Reporting from the heart of Cascadia

On Stage


Setting the stage for justice

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The main characters in We Are Many—Amir Amirani’s documentary about the 2003 global march against the Iraq War—were activists, not A-list actors, although a few famous faces can also be spotted among the military-veterans-turned-peacemakers, politicians, philosophers and others who were inspired to make their voices heard in the years following the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

When the 2014 film about the largest demonstration in history makes its North American live-streaming premiere…

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Barn Show

Return to Fir Island

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The “Barn Shows,” an annual Fir Island event from 1987 to 2003, featured works by Skagit Valley artists. Many lived between river and tides, catching salmon for supper, collecting driftwood for fuel and earning a meager living at manual work.

John Simon was the spark plug. He had been living in Lavone Newell’s barn since 1979 and suggested she host art shows there, too. He intended them as a counterweight to the “New Wave, punk and satire” of big-city artists and to be “an exploration…

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Beyond Meat

Vegan Restaurant Week

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Spaghetti was on the menu for our Sunday night repast, but unknown to my resident taste-taster I switched out the ground beef or turkey I typically use when prepping the dish with Lightlife’s “plant-based ground.”

The ruse must’ve worked, because he cleaned his bowl and went back for seconds. It was then I made the admission I’d mixed the homemade tomato sauce with a vegan substitute instead of meat, and that other than the feta sprinkled on top of each of our servings, dinner…

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In Search of 

Jennifer Sefzik and Sharon Shewmake

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

In a year of remarkable social and political tumult, ideological dynamics have taken center stage in the Whatcom County community, as residents reflect and respond—in public and private—to summer protests and pandemic policies. With November approaching, the county continues to search for its political bearings, as the races intensify for both house seats of the 42nd Legislative District.

The district itself is very dynamic, with Bellingham at its epicenter and vast stretches of…

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From Crisis to Recovery

A dialogue among environmental heroes

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

How do we move from the crises of 2020 to a just, equitable recovery together?

That’s the topic of a virtual conversation and fundraiser featuring the directors of social justice advocacy groups later this month. The discussion will take the place of the annual Environmental Heroes Awards banquet. In normal years, the awards recognize individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of our environment and advocating sustainability for our community.

But 2020 is no normal year.

“If there…

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Climate Action Week

Global concerns, local solutions

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

It’s difficult to argue that climate change is a hoax when the effects of it are in your face—or in your lungs, as was the case when a growing number of wildfires raging in California, Oregon, and Washington state over the course of the past week resulted not only in the horrific loss of life and landscapes, but also in some of the worst air quality to be found anywhere in the world.

It’s the perfect time, then, for ALL IN for Climate Action Week, an annual event organized by the City…

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Apocalypse Now

Lean into it

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

First came COVID-19. I’d never lived during a time of global pandemic before—same goes for pretty much everyone else except a tiny group of centenarians that survived the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. However, like most people I know, I followed the science, listened to the CDC recommendations, adjusted to employment changes and generally tried to adapt in a way that kept me not only physically healthy, but also mentally and emotionally stable.

Then came an outbreak of a different kind:…

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Sip and Support

A nice long weekend

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

When they first opened their beautiful space at 100 Grand Ave.—aka the former longtime home of Michael’s Books—the folks at Thousand Acre Cider House had no idea what was coming. None of us did.

They just wanted to be the owners of a cozy neighborhood spot that happened to have 18 rotating ciders and six beers on tap, along with a carefully and expertly chosen selection of bottles for their customers. They wanted to share their love of cider with their patrons while cultivating…

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The Gristle
Smoke and Acrimony

SMOKE AND ACRIMONY: A week after wildfires began consuming thousands of acres in Washington, firefighters are making progress on some of the most destructive blazes in state history. To date, more than 806,000 acres have burned in Washington state, 620,000 of which have burned since Labor…

Alan Rhodes
Poetry in Pandemic

I’ve been reading a lot more poetry lately. In these difficult times I seek solace in that which is timeless, something that William Butler Yeats was getting at in his poem “To the Stone Cutters.” After reflecting on the ephemerality of life, Yeats goes on to say that our troubled…

Rumor Has It
A Make.Shift Memo

It’s possible that a worldwide pandemic is not the most ideal time for an arts nonprofit to undertake a search for a new executive director, but when is an ideal time for that, really?

Of course, taking over an organization with as many moving parts as the multiuse, multipurpose space…

Support transportation fund

I look forward to the day when our kids are back at school, in school buildings. When that day comes, they will continue to need safe streets, sidewalks and bike routes to get there.…

Mail misinformation

The United States Post Office, while thinking they were doing a good thing, has sent a postcard to every household in the United States, including Washington state, suggesting they request an…

Mob rule?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as Donald Trump’s top advisor through political phone sex: treasonous calls since taking office.
Our Director of National Intelligence heads the…