Lifestyle

Playing Games, Face to Face

Rook & Rogue Board Game Pub Something new has arrived in downtown Bellingham. It’s not a cafe, not a bar, nor is it a restaurant or gaming lounge. It’s all of those things combined. Rook & Rogue is a board game pub and restaurant, and has all the elements to make you feel at home. Rook & Rogue is family-owned. Danielle Rupinski and her mother, Pam, her sister, Laura, and partner, Shawn Blake, all play leadership…

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 for 13 years, but now calls Anacortes home after living here for 16 years. McIlmoyle describes event planning as 90…

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 exterior and sculptural stonework just off Main Street, and you’ll get a sneak peek of the exciting travel possibilities to come. Enter under the watchful gaze of gargoyles. Five steps beyond the cheerful “Open” flag clapping in the breeze and you’re inside…

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 place for jugglers, poets, acrobats, dancers,…

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…

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…

Hometown Pot Shop

Big cities in Washington have seen a boom of new marijuana stores in the last few years. New shops can be found all over Seattle and even Bellingham. But not every store’s goal is to make it big in the big city. Smuggler Brothers in Sedro-Woolley is maintaining a small-town identity in the growing world of marijuana sales. Purchasing Manager Olas Yoho said one of the most unexpected aspects of being in a small town is…

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 rare road rage incident with a local farmer and his John Deere tractor when I drove in our local counties. Life was simpler then. We had fewer people, fewer cars on the road, and more cows, as it still should…

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…

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 steel woven between ancient boards. With only two barrels of…

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 times. There at the doorway to welcome visitors, volunteers, social workers, and most importantly, children, are Ray and…

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 your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Oct. 7 and 8 Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms can…

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…

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….

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…

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…

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 people know that in the 1960s…

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…

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 and was quickly certified. To Wilson, the Montessori classroom style is respectful and insightful, offering children a more individualized education during their…

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 has always been that you have to eat a “hearty breakfast” to start your day, followed by a light lunch and then dinner. Some…

Could I Do That?

“Paying the ultimate sacrifice for our country” — I dislike that expression. We hear the phrase every Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and sometimes on the Fourth of July, as if the majority of us age 60 and younger know its meaning from personal experience. I know that I don’t. To me, whenever I hear the words, especially from the mouths of non-veterans, the expression sounds slightly hollow no…

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…

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 part of…

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 rarely at the top of the list. From hiking to windsurfing to jumping in the bay, being outdoors is a priority in our short summer months. So Western Washington University’s Summer Theater program decided to integrate the best of both worlds — riveting entertainment in an…

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 on some of Washington’s best berries. The farm has been selling blueberries since 1947, owned by the Anderson family until Susan and Harley Soltes bought it in…

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 display case is filled with traditional treats, like flaky golden croissants and layered opera cake, alongside more inventive creations, such as bright pink strawberry éclairs. To create each…

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 Uganda. In July of 2011, Demorest received the devastating call that a lump she had biopsied…

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 out there. Sometimes all it takes is asking…

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 life-long, card-carrying member of the Feline Brotherhood Local No. 9, I am lodging a formal complaint and organizing a purr-out on behalf of…

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 tag of The Chrysalis Inn nor the disconcerting nature of the motels on North and South Samish Way. In May, however, The Heliotrope Hotel filled that void. Located in the…

Pet Photographer Diane Padys

Diane Padys wasn’t always on track to become a photographer. “Photography was always a passionate hobby of mine from college,” she said. Padys spent a number of years working as a staff accountant in…

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…

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 back to the parking lot later that evening, ready to head home to their owners. WeSNiP executive director Audrey Seaholm said the message…

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 ideal island for people looking for a quieter, laid-back…

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 the first stop for many tourists. You can choose to live close to a town or far off the beaten path. Homes facing west…

“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 “Friendly Isle,” inhabitants wave to everyone they pass. Rumors claim the kind gesture isn’t actually about being friendly — it’s from Prohibition times when islanders discreetly warned one another that federal…

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…

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…

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, and their…

From Summer Vacation to All-Year Family Fun

Skagit County: North Big Lake North Big Lake was once a summer vacation destination for Margie Holdt and her family, but now it’s home. When Holdt and her late husband began thinking of retirement about 20 years ago, they opted for an upgrade, rather than a downsize. “We had three adult sons and we decided that…

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…

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…

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. Christy Nieto, an 11-year…

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…

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, it still remains a mystery. However, her parents didn’t find out that she had single-sided deafness until first grade. Before that, clues of Urbach’s impaired hearing were apparent…

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…

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 mom, not politicians.” Moms squeeze more of the important life priorities out of each day than anyone. Donald,…

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 tribe – or at least some good pub fare – as you cheer on (or against) teams in…

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 worst, men make interesting toys and at their best, men make…

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…

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….

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 experiencing great success with surgical outcomes. The…

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…

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…

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….

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…

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…

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 though the store has moved, it’s still the same,…

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…

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…

Wonder Woman – Erin Monroe

September is Workforce Development Month, a time to honor workforce development professionals who support job seekers, local employers, and economic…

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 YMCA on September 3 with the opening of the new Stanwood-Camano…

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….

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…

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…

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. The time has come for you beaver and moose lovers to pay up. It is past time, actually, over 170 years late, eh. Yes, you deserve credit for giving…

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…

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 from Noble Panels and Dutch…

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…

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…

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 of as a snowy playground for the elite, Sun…

Darrell Hillaire and Setting Suns Productions

It seems reductive to call Darrell Hillaire a playwright, given how much work he has done in his life on behalf of the Lummi Nation, and for Lummi youth in particular. Darrell has served as a coach, mentor, teacher, and leader for the Lummi Nation for…

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,…

Comfort Foods

When I think of food, I think of the various elegant, modern food photographs I see on Instagram, Twitter and other…

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…

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…

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, for sharing his…

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…

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…

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 trick, and pair nicely with Packer’s well-crafted cocktails. semiahmoo.com/packers Chili Peppers COA Mexican Eatery…

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…

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…

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…

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.

Five Faves: Hiking Trails

Saint Edward State Park KIRKLAND Located on a forested bluff overlooking the northern end of Lake Washington, several dirt trails wind around 316 acres of moss-wrapped old growth trees and peekaboo stretches of sand and waterfront. An astonishing 3,000 feet of freshwater shoreline, this former Catholic seminary is known for its undeveloped lakeshore and wide variety of birds and sea life….

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…

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 pool attractions. The recreational pool is set at at a higher 84-86°F and includes a 3-lane lap pool, different depth pools for varied swimming abilities, and a warm water pool, which is set…

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…

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…

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. Only a few hours from Bellingham, this gem is the unassuming Yakima Valley wine country. Without the crowds or mark-ups of more famous wine…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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 well as events that help you create your own. Uptown Art owner…

Wonder Woman: Mimi Osterdahl

In every issue, we will highlight the accomplishments or great careers of women in our area. In this issue, we celebrate Mimi Osterdahl, the new President of the Whatcom County Association of Realtors®. The Whatcom County Association of Realtors® is more than just a loose conglomeration of people who sell houses — it’s a powerful lobbying group that represents the interests of those in the housing and building communities here and…

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…

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 about their childhood to their public Facebook wall? At least you figured out how to log on. It’s the thought that counts, right? And so what if you don’t trust a hybrid car that doesn’t make noise when the engine…

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…

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, and it…

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, organize neighborhood…

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…

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…

The Alternative Library: Now recording

The Alternative Library (or Alt.Lib as it is known) is a grassroots, independent nonprofit in downtown Bellingham founded to foster and promote local artists. Located in the former Tiger Toys space on Railroad Ave., the Alternative Library not only houses an eclectic collection of books, they offer studio space for painters and will soon branch…

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,…

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 her meditative and lyrical memoir Make Me a Mother, Bellingham poet and memoirst Susanne Antonetta-Paola traces the map of Jin’s adoption, from her decision at an early age…

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…

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 excellent…

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,…

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…

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…

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 Maureen…

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…

Forgiving The Unforgiven

As a young boy, age 5 or 6, I used to play in the woods where Sunset Place is today. The soil was mostly clay and the clay would stick to my PF Flyers — the further that I walked, the longer that I played, the heavier the…

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.

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,…

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…

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…

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…

Fresh Fall Produce

Summer brings farmers markets, and we have deliciously fresh, local produce filling our homes and tables. We revel in berries and corn, asparagus and tomatoes —…

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 wonderland of turning leaves. Red, gold, russet, orange —…

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…

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…

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…

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 taught for eleven years at Eastern Oregon…

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…

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 even on vacation. But where we gain from the convenience of technology, we begin to lose the community…

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…

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 achieve in a couple of decades. Vancouver, B.C.’s original name was Granville, so it is fitting that this little island (technically peninsula) has the original name, as it…

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…

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…

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….

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…

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.

Discover Anacortes

On the drive into Anacortes, constant teasing will occur. Just as a glimpse of the beautiful San Juan Islands appears the road meanders, stealing beauty from view. Located on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is surrounded by water and only accessible by bridge or sea.

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.

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…