Weekend Wine Escapes

For this month’s feature, we’re here to help you plan your own weekend wine escape—with a list of overnight wineries only a day’s drive from Bellingham.

Simply Beautiful

In this month’s Final Word, Ken Karlberg honors a mother’s love—sharing admiration for his own mother and the many ways in which she is “simply beautiful.”


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Honoring My Buddy

Ken Karlberg honor’s the memory of a cherished friend in this month’s Final Word.


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Our Invisible Empire

Ken Karlberg analyzes the history and future of America as a powerful nation in this month’s Final Word, “Our Invisible Empire.”


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She Said, ‘She Shed’

Loretta W. Clease lets the men in on a little secret about female power: The She Shed. Women have closets, and allow men to have their man caves.


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Wanted, Dead or Alive

Ken Karlberg has an unwanted visitor digging up his yard: a mole. He has tried many tactics, but hte molehills keep coming. What will he do next?


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But for the Grace of PeaceHealth

Ken Karlberg shares a personal account of a family member dealing with an addiction. PeaceHealth is saving lives during this opioid epidemic.


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For Goodness Sake

Ken Karlberg gives us a challenge this holiday season in his Final Word: to love thy neighbor and to practice kindness, to open our eyes beyond our bubble.


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The Supreme Court’s Scarlet K, and an Apology

This month’s Final Word is by Ken Karlberg. As someone within the legal system, Ken takes a look at the controversy of the Judge Kavanaugh hearings.


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Toys ‘R’ Us

Ken Karlberg recalls past pranks at work and with his daughters, and encourages us to be playful and find our inner child.


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The Ultimate Mood Killer: Bicycle Seats

Loretta shares her insights on how bicycle seats can be a very successful form of birth control while being the designated cyclist during girls’ night out.


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See something, say something

Ken Karlberg makes suicide prevention personal by asking each of us to take the time to lsiten and talk, and to ask for help when you need it.


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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


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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.


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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 cell phones and the internet—the whole world tuned in. Now, not so much. Why? Well, as all…


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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 politely, and then do what I wanted. Mom, I should have listened. You were right, abstinence does make…


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The Power of One

Ken shares his thoughts on the spirit of Valentine’s Day For most males in serious relationships, Valentine’s Day is one of three days each year that strike fear in their hearts, the others being their partner’s birthday and their wedding anniversary. Get it right, or you die. Forget the dates, and you die. I have all these dates dutifully calendared, with a fail-safe advance warning system of alarms and periodic audible reminders as a…


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Fifty Shades of Purple

I grew up with two brothers in rural upstate New York, so I get that the opposite sex often considers their bodies to be toys or musical instruments to be played. Apparently, male infatuation with flatulation is genetic. My young son, Tyler, is a candidate for first chair in the Mt. Baker Youth Symphony’s horn section, and yet…


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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 everywhere whose relationship with their children brings them a sadness that only parents can know. I have my share of emotional scar tissue from 60 years of life. I carry my pain well, I hope, after years of devotion to finding an emotionally healthy, insightful…


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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….


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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 be if…


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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…


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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,…


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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….


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The Measure Of A Man’s Life

Ken Takes a Walk in his Dad’s Shoes for Father’s Day I left home at age 17 and was estranged from my dad for more than 20 years of my adult life. The past hasn’t changed, but our relationship…


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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….


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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….


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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…


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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 excellent pets even if they haven’t been properly trained. But the depth of the dating pool north of Stanwood is, how shall I say, shallow. Where is the deep end?…


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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…


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The Leap

As a young teenager, I leapt a mighty leap from the cliff of life. It was a leap of faith for the…


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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 to pop people’s balloons when their balloons deserve popping? I know—sounds fun, huh? Over the years,…


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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…


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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…


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The Full Monty (Python)

I used to love being male. I didn’t need a great job; I just needed to be the primary breadwinner in the household and all the benefits of prior male-dominated generations were bestowed upon me. Pure magic, it was. As long as I brought home the financial bacon, not much else mattered. I could lose…


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Gender Confusion Explained: Loretta puts staplers in “his” place

I love The Donald and the GOP presidential campaign — I feel liberated. Apparently, it is now politically correct to be un-PC. To this I say: “About time.” Those of us with a sense of humor…


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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 personal space at the back of each issue with a female. I would say that I have big shoes to fill, but there’s nothing impressive about size nine,…


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Forgiving the Unforgiven

As a young boy, age 5 or 6, I used to play in the local woods where the soil was mostly clay and the clay would stick to my PF Flyers — the farther that…


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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 “women behind the magazine” at Bellingham Alive. I am typically outnumbered — a veritable male think tank…


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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…


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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 build-up of clay. Eventually, the burden became more work than joy and I…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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