Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Oak Harbor Music Festival

It takes an island

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Not far away lies a music festival. One that takes please each year during Labor Day weekend. One that features a diverse array of artists playing on multiple stages, and focuses on art as well as music. One where you can spend a single day or devote your entire weekend to its offerings. One that’s free and open to everyone. One at which trying to park won’t take a bite out of your wallet and years off your life.

Toto, I don’t think we’re talking about Bumbershoot anymore.…

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Fun in the Sun

Picnic at Point Whitehorn

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

“Now this is my kind of trail,” the Lady of the House fawned as we breezed across the first of many elevated walkways that help mediate the established access route from the parking area to the beach at Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve. 

“Glad to hear it,” I said, struggling to maintain my composure as the cloying heft of our overstuffed picnic backpack began to wobble and sag against my right shoulder blade.

“If it makes you happy, it makes me happy,” I added with a…

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Empire Alehouse

Back on the scene in Skagit

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mount Vernon is a good town for pubs, and there are plenty of them. For years, one of the cornerstone pubs of downtown was the Empire Alehouse, and there was much lamentation when the owner decided to retire and put it up for sale last year. Therefore there was much rejoicing when the Empire reopened earlier this summer under new management.

Over the years, the Empire’s space has grown. The original no-minors barroom, with doors opening onto Gates Street, is dark and cozy. The wood…

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On Stage

Culture Club

Fiesta for Cuba

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Among the many things Stephanie Morrero misses when she and her husband Yoel leave Trinidad, Cuba and return to Bellingham is the constant music and dancing that can be found on the Caribbean island.

“I miss the people out and about anytime, anyplace,” Morrero says. “I miss the warmth of the sun, the culture and the people. I miss my family. I miss Havana Club rum, too. I don’t miss not having instant access to internet, to stores, to transportation. I don’t miss the daily…

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Island Insights

A good reason for a getaway

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I have often retreated to the relative peace and quiet of our family’s cabin on Lummi Island when the real world gets to be too much to handle. Examples include the second time George W. Bush was elected president; when I got the news my 98-year-old grandmother had passed away; and avoiding pretty much any holiday that involves large amounts of people driving to and fro.

With Labor Day weekend on the immediate horizon, I’m once again considering vamoosing to the land mass. While it’s…

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'The Mother of All Risks'

Insurance giants call to stop bankrolling fossil fuels

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Warning that climate change amounts to the “mother of all risks,” three of the world’s biggest insurance companies this week are demanding that G20 countries stop bankrolling the fossil fuels industry.

Multi-national insurance giants Aviva, Aegon, and Amlin, which together manage $1.2 trillion in assets, released a statement this week calling on the leaders of the world’s biggest economies to commit to ending coal, oil, and gas subsidies within four years.

“Climate change in…

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Hammock Time

An end-of-summer reading list

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I’ve spent much of the past three months working on various house and yard projects and gazing longingly at the hammock in the backyard from afar. With the countdown to the end of summer nearly upon us, I’m planning to put down the paintbrushes and yard implements and re-read a few books from the comfort of the outdoor hangout. I looked to a “Best Beach Books Ever” poll NPR listed a few years back for inspiration on my yesteryear quest, and found a few gems.

Since acquiring a Kindle,…

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Yoga Hosers

Pass the dutchie

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kevin Smith‘s Yoga Hosers is a flabby, goofy, comically inert cartoon that pits two teen clerks against Canadian Nazis and little creatures made of sausage.

Much like his prior film Tusk, which was born from a podcast, this movie has the vibe of a stoned conversation splashed on the screen. Smith is making movies for himself (which can be admirable) and seemingly for extended and in-joke-aware fans.

Yoga Hosers is Smith doing an ’80s teen comedy, but its primary comic voice is…

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Miss Sharon Jones!

The soul of a soul singer

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Miss Sharon Jones? Though the actual title for the soul singer’s soul-bearing docu-portrait ends with an emphatic, life-affirming exclamation point, audiences could be forgiven for phrasing it as a question instead: Just who is this tiny musical dynamo, who finds the energy not only to thrash and shimmy like a pint-sized Tina Turner onstage but also to battle it out with pancreatic cancer behind the scenes—and more importantly, why haven’t we heard of her before?

For those who know…

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The Gristle
A Matter of Equity

A Matter of Equity: In the fierce cyclonic thunderstorm of a heated petroleum industry, there is perhaps an eye of calm and equilibrium.

Whatcom County was scheduled to appear in Olympia this week to defend against what might’ve been the largest property tax reassessment in county…

Northwood Steak and Crab
Truth and Consequences

Truth: Hillary Clinton is truth-challenged
Consequences: Even her supporters question her honesty.
Truth: As Secretary of State she…

Orwellian doublethink

Seems that “the Donald” (“the Bad Hairdo” and “the Orange-Faced Monster” were already taken) is accusing Hillary Clinton of being…

When it rains, it pours

In the United States, mostly in southern states, there have been eight “500-year” precipitation events in the past 15 months! Bellingham Farmer’s Market

Today's Events
Bard on the Beach


William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, and Pericles are currently showing in repertory as part of the 27th “Bard on the Beach” season at Vancouver, BC’s…

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,…

All-Paces Run


Staff and volunteers are always on hand to guide the way at the weekly All-Paces Run starting at 6pm every Tuesday at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. The runs are 20 minutes out and back on…

Hiking Basics


Learn about trip planning, essential items, equipment, safety precautions, local resources and places to go and more at a “Hiking Basics” presentation at 6pm at REI, 400 36th St. Register in…

Final History Sunset Cruise


Join Whatcom Museum’s final “History Sunset Cruise” outing of the season at 6:15pm leaving from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Historians are at the helm of the educational…

Final BIFT


Upfront Theatre improvisors will present two sets of short-form improv comedy games at the final Beer + Improv + Food Truck (BIFT) show at 6:30pm at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery,…

Skagit Folk Dancers


Join the Skagit-Anacortes Folk Dancers for a weekly International Folk Dancing event from 7-9:30pm at Bayview Civic Hall, 12615 C St. No partners are needed; just show up and dance. Entry to…

Amnesty International Meeting


Join the local chapter of Amnesty International for a 7pm meeting in the upstairs dining area of the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Tonight’s gathering will be part of …

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