Lifestyle

Best of the Northwest 2020 Winners Announced

Click here to view the winners of the Best of the Northwest 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards!

Answer Creek

La Conner writer pens new novel about the Donner Party

Saving Your Smile During COVID-19

Suffering from a case of “mask mouth?” The stress of 2020 may have taken a toll on your oral hygiene, here’s a guide on how to save your smile during COVID-19.

How to Be a Good Caregiver

New to caregiving? Here are some tips from Bellingham counselor and author Miriam Drake.

Welcome BECU to the Neighborhood

On September 16, Whatcom County celebrated the opening of its first BECU Neighborhood Financial Center (NFC).

Lummi Nation’s Resilience during COVID-19

Lhaq’temish Foundation

HOLIDAYS A-Z

Celebrate the holidays in 26 different ways!

Twin Sisters Creamery Named Number One Cheese Shop in Washington

Ferndale’s own Twin Sisters Creamery has been named the best cheese shop in Washington by Taste of Home magazine.

Welcome to Cordata Park

Say hello to Bellingham’s newest park and playground.

Become a Believer with The Bigfoot Adventures

Channel your inner adventurer and become a believer with The Bigfoot Adventures.

Wall-to-Wall Community Charm

Gretchen Leggitt’s murals capture the heart of Bellingham

Giving the Gift of Sustainable Energy

Western Solar and Puget Sound Energy Team up to Support Low-Income Organizations

Paths Less Travelled

Favorite Cool-Weather Hikes

Bellingham Alive Goes International

Whatcom Community College is bringing Bellingham Alive across the globe.

Lighthouse Mission Finds a New Temporary Home

The Lighthouse Mission Base Camp re-locates to the Bellingham Public Market.

Fall Farm Fun

Make the most of your autumn, with fun social-distancing activities at these local farms.

The Whatcom Association of Celestial Observers

WACO will leave you seeing stars.

Honoring the Dead with a Celebration of Life

Epic Memorials

Flora Perez-Lucatero

One woman’s mission to serve the children of Skagit Valley

Need a safe day trip? Check out the Farm Stand Loop.

Sustainable Connections is inviting the community to explore farm fresh flavors and experiences with the Local Farm Stand Loop. 

Seize the Clay

Bellingham potter Linda Stone captures the PNW in her creations

Bellingham Axe

Bury the hatchet with Bellingham Axe, Bellingham’s newest axe-throwing venue.

A Quarantine to Remember

Peoples’ Perspectives: COVID 19 in Whatcom County

7 Days of Social Distancing

Fill up your week with fall fun! We’ve compiled a guide for seven days of social-distancing friendly activities for you and your whole family to enjoy.

Capturing the Beauty of Bellingham’s Great Blue Herons

Local photographer Lou Nicksic captures the beauty of the great blue heron.

Dominic’s Closet

Recycling medical supplies for those who need them most

The Buzz Around Town

Asian giant hornets arrive in Whatcom County.

Jake Riley: Olympic Dreams on Hold

Bellingham Local Jake Riley prepares to go for the gold despite Olympic postponement.

Let’s Get Literary

Western’s Jeopardy Magazine Publishes 56th Issue

BONW 2019 Feature: Winner’s Announced!

The results are in. You—readers from Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties—cast more than a total half-million votes in 126 categories for your favorite North Sound businesses, places, and people. From Best Date Night to Best Dentist, you made…

Say Aloha to a New Urban Village

The Bellingham Housing Authority continues to develop the former site of the Aloha Motel

elSage Designs: Art as Community

elSage Designs offers local art and products in store and online.

Bow Wow & Woofs Launches Pet Pantry for Pets in Need

Bow Wow & Woofs offers a pet pantry for owners struggling to feed their pets during the COVID-19 outbreak.

A Conservation Conversation

If you’ve ever hiked, biked, or otherwise enjoyed Whatcom County’s scenic splendor, it’s likely the Whatcom Land Trust (WLT) had a hand in protecting it. Or more likely, thousands of hands. 

Kasey Potzler, Leather Artist

Leather meets literature in Artist Kasey Potzler’s hand-bound leather books.

Who Knew? 4/20 Edition

Weed lovers: It’s your special day! If you’re celebrating 4/20 today, have you ever wonder how this number got a “higher” meaning?

Intergenerational Roots

Through poetry, Wong is dissecting her own fears in comparison to her family history.  

Hotel Leo Offers a Charming New Getaway in the Heart of Downtown Bellingham

The Historic Hotel Leo gets a modern uplift.

A Celebration of the Written Word

Orcas Island hosts third annual literary festival.

A Tulip Legacy Continues Under New Ownership

Tulip Town welcomes new owners, and new tulips.

Galloway’s Emerges Victorious at Bellingham Cocktail Week

Allison Sutherland from Galloway’s Cocktail Bar dominates during Bellingham’s Cocktail Week.

Building a Legacy in Skagit Valley

Have you ever been to the Heritage Flight Museum? Learn more about the history behind it, and what’s on the horizon.

Electric Vehicles for Everyman

Thinking of switching to an electric vehicle? Here’s some words of wisdom from a dealer-trade driver.

At 76, Still Learning the Art of Photography

Meet Tommy Gibson, a 76-year-old photographer from Whatcom County. Hear his story and inspirations in this Q&A.

Meet the Unflappable Custodian Who Battles Glitter, Squeaky Seats, and the Ravages of Time

Meet Glenn Curtright, the head custodian at Mount Baker Theatre. Here’s some of his favorite stories from behind the curtain.

Despite Closings, Area Schools Deliver Lunches

With the continuing spread of COVID-19, we’re living in uncertain times. Restaurants and bars are closed, people are working from home, and notably, schools are closed. Not only does this mean K-12 students in Whatcom County are missing out on classes, but it also means many are missing out on meals. Of the 29.8 million students who receive school lunches each day in the U.S., more than 67 percent, or 20.2 million students, receive lunch for free.

Here’s what local schools are doing to make sure no students go hungry:

Singing in Surgery

This month’s Wonder Woman is Kira Iaconetti, a 20-year-old performer who is two years out from her awake craniotomy.

Bringing Access to Art

Whatcom Museum is introducing new accessibility initiatives for people with sensory processing disorders, dementia, and memory loss.

Worth Every Penny

The next time you find yourself at Leader Block Wine Co. & Eatery in Ferndale, prepare for a shiny surprise. In January, the restaurant installed a coin floor made from more than 41,000 pennies.

Embracing the Chaos

Editorial/Marketing Coordinator Anelyse Morris shares her experience growing up as a military child, and how it led her to journalism.

A Centennial Celebration for Women’s Voting Rights

2020 marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing American women the right to vote. Learn a little bit about the amendment’s history as well as how your community is celebrating the centennial.

Local Leader Shatters Stigmas and Mobilizes Communities

Hear the story behind the founding of Days For Girls International, an organization that aims to increase period education and access to menstrual care for girls around the world.

Desert Dreaming

The Seattle Mariners head to spring training to begin the 2020 season.

Valentine’s Day AM to PM

Make the most of your Valentine’s Day with this guide on how to keep the party going from morning till night.

Write Daily as Needed

Local author Kathryn Trueblood discusses her career as an author and her journey while writing “Take Daily as Needed.”

Save the Swans

Whatcom Humane Society is gearing up for swan season, read more about their efforts and what you can do to save local swans.

Red roses are a classic Valentine’s Day gift, but they come at a cost.

Roses are red, violets are blue. But as a Valentine, you may want to try something new.

The Pop-Up: Mount Vernon’s New Business Incubator

This pop-up business space aims to provide resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Baby Cakes Corners the Bellingham Funk Scene

Nobody puts Baby Cakes in a corner! This nonet is taking the Bellingham Funk scene by storm. Read more about the group and how they got started.

Two Birds, One Stone

From veterans experiencing homelessness to hungry children, Wildbird Charity has led the flock in Whatcom County outreach since 2016. Founded by a group of college friends, Wildbird aims to ease the daily struggles of communities in need, while also raising awareness.

Western Shoots for the Stars

Western receives a $302,000 contract to help build new equipment and gain a new understanding of Mars.

Play Hard, Get Fit at Life Force Ninja Gym

No matter your age or experience level, you can channel your inner ninja at Life Force Ninja Gym.

Influenced by Fashion

Bre Sheppard’s unique style is taking the Instagram world by storm. Hear her story and her winter fashion favorites.

Green From Green

See the bucks behind the buds! Catch up on how the initiative that legalized marijuana in Washington has financially affected the state.

Q&A with Laural Ballew [Ses Yehomia/tsi kuts bat soot], New Tribal Liaison at WWU

Western’s new Tribal Liaison Laural Ballew discusses her background and plans for her position.

Western’s New Multicultural Center Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion on Campus

Western Washington University opens new Multicultural Center to celebrate diversity and inclusion on campus

Cutting-Edge Creations

Local artist Lin McJunkin raises climate change awareness through her glasswork creations.

A Master Luthier & His Guitars

Since 1980, luthier Andy Beech has crafted and sold a myriad of handmade instruments through his business D’Haitre’ Guitars.

A Unique Leader Transcending Boundaries and Borders

Over the years, Andrea “Andy” Leebron-Clay has touched thousands of lives, healed many hearts, and provided opportunities to those in need.

A Place to Play

Since 2008, the Bellingham Circus Guild has bolstered the circus arts and performers of Whatcom County—offering one-of-a-kind shows, classes, and events.

Five Faves

For this month’s Five Faves we invite you to explore the work of some of our favorite local fine art painters, from kaleidoscopic landscapes to geometric forms.

Better Beer, More Hands

The Guest Brewer’s Brew Pipeline program—a network that assigns different brands of beer to distributors across the country—means better beer for everyone.

Early-Warning Earthquake Alert

In late July, the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District installed ShakeAlert, a pilot system for detecting earthquakes before they occur.

A World of Color

Lori Hill is an award-winning artist currently living in Bellingham, who has been featured in galleries and markets across several states.

What Farmers Markets Are Still Open?

Check out these nearby markets open during the month of November, where you can find fresh produce, local goods, and holiday gift items.

Eat, Drink, Read, Repeat with Life Between the Pages

Life Between the Pages—A collaborative book club between Evolve, Village Books, and local bars creates an immersive literary experience.

Bellingham’s Only Happy Meower

Having successfully opened its first location in Captiol Hill, NEKO—a cat cafe—will soon be opening a Bellingham location at 1130 Cornwall Avenue.

A Simple Philosophy

Mount Baker Care Center & Summit Place Senior Living tailors everything they do around the residents’ needs—from daily dining specials to a senior prom.

Ripple of Positivity

Local visual artist Kevin Coleman is a philanthropist and champion of the arts in Bellingham—read about his work at WhatcomTalk and with local nonprofits.

Bay Breeze Restaurant Is Remodeled and Ready

Bay Breeze Restaurant in Birch Bay reopened this past summer, after being severely damaged by a storm surge last December.

Five Faves

With the spooky season upon us, we bring you a list of some of our favorite scary movies—get ready to sleep with the lights on!

They Want to Suck Your Blood

Bloodworks Northwest is a local, independent nonprofit that connects donors to lifesaving services—read about their programs here.

The Good Time Girls

With three main tours—Sin and Gin, Gore and Lore, and Bellingham History—Fairhaven’s Good Time Girls know how to bring history alive.

Big Move for Tiny Homes

Over the summer, HomesNow! Not Later—a nonprofit that provides safe, temporary housing—received a permit allowing them to operate in Fairhaven.

Over 50 Years of Farming in Skagit Valley

Since purchasing their first 80 acres of farmland in 1963, Steve and Susan Schuh have expanded to 250 acres and now manage Schuh Farms with their children.

Shaping Clay & Community

Heather Hitts opened Burnish Clay Studio last February on North State Street, joining Bellingham’s vibrant clay community.

Where Can I go for Fall-Weather Fun?

Celebrate the season with some classic autumn activities—Take a hayride, sip some cider, or get lost in a corn maze.

Big Rock Garden Park

This month’s online exclusive is all about Big Rock Garden Park, an easy, local outing that offers accessible trails and plenty to see.

Five Faves

This month’s Five Faves features some of our local favorites for charcuterie cheese—delectable additions to any fall harvest cheese boards!

Finding Peace Amidst the Chaos

Leo E. Osborne is a multi-award-winning artist and writer whose love of nature led him to the Pacific Northwest, where he continues to explore his craft.

Leader Block Leads in Wine

On July 3, Leader Block Wine Co. & Eatery in Ferndale announced some big news: It has received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.

Bellingham’s Basement Brewers

North Corner Brewing Supply—opened in 2000 by Robert Arzoo—sells a range of supplies for new brewers and seasoned professionals alike.

25 Washington Wines You Need Right Now

Shop around for your favorite Washington wine in our list of 25 must-have Washington wines, as part of our September wine issue.

Birchwood Farmers Market

To aid the food access issue in Birchwood, Bellingham farmer Ellie Duncan and her farm partner, Annah Young, started Birchwood Farmers Market in 2018.

Downtime up North

Tomas Aminnie and Chay Tan founded Downtime Taps in Ferndale—a unique pay-by-the-ounce taproom experience—to help beer lovers expand their horizons.

Brewing Pink

Bellingham has launched it’s own chapter of The Pink Boots Society (PBS)—a nonprofit aimed at helping women brewers find a seat at the industry table.

Private School Breakdown

With schools back in session, we took a closer look at private school options in Whatcom, San Juan, and Skagit counties—from Christian and Catholic schools to non-denominational academies.

From Local Grocer to Restaurateur

Brad Haggen—whose grandparents, Dorothy and Ben Haggen, co-founded the Haggen grocery store chain in 1933—purchased Skylark’s Hidden Cafe last fall.

New Beer in Town

Family-run brewery, Stemma Brewing Co., opened its doors in June—a long-time dream for owners Jason Harper and Kimberley Harper.

Keepin’ It Cool

West Coast Pops, which has been supplying events and parties with sweet treats since 2016, opened a storefront on North State Street in April 2019.

Five Faves

This month’s Five Faves explores some of the top local spots for oysters—from raw oysters served with pink grapefruit to jalapeno vodka oyster shooters.

A Dynasty of Passion

We take a look at Bellingham local Ryan Sandholm, known around town for his acoustic shows that fuse pop, rock, and country.

Tiny Hands at Work

Tiny Onion Cooking School, founded by Annalee Dunn, offers classes that aim to introduce food and nutrition to children in a fun, engaging way.

Riding Toward Equality

What started as a guided biking business, became a nonprofit dedicated to connecting female-identifying individuals to the world of outdoor recreation and to one another.

Appearing Soon: Ken and the Raisinettes

In this month’s Final Word, Ken Karlberg pulls his “anti-aging” secret formula off the market.

Building Community Through Technology

Mary Elliott, an occupational therapist, opened Bellingham Makerspace in 2014, selling her house to afford the initial equipment.

Not in Vain

Bellingham’s newest hair salon, Vanity Hair Studio opened on May 28 of 2019—the second location of the popular Seattle salon.

Sqweshenet Tse Schelangen

The four-day event, which starts on July 24, is a celebration between several Native Nations, with special guest tribes traveling from as far as New Zealand, Maui, and Papua New Guinea.

Tea and Tour Rolls In

To the east of Sedro-Woolley, amid Skagit Valley Farmlands, sits Willowbrook Manor—an overnight destination fit with Tea Time events and bike tours.

Kids Take the Stage at Mount Baker Theatre

Mount Baker Theatre welcomes 180 kids aged 7–18 to their stage this month for three separate week-long theater camps hosted by Missoula Children’s Theatre.

Plays With a Purpose

During four weeks of July, for six days a week, Bellingham TheatreWorks is presenting three productions for Fairhaven’s first Summer Repertory Theater.

Let Freedom Ring

Bellingham community members celebrate this 4th of July with a KidsZone, beer garden, live music, and of course, fireworks—at Zuanich Point Park.

Patriotic Parties

Still wondering where to go for the Fourth? In this month’s online exclusive, we highlight the best places around the Sound to watch the fireworks boom.

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.”

Five Faves

This month’s Five Faves is an ode to the finest spare ribs in town, this is our summer BBQ edition after all—how could we not!

Blissful New Beginning

Pure Bliss Desserts owner, Andi Vann, has expanded this Cornwall Avenue storefront—with doubled seating and tasty additions to its drink and dessert menus.

Berry Dairy Days

Celebrate Burlington’s history of agricultural and farming communities with the 82nd annual Berry Dairy Days presented by Peoples Bank.

Breaking Hearts and Body Parts

The Bellingham Roller Betties, now in their 12th season, use the rink to spark new friendships between community members.

Turning 100

The iconic Lime Kiln Lighthouse, located within the Lime Kiln State Park, is celebrating 100 years with a centennial event taking place on June 30.

Oh, Deer!

Karen Chapman’s new book helps those looking to plant a beautiful fence-free garden, without attracting hungry, roaming deer.

Rich Appel: Building Bridges Through Conservation

Rich Appel, of Appel Farms, was awarded the Vim Wight “Building Bridges” award for his efforts to improve water quality in the Nooksack River basin.

Bellingham Beginnings

Bellingham Alive provides an extensive three-month internship program for local students looking to break into their prospective industries.

Honoring My Buddy

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

Cutting Waste In Style

Anmly Cafe, opened by Emile Diffley in January of 2019, is a zero waste space that offers lattes, smoothies and meals with sustainability in mind.

Sips and Suds in Sedro

Local 20 Taproom in Sedro-Woolley, owned by Jake Clary, is the first taproom to arrive to the area and will soon be celebrating its two-year anniversary.

Five Faves

Cinco de Mayo or not, it’s never a bad time to order a margarita! This month’s Five Faves is all about the best of the best local margaritas.

Celebrating 75 Years of Storytelling

Whatcom County Library System is celebrating its 75th anniversary, embarking on a nine-month history preservation project and building a new Bookmobile.

Local Scholarship Foundation Sets Students Up for Success

The Mount Baker Scholarship Foundation endowment has reached $2.8 million, continuing to support graduating seniors of Mount Baker Senior High School.

Mother’s Day, When You’re the Boss

This month, Bellingham Alive is celebrating these boss moms from around the North Sound who manage to balance motherhood while also working full-time jobs.

After Store Fire, A New Home

Animals rescued from a fire at Hohl Feed and Seed by the Bellingham Fire Department, now find new homes through the Whatcom Humane Society.

More Than Just a Mountain Man

Leif Whittaker is a climber, ranger, and author. His new book, “My Old Man and the Mountian,” talks about his childhood and journey summiting Mount Everest.

Orcas Island, To Go 

Orcas Island was listed on the New York Times’ Best Destinations for 2019. Celebrities are taking notice, including Oprah, who owns a house on Orcas Island.

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.”

Five Faves

From beer to wine, mead to olive oil and vinegar, this month’s Five Faves takes a look at the best local tasting rooms in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan.

Maybe, A Moose

Allegiant Air is now offering direct flights between Bellingham International Airpport and Anchorage, Alaska. Pack your bags and look for moose!

Shaping Whatcom County’s Future

Rand Jack is a local conservationist, attorney, and wood carver. He works closely with the Whatcom Land Trust. He also carves beautiful wooden birds.

Helping Hands

April is National Volunteer Month, and there are many ways to be involved. Help in your community, celebrate Earth Day, and visit the Volunteer Week Fair.

Travel Agent or Internet?

Online trip planning is fast and easy, but there are some things you get with a travel agent you just can’t from the internet. Frank Zurline fills us in.

Female Filmmaker Has Ferndale Roots

Sarah Menzies has made her way from Ferndale to Seattle as a filmmaker. Her work will be shown at the Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival.

A History of Tulips in the Valley

A look at the history behind the beautiful Skagit Valley Tulip Festival shows a vibrant Dutch background. Visit Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde this April!

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.

Boys and Girls Clubs Step Toward Future

A generous grant from Phillips 66 oil refinery will allow the Boys and Girls Club to update computers and fund educational STEM programs.

Five Faves

This month’s Five Faves is a list of five garden centers where you can find everything to make your garden grow beautifully this Spring.

Winter Haven for Homeless

Winter Haven is a tent city behind Bellingham’s City Hall run by HomesNOW! The organization’s president Jim Peterson provides the basics for the residents.

From Hard Knocks to Helping Hands

Tina Tate is the exeutive director of Frienship House, a clean and sober shelter that provides food, clothes, and recovery to the homeless in Skagit County.

‘Living Coral’ Makes a Splash

“Living Coral” was voted Color of the Year for 2019 by the Pantone Color Institute. You may start seeing a trend of this pinky-orange color as you shop.

Chrysalis Inn & Spa Gets Fresh Update

The Chrysalis Inn & Spa is getting an update. Renovations will stay aligned with the original look created by architect Betty Blount of Zena Design Group.

Inside the Notes

WWU professor Erika Block has created a podacst, “Inside the Notes,” focusing on the stories behind classical music. Oboist Joseph Robinson is a guest.

Internment Camp Inspires Music Composition

Whatcom Chorale presents “Heart Mountain Suite,” a musical composition by Sarah Mattox using journals from Japanese internment camp prisoner, Kara Kondo.

Hearts to Soles

PeaceHealth members provided footcare and boots to Jacob Hood and other homeless people in Bellingham during the annual Our Hearts to Your Soles event.

Wholesale Seafood in the North Sound

Our online exclusive this month showcases companies that provide local, fresh wholesale seafood from Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan counties, and Alaska.

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?

Connecting Community with Sustainable Salmon

Drifters Fish is a community supported fishery (CSF). Michael and Nelly Hand wanted to connect their customers with sustainably harvested salmon.

Student Apartments Coming to Samish Way

New student housing apartments are in the works up Samish Way for Western Washington University students. Samish Station will be another off-campus option.

Five Faves

This month’s Five Faves features Wines Under $20. Take a look at our top picks from local wineries and neighboring vineyards.

Heard Around the Sound

Heard Around the Sound: a recipe for skewered salmon & calamari, facts about dark chocolate, and how you can help nonprofits at the Chrysalis Inn & Spa.

How We Met

For Valentine’s Day, we bring you the stories of five local couples. They share how they met and fell in love, and what they are doing now in our community.

WECU Gets Fresh Look

Whatcom Educational Credit Union is rebranding their organization to become simply WECU. Jennifer Kutcher is the CEO and Keith Mader is a program manager.

Tourism CEO Helping Whatcom Find Its Way

With professional travel and tourism experience, Sandy Ward, CEO of Bellingham Whatcom County Touris, is working on a way-finding plan for Whatcom County.

Latitude Kitchen and Bar

Jeff Holmes, owner of the Loft, has a second location on Sunset Drive, The Latitude Kitchen and Bar. Steven Engels is the executive chef.

Deming Family Offers New Sounds

The McHughs is a local family band. Tim McHugh and his three kids are celebrating their new album, “A Day Will Come,” with a CD release party this Spring.

‘Thrill of the Hunt,’ But Also Danger

Kara Nelson describes what it’s like to be married to a commercial fisherman. Her husband, Laeth, is gone for extended periods of time for much of the year.

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.

Fave Faves: Bellingham Podcasts

This month we are sharing five of our favorite Bellingham podcasts. With the shows discussing community, science, beer, food, comics, and more!

Sweet Move

Owned by Kevin Buck, Chocolate Necessities changed locations last fall and now has two stores where you can enjoy artisan chocolate, gelato, wine and beer.

Refusing Single Uses: A Journey to Lessen Waste

Brian Shasserre is part of the Zero Waste Movement. He refuses single use items to create less waste and instead reuses items.

Simplify Your Space in 2019

Professional organizer Monika Kristofferson of Efficient Organization gives you some hints to help simplify your space and clear the clutter this new year.

What the Heck is a Drink Called Shrub?

Josh and Tomo Kramer are the founders of Cascade Shrub Farm, bringing you a healthy, refreshing, locally infused cocktail and soda mix.

Mother-son team author ‘Raising Ryan: Living with Autism’

Mother and son duo released their book, “Raising Ryan: Living with Autism” in June of 2018. Sometimes funny, sometimes hear-wrenching, this is their story.

Intriguing Insects

Professor Merrill A. Peterson, at Western Washington University, teaches biology and entomology. He recently published a book, “Pacific Northwest Insects.”

Feeding Families and the Famished

The Bellingham Food Bank provides hunger-relief to many in our community. The non-profit is run by executive director Mike Cohen, staff, and 150 volunteers.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

We have chosen our top five favorite places celebrate New Year’s Eve around Skagit County, Whatcom County, and Island County.

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.

Music, Clothing for a Cause

Suzanne Smith, owner of Betty Be Good, held a fundraiser and raised $10,000 for Engedi, an organization providing support to survivors of human trafficking.

Swinomish Tribal Leader Affects Change Locally and Nationally

Brian Cladoosby, senior tribal leader of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, is enacting national and local change, improving the lives of his tribe.

From Apollo 8 to Flight Museum

This Christmas Eve marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 astronauts entering lunar orbit. Greg Anders runs the Heritage Flight Museum in Burlington.

Lummi Nation Purchases Loomis Trail Golf Course

The Lummi Nation purchased the Blaine Loomis Trail Golf Course, located on original tribal land. It will be an addition to the Silver Reef Hotel and Casino.

Tapping into Your Inner Bird Nerd

You can help out your local chapter of the National Audubon Siciety by becoming a citizen scientist and counting birds for the Christmas Bird Count.

Fighting Arthritis With Bells On

The 31st annual Jingle Bell Run starts at Bellingham High School on Dec. 8. This event raises funds for arthritis research and helps spread awareness.

Nature, Chihuly Shape Glassmaker

Christopher Morrison is Bellingham’s own Dale Chihuly, creating beautiful glass art pieces inspired by nature. You can find his work at Morrison Glass Art.

Oh, Christmas Tree

As you are preparing for the holidays, here is a list of local, U-cut Christmas tree farms around Whatcom and Skagit counties.

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.

Five Faves

Nothing beats a good Bloody Mary in the morning! Find out who has the best Bloody Marys in town in this month’s Five Faves.

Slow Down, Eat Food, Give Thanks

Slow Food USA practices slowing down, understanding where food comes from, and enjoying the local bounty in Island and Skagit Counties.

Gem of an Archivist

Cataloging, recording, and saving priceless pieces of Bellingham’s history is up to the archivist Jeff Jewell at Whatcom Museum.

Teaching Fifth-Graders About the Many Secrets of Our Salish Sea

Dr. Joseph Gaydos is an advocate for marine life. He works for the Orcas Island-based SeaDoc Society and is the author of “Explore the Salish Sea.”

Best of the Northwest 2018 Winners Announced

You voted, and now you can see who is the Best in the Northwest! Here are the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in all 126 categories.

High-Flying Teas

Scout Urling, owner of Flying Bird Botanicals, makes locally sourced organic tea and drinking chocolate, sold in various locations around Bellingham.

Cleaning and Clearing the Way for Fish

The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and Whatcom Land Trust are busy maintaining fish habitats along the Nooksack River and educating the community.

Homeless Get Comfort from Donated Socks

Carolyn Colwell of Your City Sports has donated thousands of socks to the homeless, working with Rachel Tinnell of the Lighthouse Mission Ministeries.

Fairhaven’s New Orca Building Offers a Splashy Surprise

The Orca Building in Fairhaven is home to the Peter James Photography Gallery as well as a splashy new orca sculpture designed by David Christensen.

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.

Refreshing Historic Buildings, Reviving Downtown

Bob Hall, owner of Daylight Properties, is an integral part of creating the downtown Bellingham we have today with his historical buiding restorations.

Celebrating 20 Years of Independent Film

The Pickford Film Center is celebrating their 20th anniversary. The movie theater shows independent films and hosts a variety of film festivals every year.

Help with Heavy Lifting, and More

The Opportunity Council is a local nonprofit providing services like housing, building job skills, disability assistance, and so much more.

Five Faves

It’s October and Halloween is right around the corner! We have a wide variety of costumes for grown-ups: fictional characters, night creatures and more!

Fresh from the Farm — Family Style

Mama’s Garden is a local farm run by three mamas. Located in Deming, they have U-pick blueberries, beef, produce at their farm stand, and more!

Bringing the Outside in

Infuse your home with living plants from Babygreens, flowers from your local greenhouse or for a bit more fun, try temporary floral tattoos from Tattly.

Frightful Film Festival Rocks Bellingham

Bleedingham, a local horror short-film festival, gives filmmakers a chance to bring their own terrifying stories to the screen, being held Oct. 27-28.

Midterm Elections are Coming Nov. 6

It’s midterm elections again, and Bellingham Alive is here to help with tools for registering, ballot drop-offs, and helpful websites. Vote by Nov. 6!

A’Town Bistro

Take a quick inside look into the A’Town Bistro in Anacortes, plus learn about a few edible garnishes to make your drinks fun and festive.

More Than ‘Mean’ Martinis

Here’s a quick inside look at Bellingham’s Fireside Martini and Wine Bar and a Q & A with Kuma Liqueur owner, Chet Holstein.

Five Faves

We are highlighting five of our favorite hikes to take during the fall season, from the North Cascades to the San Juan Islands.

Homeless Youths Getting a Place of Their Own

Northwest Youth Services is providing a number of services to help homeless teens in Whatcom County, including housing and mental health services.

Chuckanut Bay Distillery is Making a Big Move

Award winning Chuckanut Bay Distillery is opening a new restaurant and event space located in the center of downtown Bellingham.

The Summit Conqueror Tells All

Dave Mauro has conquered seven summits and shares his stories in his new book, “The Altitude Journals”. He will be speaking at REI stores across the US.

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.

Deception Distilling

In this web exclusive, you can take an inside look into the family-run business in Anacortes, Deception Distilling and get the recipe for Lavender and Lace.

(Electric) Pedal Power

Bellingham Alive writer Melissa McCarthy tries riding an e-bike for the first time. Electric bikes are safer and better for the environment.

Shedding Light on the Value of Recreation

Todd Elsworth is the founder of Recreation Northwest, a nonprofit organization educating people on the economic and social benefits of recreation.

Nonprofit Online College Sees Growth, Growing Pains

Western Governors University is a national nonprofit online college. WGU is designed for people with families and careers who need more flexibility.

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.

Spreading Pure Bliss

Pure Bliss desserts is expanding! A new extended menu will include more savory options and an expanded alcohol selection.

Meet the Staffer

Katie Meier What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K&L Media? I have been working at K&L Media since May as part of the intern team. With three other interns, I write, check facts, conduct research, and sometimes take photographs. Since starting here,…

Throwback Ice Cream Stand Still A Gem

Ordering is the opposite of Starbucks’ multi-adjective gibberish. Just state size and vehicle. “Small, on a cone” will do.

Homeless Nonprofit Gets a Lift

A generous donation to Lydia Place will help the local non-profit provide housing for an overlooked population: single fathers and their children in need.

Whopping Changes and Wagging Tails at the Whatcom Humane Society

Changes are coming to the Whatcom Humane Society and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, including the location of this year’s Dog Days of Summer festival.

Five Faves Fair Fare

Looking forward to the Northwest Washington Fair? We are sharing our five favorite finger-licking foods to find at the fair!

Stage Set in Bellingham Harbor

The traveling Caravan Stage Co. presents “The Nomadic Tempest” at the Squalicum Marina. The show hopes to spread awareness of the effects of climate change.

Winter Olympics in 2022?

Top male figure skater for the Thailand National Team and Sehome High School Senior, Micah Lynette, prepares for the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.

On The Street

Local residents share their thoughts, views, and concerns about Bellingham’s waterfront development project at Waypoint Park.

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.

What’s in Our Waters?

Giant Pacific Octopus (Entreoctopus dofleini) Where found: In cold oxygen-rich water at depth of up to 6,600 ft. The record size… Click to read more!

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 with research and study…

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 functionality. A love for…

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 law in Bellingham for 11 years and has served as chair of the Whatcom County chapter of the American Civil…

Forest Fighters

Amid 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…

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.

Youth Arts Academy Leader Has Theater in His Blood

Ian Bivins As executive director Ian Bivins enters the small children’s theater in downtown Bellingham, he takes a moment and…

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 nonprofits’ impressive agenda. The RE Store is a program of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, which runs various programs aimed to develop a healthy, sustainable community. One of the RE Store’s…

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….

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 in 1960, and the collection has grown to include 36 “interactive” pieces, including the one pictured here—“Skyviewing Sculpture,” by Isamu Noguchi (1969), that allow people to climb on,…

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….

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 the carrots and walnuts provide a smooth finish. Top that all off with cream cheese frosting and a buttermilk…

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: Aerial Photography of the Pacific Northwest,” through Village Books’ Chuckanut Editions. It documents a collection of more than 100 images—almost all from film photography—he captured through open…

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 UFO. From that studio last year, she won a region-wide…

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 her readers know, my alter-ego, Loretta, is a marketing genius. Together, we were retained last week to answer just…

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 wildlife. What do you…

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 Center in downtown Bellingham. This festival screens films directed exclusively by women, honoring their strides in a predominately male dominated field Cascadia will…

Friends of the Forest

Many residents in Anacortes are lucky enough to live within walking distance to some of the city’s 2,800 acres of forests. With rapid real estate development engulfing much of the city, we have Friends of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands, more commonly known as Friends of the Forest, to thank for preserving and educating the…

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 list of some of the hardiest, low-maintenance plants you can put in the ground. These, according to the experts, are harder to kill than cultivate. Once rooted, these toughies are here to stay. Of course, as with all plants you’re thinking of adding, be…

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…

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…

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 driving, sometimes not. It was dark and raining.  Out of the darkness comes a car, barreling straight for her, faster and faster, destined for catastrophic damage. At the last moment, just…

Garbage Shaming

Loretta gets serious about recycling to avoid the public stockade. I  don’t shame easily. As a native New Yorker, my…

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…

Protecting the Treasure of Whatcom County

Whatcom Land Trust From the North Cascade mountains to the Salish Sea, the committed members of the Whatcom Land Trust have made it their mission to protect the diverse land that draws people to Whatcom County. For many of Whatcom County’s residents, it is the unique landscape, endless green spaces, and integrated park system that combine to make it hard to imagine living anywhere else. For Whatcom Land Trust executive director Rich Bowers, the mission of the organization stems from the…

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 Ruckus Room Arcade and Fun Center in August of 2017. The co-owners designed the space with the basements and bonus rooms of middle-class American families of the 1970s in mind. Orange and green walls house an eclectic assortment of artwork, dark…

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) Follow the brave women of the 1917 women’s suffrage movement, particularly feminist Alice Paul. Watch as they sacrifice everything to fight…

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…

Lasting Image

What is your favorite thing to take pictures of?  Sunsets are by far my favorite things to take photos of because they are always unique and unpredictable. A bonfire on the beach with friends is one of my favorite settings to photograph. Being the photographer to my closest friends and taking their portraits while watching…

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,…

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 each time I visit that location. Yearning to cherish these wonderful places led my interests toward the arena of photography.  Capturing that special moment in time with a photograph means something to…

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…

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…

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 dying. These 40 or so women are committed to providing comfort for their clients as they labor through death with the help of song. Last year, the dedicated group performed more than 500 “sings” for clients in Whatcom County, six-year member Janis Walworth said. Each “sing” lasts about 15-20 minutes and…

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…

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…

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…

Game Changer

Rick Mergenthaler Rick Mergenthaler knows a thing or two about challenges. The retired high school basketball coach learned to ignore naysayers and face obstacles head on. He contracted polio as a child and overcame it without his young doctors ever correctly diagnosing the illness. It wasn’t until he was a high school sophomore complaining…

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…

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 approach to life’s challenges. My path started, and…

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 screen. Martha Jordan, executive director of the Northwest Swan Conservation Association (NWSCA) explains the impressive display is thanks to a “flock mentality” and is a safeguard against impending danger….

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…

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 friend. Thanks to the work of Cooper and FIGG,…

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…

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…

One Hundred Years of Service is Just the Beginning

Rotary Club of Bellingham After celebrating 100 years of service, Rotary Club of Bellingham member, J.C. Hickman, said it is just the beginning. Started in September of 1917, the Rotary Club of Bellingham has brought community leaders and business owners together for generations. The club’s number is 331, meaning it was the 331st Rotary Club in the world. Rotary’s name comes from the club’s early days, when members rotated from office to office…

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…

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 successful, and most emotionally self-sufficient? This manhood formula is tried and true….

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 for 13 years, but now calls Anacortes home after living here for 16 years. McIlmoyle describes event planning as 90 percent problem-solving, and she’s adamant about it. “It’s rare to catch…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 combine to create a storybook-like experience, perfect for afternoon strolls and romantic evening…

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 who enter the driveway with reflective black eyes. The porch is bookended with two owls and a rather terrifying zombie-like creature. What can be best described as…

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 small-batch brew coming from the century-old barn turned brew-station, Atwood Ales’ beer is too compelling to overlook, even in the North Sound’s suds-saturated craft beer market. Trading quantity for quality and larger depths in flavor, Atwood Ales places small batch Saison- and Bier De…

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…

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 help. It’s held during harvest season, but there’s more than gathering going on. Activities range from educational exhibits to markets to gardening demonstrations to the chance for kids to…

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. This issue’s feature article on wine inspired me yet again — my pencil is out and ready. Despite the threat of grave bodily injury, I just can’t help myself. I am compelled to provide the following public service announcement for the…

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…

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…

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…

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 conservation and…

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 can purchase a ticket to eat their fill of Dungeness crab, salmon, and oysters, alongside local craft beer and wines. Food…

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…

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 have even gone so far as…

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…

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 and rustic charm, edgy pop-culture energy, and stunning…

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…

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 active setting. Bikes. Comedy. Beer. Community. All of Bellingham’s favorite…

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 2011. The Solteses wanted a farm with the whole package: an infrastructure, WSDA license, and the crops ready to go. The six-acre farm…

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 with commercial apple trees, garlic, and a nursery. In 2011, it transformed into a non-profit community farm designed…

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,…

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 was indeed breast…

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….

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 all us cats, the vastly superior and more lovable household pet. Step aside, Lassie. While…

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…

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 San Francisco before she decided to take her passionate hobby and turn it into a career. Today, she runs her own photography business in Bellingham and…

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…

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…

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…

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…

“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 inspectors were on the island. Nowadays it’s simply a sign of pleasantness. Lopez Island is on the quieter side…

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…

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 amenities, and the community feel. They instantly felt welcomed…

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 two little ones, Kaysen and Duncan. The Hagens moved into the neighborhood in 2014 because they were about to start a family, and could afford a four-bedroom house in Shelter Bay for the price of a two-bedroom…

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…

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…

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…

Neighborhood Police

In November, a string of home break-ins put Bellingham residents on edge. The burglaries followed a pattern: multiple suspects breaking…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 the best college sporting event around. The men go from March 14-April 3….

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…

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…

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…

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 set-up and system almost seem…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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 and looked back to see my mom, alone, waving. “I love you,” she said. The wind was cool as…

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…

Wonder Woman – Erin Monroe

September is Workforce Development Month, a time to honor workforce development professionals who support job seekers, local employers, and economic development in their communities. Here in Snohomish County, it was a busy month for wonder woman Erin Monroe, the chief executive officer of Workforce Snohomish….

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…

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 fine artists to tell the…

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 at each rung, and see that you have created a ladder that leads into clouds. You keep climbing until you’ve reached some vague sense of the top. But for Goodwin, that linear progression…

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…

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…

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 us Wayne Gretzky,…

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 byways and scenic routes of our beautiful area. Among the whale-watching viewpoints and mountain vistas are little tiny pieces of history. You have to look closely to find them, but they are there, hidden in the knotweed and brambles of our countryside. These lost communities were…

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…

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 door turnouts, an open breezeway,…

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 way back things sort of started with some of the social clubs in early Edmonds,…

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…

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 Valley is actually a welcome vacation area that caters to many types of budgets and activities. In fact, with its spectacular scenery, abundant trails, appealing shops, excellent food and close proximity to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, it’s a hub for…

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 more than twenty years. He has served on community boards, on the Lummi Indian Business Council, and as Chair of the Lummi Nation. He…

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 flowering shrub. The name is indirectly related to the name of the city. Pacific Dogwood…

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…

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 entrepreneur when it comes to pursuing new and creative ventures. Three years ago she and her husband, Jim Soulier, came up…

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 town’s new public library, and Cottrell really wanted to see that painting in the new library. “We just started approaching people at the auction and…

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…

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…

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 that took on a life of their own after the recent economic slump that affected many small business…

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 in 2012. Von Schneidau started experimenting with different feeds two years ago…

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 Mount Baker. After he decided he would never do it again, he got a call from his brother-in-law, who…

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 Mount Vernon Genuine Mexican can be tough to come by, but COA brings it. As mild or spicy as you like, enjoy their chile relleno to bring…

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 come from Bellingham and surrounding…

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…

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…

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…

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 which boy would make a good senior prom…

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…

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…

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,…

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 regions, nor the expense of an airplane ticket, the Yakima…

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…

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…

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…

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 others — a question and publishes their answers. Bellingham’s own George Dyson is an annual participant in the Annual Question. George is the author of Turing’s Cathedral, Darwin Among the Machines and many other books and essays, and the owner of Dyson Baidarka & Company. He will also present at TED 2014:…

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…

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…

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 and moss filled “lawn.” All of the sudden, you are struck by a deep need to open all of your windows,…

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…

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…

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 Gable, President William H. Taft, Prince William of Sweden, among many other luminaries. By virtue of being…

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 is the next big trend in senior lifestyle. Beacon Hill Village is a group of volunteers and…

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 potlucks and run 5Ks. Voted Best Place to Retire many times over by many national publications, Bellingham seems to embody this new feisty spirit of…

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…

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…

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…

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 out into offering music recording and performance space as well. The local music…

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…

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…

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 Heart is the brainchild of Smith and…

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, at the center, a strong female role. Past films that have met with success include…

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 model of balance between the interests of developers and cyclists. 2. LAKE PADDEN – WHATCOM Padden is a popular destination for locals, and it’s not hard to see why — the beautiful park welcomes all…

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 just sit back and wait for the perfect studio to drop into their…

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…

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…

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…

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 waste reduction and environmental consulting end up…

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…

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 admit,…

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…

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 achievements: a group photo of farm workers from Château Ste. Michelle Winery with organizers — her included — who had just successfully won a union contract. These…

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…

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…

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 — and then it seems to end. The good news is that…

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…

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…

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 —…

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…

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…

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…

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. Owner Ann McEvoy said the store even provides customers with lunch options, including sandwiches and salads from Avenue Bread. There is a charming sitting area for two inside as well as…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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, and you get the idea. The Guild performs a special show called Vaudevillingham on the 15th…

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…

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.

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…