Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Election Reflections

‘Perfect storm’ hits district deemed safe for GOP

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Some Said it couldn’t be done.

A Democrat can’t win Washington state’s 42nd Legislative District, which consists of Whatcom County but carves out the county’s southwest corner, from State Street in south Bellingham to South Fork Valley. No Democrat had won there since Kelli Linville in 2008, and the part of Bellingham that is inside the 42nd shrunk after the 2010 census.

Recent history has shown the conservative rural vote will overwhelm the liberal urban vote in a district…

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Snow School

Where science meets winter

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I love the anticipation of winter—the ski-film fests, the patrol fundraisers, the dusting of snow on ridges. But at this moment, hoping for snow so I can ski powder seems pretty darn trivial. Luckily, something more meaningful is behind that wish.

Mt. Baker Snow School is where powder day perma-grin and “we can make a difference” warm fuzzies intersect. We don’t have control over freezing levels, precipitation amounts or high-pressure systems, but we can effect change in…

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Welcome to the 20th century

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We live in a time when all past artistic styles are relevant and flourish. In two Skagit Valley galleries through November, the spirit of 20th century abstraction lives on in the work of the late Joseph Goldberg, of Harrington, Washington, and Amy Carson of La Conner.

Goldberg’s work at i.e. gallery in Edison reveals the joy and sadness of this secretive artist, who was important enough to have been memorialized in a University of Washington monograph, Joseph Goldberg, Jeweled…

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Fall Fare

A Thanksgiving test run

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Every fall, I wait until the temperatures drop before heading to the Bellingham Farmers Market to purchase locally grown garlic for planting purposes.

After waking up to a light frost last Saturday morning, I knew the time had come, and made my way to the Depot Market Square to suss out the offerings. Once again, the wide variety of produce at Rabbit Fields Farm’s booth won my heart, and I soon secured two-plus pounds of Spanish Roja, a hardneck variety of heirloom garlic I’ve grown…

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On Stage

Standup Stars

Seattle International Comedy Competition

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By the time the 10 semifinalists taking part in the 39th annual Seattle International Comedy Competition make their way to the area for a Sat., Nov. 17 show at the Mount Baker Theatre, they’ll have already shown they have what it takes to rise to the top of the comedic crop.

From the first round of preliminaries that took place Thurs., Nov. 2 at Seattle’s Unexpected Productions until the final show Sun., Nov. 25 at the Comedy Underground, the 32 performers who made the initial cut…

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Pedro the Lion

You can go home again

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

David Bazan has always been a conflicted man.

The Seattle songwriter has made a name for himself by laying his soul bare, detailing his struggles with religion, capitalism, love, booze, existential doubt and his place in the world—among other things. He’s performed this intense public examination for all of his musical life. We first came to know him and his brand of self-confessional angst as the leader of Pedro the Lion, then when he decided to sunset that band in 2006, Bazan went…

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Crossword Clues

The clues to this week’s crossword puzzle

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By error, the wrong clues were attached to this week’s crossword puzzle. We regret the error.

“Free Reign”—another freestyle for everyone.
Matt Jones

1 Competition with bonus questions
9 “Let’s do this!”
14 Buster’s stance, maybe
16 MacGowan of the Pogues
17 “Animal” band whose name was inspired by In-N-Out Burger signage
18 Staves (off)
19 Word after fake or spray
20 “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Ferrer
21 Mid-sized string ensemble
22 “... so long ___ both shall live”
24 ___…

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Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
The Divisions Between Us

THE DIVISIONS BETWEEN US: With margins continuing to narrow and automatic recounts in last week’s election assured as supporters for all candidates chase remaining ballots that were unsigned or improperly submitted or otherwise spoiled, the takeaway lesson for Whatcom County is (once…

Amy Goodman
Making election firsts last

“Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and dreamer who helped make this movement happen,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to the ecstatic crowd that packed the election night party celebrating her victorious run for Congress.…

Trove Web
Contemplating end of life

My husband and I are retired healthcare workers who are always open to new ideas and new perspectives on this great adventure of living and dying. Because of that curiosity, I was pleased…

A matter of life and death

La Crosse, Wisconsin, is the healthcare advance directives capital of the world. That’s a verifiable fact.
Advance directives lay out and document wishes for end-of-life care, and designate…

Direct instruction defines basic education

Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute defines direct instruction (or basic education) simply as “just plain teaching” when one studies current methods of teaching in public schools here…

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Today's Events
Birding Adventures


Skagit Guided Adventures hosts “Birding for Kids” and “Birding for Seniors” excursions from 9am-12pm and 1-4pm on a daily basis through March. Prices vary; binoculars will be…

Free Appliance Pickup


In celebration of National Recycle Day, Appliance Depot will pick up large appliances today for free if you live within the city limits of Bellingham or Ferndale. Arrange a pickup in advance…

Parkinson's Dance Class


Pam Kuntz leads a dance class for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement or neurological disorders at 10am at Ballet Bellingham, 1405 Fraser St., suite #103. Entry is free. No…

Hattie Strother Chapter 1514 Meeting


All are welcome at a Hattie Strother Chapter 1514 meeting from 12:30-3pm at the Pickett House Museum, 910 Bancroft St. Attendees will learn about the variety of irons that are part of the…

Teen Tech Tutors


The first “Teen Tech Tutors” event of the season takes place from 4-6pm at the Burlington Public Library, 820 E. Washington Ave. The monthly gathering connects adults with teen volunteers for…

Home for the Holidays


Handmade items crafted in the Pacific Northwest by talented artisans, home decor, gourmet foods and more can be found at the 37th annual “Home for the Holidays” event from 5-9pm Thursday,…

Jazz Jam


The Jazz Project’s Jud Sherwood hosts a rotating house trio featuring top-flight local and regional musicians at a Jazz Jam happening from 5:30-8:30pm Thursdays at Illuminati Brewing, 3950…

Pub Run


Join BBay Running for a Pub Run starting at 6pm at Illuminati Brewing, 3950 Hammer Dr.  At the weekly event, BBay Ambassadors safely guide each pace group during the 3- to 5-mile runs, which…

Bistro Classics


Join Karina Davidson in an exploration of iconic dishes of the French food canon at a “Classics of the Bistro” course taking place from 6:30-9pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315…

An Evening with Anne Lamott


As part of a “Booked at the Baker” series, bestselling author Anne Lamott presents her latest book, Almost Everything: Notes on Joy, at 7pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.…

You Can't Take It With You


Bellingham High School Drama Club presents Hart and Kaufman’s heartwarming classic, You Can’t Take It with You, at 7pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7pm Saturday at the school’s…

Bhutan Travelogue


Psychologist Anne Marie Tietjen and anthropologist John Barker will present images and stories from six months in Bhutan at a “Health and Happiness in Bhutan” Travelogue from 7-9pm at Whatcom…

Balkan Folk Dancers


The Balkan Folk Dancers meet from 7-9:30pm Thursdays at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. There is teaching early in the evening, and no experience or partner is necessary as most dances…

The Devil's Slide


Western Washington University Master of Geology candidate Geoffrey Malick leads a presentation on “The Devil’s Slide: Catastrophic Landslides in the South Fork Valley” at 7pm in Deming at the…



Attend the Bellingham Circus Guild’s monthly uncensored variety show, “Vaudevillingham,” at 7pm (family-friendly) and 9pm (anything goes) performances at the Cirque Lab, 1401 6th St.,…

9 to 5, the Musical


Come see three strong and dedicated women of character turn their lives—and everybody’s elses’s—around for the better when Squalicum High School Drama presents performances of 9 to 5,…

Seven Supermans


Sean Walbeck directs Whatcom Community College students in performances of Rinne Groff’s Seven Supermans— a spoof of the movies Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven—at 7:30pm Thursday…

Waiting for Godot


Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece of existentialism, Waiting for Godot, concludes this week with showings at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, 205 Prospect St.…

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Watch “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” at 7:30pm every Thursday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 9:30pm, stick around for “The Project.” Entry is $8 for the early show, $5 for the late…

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