Reporting from the heart of Cascadia


Fall Flavors

Scare up a sip

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

With Halloween and a nail-biting presidential election just around the corner, it seems like a swell time to explore fall-focused imbibing options. You’ll be supporting local businesses, while at the same time getting a buzz that just may help you forget the horrors of the last four years. For the sake of brevity, the following list focuses on venues in downtown Bellingham.

At Aslan Brewing (1330 N. Forest St.) warm up with seasonal sippers such as Simcoe Slice and Charlie Foxtrot…

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Night Voices

Terror on a two-way

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The haloed sun crept silently behind a black mass of jagged peaks and as early shadows dimmed the hillside I aimed the antenna of my two-way radio toward the nearest repeater tower and engaged the talk button.

“Hand crew to Krassel Work Center on channel two,” I said, taking care to enunciate each word as per Forest Service protocol.

Counting to 10 and receiving no response, I re-aimed my antenna and repeated my transmission verbatim.

Finally, the speaker buzzed sharply and…

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It's Alive!

Jansen Art Center’s reanimated roster

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Greeting visitors at the recently reanimated Jansen Art Center’s entrance is an emblem of the moment—an orange and yellow “virus” by David Syre in the Jansen’s Fall Juried Exhibit. He’s the creator of several other striking works, including “Bee Attack,” in colored marker on cotton paper.

Elsewhere in the sprawling space in Lynden, Skagit artist Gene Jaress’ dramatic “On the Horizon” (oil on canvas) dominates the east hallway. In the piano room, you’ll find his woodblock print, “Red…

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Liz Lovelett

Focus on climate action

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

In early 2019, Liz Lovelett joined the ranks of the Washington State Senate, stepping up from her role as an Anacortes City Council member, and taking along her signature passion for climate action.

The environmental and social issues facing her district and state are challenging. Lovelett focuses on the big picture:

“Like all parents, I’ve tried to balance school, work and health concerns in these difficult times,” she said. “With so many local families struggling…

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On Stage

Radio Scare

The War of the Worlds

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

To prepare for his role as a news reporter observing the destruction of mankind via an alien attack, actor Frank Readick listened, over and over, to a recording of Herbert Morrison’s radio report of the deadly Hindenburg disaster. Morrison had been on site when the airship went up in flames the prior year, and was broadcasting from the landing field at the time of the calamity.

This disturbing form of research came in handy when Readick joined director and narrator Orson Welles for a…

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Halloween 2020

Beyond trick-or-treating

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Whatcom County Health Department didn’t mince words in a recent press release urging community members to dial down their freak-day festivities in light of rising coronavirus cases here and throughout the United States—especially since numbers typically spike after a holiday.

“Pumpkin carving, decorating our homes, and wearing costumes are all great ways to celebrate Halloween,” they said. “But one thing we don’t want to bring into our celebration is COVID-19. Halloween will look…

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Screens and Screams

More Halloween horror

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

As I have established already, I’m not really a team player when it comes to Halloween. But even though I may not take the field, I’m more than happy to sport the team colors and cheer folks on from the sidelines. On a typical Halloween, I’m fond of eschewing my typical uniform of head-to-toe black in favor of an orange sweater, which I then take out on the town for a rock show and some rubbernecking at the creative and colorful costumes of those who go all out.

This year,…

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Subdued Streams

Hello, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

It used to be that when someone would livestream their music it would barely register on my radar of must-see music. I’m not casting aspersions on the livestreamers of yore—in hindsight, they were ahead of their time—it’s more that with such an abundance of live music to be seen in real life, livestreams seemed to be geared more toward granting access to music for people who weren’t able to leave the house for one reason or another.

Hello, 2020.

It also used to be that when…

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The Gristle
Dark Deeds

DARK DEEDS: The Gristle noted last week the special role of the state’s public utilities in providing guardrails and alternatives to the region-wide, near-monopoly control private investor-owned utilities (IOUs) hold over vital services. “Naturally,” we wrote, “this creates a great…

Alan Rhodes
Politics on the Home Front

You might recall that there’s an election coming up. Naturally I have to chime in, so let’s look at some Washington state contests that are especially entertaining because they are such preposterous mismatches.

At the top of the mismatch charts is the gubernatorial race. The current…

Rumor Has It
Of Presidents and Puppies

I’m not here to tell you what to do, but if you haven’t voted yet, vote. I’m not here to tell you who to vote for, but if you’re unclear, email me and I’ll be happy to tell you who to vote for. If you happen to be the last undecided voter in the land when it comes to the…

Jones for judge

Evan Jones is the only candidate with civil, criminal and judicial experience. He is endorsed by a multitude of politically diverse supporters. The common thread uniting them is that they…

Erb for judge

I am voting for James Erb for Superior Court Judge. I “met” James on the phone and was so impressed with his understanding of the challenges we are facing in our criminal justice system…

Compassionate leadership

We need solid, compassionate leadership in Olympia as we weather the COVID crisis. Sharon Shewmake has consistently put people first, keeping our health and well-being as a top priority in…