island Road, a route that adds a small amount of distance but has

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This Week

The Gristle

Drip, Drip, Drip

DRIP, DRIP, DRIP: In 2011, Lummi Nation and other tribal authorities requested a declaratory judgement by the federal government on their treaty-reserved water rights, concerned that the oversubscription of water withdrawals threatened tribal fisheries. While the tribes wait for a federal response, case law continues to accumulate that suggests the federal government will indeed take their tribal water claims very seriously, including a decision in March of last year that requires the state to

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Music

Record Store Day

Hooked on the needle

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Back in 2007, the year Record Store Day was founded, independent music stores were in freefall, decimated by the ready availability of all the music on Earth on the World Wide Web, just a click—or, more likely, an illegal download—away. Like a fast-moving train they could see coming from a mile away but were powerless to avoid, independent record stores, not just in the United States but the world over, could only react to the digital revolution after impact. Indeed, many did not survive,

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Food

Skagit Surprises

Shopping and snacking on the tulip route

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One of the interesting things about living in Skagit Valley is watching the traffic patterns during the Tulip Festival. Most people, following instructions from their GPS, all get to the fields the same way, crawling through downtown Mount Vernon and onward through the several-mile-long traffic jam that Memorial Highway and McLean Road turn into every April. Those in the know, however, get off the freeway at Conway and take Fir Island Road, a route that adds a small amount of distance but has

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Words

Money Matters

Walking away from legal tender

April is here, the longer days are evident, rain is broken up by occasional deliciously warm and sunshiny days and our collective thoughts turn to…taxes.

It’s a fact that Americans in April have money on our minds. As frustrating as tax time can be, have you ever really considered what it would mean to live without money? Not without income, but actually without using money in any form.

Daniel Suelo thought about it much of his life, but it wasn’t until he was 39 years old that he

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Outdoors

Spring Migration

David Allen Sibley is for the birds

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It’s that time of the year again, when millions of birds are on the wing.

The night skies are filled with flocks heading north, empty roosts are filling up again and our local wildlands and neighborhoods are reignited with the songs of our feathered friends taking up residence in their seasonal homes.

Spring migration is underway, and many different avian species are either passing through on their way to points farther north, or else arriving in the Fourth Corner with intentions to stick

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On Stage

Taking Flight

Grief and acceptance in Women of Lockerbie

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Although the powers that be at the Bellingham Theatre Guild couldn’t possibly have known that their spring production, The Women of Lockerbie, would coincide with a remarkably related major news story, that’s exactly what happened.

The recent event I’m referring to is the ongoing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth more than a month ago on what was supposed to be a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Women of Lockerbie,

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Visual

Quintessential Skagit

Treasure hunting at River Gallery

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You must be resourceful to find the River Gallery on Landing Road, just south of La Conner. From a low ridge, the gallery looks out over mysterious, forested hummocks forming islands in the Skagit flats, where peaceful sheep and black and white cows graze. On my visit, it stood in glorious sun, backed by billowy, white clouds.

Formerly a small commercial greenhouse, the gallery is the creation of Silvia Strong. For a dozen years it has been a magnet for creative artists and the sophisticated

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Film

Finding Vivian Maier

A portrait of an enigma

When Vivian Maier, who worked most of her life as a nanny in the tony suburbs of Chicago’s North Shore, died in 2009 at the age of 83, a storage facility auctioned off her voluminous personal effects. John Maloof, a 26-year-old amateur historian, purchased a box of undeveloped negatives of hers, then set them aside after a cursory look-see. Two years later, he revisited the trove and realized Maier’s work was as good as anything by Weegee, Helen Levitt, or Dorothea Lange.

Finding Vivian

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Film

The Unknown Known

Errol Morris vs. Donald Rumsfeld

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People will walk out of The Unknown Known convinced that Donald Rumsfeld is an awful man—and just as convinced that others will love him. They will be dispirited, imagining that he dominated filmmaker Errol Morris, not realizing that they have just witnessed one of the great rope-a-dopes in documentary history—one all the more impressive, because Rumsfeld is no dope.

Yes, Morris could have confronted him. He could have pressed him on his insistence that the Iraq War would be a cakewalk, that

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Best of Bellingham

The center of gravity has shifted in Bellingham.
In the years we’ve been polling readers on their favorite haunts and hidey-holes, we’ve seen the focus crawl from the Southside to Columbia, veer south again to the central district and now eastward to what was not so very long ago perhaps the least likely of favorite neighborhoods, Sunnyland. Why Sunnyland? Well, Trader Joe’s, for starters. HomeSkillet. Kulshan Brewery and StrEAT Food. Hardware Sales. In fact, it is that delightful mix of residence and industrial-strength business that yields Sunnyland its wondrous, quirky charm. Artists work from their back of their homes and sell from their commercial storefronts—their efforts showcased each summer in the Sunnyland Stomp.
But favorite places are found all over Bellingham. Here again we present our readers picks of the best, brightest and boldest in the City of Subdued Excitement.

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Today

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Apr 15

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: The annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival kicks off this week and continues through April 30 throughout the verdant valley. In addition to the hundreds of acres of blooming daffodils and tulips that will bloom according to Mother Nature through the month, there'll be street fairs, wine events, outdoor excursions, art displays, a home tour, live music, the "world's largest garage sale, a gala celebration, historic home tours, and much, much more. Go to the website to find out more. more »

The Great Mystery: Riddles, quandaries and adventure will be part of Explorations Academy's fourth annual team problem-solving adventure, "The Great Mystery," which kicks off today and continues through May 6 throughout Bellingham. Each team will get mailed a weekly clue which, when solved, will lead them to another clue (and so on). All clues are derived from Bellingham's history and landscape, and are distributed in public places. Prizes will be part of the fun. Entry is $50 per team. 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 »

Magic & Comedy Show: Louis Foxx brings his one-man sideshow of vaudevillian magic and comedy to the area for a 4:30pm performance at the Lynden Community Center, 401 Grover St. Expect "astounding magic tricks, sidesplitting comedy, hilarious cowboy tricks, eye popping hand shadows" and more. Tickets are $5-$8; funds raised benefit senior programs and services at the center. more »

Bike Maintenance Basics: Learn how to lube a chain, fix a flat tire in record time and make other minor adjustments to your ride at a "Bike Maintenance Basics" clinic led by Joe Kahn at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. Register in advance for the free event. more »

Community Seder: To celebrate the second night of Passover, Beth Israel will host a Community Seder at 6pm at Bellingham Technical College's Settlemeyer Family Hall, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. Tickets are $30 for members and $40 for non-members and include dinner, a retelling of the Exodus story and more. Please register in advance. more »

Caribbean Kitchen: Sarah Chan focuses on classic recipes from her native Trinidad at a "Caribbean Kitchen" course from 6-9pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Entry is $39. more »

Vaudevillingham: The monthly uncensored variety show fundraiser known as "Vaudevillingham" can be seen at 7pm and 9pm performances at the Bellingham Circus Guild's Cirque Lab, 1401 6th St. Suggested donation to see the performances—which feature acts from both guild and community members—is $5-$10. more »

Pink Martini: Up to a dozen musicians will cross genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop when Pink Martini performs at 7:30pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The group will be joined by the Von Trapps, which features music by the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria Von Trapp. Tickets are $32-$69. more »

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