Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

On Stage

Ghostbusters

The spirit of Christmas past

Monday, December 5, 2016

In Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol, a grumpy guy named Ebeneezer Scrooge is scared into being a stalwart citizen after being visited by a slew of spirits who show him not only that his atrocious actions matter, but also that it’s never too late to change.

Although it’s not described as a “ghost story,” per se, that’s exactly what A Christmas Carol is. From the time Scrooge is visited by his long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley—who advises him that…

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Music

The Bellingham Folk Festival

Learn a little, dance a little

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I’m a proud, born-and-bred Pacific Northwesterner, and as such, you won’t often hear me complaining about the dark, cold, wet, cold, windy, wet, dark weather we usually experience this time of year. When the sun disappears over the horizon at 3:45 in the afternoon, I don’t pay it much mind. When the rain pounds down, day after day to become week after week, I shrug it off. When the wind blows sideways, rattling the windows and freaking people out, I remain serene and can sometimes…

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Film

Miss Sloane

Such a nasty woman

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Further evidence of the Aaron Sorkinization of American screenwriting, Miss Sloane is a talky, tense political thriller, full of verbal sparring and fiery monologues, undone by a really dumb ending. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t smart for most of its running time. Constructed like a magic act by first-time screenwriter Jonathan Perera, with tricks up every sleeve that keep audiences guessing, this twisty peek inside the sausage factory of American politics features characters who…

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Film

Torrey Pines

A stop-motion labor of love

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I’m not sure if Clyde Petersen knows this, but he is one of my personal heroes.

Clyde appeared in Bellingham’s music scene at about the same time I began writing about it, a little more than 15 years ago. His band, Your Heart Breaks, was one of the first that I watched grow from its beginnings into the form it takes today. His was a typical Bellingham existence for that time—he was a Fairhaven graduate, Boundary Bay employee, lived at the Gimli House, and hung out at the Showoff…

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Food

Ramen Express

A culinary journey through Japan

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Award-winning food writer and traveler Michael Booth had been training in Paris to be a chef, and the butter-and cream-laden diet was starting to impact his waistline.

He’d seen research about the health benefits of a traditional Japanese diet, so when given the opportunity to spend three months in Japan researching and writing about Japanese cuisine, he eagerly packed his bags and flew to Tokyo with wife and kids in tow.

Starting in Tokyo, the Booth family ate their way north to…

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Visual

Holiday Helper

Making Christmas creative

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In the vein of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” I’d like to offer a day-by-day highlight of how to secure gifts that won’t involve a trip to the mall or the click of a mouse. Instead, the focus is on creative community members and the work they’re doing to ensure nobody has to endure a big-box holiday (partridges in pear trees are optional).

We’ll begin with Fri., Dec. 9 and the seasonal Commercial Street Night Market taking place from 6-10pm in and around the Commercial Street Parking…

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Outdoors

Welcoming the Eagles

Masters of their domain

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes.”
—E. F. Schumacher

Maybe it’s the way they soar, but bald eagles are absolute masters of their domain. It could also be their regal stance when perched, like monarchs of the northern forests. Perhaps it is their fierce stare. Eagles capture the imagination.

As a symbol of the United States, they represent dominance. In real life, they’re part of an intricate web of…

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Words

Northwest Bookshelf

A gift guide for greenies

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest
Edited by Nathaniel Brodie, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick Swanson

In a mossy, tangled grove of old-growth conifers east of Eugene, Ore. in the 15,800-acre Lookout Creek watershed, sits a nondescript campus of buildings operated by Oregon State University: the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Willamette National Forest, on the verdant and soggy west slope of the Oregon Cascades.

Since 2003, many notable scribes of…

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News

Jail Mailer

County fined for improper election materials

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Following a year-long investigation, County Executive Jack Louws faces a sanction and fine from a state review board for his role as head of county administration for a political mailer in support of Proposition 2015-1, a sales tax initiative to construct a new jail facility. The state Public Disclosure Commission will consider a recommendation to fine the executive $1,000 for violations of state election laws, with half the amount suspended.

“The system of governance in Whatcom…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood

Columbia

What makes a great neighborhood? In the years we’ve been polling readers for their favorite places, this category has moved steadily north—as has the emphasis on great parks, trails, schools, places to hang out, and homes that are stylish, established yet affordable have come into focus. The Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series is just one example of a neighborhood laying out all of its finest for the enjoyment of others. Roll on, Columbia!

Best of Bellingham write-ups by Tim Johnson, Carey Ross, Amy Kepferle, Scott Pelton, and Trail Rat
Photos by Patrick Beggan (versaphotography.com)

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Jack’s Attack

JACK’S ATTACK: Acrimony continues to widen between the legislative and executive branches of Whatcom County, as last week County Executive Jack Louws announced he would veto his own budget submittal over additional appropriations requested by County Council. The veto requires an override…

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Letters
Palestine to 
Standing Rock

Water is crucial for life, dignity and sovereignty! The drama playing out in North Dakota echoes what I learned from…

End of the world?

For young people who think Trump’s election is bad news, I felt the same way in 1980.
Of course…

Ain’t over ’til it’s over

The election is not over, is not final until the Electoral College votes on Dec. 19.
For the first…

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Today's Events
Winter Book Sale

10:00am

Used books, DVDs, CDs and more can be found at a Friends of the Library Winter Book Sale from 10am-6pm Wednesday through Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday at the Bellingham Public Library, 210…

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm

The annual “Deck the Old City Hall”  continues from 12-5pm Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 31 at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Visitors can view more than 20…

Santa at Yeager's

4:00pm

For the 34th year, the Fairhaven Lions will host Santa Claus through the holidays at Yeager’s Toyland, 3101 Northwest St. Visits are free. You can take pictures with your own camera at no…

A Christmas Story

7:30pm

The Theater Arts Guild’s rendition of A Christmas Story: The Musical concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Friday, and 3pm Saturday at Mount Vernon’s Lincoln…

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 37th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

The Lights of Christmas

5:00pm

View festive holiday displays both outdoors and indoors at the annual “The Lights of Christmas” event starting this week from 5-10pm Thursday through Sunday in Stanwood at the 15-acre Warm…

Teen Art Show

6:30pm

Attend an opening reception for a Teen Art Show from 6:30-8:30pm Thursday at the Oak Harbor Library, 1000 SE Regatta Dr. All ages can visit the show from 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday. Entry is free.

The Happy Elf

7:30pm

A new musical comedy by the Grammy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist Harry Connick, Jr. can be seen at performances of The Happy Elf at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday,…

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

7:30pm

Transport yourself to a lodge in Vermont when Irving Berlin’s White Christmas concludes this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the newly renovated…

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

7:30pm

Find out what happens when church volunteers, struggling to present a Christmas pageant, are faced with casting the Herdman kids, the most inventively awful kids in history, when The Best…

Toys for Tots

9:00am

Donate new, unwrapped toys, cash and more at the annual “Toys for Tots” event taking place from 9am-5pm Friday and Saturday at a distribution center at 1650 Birchwood Ave. The all-local event…

20th annual Pacific Arts Market

10:00am

Several dozen well-known local artists and crafters will show and sell a variety of work—including jewelry, fine art, photography, textiles, clothing, bath and body, specialty foods, home…

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm

Workshops, performances, dances and jams for all ages and abilities will be part of the Bellingham Folk Festival, which takes place from 4:30-9:30pm Friday, 9am-9:30pm Saturday, and 1-9:30pm…

Santa Train

5:00pm

The Forest of Imagination changes into a magical wonderland full of more than one million lights brightly twinkling in the night at “Santa Train” excursions from 5-9pm Friday through Sunday…

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm

Take a walk in the woods and enjoy lights, music, hot chocolate and generous servings of holiday cheer at the annual “Wonderland Walk” taking place from 5-8pm Friday and Saturday in Anacortes…

Pippi Longstocking

7:00pm

Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth students present performances of Pippi Longstocking for the final weekend at 7pm Friday, 2pm and 7pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at BAAY Theatre, 1059 N. State…

Winter Wonderland

7:00pm

Join Infinity Dance Company for “Winter Wonderland” performances at 7pm Friday and 1pm Sunday at Everson’s Nooksack High School Auditorium, 3326 E. Badger Rd. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop,…

A Night of Drama (and Comedy)

7:00pm

Theater students present “A Night of Drama (and Comedy)” at 7pm Friday and Saturday at Explorations Academy, 1701 Ellis St. Tickets to see the night of one-act plays, music —and a…

The North Pole Express

7:00pm

The Bellingham Figure Skating Club presents “The North Pole Express” at performances at 7pm Friday and 4pm Saturday at the Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. The show will consist…

Ghosts and Games

8:00pm

Expect seasonal hilarity at improvised versions of The Christmas Carol when “My Three Ghosts” shows at 8pm Fridays and Saturdays through December at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm…

Breakfast with Santa

8:30am

Bring a camera along for pictures at a “Breakfast with Santa” taking place from 8:30-11am at the Sedro-Woolley Community Center, 703 Pacific St. In addition to stocking up on a breakfast of…

Make It, Take It

9:00am

Learn the Japanese tradition of kokedama—using a moss ball to plant and create a hanging garden—at a “Make a Gift Kokedoma Ball” at 9am at the Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Entry…

Jingle Bell Run

9:00am

Wear a holiday-themed costume at the Arthritis Foundation’s annual “Jingle Bell Run” starting at 9am at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Entry to the 5K run or walk is…

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for its final community work party of the season from 9am-12pm at Ferndale’s Whiskey Creek. Volunteers will be planting native trees and…

Instructor Hiring Fair

9:00am

Attend an Instructor Hiring Fair from 9-10:30am at the G Building at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. The college is hiring qualified instructors for technical programs and…

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am

Celebrate the holiday season with Santa and Mrs. Claus at a “Breakfast with Santa” fundraiser happening from 9-11am at Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center, 2600 Squalicum Pkwy. Photos will…

Jingle Bell Run

9:00am

Wear a holiday-themed costume at the Arthritis Foundation’s annual “Jingle Bell Run” starting at 9am at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Entry to the 5K run or walk is…

Winter Wonderland

10:00am

Indoor and outdoor activities, breakfast with Santa, an indoor carnival, a sing-along, a magic show and the chance to play in real snow will be part of a “Winter Wonderland” event taking…

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am

Attend the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm every Saturday through Dec. 17 at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. In addition to perusing and purchasing locally grown produce,…

Coast Salish Winter Festival

10:00am

Find unique handcrafted gifts created and sold by Lummi community members at the annual Coast Salish Winter Festival happening from 10am-5pm at Ferndale’s Lummi Gateway Center, 4920 Rural…

Sleighbells Ring

10:00am

Attend “Sleighbells Ring” events every weekend through December at Bellewood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. Fresh-cut trees and wreaths, ornament and cookie crafting, bonfires, distillery and…

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Guided nature walks, presentations by guest speakers, sales by artisans and much more will be part of the 20th annual Skagit Eagle Festival taking place from 10am-4pm most Saturdays and…

Holiday Faire

10:00am

Listen to live music, eat delicious food, peruse goods by local artisans, take part in crafting workshops, visit the Snow Queen in her castle, watch an enchanting puppet play and more at an…

Holiday Tea

10:00am

Enjoy delicious treats, good company and the warmth of the season at a Holiday Tea taking place from 10am-4pm at Sudden Valley’s South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court, Gate 2. Entry is free.

Lynden Book Club

10:30am

Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns will be the subject of an Award-Winning Book Club discussion taking place from 10:30am-12pm at the Lynden Library, 216 4th St. All adults are…

John Walton Holiday Magic Shows

11:00am

Expect magic and humor at performances of “Mostly Magic with John Walton: A Holiday Tradition” at 11am, 2pm and 5pm at Mount Baker Theatre’s intimate Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.…

Pet Pictures with Santa

12:00pm

Dogs and cats are welcome at a “Pet Pictures with Santa” fundraiser from 12-4pm at Lynden’s Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, 1775 Front St. All proceeds will benefit Kulshan Veterinary…

Artists' Registry Show

12:00pm

Artists residing on San Juan, Orcas , nd Lopez islands will exhibit a diverse collection of artwork and sculpture in
clay, paint, wood, glass, textiles, mixed media and photography at the…

Fairhaven Holiday Festival

12:00pm

As part of the Fairhaven Holiday Festival, Santa will be visiting with families from 12-3pm in the lobby at the Fairhaven Village Inn, 1200 10th St. Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be…

Holiday Food Show

12:00pm

Enjoy samples of seasonal produce, sweet treats, dips and cheeses, entertaining items from the seafood and meat departments, and seasonal beverages at a “Holiday Food Show” taking place from…

Eat. Drink, and Be Merry

12:00pm

Area women are invited to an “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” event taking place from 12-8pm at Anderson Acres Barn, 5066 E. 26th Dr. (off Kelly Road). In addition to sampling delicious food and…

Holiday Jewels

1:00pm

The Mt. Baker-Fidalgo Youth Symphony presents its annual holiday concert, “Holiday Jewels,” at 1pm at Mount Vernon’s McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Audiences will enjoy traditional…

Holly Street History Tour

1:00pm

Guides will focus on a wide range of local lore—focusing specifically on the history of marginalized people in Bellingham, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community—at a…

Homes for the Holidays

1:00pm

Tour four beautifully decorated historic homes in Lynden from 1-5pm at the 18th annual “Homes for the Holidays” fundraiser. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance or at the venues…

Kids and Teens Holiday Gift Bazaar

2:00pm

Peruse handmade crafts and treats made by local youth at a Kids and Teens Holiday Gift Bazaar taking place from 2-4pm at the Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Hwy. Kids ages 5-17 can sell;…

International Human Rights Day

3:00pm

Middle East expert Raed Jarrar will be the featured speaker at an International Human Rights Day event taking place from 3-6pm at the WECU Education Building, 511 E. Holly St. The free…

Good Yule Feast

3:00pm

Enjoy a Norse Viking-themed winter evening at a “Good Yule Feast” taking place from 3-6pm at the Leopold Crystal Ballroom, 1124 Cornwall Ave. The event will feature a delicious themed feast,…

BUG Holiday Concert

3:00pm

The Bellingham Ukulele Orchestra shares seasonal songs at a Holiday Concert taking place from 3-4pm at the Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. Entry to the all-ages show is free.

Poetry Trio

4:00pm

Area poets will read from their collections at a group reading at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The wordsmiths include Ann Tweedy (The Body’s Alphabet), Risa Denenberg (Whirlwind @…

Gratitude Revolution Reception

4:00pm

Meet prayer wheel artist Chris Moench and peruse his “Gratitude Revolution” exhibit at a reception from 4-7pm at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave. Moench’s meditative creations will be on…

Holiday Brewers Boutique

4:00pm

Eighteen local artisans and businesses will share their wares at a Holiday Brewers Boutique taking place from 4-9pm at Kulshan’s K2 Taphouse, 1538 Kentucky St. Beer will be
served at the bar…

Lighted Boat Parade

5:00pm

La Conner residents and visitors can watch the annual Lighted Boat Parade from 5-6pm as it makes its way along the Swinomish Channel. Entry is free and open to all.

Christmas Sing-Along

7:00pm

Sing everything from traditional Christmas carols like “Silent Night” to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” when Backstage @ the Border hosts its seventh annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along…

Art Collaborations

7:00pm

Yoav Litvin shares stories and images from 2Create: Art Collaborations in New York City at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. This beautifully designed book showcases the work of nine pairs…

Fidalgo DanceWorks' Nutcracker

7:00pm

A cast of nearly 60 dancers from Fidalgo DanceWorks will bring Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, The Nutcracker, to life at performances at 7pm Saturday and 2:30pm Sunday at Anacortes High…

Edward Albee Reading Series

7:30pm

The second of three one-night-only performances of plays by the great American playwright Edward Albee—who passed away last September—happens at 7:30pm at the Studio Theater at the Sylvia…

Skagit Valley Chorale's Christmas Journeys

7:30pm

The Skagit Valley Chorale presents “Christmas Journeys” performances at 7:30pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. In addition to featuring music from around the…

Kulshan Chorus Winter Concert

7:30pm

Listen to the 107 voices of the 30-year-old Kulshan Chorus when the community choir presents its winter concert, “Light,” at 7:30pm at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Dustin…

Silk Road Soiree

8:00pm

Experience an evening of dazzling bellydance performances at a “Silk Road Winter Soiree” beginning at 8pm at Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave. Entry will be a suggested $5 donation at the…

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