Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Panopticon

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

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This Week

The Gristle

On the Spectrum

ON THE SPECTRUM: In a convoluted and disappointing process, Bellingham City Council last week overrode the objections of vocal critics and amended the Sunnyland neighborhood plan to include a variety of housing forms on a four-acre parcel formerly owned by the state Dept. of Transportation, the DOT property known as Area 8 in the neighborhood plan.

Concerned that hazy zoning could permit the development of a garish, out-of-character apartment complex, the Sunnyland Neighborhood Association in

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News

Panopticon

Can cameras help police the police?

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

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News

Panopticon II

City attempts to settle wire complaint

Police broke the law. It may take a jury to determine how badly police broke it.

Prosecutors and drug task force officers readily admit inadequate records were maintained for an electronic surveillance that was part of a 2011 drug arrest. In March of that year, Bellingham resident Todd Newlun delivered more than three pounds of marijuana to Washington State Patrol Agent Brent Hanger, working undercover with Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF). Newlun was arrested in Sudden Valley at

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Music

The Beach Boys

They get around

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How do you get people to engage you in a decade-plus-long musical argument that they will pursue with the kind of dogged determination usually reserved for solving cold cases or making it to the end of Infinite Jest? Simply posit that you believe the Beach Boys to be the best American band of all time.

For some reason, either because no one wants to believe the Beach Boys could be worthy of such an honor (sacrilege!) or because they don’t like truth and facts and things that are factually

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News

Panopticon

Can cameras help police the police?

They may carry an arsenal of expensive military grade hardware, but a $900 gadget might just be a cop’s best friend: a camera.

Today’s armored policeman is a product of evolving concepts in response to crime. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon’s War on Drugs, Reagan’s War on Poverty, Clinton’s COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and

Continue Reading »

Food

The Woolley Market

Building community around food

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Sedro-Woolley, despite being surrounded by fertile Skagit Valley farmland, has never been known as a food town. Few restaurants and only a single grocery store have resulted in residents heading to Mount Vernon or even farther for shopping and dining. That’s beginning to change, thanks to a new business now anchoring the corner of Metcalf and State streets in the downtown core. The Woolley Market, which opened in the old JC Penney building in late July, has the air of a place that is already a

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Words

Kicking and Burning

Booking time in Bellingham

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Despite being dragged into the 21st century whining and bellowing, I’ve recently become a Kindle addict who blows through ebooks with alacrity.  Recently, however, I found myself in possession of two “real”  books—you know, the kind with pages that actually make a noise when they turn. In addition to the solid heft they added to my reading experience, both authors will also visit Bellingham in the near future, making the experience that much more, well, real.

First in the queue was a new

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Outdoors

Kyuquot Adventure

Fun on a freighter

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The cruise was billed as an “adventure.”

By the time the hawser wrapped around the propeller and everything had come to a stop, we had sailed on the motor vessel Uchuck III for two glorious days along Vancouver Island’s west coast. It had looked like we would arrive back at Gold River on schedule.

We passengers had seen sea otters, spouting whales, harbor seals, sea lions, eagles and high, snow-capped peaks above narrow fjords, which rival anything in New Zealand or Norway. 

Gold

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Visual

Public Painters

Area artists take to the streets

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Every August for the past eight years, dozens of artists have taken to the streets of downtown Bellingham to spend one of the last Saturdays of the summer painting in public as part of the Plein Air Paint Out (PAPO). They’ll do so again this Sat., Aug. 23.

Spearheaded by Studio UFO’s Trish Harding, the reason for the popular event is twofold; in addition to drawing attention to the plethora of artists who live and work in Whatcom County and beyond, the event also gives the participants

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On Stage

Dancing for Dollars

Saints and sweets at iDiOM fundraiser

Typically, one has to be dead, holy and the focus of a miracle or two in order to be considered for sainthood. All I had to do to achieve benediction was agree to host a fundraising party for the iDiOM Theater in my house and backyard.

I’m not waiting around for a papal blessing to crow about my saintly status, either. It’s written in capital letters on the printed invitations to the “Desserts and Dancing” gathering happening Friday, Aug. 22, and that’s good enough for me.

Truth be told, I

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Film

Life After Beth

True love never dies

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For those wondering if there’s any fresh meat left to chew on in zombie cinema, relationship comedy Life After Beth answers a resounding yes. Blending smart fantasy elements, broad comedy, tender romance and an atypically slow-burning apocalypse, the directorial debut of I Heart Huckabees co-writer Jeff Baena is charming, thoughtful and laugh-out-loud funny.

The film opens with a very much alive Beth (Aubrey Plaza) hiking in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, before immediately cutting to

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Film

Land Ho

A charming odd couple

Calling something a feel-good film always feels like a pejorative, so let’s just say that after seeing Land Ho! you are very likely to feel a good deal better.

This rather unassuming film is a bit like an amiable Iceland travelogue with plentiful shots of the country’s stunning landscape and two aging gents as tour guide—one randy and gregarious, the other refined and reticent.

But don’t be misled by its simple premise. Land Ho! is full of surprises, rich in the way it noses around the rocky

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Today

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Aug 23

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Summer Book Sale: A Summer Book and Media Sale takes place from 10am-6pm Thursday and Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday, at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. P.S. On Saturday, you can score the goods for $4 per bag. more »

Syre Education Center Open: See the Whatcom Museum's 500-plus bird collection and special education exhibits—like Northwest Coast First Nations, Pioneer Life, and Logging—from 12-5pm every Thursday through Sunday through Sept. 12 at the museum's Syre Education Center, 201 Prospect St. A number of bird-related events will also be taking place. more »

Bard on the Beach: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream will play in repertory with the Bard's The Tempest and Cymbeline, and Bill Cain's Equivocation, during the 25th annual "Bard on the Beach" season through Sept. 20 at Vancouver, B.C.'s Vanier Park. Tickets are $33-$47 (Canadian). more »

Boating Center Open: All are welcome to check out the Community Boating Center, which is open for the summer season at its headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. (near the Amtrak Station). Upcoming classes and excursions include bioluminescence paddles, introductions to sea kayaking, sunset paddles, dinghy sailing 101, full moon paddles, paddleboarding 101, and more. Boat rentals and storage and moorage are also available. Check the website for times and prices. more »

Ferndale Street Festival: Live music, a car show, various food outlets, vendors of many trades, a beer and wine tent, activities for kids and much more will be part of the annual Ferndale Street Festival happening from 6-11:30pm friday and 10am-11:30pm Saturday in downtown Ferndale. Local restaurants and retail stores will also get in on the action with plenty of specials and sales. Entry is free. more »

Sacred Alchemy Festival: Attend the inaugural Sacred Alchemy Festival from 10am-10pm Friday, 9am-12am Saturday, and 8am-3pm Sunday in Lynden at Mystic Valley (on the north side of Kok Rd.). The event—which is meant to bring the "sacred elements of heartbeat, sweat, drum, earthen floor, fire, dance and tribes together"—includes workshops and performances from belly and fire dancers, 5Rhythms dancers, healers, storytellers, poets and actors, circus folk, and more. Entry is $35 for a day pass, $90 for a weekend pass, more »

Whidbey Island Studio Tour: Whidbey Working Artists presents its annual Summer Art Tour from 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday throughout Whidbey Island. Nearly 20 studios will open for the annual event, which happens again Aug. 29-31. Entry to the self-guided tour is free. more »

Whatcom Skillshare Faire: Attend Transition Whatcom's third annual Whatcom Skillshare Faire from 10am-9pm Saturday and 10am-6pm Sunday at Ferndale's Hovander Homestead Park. In addition to hourly skill sharing demos happening throughout the day—on everything from raising farm animals to animal husbandry, survival skills, yoga for pain, homemade firestarters, preventative auto maintenance and storytelling—there'll be local bands and performers, the swapping and bartering of things such as seeds, recipes, clothes and 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 »

Pancake Breakfast: Attend a Pancake Breakfast from 8-11am in Ferndale at American Legion Post 154, 5537 2nd Ave. Entry is $3-$6. more »

Anacortes Farmers Market: Attend the Anacortes Farmers Market from 9am-2pm at the town's Depot Arts Center, 611 R Ave. The market continues every Saturday through October. more »

Plein Air Paint Out: Thirty artists will take to the streets as part of Studio UFO's annual "Plein Air Paint Out" from 9am-5pm in downtown Bellingham. The public is encouraged to come downtown to see the Paint Out and speak with the artists as they work "en plein air." The works can also be seen at an exhibit opening Friday, Sept. 19 at Mindport Exhibits. more »

Community Meal: Chicken tacos, tortilla chips, coleslaw and pudding will be on the menu at the bimonthly Community Meal from 10am-12pm at the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. Entry is free and open to all. more »

Safety Fair: Join Skagit Habitat for Humanity an many other local businesses for a "Kids and Family Health and Safety Fair" from 10am-3pm in the parking lot at the Mount Vernon Walmart, 2300 Freeway Dr. Entry is free. more »

Ferndale Public Market: Drop by the Ferndale Public Market from 10am-3pm at the city's Centennial River Walk, 5667 First Ave. The market continues Saturdays through the summer. more »

Bellingham Farmers Market: Attend the weekly Bellingham Farmers Market from 10am-3pm every Saturday through Dec. 20 at the Depot Market Square, 1000 Railroad Ave. more »

John Walton Magic Show: Attend "John Walton's Magic Show: A Benefit for Clean Water in Uganda" at 11am and 3pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets are $22; all proceeds will go toward building a solar water pumping system for a small community in Uganda. more »

Dave Nelson Memorial Classic: Both beginners and pros can take part in the Dave Nelson Memorial Classic starting at 12pm at the Sudden Valley Golf Course. Entry is $85 and includes an 18-hole shotgun scramble, free gifts, a chance to win a fee car, entrance to an after-party, a costume contest, and more. more »

Blues for Boobs: Margaret Wilder, Gary B's Church of the Blues, bandZandt, and Andrew Ellis will be among the performers raising money for the fight against breast cancer at a "Blues for Boobs" benefit for the Bodacious Babes (who are walking in the upcoming Susan G. Komen event) from 12-10pm at Deming's River's Edge Christmas Tree Farm, 4773 Deming Rd. Entry is $20 (kids 15 and under are free). more »

Happy Tails Fundraiser: "Drinking for Dogs III" will be the theme of a Happy Tails Happy Homes fundraiser from 4-8pm at the Green Frog, 1015 N. State St. The all-ages event for the nonprofit animal rescue organization will feature live music and a silent auction. Suggested donation is $5. more »

Benefit Concert: LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends will headline a Toys for Tots Benefit Concert starting at 4pm at Sedro-Woolley's Eagle Haven Winery & Vineyard, 8243 Sims Rd. Award-winning vocalist David Nellis will open the show. Entry is $25. more »

Harvesting Hope: "Moonlight and Martinis" will be the theme of a "Harvesting Hope for Literacy" fundraiser and auction from 5:30-9pm at La Conner's Maple Hall. Entry is $75. 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 »

Summer Music Series: As part of a summer music series, listen to the blues and R&B sounds of Stacy Jones from 6-8:30pm at the Heart of Anacortes, 1014 4th St. Entry is $8 at the door. more »

Salsa Night: Join Rumba Northwest for "Salsa Night" starting at 9pm every Saturday at Cafe Rumba, 1430 N. State St. After an introductory lesson, attendees can dance to the a mix of Latin rhythms, including salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha-cha, and more. Entry to the all-ages event is $4. more »

Salsa Night: Join Rumba Northwest for "Salsa Night" starting at 9pm every Saturday at Cafe Rumba, 1430 N. State St. After an introductory lesson, attendees can dance to the a mix of Latin rhythms, including salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha-cha, and more. Entry to the all-ages event is $4. more »

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