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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marisa Papetti ART DIRECTOR Tammy Findlay COPY EDITORS Ginger Oppenheimer, Wes Davis, Marty Watson, Jessica Harbert, Amy Kepferle ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Roman Komarov PHOTOGRAPHY C9 Photography WEBSITE Roman Komarov




ILLUSTRATION Tammy Findlay CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Eric Ellington, Oveth Martinez, Walter Siegmund


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lorraine Wilde, Alexa Peters, Pamela Kuntz, Thomas G. Hadley, Jessica Lohafer, Ramona Abbott, Rodney Lotter, Heather Hulbert, Davin Stedman, Sheila Ireland, Sam Shaw, Glenn Apollo Hergenhahn-Zhao, Elisa Claassen, Elisha Weinberg, Lindsey Gerhard, Katie Kavulla, Amanda Brock, Krissa Woiwood AD SALES Marisa Papetti, Isaac Huntington, Dave Nellis STAFF Isaac Huntington, Sean Peterson, Lucas Nydam, Akane West Fujii PUBLISHING Published on 10% post-consumer paper with soy-based ink.

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WHAT’S INSIDE 30. HOTEL PLANTER Sleep within the walls of the lazy and cozy La Conner.


SHORT STORY The phobia of turning 50.





Everything you didn’t know about duct tape.

40. THE GREAT PARK Whatcom County has secured enough land to build one of the biggest county parks in the United States and it’s right in our back yard.

44. THE FORK Stick a fork in delicious. page 54

BELLINGHAM HAPPY HOURS Get it fancy, delicious, and on the cheap.

Birch Bay’s annual bird festival calls to flocks of people.



BOOKS Don’t know what to read next? We can help.

ARMCHAIR PHYSICIST Get to know David Kitts—and no, he’s not building a reactor in his backyard. page 66

DANCE: MOVEMENT ARTISANS Bringing grand-scale beauty and grace to the small stage.


FILM Did you like Amelie?


LOVE ADVICE Take it or leave it.



Spring fashion hits the streets.

Small Town and Big City get in a heated discussion.

70. SHOPPING A local’s buying guide.

23. SKETCHOPEDIA An entirely


biased review of a play that has yet to happen.

Jessica fends off drunk boys.



THE SOUL OF EVERETT This city is experiencing its own kind of Renaissance.

BORDER INFORMATION Take it with you. Helpful tips. page 14

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What are the locals listening to?







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Village Music Festival

May 16th & 17th Everett, WA

READ US ONLINE! The magazine is free for you to enjoy online as well. Visit us at From there you can also enjoy back issues.




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WINGS O V E R WAT E R by Lorraine Wilde

Let the splendour of our incredible Pacific Northwest birds glide over you. Attend Birch Bay’s annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival, March 13–16 PHOTOS BY ERIC ELLINGTON


ave you ever heard the soft wisp of air that furls off a bird’s wings as it glides past, so close that you could almost touch it? Hundreds of bird-watching enthusiasts and nature lovers will get their chance to do just that March 13 through 16 at the 12th annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival in Blaine, Washington. The festival’s events and tours are centered in a pristine scenic coastal area of the Pacific Flyway, and are uniquely situated to take advantage of the extensive nearby intertidal mudflats of Drayton Harbor and

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Semiahmoo Bay, designated by the National Audubon Society as an Important Birding Area (IBA) of Washington state. On Friday, March 14, an opening artists’ reception will feature author, editor, and world adventurer Noah Striker. Noah has studied birds on six continents, most recently in Antarctica. If you’re a bird nerd like me, you know that a “life list” is a cumulative list of all the birds you’ve positively identified in nature in your lifetime. My life list has hovered around 80 for a decade. Noah’s is approaching 2,500.

The majority of festival events, organized by an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, take place Saturday, March 15, and include a little something for everyone, from arts and crafts to all-ages educational activities. The festival’s mission is to promote conservation, education, and the stewardship of birds and their habitats while encouraging ecotourism that supports the local economy. “Collaboration between Birch Bay, Semiahmoo, and Blaine has drawn more than 1,500 to 2,000 people to this event, and attendance has been growing steadily,” explains Debbie

Harger, Festival Chair and City of Blaine Community and Tourism Development Coordinator. Debbie has helped plan these festivities for the past decade. A wildlife biologist will lead historic Plover passenger ferry nature cruises, and will help identify the host of migratory birds sightseers might encounter. “Occasionally, in past years, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the sweet surprise of seeing a species you don’t see every day, like the Marbled Godwit, the White Pelican, and the Snowy Owl. You might not see one, but it’s possible,” says Debbie.


Other tours include the expert-led wildlife and geology field trip to Semiahmoo Spit, as well as excursions to local museums. All tours leave via bus from the hub of the event, Blaine Middle School (975 H Street in Blaine; use Interstate 5 Exit 275) and cost only $5(U.S.), many running on the hour. Debbie’s great insider tip: arrive early to reserve your spot and purchase tickets for the many tours offered. While you wait, you can check out the variety of other activities for both kids and adults. Kids can have their faces painted, and anyone can learn to build a functioning birdhouse or a bird feeder, and find out what to use for a stash of nesting materials for your own backyard. These and other family-friendly activities are offered free or for a small donation. Nature lovers can visit several prime North Cascades Audubon viewing stations equipped with spotting scopes attended by knowledgeable experts. A wildlife photography class led by Seattle-based photographer Karen Ulvestad is new to the festival this year. Her incredible photography captures birds in motion interacting with their habitat. Look for me—I hope to enroll in this class. I’ll also get up close and personal during the live raptor presentations by Sardis Raptor Center. This center adopts a variety of rescued owls, hawks, Peregrine falcons, and bald eagles that cannot return to the wild. You’ll not get closer to these majestic beauties anywhere else. Saturday’s featured speaker, the award-winning wildlife photographer and bird book author Paul Bannick, is the heart of the event. Known for his best-selling bird book The Owl and the Woodpecker, Bannick focuses on how the histories of these two important species are intertwined with one another and their habitats. These are both keystone and indicator species for the status of our environment—understanding them

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has never been more crucial. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Bannick’s photography and hearing his recorded calls of some of the rarer species. The weekend closes with Sunday’s Breakfast for Birders on the Birch Bay waterfront and will feature additional speakers, followed by the opportunity to explore the area on your own. You don’t have to be an ornithology nut like me to enjoy this long weekend chock-full of art, tours, workshops, exciting speakers, and family fun. You just have to show up and let the splendour of our incredible Pacific Northwest birds glide over you. For more information and to make tour and workshop reservations, contact the Blaine Visitor Center at (360) 332-4544 and check out or

LISTINGS MAR 21-24 Anacortes Boat Show Everything you need to start Spring boating.

APR 1-30 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Fields of tulips, art shows, family friendly events & more.

Additional information: Wildlife photographer Karen Ulvestad Sardis Raptor Center

APR 19 & 20 Langley’s Welcome the Whales

Noah Striker Paul Bannick

Come celebrate the return of our resident grey whales and orcas to our Puget Sound waters.

It’s In BellIngham, WashIngton.

The Man WhO WaS ThurSDay

| Feb 20–Mar 1 A detective infiltrates a sect of subversive radicals who are not at all what they seem SkeTchOpeDia | Mar 6–15 An encyclopedia of comedy from the minds of Krissa Woiwod and Kimberly Ross reD carpeT | Mar 27–Apr 5 One man’s plummet into Oscar glory The MaSTODOn | Apr 17–26 Ben Eisner’s much anticipated play not about elephants The acherOn | May 9–Jun 7 A five-week serial mystery about the afterlife 48-hOur TheaTer FeSTival | Jun 13–14 Page to stage in 24 hours, twice.

The hardest working theater in the known world

adapted from the novel by G. K. Chesterton

iDiOM’s puBlic TickeTS program gives away ten free tickets to every performance, thanks to the generosity of our local business sponsors!

iDiOM TheTen years of innovative independent theater. Cornwall Ave Bellingham, WA

Also visit for an extensive listing of live performing arts organizations in northwest Washington!

Part of Bellingham’s lively downtown nightlife and near the scenic Chuckanuts and Mt Baker.


1A 99












iDiOM Theater 2014 Season

The most prolific theater in the world is not in New York or Berlin...
























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“I had my team come down to the university auction [at the University of Washington] and this mysterious character keeps outbidding us on every lot. So I pulled the guy aside halfway through the event and found out he was production designer Ben Blankenship, for the film Safety Not Guaranteed. My team and I cut Ben a creative deal in which he contracted our shop out to build his vision of a time machine. Plus, I got to keep a time machine.”

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t’s because of artists like David R. Kitts that I’ve almost been kidnapped. Every summer around a certain time, without fail, some of my longtime associates—AKA the “Burners”— begin calling and texting me at the oddest hours, from seedy dive bars in Portland, Oregon, or Thailand. They call to explain to me how I’m wasting my life and missing out on a great final spark of creativity by skipping yet another Burning Man. The proposition is always the same: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” They have an extra pass and they’ll pick me right up. It’s true that I finally convinced my girlfriend not to leave me if I theoretically did ever jump on that bus bound for the Nevada desert, but again this last summer, I passed up the opportunity. It’s around such times that I often wake up at night, startled and slightly disappointed I have not been spirited away to Burning Man. As I slip back to sleep, for a brief moment I see the glowing eyes of those mad-yet-true friends who would risk a potential felony to show me, well, art. They describe the art at Burning Man like a religious vision; experiences that could never be encapsulated by 16-mm film or done justice on Instagram. Over their shoulders, beyond their glowing eyes, I see strange metal structures. I see impossible things. I see water dancing with fire. I’m dreaming. David R. Kitts is one of a number of artists who spend an entire year molding steel, wreckage, and salvaged treasure into the creative currency that truly powers Burning Man: fine art. Whether in his warehouse studio (where an 8-meter surrealist mailbox greets you at the door) or inside his own head with a sketchpad and pencil re-engineering a tower of fire, he never loses sight of his canvas: the flat line of the Nevada playa that is the inescapable, defining characteristic of the landscape at Burning Man.


“The desert is my datum line; the core visual landscape that all of my ideas are drawn upon,” David explains. “The desert is so unobstructed you can observe the curvature of the earth just standing on it.” To really understand the mindset of David R. Kitts and gain a deeper appreciation of his art, I recommend revisiting the legacy of Nikola Tesla. There is a breed of genius that still blossoms on our continent: men and women like Tesla who stood on the cutting-edge of the possibilities of physics and brought to us: tomorrow.

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They are the mothers and fathers of ham radios, the hydrogen bomb, and smartphones. Many of them, like Tesla, were accomplished showmen in their own right. In the presence of drinking buddies such as Samuel Clemens, Tesla staged events on his own birthday to reveal his latest inventions, echoes of which resonate through the continued growth and popularity of festivals like Burning Man and the science-based artistry of David R. Kitts. Some of the most elegant “artworks” of the 20th century were

inventions that ranged from the beautiful to the macabre: the Victrola, the Volkswagen Beetle, an M1911 pistol. Much like David R. Kitts’ “Fusion Fire” art installation, this art had function. “Fusion Fire” is a show-stopping piece of art that is the B-movie version of a General Fusion, Inc. fusion reactor under construction in Burnaby. The folks at General Fusion even gave David a warm wish of good luck when he politely contacted them to get their blessing regarding the project their work inspired. The

good people of Bellingham and lower mainland British Columbia, however, can rest assured that David has abstained from building an actual fusion reactor. I wouldn’t doubt that for the right budget he could upgrade his “Fusion Fire” experiment into an operational facility, but David is a family man, and no one needs the NSA or MOSSAD knocking on their door in the middle of the night. The brilliance of “Fusion Fire” is that anyone willing to follow a few simple instructions can operate this fairy tale of a fusion reactor. The participant is

free to flip switches and punch buttons as a Mercury program-era clock counts down. As the show begins, “Fusion Fire” starts to rumble, and a globe beyond the control board fills with water. The water proceeds to spin in a violent whirlpool, while long flames shoot inside the vortex, through the top of the sphere, and into the black night. It’s a thrilling ritual that must cease after a short time, or this make-believe reactor will quite literally melt down (to the detriment of no one but David’s machine).

ously out of touch man who is attempting to build a time machine. David is an approachable and well-adjusted gentleman, but I can envision the character in full manic mode at Burning Man, insisting on camping next to “Fusion Fire.” Men like David R. Kitts, Kenneth Calloway, and Nikola Tesla share a certain something. Maybe it’s just a confident glimmer in the eye—that look a 21-year-old Einstein had. That half-smile, just short of a smirk, that says, “Yeah, I could probably build a time machine.”

In 2012, as fate would have it, one of David’s art projects became the centerpiece of the award-winning film, Safety Not Guaranteed. David explains, “I had my team come down to the university auction [at the University of Washington] and this mysterious character keeps outbidding us on every lot. So I pulled the guy aside halfway through the event and found out he was production designer Ben Blankenship, for the film Safety Not Guaranteed. My team and I cut Ben a creative deal in which he contracted our shop out to build his vision of a time machine. Plus, I got to keep a time machine.”

On the last night I spent with David, he had me swear an oath of secrecy. Then he proceeded to show me the next wave of artistic experiments he’s hiding in his shop. One promising piece was inspired by Bellingham’s Spark Museum of Electrical Invention curator John Winters. “It’s something scientists have theorized as possible on a large scale,” explains John, “and a couple of us around the region are in a race to apply this wonderful idea as conceptual art.”

In Safety Not Guaranteed, actor Mark Duplass’ character, Kenneth Calloway, is an erratic and danger-

“Fusion Fire” will be on display during upcoming Bellingham Art Walks, which take place in downtown Bellingham on the first Friday of every month.


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by Pamela Kuntz

he first time I saw Alethea Alexander dancing, I could not take my eyes off of her. A new member of Bellingham Repertory Dance (BRD), Alethea is a highly skilled, physically brave mover with a focus and presence you feel from across the room. To have the opportunity to experience a dancer at this level, living and working in Bellingham, may seem surprising to those not familiar with our dance community. These dancers only live in big cities like New York, right? If not for Bellingham Repertory Dance, that might be the case. Formed in 2005, BRD is a collective of accomplished dancers dedicated to bringing high-quality, audience-accessible, vibrant, contemporary dance to Bellingham. Diane Williams, a founding member of BRD, described the formation of the company as something that was meant to be. “I was teaching dance, but that alone wasn’t quite fulfilling everything I wanted as a dancer. I was hungry for more, and talking with a couple other dancers, we learned that there were a handful of local dancers who felt the same. It actually seemed to me like a very organic and natural process getting BRD started.” When talking about Diane’s dancing with others, bodies soften, faces


melt into pleasure-filled grins and the “oooohs” begin. She is a languid, far-reaching, powerhouse. Just when you think she’s reached the end of a moment she finds one more inch. With the strength of an athlete, she is an artist. Her athleticism fuels her artistry, never getting in the way or taking over.

There is no doubt that Alethea Alexander is providing some of this inspiration. A Bellingham native, Alethea recently graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in dance and soon after landed in San Francisco. “When I was living in San Francisco I felt suffocated by a lack of space: financial space, physical space,

“I have never claimed to understand meditation in the classic sense, but I think that it must be something close to what I feel when I am dancing. There is a powerful sense of simultaneously knowing myself and also being overwhelmed by what I haven’t discovered yet. Sometimes I feel powerful, sometimes scared, sometimes frustrated, or vulnerable, or attentive. But I almost always feel honest.” —Althea Alexander Diane recently took time off from the company to have a baby. When describing her return (which was not guaranteed, because auditions are required for anyone new or hoping to return), she explained both concern and joy. “At first, I had a lot of selfdoubt about whether I would be able to get back the physical strength and stamina that is required of dancing with BRD.” This writer can tell you she is indeed back, and then some. “A subtle shift took place after I became a mother. I feel more grounded and openhearted as a person and I feel that change energetically when I’m dancing. It’s a lovely feeling.” Dancers in BRD range from recent college graduates to newlyweds to mothers. The life experiences of the women of BRD (this year the company is comprised of all women) make for a rich experience for both the audience and the company members. In Diane’s words, “I really am grateful for the relationships I’ve made over these years with BRD. I love that I get to hang out with such intelligent, talented, creative, hilarious, caring, slightly subversive and fun women. It’s a gift to work with a group of peers that constantly inspires me.”

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creative space, social space. I wanted to come back to Bellingham so that I could explore dance at a professional level, but also be in a community and a geographical place that offered diversity and space.” Alethea brings a youthful energy and physical virtuosity that is expected of a younger dancer. What isn’t necessarily expected is emotional depth and presence. Perhaps her answer to the question, “What does it feel like when you are dancing?” can explain this. “I have never claimed to understand meditation in the classic sense, but I think that it must be something close to what I feel when I am dancing. There is a powerful sense of simultaneously knowing myself and also being overwhelmed by what I haven’t discovered yet. Sometimes I feel powerful, sometimes scared, sometimes frustrated, or vulnerable, or attentive. But I almost always feel honest.” In April, BRD will present “Phrasings in Word and Dance” at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center in Fairhaven. This performance is in collaboration with the Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theatre. Poets submit their work, and choreographers, BRD

members and professional choreographers choose poems as inspiration for a new piece. Another opportunity to feel Diane and Alethea perform. . . I wouldn’t miss it. For additional information about BRD, visit

LISTINGS FEB 14 TO MAR 2 The 39 Steps Mount Baker Theatre’s Winter Repertory Players presents a mix of a Hitchcock masterpiece with a dash of Monty Python. Downtown Bellingham.

APR 4-13 The Snow Queen Hans Christian Andersen’s ode to childhood brought to life by the talent of Whidbey Island Dance Theatre. Downtown Bellingham.

& 17


ear Small Town, This is the understanding. Perhaps we weren’t clear. Art is made in places like this, far removed from your provincial, hidebound town. Theatre is made here. Plays are tried and tested, reviewed and digested until any questions they raise are answered and their meanings established. Only then, and after a suitable passage of time, are they shipped off to your charming region where you have such a senseless number of trees and a complete lack of wherewithal to make real art for yourself. Sincerely, The Big City (you know the one)

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TH E ATR E Epistle by Glenn Apollo Hergenhahn-Zhao

Dear Big City, Thank you for the letter. It’s helpful to have these things that have been so long unspoken, written so plainly. I can’t begin to tell you the love we have for the plays that have found their way to us from the lights of your city and the boards of your stages. We look at our own bookcases, in fact, and are hard-pressed to find a single bound script that doesn’t come from some ivory tower or other along your hallowed avenues. I’m not sure what action elicited this reminder of our understanding. Here in our admittedly over-treed region, suitable tribute is always paid to the far-flung geniuses and the grand metropolises. Our grandest theaters are reserved almost exclusively to this tribute, our local arts funding to those who house our auspicious guests and their ghosts. And while it’s true that we are guilty of making our own plays now and again, never has that threatened the natural order of things. Any play of any consequence will still find a way to your white way, and any play of inconsequence will rise and fall in its own small sphere and, surely, affect nothing and no one. As for our complete lack of wherewithal to make real art for ourselves, I’m not sure I agree with you. I have seen many amazing things under our own lights, grown from our own minds—words never dreamed of by a billion metropolitans. Though perhaps I do not know what real art is. Yours under the haunting silence of a misty night in November, Small Town

Dear Small Town,

Dear Small Town,

I will be brief, although I hardly know where to start.

I don’t know.

1. Theatre is spelled with an “re”. 2. If “ghosts” are supposed to refer to dead playwrights, I’d like you to take a minute to imagine theatre without those ghosts.

Unable to stop eating this Chinese takeout, The Big City

Dear Big City,

3. Make your plays. Just do not confuse them with Art, and do not confuse success with anything you will find under any silent, misty nights in whatever month may find you.

Do you want to talk about it?

4. Your smug tone is not appreciated.

Dear Small Town,

Yours in the center of everything spinning, The Big City

We are so lost. It is so bad. Tickets for plays are hundreds of dollars. No one will see them unless we cast celebrities. No one will produce them if they are at all risky, and no one— NO ONE—makes anything new. It’s possible to put up a new work downtown, but good luck getting anyone to see it, and good luck ever escaping the gravity of that hallowed ground that once shook the world with ideas and now shakes it with plummeting, caterwauling Spidermen.

Dear Big City, I think we may have veered off track. I love the city, and I could never imagine a world not inhabited by your ghosts and geniuses. But for theater(re) to be a living art, it has to make new work. Imagine if all bands were cover bands. Imagine if all painters gave all their energy to reproducing works of the past. Even if most of them did, what would that look like? With respect, it would look like theatre looks. It would look like your city. There was a time when the genesis of new work shook that city to its granite foundations. What happened? In my pajamas and with longing, Small Town

With my listening face on, Small Town

Hyperventilating into a bag that smells like moo shu pork, The Big City

Dear Big City, You will always be a factory of earth-shaking ideas, because talent is drawn to you like moths to a flame (bad simile, sorry). Listen. Theater (however you spell it) is, at its core, a simple thing. Cavemen told each other stories of the hunt.


Priests told worshippers the words of their gods. All sorts of vaudeville burst into the world from whatever tent and tavern would house it. Theater was born wherever people gathered out of the human need to experience things together. As much as we love your ghosts and your words, we need to make our own. I lied before about that. And I lied when I said it wasn’t threatening. I’m sorry. It is. As much as we pay tribute, tribute must be paid first to our own words, born from our own minds and our own time. Our definition of success can no longer only lead to faroff lands. We want a new theater like the old theater. Like a strange and magical religion—where we dance the dances of the dead, of course, but then dance on. Way out here. Under senseless trees. Together. Respectfully, Small Town

Dedicated to all those bringing new works to the stage in Northwest Washington: The Bellingham Theatre Guild, Everett Community College, iDiOM Theater, Little Bird Theatre, Northwest Passage Theater, Skagit Valley College, The Upfront Theatre, Village Theatre, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, and many more, many more to come.

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L I TTL E B I R D THEATER every live production happens somewhere new


META PERFORMING ARTS theater arts for Skagit Valley youth

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. ~ Oscar Wilde

MOUNT BAKER THEATRE national productions in a historic building NEIGHBORHOOD PLAYHOUSE professional plays for children & their families,


NORTHWEST BALLET THEATER seasonal ballet productions NORTHWEST WASHINGTON THEATER GROUP family friendly entertainment

ANACORTES COMMUNITY THEATRE live theater, BAAY! Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth BELLINGHAM CHILDREN’S THEATER local original theater for adults & children, BELLINGHAM CIRCUS GUILD circus artist performances featuring Vaudevillingham BELLINGHAM REPERTORY DANCE contemporary & modern dance BELLINGHAM THEATRE GUILD contemporary & classic musicals, comedies, & drama, DANCE GALLERY multigenerational modern dance EVERETT COMMUNITY COLLEGE FREE KEY PRODUCTIONS IDIOM THEATER new works & local theater festivals KUNTZ & COMPANY community stories told through dance & performance art

Photo by Tad Beavers


LINC O LN TH EATR E live performance in a historic theater,

NORTHWEST PASSAGE THEATER furthering collaboration between East & West coast theater artists & featuring the Theater Lab, SKAGIT VALLEY COLLEGE McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Center, SAN JUAN COMMUNITY THEATRE HD broadcasts & live theater SKAGIT RIVER SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL Shakespeare Northwest, STONE TOWN THEATRE WORKS new interpretations of classic texts THEATER ARTS GUILD community theater for Skagit Valley UPFRONT THEATER live improv comedy in a cabaret venue VILLAGE THEATRE musical theatre, WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY THEATRE ARTS PAC, Main Stage & Underground Theater WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE DRAMA PROGRAM Heiner Theater, WHIDBEY CHILDREN’S THEATER opportunities for children in the performing arts WHIDBEY PLAYHOUSE live plays & musicals in Oak Harbor

An entirely biased review of a play that has yet to happen



by Kimberly Ross & Krissa Woiwood. Photo by Paul Turpin

ull Disclosure 1: The author of this article is also the co-author of the play “Sketchopedia.” The review of this play is based entirely upon conjecture on behalf of the author of the play who also happens to be the director of the play who also happens to be acting in said play.

Theatre is a hard sell these days. Of course it is. Once upon a time, theatre was eclipsed by film and never really emerged from the shadow. Theatre sort of lurks around in that shadow and sometimes does weird creepy stuff that can make you uncomfortable. It’s not for me to debate the life or death of theatre; I’m just trying to say that I get it. I understand why you don’t go to plays. I

understand that once upon a time the last show you went to was because your dentist was in it and it was loud and awkward and achingly sincere and you had to find a new dentist afterwards because you just couldn’t face the “did you like the show?” question you knew would follow. Listen. I want you to know that I know. I know what theatre did to you and I’m here to extend an olive branch. An olive branch of entertainment. It’s like a regular olive branch; but there’s glitter and spray paint. Try it again. Try theatre again. Sketchopedia is from the brain of myself and my co-hort Kimberly Ross. It’s an educational sketch comedy about words that start with the letter A. We have been training in the arts of “sciencetainment” and “academonstrative learnitizing” just

for you. There will be singing and dancing and animal partnerships and fun facts about Attila the Hun. It will be theatre at it’s most ridiculous and non-creepy. You will be amused. You will laugh. You will be in a roomful of people who are laughing, sharing the same experience, and it will remind you that some things really are very simple. Words, lights, music, and cardboard can somehow equal magic. This is me coaxing you into the theatre. Just come on. I’m waving that olive branch. Look at it sparkle in the stark stage lights. It’s here waiting for you. It’s always been here. Sketchopedia: March 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at the Idiom Theatre, located in Downtown Bellingham.




Old barons like Rockefeller & James J. Hill once gambled on the city of By Davin Stedman Everett, brought heavy track that still runs straight through town.

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t’s always been a company town. All that money. Old barons like Rockefeller & James J. Hill once gambled on the city of Everett, brought heavy track that still runs straight through town— down to Port Gardner Bay. Today, before the freight (and soon endless coal) trains reach the Puget sound, they buzz the Anchor Tavern, an establishment built in 1906, where a group called the Everett Music Initiative organized their first concerts 106 years later. As the trains have for a century, the cars rumble so close to the building the whole place resonates like the inside of an acoustic guitar.

The Anchor is closed for business now, but it will live again. New ownership is on track to give the old saloon new life before the ink dries on this magazine’s print edition. There will again be music in the air. But for now all you can see through the industrial-style garage doors and smudged glass on the east end, where musicians load in, is a thousand band names signed in multi-coloured chalk along the brick that served as a backdrop to the stage. It’s here at the Anchor, by these garage doors, that I first encountered Ryan Crowther (pictured above) and inquired how



the heck he did it. How did he and his Everett Music Initiative convince some of Seattle’s most critically acclaimed “indie” acts like Fly Moon Royalty, Day Dream Vacation, and Ravenna Woods to play this funky little bar at end of Hewitt for sometimes as little as a $5 cover? The story of the Everett Music Initiative really begins with its founder, Ryan Crowther. Sure, Ryan remembered Everett from when he visited a couple times as a kid. When he re-encountered the town as an adult he discovered something absolutely

by Davin Stedman

charming at its very center; he saw its potential. He laid down roots. “I remember the first day I really met Downtown Everett. Walking a few blocks back to my car after an event, I recall looking up at the lighted, historic brick buildings and I could smell the saltwater breeze. The sidewalks were clean, the air was clean and it perfectly blended the feel of a small town with the outskirts of a big city. I couldn’t figure out why I had just walked six blocks without seeing more than a couple people. It’s refreshing to know that a lot has

changed since then and clearly a lot of people have picked up on that same feeling I had.” From my own recollections as a boy visiting Everett with my father in the late ‘80s, the health of the downtown has greatly improved. The dusty stamp shops that brought us to that part of the city have long since vanished. In spite of the millions that have been wisely invested, very little can be done to brace a town from the heartbreak of the recent closing of the Scott Paper mill and the slow vacuum of suburban sprawl that’s been


in the lobby with a mix of hope, and the specter of winter’s utility bills that lie ahead, that Olsen explains: “The Historic Theater is committed as ever to continuing to bring great programming to the community and making our venue available to local bands. But we have a lot of seats to fill in an 800-seat opera house. Drawing more music and fans back downtown would mean so much to this theater. But I feel a sea change happening with groups like the Everett Music Initiative stepping forward.”

sucking tax revenue towards a struggling Everett Mall since the 1970s. For the owners that have been forced to sell their stake in bars along main drags like Hewitt Avenue, hosting live music was an adventurous risk and a personal passion. The closest bar to downtown that seems to be thriving isn’t a venue, but rather a gamer/geek mecca that instantly blossomed after it took over a failed sushi joint a couple years back. Further north on Rucker, showrooms like Tony V’s Garage, the Anchor Tavern, and the Historic Everett Theater are wishing and praying for the downtown revival to finally arrive. The state of the art Comcast arena and its parade of country stars, greying rock gods, and popular schedule of Silvertip minor league hockey games is certainly turning a tide. But for the streets at night to come alive with legitimate commerce and for trendy restaurants to flourish, as Ryan Crowther imagines when he walks to his office on Wetmore and Hewitt, the sparks must fly across smaller, more organic tinder. As it once did in Seattle, it can start with the smallest show. Mike Olson is director of the Historic Everett Theater, a 113-year-old opera

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house run by an astonishingly dedicated nonprofit called the Everett Theater Society. The “Historic,” as many of its patrons fondly call it, is located at the corner of two main streets named after the city fathers, Henry Hewitt Jr. and Charles L. Colby. Few theatres in America have been operating as long, and for a handful of folks like Mike, keeping the Historic open for business these

The Everett Music Initiative did indeed step forward in a quite spectacular way. In addition to its self-appointed duty to produce multiple shows each month, the collective stuck out its neck to produce its most ambitious effort yet. The EMI put together a bill at the Historic on May 17, 2013 of such quality, the same names could threaten to sell out even the iconic 1,100-capacity Showbox in Seattle. The evening, which marked the organization’s first anniversary, included a welcome homecoming from Everett’s own Moondoggies.

“Every city has two lives. One during the day, and one at night. We knew this show was going to determine a lot for the Everett Music Initiative and whether we were going to make a difference creating a fun nightlife here in Everett. Choosing the right bands was vital in order to fill up that theater. We did. And it was literally one of the best nights of my life.” —Ryan Crowther last few years has been a labour of love. The first thing you might notice when you enter the front doors is a display of first-generation Simplex brand silent movie projectors in the theatre’s lobby. If you take a few steps closer you’ll discover a collection of photos, including a 1937 snapshot of a boyish music director named Nat King Cole posing outside the theatre with members of the production, Shuffle Along. It’s right here

The Moondoggies have yet to follow mellower, arguably soft rock bands like the Head and the Heart and Fleet Foxes to stardom, but they’ve made some truly amazing records along the way. And below two more buzzedabout Seattle acts was another true local (and now sadly defunct) band called River Giant. The show wasn’t nearly an official sellout, but selling 450 tickets and moving that many

microbrews in one night gave Mike Olson and the theatre an injection of hope and revenue the Historic sorely needed. “The joint was clearly jumpin’,” said Ryan. “Every city has two lives. One during the day, and one at night. We knew this show was going to determine a lot for the Everett Music Initiative and whether we were going to make a difference creating a fun nightlife here in Everett. Choosing the right bands was vital in order to fill up that theater. We did. And it was literally one of the best nights of my life.” One of my keener observations about the Everett Music Initiative is that it’s made of tougher stuff than the downright cute-and-cuddly-asa-wool sweater pop music they often present. I’ll never forget watching their crew professionally scramble amidst actual lightning strikes, on their own Belushi-esque “mission from God”. Their mission, born of legitimate concern for public safety, was to move the second half of a free outdoor show at Wetmore Theater Plaza featuring Fly Moon Royalty into an already-packed restaurant called the Prohibition Grill. The EMI staff did the best they could to inform customers of their intentions while keeping volume at a comically low level until BBC America’s television hit Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares wrapped up its final round of interviews. What could have been a thoroughly awkward situation gradually gave way to magic as the customers discovered Fly Moon Royalty frontwoman Adra Boo’s authentic soul vocals. No disrespect to Prohibition Grill, but the best dessert on the menu that evening was Fly Moon Royalty. Now, to be honest, given my own taste and the rich ethnic diversity I see every day as I take my daily stroll through the lush 197 acres of Forest Park, I hope that an organization named something as broad as the Everett Music Initiative will continue

to evolve in a way that matches the wider musical interests and make-up of the community. But this is a game of re-branding, and in terms of putting on great shows and getting internationally influential musical institutions like KEXP to recognize their efforts, the Everett Music Initiative is absolutely winning. There are, however, greater forces at play. This town simply needs more music, whether it’s to stave off the inner city blues if yet more Boeing jobs fly south, or even if it just adds up to a modest but successful effort to keep disposable income local, and kickstart tourism. But thanks to some recent efforts, whether this town goes boom or bust, live music and its culture will still be at the center of Everett’s downtown revival. Or sadly, its very survival. This is the good fight for Everett’s soul. And it’s been inspiring to see a relatively small group of people take the lead and make a difference. For you Canadian music fans planning a trip to Seattle, I can tell you that if you don’t spend your first night in Everett, you might be missing a pretty amazing show. And I hope I get to meet you at the Anchor. I’ll buy you a beer. When the train is rumbling by, they still only cost $1. For more information on the Everett Music Initiative and their upcoming events, visit and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

LISTINGS EVERY 3RD SATURDAY Everett Art Walk Enjoy a stroll through historic downtown Everett and view works of sculptors, painters, potters & more.

FRI, MAR 7 Science Sleuths at Everett’s Imagine Children’s Museum Hands-on science class for kids (ages 6-12)

SAT, MAR 25 Celtic Woman Celebrate Ireland and the Emerald Isles’ romantic Celtic heritage through traditional Irish anthems, pop standards, and original music at the Comcast Arena in Everett.



Photo of bridge by Walter Siegmund. Obtained from WikiMedia Commons. All other photos by C9 Photography.

difference between staying somewhere with 12 rooms or 1,200 rooms. Here, you’re not just a


—Cynthia Hoskins 30 VOL 1. ISSUE 1. FEB/MAR/APR 2014


he front doorway of the Hotel Planter in La Conner, Washington, opens in on an imposing staircase covered in lush, emerald carpeting. I notice the floral wallpaper as the curved wooden railings guide me up the staircase. At the top, there is a small desk with a crystal jar of sweets, a tiny bell, and a sign that says, “Please ring for service.” An upbeat desk attendant greets me, dropping a room key into my palm. As per the hotel’s history, this charm is well-earned. The Hotel Planter was built in 1907 on land purchased from Louisa A. Conner, the town’s namesake. In the years leading up the Great Depression, it was a draw for Seattle tourists, merchants, and lumber mill workers and later for writers and artists seeking inexpensive housing while working in the area.


As I push the key into the lock, I look down the narrow high-ceilinged hallway, hearing the muted chatter of a television. I imagine a fellow guest ensconced in a room, socked feet on the floral comforter, suitcase splayed open on one of the green wicker chairs, warm hands clutching a cup of chamomile tea. Once settled, I plan to follow suit. I’ve been given room four, only a few feet from the front desk and the complimentary coffee bar. It is a small but cozy room, with one queen bed, two bedside tables, a bureau with a television, and a spacious bathroom with a shower. Two massive windows overlook the sleepy street. It is one of six queen rooms of its kind. The decor is meticulously maintained; everything from the bathroom tile to the bedspread possesses an alluring vintage charm. “This hotel has always been a hotel,” explains Cynthia Hoskins, owner of the Hotel Planter and the fine arts and crafts store, EarthenWorks Gallery, which is at street level below the hotel. “But when we bought it in the 1980s, it was

doors, wood trim, and railings, as well as the windows,” Hoskins says. The couple added some modern amenities, however. Instead of maintaining the shared bathroom setup, the Hoskins’ reduced the 22 rooms to 12, allowing private bathrooms to be added. This decision undoubtedly adds to the hotel’s comfortable, intimate atmosphere. “It’s the difference between staying somewhere with 12 rooms or 1,200 rooms. Here, you’re not just a number,” Cynthia says. The Hoskins also brought the hotel’s private courtyard back to life through fresh landscaping, captivating art and the installation of a jacuzzi. Hoskins gestures to the secret garden, secluded from the street by lush greenery and a large red-brick wall, which she explains is the remains of another hotel that burned down years ago. “If you look closely, you can see the old arched windows,” Hoskins says. “Our guests love it.”

The Hoskins’ had purchased the building originally to expand their art gallery, but decided they would also undertake “the task of bringing a large part of local history back to life.” From 1987 to 1989, they renovated, working to keep safe the building’s period integrity. “It’s called a ‘National Historic Inn’ because when we gutted it we kept the original woodwork, like the

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From my hotel room, I watched the sun cast diamonds on the channel and fall behind Rainbow Bridge, which stretches across the water to the Swinomish Indian reservation. I luxuriated on the bed, clicking through channels and reading. That night, I slept peacefully, disturbed only briefly by the morning bakery truck. But I didn't care; fresh rolls awaited me right across the street. Hotel Planter EXIT #230 715 First St. La Conner, Washington Reservations: (360) 466-4710 Email:

But really, I can’t find much I don’t love about the hotel. The hotel is the

I imagine a fellow guest ensconced in a room, socked feet on the floral comforter, suitcase splayed open on one of the green wicker chairs, warm hands clutching a cup of chamomile tea. Once settled, I plan to follow suit. condemned; there were birds flying in through holes in the wall and the area where EarthenWorks is now had a big hole in the floor.”

array of local restaurants. I had meals at La Conner Brewery and Calico Cupboard during my stay; both with delicious food and obliging wait staff. And, when I wasn’t shopping or eating, I found myself drinking in the view of the sparkling Swinomish Channel alongside it all.

perfect spot for a romantic getaway with your significant other, a fun girls’ weekend, or just for a retreat from everyday life. The accommodations are comfortable (and affordable; even the suite, with a private Jacuzzi tub, runs for less that $200(U.S.) per night), the people are kind, and La Conner is warm and welcoming. The city of La Conner could be cut from a small-town postcard. You’ll find blue-striped awnings, shuttered windows, quilt shops, and clothing boutiques, not to mention a great

LISTINGS SAT, FEB 22 La Conner's 49th Annual Smelt Derby Festival Pancake breakfast, kid's fish painting, fishing derby, and run.

temple bar ad

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S H O RT STO RY The 50 Phobia, by Sheila Ireland


he old stone quarry has been in disuse for years. It has an iron bridge and I stand there nervously, looking down. I guess the drop to be four or five hundred metres. It is a cool November day. I am wearing jeans and trainers, and a jumper, which is appropriate, I think. Still, I shiver. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. It’s the last thing I ever thought I’d contemplate. But Life plays funny tricks on you; sometimes it can be sneaky and sly and subversive. Sometimes it can turn you into something you never wanted to be. This morning, for instance, Life woke me up and yelled, “Surprise, surprise— you’re 50!”

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Sorry, I just made that last bit up. It was in fact my husband, Charles, who roused me with an off-key rendering of “Happy Birthday,” via a phone call from his hotel room in London, where he is attending a three-day business seminar accompanied by his secretary, Vivien, who is 27 years old, very efficient and stunningly attractive. Charles is CO of a company that produces educational computer software, and says the seminar is one of those awkward things that he couldn’t get out of. I told him to just go ahead, it did not matter in the least. “Being 50 is nothing to celebrate,” I said.

Fifty wasn’t a birthday—it was a phobia. I didn’t want to face it at all. And now it has come to this... A wind comes up and blows cool across the bridge, and my legs feel numb. Half a century, I think in shock and awe. And I let that fact sink in, hoping it might vanish without a trace. It gets as far as my stomach, where it lodges like a lead weight. I stare into the chasm below me and remember I told everyone at the office that I was only 48. Wish I hadn’t now. It was immature, and that’s the prerogative of the very young. It’s not supposed to exist in someone my age. Besides, I don’t like telling fibs. To be honest, I don’t handle guilt or depression very well, through lack of experience. “Maybe I was born with faulty genes,” I mutter into the wind. I squandered the best years of my life, after all, just frittered them away enjoying myself. Really, I could have taken everything a lot more seriously. I might have been a scholar, or a sportsperson. At university I won the inter-county high-diving competition two years in a row. I was a terrific athlete back then. Gave it all up for love and marriage and motherhood.

50? I’m not sure I can go through with this, after all. Still, I ask: Do I really want to just give up? I tell myself I am lucky I don’t have to soak my dentures. My hair hasn’t gone thin or wispy, and isn’t yet grey. I don’t need a face-lift or a therapist. I’m alive. I’m still ME. And that’s when I do it. I launch myself off the bridge and into space and execute a swallow dive straight out of my teens that takes my breath away. Terror and exhilaration rip through me as I fall to earth. I close my eyes and scream. And that’s when the restrainer tightens suddenly around my ankles, stops my fall, and holds me in bobbing, incredulous suspense. My first-ever bungee jump is over. Above, I can hear my adult children laughing and yelling, celebrating the success of their surprise birthday gift to me. And I hear myself laughing also, albeit a little hysterically.

Later we go for drinks and I am glad I am finally back down on earth. Being afraid seems foolish now. Telling my friends that I was only 48 seems even harder to explain. I don’t know how or when I’ll be able to tell them the truth. The opportunity comes sooner than I expect. It is already quite dark when my kids drive me home. We go inside in the dark, but the place is suddenly flooded with light, and I see my husband, Charles, standing in front of a crowd of people, all of whom scream out, “Surprise, surprise!” Charles’s secretary is there with her husband, Jack, as are all of my neighbours—and all of my friends from the office, grinning hugely. On the wall behind them there is a large banner that reads: HAPPY HALF-CENTURY! And I can’t keep from smiling, because I know it’s true. I really couldn’t be happier.

I was always hooked on happiness, you see. When my babies were born, I didn’t even have the decency to suffer postpartum depression, but behaved like a regular Pollyanna, just couldn’t keep the smile off my face. And I think maybe I have passed the disorder onto both my kids, because I told them, “Definitely no gifts, thank you.” But they each got me one anyhow. It’s just a pity I can’t appreciate it now. My heart is beating like a drum. I glance down and go dizzy. I think about counting to 10. Or maybe I should count to



Zen Ritual by Thomas G. Hadley Irony is the salt, our hubris the oil, in which, (together), we dip our broken bread... What is the sensation of one hand clasping?

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Tickets Starting At $39 .50





A Valentine’s Date

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S i l v e r R e e f C a s i n o. c o m • ( 8 6 6 ) 3 8 3 - 0 7 7 7 I-5 Exit 260 • 4 Min. West • Haxton Way at Slater Road 38 VOL 1. ISSUE 1. FEB/MAR/APR 2014

Events subject to change without notice. Must be 21 or over to play. Management reserves all rights. ©2014 Silver Reef Casino

T H E H I STO RY O F T H I S by Colleen Harper

glorious combination we take for granted today. It was developed for the United States military by a division of the Johnson & Johnson company to seal ammunition cases against moisture. Because it was used in the field, it was essential that this waterproof tape could be ripped with the hands, quickly and cleanly. The woven fabric tape was flexible, waterproof, and required no tools to use effectively. The soldiers called it duck tape, like its earlier non-adhesive relative. The name variation “duct tape” came into use in the 1950s when a similar product, coloured with powdered aluminum, was created to help in the construction and repair of heating ducts. The silvery grey color blended with the tin of the ducting.


t saved the life of three of the astronauts aboard Apollo 13. It’s been the central topic of best-selling books. It’s been used to create high-fashion gowns, seaworthy vessels, even shoes. The Red Green Show called it “the handyman’s secret weapon” for good reason. With enough duct tape and determination, you can build a functional cannon, construct a bridge, and even suspend a vehicle—for a time, at least. So where did this magnificent tool come from? At the turn of the 20th century, long non-adhesive strips of a particularly sturdy fabric called duck canvas were referred to as “duck tape”. It was used in shoe making, to decorate clothing, and even to protect the steel cables that held up the Brooklyn Bridge. By the 1910s, adhesive tapes were fairly common, but it wasn’t until World War II that the magic combination of cloth tape, waterproof coating, and adhesive came together in the

Duck, or duct, tape is now available in every color of the rainbow, printed with tiny moustaches or strips of bacon, even with a glow-in-the-dark finish. It has come a long way since its drab army days, even enjoying the honour of a feature film titled Duct Tape Forever. The manufacturer of Duck brand duck tape, Henkel, offers a college scholarship each year to the high school student who can make the best duck tape prom dress, so you can add “put a kid through college” to its wide-ranging list of applications. Whether you call it duck tape or duct tape, modern society would not be the same without this inimitable adhesive.



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by Ramona Abbott. Photos by Lyle Jansma


reat cities have great parks. Imagine New York City without Central Park to alleviate the miles of concrete and steel. Who has not walked or biked in Stanley Park in Vancouver? Seattle residents can hike and walk for hours in rugged Discovery Park. Soon, Bellingham will join this pantheon with our very own Great Park. Pack up the gear and family, cross the border, and head to the Great Park hugging the shores of Lake Whatcom. Perhaps you visit downtown Bellingham first and then decide to take a bus to the entrance to the park; perhaps you drive, or maybe you are completely intrepid and you rent mountain bikes. In any case you find yourself at the trailhead, ready to set the cares of the modern day aside.


the Whatcom County Reconveyance. In 2005, then-County Executive Pete Kremen and County Council member Dan McShane were discussing ways to protect the Lake Whatcom watershed as well as expand opportunities for recreational activities in the surrounding forests. The result of that conversation was to propose the transfer of approximately 3,579 hectares of land (8,844 acres) from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to Whatcom County.

Breathing in the forest air, which feels like it has far more oxygen than prosaic city air, you hike up through deeply peaceful paths of emerald and cedar green. A silence enfolds you, a silence born of deeply carpeted forest floors, softened by dec-

families talk of around dinner tables for years to come. The genesis of the Great Park came nearly a decade ago and was the response to two basic questions posed by government officials,

An enchanting weekend of hiking, riding your mountain bike, and back-country camping can create the memories families talk of around dinner tables for years to come. ades of falling evergreen needles and branches. The kind of silence that fills your soul and lets you breathe more deeply than you remembered you could. An enchanting weekend of hiking, riding your mountain bike, and back-country camping can create the memories

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environmentalists, and citizens of Whatcom County: How can we further protect the quality of Bellingham’s drinking water source, Lake Whatcom, and how can we maximize recreational opportunities so that residents and visitors can enjoy our beautiful surroundings? The answer to both these questions turned out to be

While the Reconveyance is a complicated matter, here is a simple way to visualize it. Imagine a patchwork crazy quilt in red and blue pieces. The Reconveyance essentially says “I’ll swap you all my red quilt pieces for your blue on the top half of the quilt, and all of my blue for your red on the bottom half.” The net result was more cohesive and larger connected parcels of land for both entities. Most of the land was too steep for logging, though logging was a theoretical possibility. DNR ended up with more usable land for their purposes, and Whatcom County is now poised to have one of the largest parks in the region. No major effort such as this comes without controversy, and there were objections to this plan. Some were worried about the potential loss of timber revenues, part of which benefits the Mount Baker School District. To alleviate these concerns, Rand Jack, a founding member and board

member of the Whatcom Land Trust, worked with the Mount Baker school board to accurately quantify the amount of money concerned (an intricate process), and then find an anonymous donor to offset any projected amount with a $500,000 bequest. Those monies were then

vast amount of acreage, was an economic bargain, and an exceedingly cost-effective way to significantly improve the ultimate health of the watershed and the lake itself.”

Park alone, which will then connect to other park facilities and trails. “This will be a significant resource base for various types of recreation without being too crowded,” he says.

Everyone involved in the process spoke of the teamwork that brought

One group standing by ready to help is the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition. Eric Brown, trail director for the group, is very enthusiastic. “With this park, we can make sure that the trails we build, in concert with the Parks Department and other volunteer groups, will look at what infrastructure exists, how we can serve many kinds of user groups, and how we can build sustainable trails that will be designed to have full connectivity with other existing parks and trails. Being able to build trails that will be around for my daughter and her children is very exciting.”

“We paid approximately $35 per acre, which in this day and age, especially for that vast amount of acreage, was an economic bargain, and an exceedingly cost-effective way to significantly improve the ultimate health of the watershed and the lake itself.” —Pete Kremen invested in an S&P index fund; as we go to press, the value is now $675,000. Lake Whatcom is the main source of drinking water for the City of Bellingham. The quality of that water is put at risk primarily by development; toxins and pollutants from construction and other sources can create unsatisfactory results in water quality. These quality issues can be rectified by (very expensive) water treatment plants or by increasing the areas of forest canopy, which is also expensive. This is one reason the Reconveyance, which covers between one-quarter and onethird of the entire Lake Whatcom watershed, was so important. According to Mr. Kremen, “We paid approximately $35 per acre, which in this day and age, especially for that

this about, from the County Council to all of the organizations involved. Mitch Friedman of Conservation Northwest says, “I have been deeply impressed with how the community came together to bring about this park; we had conservationists, equestrians, bikers, hikers, runners, all working together. While there is potential for user conflict there, the leadership of all these groups appears committed to a future that not only balances and integrates their respective uses, but is sustainable for use and water quality and wildlife.”

Exciting, indeed. We can’t wait until the Great Park opens and Bellingham joins the ranks of other great cities, with a world-class park right in our backyard.

From one side of Lake Whatcom to another, and then south into and through the Chuckanut Mountains, you wind your way through what Whatcom County Parks & Recreation Director Mike McFarlane hopes will be 50 to 55 miles of trails in the Great




Lake Whatcom’s Best Kept Local Dining Secret by Katie Kavulla

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hen you’re new to town, finding out where people love to eat is at the top of the priority list. At least, it was for me. I suppose I can’t truly call myself new to Bellingham—having grown-up here after leaving my early childhood California roots behind—but after living in Seattle for nearly 15 years (and, sadly, also being 15 years older now), things had changed and most of my own favourite dining spots had gone by the wayside. However, to my surprise, as I started to grill local foodies about the restaurants I needed to try, as a quasi-newbie to town, I kept getting the same answer, over and over again.

Once inside, our eyes lit up with delight. To say that we were giddy wouldn’t be an overstatement. There was a candlelit, intimate bar on the left, with plenty of tables for lingering, and plenty of good wine for lingering over. To the right, the restaurant side was a mirror image, with a bar that ran the length of the space, tables covered in crisp white linens, and adorned with tiny sprigs of wildflowers in discreet vases. Every seat was filled—with families grooming their own budding little foodies, couples whispering over appetizers, and friends taking their time to laugh and catch up between courses.

The Fork. “You mean that little store at the end of the lake that can’t seem to stay open?” I’d reply when they told me where it was located.

but had since made Lake Tahoe her home—to see for our own not-so-local-anymore eyes that there was actually a thriving, and apparently delicious, business out at Agate Bay.

The Fork at Agate Bay also serves a noteworthy brunch and lunch that are well worth the pretty drive, all year round And each one of them would nod their head, and tell me to trust them. It was open. And it was good. Lucky for me, the Fork at Agate Bay was in my own neighbourhood, so I snuck out with my best childhood girlfriend—who had roamed the Northshore of Lake Whatcom with me for as long as we could both remember,

Sure enough, as we rounded the corner, just as Northshore Road splits off into Y Road and Agate Bay Lane, the Fork emerged, looking inviting and cozy on that frigid evening. We could tell, even by the way the cars were parked in the gravel parking lot that filled up the corner, that it would be filled with regulars and neighbours.

The memories of greasy, longawaited breakfasts and boarded-up windows from the restaurants that filled this space in the past were long forgotten as soon as we peeked at the menu. The Garlic Truffle Fries ($7, served with pecorino cheese, truffle salt, and white truffle oil) were hard not to inhale and we both did our best to be ladylike about the way we took as many shoestring fries in one bite as possible until we reached the bottom of the bowl. And, to balance our temporary gluttony, the salads— hers topped with local trout, and mine the Fork and Knife Caesar ($10)—were both insanely fresh and satisfying, easily becoming our unintended main course. Beyond the food itself, the pace of the meal had ease. We were left alone to visit and enjoy ourselves, without feeling abandoned by our server—a balance that so many restaurants fail miserably at achieving. We didn’t want to rush and we didn’t feel the need to, which was appreciated. When you visit, take advantage of the featured fish of the day, which is highlighted on their well-rounded menu, featuring as much locally sourced and organic products as they can manage. The Fork at Agate Bay also serves a noteworthy brunch and lunch that are well worth the pretty drive, all year round, out the windy


road of Lake Whatcom’s North Shore to enjoy. There’s a reason why locals will point you off the beaten restaurant path in Bellingham to get you there for a meal and a reason why most of the seats are filled with diners who live nearby. Although you can’t see the lake from inside The Fork, the essence of Lake Whatcom and the surrounding community is in every bite, every menu item and every plate that comes out of the kitchen.



MAR 7-9


The Penn Cove Mussels Festival

Snohomish Chocolate Walk

Eat, dance, clam bake, eat, drink, eat some more, and catch up with friends. In Coupville on Whidbey Island.

Historic downtown Snohomish provides a sweet strollin an adventure in chocolate.

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1311 Railroad Ave Bellingham, Wa 98225 360.325.1311 “ crepes worth craving”

! r e d r o e r i t n e r u o y time of purchaseer offers

f f o % 0 2

oth n at y o n p a u h o t c i t ed w esen n r i p b e m s a o e c l e p cannot b

MUSIC Listen Local by Sam Shaw

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r’er Rabbit: The local three-piece Folk/Americana band Br’er Rabbit has a distinctive sound that’s bound to catch your attention. Every member sings in the band, creating a beautiful blend of different vocal styles that enhance their unique music. The vocal mixture, in addition to the classic acoustic guitar and tambourine, evokes an undeniable restlessness, you can’t help but get up, join in the foot-stomping and just move with the music. The harmonica in the song “What’s Left” brings you into an old Western movie, watching the tumbleweeds roll across the screen. The overall emotion that Br’er Rabbit’s self-titled EP incites, in me at least, is one of a yearning to travel and experience the unknown. I certainly recommend checking out Br’er Rabbit, you definitely won’t be disappointed.


Bright Weapons: This four-piece local punk band is one you can’t ignore. The rhythm in their music is infectious and will have you pogoing along with the crowd in a heartbeat. The vocalist has a mix of punk and grunge to her vocal style. If you love girl punk chick rock, this is right up your alley. The gritty guitar riffs and rough baseline is just on the border between music and noise, which is the best of punk. Under all of these musical antics are kick-ass melodies that make you want to sing out loud. Check them out, they’ll knock you out.

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CHARTER COLLEGE OFFERS NEW QUICK AND CONVENIENT ONLINE PROGRAMS. PREPARE FOR A CAREER ON YOUR TIME. In less than a year, you could complete a program at Charter College and be on your way to a better future. Choose from 15 different online programs with the benefit of on-campus support. From certificate programs, associate and bachelor degrees, ranging between 5-14 months for completion, you can either enhance your current career or begin a new one in a growing industry.

Programs available: Business • Business Administration, B.S., A.A.S. & Certificate • Accounting, BS Criminal Justice • Criminal Justice, B.S. & A.A.S. Health Care • Health Care Administration, B.S. • Nursing, B.S.1 (Note: Current RN license is required for admission.) • Allied Health, A.A.S. Hospitality • Hospitality, Certificate

Charter Advantage • Online curriculum with on-campus support Enjoy the flexibility of an online education with in-person support at the campus when you need it, including: In-person tutoring IT support Access to library resources Job placement assistance Loan management On-campus social and recognition events • Financial aid available to those who qualify, including Canadian financial aid

Call today, classes enrolling now.


Information Technology • Computer Science, B.S. • Network Security, A.A.S. & Certificate Legal • Paralegal Studies, A.A.S. Trades/Vocational • Applied Technology, A.A.S. This program is offered through Charter College Anchorage as an online program. Charter College and this Nursing program are accredited through Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and approved by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. Charter College will not be seeking any programmatic or specialized accreditation or recognition for this program. Prospective students should check the employment requirements for their desired employer prior to enrolling in the program. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at:

Charter College Bellingham • Bakerview Square, 410 W Bakerview Rd, Suite 112

1 |

Authentic Mexican Cuisine 117 W. Magnolia St. (Exit 253 Lakeway St/Downtown) 360-756-0711 • Voted #1 Mexican Restaurant in Bellingham 10 Years Running

The perfect partners for your wedding! 1400 N. State St., Bellingham, WA

(360) 733-2563 |

Bridal Gowns ● Bridesmaids Dresses ● Grad Gowns ● Over 4,000 in-stock Tuxedos

The Offshoots: The Offshoots (photo, bottom left) is comprised of four members with a love of classic rock that really comes through in their music. The vocalist has a style reminiscent of Heart, while the guitarists rock riffs straight out of the 1980s. With the melodies these musicians produce, it’s a wonder they haven’t become famous. Everyone with a love for classic rock should check out the Offshoots, they have that great, classic sound that just can’t be replicated.

Girl Guts: Girl Guts is a three-man band from our very own Bellingham, WA. They’re a gritty punk rock band with an alternative flair on their lyrics. Their riffs are well-written once you get past the rough production, but then again rough production is at the heart of punk rock. Punk should never be polished. This music makes you want to pogo in the middle of a packed crowd and then jump into a mosh pit. The raspy vocals are punctuated by classic punk screams and the whole dynamic of the vocals blends perfectly with the rough gritty vibe. Girl Guts is just a fantastic punk rock band.

Foam Lake: Foam Lake, composed of four brothers, is an amalgamation of alternative rock and indie folk with just a dash of electronica. Based out

of Saskatoon, Canada, Foam Lake is working on their second album. Their debut album, Force and Matter, encompasses their wide range. One song can be a soft melodic whisper with acoustic guitar and strings, while the next is heavy electric guitar, powerful, passionate vocals and some synthesizers (just to take things up a notch). This band is too good to stay hidden for long. Not my type: Rap, pop, punk, grunge, rock, metal, country, Americana, folk, opera, electronica, screamo. These are all genres, specifically they’re labels, and like a label, they become a stereotype. Each word puts a picture of a person inside your head that may not be accurate. metal head, prep, theatre kid, punk rocker, scene kid, grunge kid, gangster, nerd. These are all common stereotypes that people deal with on a day-to-day basis, often unconsciously (although sometimes it’s not). A metal head could be a fan of folk music or opera, but you’d never know it by looking at them or, a preppy kid could be the biggest metal head you’ve ever met and just not look like it. Maybe his parents don’t allow him to dress the way he wants, so you’re not seeing the real person behind his facade. There are exceptions to every rule. For some unknown reason, the majority of music fans don’t understand this. Metal heads bash on preppy kids and vice versa. Scene kids hate on grunge kids. But really, no one knows what music means to you, except you. It’s a personal relationship with art. So call me a metal head, scene kid, punk rocker, grunge kid, whatever you want. Just because that’s what you stereotype me as, it doesn’t mean that’s what I am. The same goes for music. Music is what it is, whether you like it or not. You don’t have to judge it and harsh on it. Music comes from the heart and is given meaning by each and every listener. Your meaning may not be the same as someone else’s, and that’s something that everyone will have to accept.

Br’er Rabbit Listen: Watch: Follow:

Bright Weapons Listen: Follow:

The Offshoots Listen: Follow:

Girl Guts Listen: Watch: Follow:

Foam Lake Listen: Watch: Follow:


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here is no shortage of great watering holes in Bellingham—it is a college town after all. From the divey to the swanky, there are options for everyone. Drives across the border can be tedious and exhausting, so once you’ve driven into Bellingham, grab a drink and some great appetizers to get oriented for your evening on the town. With that in mind, here is a short guide to some of the best happy hours available in Bellingham.


Ranch Room at the Famous Horseshoe Cafe: If you are into

Jalapeño’s Family Mexican Restaurant & Lounge: This

the dive bar motif, then go no further than the Ranch Room—the bar inside the Horseshoe Cafe. “The Shoe,” as it is lovingly called by locals, has been around since 1886 (at the current location since 1958) and is the only 24-hour diner in town. Over the years, it has served many a Bellingham native, and according to local lore, authors such as Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac have traveled through. So, if you want a taste of Bellingham history and to experience the divey glory that is held within the bar’s walls, then stop by for rotating drink specials (extremely cheap and served by the heaviest-handed of bartenders) and deliciously greasy diner food.

happy hour is all about the Big Mama margarita. I mean, sure, there are jumbo-sized margaritas at every Mexican restaurant, but there is something special about the Big Mama—and that something might be the generous four (to six) shots contained therein. So, if you have some time to kill and are looking for a buzz, Jalapeños is one of your best bets in town. Besides the Big Mama ($6.50 during happy hour), there are also plenty of options for other drinks and yummy food: $4 double well drinks, small margaritas and 20-oz. draft beers, $1 tacos and $4 quesadillas, among other options.

113 E. Holly St. Happy Hour: Every day 9 am to 6 pm

New York Pizza & Bar: The sports bar aesthetic of New York Pizza may turn some off, but don’t let looks deceive you: they offer perhaps the best bang for your buck during happy hour. The burgers and pizzas are more than adequate, and the drinks are as stiff as they come. Happy hour specials include $2 off micro pitchers, $5 off bottles of wine, $4 margaritas, $5 double cranberry and vodkas and whiskey cokes, $6 martinis and various food specials that range from $4 to $7. 902 N. State St., Bellingham; 8874 Bender Rd., Lynden Happy Hour: Monday, 2 pm–close; Tuesday–Saturday, 2–6 pm and 9 pm– close; all day Sunday

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501 W. Holly St. 2945 New Market Pl. 1007 Harris Ave Happy Hour: Monday–Saturday, 2–5 pm and 9 to close, and all day Sunday

Live Beautiful. (360) 656-5569 1031 N. State Street, #106 Bellingham, WA 98225

Salon and Boutique

Models Northwest • Model & Talent Management • Bookings • Workshops • Fashion Productions • Event Coordination

360-305-0106 114 W Magnolia St, St 506 Bellingham, WA 98225 Photography by: Courtney Bowlden (top) Oveth Martinez (middle) • Maegan Hay Imaging (bottom)

Redlight: Bellingham’s special little “sparkle bar” is a great place for a nightcap after a long day in the States. The bar is small and warm and offers a variety of board games; some of the nicest bartenders in town are here to serve you. As it is located just outside of the epicentre of downtown Bellingham’s nightlife scene, the bar lends itself to a quiet getaway over wine and cheese ($5 off wine bottles and $5 small cheese plates during happy hour). If you want something a little stronger, the happy hour also offers $3 well drinks and $1 off rotating tap selections. There is no better bar to tuck into during a rainy day. 1017 N. State St. Happy Hour: Every day 4–7 pm

Temple Bar: If you happen to be in the mood for a swankier happy hour, the Temple Bar is a good bet. It’s also a great option if you find yourself with a date in tow. The bar is cozy, warm and candle-lit and serves up craft cocktails and all kinds of food options. The bar has a wide variety of wine options (a bottle and a small cheese plate is $18 during happy hour) and $4.50 well drinks. During happy hour, you can also get $1 off the house cocktails, which are made with the finest ingredients you could ever hope to find in a boozy concoction (the Bloody Mary is one of the best in town). Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro: This is Bellingham’s most popular purveyor of local brews— and for good reason. The beers range from the light and refreshing to the heavy and hoppy. The happy hour is geared toward providing the perfect snacks to match with the many beers on tap. Food deals during happy hour include barbecue pork sliders, tacos, small plates of mac-and-cheese (many think it’s maybe the best macand-cheese in town) for $2 each, as well as $3.50 for five chicken wings, and meatballs for $1.50 each. This is the perfect option for anyone seeking a great beer and some munchies before catching a live theatre production or heading back home.

306 W. Champion St. Happy Hour: Monday–Saturday, 3–7 pm; all day Sunday

1107 Railroad Ave. Happy Hour: Sunday–Thursday, 4–6 pm

All currency is US dollars, unless noted otherwise. All locations are Bellingham, WA, unless noted otherwise.

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high quality

nutritious affordable

essentials quality food • value prices

Downtown Store 1220 N Forest Street Open Daily 7 am – 10 pm

Cordata Store 315 Westerly Road Open Daily 7 am – 9 pm

BOOKS reviews by Elisa Claassen

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Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, disassociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering.” First Noble Truth of Buddha. You would think “breathing” would be easy. Not for many of us. Since I have been stressed, caring for a senior mom with bouts of dementia, I gravitated toward this title. The author also has a mother who is in the throes of dementia and who has struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since her youth, which had left her breathless on and off for 40 years. After adopting a mantra of “Neurotic, heal thyself,” she sets out to find ways to reduce her stress and enjoy life more in the

course of a year. The so-called “self-discovery” sub-genre seems to be popular, as many are seeking to find themselves or better their lives in different ways. Warner plays Tibetan singing bowls, seeks or tries Buddhist meditation teachers, joy therapy, eye movement therapy, ways to ground herself, massage and Trager therapy, gratitude, Somatic Experience therapy, smiling at fear, yoga, and breathing exercises. By the end of her year, she ends with “Slow down and be quiet” and “Try to be kind.” Slowing is not easy in a world obsessed with getting places faster, eating faster, and getting to goals faster, but in her case, she has benefited from a lot more peace and fewer medications.

The Billionaire’s Curse (The Archer Legacy: Book One)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

by Richard Newsome

by Susan Cain

“Hello, Gerald. I hope this isn’t too weird for you—a letter from beyond the grave! By now you are my heir and worth a good deal of money. I hope you don’t mind. I have a favor to ask…So I expect you’ve figured out that I was murdered. I want you to find out who did it.”

Citizenship, Duty, Work, Golden deeds, Honor, Reputation, Morals, Manners, Integrity….Magnetic, Fascinating, Stunning, Attractive, Glowing, Dominant, Forceful, Energetic. (Character traits to be embraced by Orison Sweet Marden in Character: The Grandest Thing in the World by Dale Carnegie).

One minute 13-year-old Gerald is daydreaming of adventures while in class; the next he is living adventures as the heir to one of the world’s vast fortunes from an aunt he had never met. I discovered Book One of the Archer Legacy from an annual sale of children’s literature from our local university. Richard Newsome’s debut novel came about after telling stories to his own three children and then won the Text Publishing inaugural Young Adult Writing Prize. To research the three stories, he got on a plane and travelled beyond where his imagination would take him (something many of us wouldn’t mind doing as well). The protagonist, Gerald, has a new life that includes 20 billion pounds, castles, aircraft, servants, sidekicks, an unknown family heritage, and danger. I found myself envisioning a castle or two myself.  

Cain, a negotiation consultancy trainer, is fascinated by our fascination of extroverts, something she calls the “Extrovert Ideal.” I was walking through the library and the title caught my eye. When posting on my Facebook page, I found this unlikely topic (for me) for a book was quite popular and well-read. Starting her mix of narrative and research with a look at the late Rosa Parks, she points out that the famous civil rights activist was actually soft-spoken, sweet, small, timid, and shy. She isn’t alone, as many leaders aren’t classic examples of extroverts. In her varied research, Cain finds herself jumping up and down, dancing and yelling with Tony Robbins leading the masses toward being top salespeople. In her chapters, she examines the influence of Dale Carnegie and his classes, advertising to the masses, toastmasters and civic groups, evangelical leaders in the church, Harvard Business School, and other institutions of higher learning, politicians, and other sectors. 

The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst “He was falling in love with her. At the same time, she scared the crap out of him. Maggie wasn’t the woman he’d ever imagined spending his life with. She twisted everything inside him until he vibrated at a high pitch....” It had been at least a decade since I had picked up anything that resembled a Harlequin romance novel, and I’ve found from romance writer friends that there are now countless sub-genres of the romance story. While elements of the “classic” template are still there—gorgeous sexy leads in glamorous locations (versus dumpy, middle-aged, everyday people at the neighbourhood 7-11 shop buying beer)—Maggie, a photojournalist of male underwear models is self-made, has her own fortune, and is vastly more independent than I had remembered from past excursions into this genre. The story: Billionaire (apparently being a mere millionaire is simply too commonplace now) Michael needs a pretend wife so that his younger sister may be permitted to marry. Now—how to convince his family it’s real without having to really go through with it? Problem: What if they end up liking each other—for real?


FILM by Lindsey Gerhard

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ilm can offer the perfect recipe for a sensory experience. Combining visuals, state-of-the-art sound, and an endless choice of topics, the cinema can take you on an adventure to faraway lands or refocus your mind to consider world issues at a local level. That’s why I love it so much: the diversity. In my time as marketing coordinator for Bellingham’s premiere local independent cinema, Pickford Film Center, I have come to learn that the art of film is so much more than simply the final product. With every film, there are so many parts that make up a whole—history,

inspiration, story, cast, music, scenery, art direction, distribution, the list goes on—and how those parts all come together in the end is very exciting. The impact of cinema goes way beyond simple entertainment on a screen—film has the power to educate and inspire, encourage visual literacy, and draw communities together. This spring, I invite you to try something new, cast your net a bit wider and explore some titles you may not ordinarily choose. You might be surprised at the outcome. Here are some of my suggestions.  




Acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson has delivered a solid catalogue of fantastic films thus far in his 20-year career, so it’s a safe bet his next feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, will also be, well, purely awesome. Anderson’s style—colourful, eccentric, idiosyncratic, with meticulous attention to detail, infused with an eclectic rock and roll soundtrack, was considered atypical at the start of his career in 1994, but no longer. Homegrown filmmakers around the globe are inspired by Anderson’s work, and he is redefining standards in today’s indie cinema. The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of M. Gustave, a legendary hotel concierge at this European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The star-studded cast includes Anderson regulars Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton, as well as new collaborators Saoirse Ronan, Lea Seydoux, and Jude Law. If you loved Moonrise Kingdom, you’ll love this one, too. Look for it at Pickford Film Center in March and April.

After indulging myself with a plethora of wonderful documentaries during this year’s Doctober Festival, I’m finding it hard to choose just one to recommend. Doctober, the monthlong ode to documentaries at Pickford Film Center, boasts almost 40 titles and is Bellingham’s largest film festival. A devout music lover myself, I was partial to Muscle Shoals, the inspiring tale of small-town Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which held a certain magic for all those who recorded there. Another favourite of mine was AKA Doc Pomus, the story of the little-known man behind some of the most well-known rock and roll songs (“This Magic Moment”, “Viva Las Vegas,” and others). Music, art, the natural world—whatever your pleasure, I propose you take a chance on learning about a new topic by way of a documentary, which can open your eyes to new perspectives and new topics around the globe.

A great starter in this category is the vibrant, charming French picture Amelie. In it, we follow Amelie Poulain, a timid yet alluring young waitress with enormous doe eyes and an endless sense of wistful curiosity. Determined to return an old box of childhood memories she found beneath her apartment floorboards to the original owner, Amelie embarks on an adventure through Montmarte, touching the lives of those around her, handling wrongdoers with her own amusing sense of justice, and all the while leaving a trail of wonder in her wake. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet lends his playful, mischievous style to a number of brilliant films—Amelie, Delicatessen, Micmacs —and I anxiously await his next project: The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, due out in March. Keep your eye out for this one; if it’s anything like the rest of Jeunet’s creations, it will be nothing short of an absolute delight.

More Favourites: Man on Wire, Rivers and Tides, Searching for Sugarman, The Act of Killing, Finding Vivian Maier

More Favourites: Delicatessen, Amores Perros, The Past, The Great Beauty

More Favourites: Little Miss Sunshine, Donnie Darko, Upstream Color • The Pickford’s Oscar Night March 2, 2014 Bellingham, WA more info at


E L I S H A LOV E S LOVE by Elisha Weinberg

Dear Elisha: My wife is a crafter. Well, not really. She loves to buy rooms full of crafting gear, but they are just sitting there, gathering dust and costing me money. What can I do about this obsession with filling rooms full of stuff? —Going Crafter Crazy

Dear Going Crafter Crazy: This is not the first time I have been posed this question. I happen to be intuitive, but not a therapist, so let me give you my energetic take on this. When someone is buying lots of pretty parts and storing them in a room, I can go out on a limb and suggest they have rooms within them that want to be redecorated or made more beautiful. What do I mean? Your wife seems to be trying to dress up her insides. People who have a compulsive need to shop are looking externally to fill deep voids they feel internally. Think about it. Haven’t you ever had a really bad day, and you just wanted to buy something to make yourself feel better? I have a few pairs of shoes I wish I had never bought that fit that bill. But in the moment, that shopper’s high took away the pain I was feeling about something inside. Your wife has so much emptiness and pain inside that she feels compelled to fill those spaces with things that, in theory, can make her feel

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more complete—perhaps even seen. But she’s not buying clothes or shoes—something that’s complete. She’s buying pieces that can create a new reality. A new project. A new idea. She is either deeply unsatisfied with her life, or with you. I’m sure there are a few other options, but those are the two most likely candidates. There are two routes—she is either craving a spiritual/emotional shift, or she feels empty in her relationship with you. If she’s craving a spiritual/ emotional shift, I suggest helping her find things such as yoga, or a somatic therapist, or energy healing arts. Any of these more esoteric practices will help her get centred enough to look at what she needs to feel whole and complete. If she feels lost in your relationship, then, my friend, you may need to step up to put an end to your problem. Couples therapy is a good place to start and is a safe place where you can both be heard. If she loves massages, buy her one. If she likes getting manis and pedis, go with her and get one and make it a fun outing. (You can get a clear coat on your nails and still be manly.) See if paying attention to her needs and really hearing her stops the incessant craft room filling. See if she can’t be filled up from the inside out. We all have rooms in our inner house that need a little sprucing. I for one feel motivated now to look inside my own castle. Thanks for the question—and good luck!




1. Earrings by Betty Lou $19.98

2. Blue pea coat by Down East $59.99

3. Fedora hat by D&Y $19.98

4. Peach Duo scarf by Betty Lou 1




Photo left: Grey classic cardigan by Sisters $39.98

Photo left: Grey and yellow skirt by Effie’s Heart $59.98





5. Spiral gold bracelet by Betty Lou $24

6. Jeans by Dear John $69.97

7. Beige loopy scarf by Infinity $19.98



taying warm is still on the top of every fashion lover’s mind. As we dream of spring, we’re still not ready to banish our sweaters or retire the scarves to the depths of our closets. In the Pacific Northwest and Lower Mainland, staying warm with style has never been a problem. And if it is, then you haven’t been to Betty Lou’s Downtown Emporium. Warm earth tones are great colors to add to any collection. These interchangeable pieces can be key accents to any wardrobe as we slowly begin to think of layering with the bright colors of spring.

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If warm tones are far and few in your closet, then take advice from Alysha Ritter from Bliss on State, who says “Blue is the new black.” Navy and denim choices are easy to find and easy to add colourful layers to. They’re must-haves, for both late winter and early spring collections.

8. Buffalo purse by Betty Lou $89.98

9. Coat by Neon Buddha $129

10. Cardigan by Sisters $89.98

11. Aqua stone necklace by Betty Lou $32.98





12. Boots by Blowfish $90

Photo Left: Natural sweater with pockets by Bloom $69.99 Photo Left: Knit hat by Jeanne Simpson $24.99 13. Grey & black striped infinity scarf by Anju $24.98 14. Earrings & necklace set by Anju 12


Bliss On State 1031 N. State St., Suite 106 Bellingham, WA (360) 656-5569 •   Mi Shoes  1315 Railroad Ave Bellingham, WA (360) 715-2046 •



Betty Lou’s Downtown Emporium 109 W. Magnolia St Bellingham, WA (360) 752-0670 •


S H O P P I N G LO C A L by Amanda Brock


et us introduce you to Downtown Bellingham and the historic Fairhaven District. While Costco, Bellis Fair mall and Ross Dress for Less are popular destinations for discount shopping, just three exits south from the Bellis Fair Mall, (approximately 4km), lies a treasure trove of shops with specialty items and local flair that are not available at the big box stores. We have put together a list of some of our favourite shops and products. Enjoy! For the Fashionista Unique, high-quality accessories can take any look from drab to fab, especially if you are donning looks that are not mainstream. Check out these trend-setting must-haves.

Mi Shoes: Cute and durable! Sown Designs wallets and checkbooks are the perfect shopping companion. A Bellingham artisan makes these oneof-a-kind pieces. They are made of 100 percent fine, reclaimed leather and lined with duck cloth. Delightful designs are embroidered and screen printed for dimensional quality. 1315 Railroad Ave. Downtown Bellingham Blue Horizon Clothing: Asian Eye scarves are elegant, fashionable, and staples for a chilly-day look. Made from natural fibers such as silk, fine-quality wool, linen, and cotton, these textile beauties are sure to last. Available in dynamic shades and patterns, you will be able to find a design that fits your personal style. 1302 12th St. Fairhaven

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Creswell Boggs: Vera Bradley cotton-quilted handbags have taken the Pacific Northwest by storm. These trend-setting accessories are available in an array of patterns, including Peacock, Capri Melon, Capri Blue, Botanica, Pink Elephants, Java Blue, Mesa Red, and Classic Black. They are also available in a variety of styles such as Hipster, Bucket Tote, and Backpack. Whether you are a fairweather traveller, on-the-go mom, or just love a great-looking bag, Vera is a must-have. 1300 Railroad Ave. Downtown Bellingham Mod Sock: Knee-high in whimsy. Launched in late 2012, Mod Sock brand socks are a cotton blend with a lot of personality. Kick up your heels with these cheeky hedgehog and television graphics.

They come in men’s and women’s sizes and a dozen fun designs. Also check out the 2,300 other styles of socks available at this feet retreat, which stocks brands such as Sock Smith, Sock Guy, and, exclusively, Sock It To Me. 1323 Cornwall Ave. Downtown Bellingham 12th Street Shoes: Honey, it is cold outside and you cannot be caught shopping without an amazing pair of walking boots. Montana boots by Eric Michaels are made in Portugal from leather and are perfect for the harsh Pacific Northwest winters. Available in three colors: red, black, and chocolate. Practical and attractive. 1204 Harris Ave. Fairhaven

For the Hobby Enthusiast Do you have a flair for the creative? Bellingham boasts a plethora of specialty shops full of tools to fuel your hobby... or help you get started with a new passion. Spruce: A crafter’s dream. Designer wrapping paper that can be used for scrapbooking, decoupage, framing, and of course, wrapping. You can find premium papers visualized by national, independent artists. Also available are hard-to-find rolls of Italian crepe paper. 1422 Cornwall Ave. Downtown Bellingham


that soap-making is an easy family activity—and it’s great for customized gifting. Choose from a wide range of molds, fragrance oils, essential oils, and colourants. Not feeling crafty but want to indulge in premium soaps and lotions? Local artisans make that option possible, too.

The Nifty Thrifter Do you find new love in old items? If so, then check out Bellingham’s consignment, antique and rummage shops. Inventory is not guaranteed, but the thrill of discovery always is.

301 W. Holly St. Downtown Bellingham

Dakota Art Store: Artists, illustrators and crafters alike, colour your world beautiful with more than 350 shades. Copic brand sketch markers provide premium quality and the effect of working with watercolours. Components are refillable, expanding the spectrum of your long-term investment. Want to broaden your artistic side? Check out the other essentials for pottery, painting and kids’ crafts. 1415 Cornwall Ave. Downtown Bellingham Bead Bazaar: If jewellery-making is your passion, Fairhaven is your destination. Add vintage charm to your accessories with Steampunk or Victorian-style lockets. Made from brass, copper, and pewter, these pieces are sure to dazzle. With prices starting at less than $4, these charms help you stay on trend and on budget. Let your imagination soar with beads, charms, buttons, and other jewellery-making supplies. 1001 Harris Ave. Fairhaven

Fourth Corner Quilts: The Cadillac of stitching. The 1600P Janome sewing machine features variable speed control, a side-loading industrial rotary hook, and a minimum speed of 60 stitches per minute. Quilters can find an array of Janome machines along with a huge selection of fabrics with popular designs, including cameo, patchwork, damask, lace, paisley, and seasonal prints. Explore a variety of textures such as laminated cotton, organic, and flannel for home or apparel uses. 1844 N. State St. Downtown Bellingham

Aladdin’s Antiques and Records: Antiques, furniture, glassware and memorabilia galore. Two and a quarter floors full of great finds. Are you a music buff? Look downstairs for vintage record players and thousands of vinyl discs. If you are looking for a large statement piece, this is the place to discover it! 427 West Holly St. Downtown Bellingham Labels Women’s Consignment Shop: Consignment at its finest. Stop in for gently-used women’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, and housewares. Accessorize your body and your home with a huge and budgetfriendly selection at a woman’s dream stop. 2332 James St. Downtown Bellingham 3927 Northwest Ave. Bellingham

Otion: The Soap Bar: Good clean fun. Otion (pronounced “ocean”) ensures

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The RE Store: Renovating an older home? The Re Store is a treasure trove of potential loot that is donated by homeowners and contractors or salvaged from tear-downs. You will

be able to find cabinets, furniture, trim, flooring, paint, lighting, doors, and hardware. Want vintage charm without the work? Check out the artists corner that showcases pieces created from salvaged goods by local talent. 2309 Meridian St. Bellingham

O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market: The only flea market in town with a lot of space for parking and interesting treasures. A clothing consignment store for men is located downstairs. Multiple rotating vendors take up the two-story building so you never know what you will find. Stop by often to see what is available. 405 E. Champion St. Downtown Bellingham

Don’t forget your bags In 2012, the Bellingham City Council passed an ordinance that bans single-use carryout plastic bags and requires a minimum five-cent charge for recycled paper takeout bags. This ordinance helps the environment and helps retailers reduce costs.


Drunk College Boys Approach the Bartender by Jessica Lohafer “Do you mind if we sit here? You’re too cute to be working alone.” “What world dropped you behind this bar, limping and tired?” “We are best friends, my friend and I, but we aren’t gay. Really, we’re not gay.” “We are friends, but we aren’t gay, I swear to god. You remind me,” “Of my sister, is that strange? Did you go to high school with her, in the county?” “I guess you could say we are the more conservative type.” “I am in love with a woman who’s dating a drug dealer that she doesn’t care about.” “It’s fine. What’s your name? We shouldn’t be bothering you,” “You’re too nice, you don’t want to deal with two guys like us.” “I just like putting my hand on my friend’s back, that’s all.” “I’ve never met a Jessica I didn’t like and I’ve never loved a man, don’t worry.”


Some Quick Math! As you may know, the USA is not a country that uses the metric system, but instead runs on something called United States customary units. You'll notice this almost immediately driving in, when you are told to go 55 miles an hour (or so). If you're ever confused, here is a quick chart giving some basic conversions for units of measurement you may see during your travels: • United States customary units - Metric system • 1 inch - 2.54 cm • 1 foot - .3 meters (1 meter is just a bit longer than what we call a yard) • 1 mile - About 1.6 km • 1 ounce - 28.35 g • 1 pound - .45 kg (1 kilogram is a little over 2 pounds) • 1 fluid ounce - 29.57 millilitres • 1 pint - .47 kilolitres (a little over 2 pints to 1 kilolitre) • 1 gallon - 3.785 litres • 30 miles per hour - 48.3 kilometers per hour • 40 miles per hour - 64.4 kilometers per hour • 50 miles per hour - 80.5 kilometers per hour • 60 miles per hour, or mph - 96.5 kilometers per hour Also, a quick tip on Fahrenheit to Celsius: to convert from Fahrenheit degrees to Celsius degrees, subtract 32 degrees, then multiply by 5/9. To get the temperature going the other way (Celsius to Fahrenheit), multiply by 9/5 then add 32.

Common Local Practices Here are some quick reminders on local customs: • Whenever you're in a place that offers a tip line on your receipt (restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, taxis, etc.), 15% is a generally good tip to leave. 20% is even better. • When you’re driving, the left lane of the road is commonly called the “fast lane” because people who are going the speed limit or slightly above often use that lane. • The Canadian and U.S. debit card systems differ. Your bank cards with the chips in them are not

commonly accepted at many local shops—the closest thing we have are ATM cards, and those are solely for withdrawing money. If you have a debit card with a Visa or Mastercard symbol on it, that should work, as will most major credit cards. • A personal tip from experience travelling abroad: it's best to primarily use cash so you are not charged any international fees. This also helps stay within your trip budget. • Note: The roaming charges for your phone can quickly add up. It is in your best interest to contact your mobile provider at home to see if there is a better plan that will work for you while you are abroad.

Coming Home: A Summary of What To Declare Going From the U.S. To Canada Exemptions Absence less than 24 hours: No personal exemptions for same-day crossing

Absence 24 hrs-48 hrs: You can claim up to CAN $200 without paying duty. You must have the goods with you, and tobacco and alcohol aren't included.

Absence 48 hrs+ You can claim up to CAN $800 without paying duty. You must have the goods with you. Tobacco and alcohol is allotted to a certain amount, depending on your province.

Absence 7 days+ You can claim up to CAN $800 without paying duty. You must have tobacco and alcohol products with you, but anything other than these can arrive later by mail. Minimum duty may apply to tobacco products.

Allowances Alcohol: You may bring: • 5 litres of wine (about 2 750-ml bottles) • 1.14 litres of spirits (one large standard bottle) • 5 litres of beer (about 24 cans)

Tobacco: • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks

76 VOL 1. ISSUE 1. FEB/MAR/APR 2014

Currency: You must report any amount of currency greater than or equal to CAN $10,000

Foods, Plants and Agriculture: Certain foods are not allowed because they pose a health risk. For a complete list of allowable foods, see the appendix at the bottom of this guide.


Bellingham Airport


BC Ferries

Blue Cab

Bolt Bus


Skagit Bus Lines

Snohomish Bus Lines


Whatcom Bus Lines

Yellow Cab

The Crossing Guide

Because jewellery is often very valuable, and can be difficult to identify, you should travel with as little as possible. Before you leave Canada: • Obtain an appraisal report and a signed and dated photograph of each piece of jewellery from a recognized gemologist, jeweller or your insurance agent. • Obtain written certification that the items or jewellery in the photographs are the ones described in the appraisal report. • Take the jewellery appraisal reports, certification statements and photographs to a CBSA office to be validated. • If the jewellery was purchased in Canada, keep the receipt. • If you imported the goods previously, make sure you have a copy of your receipt.

Restrictions Partial list: • Cultural property • Explosives, fireworks, and ammunition • Banned firearms and weapons (switch blades, silencers, replica firearms, etc.) • Prohibited consumer products (baby walkers, infant self-feeding devices, jequirity beans and items containing them, lawn darts with elongated tips, etc.) • Certain items, like strollers and car seats, that fail to meet regulation. Visit for more information.

HAPPY TRAVELS! The following is taken from the Be Aware and Declare.


What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products? Travellers are required, by law, to declare all plant, animal, and food items they bring into Canada. This includes items related to plants, animals and food, or their by-products. If you bring these products into Canada, you may go through further inspections at the point of entry (that is, border crossings, airports). Be prepared for delays if further inspection is required.

Products allowed into Canada from the United States This is a list of commonly imported food, animal and plant products and the guidelines for importing them from the United States. Because pest and disease situations are constantly changing, these requirements may be adjusted at any time. Even though these items are allowed into Canada, you still must declare them on your declaration form. Some items do need documents to accompany them. For more information, go to the "When are documents required?" section.

Animal fat or suet • up to 20 kilograms per person

Baked goods, candies, etc. • no goods containing meat • up to 20 kilograms per person

Coniferous wreaths and Christmas trees • some restrictions apply for items from states that are infested with gypsy moth See "List of North American Gypsy Moth Infested or Suspected Infested Areas of Canada and the United States". Or contact the CFIA National Import Service Centre (NISC).

Conifers and garden plants • restricted Contact the CFIA National Import Service Centre (NISC) for more information.

Dairy products (e.g. cheese, milk, yogurt, butter) • up to 20 kilograms per person with a value of $20 or less

78 VOL 1. ISSUE 1. FEB/MAR/APR 2014

Fish and seafood • up to 20 kilograms per person • all species except °°pufferfish °°Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)

Flowers: cut • restrictions on coniferous foliage/green cones • must not be for propagation There may be some restrictions depending on the type of flowers and where they come from. Use the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) to confirm if a specific item is allowed.

Fruits and vegetables, including herbs: dried • up to 15 packages per person • but not more than 250 kilograms

Fruits and vegetables, including herbs: frozen or canned • fruits °°up to 15 frozen packages or 15 cans per person °°but not more than 250 kilograms • vegetables °°up to 20 kilograms of frozen or chilled vegetables per person

Fruits and vegetables: fresh • one bag up to 4 kilograms of US number 1 potatoes per person and the bag must be commercially packaged • 15 packages or less up to 250 kilograms of fresh fruits and vegetables per person (excluding potatoes) • must be free from soil, pests, leaves, branches and/or plant debris • some restrictions on some fresh fruit and vegetables from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington • in British Columbia (BC): restrictions on fresh apples, stone fruit and potatoes Use Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) to confirm if the product is allowed before bringing it into Canada.

Game animal carcasses • with a hunter's permit and/or licence Provincial restrictions may apply. For example, on deer, there may be restrictions due to chronic wasting disease.

Spices, tea, coffee, condiments • entry permitted

Infant formula • commercially packaged • milk based or non-milk based, (dry/liquid) formula • for personal use only • sealed

Bellingham Airport


BC Ferries

Blue Cab

Bolt Bus


Skagit Bus Lines

Snohomish Bus Lines


Whatcom Bus Lines

Yellow Cab

The Crossing Guide

• up to a maximum of 20 kilograms per person

Leather goods and skins • fully tanned hides and skins only

Meat and poultry products (for example, jerky, sausages, deli meats and patties,fois gras) • up to 20 kilograms per person • packages must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is • proof of country of origin may be required

Meat and poultry: fresh, frozen and chilled • up to 20 kilograms per person • one turkey per person • packages must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is • proof of country of origin may be required

Sea shells and sand • sea shells and items made from them are allowed • must be clean and free of sea life, soil and sand

You are not allowed to import sand. Vegetables: fresh • See "Fruits and vegetables".

Wooden souvenirs • must be free of bark, insects or evidence of insect activity For more detailed information, you can review the import requirements for specific products using the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). By following the appropriate prompts, you will be able to determine current requirements based on the type of product you want to bring with you.



SAT, MAR 15 Bellingham St Patrick’s Day Parade

SAT, APR 12 The Wailin’ Jennys at Mt Vernon’s Lincoln Theatre

National and local exhibitors, guest speakers, demonstrations and all around fun.

Don your green attire for this lively community parade that starts at noon ends at a famous brewery. Rain or shine.

Talented, award-winning singer/songwriters bring traditional and old songs to life.

SAT, MAR 8 Marysville’s Treasure Trove Antique Appraisal Show

FRI, MAR 21 Conway Muse presents the Prozac Mountain Boys

Enjoy professional appraisers verbally evaluating your items. Preregistration strongly recommended.

A combination of bluegrass and rich vocal harmonies that will keep you dancing all night.

MAR 7-9 Everett Home & Garden Show

SUN, MAR 9 Stanwood’s Big Band Dance

SAT, APR 12 Anacortes Spring Wine Festival

An evening of swinging music and dancing, light appetizers, beer, and wine. Tickets are limited.

Sip, slosh, and swirl selections from over thirty wineries.

80 VOL 1. ISSUE 1. FEB/MAR/APR 2014

SAT, APR 26 Dirty Dan Seafood Festival in Historic Fairhaven This annual event includes a salmon toss, uphill piano race, chowder cookoff, and an 1800’s dress contest.

SAT, APR 26 April Brew’s Day Northwest breweries gather for this annual beer festival and fundraiser. Not to be missed. In downtown Bellingham.

DISCOVER POINT ROBERTS, WA Picturesque and sunny Point Roberts. Bordered by water on three sides, relaxed Point Roberts neighbours vibrant Tsawwassen, is a short drive to downtown Vancouver and has a protected 900 slip marina, a championship golf course and clubhouse, quaint cafes, fantastic restaurants and amazing views!

Unbelievable large oceanfront and ocean view lots. Six unforgettable cottage designs with old-fashioned porches, breezeways, hardwood floors and stone fireplaces. Community barn, gardens, trails, pool, tennis, eagle watching and miles of pristine beachfront. Now previewing in charming, undiscovered Point Roberts. Come to the farm today! | APA Road, Point Roberts | 888 732 6915 * Prices are estimate only. This is not an offering for sale. Such an offering can only be made with a disclosure statement filing and subject to subdivision and permitting approval by Whatcom County.







56 ST.




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MLS #535598




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1413 Edwards - South facing low bank waterfront exceptionally rare double lot with stunning home. The Beach House @ Point Roberts $1,995,000.00

MLS #535598 534 Tyee - 25 acre private and ocean view (southfacing) estate, zoned R5! Great investment potential - call for details. Next to marina 1,200.000.00

MLS #535598 1315 Pelican Place - Brand new top quality NW contemporary golf course condos/homes! On the course (12th tee) and include legacy memberships! From 289,000.00

RE/MAX Whatcom County Inc. 1.800.723.1313 360.223.7601

Chris Hughes

Kim Erchinger NMLS# 507131 Residential Loan Officer Phone 360.650.5493 Cell 360.201.2940 Member FDIC

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