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 25


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 Spitfire Grill: Performances of The Spitfire Grill conclude 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. 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 »

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. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Lynden Breakfast: All-you-can-eat pancakes, French toast, eggs, sausage, orange juice and coffee will be on the menu at a fundraising Pancake Breakfast from 8-10:30am at the Lynden Community Center, 401 Grover St. Entry is $3 for kids, $5 for adults. more »

Ferndale Pancake Breakfast: Attend a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am in Ferndale at the American Legion, 5537 Second Ave. The event is held on the fourth Saturday of every month—excluding July and December. more »

Earth Day Work Party: Join Whatcom Land Trust for its annual Earth Day Work Party from 9am-12pm in Maple Falls at Maple Creek Reach, 7600 Mt. Baker Hwy. Volunteers will be planting native trees and removing invasive plants, so dress appropriately (tools and gloves will be provided, as will snacks). Please RSVP. more »

NSEA Work Party: Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and Bellingham Parks to remove invasive plants at a Work Party from 9am-12 near Whatcom Creek at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. Park in the lot at the end of C Street and sign in at the blue NSEA tent. more »

Superhero Run/Walk: Heroes of all shapes and sizes can take part in the third annual "Superhero 5K Run/Walk" starting at 9am at Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Ave. Age group awards will be given following the race, as will awards for best costume (and everyone who beats the villain to the finish). Entry is $25-$35; proceeds allow low-income children in Bellingham the opportunity to play, grow and explore at day camps and after-school programs. more »

Everson Plant Sale: The Everson Garden Club will host a Plant Sale from 9am-1pm on the lawn of Everson Elementary School, 216 Everson-Goshen Rd. Perennials, natives, shrubs, small trees, veggie starts, specialty plants and crafts will also be available. more »

Island Chicks Vintage Market: The Island Chicks will host its Spring Vintage/Antiques Market from 9am-4pm at the Port of Anacortes, 100 Commercial Ave. More than 40 vendors will be showing and selling antiques, vintage, re-purposed/refreshed and handmade treasures for your home and garden at the popular event. Entry is $3 with a donated food item to the Anacortes Food Band, or $5 without. more »

International Planting Day: Celebrate International Planting Day from 9am-7pm at Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St. Bring containers from home—or purchase discounted ones there—and the staff will help you gather the right combination of plants and flowers. Labor and soil are free. more »

Happy Feet 5K: Enjoy scenic views and raise funds to help educate girls in Africa at the Happy Feet 5K starting at 10am at Lake Padden, 4882 Samish Way. Entry is $20; kids 12 and under fun free. Prizes will be given to those with the "happiest feet"—creative interpretations are rewarded. more »

Community Meal: Pizza, salad and ice cream sundaes will be on the menu at the bimonthly Community Meal taking place from 10am-12pm at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. Per usual, entry is free and open to all. more »

All About Solar: Attend an "All About Solar" workshop from 10am-12pm on Camano Island at the Camano Center, 606 Arrowhead Rd. From 12-2pm, there'll be a Solar Tour around the island. Maps will be available at the center. Entry is free. more »

Earth Day Planting Party: Celebrate Earth Day with the Skagit Land Trust and the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and help restore native riparian plants in the Skagit and Samish watersheds at a Spring Riparian Planting Party from 10am-2pm at the Utopia Conservation Area in Sedro-Woolley. Please RSVP to get directions to the site. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Peruse and purchase a plethora of locally grown produce, ready-to-eat foods, crafts and more at the Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm at the Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave. The market runs every Saturday through Dec. 19. more »

Library Tour: Discover a hidden fourth floor, take a peek into the "book hospital" and more at a "Behind the Scenes" tour from 10:30am-12pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Meet at the SkillShare space; entry is free and no registration is required. more »

Integrating Edibles: "Edible and Sustainable Landscaping" will be the focus of a free workshop taking place from 10:30am-12pm at Everson's Cloud Mountain Farm Center, 6906 Goodwin Rd. From 1-3:30pm, learn more about "Building a Home Hoop House." You'll go home with plans, a materials list and the experience of having built one yourself. Entry is $30. Please register in advance for the second workshop. more »

Children’s Book Signing: Authors Charity Parenzini and Nelson Gassmon will read from and sign their children's book The Day the Sock Circus Came to Town from 1-3pm in La Conner at the Faded Cover, 105 S. First St. more »

Children’s Book Signing: Authors Charity Parenzini and Nelson Gassmon will read from and sign their children's book The Day the Sock Circus Came to Town from 1-3pm in La Conner at the Faded Cover, 105 S. First St. more »

Old Wives’ Tales: The Burlington Historical Society will host "Old Wives' Tales: Burlington's History from the Women's Point of View" from 1:30-3:30pm at the Burlington Parks and Rec Building, 900 E. Fairhaven St. Three panelists will share memories of growing up in Burlington, family stories of Burlington’s early days, and what it was like living without today’s many modern conveniences. The stories promise to be entertaining and make history come alive. Entry to the all-ages event is free. more »

Ukulele Workshop & Show: Ralph "King of the Ukulele" Shaw will lead a ukulele workshop at 2pm at the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. At 4pm, audiences can show up for a concert by the brilliant showman. Entry is $25 for the workshop, $10 for the concert. more »

Photographic Legacy: View early 20th century, large-format images of the logging and railroad industries in the Pacific Northwest when Everson-based photographer Gary Meador leads a presentation on "Darius and Tabitha Kinsey: A Photographic Legacy" at 3pm at the Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Dr. Using Kinsey’s images of logging camps, railroads, and the enormous trees of the last century, Gary will draw on his own experience as a photographer to help us appreciate the Kinsey’s hard work and accomplishments. Entry more »

Pearl Django: Listen to the music of Django Reinhardt when Pearl Django returns to the area by popular demand as part of the Sudden Valley JazzFest series from 3-5:30pm at the Sudden Valley Dance Barn, 8 Barn View Dr. Tickets are $20; advance purchase is recommended. more »

Experience Arts Fest: The Rick Epting Foundation for the Arts hosts "The Experience Arts Fest" from 3-9pm at the Conway Muse, 18444 Spruce St. Performances and activities include comedic scenes from Shakespeare Northwest, storytelling by Theresa Vaughn, a mask workshop, music by the Atlantic, Kim Hargrove, the Stilly River Band and others, dance lessons, a crafts bazaar and more. Suggested donation is $10 per person or $20 per family. 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 »

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 »

Ballroom Dancing: All ages and levels of experience can attend "Ballroom Dancing" events from 6:30-9pm on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center, 315 Halleck St. The social dances feature traditional ballroom and swing music for foxtrot, east coast swing, waltz, nightclub two-step, cha cha, rumba, salsa, samba and more. Entry is $5. more »

Poetry Reading: In honor of National Poetry Month, local poets will share their wordy talents at a Firehouse Poetry Reading at 7pm at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Entry will be by donation at the door. more »

Island Geology: Western Washington University geology professor Ned Brown shares stories and slides from Geology of the San Juan Islands at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Brown provides detailed, approachable, full-color photos and diagrams to illuminate the complexities of these iconic islands. more »

Variety Show: Attend a Variety Show from 7-9pm at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State St. Entry is $5; funds raised will go to BAAY Choir's trip to perform at Carnegie Hall in June. more »

Contra Dance NYE Gala: Northern Contraband will provide live tunes and Seattle's Amy Wimmer will do the calling at the Bellingham Country Dance Society's Contra Dance happening from 7-10:30pm at Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. No experience or partner is needed. Entry is $6-$10. more »

Drag Show: The Mount Vernon Skagit Valley College Rainbow Alliance hosts its third annual "Drag Show" at 7:30pm at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Entry is free, but donations will be gladly accepted. more »

Kulshan Chorus: "Wanderings" will be the theme of a Kulshan Chorus concert at 7:30pm at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Tickets are $7-$16 and can be purchased in advance through the WWU box office, at the Community Food Co-op, and Village Books. more »

Goose Rock Hike: Join members of the Mount Baker Club for a hike to Deception Pass State Park's Goose Rock (an estimated 4.5 miles round-trip with a 900-foot elevation gain). Meet at 8:30am at Sunnyland Elementary to carpool. Suggested carpool donation is $10. more »

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