Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


LA 92

A cautionary tale

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Often, documentaries about historic events prompt the question, “Why now?” Sadly, that will never be asked about Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin’s searing LA 92, which arrives on the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots to address an America more conscious than ever of the problems between the country’s law-enforcement institutions and the black populations they are supposed to protect and serve. Unmediated by historians, journalists or any other interviewees and seething with…

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Ruffled Feathers

Coping with a cooper’s hawk

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The mystery started when one of our free-range hens turned up dead behind our garden shed with a small puncture wound on her breast and half her feathers plucked out.

During our previous seven years of urban chicken ranching, the Lady of the House and I have scraped a few savagely mangled Rhode Island Reds off our lawn, but we’d never encountered a carcass so fully intact and relatively unblemished as this one.

“It looks like some sort of tiny surgeon poked a tiny scalpel into…

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Skagit Buffet

House Arrest

A Gentleman in Moscow

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Living one’s entire life in a posh hotel sounds like the ultimate dream—think of the precocious children’s book character, Eloise, who ran rampant at the Plaza in New York, or Coco Chanel at Hôtel Ritz Paris in the 1930s. 

But what if you weren’t there by choice, rather as an extended house arrest? Such is the case for Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a genteel aristocrat who is spared from a Bolshevik firing squad but forced to live out his days in the attic at the Hotel…

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ICU Roof #2

Fungi Feasts

Mushrooms gone wild

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I typically hear from fungi enthusiast Erin Moore when the days have shortened, the nights have cooled and seasonal rain has come to the Pacific Northwest. That’s when the longtime Northwest Mushroomers Association member reaches out to remind me about the club’s annual Wild Mushroom Show, and when I respond by taking full advantage of her expertise.

This year, Moore suggested a focus on the edible elements of toadstools, and being someone who would willingly choose to eat creamed…

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Pioneer Museum

Bringing history into sharp focus

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If there’s one museum I love to get lost in, it’s the Lynden Pioneer Museum on the city’s Front Street.

The 28,000-square-foot space has an amazing series of exhibits that take visitors back in time and give them a glimpse of city life, the agricultural history of Lynden, modes of transportation and the lives of local pioneers.

My favorite exhibit is the re-creation of historic Front Street to the way it looked between 1885 and 1935. I could spend hours perusing the thoroughfare…

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ICU Roof #2
On Stage


The fabric of our lives

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

She died 30 years ago, but I still have a couple of my mother’s cardigans hanging in the far corner of my closet—along with a blue silk bathrobe of my grandmother’s, a faded T-shirt I wore while traveling in Central America in 1997, and assorted other items of adornment I can’t bear to get rid of.

The memories I associate with each article of well-worn clothing are dear to me. And apparently, I’m not not alone in holding on to the past in this fashion. In “Threads,” Kuntz and…

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Making a musical shift

It’s a rap revolution

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If you had told me when I began writing about music in this area all those years ago that the day would come when the surest way to sell out a show in Bellingham would be to book a hip-hop act, I might not have believed you.

Hip-hop? More popular than garage rock? More popular than bluegrass? In Bellingham?

I didn’t see it coming, but I’ll take it.

Although various forces have brought about this cultural and musical shift, the Wild Buffalo is currently at the forefront of the…

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ICU Roof #2
Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


It’s because of the zoning, I tell people as they roll their eyes and return to their burgers and brews. Sunnyland’s special zoning allows commerce to snuggle up near residences, and for businesses to operate inside—and out of—homes. That means artists can run their studios out of their shops, tinkerers can run their shops out of their studios. It means stores and restaurants are within easy walking distance of neighborhoods, and the whole has a vibrant feel.
On a broader scale, it is this connectedness that makes Bellingham work. But Sunnyland is a nucleus for this year’s best places, best nooks and hidey-holes, and best experiences as chosen by our readers.

This week we focus on the places and businesses that keep Bellingham vibrant. Next Wednesday, tune in for the best in food and drink, and the people who make living here worthwhile.

Compiled by Tim Johnson, Amy Kepferle, Carey Ross, Stephanie Young, and Trail Rat

Photos by Jessamyn Tuttle

See all the winners »
The Gristle
A Creeping Paralysis

A CREEPING PARALYSIS: Senator Doug Ericksen followed Governor Jay Inslee on to the stage at Western Washington University last week. Inslee met with students on Wednesday to discuss climate change and the need for individuals and local and state leaders to take action. Ericksen followed on…

No on Jail

Proposition 2017-6 is a bad deal for Whatcom County.

Whatcom County’s proposed new jail in Ferndale will be the largest capital improvement project in Whatcom County history. In November 2015, voters rejected a .2 percent increase in the Jail Sales Tax to build that jail. The County…

Right skills for port

I support Barry Wenger as port commissioner.
Barry has the credentials and experience to balance the need for jobs with the critical need to support a healthy and sustainable environment. His…

Support Barry Wenger

We recently had the pleasure of  meeting Barry Wenger at a political function in order to hear more about his reasons for running for the Port Commissioner District 2 position. We were…

Compassionate voice for schools

Jenn Mason is running for school board and she deserves your vote.
Having worked in all district schools as a community educator, she has seen firsthand the importance of working toward…

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Today's Events
Fall Craft & Antique Show


More than 100 artisans will inspire you with their creativity at the 28th annual Fall Craft & Antique Show taking place from 10am-8pm Thursday and Friday, and 10am-5pm Saturday at Lynden’s…



Three actors—Jeff Braswell, Linnaea Groh, and Evan Frazier—will take on many roles at performances of iDiOM Theater’s 3MB at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Sylvia Center for the…

The Women of Lockerbie


Students from Lynden Christian High School present performances of Deborah Brevoort’s The Women of Lockerbie at 7pm Thursday and Saturday at the school’s Performing Arts Center, 515 Drayton…

Young Frankenstein


The musical comedy adaptation of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein concludes this weekend with 7:30pm shows Thursday through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Tickets to…

Wild Things


Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a “Wild Things” Community Program from 9:30-11am Fridays through October at the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve. Please…

Book and Bake Sale


Find some fantastic fall reads at bargain prices at a Lynden Friends Book and Bake Sale happening from 10am-5pm Friday, 10am-4:30pm Saturday, and 1-4pm Sunday at the Lynden Library, 216 4th…

Grand Opening and Open House


Attend a Grand Opening to celebrate the completion of Social Fabric’s expansion project and opening of its new renovated retail and teaching space from 11am-6pm at 1302 Commercial St. From…

Books and Bites


Bring your lunch if you’d like a join a lively conversation about Ivan Doig’s The Whistling Season at a “Books and Bites” discussion from 1-2:30pm at the Blaine Library, 610 3rd St. All are…

Clean Eating


Certified Food and Health Coach Demetree Robinson introduces her program for clean eating and better health at a “Clean Eating” presentation from 2-3pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op,…

Coffee Tasting


Attend a weekly coffee tasting from 3-3:30pm at Camber Cafe, 221 W. Holly St. Entry is free, and no RSVP is needed to come in and enjoy a small tasting flight of the venue’s single-origin…

Food Not Bombs


All are welcome to partake of nutritious and delicious vegan meals when Food Not Bombs offers a community meal from 4-6pm every Friday on the corner of Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue…

12 Minutes Max Auditions


Actors, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and more can audition for 12 Minutes Max, an adjudicated showcase of performing arts, from 5-9pm at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris…

Art Night


Attend the fourth annual “ArtNight” from 5-8pm at SpringHill Suites, 4040 Northwest Ave. Entry is free and includes exhibits, appetizers, drink specials from the Chuckanut Lobby Bar, and live…

Amber Sky CD Release Party


Attend an Amber Sky CD Release Party and live streaming event from 6-8pm at Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave. The Soundings of the Planet concert with Dean Evenson, Phil Heaven, and Jeff…

Falliday Vintage Market


Attend Anacortes Vintage Market’s “FALLiday” Vintage and Gift Show at a VIP event taking place from 6-8pm Friday at the city’s Port Transit Event Center, 100 Commercial St. Creative vendors…

Gore & Lore Tours


The Good Time Girls combine history with a bit of local horror at “Gore and Lore” tours at 6pm Fridays in Fairhaven (starting at the Village Green, 1207 10th St.) and 6pm Saturdays in…

Family Story Night


Bellingham Storyteller’s Guild members will lead an hour of coaching and an introduction to the craft at 6pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. At 7pm, Family Story Night will commence.…

Wild & Scenic Film Festival


The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group brings the Wild & Scenic Film Festival back to Mount Vernon starting with a 6:30pm reception at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. The series of…



As part of North Cascades Institute’s “Nature of Writing” series, author and journalist Langdon Cook will read from and talk about his new book, Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon from River…

Poetry Party


Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshal will introduce the WA 129 anthology to Bellingham at a 7pm event at the Encore Room at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. A slew of…

Halloween Movie Night


Bellingham High School’s Technical Entertainment Crew presents its first “Halloween Movie Night” fundraiser with a viewing of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas at 7pm at the…

USA Dance


Ballroom and swing dancing will be part of a USA Dance event taking place from 7:15-10pm at the Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. All are welcome, including beginners, singles, couples, students…

Thriller Dance Class


If you’d like to take part in the Bellingham tradition known as “Thrillingham,” show up for the fourth of five dance classes tonight from 7-9pm at Moles Farewell Tributes, 2465 Lakeway Dr.…

Sanford-Hill Piano Series


Award-winning pianist George Li will kick off the annual Sanford-Hill Piano Series at 7:30pm at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center. Li’s astonishing technique, distinctive…

Friday Night Flicks


The South Fork Valley Community Association will host a “Friday Night Flicks” viewing of The Wild Bunch at 7:30pm at Deming’s Van Zandt Community Hall, 4106 Valley Hwy. Suggested donation to…



Help figure out whodunnit when the perennially popular improvised murder mystery known as “Hellingham” returns to the stage for 8pm and 10pm shows every Friday and Saturday through October…

Holding the Light


Help raise funds for the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center at a “Holding the Light: Songs and Poems” performance at 8pm at the Honeymoon, 1053 N. State St. (in the alley). Songwriter Linda…

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