This Week's Cover


A Weedy Problem

A document will arrive soon on the governor’s desk he’s indicated he will sign. When he does, if he does, the document will radically transform the delivery of medical marijuana in Washington, reducing its availability to patients and dramatically increasing its cost. Ironically, this arrives at a moment of bated success in the state’s cautious yet ambitious experiment with marijuana, and at a moment of ferment in the reconsideration and reform of drug laws nationally.

Senate Bill 5052,

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This Week

The Gristle

The Justiciability of Jail

THE JUSTICIABILITY OF JAIL: More than 150 people packed the Whatcom County Council chambers last week to learn more about a sales tax initiative that would finance the construction of a $122.5 million jail and Sheriff’s complex near Ferndale. More than 50 people commented in a lengthy special evening session Council had called exclusively to gather additional information about public support for the proposal and for alternatives that could reduce the cost and frequency of incarceration.

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Radio Free Bellingham

Time to turn up

It is true we have been doing a lot of talking about nascent Bellingham radio station KVWV (94.9 FM) in the Cascadia Weekly recently. Enough so that people may begin to wonder if we have some kind of self-interest, financial stake or other hidden agenda at play here.

The answer: Nope. We just happen to have a soft spot for community-minded sources of entertainment and news, especially those that are free for the end user. Anything the general public can easily access that adds voices and

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A Weedy Problem

Medical marijuana reform heads for governor’s signature


A document will arrive soon on the governor’s desk he’s indicated he will sign. When he does, if he does, the document will radically transform the delivery of medical marijuana in Washington, reducing its availability to patients and dramatically increasing its cost. Ironically, this arrives at a moment of bated success in the state’s cautious yet ambitious experiment with marijuana, and at a moment of ferment in the reconsideration and reform of drug laws nationally.

Senate Bill 5052,

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Piece of Cake

A modern take on Cuban cuisine


As my taxi rocketed through Havana, I saw around me a charming mix of architectural styles I recognized from pictures and movies. 

In real life, however, laundry fluttered from baroque balustrades and mold marred the pastel facades of neoclassical treasures. Exhaust from picturesque vintage cars stung my eyes. Pedestrians dressed in bright leggings dodged traffic while holding the hands of uniformed schoolchildren. Billboards on the carretera featured photographs of Fidel Castro and Hugo

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Counting the Rings

Arbor Day, past and present

It was April 15, 1896 and breakfast bacon had gone up in price from 10 cents to 12.

It was also the first-ever Arbor Day in Fairhaven. The celebrations were commissioned by Mayor Eli Wilkins as a way to beautify the logged-out area that had been developed only seven years before.

Members of the city were busy planting 117 cork bark elm tree saplings every 25 feet along what was then Front Street, now State Street, just above the boardwalk that winds along the bay.

That was 119 years ago.

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Ex Machina

Meet your robot master


Science fiction may be the defining movie genre of our time, but too often it’s just a vehicle for escapist space adventure or paranoid dystopian fantasy. A sci-fi movie that actually has intelligent things to say about science—that’s all too rare. It’s what we get in Ex Machina.

Human scale, mind-stretching and eerie, it’s the debut feature from the novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later). For his first time in the director’s chair, Garland goes easy on

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Empty Bowls

Ceramic artists fill a need


Sometimes, meals are nourishing in more ways than one.

This concept will become clear when community members sit down to dine on steaming bowls of seafood chowder or minestrone soup as part of the annual “Empty Bowls” fundraiser taking place Thurs., April 30 at Bellingham’s Old World Deli.

The obvious way attendees will get nutrients into their systems is by bringing spoons to their mouths and finishing their evening repasts. But even before that, they’ll be taking part in a fulfilling

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The Hunting Ground

A call to action


Just like a horror movie, The Hunting Ground opens with unsuspecting victims.

As “Pomp and Circumstance” plays on the soundtrack, a series of home videos shows women joyfully opening acceptance letters from colleges and universities. The women don’t know that upward of 20 percent of them, one in five, will be sexually assaulted during their college years.

This is but one of many alarming statistics presented in this well-researched documentary, which tops any fictional chiller for shock

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On Stage

Poetic Palavers

A way with words


Whatcom County isn’t a place that takes a casual approach to National Poetry Month. Every April, residents find a plethora of verse-related events to choose from in a variety of different realms—both onstage and off.  With the nationwide celebration coming to a close April 30, we’d like to draw your attention to a number of ways to make sure you sufficiently enjoy the final week of creative wordplay.

Last Friday’s “Scratchpad” show at the Upfront Theatre was a perfect example of how poetry

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Mingled Visions

Timothy Egan meets Edward Curtis


Seattle in 1895 is booming with lumber and coal industries fueling the town’s economic expansion and population growth, as well as fishing, shipbuilding, wholesale trade and shipping. 

Edward Curtis, a dashing young photographer making a living photographing Seattle’s wealthiest citizens, has a chance encounter with Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle.

Native Americans were at that time banned from Seattle city limits, and Princess Angeline lived illegally on the fringes of

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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 26


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 »

The Foreigner: Larry Shue's The Foreigner continues this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through 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 »

Harvey: The Lynden Performing Arts Guild concludes 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. 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. more »

LinuxFest Northwest: Presentations on various F/OSS topics, as well as Linux distributions and applications, will be part of the annual LinuxFest Northwest from 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. The event promises to have something from everyone—from the novice to the professional. Admission is free. more »

The Art of Gardening: Regional vendors, display gardens and exhibitors with a focus on backyard farming, gardening and art specifically designed for the garden will be part of the third annual "Art of Gardening" from 10am-4pm Saturday and 10am-3pm Sunday in Anacortes at the Depot Arts and Community Center, 611 R Ave. Food and entertainment will also be part of the fun. Entry is free. more »

April Brews Day: Dozens of regional breweries will share their liquid libations at the annual Max Higbee Center fundraiser, April Brews Day, from 6:30-10pm at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $40 for VIP tickets. From 10am-2pm Sunday, attend a family-friendly Brews Day Brunch at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. Entry is $10. more »

Apple Blossom & Honey Bee Festival: Apple bin train rides, blossom talks, family photo time, scavenger hunts and much more will be part of an "Apple Blossom & Honey Bee Festival" happening Saturday and Sunday at Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. Highlights include a performance by Pearl Django at 7pm Saturday night, and, on Sunday, a "Honey Bee 5K Trail Run" and talks by bee experts Sue Cobey and R. Ted Lawrence. Entry to the festival is free; concert tickets are $15, entry to the 5K is $20-$25 and bee presentations are $10 more »

FAIRHAVEN RIDE: Meet up with folks from Fairhaven Bike & Ski for a weekly race-pace ride at 8am at the Fairhaven Village Green. more »

Rabbit Ride: Join members of the Mt. Baker Bike Club for the weekly “Rabbit Ride” starting at 8:30am at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, 1108 11th St. The 32-mile route sees riders heading down Chuckanut and back via Lake Samish. more »

Pooch Scoot: Bring your four-legged friends along at today's "Fairhaven Pooch Scoot 5K Walk/Run" starting at 9am at Fairhaven Fitness & Bellingham Tennis Club, 800 McKenzie Ave. Entry is $35 per person, plus one dog. Additional dogs are $5. more »

Dan Harris Challenge: Rowers, pullers and paddlers will race each other along the Fairhaven and Chuckanut shorelines at the 11th annual "Dan Harris Challenge" starting at 10am at Bellingham's Boulevard Park. Entry is $25 for singles, $35 for doubles, and $50 for quads and war canoes. The event precedes the Dirty Dan Festival in historic Fairhaven. more »

Dirty Dan Days: A salmon toss, a donut-eating contest and the inaugural Chuckanut Chili Cook-Off will be part of the annual Dirty Dan Days celebration happening from 10am-6pm throughout historic Fairhaven and at the Fairhaven Village Green. Additionally, there'll be a Dirt Dan lookalike contest, an uphill piano race, the Dan Harris Challenge, a beer and wine garden and additional food offerings. Entry is free; tickets to sample the chili are $10. more »

Radd Run: See how your time compares to the average officer's when Running Against Drunk Driving (RADD) hosts a "Running from the Police 5K" at 11am starting at Western Washington University's Wade King Rec Center. The event will also focus on awareness of the epidemic of drunk driving. Entry is $10 and includes a goodie bag. more »

Good Earth Pottery Anniversary Celebration: Throwing, hand-building, carving, decorating and raku-firing demos will be part of 45th anniversary celebration from 1-4pm at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave. The event will be happening during the annual Dirty Dan Days in historic Fairhaven. more »

El Día de los Libros: Attend a celebration of children, books and the Latino community at an "El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros" event from 1-5pm at the Lynden Library, 216 4th St. Food, entertainment, music, free books for children and Latino crafts will be part of the free, all-ages fun. more »

Spring Plant Walk: As part of Native Plant Appreciation Week, join the Koma Kulshan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS) for the first of a series of free, introductory plant identification walks from 1:30-3:30pm at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve. No registration is required. People of all ages and experience levels are welcome. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes that may get wet. more »

WSO Family Concert: Maurice Revel's "Pictures at an Exhibition" will be the focus of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra's annual Family Concert at 2pm at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. The free event in includes an instrument petting too and an art display or works painted by 4th graders from around Bellingham. Entry is free for kids; suggested donation for adults is $10. more »

Bound: Orcas Island-based bookbinder and graphic designer Erica Ekrem shares ideas from Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Attendees can learn how to bind a book beautifully with these whimsical and stylish projects from the "bookbinder extraordinaire." Entry is free. more »

Art of Jazz: The Ben Thomas Tango Quartet will perform as part of the Jazz Project's monthly "Art of Jazz" series from 4-6:30pm at the BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State st. Entry is $10 for students and $16 general (free for Jazz Project members). more »

Spring Beer Dinner: Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen will team up with the Local/Menace Brewery for a five-course Spring Beer Dinner starting at 6:30pm at the brewery's headquarters at 601 W. Holly St. Entry to the "Keep it Local" event are $50 (includes food, beer, tax and gratuity). Please reserve in advance, as space is limited. more »

Rio Con Brio: Afro-Brazilian rhythms and the contemporary cafe music of Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal can be heard when Rio Con Brio performs at 7pm at Nancy's Farm, 2030 E. Smith Rd. The Portland-based duo consists of Mike Burdette on guitar and Tim Connell on mandolin. Suggested donation is $15. more »

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