Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Light shows and mistletoe

A Christmas state of mind

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

So far this holiday season, I have decked no halls, I have trimmed zero trees, all of my bells remain unjingled, and I have engaged in no reindeer games.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say that because of life or existential angst or whatever that I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit and I just want to bah humbug the whole holiday.

Slow down, Santa. I am not that kind of elf.

I suffer from no lack of Christmas spirit. I have an abundance of it. I’ve purchased two…

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First Congregational Church

To Market

Sights of the season

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

As the daylight hours shrink to the length of long winter naps on the seemingly never-ending journey to the solstice,  it’s helpful to seek out color and light whenever and wherever possible.

For example, on a recent soggy Saturday I made my way to the Bellingham Farmers Market on an annual sojourn to procure locally grown garlic for backyard planting purposes. It was raining and chilly, but as soon as I walked into the Depot Market Square, I instantly felt a thaw.

The temperature…

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Champions of Yes

Join the Jingle Bell Run

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

You might not know it by looking at them, but Karen Klokkevold and Brittany Western have a lot in common.

One thing the two women share is that they are both living with arthritis. Klokkevold was diagnosed with aggressive osteoarthritis in both of her hips in her mid-30s, and had her first total hip replacement when she was just 39. Western was only nine when she was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

As honorees of the annual Bellingham Jingle Bell Run who were chosen…

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First Congregational Church
On Stage

The Nutcracker

A ballet with legs

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

When it comes to the intricacies of The Nutcracker, Northwest Ballet Theater’s John Bishop is the man to go to with questions. As the artistic director, choreographer and wrangler of Sugar Plum Fairies since the company’s first performance nearly 20 years ago, Bishop is a man with a plan—and a vision.

Cascadia Weekly: What’s exciting about this year’s production?

John Bishop: A magical growing Christmas tree, giant catapulting mousetrap, an exploding cannon, falling snowflakes and…

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btown holiday

Skagit Scene

In the Valley of Mystic Light

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

One of the attributes of the Skagit “mystic” artists has been their bare-bones lifestyle. And so, recently at La Conner’s Skagit County Historical Museum, four artists were asked how living off the grid influenced their art, and did they accept the label of “mystic?”

Claire Swedberg, co-author with Rita Hupy of In the Valley of Mystic Light, moderated the panel discussion. Karen Summers chose splendid examples of the leading artists’ works for the eponymous exhibit.


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btown holiday

Word Up

A week of poetry

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

In any given week, Bellingham plays host to a variety of events related to poetry—whether it’s readings by locally or nationally known scribes, open mics or a slew of contests related to the written word. This week is no different. Read on for a few suggestions about how you can get involved.

If you’re scrolling through this paragraph on the day of our newspaper’s publication, there’s still time to be in the audience when the winners of Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center’s annual…

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btown holiday

Final Round

Bellingham a finalist in national energy competition

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bellingham has advanced with nine other cities to the final round of competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, which recognizes top performing communities for increasing energy efficiency and reducing municipal and household energy budgets. The winner—to be announced this month—will earn $5 million to fund their “dream project.”
Bellingham is among a number of cities and counties that have advanced to the last round of the national competition that rethinks the way…

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btown holiday

Tragedy Girls

Clueless meets Carrie

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ever since Scream evolved from an affectionate send-up of horror genre tropes into a genuine money-minting franchise, there have been nearly as many tongue-in-cheek slasher movie homages as actual slasher movies, all too many of which were content to simply mimic the idiosyncrasies of their Reagan Era influences, rather than do something interesting with them. In that sense, Tyler MacIntyre’s Tragedy Girls serves as a welcome tonic, and one of the freshest, funniest horror-comedies to…

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First Congregational Church
Best of Bellingham
Best Band

The Wednesdays

Music scenes, including ours, have traditionally been boys’ clubs—but the Wednesdays win in this category is a welcome indication of a change that has been a long time in coming. Unabashedly feminist and unapologetically political, the Wednesdays are making music with a message—and people are listening. With a motto of “Dismantling the patriarchy by day, playing basement blues punk by night,” coupled with an electrifying live show, the Wednesdays are making their mark and making it count.

See all the winners »
The Gristle

UTILITY: With two known and reliable voices set to go silent as those members’ terms expire at the end of this month, Whatcom County Council laid out an ambitious schedule this week as their legislative year comes to an end. Among these actions was discussion and (long overdue) action to…

Robert Reich
The true path to prosperity

It’s often thought that Democrats care about fairness and not economic growth, while Republicans care about growth even at the cost of some fairness.

Rubbish. Growth and fairness aren’t opposites. In reality, Democrats are the party of economic growth and fairness. Republicans are the…

Diplomacy is our best option

Donald Trump has long been an opponent of the nuclear deal with Iran. His impending decision to decertify the deal contradicts the international consensus that the agreement is working and…

Not O.K.

Hallelujah and about time! Why are people surprised about national manhandling and sexual abuse?
It is past time for open discussion about a cultural problem. Rules and retribution have their…

The connectedness of community

My son and his family recently relocated to Bellingham from Florida. This past week, a letter from the Bellingham Police Department came to him, care of my address, which he is temporarily…

Village Books
Today's Events
Holiday Festival of the Arts


More than 100 local artists and craftspeople will show and sell their creative wares as part of Allied Arts’ 38th annual “Holiday Festival of the Arts” from 10am-7pm daily through Christmas…

Santa's in Town


For the 35th 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…

Community Holiday Sing-Along


Ferndale High School’s concert and swing choirs will host a Community Holiday Sing-Along at 6:30pm at the high school’s headquarters at 5830 Golden Eagle Dr. Suggested donation is $5; funds…

Slavic Gospel Youth Choir


Enjoy an evening of traditional Russian and Ukrainian Christmas songs performed by the Slavic Gospel Church Youth Choir at 6:30pm at the Mount Vernon City Library, 315 Snoqualmie St. In…

Books on Tap


South Whatcom Library manager Brian Hulsey will lead a “Books on Tap” discussion from 6:30-8pm at Sudden Valley’s El Agave 2, 4 Clubhouse Circle, gate 2. This month’s meeting focuses on…



Those looking to share their creative verse as part of Poetrynight can sign up at 7:45pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Readings start at 8pm. Entry is by donation.



A weekly open mic for comedians, “Guffawingham!,” takes place at 9:30pm every Monday at the Green Frog, 1015 N. State St. Entry is free. Each week, the event features approximately 20…

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