Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Elizabeth Park

A tale of tells

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

In poker, a tell is an unconscious behavior that gives away something about a player’s hand. Maybe they scratch their ear every time they’re about to bluff. Or they drum their fingers on the table in a particular rhythm when they’ve got a good hand. The thing about a tell is that it’s a compulsion, not a deliberate behavior. Players often know what their tells are, but are unable to exert control over them.

Tells are not limited to the poker table, however. In fact, I would go…

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The Honey Bus

Saved by bees

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Recent news stories have drawn attention to the plight of pollinators like the honeybee, and the potential for Colony Collapse Disorder and the endangered status of several bumble bee pollinators to impact our food supply. But how many people understand the world of the honeybee, with its complex and orderly society and absolute allegiance to a queen?

Meredith May, a fifth-generation beekeeper and former journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, gently illuminates this world in her…

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Strings and Things

The art of puppetry

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Creating dramatic performances using both human and animal images has been a part of the experience of homo sapiens for thousands of years.

“Shadows, Strings and Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets,” a thrilling exhibit currently on display at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC, displays more than 250 puppets both old and new from 15 countries in Asia and Europe, along with puppetry’s modern incarnation, stop-motion animation.

The storytelling-focused exhibit…

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Paradise Silver Reef


Fab Four no more

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What would you do if you woke up one day and realized you were the only one in the world who remembered the songs of the Beatles? It’s the kind of daydream many of us have had, usually combined with time travel—maybe you’d go back and dribble paint before Jackson Pollock, beat Agatha Christie to the mystery-novel racket or invent Twitter so you’d have the power to ban racist world leaders from the service. If you were screenwriter Richard Curtis, though, and you found yourself in…

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Paradise Silver Reef

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Tales of the city

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

There’s a brief but memorable scene in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, director Joe Talbot’s soulfully poignant and magically melancholic feature debut, that sums up much of what the film has to say with minimal dialogue.

Jimmie (Jimmie Fails), the movie’s title character, is seated at a San Francisco bus stop when an elderly nudist sits beside him. Then a party bus pulls up, groaning under the weight of inebriated, monied millennials laughing, pointing and gawking. In that…

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On Stage

Sinful Sunday

Dance like everybody’s watching

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

When Kelsey Burghoffer joined the Provocateurs last year, she was going through a difficult time in her life and hoped sharing space with the longtime burlesque-focused dance troupe would help her let off some creative steam.

It did, and along the way it also changed her life. She soon discovered that being part of an ensemble that has a mission to “provoke, confront, and elevate” came with a few perks—including renewed self-confidence, empowerment and a continuous flow of positive…

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Bantam 46

Winner winner chicken dinner

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Next time you’re in the mood for some really tasty chicken, you’ll want a table at Bantam 46. The restaurant on Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham is the brainchild of Ben Scholtz, who owns Mallard Ice Cream—directly next door.

Scholtz is a serious 48-year-old who approaches his restaurant projects with a deep sense of purpose and strategy. When Mad Hatter Vintage Clothing, the previous neighbor to Mallard, shuttered its doors he knew the time was ripe for a new project.…

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Go Steelers!

A slo-pitch story

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

It was 1969, the year of Woodstock, the moon landing, and the formation of a slo-pitch team called the Parberry Steelers.

At least two of these three events have already been remembered and celebrated, and we are hoping to celebrate the third from 1pm-5pm Sat., June 29 at Lake Padden Park with a gathering of as many big-ball slo-pitchers as can reunite for an afternoon of memories of athletic endeavors from a golden bygone Bellingham recreational era.

In 1969, Bellingham was becoming…

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Best of Skagit
Best News Story

Save the Whales

Skagit is a land of wild rivers, soaring glacier peaks, fertile valleys and forested dots of islands sprinkling an inland sea. Powerful predatory whales live in these waters and feed on the tastiest wild fish on earth, the Chinook. Ours is as exotic as any landscape on the planet, and perhaps it is more threatened than many.

Those whales—the southern resident orcas—aren’t especially shy and can be viewed almost daily, although their numbers are in precipitous decline. Deaths in their pods have exceeded live births, threatening a spiral to extinction. They’re sick, and they’re starving. The cause? Increased human activity around the Puget Sound, as a region that is loved too much and too recklessly.

Alarmed by the decline of these iconic creatures, the Washington Legislature this session passed sweeping protections for the Salish Sea’s ailing orca population. Championed by lawmakers who represent Skagit and the San Juans, a quartet of bills cover a variety of measures, including whale watching, pollution and more. Yet budgets passed by the House and Senate so far contain no funding to continue the governor’s task force on orca recovery. There’s no agreement on plans to increase Chinook runs. And revenue measures to help pay for everything, from increasing hatchery production to enforcement of habitat protections, have yet to be decided.

As we dedicate this issue to celebrate all the best our region has to offer in scenic beauty, in recreation, in menus and samplings that are unique to who we are, let us acknowledge how fragile it is and how fierce we must be in its protection.

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Thinking Outside the Box

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: The status of law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice reform was outlined in the annual report of Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo to County Council this week. The news is mostly encouraging; and—following two failed ballot initiatives to build a big…

Amy Goodman
Goodbye, First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” reads the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, for the first time ever, a publisher is being prosecuted under the World War I-era Espionage Act. Julian Assange, cofounder of the whistleblower…

Rumor Has It
Breaking News

It was exactly one week ago that I lamented the disappearance of Saxophone Guy from Boulevard Park. I’m not sure if he read my missive or if he just sensed my sadness, but a few days ago, cutting through the standard-issue noise and amplified post-grad glee of the park came the plaintive…

Village Books
Peace with Iran

What Trump could do if he really wants peace with Iran:
• Quit threatening to bomb and destroy the country and the Iranian people.
• Bring all the aircraft carriers, naval ships, and…

Drumbeats of war

Our mainstream media have used the downing of a U.S. drone to turn the concept of “provocation” on its head.
The Empire has established strings of military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan…

Bellingham needs a listener

I met April Barker in the summer of 2015 at the Sunnyland Stomp. She’d signed her two children up for a clay class with my teenage son, who was demonstrating his work at the event. I was…

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Today's Events
Community Boating Center Open


Bellingham’s Community Boating Center will be open through the summer from 10am until sunset daily at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks, sailboats, rowboats and…

Bard on the Beach


A Wild West-inspired version of The Taming of the Shrew kicks off the 30th Bard on the Beach season at Vanier Park in Vancouver, BC. Through Sept. 21, the Shakespearean favorite will show in…

Plover Ferry Rides


The Plover ferry runs weekends through Sept. 2 from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor’s Dock, Gate II at Blaine Harbor.…

Artist Workshop


Watch artist Neal Cronic paint with acrylics and oil at a low-key Artist Workshop from 6pm-7:30pm at the SkillShare Space at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. If you’re…

Pressure Canning Class


As part of a Food Preservation Series with Jennie Goforth, attend a class on “Pressure Canning” from 6:30pm-8pm at the Community Food Co-op, 1220 N. Forest St. Additional classes happen July…

Sunset History Cruise Kickoff


Whatcom Museum hosts its first “Sunset History Cruise” of the season starting at 6:30pm at San Juan Cruises’ slip at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. Historians Brian Griffin…

Bellingham Reads


Discuss Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians at a Bellingham Reads book discussion at 6:30pm at the Dodson Room at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. The group meets on the fourth…

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…

Comedy Showcase and Open Mic


The Punch Up Comedy Showcase and Open Mic begins at 7:30pm at the Shakedown, 1212 N. State St. The bimonthly event features five to seven open mic comedians, followed by a feature and a…

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