Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Sour Apple

Diesel refinery plan withdrawn after county launches review

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Officials with Phillips 66 say they will discontinue plans to construct a large-scale renewable diesel plant on the Phillips 66 Ferndale refinery property at Cherry Point. The decision comes days after Whatcom County planners and the Washington State Department of Ecology determined the proposal likely posed adverse impacts on the environment, and called for a more extensive public review.

“While we believe the Ferndale Refinery is a strategic fit for this renewable diesel project,…

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A Lively Whodunit

The Word is Murder

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Chances are, you’ve read one of British author Anthony Horowitz’s novels or seen one of his television shows. With more than 40 books under his belt (the Alex Rider series about a teenage spy has sold over 19 million copies) and BAFTA Awards for the television series Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders, Horowitz has also written 11 episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

Horowitz received a commission from the Conan Doyle estate to write two original Sherlock Holmes novels and…

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Winter Warmers

Cups for community

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Last week, when snowstorms blanketed the region and frigid temperatures persisted throughout the lengthening January days, not much beat wrapping my cold hands around a ceramic mug of coffee or hot chocolate as I gazed out my kitchen window onto a world that had been transformed into a winter wonderland.

In those moments, I found myself thankful for the safety my home provides when the weather outside is frightful. I was also grateful to have been able to stock my larder with enough…

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Winter Greens

Kale for the win

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Shortly before the first major storm of the new year swooped in to cover my vegetable garden with six inches of snow and send the temperatures plummeting, I spent a couple of hours harvesting many of the remaining greens that had been planted during warmer months.

By the time I was finished, I had unearthed more than a dozen leeks and collected sizable mounds of curly and dinosaur kale, spinach greens, the last of the rainbow chard, and bunches of hardy parsley. While I was out there,…

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On Stage

Winter Dances

Students storm the stage

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

By the time Western Washington University students make their way onstage for annual “Winter Dances” performances taking place Jan. 23-26 at the school’s Performing Arts Center mainstage, the work they will have put in to ensure their audiences are entertained will have gone far beyond what those seated in the theater will see when the curtain goes up.

That’s because in addition to putting their bodies on the line, those studying to secure their Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degrees offered…

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Take Flight

Wing it for the weekend

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Now that the recent snowfall has (mostly) melted, there’s no excuse not to take flight and get better acquainted with the wildlife among and above us. We’ve already written about the Skagit Eagle Festival—which comes to an end Jan. 25-26 in eastern Skagit County—so you may already be aware winter is the perfect time to find out even more about our resident and visiting feathered friends.

A good place to begin is the third annual La Conner Birding Showcase happening Sat., Jan. 25 at…

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Bellingham Folk Festival

They come in peace

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Last year, Cayley Schmid, the mastermind behind Bellingham’s folk and Irish festivals, told me that one of her favorite things about the events is spying folks downtown with musical instruments during festival weekend and trying to figure out who they are and what they’re up to.

My curiosity piqued, I decided to try and see things from her perspective, and, sure enough, seemingly everywhere I looked was someone hauling a fiddle or guitar through the rainy streets of the downtown…

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Best of Bellingham 2019
Best Neighborhood


The center of the universe has coasted north over the years of our annual Best of Bellingham reader survey—Columbia and Sunnyland neighborhoods feature a vital mix of charming long-established Craftsman homesteads, innovative businesses and artist studios. They’ve taken their share of infill, proving urban densities can make a city come alive. The city’s bike and pedestrian plans have matured in these neighborhoods. They feel centered. And it is not at all a coincidence that so many winners in our Best of Bellingham survey are located here.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
‘I Have A Dream’

‘I HAVE A DREAM’: To audiences large and small, the Whatcom County Executive took office this week in ceremonies of historic proportions.

Standing alongside family and friends, Satpal Sidhu was sworn into office in a well-attended ceremony in the Meridian High School auditorium over…

Fierce Urgency of Now

Historical consciousness most often associates white supremacy and intolerance with the hooded robes, pointed hats and burning crosses of the Ku Klux Klan, just as it links social justice and racial harmony with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. In many respects…

Rumor Has It
Chicken and egg:

For me, I’m not sure which came first: My love of music or my interest in politics, but I do know that for many years there was not a lot of overlap in that particular Venn diagram.

However, that all changed Mon., Jan. 13 when Hollie Huthman was officially sworn in as a member of…

Unanswered questions

We still have soldiers in Iraq, in a war the president says he did not agree with, hunkered down in Saddam-era bunkers, hiding from bombs launched by Iran in retribution of an attack on an…

Bag ban panned

Recently the Anacortes City Council banned plastic grocery bags, beginning in May 2020. I think that is a big mistake. For responsible people, those bags serve myriad uses, such as carrying…

A painful extraction

With all of the mainstream news media support for some form of military action against Iran, I (even after three decades of news consumption) still have yet to come across an outlet noting…

Today's Events
Deep Forest Experience


Attend “Deep Forest Experience” events from 11am-2pm Fridays through Sundays through February at Rockport State Park, State Route 20, milepost 96. Guided hikes will depart hourly from the…

Tea for Beginners


Adults are welcome to attend a free “Tea for Beginners” presentation from 2pm-3pm at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. During each session, tea will be shared with participants,…

Cook It and Book It


Students in grades 4-7 can meet up for cooking- and book-related fun at a monthly “Cook It and Book It” gathering from 3:30pm-5pm at the Lynden Library, 216 4th St. If whipping up something…

Community Conversations Book group


Discuss Breakfast at Sally’s: One Homeless Man’s Inspirational Journey by Richard LeMieux at a “Community Conversations” meeting from 4pm-5pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The limited-run…

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…

Books on Tap


Deming Library staff lead a “Books on Tap” discussion focused on Eowyn Ivey’s To the Bright Edge of the World from 7pm-8:30pm at the North Fork Brewery, 6186 Mt. Baker Hwy. The event is part…

Intro to Improv


Attend a free workshop focusing on play, creativity, storytelling and fun at a “Learn to Think on Your Feet” introductory improv class from 7pm-9pm at Improv Playworks, 1011 Girard St. All…

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…