Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


A Week at the Shakedown

Your cure for cabin fever

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Some things I learned about myself during the recent snowpocalypse: 1. I do not favor terms like “snowpocalypse.” 2. I do not favor snow. It makes me mad. 3. Conveniently, I also do not get cabin fever.

The first two items on that list are hardly shocking to anyone who knows me, even only peripherally. The last one, however, is a little surprising. I’m a social creature. I talk to people everywhere I go. And not just people I know. I will—and often do—chat up total strangers.…

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Sugar Ray

Solid Green

Mulch ado about nothing

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A kitchen garden is as much an act of self-expression as a means of growing food. But not all of a garden’s expressiveness is intentional. In the same way that pets and their owners can grow to resemble one another, gardens can reflect their gardeners’ personality, including how fastidious, lazy or greedy they are.

It would be a stretch to accuse me of being overly tidy, and the same can be said for my garden. But lazy and greedy? Guilty as charged. And when I allow these tendencies to…

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Sugar Ray
On Stage

Kinky Boots

A fetish for footwear

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

True story: In the 1990s, a British guy named Steve Pateman did some heavy duty sole searching and soon thereafter worked to save his family-run shoe factory from demise by deciding to produce fetish footwear for men. On the path to trying to save his business, the formerly strait-laced boss had to learn to shave his legs and walk in six-inch stiletto heels.

It’s also correct that a short BBC2 documentary about Pateman’s “Divine Footwear” inspired the 2005 film Kinky Boots,…

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Sugar Ray

Springtime Revolution

Heroes of the resistance

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

When you plant a garden, you join a springtime revolution against the agricultural industrial complex. Snapdragons, foxglove and lavender support much-needed pollinators like honeybees. Heirloom vegetables defend the biodiversity of our food system. And when you impress your friends with the meal you grew yourself, you revitalize a sense of community around wholesome food.

But the heart and soul of any decent rebellion, peaceful or otherwise, resides underground. In this case, that…

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Sugar Ray

By Design

The accidental gardener

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Each spring, I’m amazed anew at the sheer amount of green things budding on limbs and poking out of the thawing soil in my front and backyard.

I’m vaguely referring to the miracle of nature and the cyclical joy the eventual warming of the seasons brings, but a large part of the wonder is that I don’t remember planting even half of what’s in the ground and am agog that what is growing often turns out to be aesthetically appealing.

I may have a couple of forgetful green thumbs, but…

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Sugar Ray

We Are The Warriors

19th Annual Bellingham Human Rights Festival

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Warrior Women is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, a leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM) who cultivated a rag-tag gang of activist children—including her daughter Marcy—into a group called the “We Will Remember” survival group. Together, Madonna and Marcy fought for Native rights in an environment that made them more comrades than mother and daughter.

Today, with Marcy now a mother herself, both women are still at the forefront of Native issues, fighting against the…

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Sugar Ray

The Academy Awards

Heavy metal Hollywood

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Oscar is having a tough year.

It would seem the road to Hollywood’s heavy metal is paved with poor decisions and murky intentions on the part of the possibly still esteemed Academy. First, was that thing with the proposed and then rescinded Best Popular Picture category, which was followed by proposed host Kevin Hart rescinding himself after firestorm of controversy about his past tweets—resulting in the first host-free telecast in three decades. Then, in an effort to shorten the…

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Sugar Ray
Best of Bellingham
Best Neighborhood


What makes a great neighborhood? Well, one that is walkable, with tree-lined streets and ample parks, nearby services and entertainment. One that allows people to work from or near their homes. Many artists have moved to Sunnyland for exactly that reason, so they can run a studio out of their home—and that has produced a flourishing local arts community. Sunnyland is a nucleus for many of the favorite haunts and hangouts cited in this year’s reader survey.

That dynamism has a downside, too, and Sunnyland is experiencing some growing pains from its tangy mix of industrial and commercial uses in proximity to family homes. Friends, an outdoor beer garden is a heartbreaking thing to quarrel about! I predict they’ll soon solve those problems, and continue to claim their crown as Bellingham’s favorite neighborhood.

See all the winners »
The Gristle
Marina Lacuna

MARINA LACUNA: The proposed amendments to the Bellingham waterfront district sub-area plan are available at the city’s website, in preparation for a meeting of the Bellingham Planning Commission to consider these changes on Feb 21.

The comprehensive plan is an instructive document, and a…

Amy Goodman
The Green New Deal

In recent weeks, a polar vortex blew across the United States, killing at least 20 people. At the same time, U.S. government scientists reported that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, with the five hottest years occurring in the past five years. A huge hole in one of the largest…

Village Books
Persuasion from other side of spectrum

Are you stupid or something? Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? You are a bunch of socialist idiots who want the working people of the country to pay for your ignorant, lazy, group who didn’t…

Stop the drilling

Once again, oil development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is on the table. This time it comes as a rider on a tax bill with no transparent discussion of the…

Devastating wall

Trump’s wall will endanger Washington’s migratory species. At least 93 endangered and threatened species, including the jaguar, ocelot, and Mexican gray wolves will be impacted by…

MacMaster and Leahy
Today's Events
A Forest of Words Poetry Competition


Teens in grades 6-12 are invited to enter original poems for inclusion in an annual teen poetry anthology, A Forest of Words, through Fri.,  March 15. Along with having their poems published…

Skagit Birding Adventures


Skagit Guided Adventures hosts “Birding for Kids” and “Birding for Seniors” excursions from 9am-12pm and 1-4pm on a daily basis through March. Prices vary; binoculars will be…

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers


The Whatcom Literacy Council is currently recruiting volunteers to work two to four hours a week with adults who have asked for help to improve their English, reading, writing, math and…

The Addams Family


Students from Ferndale High School will present showings of The Addams Family (School Edition) at 7pm Thursday through Saturday at the school’s theater at 5830 Golden Eagle Dr. Tickets to the…

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival


The films Water Warriors and Keepers of the Future will kick off the 19th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival at 7pm Thurs., Feb. 21 at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St. (Show…

Shakespeare in Love


Mistaken identity, scheming and backstage theatrics, love stories and more will be part of Shakespeare in Love performances concluding this weekend at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the…

West Side Story


META Performing Arts presents West Side Story for the final week at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday in Mount Vernon at the Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. First St. The…

Deep Forest Experience


Attend “Deep Forest Experience” events from 11am-4pm Friday through Sundays through Feb. 24 at Rockport State Park, State Route 20, milepost 96. Guided hikes will depart from the Discovery…

Always...Patsy Cline


Witness a musical tribute to a beloved country western star when Always…Patsy Cline concludes this weekend with 7pm performances Friday and Saturday at the Conway Muse, 1844 Spruce St. Ria…

Cupid's Arrow


The improvised dating game dubbed “Cupid’s Arrow” returns to the stage at 7:30pm and 9:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. The show is inspired by the classic 1960s…

Richard III


Journey to 14th century England when Skagit Valley College’s drama department presents showings of Shakespeare’s Richard III at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the school’s Phillip Tarro…

Fragrance Lake 50K


Choose from a 50K, half-marathon or 20K and enjoy beautiful views and single track running when Bellingham Trail Running Series hosts a “Fragrance Lake Half 50K” starting at 6am at Larrabee…

Pancake Breakfast


All ages are welcome at a Pancake Breakfast taking place from 8-10am at Ferndale’s American Legion Post #154, 5537 2nd Ave. Entry is $3 for kids 12 and under, and $6 for adults.

Smelt Run


Choose from certified 5K or 10K routes at the La Conner Smelt Run starting at 9am at La Conner High School, 307 N. Sixth St. Entry to the scenic run is $30 (a Kids Dash is free). The event is…

Children's Literature Conference


Authors Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann, Barbara O’Connor, Neal Shusterman, and Jerry Pinkney will be the featured speakers at the 16th annual Children’s Literature Conference from 9am-3:30pm…

Community Work Party


Join the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for a Community Work Party from 9am-12pm along Squalicum Creek—on private property owned by the Roybal family. Park at NSEA’s campus at 3057…

Whatcom Falls 5K


The Greater Bellingham Running Club hosts its rescheduled Whatcom Falls 5K (formerly Two for the Road) starting at 10am at Whatcom Falls Park. The run will start and finish near the fish…

Assistance League Anniversary Sale


Assistance League will celebrate its 37th anniversary with a Fundraising Sale from 10am-5pm at their store at 2817 Meridian St. For today only, everything will be 50 percent off; proceeds…

Kids Cooking Class


Kids ages 7 and up can attend a “Kids Cooking Class: Pizza + Ice Cream Sandwiches” from 11am-12:30pm at the Chuckanut Center, 103 Chuckanut Drive N. Participants at the hands-on class will be…

Recreation Northwest EXPO


More than 70 exhibitors representing Washington’s recreation community will be on hand to share their expertise at the annual Recreation Northwest EXPO taking place from 11am-5pm at the…

Hearty Party 5K


Grab a pal, furry friend or someone special and take part in the Max Higbee Center’s rescheduled “Hearty Party 5K! Run, Walk & Roll” starting at 11am at the center’s headquarters at 1210 Bay…

Wildlife Photography with Andy Porter


Skagit Artists invites all interested artists, photographers and those passionate about wildlife to a free presentation of the ins and outs of “Wildlife Photography” with noted nature…

Deep Forest Experience


Attend “Deep Forest Experience” events from 11am-4pm Friday through Sundays through Feb. 24 at Rockport State Park, State Route 20, milepost 96. Guided hikes will depart from the Discovery…

Tax Help Available


The AARP Tax-Aide program will provide free tax preparation services from 12:30-4pm Saturdays at Bellingham’s First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave. Through mid-April, the service…

Wine Tasting with Duckhorn Vineyards


Andrew Chaplin from Duckhorn Vineyards will be pouring tastings from the iconic California-based winery from 2-4pm at Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants, 19 Prospect St. Entry is free; please be…



Explore the Fab Four’s drive, strong management and ingenious production, and the arrival of new media that was opening opportunities to reach enormous audiences when cultural cultural and…

Forestry and Wildlife Panel


As part of the Whatcom READS lineup, join several of DNR’s local Foresters to learn what they do locally in Whatcom County and how their work fits into the bigger picture of Forest…

Waterway Tour


RE Sources for Sustainable Communities will lead a public tour of the I & J Waterway site from 2-4pm at 29 Bellwether Way. This is your chance to learn about—and give input on the future…

Wildfire and Resilience


As part of Whatcom READS events focused on Timothy Egan’s The Big Burn, attend a “Wildfire and Resilience” presentation with Leslie Wharton at 3pm at the Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Hwy.…

The Fellowship of Fire


As part of Whatcom READS, Joseph King will read from The Fellowship of Fire at 4pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book is King’s account of his 45-year career chasing wildfires across…

Dancer Panel


Professional dancers and local dance experts including Alethea Alexander, Derek Loerzel and Victoria Watts will talk about the influence of George Balanchine on the dance world, his Western…

Contra Dance


An open mic with live music and callers will be part of the Bellingham Country Dance Society’s Contra Dance happening from 7-10:30pm at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Suggested donation…

Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond


Spouses Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy present “Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond” at 7:30pm at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Natalie and Donnell will share the…

Bayshore Symphony


Attend a Winter Concert celebrating Bayshore Symphony’s 15th season and the Chinese New Year at 7:30pm Saturday in Mount Vernon at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (415 S. 18th St.), and 3pm…

An Evening with Steve Mayo


Attend “An Evening with Steve Mayo, Maritime Watercolor Painter” from 7:30-8:45pm at the Lummi Island Library, 2144 S. Nugent Rd. Mayo has had a lifetime interest in maritime art and history.…

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