This Week's Cover


Summer Meltdown

As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the Summer

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This Week

The Gristle

Deflating Expectations

DEFLATING EXPECTATIONS: What a difference an economic downturn makes!

Bellingham City Council this week listened to extensive public comments but took no immediate action on estimating growth in the city’s population and employment over the next 20-year planning horizon. Staff presented four potential scenarios for City Council to debate, settle upon and forward to Whatcom County planners later this year.

Under the state’s Growth Management Act, counties and their cities are required to

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An Oasis of Quiet

Greenways levies fund Northridge Park


I walked into Northridge Park on a May morning when the sun was just starting to break through the night’s cloud cover, crossing the walkway from Magrath Road into the park.

The park is a mixed forest with an unusually large number of deciduous trees for northwest Washington, probably because this land was first clearcut and then likely harvested again. There may be some second growth, but most of the forest is probably mature third growth, with tall birch, alder, cottonwoods, bitter cherry

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Instant Gratification

Acting on impulse in America


What happens to society when instant gratification, once scorned as a sign of personal weakness, becomes the driving force in our political and economic life?

Paul Roberts, a journalist and author whose previous works include The End of Oil and The End of Food, has penned a call for self-examination of how our quest for the largest, quickest, most efficient rewards have long-term costs, both personally and globally.

In The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification, Roberts

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Block Party

Taking it to the streets


Although I’m an early riser, I am not the type of human who wakes up at the break of dawn in order to get my caboose to a mountain trail and spend the day hiking ever-upward to immerse my being in an alpine wonderland.

These days, my outdoor explorations tend to be more of the urban variety, as I’m of the opinion that watching humans in the throes of having a good time can be just as interesting as happening upon mating marmots in the wild.

This weekend, in fact, will lend itself well to

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On Stage

Park It

Join the circus, one more time

It was early June when Karl Meyer first contacted me about the possibility of including the Community Food Co-op’s annual Community Party in one of the Weekly’s upcoming issues.

As Community Outreach Coordinator for the longtime grocery store with a hyper-local focus, Meyer knows it’s best to contact media outlets early, give them a few reasons to cover the event, and follow up to ensure everybody’s got what they need.

Meyer did all that, and more. This year, a focal point of his missives

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Electric Beet Juice Co.

From Farm to Glass


Grabbing a handful of fresh clover sprouts, shredded carrots, basil, chives and tofu, Heidi Ormbrek stretches rice paper around the raw ingredients. The spring roll looks like it’s ready to burst. She carefully lays the colorful, opaque roll on a plate next to a bowl of sunflower butter sauce.

Ormbrek, 32, works at the Electric Beet Juice Company in the Bellingham Public Market. She is preparing to make a rice paper-wrapped spring roll. She dunks the wrapper in warm water and lays it down on a

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Mission: Impossible

Rogue Nation


At 53 years old, Tom Cruise is past the retirement age of every James Bond except Roger Moore. Yet his 19-year-old Mission: Impossible series ticks on, counting down the seconds till its next explosion—and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is determined to unman his cross-Atlantic competition. Forget high-tech gadgets. The older Cruise gets, the more he relies on his fists. (And his abs, and his nerves—he’ll never let you forget he does his own stunts, and why should he?) His body is the wonder-gizmo, and

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The Threshold Project

A global journey through glass


Can art save the world?

According to glassblower Christopher Morrison, it sure can’t hurt it.

That’s one reason “The Threshold Project,” Morrison’s exhibit opening Aug. 6 at Western Washington University’s Western Gallery, isn’t just about how the handblown glass sculptures that will be on display catch the light, or what they might look like being displayed in an admiring patron’s living room.

“The purpose of this art is to compel viewers into action, resulting in a movement toward

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Infinitely Polar Bear

A slightly skewed family portrait


Deeply personal and filled with love, Maya Forbes’ Infinitely Polar Bear is nonetheless a hard movie to watch—hard to watch comfortably. Based on her experiences growing up with a father who was in and out of institutions, diagnosed with manic depression, Forbes’ film throws a memoir-ish lasso around late-1970s Cambridge, Mass., where a family with a wildly careening dad, a mom trying to pursue a career, and two girls caught in the throes go about their lives.

Not an easy thing when Cam Stuart

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Summer Meltdown

Where the music meets the mountains


As always happens this time of year, thousands of people from Bellingham and beyond are anticipating, making plans and otherwise getting excited and gearing up for our local summer festival season.

Yes, the fact that we have more than one homegrown festival from which to choose is enough for me to characterize it as a “festival season,” never mind that “multiple festivals” is code for “two events that happen during the same weekend.”

Just like every year save for one, the Summer

Continue Reading »

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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Jul 31


Tractor and Machinery Show: The Puget Sound Antique Tractor & Machinery Association hosts its 44th annual "Tractor and Machinery Show" from 7am-7pm Wednesday through Friday, and 7am-4pm Saturday at Lynden's Berthusen Park, 8836 Berthusen Rd. Daily events include threshing bees, sawmill demos, gas engines, tractor pulling, antique vehicles, a bookstore, corn grinding, blacksmithing, an adult pedal tractor pull, activities for kids and more. Entry is $3-$7. more »

Movement Graffiti: New dance works by choreographers Nolan Hoppe-Leonard, Tara Reiter, Eli Madsen, Cassandra Howlet, and Artistic Director Nolan Dennett can be seen at "Movement Graffiti: Dance Theater" performances at 7:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday, at Western Washington University's Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Entry to see the impressionistic works is $6-$10. more »

Shakespeare Northwest: Audiences can view Shakespeare Northwest's version of The Noble Kinsmen, a comedic tale about two cousins who are vying for the affection of the same maiden, at 7pm Thursday at Mount Vernon's Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheater, 19299 Rexville Grange Rd. Romeo & Juliet shows at 7pm Friday, and from 1-9pm Saturday, "Iron Man" features the two plays, plus a showing of the ensemble's traveling show, "Shakespeare's Wonderland." Tickets are $10-$12 for the regular shows, $30 to attend "Iron Man." more »

Office Hours: Local playwright Brian Toews' Office Hours premieres this week with showings at 7:30pm at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The play is inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Medea, and tells the story of the personal and professional fall of a distinguished English professor at a prestigious liberal arts university. Tickets are $10-$12 and additional showings take place Aug. 6-8. P.S. Due to adult language, viewer discretion is advised. more »

Three Times a Bridesmaid: The world premiere or Three Times a Bridesmaid continues this weekend with shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The original play by ACT's Willow McLaughlin focuses on the dilemma of an engaged woman as she recounts the many trials, tribulations and farcical tragedies in weddings she has participated in. Tickets are $18 and additional showings happen through Aug. 15. more »

MBT Summer Rep: Joe Dipietro's The Last Romance, Neil Simon's Jakes's Women, and Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities, continue this week at showings at 7:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, 3pm Sunday, and 7:30pm Tuesday as part of the MBT Summer Rep at the Mount Baker Theatre's Walton Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets are $25. The plays show in repertory through Aug. 9. more »

Marrowstone Music Festival: Orchestral and chamber music rehearsals, master classes, and professional performances for the public will be part of the 72nd annual Marrowstone Music Festival taking place from July 26-Aug. 9 at Western Washington University. Students ages 14-25 come from more than 30 states and several countries to study with internationally acclaimed faculty. Public concerts take place July 30 and Aug. 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9. Prices vary. more »

Bard on the Beach: Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors plays in repertory with King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, and Shakespeare's Rebel at the 26th annual "Bard on the Beach" through September at Vancouver BC's Vanier Park, 1695 Whyte Ave. Tickets are $26-$45. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection; many performances sell out in advance. more »

Boating Center Open: The Community Boating Center is open from 12pm to sunset on weekdays, and 10am to sunset on weekends through the summer at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and paddle boards. Registration for youth camps and adult classes are currently available online. more »

Sin & Gin Tours: Learn more about the history of vice and sin that helped make the foundation of our urban locales what they are today at the annual "Sin & Gin Tours" at 7pm Friday in Fairhaven next to Skylark's Hidden Cafe (1308 11th St.) and 7pm Saturday at the Bureau of Historical Investigation (217 W. Holly St.). Tickets to take part in the historical tours are $15 general and $19 with a drink. Tours take place weekends through Aug. 29. more »

The Little Prince: The Neighborhood Playhouse presents showings of The Little Prince at 7pm Friday and 2pm and 5pm Saturday at the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St. The culminating performance of the ensemble's summer drama camp for experienced young actors features six student actors ranging in age from 11-17. Suggested donation to see the budding thespians is $5 at the door. more »

An Improvised Musical: Improvised scenes, songs, choreography and more can be experienced when "An Improvised Musical" shows for the final weekend at 9pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. . more »

Mount Baker Blues Festival: Midlife Crisis and the Alimony Horns, Popa Chubby, the Naughty Blokes, the Fat Tones, Scott Holt, Hundred Seventy Split, Foghat, Nick Vigarino, Junkyard Jane, and Ana Popovic will be among the talent performing at the 20th annual Mount Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival taking place Friday through Sunday at the Deming Log Show Grounds, 3295 Cedarville Rd. Day passes are $65-$70; a weekend pass is $135 (includes camping and showers). more »

Studio Swap Meet: Allied Arts of Whatcom County will host a "Studio Sweep" from 9am-4pm Friday through Sunday at the old location of Dakota Arts, 1415 Cornwall Ave. The swap meet is open to all and gives artists an opportunity to clean out their excess paint brushes, canvas, pottery supplies, easels, drawing materials, textiles, beads, tools, studio seconds, prints, fine art pieces, musical instruments, costumes, etc. Entry to pay for booth spaces is $35 after July 29 ($20-$30 before then). more »

Plover Ferry: The Plover ferry runs through the summer from 12-8pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor's Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor. Suggested donation for the excursions is $1 for kids and $5 for adults. more »

Wild Things: Kids, adults and adventurers can join Wild Whatcom Walks for a "Wild Things" excursion from 9:30-11am at North Lake Whatcom Park. Entry is by donation. more »

Children’s Craft Fair: Peruse a wide array of crafts and baked goods made by area youth at the 47th annual Children's Craft Fair taking place from 11am-1pm on the lawn of the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. All items will be priced at $4 or less. more »

Food Truck Friday: Papous Gyros will be in attendance at today's "Food Truck Friday" event from 11:30am-1:30pm at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St. Entertainment by the hula-hooping Ms. B, , lawn games and more will be part of the event. more »

VIGIL FOR PEACE: Join the longest-running Peace Vigil in the country—48 years and counting—from 4-5pm every Friday afternoon at the corners of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. more »

Waldo Party: Attend a "Find Waldo in Fairhaven" celebration at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The event wraps up the monthlong scavenger hunt that took place in the historic district, and will include games, prizes to those who took part in the 25-store search, eat treats and find a real-live Waldo hiding in the store. The wearing of red stripes and glasses is encouraged. Entry is free. more »

Farm Tunes: Gentri Watson performs at a "Friday Fish Fry, Farm Tunes, & Old Fashioneds" event from 6-8pm at BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. The free series takes place Fridays through Oct. 2. more »

Riverwalk Concert Series: Bobby Holland and the Breadline perform as part of a Riverwalk Summer Concert Series from 6-8pm at Riverwalk Park in historic downtown Mount Vernon. The free concerts will be held every Thursday through Aug. 27. more »

Salmon Sail: Combine your tastes for adventure and delicious food at a weekly three-hour "Bellingham Bay Salmon Dinner Sail" aboard the Schooner Zodiac leaving at 6pm from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Tickets are $59 for kids and $79 for adults. more »

Salmon Dinner Sail: Combine your tastes for adventure and delicious food at a weekly three-hour "Bellingham Bay Salmon Dinner Sail" aboard the Schooner Zodiac leaving at 6pm from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Tickets are $59 for kids and $79 for adults. more »

Library Lock-In: Middle- and high-schoolers can sign up for "Teen Library Lock-In Madness" taking place from 6-9pm at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St. The students are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters and enjoy games, crafts, pizza and more. Please sign up in advance for the free event. more »

Beer & Brats: Hemplers bratwurst, Kulshan Brewery beer and locally made buns can be had at the weekly "Beers & Brats" evening cruise leaving at 6:30pm from the Island Mariner's slip at Squalicum Harbor, 2621 S. Harbor Loop Dr. Entry is $35. more »

Swing Dance with the BYJB: The Bellingham Youth Jazz Band (BYJB) presents a benefit Swing Dance from 7-9pm at the Bellingham Senior Activities Center, 315 Halleck St. This all-ages dance is open to the public, with donations supporting the BYJB and Whatcom County Parks, which provides rehearsal space for this group. Complimentary food and drink will be provided by BYJB parents. more »

Friday Night Dance Party: A mix of swing, Latin and ballroom will be highlighted and danced to with an introductory lesson at the weekly Friday Night Dance Party from 7:30-10pm at the Bellingham Dance Company, 1705 N. State St. Admission is $5-$7. more »

Moon Walk: Area women are invited to join Wild Whatcom Walks for a "Blue Moon Special" full moon walk happening from 7:30-10:30pm at a beachfront Whatcom County locale (which will be revealed after you reserve a spot on the outing). Entry is by donation. Expect natural history info, walking/mild hiking, wildlife observation during a solo experience and a sharing circle. more »

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