Lifestyle

Final Word | Even If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It!

Humor alert — Loretta reminded me to provide a satire disclaimer. No toes were intentionally stepped on in the writing of this Final Word

Lights, Camera, Access Bellingham

Eero Johnson helps local residents participate in city-run BTV public access programming.

Farm to Coffee Table

Derek and Debbie Peris share their passion for fresh-roasted coffee with the community at Barnyard Coffee Roasters in Blaine.

Hidden Gem: North Cascades National Park Turns 50

The North Cascades National Park, or the “American Alps,” contains nearly 400 miles of accessible trails with 94% of the acreage designated as wilderness.

Saving Spinach: Plant Doctor Upgrades Crop

Plant pathologist Lindsey du Toit and her team are increasing spinach seed production in Skagit County through Fusarium fungus research.

Videographer, Environmental Advocate

Michael Dyrland of Dyrland Productions uses photography and multimedia to bring environmental issues to the forefront.

Seeking Perfection on a Knife’s Edge

Blacksmith Andy Gladish creates beautiful, sharp, and durable knives as owner of Element Fe.

Five Faves Stunning Scenic Drives

Have a minute? Looking to take advantage of the long summer days? Just trying to get away? Check out our five favorite scenic drives.

Whatcom CC’s New Look

Whatcom Community College is planning major renovations, including a new facility for student and staff collaboration and student dorms.

Days for Girls Tackles a Taboo

The non-profit organization was founded in 2008 by Celeste Mergens of Lynden who saw the need for feminine hygiene kits while she was working with a family foundation in Kenya.

Marine Life in Anacortes

Women Researchers at Shannon Point Inspire Students Not far down the road from the Anacortes ferry landing is an important marine research center that has studied everything from seaweed to ocean waves to ocean acidification since the 1970s. Once primarily a field station for Western Washington University, it now has community outreach programs along…

Five Faves

1. KEENAN’S AT THE PIER                                                                                               …

Hoping to Shake Up Bellingham’s Art Scene

He created the Rocket Donuts’ rocket in downtown Bellingham and has been a contractor for 25 years designing multimillion-dollar homes in the Pacific Northwest. Now, Alexei Ford has just opened Ruckus, a downtown art gallery just a stone’s throw from the Bellingham Farmers Market. Ruckus prides itself on combining an authenticity of the West with a modern organic appeal and rugged…

Attorney at Law, Humanitarian at Heart

Immigration is a hot issue not only nationally, but locally. And lawyer and teacher Hannah E. Stone has been at its center in Whatcom County. Stone, 42, has worked in immigration and citizenship…

Forest Fighters

A mid the economic crisis of the Great Depression, 200 young, unmarried men ages 18 to 25 labored long days to build access roads, fire lookouts, and other structures on some of Whatcom County’s most prized public lands. Eighty-five years later, the young men’s work is being recognized with a statue at the Glacier Public Service…

Humor Without a Safety Net

By its nature, Bellingham Alive is designed to be a perpetual work in progress. As our community changes, Bellingham Alive will always change with it. Few may have believed that Bellingham Alive would succeed when we published our first issue 10 years ago in the Great Recession. I did, however. I had faith in my wife, Lisa, and her vision and determination. Our goal was simple—to simply make a difference in our community, to celebrate our community, and to help drive business through the doors of our community. Certainly, we hope that our magazine has become a source of pride for our local counties. That is our goal. That is our commitment to you.

Lasting Image | Kerry Butowicz

Beltane is celebrated with a maypole dance. This shot was achieved by standing in the middle of the dancers underneath the interwoven ribbons. Feeling the joy of the community surrounding me brought this festival to life in its purest form.

Empowering With Employment

While many may know The RE Store on Meridian Street for its salvaged building materials and curious odds and ends, the store makes up only one facet of the…

Mortality Meets Coffee Klatsch

When you hear about a group called Death Café meeting in a funeral home, you may not think it would be a lively group. But, according to…

Five Faves Outdoor Sculpture Gardens

   1. WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS If you’ve ever strolled the campus situated well above downtown Bellingham, you can’t miss the intriguing, and sometimes befuddling, artwork placed between buildings. (At least one piece even has its own Twitter handle.) The university’s first sculpture was installed…

Lasting Image | Pat McDonnell

What is your favorite thing to take pictures of? Street Photography is my favorite thing to shoot, it’s spontaneous, gets me out, and I really get to see the town. I love shooting both film and digital. What do you do when you aren’t taking photos? I help craft micro social media content for independent businesses for Instagram, and I shoot short documentaries. What is your favorite spot to photograph? The streets of Bellingham…

Grabbing Life By the Horns

The first bite transports you to a warm, Mississippi morning. The array of spices paired with a hint of pineapple give a burst of flavor, but…

An Aerial Photographer’s Perspective

Tore Ofteness has been a local photographer for more than 30 years. Born in Norway, Ofteness, 72, lives in Bellingham. Now all but retired, Ofteness recently published the book, “A Higher Perspective:…

Out of This World

Unidentified flying objects are personal for Bellingham artist Trish Harding. A Lummi Island native and Bellingham resident, she says she has seen UFOs twice in her lifetime, once on Lummi as a child and also as a young adult off the island. With that partly in mind, she named her downtown workplace Studio…

Don’t come home without a mammoth, dear!

Ken (and Loretta) offer their post- Winter Olympic Games thoughts to increase viewership Every two years, we celebrate the world’s athletes, their incredible stories of sacrifice, and the spirit of Olympic competition. Once upon a time — back before…

Lasting Image

What is your favorite thing to take pictures of? My favorite subjects are in the sky: stars, comets, eclipses, the sun and moon. But being a night sky photographer in the cloudiest city in the continental United States can be challenging, so I also spend a significant time photographing…

Cascadia Womens Film Fest Returns

Last month was Women’s History Month, but we don’t have to stop celebrating just because it’s April. The second annual Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival is April 12–15 at Pickford Film…

Hard-to-Kill Plants

So, you’ve never muddied your hands with garden soil. You can never remember what a perennial is. You’ve drowned or deprived all your past plants. Do not despair. Below is…

A Guiding Force for Education

After 22 years as Western Washington University’s director of communications, Lynne Masland has now committed herself to becoming a connector of the community. As she describes it, she is an elder of Whatcom County, responsible for building a web of support in the community. Since she retired, Masland has been constructing her web as an author, board member of the Whatcom Community College Foundation, leader in the Bellingham Sunrise Rotary Club, and aspiring painter. She has…

FIVE FAVES DOCKS & PIERS

THE PIERS AT LA CONNER MARINA The piers at La Conner Marina see all different kinds of boaters from commercial, recreational and marine connected businesses. With bustling downtown La Conner a few steps away—amble over to the Museum of Northwest Art if you have the chance—this pier offers has a little something for everyone. It’s the perfect launch for a boater’s day trip, and features a rest stop with bathrooms, laundry…

The Art of Forgiveness

Colleen Haggerty Colleen Haggerty lay on the precipice of sleep. The same scene that had visited her countless times before would visit again. She was in a car, sometimes…

Garbage Shaming

Loretta gets serious about recycling to avoid the public stockade. I  don’t shame easily. As a native New Yorker, my adherence to social norms was often optional, kind of like taking abstinence advice from my mom when I was a teenager. I would listen…

Cider House Rules?

Bellingham Cider Company In a region dominated by local beers of all kinds, Bellingham Cider Company boldly enters on the leading edge of…

All-Ages Entertainment Downtown

The Ruckus Room Arcade and Fun Center Looking to provide an all-ages space downtown for Bellingham’s under-21 crowd, Collin Topolski and Emmalyn Smith opened the…

Five Faves: Women’s History Month

  HIDDEN FIGURES (2016) Discover the true story of three brilliant African-American female mathematicians—Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson—who played a crucial role in the U. S.’s space race against Russia.   IRON JAWED ANGELS (2004)…

Yes in a Dress- Nuu-Muu

Athletic leisure wear is all the rage, but what about a functional athletic garment that looks as pretty as your non-athletic garments? What about telling your daughter she can play basketball in a dress? What about getting dirty…

Lasting Image

What is your favorite thing to take pictures of?  Sunsets are by far my favorite things to take photos of…

Wellness Centers

In recent years, health and wellness centers are catering to clients who want far more than feel-good country spas and or challenging exercise adventures. Centers today offer approaches once considered unconventional, but now more mainstream, like acupuncture, natural medicines, and hypnosis. This is the first in a…

Lasting Image

What is your favorite thing to take pictures of? Having lived in Whatcom County for 46 years, I’ve seen some beautiful scenery here that still amazes me…

On the hunt for Totality

Photographer and Friends Find Magic and an Eerie Light During Solar Eclipse The tent flaps are pushed aside and a cold breeze greets my nose, I know that today is the day. With excitement in the air, I quietly rouse my camp, making sure to tread lightly, as it is only 5:30 in the morning. As our stoves are fired up and water is boiled,…

Bringing Soothing Sounds of Song to the Dying

Threshold Singers Since 2007, the Bellingham Threshold Singers have been providing soothing sounds for people who are seriously ill or…

Award-Winning Infant Care In Anacortes

Island Hospital Center for Maternal & Infant Care An Anacortes care center is one of just 13 winners of an international award for promoting healthy and successful breastfeeding practices. The Island Hospital Center for Maternal & Infant Care in Anacortes earned the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners Care Award (IBCLC Care Award). There are only 13 IBCLC Care Awards…

Program is Getting People Outside for Their Health

Recreation NW Parkscriptions Bellingham public health and medical professionals increasingly want you to take a walk in the woods — or even just around the block. It’s all part of a national program called Parkscriptions, or ParkRx. It is a national program, based in Washington D.C., aimed at encouraging community mental and physical health through physical activity like walking and hiking. And, locally, the nonprofit Recreation Northwest has adopted the concept as part of its drive…

Information Technology Degree Boosts Whatcom Community College

Whatcom Community College is already making a name for itself as a place to be trained in the rising field of cyber security. Now it has taken another step — offering a four-year degree in cutting-edge information technology. Last fall, Whatcom CC offered a new bachelor of applied science degree in Information Technology Networking, the two-year school’s first four-year degree, to 24 students. Officials say it is the only program of its kind to be offered in…

One-on-one Interview with Paula Poundstone

For a standup comedian, Paula Poundstone asks a lot of questions. She is quirky, inquisitive, and brilliant, all traits evident during her September show at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre. She keeps a punishing touring schedule – she is booked for 35 shows in the first half of 2018 alone – and her routine is only…

A Parent’s Pain

Ken’s Hopes for Parents in Pain During the Holidays For the holidays, I decided to unwrap a personal wound to support divorced parents…

White Snow Geese Enthrall, but Have a Dark Side

Drive through Skagit Valley’s fields from December through February and you’ll likely see hundreds of pristine white birds waddling about the muddy fields. Continue watching and you’ll see a magnificent sight when the flock suddenly takes flight and your field of vision looks like a fuzzy, snowy television…

Wonder Woman: Jen Gallant

Girls on the Run Coordinator, Trailblazers founder The rhythmic sounds of small footsteps on gravel is music to the ears of Jen Gallant. For more than a decade she has been making a difference in the lives of kids across Whatcom County. “I began volunteering at…

Sharing the Bounty

Fidalgo Island & Guemes Gleaners Imagine being at the supermarket and overhearing this conversation between a mother and her son: “Mom, can we get some apples?” “No honey, they’re too expensive, maybe next week.” Head gleaner of the Fidalgo Island & Guemes Gleaners (FIGG), Sylvia Cooper, recounted that story as told by her…

Current, Classic Video Games Fill a Niche

Best Buds Gaming Lounge As Hugh and Alexis Newmark manage their shop, a little brown package arrives. It has been sent from Germany, which could only mean one thing. Giddy with excitement, they carefully open it on the bar. It’s the European version of the classic video game Super Nintendo, with a miniaturized console and controllers. The Newmarks love it. Not only do they…

Farm-to-Table Cheese

Ferndale Farmstead From “seed-to-cheese,” Ferndale Farmstead is conquering every step of making artisan Italian cheese, and it all happens on the Ferndale farm. The 680 cows that produce the milk for the cheese are all fed by crops grown on the Ferndale land. Twice a day, those same cows are milked, and their milk is sent to the cheese production facility just a few…

Let Phoenix Desert and Sun Heat Up Your Winter

Escape the gray and head to sunny Arizona. Nestled in the urban core of the Grand Canyon state discover the bustling city of Greater Phoenix boasting more than 300 days of sunshine annually. And there’s no better time than now to come play in this Sonoran playground. Take a day to soak in the sun and explore the desert landscape. Exhilarate yourself and soar up, up and away in a hot air balloon. Float nearly 3,000 feet in…

The Sad State of Guy Love

Ken Explores the Emotional Health of Male Relationships Affection toward other males does not come naturally to most men. We are conditioned from birth to show strength, typically physical strength, but most certainly to project strength of any type as a means to the ultimate end — that is, to establish a pecking order amongst ourselves. Who’s the best athlete, the smartest, the most…

Fall Arts Feature

This feature story appeared in the November 2017 issue of Bellingham Alive Magazine.

Wonder Woman: There’s Always a Solution

Meredith McIlmoyle, Anacortes Arts Festival Director Anacortes Arts Festival executive director Meredith McIlmoyle has been event planning for 26 years. She began as a student assistant at Arizona State University, solo planning an event for the first time in 1993. She grew up in Denver, then lived in Arizona…

Traveling Abroad Made Easy at Rick Steves’ Travel Center

At home in the chic, down-to-earth seaside village of Edmonds is the Travel Center for Rick Steves’ Europe. Approach the building from 4th Avenue, with its classic red brick…

A Circus Story

I lived near Bellingham for 22 years before discovering there’s a circus in town. It’s aptly named Vaudevillingham and is put on by the Bellingham Circus Guild. Located just down the road from the hub of Fairhaven in a big warehouse, the circus puts on a show the 15th of every month. The event is a variety, kind of anything-goes, circusstyle experience. Each act is supposed to be new and original. It’s…

A Weekend of Films

Friday Harbor Film Festival Between 1,400 and 1,500 people are expected to attend the Friday Harbor Film Festival’s fifth annual documentary film festival November 3–5. Festival organizers Lynn Danaher and Karen Palmer founded the festival with an intention to share documentary films that tell relevant stories and encourage positive change. Danaher and Palmer run the festival with four pillars…

Exploring the Human Condition Through Art

Bellingham has its artistic success stories (Death Cab for Cutie, comedian Ryan Stiles), but it also has its grassroots luminaries. Author, poet, and radio producer Shannon Laws is one. She has the privilege of not only being one of many talented Bellingham artists, but possesses…

Roundabout is Fair Play

Ken takes a Sunday drive back to his future Once upon a time—back when the wheel had just been invented but not yet patented—I used to worry only about the…

More Local Art? Step Right Up

Fairhaven Fourth Friday Art Work Fairhaven is Washington’s best-kept secret, according to artist and shop owner Scott Ward, who moved north from Seattle a year ago. The exposed brick buildings, the boardwalk, the historic architecture, and the cozy shops…

Whimsical Driftwood Sculptures

Joe Treat If you drive down Worline Road in Bow you’ll pass a house guarded by life-sized driftwood statues. A massive rhino stares down all…

Small Brewery, Large Taste

Atwood Ales With a yank, the doors of the old barn are pulled open, revealing a network of interconnected piping, flashing lights and chromed…

Helping Kids in Need

Ray and Keely Deck, Skookum House Upstairs are rooms bathed in natural light from the windows, complete with colorfully quilted beds and bins of every sort of toy from soft dolls to plastic trucks. Downstairs is a welcoming kitchen table, wood worn from many little hands, clumsily participating in meals and craft…

Farms Tour: Cows. Alpacas. Sea Urchins?

Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms If you’ve ever wondered just how does that food get from farm to table, or if you simply want to channel…

Cable Show Highlights Community Doers

For the last 2 ½ years, Marie Marchand has done her part to raise up voices from the greater Bellingham community. As host and co-producer of BTV’s Bellingham Voices, a show aired on the city’s public-access station, Marchand’s mission is to grow her audience’s appreciation for Bellingham local government, nonprofits, and community leadership. While Marchand envisioned the show to spotlight…

Romancing the Whine

A Guy’s Viticulture Guide to Relationships I am either fearless or foolish because I habitually connect dots for the sake of humor, like the parallels between romance and wine, that should never be connected in public. This issue’s feature article on wine inspired me yet again — my pencil is out…

Living Intentionally and Collaboratively

Bellingham Cohousing Coffee hour starts at 10 a.m. each morning. Residents sit quietly in the common house and drink their coffee while catching up with neighbors. Six acres of land was bought in 1997 and three years later, the first family moved into their unit and Bellingham Cohousing was born. Gail Kirgis and her husband, Tom Cornwall, have been living in Bellingham Cohousing for four years. Thirty-three units, with two to four bedrooms, house an intergenerational society that relies…

An Artful Approach to Storytelling

Chris Moench It all started with a lump of clay. While Chris Moench hasn’t always been a professional potter, art has always been a strong force in his life and now occupies him as a full-time career. Moench has made a name for himself with his handcrafted Axis of Hope Prayer Wheels. The ornate pieces of art act as storytelling devices, Moench said. For many people, a wheel can bring them…

Quirky Play About The Pig War Comes to Life

Only some people are aware of the major dispute between Great Britain and the United States over who had rightful ownership of the San Juan Islands, referred to as The Pig War. The mid-1800s conflict never actually resulted in physical combat, but was instead resolved diplomatically. It is quite likely that just a handful of…

The Wilderness in Our Backyard

North Cascades Institute While pursuing his graduate degree in biology at Western Washington University Saul Weisberg worked as a climbing ranger in the North Cascades National Park. As a ranger, Weisberg discovered the beauty of the park so many were still unaware of. In 1986, Weisberg co-founded the North Cascades Institute with a mission to provide education to all in order to promote…

Celebrating the Sea

Bellingham SeaFeast Festival After a successful maiden voyage in 2016, SeaFeast is returning to Bellingham September 22 and 23 for two days of games, live music, and of course, good eats. The festival celebrates the history and tastes of the Salish Sea, and admission is free. The feasting begins Friday with a “sea-feed” downtown, where attendees…

Wonder Woman

Kathie Wilson When Bellingham’s Childlife Montessori School opens the doors to its final year this month, Kathie Wilson will begin her 41st year of teaching. Her career in education has come full circle, beginning and ending in Bellingham. After attending Western Washington University, she moved to Seattle and discovered the Montessori Method of education…

More Than You Can Chew

Did you have breakfast today? How about lunch? Maybe a little snack before dinner? For as long as I can remember, the expectation…

Going Boutique in Seattle

The Edgewater Hotel If you are looking to pamper yourself in Seattle and want a truly Pacific Northwest experience, the historic Edgewater Hotel is the perfect boutique alternative to Seattle’s predictable national chains. The Edgewater is a fusion of old school and contemporary styles — offering warm…

A Bigger Slice of the Pie

Pizza’zza Expands in Fairhaven After about six months of renovation Pizza’zza officially reopened in June as a full-service, sit-down restaurant and tap room. While the carryout counter has been a…

Play on Wheels

Western Washington University Summer Theatre With the vast amount of outdoor activities available to Pacific Northwest residents in summer, theater-going is…

Pickin’ Washington’s Bluest Jewels

Bow Hill Blueberries Summertime means warm breezes, crab boils, and berry picking. If you haven’t already visited Bow Hill Blueberries in Bow, then you’re missing out…

A Family Farm for Everyone

Cloud Mountain Farm Center Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, pears, peaches, pumpkins, and so many more types of produce cover the 20 acres of farmland known as Cloud Mountain Farm Center. Cheryl and Tom Thornton began their family farm in 1978…

Master Chef Opens Specialty Bakery

Opera Pastries and Coffee Those hungry for a taste of France have a new destination to try in downtown Bellingham. Opera, a French pastry and coffee shop, officially opened its doors on April 1. The bakery features an array of classic French pastries baked in-house daily. Opera’s…

Wonder Woman

Barb Demorest Barbara Demorest’s story is one that begins with a diagnosis and leads to a ripple of hope for thousands, extending from her Bellingham community all the way to women of rural…

No Dairy? No Problem

One of the greatest tragedies of being lactose intolerant is the inability to enjoy one of the best go-to foods there are—pizza. You can, of course, make your own recipes at home, but there’s nothing that quite compares with going out with friends, ordering a pitcher of beer and a large pie. But thankfully, there are options…

Cats Rule, Dogs Drool

Ken, er, Garfield, Jr., goes off-leash to offer some catty remarks No disrespect to horses, rabbits, piglets, and other critters, but dogs, not you all, are my competition for household dominance. Dogs have had their day. It’s “our” turn. As a…

Heliotrope Hotel

Retro Vibe Meets Pacific Northwest Mood Bellingham’s hotel accommodations have long lacked a middle ground; a space that neither has the price…

Dog Paddle

Pups rehabilitate in the pool Carrie Lane, owner of K9 Lap of Luxury, was first inspired by the powers of canine hydrotherapy at a pool in Fall City. Lane showed her bull mastiff and was looking for a low-impact way to condition him. While she said she wasn’t even sure if he could swim, after just a few sessions she realized the pool was just what he needed. As a large breed, exercise on land…

Making Spaying and Neutering Accessible

WeSNiP Every Thursday morning, cat owners gather in the parking lot of Bellingham’s Salvation Army, and every Thursday morning, the team at WeSNiP is ready to go. Cats are loaded on to the WeSNiP van and taken to the Northwest Organization for Animal Health (NOAH) Center in Stanwood to be spayed or neutered. They are driven…

Island with Bustle

San Juan County: San Juan Island Samantha Bryner moved to San Juan Island 44 years ago, and has worked in real estate for more than 30 of those. On her first ferry ride into Friday Harbor she remembers being taken aback by the island’s beauty. “Enchanted. I have to live here,” she remembers thinking. This tends to be a sentiment shared by many islanders. It’s an…

Big Island, Small World

San Juan County: Orcas Island Orcas Island, known as the “Gem of the San Juans,” is the largest of the archipelago. It boasts the highest mountains on the islands, most of which are in Moran State Park; waterfalls, and numerous hamlets, with Eastsound…

“Slo-Pez” Neighbors Revel in the Rural

San Juan County: Lopez Island When visitors come to Lopez Island, they feel like they’re part of the neighborhood. Known as the…

Watching the Neighborhood Grow

Skagit County: Eaglemont When Denise Hewitt and her husband moved to Eaglemont about 20 years ago there were hardly any other homes. Now, it’s become an established neighborhood. “It’s a great community,” she said. “It started out being mostly retired people and then as the years went by, lots of families [came].” There’s plenty to do in Eaglemont to keep a family occupied. The Eaglemont Golf Course serves as a neighborhood hub, featuring an 18-hole course, the…

Where the Forest Meets the Sea

Skagit County: Skyline Courtney Blackston and her family moved into the Skyline neighborhood a year and a half ago, and are happy to call it home. The Blackstons are a military family, and they fell in love with Anacortes for the school district, the downtown…

A Seafarer’s Dream

Skagit County: Shelter Bay Danny Hagen grew up in the Shelter Bay house that he now lives in with a family of his own — his wife, Nicole,…

Coal Mines of Bellingham

Bellingham’s neighborhoods have their own character, but some share a feature you can’t even see: a wide network of underground coal mine tunnels. Hundreds of miles of abandoned coal passageways honeycomb Bellingham’s depths, none bigger than the massive Bellingham Coal Mine beneath the Birchwood and Columbia neighborhoods. The mine, which operated from 1918–1955, was the last to close, ending an era that began with coal’s discovery here in the early 1850s. Still,…

A Place to Grow Together

Whatcom County: Columbia The weather is a comfortable middle area, between shedding the last of winter and the opening notes of spring. Residents of the Columbia neighborhood are coming out of hibernation. People are outside jogging, walking their dogs and cycling….

Neighborhood Police

In November, a string of home break-ins put Bellingham residents on edge. The burglaries followed a pattern: multiple suspects breaking into homes, particularly on sunny days when residents were out. One neighborhood after another got hit….

The Ins and Outs of the Top Knot

One of the biggest-trending hair styles I see these days is the “high bun,” popularly known known as the “top knot.” This hairstyle is so quick and simple, you can apply it before you cook breakfast, and it’ll translate throughout the day as you drop off the kids, run…

The Case for Porta Potties

Ken puts a few tongue-in-cheek suggestions in the Mt. Baker Theatre’s suggestion box When I attended the grand opening of the Mt. Baker Theatre in 1927, she was a thing of absolute beauty and the pride of the community—and she still is, perhaps even more so now. Ah, the childhood memories. But for all the acts and movies over the years, I never once had to use the restroom. Not once. What can I say? Bladder control has always…

Overcoming Hearing Loss

Student finds community at Western Johanna Urbach isn’t sure when she lost the ability to hear in her right ear. One possible explanation is when she was 15 months old and received shots, she couldn’t sit up straight afterwards and got an ear infection. While this could explain Urbach’s hearing loss,…

When the Bells Stop Ringing

F or weeks, I had mentally prepared myself to dig my stepfather’s grave. The first shovelful of sod was the hardest. I placed the first piece carefully to the side and stared at the clump of dirt and grass. The solemnity of the moment was inescapable—I was about to prepare his final physical resting ground here on earth. The emotions of death are unlike any other, I thought to myself as…

Sipping Chocolate Fits to a Tea

Evolve’s Chaicolate good for Easter, Mother’s Day The first rule of comparing sipping chocolate to hot chocolate is…don’t. “It’s incomparable to hot chocolate,” says chocolatier Shannon Fox, co-owner and co-founder of Evolve Chocolate in Bellingham. “It’s an actual preparation of a food product.” The biggest question we have of sipping chocolate, a fixture at European cafes but only a recent trend here, is “What took you so long?” We grew…

Repeal and Replace

Ken offers suggestions for Trumpcare Is it just me or does anyone else question whether the federal government is serious about health care, public safety, and balancing the budget? Ask any household on a budget—coping in a crisis requires creativity, penny-saving efficiency, and multi-tasking. I say to Mr. President and Congress, “Think like a…

Ten Good Places to Watch March Madness

Sure, you could watch the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments from the comfort of your own sofa, but what’s the fun in screaming your fool head off in a quiet house? Go find your…

Loretta’s Guide To Post-Divorce Dating

Loretta shares her stud-finding secrets Dating—near as I can tell, the after-market experience is punishment before the crime, kind of like law school. Don’t get me wrong. I love men. Well, most men, anyway. At their…

Ways to Spend Time With Your Love This February

February is chock-full of events in our neck of the woods. They serve as a great opportunity for both familiar and new experiences. Take advantage of the fun and spend some extra time with your love…or best friends. 1. Chuckanut Bay Distillery hosts tours and complimentary tastings every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m….

Treating Mental Health, One Person at a Time

Compass Health is on a mission to advance behavioral health in our area, specifically in Snohomish, Skagit, Island, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties. The private, non-profit state-licensed organization offers comprehensive behavioral health services. They have four locations in Bellingham. Among the core values listed on their website, Compass Health strives to be dedicated to the well-being of the communities they serve. Given their comprehensive services and wealth of compassionate staff members, Compass Health fulfills…

Tech-Savvy Surgery Comes to Bellingham

The Bellingham medical community has something new and exciting to talk about — the da Vinci Surgical System. The robotic system is praised for its minimally invasive surgeries, which can make for quicker recovery times and easier healing. Local surgeons are already making use of the da Vinci, and are…

Best Day Ever

Serial entrepreneur Anne-Marie Faiola is at it again. In addition to Bramble Berry, her soap-making supply company, Faiola has set to work on providing both mental and physical betterment through an extension of her Bramble Berry brand, called Best Day Ever. It all began with the people she worked with. Despite producing incredibly creative work, the entrepreneurs were struggling. As Faiola put it, they didn’t have the…

For Health’s Sake, Let Your Creativity Flow

What do you need to be healthy? Drink plenty of water, exercise, eat good food, what about painting or playing music? Numerous studies reveal a link between creativity and good health. It’s not even about producing a beautiful picture or writing an award winning story, merely the process of being creative helps individuals become less anxious, more resilient, and…

A Reminder To Look For The Forest In The Trees

Ken rejoices in the sweet side of life’s randomness For the past few months, two beloved family members, my aunt and stepfather, have been in and out of the hospital. Both are terminally ill. In the next weeks or months, my stepsisters will be parentless without the critical emotional tether of their father, my mom will face the remainder of her life without her husband of 31 years, my cousins will lose their maternal “Rock…

Sips to Your Health

If you haven’t stopped by Saku Tea at the Tide Lines Gallery yet, then make your way to the cozy tea bar. Husband and wife team, Kuros Zahedi and Sandra Loeffelmann, ensure patrons can choose from a wide selection of tea lattes, blends, pots, cups, and everything in-between. The duo has spent years traveling and sipping tea all over…

Spotlight: Misha Collins

For the past five years, the first week of August has meant more than another seven days of summer. For thousands of people around the world, August 1 commences the official beginning of the world’s largest scavenger hunt, also known as GISHWHES: The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, which began in 2011 and has had teams all over the world running from one ridiculous task to the next. From skydiving, hugging strangers, preforming puppet shows at children’s…

Finding A Place

There’s something for everyone at The Comics Place. My Little Pony comics are interspersed with Mad Max and Marvel. Six shelves are dedicated to both tabletop and board games, and an island in the center of the entryway provides the familiar and cacophonous scrape and clatter of the many-sided dice required to play tabletop games. And even…

The Leap

As a young teenager, I leapt a mighty leap from the cliff of life. It was a leap of faith for the bottom was nowhere in sight. I turned and looked back to see my mom,…

Five Faves: Holiday Markets

The Lights of Christmas With more than one million lights on display, it is no wonder The Lights of Christmas is one of the most popular holiday festivals in the North End. Not only will you see more lights than you can imagine, but every weekend in December offers food, music, entertainment, and shopping. Warm Beach Camp, Stanwood, thelightsofchristmas.com   Snohomish Holiday Market There are few places as quaint as downtown Snohomish during the holidays. Take a day to…

Community Effort, Community Hub: Stanwood – Camano YMCA

The driving motto behind the YMCA is “for youth development, for healthy living, for social responsibility.” You can hear this motto on every phone call and see it on every webpage. For residents of Stanwood, however, this is no empty tagline. These words mark a promise, kept and fulfilled by the…

McMenamins Anderson School Celebrates its One-Year Anniversary

When McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell opened one year ago, it earned bragging rights as the largest McMenamins property in Washington State. Known for its pubs, breweries, and historic hotels, McMenamins restores historic buildings—often working closely with local historical societies and…

Bob Goodwin

The role of a producer can be a strange one. You begin, as R.W. “Bob” Goodwin did, in the mailroom. You work your way up. You look back…

The Accidental Bucketlist

Without guys like Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and the guys along the defensive line, there would be no Legion of Boom, because it all starts up front. Those guys don’t get nearly the credit they deserve. —Richard Sherman Half of what I know about football I learned in second grade, when I told my class that my cousin Leta was a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys. It made sense—she had long, blond hair, great Frye boots, cool…

Answer The Question, Please!

Ken taps his foot to the latest dance, the Trump-Clinton side-step. As a trial attorney, I have forced many unwilling adversaries to answer obvious, but difficult questions under oath. Admit it. You are jealous—don’t we all wish that we had the power…

Canada, Do The Right Thing!

Ken implores Canada to give Victoria, BC back To my Canadian brothers and sisters to the north—I love you but enough is enough. Your Canadian-U.S. balance ledger is badly in the red….

Haunting Road Trips: Ghost Towns and Utopias

This time of year is perfect for charging or gassing up the car and taking a good old-fashioned road trip around…

The Brazilian

Loretta responds to Ken’s “The Full Monty” What was Ken smoking? Did you read his Final Word on the fragility of male egos? Issue that man a WUI, officer! Clearly he was writing under the influence of something or sucking up to females. If the difference between kissing behinds and brown-nosing is simply depth perception, Ken went deep to prove a point. Women, behold, some modern males are capable of taking the “hat” off and exposing themselves. No…

DIY Gurus of Youtube

I remember watching This Old House on lazy weekends, idly plucking at a bowl of popcorn while Bob Vila tears apart the plaster wall of a Victorian with glee. These days, homeowners get most of their renovation know­how in the great how­to library of YouTube. But not all home remodel videos are created equal—some of them are too complicated, some skip important steps, and some are just downright silly. But the best of them are so helpful, they deserve a special mention. One of the superstars of YouTube DIY is Matt Risinger of Austin, Texas. Now, not all of the advice he dispenses works in our cooler, wetter climate, but he does some beautiful work and explains it all very well. Another favorite is Craig Heffernan. Craig specializes in deck­building for beginners. More enthusiast than teacher, Kirsten Dirksen takes you through eco­houses and tiny houses loaded with features and information. She’s a great person to turn to for inspiration and ideas, Dirksen’s passion shines through. Going with a contractor is usually a good idea for most large remodel and construction projects. But if you feel like rolling up your sleeves and framing your own tiny house, these folks can help you get started. Or at least get you into enough trouble to keep it interesting. Links: Matt Risinger Craig Heffernan Kirsten Dirksen

Barn Raising

Dreaming of a new outbuilding for your property? Find inspiration in the gorgeous equestrian barns constructed by DC Builders in Snohomish County and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Stephanie Meyer is an equine veterinarian at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital. DC Builders constructed this classic gable-style custom horse barn in Snohomish for Meyer and her husband, Derek. The Meyers’ 36-foot horse barn includes four horse stalls with steel-framed stall fronts…

Household Know-How

We’ve rounded up our favorite how-to videos that demonstrate helpful tips and tricks for accomplishing household cleaning and organizing tasks.

Edmonds: The Heart of the Arts

The inspiring landscape, supportive community, and rich artistic history create a lure that draws artists and art enthusiasts to Edmonds. “There’s a power and a presence about being in Edmonds,” said Elizabeth Martin-Calder, interim executive director of Cascadia Art Museum. Since its beginning, the community has supported and encouraged the arts. “If you go…

Legal Care: Turning the law into a language people can understand

It’s a new year, and it’s time for a new way to think of law. Pop culture portrays great lawyers as an all knowing, strategic creatures capable of destroying insurmountable challenges with nothing short of relentless logic and legal acumen. These mere humans transform into sharks, wolves and other predators that the average citizen would instinctually avoid in the wild for the sake…

Sun Valley

Take a ten-hour drive southeast—or a twohour flight—and you’ll find yourself at the famed ski destination, Sun Valley, Idaho. Often thought…

Five Faves: Native Blooms

Western Red Columbine (AQUILEGIA FORMOSA) These lovely star-like blooms bob on delicate stems among lacy foliage. Running counter to the claim that native plants aren’t showy, a patch of these in any landscape will catch the eye. Wild Mock Orange (PHILADELPHUS LEWISII) Collected by Lewis and Clark on their voyage west and named by botanist Linneaus, the mock orange is a fragrant, bright…

Comfort Foods

When I think of food, I think of the various elegant, modern food photographs I see on Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites. Or I think of the carefully plated dishes we make at the restaurant. I get an image of a bright garden fresh beet on a white plate with…

Old School Trailer Works

What’s old is new again in entertaining, and the new interest in vintage culture brings with it the welcome return of the Airstream. With four businesses under her belt, Angi Soulier is a driven…

Wonder Woman: Jenni Cottrell

Jenni Cottrell believes in pooling resources and bringing together a community around the beauty and power of art. To illustrate this point, she tells a story about when she was with a friend at an auction in Alaska they saw a painting they loved. The auction was to benefit the…

Seeing the world in a whole new way

Inspirational doesn’t begin to describe local resident Jim Stegall, who, at 85 and in company with his guide dog Emilio, celebrates the 20th anniversary of his almost four-month, 12,000- mile trip through South America. By the time he set off, Stegall and his 70-year old travel partner, David Hopkins, were both legally blind and eager to see what the world had to offer. What Stegall discovered, and continues to…

Cleavage Etiquette

Hi there. As a single mother of two pre-school kids, I feel compelled to offer some good natured, but badly needed male guidance in my first ever Final Word. But first I want to thank the magazine, and Ken,…

Wonder Woman: Zsofia Pasztor

  Zsofia Pasztor is a busy woman. She is a parent of four, part-time instructor, business owner of Innovative Landscape Technologies, and creator of the successful Farmer Frog Model. Her passions are horticulture and education—two things…

Leadership Snohomish County Program

The Leadership Snohomish County Program has a mission—to develop leaders for a lifetime. Geared toward anyone seeking to build and expand their leadership skills, Leadership Snohomish educates people of all ages for a bright future.

Hog Wild for Sustainability

The next time you fail a drug test, you might try to blame it on the BB Ranch prosciutto. Nice try, but eating butcher William von Schneidau’s “pot pig” products won’t get you high. The Pike Place Market butcher teamed up with Jeremy Gross of Snohomish’s Bucking Boar Farms and began feeding marijuana scraps to a number of pigs when Washington legalized use of the plant…

Climbing for Kids

Dave Mauro climbed the steep incline, knowing the end was near. He stepped onto the summit, looked out at the twinkling lights of Nepal and Tibet and said to himself, “Thank you.” It was 3:42 a.m. on May 20, 2013, as he reached the top of Mount Everest. A Bellingham resident, Mauro began climbing mountains in 1992 when he took on…

Five Faves: Local Aphrodisiacs

Oysters Packers Oyster Bar Semiahmoo You can’t get fresher or more locally sourced oysters than the farm right outside the bar. These succulent oysters are sure to do the…

Dr. Mitchell Kahn and the Skagit Opera

Dr. Mitchell Kahn and the Skagit Opera In January, the Skagit Opera performed at Lairmont Manor in Bellingham for the first time. One of the missions of the Skagit Opera, which has been in operation since 2003, is to spread an appreciation to new audiences, in addition to serving well the audience they have already established. “Most of our audience members…

Wonder Woman: Rose Lathrop

  Passionate, community-minded and up for a challenge, Huxley graduate Rose Lathrop has dedicated her career to sustainable planning and design. A former employee at Aiki Homes, which specializes in sustainable, green and co-housing development, Lathrop made a change in 2012 and became the Green Building and Smart Growth program manager at Sustainable Connections. She is also the executive director of the Northwest…

Coastal Encounters

The North End’s Best Beaches A day at the beach burns bright in one’s memory. We are drawn to water, because the sea is a master storyteller. Shorebirds squawk and circle. The salt air aches of escape and adventure. Children squeal and giggle over ribbons of slimy seaweed and watch in wonder as small…

Whistler Winter Wonderland

With an annual average snowfall of more than 35 feet, Whistler Blackcomb is famous for the soft powder on its Whistler Winter Wonderland slopes. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of places to play, including heli-skiing packages. Beginners are best starting out at Blackcomb Base, Whistler Village and Whistler Creekside and gradually working their way up to the more advanced slopes.

Wonder Woman: Molly Helmuth

Each issue, we highlight a woman who is setting a prime example of what success looks like in our local marketplace. This issue we celebrate Molly Helmuth, who calls Monroe’s Evergreen Speedway her home track, and is a rising star on the stock car circuit. Molly Helmuth turns 19 in mid-June. At the age when most girls are trying to figure out…

Snohomish Makes a Splash

The new aquatic center in Snohomish is making a splash. The fully equipped facility has something for everyone. More advanced swimmers can take advantage of the 10-lane lap pool set a comfortable 78-80˚F with two 1-meter diving boards, while kids can play in the variety of…

Low-impact Exercise, High-impact Returns

You haven’t been to the gym in ages. You’re busy, you’re tired, and you have endless work, family and social obligations. You know you need to exercise, but who’s got the time and money to invest in a proper program? The American Heart Association recommends that individuals do moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, or vigorous exercise…

Bothell’s New Village

Among The Village’s shopping and dining options, which include a Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Massage Green Spa, will be local chef John Howie’s newest restaurant, The Beardslee Alehouse and Wildwood Distillery.

Husbandcare.gov

Ken’s Valentine’s Day gift for the woman who has everything I am a social scientist at heart. As with most males, I am genetically engineered to offer solutions to life’s challenges, even gender-related relationship problems — and even if the answer may come at my expense. I can’t help myself. I am stupid smart. My social laboratory of late has been the…

Yakima Wine Country: Endless Possibilities

Beneath a brilliant blue sky, an emerald valley of farms, vineyards and orchards rolls out to the horizon of amber hills. At a glance, it could be Napa, Burgundy or Chianti — but it’s not….

Poet de la Paz

For many students at Western Washington University, Professor Oliver de la Paz is the amiable and quirky character often seen walking the halls of Humanities building, bobbing his head to his tunes, his large, friendly dog Beau in tow. An encouraging, accessible figure who pushes his students to explore while remaining true to themselves, he amuses his students with funny stories about his children, and once commented in a prose poetry workshop that he might have a “kitten shaped hole…

Five Faves: Great Dates

Keenan’s at the Pier BELLINGHAM After a nice stroll around Boulevard Park and Taylor Dock, a sunset dinner at Keenan’s at the Pier would be the perfect way to spend a special evening. Located in the intimate and elegant Chrysalis Inn and Spa, Keenan’s offers fine food, a full wine list and great views. thechrysalisinn.com -> Keenan’s at the Pier Chuckanut Drive BELLINGHAM Chuckanut Drive is famous for its heart-stopping curves with…

Always on Duty

DANIEL HOWARD Daniel Howard was on his way home after spending time in Oregon last May. He had been in Oregon recovering from an injury he sustained while working for the fire department. Near Tacoma, Howard saw a white car cross several lanes of traffic in front of him, and race ahead along the shoulder passing the other vehicles. “At that point I started following them and I called 911 to report I was following a possible DUI,”…

George Dyson’s Answer

Every year, Edge.org asks its gigantic constellation of thinkers, intellectuals, scientists and world thought-leaders — among them Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, Rebecca Goldstein and many…

Uptown Art Studio

With a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of wine in another, Uptown Art makes creating your latest masterpiece more fun and more social than ever. Newly opened in December near the Bellwether Hotel, the spacious art gallery offers a display of beautifully presented paintings as…

Getting Clean for Spring

Ahh, it’s almost spring in the Northwest! The birds will fly north and begin singing again, the rain will subside and you will once again see the faint glimmer of sunshine through the branches of those soon-to-be-budding trees. There are already little signs of hope in your muddy…

Senior Citizens United

Ken pays respect to his elders I have your backs, seniors—and your backsides, open medical gowns and all. So what if you unintentionally embarrass your kids by posting private comments…

Senior All-Stars: Volunteers Who Shine

ADRIENNE LEDERER Neighborhood and Parks Activist Energetic, warm, outspoken Adrienne came into volunteerism through a political campaign in 1996, but it was through a notice in the paper about the Guide Meridian-Cordata Neighborhood that she found herself truly engaged. She joined her neighborhood association and found her niche. Bellingham’s growth on the north end of the city didn’t include a plan for…

Engaging Communities

Retirement Communities That Offer Amenities: When we think of retirement communities, we generally think of endless games of bingo and terrible food. Fortunately, we have retirement communities in our area that offer amenities beyond television reruns and canasta. The Leopold on Cornwall Ave. in downtown Bellingham is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has played host to Clark…

The Rise of the Village Movement

In 2001, Boston residents came together and created a model for seniors who want the lifestyle and amenities of living in a senior community, but who wish to stay in their own homes. They call their nonprofit Beacon Hill Village,…

Staying Engaged: Senior Living

Welcome to the new era of retirement, in which retirees teach part-time, volunteer for nonprofits, mentor young people, doorbell for candidates,…

Five Faves: Brunch

Homeskillet BELLINGHAM With each pop of a champagne cork, the entire staff yells “opa!” and you know it’s on. Skillets are delicious, but don’t overlook the pancakes and Cinnamon swirl French toast. For serious appetites, the biscuits and gravy are the real deal. homeskilletinsunnyland.com Copper Hog BELLINGHAM Whether you’re hankering for the traditional eggs benedict or you want to branch out and try Kahlua Pork Hash, the Hog aims to please. The sides menu is robust enough…

Tyree Callahan

Tyree Callahan is probably best known worldwide for his conceptual art piece Chromatic Typewriter, a 1937 Underwood typewriter that has color keys rather than letters. Small paint-laden sponges sit poised to create one of Tyree’s landscapes, a canvas of which is unscrolling from the carriage as if typed into being. Chromatic Typewriter won international acclaim and was the runner-up in the speculative category of the Core77 design awards in 2012. Photos of it exploded across social media sites as it…

Tide Lines Gallery

Nestled in the Alley District is a boutique gallery filled with handcrafted treasures waiting to be discovered. While the mosaic tiled flooring may draw you into Tide Lines, it’s the artwork that keeps you there. And if the art around the room isn’t enticing enough, artist and owner Chelsea Jepson’s workspace behind the counter offers you a chance to see the masterpieces being created as you shop,…

Wonder Woman: Mayor Kelli Linville

When she turns her attention toward you as you speak, you know that Mayor Kelli Linville is listening. Not just putting on the appearance of listening, but taking in your words and considering them. Sometimes she responds right away, but typically she takes your words into consideration, thinks about them, and then meets with you at a later time to talk about your thoughts and concerns. This, right here, is what makes her unique as a…

Chosen Child: Susanne Antonetta’s Make Me a Mother

Jin came to Susanne and Bruce on a flight into Seattle accompanied by an agency escort. Not unlike a birth, the moment they took him up from his car seat and held him, their lives changed forever. In…

Robyn Smith

Robyn Smith believes in one central message when it comes to building a relationship between horses and humans — “natural is normal.” Her passion is creating strong bonds between the large animals and their handlers and riders. That mission is even stronger in her desire to expose at-risk youth to the benefits of natural horsemanship, and working with a variety of creatures. Hooves with…

Everett Film Festival

Now in its 18th year, the Everett Film Festival was started by six enterprising women. Originally known as the Everett Women’s Film Festival, the festival was created to highlight the work of women in film production. For years, the film festival has featured animated shorts, documentaries and feature films written, directed and produced by women, or films that have,…

Mountain Biking Destinations

Five Faves 1. GALBRAITH MOUNTAIN – WHATCOM The granddaddy of all mountain biking destinations, Galbraith has many challenging but rewarding trails. Maintained by volunteers (many of whom you can meet along the trails), Galbraith isn’t just a great place to mountain bike, it’s an…

Opus Performing Arts School

A New Kind of Studio When a small group of local parents decided they wanted something more from the offerings of performing arts education in Bellingham, they didn’t…

Silvertips

It’s true, Washington State is not Minnesota or Canada, but we’ve always had a solid history when it comes to hockey. The Lynnwood Ice Center has been around for awhile teaching the smaller set the fundamentals of the sport. The Thunderbirds formed in 1977 as the Breakers, eventually becoming the Thunderbirds after the 1984-85 season. But lucky for Snohomish County residents — we now have…

Five Faves: Happy Hour

Loft at Latitude Forty Eight Five BELLINGHAM On a warm day, the bay doors open and sea breezes waft over the tables. The Loft is a nice place to meet some friends for great late-afternoon specials. Entrée-sized portions for $5? Heck yeah! Generous pours of wine or beer for $3. Hearthfire Grill BELLINGHAM With a wide selection of small plates and a variety of drink specials, Hearthfire remains everyone’s favorite happy…

Corner of Inspiration: Doe Bay

Hugging the tip of Orcas Island, Doe Bay is a quiet place. The center includes houses, cabins, yurts, a hostel, campsites and a lodge. Offering Vinyasa Power yoga, Nidra and Hatha yoga classes, Doe Bay is a perfect place to pack up your mat and get away. The café serves healthy, delicious food to fuel your asanas. Owners, Joe and…

Wheels on Fire – Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson of the Bellingham Tennis Club laughed as she said, “Owning a tennis club was never on my list of things to do. I was in environmental science. I’m a Huxley grad.” So how did an environmental science professional with a background in…

Aimee Frazier

It starts with a sense of wonder and curiosity. Aimee Frazier opens the door to her deck and walks out into the wilderness. This is her place. She loves the outdoors, and has dedicated her life to encourage the same sense of wonder and curiosity in others.

Bellingham’s New Foundry

The future of technology, and certainly of industrial design, seems to be very much 3-D printing.

The Whatcom Dream

Every day can be a terrible grind for those in poverty, for those who are living paycheck-to-paycheck, for those who don’t, or can’t, make enough to get by, to feed their families.

Hope- The Emotional God Particle

I am in mourning. My comic idol is Robin Williams. The tragic loss of Robin should be a dark reminder — the will to live comes from within, even for the most talented amongst us. He had everything and yet he had nothing in his eyes, at least not enough to keep him on this earth. Why? And is his death any more tragic than any other suicide? Aren’t all lives precious? I suspect most of us would…

Beach Walks and Breezes- Lummi Island Getaway

Quiet and unassuming, Lummi Island isn’t as showy and flashy as some of the other islands in the San Juans, but it has a lot to offer the weekender. The island is named for the nearby Lummi tribe, who called it Skallaham. Today, artists, retirees and young families make up the permanent population, and vacationers swell the ranks in the summer months. In winter, Lummi is a quiet retreat. Getting there From I-5…

Rosalinda Guillen

As Rosalinda Guillen talks about Community to Community — the organization she started to spread awareness and bring social justice to farmworkers in the community — she sits beneath two distinctive pictures. One is of her inspiration, civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, Caesar Chavez. The other is one of her…

ARTspot

ARTspot encourages bravery, and tries to make art accessible to everyone. It’s a place that gives you the permission to explore and play, and their mission is to bring high quality materials to artists of all levels — even beginners. Owner Tracy Felix Fraker is positive, inspiring and an incredibly talented visionary with a passion for the creative process, and her store is an embodiment of her beliefs. As the Edmonds art…

Edmonds Art Studio Tour

Have you ever wanted to see inside an artist’s process — their studio, tools and techniques? Each September, Edmonds hosts a studio tour that focuses on the artists in the city. It showcases how art is created, the motivation behind it and gives you the chance to find new art to grace your home. Now in its ninth year, the media represented are vast. There are 23 studios and 42 artists featured in this year’s Edmonds Art Studio Tour….

Discovering our Fall Leaves

Some say summer is what keeps them living in Western Washington, while others are diehard fall fans. It’s true, New England is featured across the nation as the place to view fall color, but here in the Northwest we experience our own…

Judy Tuohy

If anyone knows the power of hard work and perseverance, it’s Judy Tuohy. As the director of the Schack Art Center in Everett, Tuohy helps run the non-profit organization that educates and showcases art in the Everett community. But Tuohy doesn’t — and hasn’t — stopped there. She is also running for Everett city council. Tuohy became involved last fall when…

P=mc2: Ken takes Albert Einstein behind the woodshed

Scientists need to take a chill pill, starting with Albert Einstein. His idea of a good time on a Friday night was to measure the speed of most everything in the physical world — sound, light, and my personal favorite, light in a vacuum. Really, Albert? I bet you didn’t date much. And your theories of relativity, including E=mc2? Way too complicated…

Five Faves: Summer Fairs

VANCOUVER PNE VANCOUVER AUGUST 16–SEPTEMBER 1 The PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) has been in operation for 101 years, and draws 900,000 visitors during its 17 days. Loaded with cultural demonstrations, performances, rides, fair food and more, the PNE is nonstop fun. Just remember to take cash — the debit machines on the fairgrounds only take Canadian cards. pne.ca NORTHWEST WASHINGTON FAIR LYNDEN…

Max Kaiser and Hand Crank Films

Whether promoting SuperFeet insoles or helping Bellingham to seduce Google into making Bellingham a Google Fiber pilot city, Max Kaiser and his team at Hand Crank Films do more than set up a camera, point, shoot and cut. The creative choices — the quality of the light, the texture of the images, the composition of the shots — set Hand Crank Films…

The Ghosts of Tonkin

Bellingham TheatreWorks, a new theater company in town, was recently established by the brilliant team of Mark Kuntz and Steve Lyons. Local playwright Steve Lyons graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and later found his passion in writing. Director Mark Kuntz graduated from University of Washington and University of Oregon in theater, and later…

Bellwether Market

The Bellwether peninsula now offers visitors, local employees and boaters a one-stop-shop where they can buy anything from chips, candy, coffee, or cigarettes to craft beer and wine. Bellwether Market is a new upscale convenience market that opened in May this year and is located at 6 Bellwether Way….

The Workspace

2014 finds many business people away from the classic cubicle in the office, without a desktop computer or water cooler in sight. With technology available all around us, we can work from home, from Starbucks and…

Surviving Menopause- Ken puts his life at risk

The signs were subtle at first — a wide-open window during a cold snap in January and the perpetual running of Sleepless in Seattle on the Hallmark channel. In hindsight, it is now clear. But at the time, I was simply oblivious. Then came the fireplace blazing 24/7 and extra comforters on the bed, all while the windows were wide open, and the…

Granville Island

Starting out as an unpromising little sandbar, Granville Island now shines as an example of what a community with chutzpah and vision can…

The Frigid Water Rescue- Rhonda Lasley

Officer Rhonda Lasley had been on the Sedro-Woolley police force for a month when she and civilian Nicole Vojkovich received a call from the Skagit sheriff’s office about an overturned boat at Dead Man’s Island. Prior to this, Rhonda had been employed for fourteen years by Skagit County Sheriff’s Office as a commissioned deputy where…

The Woods Coffee – They’re Doing It All

We all know The Woods Coffee as a place to relax and enjoy delicious tea, coffee or a treat, but now they have taken their company to an entirely new level. Their coffee, originally roasted in Seattle…

Cirque de Bellingham

It’s that time of the year again. The Bellingham Circus Guild is back in action. If you have never heard of this event, it’s a collection of professional and hobby circus artists performing as aerialists, stilters, clowns, myth makers, jugglers, acrobats, theatricalists and so much more. Their routines are based on European performance techniques and vintage circus performances. Think Cirque de Soliel meets steampunk,…

Annie Crawley: Dive Into Your Imagintion

Neon green sea grass and fiery fields of red coral bubble with life. Streams of light dance weightlessly to the sway of a gentle current. Tentacles wrap and release tight circles. Urchins preen and pucker. Mighty mammals travel ancient water routes in search of warmer…

Holiday Entertaining – 7 Stress-Less Tips

I love to entertain. In fact, I do it for a living, which means I also understand the stress entertaining at home can bring. But you can throw a party sans the stress. Here are some of my tips to have a fabulous event and entertain with style: 1: Be Yourself. This is the most critical rule you should follow! If you prefer beer and nachos to pouilly fume and brie en croute and spend more time…

5 Faves: Christmas Tree Farms

Check out our 5 favorite Christmas Tree Farms for your festive fir.

45 Things To Love About Winter

Yes, Virgina, there is a lot to love about winter! Check out our list of 45 items that might perk your interest.

WWU Planetarium Manager Lands NASA Gig

WWU Planetarium manager Brad Snowder got a first-hand look at the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover this summer after being selected by NASA to help promote the mission and landing of the rover as it reached Mars.

Best of the Northwest 2012

We received more than 30,000 votes within 80 categories for this year’s Best of the Northwest.

5 Faves – Pumpkin Patches

Check out our top five favorite Pumpkin Patches around Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Jansen Arts Center: Arts Come Alive

This is an art gallery, but also much more. It is a place where artists can create, teach, share and engage adults and children alike in appreciation of the arts.

Diving In The Pacific Northwest

Take the plunge and learn about the wonderful world of diving in the Pacific Northwest.

Harvest Touring: Farm to Fork

From vegetables and cheese to milk, grass-fed beef, chicken, pork or wine, families are encouraged to see another side of Whatcom County – where the locally grown food is brought to life … and to local plates and palettes.

Sleeping Lady Resort

Make your next getaway to the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort.

Quick Trip: Leavenworth

Take a quick trip through the charming Leavenworth, a beautiful Bavarian village in Washington.

Living Green – Plug Into The Electric Highway

New charging stations include three in Whatcom, Skagit counties… Lines of electric cars decorated the parking lot of Bellingham’s Sehome Village one morning in late May. Excited electric car owners and supporters hovered under informational tents and all around the fascinating vehicles. This was a big day for sustainable transportation in Washington. Thanks to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the electric charging station partner AeroVironment, this day marked the…