Bellingham Alive | December 2016

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y a t S , p o h S e v a &S From Western Canada’s largest Christmas store to unique boutiques and the best brand name shops, Surrey has the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Shop ‘til you drop, treat yourself to a delicious dinner and then head back to your hotel room to enjoy the spoils of d the day.

Visit For shopping packages and more ideas to help plan the ultimate holiday shopping trip!

Happy Holidays


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Expertise in World Class Surgical Technology Dr. John Pettit

Here at Home in Whatcom County

Bellingham Urology Group, provider of clinical urologic care and Whatcom County’s only in-office urology surgery center, now offers robotic surgery.

Dr. Vernon Orton

Dr. Vernon Orton is Whatcom County’s most experienced physician offering robotic surgery, he has performed over 800 cases. Robotic surgery typically lowers surgical risk, shortens recovery time and decreases scarring compared to conventional surgery. Before coming to Bellingham, Dr. Orton served as Assistant Professor and Medical Director of Urology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Orton has joined Dr. John Pettit, Bellingham’s leading urologist for the past 29 years, to provide comprehensive care for all types of urological illness. Patients and referring doctors alike know Bellingham Urology Group as the place where patients get the highest level of care and urologic expertise. 340 Birchwood Avenue (360) 714-3400

COLOR AND LIGHT: WINTER FASHION Shot on location at The Lightcatcher at the Colorfast exhibit, our winter fashion feature invites you for a night at the gallery.


60 A LOOK BACK A bold, colorful glimpse into the moments that made 2016 such a strange and fascinating year.

Whatcom County Home to the Nicest Neighborhoods in the Northwest

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Semiahmoo $965,000

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4378 Hannegan Rd. 2bd/1ba MLS#1035155

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December 2016


Eric Subong, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship trained retina specialist. Hailing from Baltimore, MD, he received both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland. WELCOME Amador Subong, MD joins Bellingham Retina Specialists after 12 years practicing retina and vitreous surgery for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. He is a Board-certified ophthalmologist and retina fellowship trained.

Specializing in: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Wet & Dry Macular Degeneration Diabetic Retinopathy Macular Edema Macular Holes Macular Pucker Retinal Vascular Occlusion Retinal Detachments & Tears Flashes & Floaters Intraocular Inflammation (Uveitis) Intraocular Infection Congenital Vitreo-Retinal Diseases Ocular Trauma


3120 Squalicum Parkway, Suite 1 Bellingham, WA 98225 6





Spotlight: Misha Collins


Guemes Cottage


Calendar  December


Remodel  A Little Old, A Little New


Wonder Woman  Cathy Watson


Book Reviews


Who Knew?


In the Know  The Comics Place


Five Faves  Gift Ideas


In the Know  Avizr


In the Know  The Eureka Room


Community  Growing Veterans


Steering Column  Special Advertising


Betty Be Good in Bellingham


Necessities  Winter Fashion Accessories


Around the Sound  Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall


Savvy Shopper  Atomic Kitten


Brow Rehab


Winter Fashion at the Lightcatcher


A Look Back




Dining Guide


Sip  Splurge Wines


Holiday Dining Guide


Mixing Tin


8 Great Tastes


Featured Event  Three Irish Tenors


The Scene  Best of the Northwest Party


Publisher’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet a Staffer  Dominic Ippolito


Final Word

December 2016


NOTES On the Web

Be sure to check us out at: Submit your events on our calendar! Do you have an event that you would like our readers to know about? offers an events calendar where viewers can search by day, venue, event type, or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff, it is live.

Online EXCLUSIVE Meet local businesswoman Chrystal Doucette who makes amazing novelty soaps for the gaming set.

Join us on


NSLife Wine, Spirit, Brew Winter Destinations



Previous digital editions now available online.

Holiday and Winter DIY



Sign up for our FREE entertainment e-newsletter to get the latest on upcoming events and more!



show off your canines

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Sehome Professional Center | 405 32nd Street, Suite 100 Bellingham | | 360.715.3333

NOTES Publisher's Letter

Merry Christmas | A Time to Reflect.


leigh bells ring are you listening…Christmas songs, holiday lights, the warm glow from the fireplace, Christmas is my time of year. It’s the time when I often take a step back and reflect on the past year and all that its brought to me, my family and my extended family at Bellingham Alive. For me, as with many of you, it has been a year full of love and personal struggles. Trying to find the right balance between running a business and running a household is not an easy task — we always joke in my house that I need a wife. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there to help pick up the pieces both personally and professionally when I find my gas tank is empty. I reflect and recognize not all are this fortunate. If you are one of these I wish for you some peace, time for yourself and joy this holiday season. Just remember to listen to the music, smell the cookies and if all else fails turn on the lifetime channel. Christmas movies are on 24/7. For my family, it has been a year of healing and learning to move on. As I watch my grown children trying to find their way in the crazy world, I reflect on how different it is today for them. They have so many different obstacles to tackle and watching them fall and learn how to pick themselves back up is not easy for any parent. So, I reflect and remind myself, I am not alone, they are not alone, you are not alone, our children are strong, they are resilient and most of all if loved, they will be fine. Just remember to give them a hug, let them know you are there and offer up a pizza delivery if they call and say “I’m running short on cash.” Bellingham Alive, my youngest child has had an amazing year to reflect back on. We won our first Maggie Award from Western Publishing Association for Best Editorial Layout, were one of six finalists for Best Overall Consumer/City Publication, and a finalist for our new hardcover guestbook NSLife. In eight short years, we have grown our readership to over 200,000 and recently added the Safeway brands to our distribution points. So, now you are reader can find us in the majority of grocery stores from South Seattle, North to the border. 2017 will bring an exciting new change for Bellingham Alive. WE GO MONTHLY! You have been asking for this for years, it is time, and we are thrilled at the opportunity


to bring more exposure to what makes our area unique, and we are unique. As a final reflection, I think about you, our readers and advertisers. Without you Bellingham Alive would not be possible. It is because of your faithful readership and support that we can continue to strive to be better and bring a positive voice to this beautiful place we call home. Thank you and Merry Christmas,

NOTES Contributors Madeline Takata

Give a Gift! and | or


Madeline Takata a recent alumna of Western Washington University, where she studied visual journalism and photography. Her work has been published in Klipsun, The Western Front, and Bellingham Alive. She enjoys spending time with friends and family., and is eager to begin a career in lifestyle publishing.  p. 17

Asher King Asher is a former fantasy writer who was accidentally thrust into the world of journalism one fateful winter afternoon. Since finding himself in a new field, he’s spent his time focusing on creating better relationships between reporters and transgender sources, many of whom have frequently suffered at the hands of the media. When not attempting to save the field, he spends his time blending his current and former life by writing about geek and niche culture in both Bellingham and abroad.  p. 31 Catherine Torres An Air Force officer turned writer, Catherine Torres has been putting pen to paper for most of her life, but only recently decided to turn the hobby into a career. She was born and raised on Long Island, New York, but feels lucky to have lived all over the U.S., including Colorado, Hawaii, and North Carolina, thanks to her military career. Currently, she calls Anacortes home. When not writing, Catherine spends weekends traveling around the Pacific Northwest with her husband.  p. 77 Diane Padys

Call 360.483.4576 ext.302 or go to 12

Diane has spent a career making beautiful things more beautiful with her photography. She has lived in San Francisco, Milan, New York, and Seattle, photographing food, fashion, and other fabulous subjects. She now resides in Bellingham, doing commercial photography and environmental portraiture. In addition, she lends her expertise to the advisory board for Bellingham Technical College’s culinary arts program.  p. 84


PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive North End Metro NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings


The Lodge offers 98 smoke-free rooms overlooking Padilla Bay and the San Juan Islands. 13moons Restaurant features hand-cut alder wood grilled seafood, meats and fresh flavors of the Northwest. Additional dining options Ad include Two Salmon Café and 10 Sports Bar. Experience Las Vegas-style gaming with over 800 slot machines, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow, and Keno. Make your reservation today!

EDITOR Kaity Teer

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Babette Vickers | Dominic Ippolito Melissa Sturman


WRITERS Dan Radil | Emily Bylin

CONTRIBUTORS Colbie Cargill | Ken Karlberg | Becky Linton Shannon Mercil | Diane Padys | Madeline Takata

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Kate Galambos James Hearne Asher King Catherine Torres





CORPORATE OFFICE K & L Media, Inc. 909 Squalicum Way, Ste. 110 Bellingham, WA 98225

INQUIRIES & SUBSCRIPTIONS 360.483.4576 x4 COVER IMAGE Photographed by Tania Shepard, Azzura Photography


Letters to the Editor



Wonder Woman

I love the feature on beer! It was really informative and interesting. There was a lot of history that I didn’t know about, and it was really fun to read. I’ve visited a bunch of breweries now! Thank you!

Germaine Kornegay sounds like the coolest woman ever. I hope I get to meet her and vote for her one day! Thank you for telling us readers about her! Mike F., Bellingham

Joe H., Ferndale

Great Publication I love your magazine! The photos are so beautiful, the articles are so well written, and everything is just so well done. Jeanie R., Bellingham

Fill Your Home With Fragrance! Flowering and tropical plants, holiday spruces, cones, paperwhite bulbs, pumpkin spice candles, potpourris, and a selection of curated gifts like deliciously scented soaps from all around the world.

929 E Bakerview Rd Bellingham, WA 98226 | (360) 366-8406 | Hours: Mon-Sat 9am–5:30pm | Sun 10am–5pm

December 2016


NOTES Meet the Staffer Get to know our newest employee in Meet the Staffer.

Dominic Ippolito

What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K&L Media? I am an account executive, and have been at K&L media for about one month. I am definitely the new kid on the block, and receive frequent hazing from our esteemed editor-in-chief. (Just kidding)

What is your background?

I am a bit of a nomad, having lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, and most recently I spent ten years in Hawaii. I graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a double major in International Business and Marketing. Since graduating, I have owned my own business and worked in various sales positions until finding my way to beautiful Bellingham

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? So far I really enjoy meeting people from many walks of life. This position has allowed me to explore the city and surrounding areas while learning about the people who make this place so great. I love this part of the world, and I think K&L will allow me to embrace everything it has to offer.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? First and foremost, I love to travel with my camera in hand. I have been to 13 countries so far, and have plans to travel to more next year. When I am not traveling I love to hike, and am very much looking forward to snowboarding season! I also love craft beer, which is another reason I moved to the PNW.â€‰ď ´



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LIFESTYLE In The Know · Calendar · Spotlight Artist · 5 Faves



or the past five years, the first week of August has meant more than another seven days of summer. For thousands of people around the world, August 1 commences the official beginning of the world’s largest scavenger hunt, also known as GISHWHES: The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, which began in 2011 and has had teams all over the world running from one ridiculous task to the next. … continued on page 22








Holiday Port Festival Bellingham Cruise Terminal, Fairhaven December 2, 11 a.m.

Magic Strings, Celtic Yuletide Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon December 11, 3 p.m.




Foghorn Stringband Conway Muse, Conway December 8, 8 p.m.


Winter Concert McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon December 14, 2 p.m.



Critters Christmas Mullis Community Senior Center, Friday Harbor December 9, 5 p.m.


Opening night Omnium Gatherum Island Stage Left, Friday Harbor December 16, 7 p.m.


Santa and Mrs. Claus Village Books, Lynden December 17, 10 a.m.




Mostly Magic Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham December 10, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m.

December 2016 21

… From skydiving, hugging strangers, preforming puppet shows at children’s hospitals, to even posing in nothing but bacon, the list of 150 tasks range from silly and mischievous, to heartwarming random act of kindness. The mastermind behind the goofy madness? Bellingham’s Misha Collins. Best known for his role in the sci-fi show Supernatural as the angel Castiel, this recent Bellingham resident founded GISHWHES in 2011. What began as a publicity stunt for Supernatural quickly became the mega successful and widely loved scavenger hunt, breaking eight different Guinness Book of World records (Largest Media Scavenger Hunt, Largest Chain of Safety Pins, Largest gathering of people dressed as French maids etc.) and reaching more than 100 countries. They aim to have participants break free from their comfort zones and awaken an inner artist all by doing a bit of good in the world, according to the GISHWHES mission statement. Over the past five years, participants have performed more than 93,000 random acts of kindness and have fed thousands from the homeless community. Blanketed in silly, light-hearted fun, the core and purpose of Collins’ scavenger hunt is a mission to do good and break free from normalcy. The TV superstar has not only been winning audiences over on-screen, he has also been earning the hearts of communities all over the world with his non-profit organization Random Acts. Beginning in 2009, Random Acts serves to inspire kindness and foster encouragement and support for people around the globe. Collins has spearheaded projects in Haiti and Nicaragua to construct schools and orphanage buildings. He also works locally partnering with organizations like Lydia’s Place and homeless outreach programs. Collins moved to Bellingham two years ago for a shorter commute to the Vancouver Supernatural set, and for the chance to live in a small town with a big personality. “We wanted to take the opportunity to live in a smaller city,” Collins said. “Bellingham is lovely. It is like a hidden magical gem on the coast.” After years of city living, Collins and his family have been comfortably settling into the Bellingham community becoming well acquainted with local favorites like The Mount Bakery, Village Books, Old Town Café, and the Black Drop Coffee House. Bellingham is home to thousands of Supernatural fans. The show is on its twelfth season, and just won another People’s Choice Award this past year, making a total of eight over the last seven years. “It means the world to me,” Collins said. “It speaks volumes about our fandom by winning year after year.” 


In the Know




hen Ferndale Councilwoman Cathy Watson was younger, she dreamed of becoming a science writer. After receiving her undergraduate degree in journalism from Ohio State, Watson joined the U.S. Coast Guard working as an electronics technician. The Guard allowed Watson to live in Maryland, New York City, and Detroit, where she grew up. She eventually transferred to the Navy Reserves working as an Aerographics Mate. She enjoyed the service and her job, but didn’t want to make it a career. She set her sights higher: NASA. It would be a career shift that required additional education, but that didn’t faze Watson, “One step at a time. You know, sometimes the goal is 1,500 steps away, but slowly work your way towards it.” The first step? She headed to the library, flipped through the card catalog, and researched what she needed to do to work for NASA. Soon afterward she relocated to Florida to earn a masters in meteorology. Upon graduation, Watson worked for NASA as a meteorologist. Her first major project was developing a software package that analyzed the ozone layer via satellite feed to track pollution. Watson not only felt as if she were doing something very important for the country, but found the work fascinating. This was the late 1980s, when global warming was still a mere passing thought, and here Watson’s team could visually see the problem gaining momentum. Watson’s next position at NASA as an aerospace engineer taught her valuable negotiation skills that she still uses today on the Ferndale City

Cathy Watson

Council. She facilitated scientists and engineers learning about physical and mental stressors on astronauts in space. In an ideal world, each scientist could spend a small fortune on heavy equipment for experiments which the astronauts would dedicate many hours of the trip to accomplishing. With shrinking budgets, maximum weight limits, and timelines dictated by multiple goals, Watson had to find compromises among scientists, time, and money. This work is exactly what Watson finds herself doing on the city council. “Staff is getting what they need from us, but the council is making sure the people of Ferndale are getting what they need. It's this balance.” Before leaving NASA, Watson worked as a public affairs officer for four years. The bulk of her job involved translating technical writing into laymen’s terms for media. She was finally a science writer. Her final assignment placed Watson in Mission Control making announcements to the public. She reported during the 1997 Space Shuttle Columbia accident. After leaving NASA, Watson and her spouse (an astronaut — talk about a power couple!), relocated to Ferndale. She’s served on the city council since January 2012, and has plenty to say about the advantages of Ferndale. But it is not without its own share

of problems, namely infrastructure repairs. “I wish I could make it more interesting.” For Watson, the nationwide problem is that there are too many roads without sidewalks, leaving pedestrians to schlepp through mud, and too many traffic issues that do not keep pace with population growth. Her proudest contribution to the city was lobbying for Friends of Ferndale on City Council while building the Ferndale Library. It’s a spacious building established on mostly donations from the community. Today Watson and her spouse hold Lego robotics classes in the library for children in hopes of sparking an interest in computer science and engineering while cultivating resilience in the youngsters. They teach students that just because a robot doesn’t work, doesn’t mean you give up. Instead, find the problem and fix it. “It’s an important lesson,” Watson explained. “I want to help [kids] be more resilient, feel like they can succeed, and roll with the punches because life is hard, it’s never going to be not hard.” Finally, upon reflection of her numerous career paths, I asked what the future has in store for this Wonder Woman. She said simply she continuously asks, “Am I being effective?” If the answer is no, she adjusts courses toward effectiveness. 

December 2016 23

Book Reviews



Readers on your holiday lists might be looking for something a little lasting, books that stick with them, stories that climb inside and don’t let go. Here are two memorable books by two masters of the craft. They are to keep you reading on a cold winter’s night.

December 8, 3 p.m. Scrabble in the Afternoon Lummi Island Library 2144 S. Nugent Rd., Lummi Island 360.305.3600, Bring your family, friends, or join in for this community Scrabble party. Tea will be served, all ages invited. Work on your work skills, make new friends, and remember: qat is a perfectly decent and allowed word in Scrabble.



by D. Foy Stalking Horse Press 398 pages

by Michael Chabon Harper Collins Publishers 448 pages

December 12, 2016 8 p.m. Poetry Night Bellingham Public Library 210 Central Ave., Bellingham 360.305.3600, Sign-up begins at 7:45, readings begin at 8 p.m. sharp. Bring your best work and a brave heart and read, or enjoy a night of great local poetry by relaxing and listening. Either way, this event is sure to inspire you to create great work. Tip jar for donations, all ages welcome.

Brutal, violent, and yet lyrical, D. Foy’s Patricide is the story of Pat Rice, a young man aching to leave behind his painful childhood (“The ennui was endless, the lunacy, too, and the sadness, and the heartache and injuries and illness, the plain old dirty pain.”), and yet stuck in the shadow of his brutal father and toxic mother. The beauty of D. Foy is that despite the sadness and seeming hopelessness of his novels, a glimmer of humanity and understanding emerges.

A combination of memoir and novel, Moonglow emerged for Chabon after he visited his grandfather, who was languishing at the end of his life and offering deathbed confessions. Chabon took that moment and created this story of love, history, family, humor, and, ultimately, death. Placing himself in the role of protagonist, Chabon also toys with the line between fiction and nonfiction and explores the power and beauty of storytelling as a way of preserving (or rearranging) the past.

WHO KNEW? Io Saturnalia Yes, Virginia, Christmas has a birthday, too. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a convivium publicum (public holiday) in honor of the god Saturn. Catullus, who was rarely given to hyperbole, called it “the best of days.” Free speech reigned without consequence, masters served their slaves, gambling happened all over town, and minds were pretty much blown on wine and lawlessness. Not all Romans delighted in the festivities — Pliny was particularly disturbed by the noise and festivities.


But Romans Bearing Gifts? The Sigillaria on December 19 was the day during the Saturnalia in which gifts were exchanged. Sigillaria were wax figurines made specifically for the day. Gifts were often tokens and trinkets — no Twelve Days here — and included statues, pottery, perfumes, dice, combs, and other little things. Emperor Augustus was fond of gag gifts. Some wealthier Romans gave their poorer friends money to buy gifts for the Sigillaria. And yes, there was widespread concern about the commercialization of Saturn, so the more things change…

Toga Schmoga The toga was a Roman’s daily dress, and the color and style of toga would project a person’s class and role in society. Bright togas colored with chalk were worn by candidates for public office. Dark togas were worn by those who feared for their lives or were in mourning. White togas with a purple stripe along the hem were reserved for prominent men, free children, and priests. Most men wore white togas. During the Saturnalia, Romans tossed off their togas and wore the synthesis — colorful dinner clothes that were typically considered tacky to wear during the day.

Aquafolia Ornatis fa la la la la… The tradition of draping balconies and banisters with greenery came from the Romans as well (and likely the Greeks before them). They also decorated trees with ornaments, including sun symbols, stars, and faces of the god Janus. Trees weren’t chopped at the tree farm and brought indoors (the Germans started that tradition), but they were heavily decorated. The Romans also decorated cakes, and wore greenery and jewelry as part of the Saturnalia. Red, gold, and green were the colors of choice, so the whole red cup controversy probably started with ancient Rome, too.

In the Know




here’s something for everyone at The Comics Place. My Little Pony comics are interspersed with Mad Max and Marvel. Six shelves are dedicated to both tabletop and board games, and an island in the center of the entryway provides the familiar and cacophonous scrape and clatter of the many-sided dice required to play tabletop games. And even though the store has moved, it’s still the same, beloved store, just repackaged in a bigger, more beneficial space. Django Bohren, the Professor X (with at least slightly more hair) of the shop. He’s earned the respect of his employees (even if they still poke fun at him). For him, the move wasn’t a matter desire, but one of obligation. The patrons of the store deserved a bigger, better space. The transition didn’t come easy. Employees put in 16-hour days, wrapping up at near 5 A.M., only to begin again a few hours later. Despite the outrageous hours put in, employee Justin Cassatt still described it as times of fun, albeit slightly hysterical. By the end of it, he found he was running on backup sanity. But in the end, the heroes delivered, and lived to tell the tale. What was once a small store barely large enough for comic fans on the corner of West Holly and Bay Street is

now a two story space, room enough for comic readers and tabletop players to come together and not have to compete for room. The first floor provides shelf upon shelf, table after table, of comics from DC to Marvel, IDW to Dark Horse. Upstairs is a sanctuary for those that prefer to create and experience their own adventures. While the shop is now mostly stable, Cassatt described the store as being in a state of perpetual tweaking. The staff will continue to figure out how to plan events, or better ways to utilize the space. Each week seems to bring a new arrangement to the store, from a shifting island to the usual new products that release on comic book Wednesdays. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is the store’s devotion to its customers. As a new face enters, superheroes like Bohren and his employees, Jeff Figley and Cassatt assemble, devoted as ever. The store serves as Figley’s own personal arc reactor, finding that on his bad days, it manages to lift his spirits. Cassatt, on the other hand, started off as a fan, a patron of the store who sought its shelter upon moving to Bellingham. Now he’s the one guiding and sheltering fans. Both men, not to mention every other employee, are devoted to the people who walk through the door. That much hasn’t changed. 

December 2016 25



TICKETS, GET YOUR TICKETS! We are so lucky to have great venues for seeing live theater, provocative and beautiful films, amazing art, and live dance performances. Giving tickets to these events (or season tickets) is a way to give someone more than a thing — it’s a whole experience. Suggestions include the Mount Baker Theatre, The UpFront, The Pickford Theater, the Lincoln Theatre, and many more.





Found: Leather has beautiful and durable leather goods. Locally made and woman-owned, it’s a powerhouse of a design-build shop, and they have so many styles to choose from. Ragfinery has upcycled goods from pillows, aprons, yoga bags, to dresses and hats.





Another thoughtful way to make people feel tied to their community is to give to their favorite organization in their name. Everyone will need stronger safety nets in the coming years, and inviting your loved ones to be a part of a community of care is a moving and beautiful thing.

Social Fabric, Bison Bookbinding, Otion The Soap Bar, The Foundry, and many other shops and venues in town offer classes and skill workshops in all manner of crafting and creating goods. These classes are also a great way to learn how to make your own gifts for those on your list.



The obvious gift subscription is to Bellingham Alive, of course, but there are a lot of publications that are fun to receive every month. Lucky Peach is great for foodies, Kinfolk is great for the art crowd, The New Yorker is perfect for the literary types on your list, as is our very own Bellingham Review published at Western Washington University.

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December 2016 27




n 2011, Western Washington University professors Eric Kean and Kirsten Drickey saw an opportunity to develop and sell training software for volunteer organizations and universities looking to expand their reach. Kean, who teaches math and viola at WWU, had an idea to provide a cheaper alternative to traditional textbooks. Wanting to challenge himself, he decided to build a site dedicated to creating interactive e-texts to help students save money. It’s More Than a Textbook ( is still successfully operating and used by students at WWU, Florida State College, and Brown University. Drickey, who teaches Spanish at WWU, built the Spanish book for the platform. Wanting another challenge, Kean decided to set his sights on an online course management system. He taught himself to program and spent a year coding for 6-8 hours daily, “My first year doing it was very painful.” He partnered with Drickey, who had taken MBA classes in marketing, to help spread the word about the site. Avizr ( fully launched with a marketing campaign this past April. Kean and Drickey have had a lot of experience with various learning platforms, so they took all the great points and cut the excess. Drickey explained. “If you don't want to do your safety compliance training sitting on you desk, you can do it on the bus.” Kean jokingly added “Or while you’re operating a forklift.” Another plus of Avizr is the ability to sell courses. This feature directly benefits the entrepreneurs who have something to teach, Kean said “If people have a skill and want to earn passive income, this will facilitate the process.” Within the wide realm of knowledge on the internet we can learn anything, however sometimes users find themselves shuffling through material in search of someone credible. It can be overwhelming. By offering a course, solo entrepreneurs show seriousness in their craft and knowledge, gaining a sort of seal of approval. Avizr teamed up with Seattle-based Tango Card to provide gift cards for completed training. The course administrator can chose what courses get gift cards to where and how much, then pass along the pre-determined options to the trainee. Studies show this type of rewards system can actually be motivating. The outreach with Avizr and other online course management systems is extensive. From speaking with nonprofits, Kean found many physically sent individuals to campuses to help get their message out and train new recruits. “If they put their trainings online,” Kean observed, “they


could easily reach everybody in Washington state, right from their website. That to me is a much more intelligent use of their resources.” As great a platform as Avizr is, Kean and Drickey admit it hasn’t been smooth sailing. Getting the word out has proven tricky. Marketing online via social media needs to account for the different verbiage different sectors use, such as online learning management systems, and online training software. Since Avizr caters to multiple sectors, they need to use the verbiage applicable to each sector, while retaining readability. It’s a problem the team is excited to tackle and they are constantly brainstorming new solutions. Right now Avizr has a three-tiered pricing plan customized for profit, non-profit, and solo entrepreneurs. In keeping with their goal to remain bloat-free, each plan adjusts features based on what’s most beneficial for each status. This way you get exactly what your business needs, without having to pay for excess. Don’t worry about Avizr selling out and becoming just like the major online course management systems. Their goal is to boost local usage up and down the I-5 corridor in hopes of boosting the local economy. It may seem counterintuitive for an internet company to want to remain local, but maybe that’s the better way to do business; it’s surely a more personalized way. Kean likes the idea of being within driving distance to clients. It helps with accessibility and his dedication to customer service. “For people to say ‘Hey, I really like this feature,’ or ‘This isn’t working so well,’ and for me to be able to implement that is really rewarding.” Even if you’re not shopping for new course management systems, check out their blog for valuable training knowledge. Avizr, it helps you be more effective and efficient. 

In the Know




wo mysteries are brewing in the City of Subdued Excitement: on the corner of Magnolia and Cornwall, an underground resistance scrambles to find the name of the double agent working against it. Meanwhile, after a rickety elevator ride in the Herald building, a group is left with just 60 minutes to understand the mysteries left behind by a deceased sea captain. Both stories, puzzle-based adventures created by Jesse Stanton, are part of The Eureka Room, the newest addition to the relatively recent trend of escape rooms. Participants have a set amount of time to solve a series of puzzles, to find the name of a double-agent, or perhaps to save their own lives. Stanton’s first room, the tale of the resistance, opened in February. His second adventure began testing in November. In the second rendition of the Eureka Room, more heads have come together. Stanton reached out to the Foundry Makerspace, allowing for more special effects and in-depth puzzles. In the second room, story takes precedence, and the story leads the player through the puzzles. The Eureka Room has a wide appeal. Business groups have come to the Room, using it for team-building. Bachelor and bachelorette parties have both spent their nights there. And with the help of Stanton, the new room was even used to host a proposal in November. For participant Ben Bodenhamer, it’s entertainment off the beaten path. “It’s an alternative to a night out. You use your mind instead of going out to drink.” It’s not just fun for those who pay to be there, either. The excitement of opening the original Eureka Room never faded for Stanton. Before each appointment, he still gets a rush. Each time, he looks forward to the “eureka moment,” when pieces of the puzzle come together. It’s not unusual for Stanton to be on his knees beside his customers. While he doesn’t provide hints, he does invest in his customers’ success. Coming in with multiple perspectives

is one of the biggest advantages a player can have. A team doesn’t need to have a rocket scientist or a doctor, but having different people with different backgrounds can make a big difference, simply in how they look at the presented challenges. As Stanton’s first foray into the world of escape rooms grows, so too does the anticipation for the next room. The immersion and depth of the new room has Stanton excited for the newest installment. The excitement is also building in the customers as well.“I’m psyched for the next one,” Bodenhamer said. While the second room is still in its infancy, the first room is reaching the end of its life. Stanton plans to retire the room in December 2016, though the deadline could be pushed out further, depending on interest and reservations made for the original room. 

December 2016 29




s of September 2014, there were about 2.7 million American veterans who fought in our recent conflicts. A study conducted by the RAND Corporation found at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. About 50% of these veterans don’t seek help. Emotional vulnerability, access to services, and other problems are barriers for veterans. In 2013, Chris Brown — a U.S. Marine veteran — sought to change the path of those exposed to stress in combat. After his honorable discharge, Brown pursued a degree in human services from Western Washington University while battling his own PTSD. His counselor suggested gardening. Brown became acquainted with many vets who benefitted from “dirt therapy,” and he germinated the idea for Growing Veterans.


Brown teamed up with a superb staff and wonderful volunteers, including Kenny Holzemer, the non-profit’s executive director. The soft-spoken, kind-hearted Navy retiree spent 22 years working as an Airborne electronic warfare operator. After hanging up his uniform Holzemer bounced around a few jobs, but felt hard-pressed to find a job with a purpose, that is, until he met Chris Brown at WWU in a grant writing class. The Growing Veterans mission statement reads: “To empower military veterans to grow food, communities, and each other.” They accomplish the task by growing crops on three farms located in Mount Vernon, Lynden, and Auburn. The crops are either sold at farmers markets or donated to community food banks. You’ll see their stand outside the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Medical Center on Thursdays, and find their crops in the Seattle Tilth’s CSA and Good Food Bag programs. Of course volunteers and any veterans in need receive plenty of fresh grown produce, as Holzemer said, “Every bite of that food is important to someone.” The model is simple, but effective. Veterans come to any of the farms and work the land. “They work shoulder to shoulder with other vets who are finding their way,” Holzemer said. A Peer-Support program adds to the experience. Staff and key volunteers undergo specialized training to better communicate with individuals suffering from trauma symptoms. All the staff members are trained in suicide intervention. Numerous non-profits around the country have reached out to Growing Veterans for more information on the peer-support program sparking a new Train the Trainer program. Additionally, the program has been lauded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and is currently being studied for its benefits at the Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (CINDRR). The key to Growing Veterans is its informal yet supportive organization. Going out into the field and working with other people who have had similar experiences is beneficial. You don’t have to be a veteran to work the field either — civilian groups often come out and work alongside the veterans. It’s a setting wherein people can shed their worries and concerns to simply focus on nature and growth. Growing Veterans is always looking for help. So far generous donations have significantly grown the farms to include the Blue Diamonds Group funding a wheel chair accessibility project on the Mount Vernon farm. Growing Veterans is on the lookout for individuals with expertise that can be beneficial, funding to renovate on-site quarters for vets down on their luck, and, specifically, a tractor with a scoop in front and 3.PTO in back. Holzemer felt particularly grateful to everyone who has supported Growing Veterans.“The lives we save are the lives you save when you support us.” On the Mount Vernon farm, overlooking a century-old apple tree and munching on almost peppery zucchini just cut from the vine, he told me there have been numerous vets who spoke highly of the program, but three stuck out in his memory. They are the three who told Holzemer that their association with Growing Veterans deterred them from suicide. That deserves a salute. 

Special Advertising


The Election That Threatened To Steal Christmas: An Intervention BY ZIAD YOUSSEF


lthough about half the voting population felt like they collectively woke up to an empty Christmas Tree this year, Christmas is not lost. The town is still abuzz with murmurings of broken hearts and shattered hopes of a glass ceiling that is begging to be smashed after almost 100 years since the woman's vote was ratified. (Maybe in 2020 when it will actually be 100 years). Instead, we got shattered windows and smashed cars, and those who would threaten to steal the silent vote of a peaceful protester's cry for help. This is the MyTrafficMan.NET Steering Column and we discuss legal issues ranging from simple traffic infractions to more serious traffic violations like DUI, criminal defense and auto-injury claims, but today, the direction we take is a WARNING: there's a Grinch living in your heart that threatens to steal Christmas. That's right, the Grinch is an idea that lives in your heart not in the White House. The grinch lives through actions and choices, and locking people up in prisons of fear and uncertainty. But just as in every good vs. evil story that we've grown to love, there's a way out. When I think back on this year, I remember the lessons from The Six Degrees of Trouble that described the choices that lead to a tornado of trouble that leaves you picking up the pieces or the melancholy of depression that is only cured through intervention or the four other degrees of trouble. I remember the call for Community Leadership through the Spirit of Giving. I draw strength from the actions of the Heart of A Local Champion, and most importantly, I remember the lesson from Rising to the Top, What You Shouldn't Forget. If you feel fear and uncertainty this holiday season or know someone who does, please intervene with a spirit of giving, loving, and listening to free them from their jailor, the Grinch.â€‰ď ´


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December 2016 31

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SHOP Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound



fter making a splash in the Whatcom County fashion community, Betty Be Good has expanded into Bellingham proper. If you’re in the market for a cute plaid flannel dress, a new cardigan to complement your outfit, or a nice sweater to beat the Bellingham winter, then Betty is your girl. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a refresher piece, a brand new look built from the ground up, something new and fancy. Betty will have it. Owned by Suzanne Smith, Betty Be Good is a local boutique option that doesn’t break the bank. Smith’s hope is to make boutiques accessible for young girls and keeps the bulk of her products priced under $60 (outerwear is the occasional exception). A plaid shirt that could run up to nearly $150 in Seattle can be … continued on page 35

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bought from Betty Be Good for only $59. The goal is to keep customers from spending all of their money on one product. As Smith said, people want as much as much as they can for their budget. You can expect honesty when you walk into Betty Be Good. The company is small enough that they can’t afford a bad image, which means they can’t have people looking bad in their clothes. They’ll be sure to make sure that you walk out with clothes that look good on you, rather than trying to force a sale. Perhaps most interesting about Betty Be Good is the name itself. “Be Good” isn’t just clever wordplay. Smith is all about doing good through her business. When she began her work five years ago, she asked herself how she could marry her two passions: passion for fashion and passion in her fight against human trafficking. Women who have managed to escape trafficking often do so with only the clothes on their back. Smith explained that many of the girls have lost their sense of how to dress, an extension of losing respect for themselves. Betty’s Liberty Closet helps the women living in one of the Deborah’s Gate facilities for rescued girls by giving them clothes from the store. Two percent of each purchase goes toward this fund. These clothes are not damaged or unsold goods, but part of the first collection that the shop receives. So while Betty Be Good might not be that expensive, there’s no need to feel guilty if you splurge a little at the store. You’re doing good for those who need it. It also means that by opening another shop, there is more opportunity for the girls. So far she has given $8000 worth of clothes to the girls at Deborah’s Gate. Equally as important is the fact that the I-5 corridor serves as, as Smith pointed out, a sex-trafficking route. Spreading awareness along that major lifeline by opening shops along the way is in-line with those goals. It’s important to note that it isn’t just a public relations ploy. As she spoke about the girls at Deborah’s Gate there was an unmistakable passion in her voice. When she reflects on a young girl who faced her abuser in clothes bought from the Liberty Closet, there is a legitimate note of pride in her voice. At present, Betty and Smith are both easing back on the reins. Smith will be settling down and focusing on being on full-time mom again. While there is still more work to be done with the Betty Be Good brand, for right now, Smith’s priority is the online store. With all that in mind, Smith does hope that when she next expands her line, it will be further down I-5, continuing with her goal.  1301 W. Bakerview Rd., #105, Bellingham 360.441.7691

December 2016 35

SHOP Necessities


Three French Hens $198

Sculptural Details These gorgeous accessories offer clean lines and satisfying angles, giving your ensemble a modern touch. Photographed on location at The Lightcatcher. Installation by Elizabeth R. Graham of Seattle. Photo by Azzura Photography.


1 Paper Boat, Lodis $298

3 36

Topshop Randy Tie Back Sandal in Red, Nordstrom $100

Around the Sound




our holiday shopping just got a little easier, thanks to our neighbors to the north. Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall opened in October, and brings to our area many premium stores like Saks Off Fifth, Aritzia, Michael Kors. The mall boasts 180 stores, 6000 parking spaces, 1.2 million square feet of space, and many installations and art displays. Built by Ivanhoe Cambridge, it is one of the largest malls in Canada. And it’s waiting for us, right over the border. Built in partnership with the Tsawwassen First Nation, who own the land, it cost $600 million to construct and employs 3,500 people, 20 of whom are members of the Tsawwassen First Nation. The B.C. Assembly of First Nations and the Business Council of B.C. signed a memorandum of understanding to make the project possible. This agreement is the first of its kind in B.C., and could serve as a model for tribalprivate-non-tribal governmental agreements. Through the lease agreement, the Tsawwassen First Nation will receive ongoing revenue to support social services, health, and education. The stores are not atypical of what you’d find in any premium outlet mall, with one exception — the Bass Pro Shop. It not only serves as an outfitter to the recreation set, the store includes a massive aquarium stocked with sport fish like bass and trout, an indoor archery range, and an undersea-themed restaurant called Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill, and a bowling alley. Armed and dangerous, this massive store offers thrills and the “wow” factor that retail seeks these days as it competes with the convenience of online shopping. The food court is built to replicate a First Nations’ long house, and has a wonderfully cozy feel. The mall also offers a shuttle service from the SkyTrain, so shoppers can commute to it car-free. So make your list check it twice, and maybe hop the border for some great gifts and a shopping experience that will put you in the holiday mood. 

December 2016 37

SHOP Savvy Shopper


1305 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.738.8819 38

THE SHOP Atomic Kitten stands out on Commercial Street, its painted blue bricks contrasting sharply against the surrounding dull red buildings. Guarded by a cartoon kitten, the brightly lit showroom beckons from behind the windows. The store, which opened in July, is home to a collection of vintage furniture from the mid-century. Oleniacz compared it to Mad Men and in some ways, it does feel like walking onto the set. If anything, The Atomic Kitten hits on a recent media trend. In addition to Mad Men the store shares certain commonalities with other shows like The Americans or games like Fallout.

THE ATMOSPHERE It has the look and feel, “Like the house they grew up in,” as Oleniacz describes customers’ reactions.

KEY PEOPLE Oleniacz owns the store with his wife, Jonna. Previously, the couple lived in Hawaii, but found that the island life was better for vacations and not for living. With Jonna working as a physician’s assistant, the couple needed a place that was good to its medical community. Bellingham thusly became their new home. Previously, Oleniacz worked with a non-profit organization, but left them in December. After looking around for a new place to work and finding nothing, Jonna suggested opening a mid-century store. After making the decision, it became a rush to prepare the store for its soft opening in July.

Savvy Shopper


The re-touching, or as he calls it, “re-loving” of worn pieces, is done by Oleniacz. While, for the most part, he tries to keep it true to the era, occasionally he upgrades the piece to have a more modern feel to it.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND If you’re not familiar with the pop-culture surrounding the mid-century, then stepping into The Atomic Kitten is like stepping into a time machine. You might even feel like you’re opening the door to your grandmother’s house. Well-made furniture that has been re-loved lines the shop from wall to wall. While Oleniacz handles any kind of sprucing up that the wooden pieces might need, upholstered furniture is tended to by a professional. Pieces like those are re-done with textiles from the era whenever possible. The goal, of course, is authenticity. In one section, lamps in all shapes and sizes line the shelves, dressers, tables and end tables. Period glassware is displayed by color and style. Chairs in different styles and colors surround the pathway that leads to where Oleniacz sits. Behind him, Frank Sinatra or other period musicians croon to the Kitten’s patrons.

OWNER’S FAVORITE “That’s like asking us to pick a favorite cat out of the four we have,” Oleniacz said. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given all the love that goes into each piece that enters the shop. And like a cat, Oleniacz hopes The Kitten has nine lives. 

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WELLBEING Menu · Spa Review · Races & Runs · Beauty



here’s no denying ’90s nostalgia is in the air with the notable reemergence of babydoll dresses, Doc Martens, and brown lipstick. Don’t be fooled, though, when it comes to eyebrows. Women are swapping their pencil-thin brows for a more modern, full look. If you are like me and spent the ’90s tweezing your brows into oblivion, don’t lose heart. Here are some tips and tricks for getting your brows on point for this season’s hottest trends. … continued on next page


STEP 1: GROW, GROW, GROW! Put down the tweezers. There I said it. Please, dear friend and reader, raise your right hand and repeat after me: “From this day forward, I will only allow professionals to work on my brows.” Sometimes it’s hard to see our own eyebrows objectively. We go thinner and thinner before we even notice our brows are nearly gone. A good professional will help you avoid this mistake. Once you’ve stopped plucking, my best advice is to be patient. It may take up to a year to grow your brows to their fullest potential, although, several new products aid in eyebrow hair regrowth. Rapidlash Eyebrow Enhancing Serum ($39.99) is one I recommend. In my experience, it delivers results.

Ardell 3 Piece Brow Defining Kit

STEP 2: MAKE AN APPOINTMENT After about a month of growing out your brows, set up an appointment with a professional to map out a plan for achieving your brow goals. For an incredible brow shaping, I highly recommend Jennifer Helms at Salon Chirella (Marysville) or Kathy Pederson at Spa Violet Ray (Silvana). They are also experienced in brow tinting, which offers a fuller look by tinting light vellus hairs within the brow.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Pencil

DIPBROW Pomade | Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel


At any stage in the process of reaching your brow goals, makeup is an ally. Eyebrow products have come a long way. As I demonstrate three brow styles, I list my favorite products along with instructions on how I achieved each look. To help you find your best shape, find the “before’’ look that is closest to your current shape and follow the tutorial for that look. I have to admit, no other makeup product, in my opinion, has the most potential to make a woman’s face look fresh and vibrant than a fuller, nicely shaped brow. Ultimately your brows should reflect your personality, your face, and your style. Period.

Chloe: The Straight Brow High Fashion Chloe has a straighter brow, slightly unruly, and closer set, which is right on fleek this season. For Chloe’s brows, I used the Ardell 3 Piece Brow Defining Kit ($13.99). This kit is exceptional if you naturally have a very full brow or if you like a less defined look. The kit includes three brow powders, brow highlighting powder, an angled brush, and a brow wax crayon. You can mix the three shades to get the perfect custom color. I mixed taupe and dark cool brown, and brushed the powder into her arch. I also created a soft line at the bottom edge of her brow, feathering up. Next, I set it with the brow wax pencil by brushing the wax upward at the front of the brow and then following the direction of hair growth. The wax pencil gives added durability to the brow color and holds the hair in place. Lastly I used a small eyeshadow brush and swept highlighter powder just beneath the brow.







Claire: The Arched Brow Girly & Feminine Claire has gorgeous eyes and eyebrows and an arch that reaches for the heavens. For Claire’s look, we kept it simple by using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Pencil in medium-brown ($23). I simply love this pencil for its ease of application. It has a slanted tip, which helps color go on more quickly and accurately. I made Claire’s brows appear slightly fuller by drawing a line just a bit below her natural brow, following her natural arch. Next I drew a line slightly above her brow. I filled in a little more boldly toward the outer edge and middle and more softly feathered the color toward the inner part of the brow. Next I used the spoolie side of the pencil to softly blend the brow color, for a more natural look. Finally, I popped a touch of concealer just under the brow to create a soft highlight and make the brows pop.

Bonnie: The Full, Sculpted Brow Edgy & Dramatic Bonnie has an edgy, fun style, and she can really pull off dramatic brows. On Bonnie, I used DIPBROW Pomade by Anastasia Beverly Hills in Ebony ($18). This product is great for creating a very defined shape. For Bonnie’s brows, I took a thin angled brush and dipped it into the pomade (very lightly as a little goes a long way) and drew a line following her natural brow shape, top and bottom, and softly filled in the entire brow with soft, upward strokes to mimic brow hair. Next I brushed on Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel in clear ($3.50), and finished with a sweep of concealer just under the brow. 

December 2016


WELLBEING Special Advertising

Seasonal affective disorder

Less light can mean darker moods


oes your mood seem to mirror the seasons – maybe growing darker as the fall and winter days get shorter and lifting as the brighter days of summer approach? One person who can help you sort through the maze of cancer guidelines is your primary care provider. “We can answer your questions, explain the various tests, and help determine a screening approach — for cancer and other diseases — that is right for you,” Dr. Martis says. You could have a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression that’s related to seasonal changes in light. SAD can make you feel tired, crave carbohydrates, gain weight, avoid things you normally enjoy or withdraw socially during the fall and winter months.

With proper treatment, SAD is manageable. Sunlight helps regulate your internal biological clock. When there are changes in the amount of light you get, that clock gets out of balance, and levels of melatonin-a sleeprelated hormone-can increase. This hormone may cause symptoms of depression. Both children and adults can get SAD. However, it usually develops between the ages of 18 and 30. Women are affected at about three times the rate of men. Some evidence suggests that the farther you live from the equator, the more likely you are to develop SAD. Although SAD is typically considered a fall and winter disorder, in a small number of cases, symptoms may be triggered by the longer, brighter days of summer. Some people also experience symptoms during periods of overcast weather, regardless of the season.

SHINING A LIGHT A diagnosis of SAD is based on your symptoms and history. Symptoms of typical SAD must return every winter for three consecutive years and then completely disappear in the spring and summer. If you have SAD, getting more sunlight may make you feel better. It might be helpful to take walks outdoors or to place yourself near a window during the day when at home or work. 44

If your symptoms are particularly bothersome, light therapy may be recommended. This involves using special lighting while indoors. Therapeutic lighting is much more intense than standard lighting and has been shown to decrease levels of melatonin in the brain. Your medical provider can help you decide how long to spend in this lighting and the best time of day to do so. For many people with SAD, light therapy is very effective. However, if it doesn’t work for you, your medical provider may have other suggestions, including taking medicine for depression or seeing a psychotherapist. With proper treatment, SAD is manageable.  Lucia Pearson, ARNP Nurse Practitioner PeaceHealth Medical Group-Internal Medicine 4545 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham, 360.738.2200

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Color and texture, luminance and hue, the key elements of great art are also a part of what makes fashion a mood, a reflection, a statement. Join us for an afternoon at the Lightcatcher in living color.

48 •

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December 2016 • 51


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December 2016 • 55

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Tania Shepard, Azzura Photography,


Emily Bylin


Stephanie Lyons and Ashley Norton, The Beauty Institute


Willa Crank and Portia Newman, Northwest Makeup


Lisa Karlberg 58 •


1 Paper Boat After 5 Fashion Betty Be Good Macy’s Mi Shoes Nordstrom Three French Hens Photographed at the Colorfast exhibit in the Lightcatcher. Artwork by Ashley V. Blalock, Elizabeth Gahan, Damien Gilley, and Katy Stone. Guest-curated by Amy Chaloupka.


December 2016 • 59


12 $ 99 2

DEC 2016

This was a year of having to glean beauty from difficulty as we were tried in ways we could never have predicted in 2015. Among the insults of politics and the grief of losses were shining moments of human honor and dignity. So while 2016 goes down as a wild ride for us, it was also a historic year in so many ways.

Written by Frances Badgett Illustrated by Mariah Currey

Hat’s off to all of us for keeping our cool (for the most part) and weathering the ups and downs of a challenging and exhilarating year.

had a big 2016, with politics dominating social media, most of us escaped to goat videos. Buttercup continues to amuse us, and despite internet hoax announcements to the contrary, Grumpy Cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce) is alive and turned four in April.

April also saw the daring, bold escape of Inky the Octopus from National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, New Zealand Inky’s tank-mate Blotchy stayed behind.

In June, the Cleveland Zoo named a new baby camel –

– which seems like an appropriate thing for a goat, llama, and chicken to celebrate by running amok near Lake Samish here in Bellingham. Their antics caused a traffic back-up. All three were returned unharmed.

Most famously, at a rally in Portland, Oregon, a bird (a finch, we think) landed on Bernie Sanders’ podium, giving the grind and anger of the politics of 2016 a touch of connection and humanity.

And then we went back to hacking each other to pieces. And they say animals are brutes.

we were characteristically balancing our subdued nature with excitement — the Washington Caucuses gathered Democrats from all age groups. Alice Clark took the reins at the Downtown Bellingham Partnership and charged forward with her great community vision. In May, after years of wrangling, hours of public testimony, dozens of mailers, the Cherry Point project known as the Gateway Pacific Terminal was denied by the Army Corps of Engineers. Whole Foods opened its doors in town, greeted by enthusiastic customers and social justice activists working on behalf of berry farmworkers.

Also in June, work began on the old granary building on Bellingham’s waterfront, the first project of the new redevelopment. The granary was used by the small farmers who banded together to form an egg and poultry cooperative. Harcourt Developments took on the project after a lot of public comment and many hours of testimony before the Port.

Western Washington University welcomed a new president this year, Sabah Randhawa. Western also celebrated the return of the Vikings to campus with the Downtown Bellingham Partnership and Daylight Properties, who all gathered forces to light up downtown in blue lights — including the Herald sign. Fireworks popped and banged over the roof of The Herald and businesses welcomed their favorite patrons back to town.

David Bowie released Black Star, announced there were more musical projects coming, and then died the next day.

In April, Prince announced his upcoming memoir, rode his bike around Minneapolis, had a huge party to which he invited everyone in town, and then died.

BeyoncĂŠ dropped Lemonade, a cinematic album, and catapulted South African-born Warsan Shire to fame with her devastating poetry. BeyoncĂŠ also performed her Katrinathemed, politically charged Formation at the Superbowl and turned several heads with her sharpened tone of politics and black culture.

dominated the stage this year, sweeping the annual Tony Awards. The soundtrack became the most-downloaded musical soundtrack in recent history, and it all started with a beach read. Lin Manuel Miranda went on vacation to Mexico lugging Ron Chernow’s hefty, yet very engaging biography of Alexander Hamilton.

Where Chernow saw history, Miranda saw rap. He began creating his Hamilton “Mix Tape” and collaborating. Before long, it was a full musical. The rest is Hamilton History.

On the local scene, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, and Macklemore all brought live performance magic to Bellingham. Theatrical dance troupe Momix graced the Mount Baker Theatre in October, sparking the night with fantasy visions.

The city of Bellingham also put out a bid to artists to design or create an installation using an acid ball on the waterfront. What is an acid ball? One of the round tanks that looks vaguely like a steampunk airship that once contained gross stuff that GP used to make the whitest toilet paper on the shelf. Semi-finalists in the contest include our Spotlight Artist Aaron Loveitt from Atility Studios, Seattlebased Mutuus Studio, and regulars in our Habitat section, Olson-Kundig.

the Sylvia Center for the Arts opened its doors, the new home for the iDiOM Theater. Showcasing a sprung floor for dance performances and a beautiful space for plays and music, it’s a welcome addition to the local art scene. In August, city councilmember and filmmaker Dan Hammill created a documentary called Sin, Gin, Gore, and Lore:The Good Time Girls, which premiered at the Pickford to an enthusiastic audience.

2016 was a big year in publishing as well. Sherman Alexie came to the Mount Baker Theatre to read his new children’s book Thunder Boy Jr. And while Bob Dylan may still be refusing to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature, we were thrilled to receive a Maggie from the Western Publishing Association. Bellingham Alive won a Maggie for Best Editorial Layout for our feature “Sea to Storefront” and garnered nominations for Best Visitor Publication for our North Sound Life Guest Book and Best City and Metropolitan Publication.

Gawker Media had a less than good year, as they folded after 13 years of reporting media gossip and celebrity news. They were brought down in an ominous lawsuit.

Bright sun, bronzed athletes, gold medals — it was a huge year for the Summer Olympics. Gymnastics commanded our attention as the amazing Simone Biles tumbled and pounced across the mat and won gold after gold.

But our hopes were sparked again when Serena Williams won Wimbledon, her power appearing to only grow over the years. But the biggest thing to happen in sports this year is the protest of San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest police violence against the black community. He drew tremendous ire from all corners, but continued his protest, and was joined by high schools, colleges, and other major players in sports. Marshawn Lynch left the Seahawks, but fueled rumors of a possible return.

Swimming was also hugely watched and followed, and the U.S. team emerged from the chlorine as heroes. Until, of course, they pretended they were robbed and made up a story and blamed it on a gas station owner in Rio and brought shame to our country. Sigh. Muhammad Ali left us this year, too, and for a while we were all in a bit of a funk.

And in a fall triumph, the Cubs went to the World Series, breaking the curse of the goat.

If the political climate of 2016 had a tagline, it’d be

And indeed, pretty much anything that could, did. The Republicans managed to run Donald Trump for president (which will be a hard thing to explain to our grandchildren one day), and he managed to win the electoral college (even harder to explain).The Democrats put up a good fight despite a divided primary, and we all got to see the rise of the first woman nominated for the presidency. It was all pretty hardfought as Trump whipped up the KKK and the FBI and the media probed important questions like whether or not Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton split the crème brulee or ate one each. Clinton tried to harness girl power, black girl magic, and seasick conservatives, but it wasn’t quite enough in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Looking back to the TrumpClinton debates, it became clear that as Howard Stern was mic-checked as an important media source and moderators referred to Trump’s 3 a.m. tweets, we were all in trouble.

Hillary managed to endure Donald and all those empty email allegations with her podium dance and issues-based campaign, but reportedly 75 percent of the country woke up after the election in shock. Regardless whose side you chose, the next two or four years are going to be, uh, bigly uuuge.

December 2016 67

Special Advertising Section

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Give the gift of style, let us help you find the perfect gift for the ladies on your list, clothing, jewelry, scarves & hats, candles, hair care, bath & body, fragrance and more!

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Enjoyable home goods, gifts and clothing for your holiday gift-giving. Find name brands such as Glassbaby, Brighton, Ugg, Comfy USA, and many more.

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December 2016 69

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HABITAT Home Remodel Tips and Tricks ¡ Featured Home



his peaceful retreat on Guemes Island designed by David Hall (since retired) of HKP Architects draws on Finnish and Scandanavian summer houses for inspiration. Situated on the the north end of Guemes Island with expansive views of Bellingham Bay, this 625 square-foot cabin combines the best of comfort and tranquility Hall worked closely with the owners to ensure that the outdoor patios were integrated seamlessly with the interior. The rectangular floor plan provides a central space for relaxing, entertaining, dining, and reflection. Bedrooms, office, and utility spaces were added for full functionality. This lovely cabin is the perfect place to escape with friends on the weekend, or to spend a few weeks relaxing. With special thanks to Julie Blazek of HKP Architects. Architect | David Hall, HKP Architects Photographer | David Hall

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HABITAT Featured Home

Functional, clean workspaces overlook Bellingham Bay. Warm tones create a cozy atmosphere and clean lines provide serenity.

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Kitchen & Bath Design Furniture & Interior Design Home Design | New & Remodel

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his home, located on 12th Street overlooking stunning Bellingham Bay, was past due for a kitchen remodel. I had worked with this client on previous projects in her home and was thrilled to have the opportunity to design her kitchen. By giving her tons of cabinet, floor and counter space, I felt this kitchen could be not only beautiful but a wonderful space to both cook and entertain. I always start a design with an inspiration piece. To change up the famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire, “This kitchen had me at overhead beams.” They have such a rustic charm about them, and I love keeping that juxtaposition of old and new when doing a remodel. One of the things this kitchen needed was more usable space. The old layout had only a few shelves for cabinets, along with only a lower cabinets, which meant the counter space was bleak. To give my client what she needed, I added plenty of upper and lower cabinets along with a much-needed pantry. I paired this with creamy quartz counter tops for a clean, no fuss feel. The backsplash is a glass tile with variations of soft blues, grays, and creams. When paired with a soft robin egg blue on the wall, it ties the room together with the rich cherry cabinets beautifully. The icing on the cake or the finishing touches is really what dresses a room. For a kitchen, these are things like your appliances, your lighting, it can even be a special bowl you put out or even décor or art. A stainless steel farmhouse sink and top-of-theline stainless appliances were added to this kitchen makeover and they blend beautifully with Cherry cabinets. I selected Kichler lighting both over the sink and in a center chandelier. Never underestimate how important lighting in the kitchen can be. When in doubt, use more than you need, not less. Finally, I took out the original island that sat in the center of the room and replaced it with a connecting bar off the pantry. This allowed for a less constricted flow in the prepping area of the kitchen and also created a seating area. A new larger opening was added to the left of the refrigerator so that people seated at the bar could take in the views of Bellingham Bay and have conversations with family and friends while great food and memories were made!  December 2016



Saturday January 7th, 4pm–6pm Dan Radil will pair fantastic wines with their perfect small plates from Executive Chef Nick Moss.

$45 for tickets

Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door the day of the event

Visit Bellingham Alive’s Facebook page or for info and tickets

DINE 8 Great Tastes · Dining Guide · Drink of the Month



n a warm autumn day, I found myself on the sunny outdoor patio of Artifacts Cafe & Wine Bar. The small space inside the Lightcatcher opened its doors in November 2015. Though small, it is chockfull of wine of every kind. The museum had approached the owner of The Real McCoy asking if he’d like to open another location adjacent to the museum. He declined, but pointed the museum to his father, Jeff Wicklund, known to friends as Wick. Wick, a veteran of the wine business (he opened his first shop, Wicked Cellars, in Everett in 1996), had been wanting to open a wine bar in Bellingham. The heart of Bellingham’s vibrant art district seemed like an appropriate location. Wick teamed up with James McClure and Ellen Sheen. Each team member brings different strengths to Artifacts. Wick brings his wine industry knowledge and connections to the table. McClure is in the import-export business, allowing him to travel constantly and take home ideas and various flavor profiles from abroad. Sheen, a former Starbucks … continued on next page

DINE Feature

employee, brings the necessary organization, service knowledge, and hospitality experience that directly contributes to Artifacts’ unique ambiance. The idea behind the wine bar is simple. Wick explained since wine is an “Experienced-based commodity, we try to create an ambiance that’s very conducive to wine. It’s hard to get excited about fine wine when you’re next to the produce section in the grocery store.” Artifacts’ goal is to create an experience with wine tastings and light nibbles. Inside, tall shelves of wine bottles overlook intimate tables. The covered outdoor patio allows for large groups to settle in, or a couple to snuggle in the corner. Space heaters keep the area comfortable even in the cooler months. Outside on the sidewalk, people-watchers can sip wine while observing families, dogs, and friends amble down the sidewalk. With the atmosphere set, it’s time to focus on the wine. Artifacts cares a great deal about the products they pour into every glass and are honored to link their commodity to the museum’s exhibits. Wick said, “Respect the art form of wine, art and wine are fruit off the same vine.” At any given time there are about 100 bottles of wine and four offerings on tap. The tapped wine not only reduces Artifact’s carbon footprint, but also allows for better preservation, since the lines are air-tight, making for a great tasting pour to the very last drop. The wine gurus choose quality wine based off personal taste. Keep in mind, though, they have refined palettes and the knowledge to choose “correct” wine. This means, “If a wine is from a particular area it should reflect the terroir of that area. It shouldn’t be McWine, which is what’s happened in recent years,” Wick said. Further boosting their impeccable wine selection, Artifacts has the upper hand with exclusivity 78

and access to wines that may not be available anywhere else in the county. Wine newbies, don’t fret! Artifacts isn’t looking to intimidate people. McClure wanted to be clear, Artifacts “wants to take the snobbery away from wine.” They host wine classes to help guests learn their taste profiles, decipher the complexities of pairing food with wine, and just generally learn more about wine. Artifacts’ Wine Club offers three tiers based on how much wine you’d like to receive monthly. The Club’s wines are determined based on a monthly theme or region, and celebrated with a special tasting night complete with food pairings. On these nights guests can expand their wine horizons by trying related wines. Artifacts isn’t just about wine. They have an espresso machine and offer small breakfast options like scones, yogurt, and waffles. Ideally, a guest would stop by for coffee before heading into the museum, then relax with a glass of wine after viewing an exhibit. While munching on truffle buttered toasts smeared with Artifacts’ rich truffle chicken liver mousse, I eavesdropped on a tasting with a vendor. In between sips of wine McClure and Wick chatted with the vendor about the wine’s flavors, the latest industry news, and even family news. Not only was it was a friendly, comfortable scene to watch, it demonstrated their dedication to wine and the experience that goes along with it.  Artifacts Cafe & Wine Bar 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.2101

DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at

SAN JUAN DOE BAY CAFÉ American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.2291, Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Café. The café is set in the Doe Bay garden, providing a beautiful view and the majority of the café’s organic ingredients. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class dishes made by Executive Chef Abigael Birrell. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas or the Pan Roasted Point King Salmon served with a carrot ginger sauce and smoky fried chickpeas and charmoula.   DUCK SOUP INN American 50 Duck Soup Ln., Friday Harbor 360.378.4878, Sitting on the border of the woods at Duck Soup Inn is one of the most delightful dining experiences you’ll likely experience. The outside eating area of this restaurant — located almost midway between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. The meals here match the atmosphere: fresh and natural outside; sophisticated country kitchen feel inside. Appetizers include tender calamari with a light salad; twice baked corn soufflé with green chili lime cream and goat cheese; and house-smoked oysters with a cilantro almond

pesto. A main course of Alaskan Weathervane Scallops with whipped potatoes and a blue cheese crema followed was followed by a Chocolate Panna Cotta paired perfectly with a pear liquor. Every bite offered freshness and flavor.

Dining Guide


watering hole. Farmers often come here after a hard day’s work as well as bikers making a pit stop on a scenic weekend ride. Their food matches their patrons’ big appetites, such as the blue cheese burger topped with crisply fried shoestring onions or the mouthwatering oyster burger. Packed with flavor and Americana spirit, Conway Pub & Eatery is a Skagit Valley icon.

VINNY’S Seafood 165 W. St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934 Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire of the chef to serve simple, everyday fare. His appetizers of Fior de Latte — a caprese salad — and mushroom medley (mushrooms with a Marsala demi glaze and cambozola cheese) are perfect for sharing and leave space for a summery Capellini Mediteranea (prawns and clams in a light white wine and olive oil sauce). As well as a good selection of pastas, Vinny’s has seafood and meat entrées, many of them traditional favorites like Veal Marsala and Chicken Picatta. The cocktail list includes old favorites and some fun offerings like the Crantini and a rhubarb margarita. Top off a meal with crème brûlée — a light, roomtemperature custard topped with a layer of burnt sugar.

IL GRANAIO Italian 100 E. Montgomery St., Ste. 110, Mount Vernon 360.419.0674, Chef Alberto Candivi arrives at Il Granaio in downtown every morning to make the day’s pastas by hand, sculpting basic ingredients into the building blocks for lavish, rich Italian dishes served throughout the day. When the ingredients call for a lighter hand, his restaurant also turns out reserved, delicate dishes. Il Granaio is a practice in the intricacies of cuisine, displaying the best flavors Italian food has to offer. With more than 30 items on the entrée menu, the list can be quite daunting. Il Granaio’s dessert menu is just as lush as the entrée menu. The wine menu is expansive, and the beer menu features several local craft brews. Their grappa selection does the Italian cordial the justice it deserves.


GREEK ISLANDS RESTAURANT A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW 418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.899.4001, Colorful photographs of farm scenes dot the walls of A’Town Bistro, summing up all this restaurant stands for: fresh, local, seasonal food. Even the inside of this Anacortes restaurant feels farm-like, with simple wooden tables and flooring and no unnecessary flourishes. The kitchen is open, and sends out entrees such as Smoked Salmon Cakes (which contain nothing but king salmon and breadcrumbs and come with a tomato-caper coulis and garlic aioli), Pork New York (pan seared with an apple cider gastrique), a Wild Boar Burger, and Ancho Chili & Chicken Stew. Appetizers include the restaurant’s signature fries, which are twice fried and tossed in truffle-parmesan salt. Both beer and wine are on tap here. Both taps and bottles offer some great representatives from local and international producers. Settle in, and enjoy food, drink, and a fire that roars away between the entrance and the dining room, keeping diners warm in both body and spirit.  –

CONWAY PUB & EATERY American 18611 Main St., Conway 360.445.4733

2001 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6911 Some of the very best Greek food in our area, Greek Islands does not disappoint. Enjoy favorites like mousaka and souvlaki from the versitile and excellent menu. The food is incredible, the service warm, and the restaurant is inviting.   THE OYSTER BAR Seafood 2578 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6185, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is perched among towering conifers above the oyster beds. The cozy restaurant is housed in a structure dating from the 1920s that has survived many incarnations. The restaurant owes its reputation to its remote, quintessentially Pacific Northwest setting. But people don’t dine at The Oyster Bar for its location alone. The restaurant’s namesake is the draw, and its chef, Justin Gordon, has an abundance of knowledge about oysters — both local and imported — and reveals a passion for working with this native shellfish. While oysters are the signature offering, The Oyster Bar offers a variety of other fine-dining choices and is known in the Pacific Northwest for its extensive wine cellar.

Don’t let tiny Conway fool you — this pub packs big flavor. Though the town is unincorporated, business is never slow in this

December 2016 79

DINE Dining Guide

SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE Japanese 1830 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington 360.588.4281, Professional Teppan Yaki chefs take you on a journey of delicious and interactive dining at Burlington’s Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. Using the freshest ingredients and perfect seasonings, they stir-fry your meal right before your eyes, creating a fabulous feast. Choose from steak and chicken to salmon and shrimp; each meal is served with soup, salad, rice and vegetables. If it’s sushi you crave, they also offer a full sushi bar for even the most discriminating taste buds.   SEEDS BISTRO Regional NW 623 Morris St., La Conner 360.466.3280, Seeds Bistro in La Conner is a celebration of the fresh bounty of food offered in Skagit County. It offers simple dishes that highlight the fresh, exciting ingredients found throughout the Pacific Northwest. The menu features local selections rotated with the seasons. The macaroni and cheese features Northwestfavorite Cougar Gold cheese with a buttercrumb crust. Burgers are juicy, cooked perfectly, and served on homemade potato buns with the smallest bit of crunch and a fluffy interior. The whole family can enjoy Seeds’ offerings — comfort foods satisfy children’s desires while more intricate food items appease fastidious palates.

WHATCOM AVENUE BREAD Deli Downtown Cafe 1313 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 2301 James St., Bellingham 2020 Humboldt St., Bellingham 444 Front St., Lynden 360.715.3354, With several convenient locations in Bellingham and a location in Lynden, Avenue is one of Bellingham’s favorite lunch spots. Fresh ingredients make these sandwiches unusually good — the bread is made inhouse, and the vegetables and meat are all of the highest quality. Avenue also offers one of the freshest, best breakfast sandwiches around — the Eggenue.


BLACK PEARL Vietnamese 1317 W. Bakerview Rd. 360.746.2030 202 E. Holly St. 117, Bellingham 360.318.7655 Bellingham has an abundance of Vietnamese restaurants; the trick is to find one that stands out — like the Black Pearl. With all the available extras, it is almost impossible to get the same flavor twice. The pho is clean and refreshing with a variety of sauces to add as extra seasoning. It comes with a variety of types of meat, including eye-round, brisket and chicken, but vegetarians don’t despair, there’s an option for you, too. One nice feature of the Black Pearl’s menu is that it doesn’t only serve pho. Try the chicken or beef teriyaki, or a noodle bowl. The Black Pearl’s selection of crepes is second to none — everything from classic butter and cinnamon to New York style cheesecake with strawberry or raspberry jam.

The skillets on the menu are one of the eatery’s most popular items. A small skillet is filled with perfectly-fried potatoes, eggs and toppings you choose. Try Tina and Kirby’s personal favorite: the poutine, home fries smothered in traditional gravy, topped with fried eggs and cheese. Homeskillet can’t be beat with its friendly service, colorful atmosphere and ultimate comfort food.   JAKE’S WESTERN GRILL Southern 8114 Guide Meridian, Lynden 360.354.5588, In addition to outstanding barbecue, Jake’s also features a full line of fresh-cut salads, burgers, Southern sandwiches and a full-service bar. If you’re a true lover of Southern barbecue, you owe it to yourself to head north and give Jake’s Western Grill in Lynden a try.

JALAPEÑOS MEXICAN GRILL Mexican D’ANNA’S CAFE ITALIANO Italian 1317 N. State St., Bellingham 360.714.0188, If you’re looking for good Italian food without having to resort to a national chain, D’Anna’s may be the place for you. The emphasis here is on the food, not the frills. The restaurant stands out in many ways, but D’Anna’s delicious, homemade pasta is what really makes it special.   DIRTY DAN HARRIS Steakhouse 1211 11th St., Bellingham 360.676.1087, The “dirt” on Dirty Dan Harris? In a word: excellent. The steakhouse provides warm, friendly waitstaff, quaint historic surroundings and superb food. Most of the waitstaff have worked here for years — and it shows in their enthusiasm for your dining experience. The filet mignon is Dirty Dan’s signature entree. You won’t be disappointed. Leave room for dessert, however, because the selections are dangerously good.   EAT Continental 1200 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham 360.306.3917, The combination of fresh, local produce, fish, meat, and spirits combines beautifully with classic French cooking at this chic and tasty restaurant. The atmosphere is urban charm, and the service is unparalleled.

1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041 Jalepeños Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complimentary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any types other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos.” They’re messy — filled with shredded chicken, cheese and topped with guacamole — but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and Jalepeños doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop.   KURU KURU SUSHI Japanese/Sushi 11 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.392.8224, Kuru Kuru Sushi, which translates to “go around Sushi,” offers not only a good meal, but a good experience. Some of the offerings, like the Dynamite roll, are lightly tempura fried before being put on the conveyor belt to travel around the restaurant to hungry patrons. More traditional, classic sushi, like the raw salmon (which is buttery and delicious) also travels on the belt. A variety of non-fish related faire, like gyoza, egg rolls and desserts also are offered. If you don’t see something you like, the chefs behind the counter will gladly make something for you.


MAGDALENAS Crêperie, European

521 Kentucky St., Bellingham 360.676.6218,

1200 10th St., Ste. 103, Bellingham 360.483.8569,

Homeskillet gets its name from the movie Juno, when a store clerk calls Juno “homeskillet.”

Paris, London, New York, Vancouver, and Bellingham have them — little shops where the

aromas of sweet and savory crêpes, custom sandwiches and hot soup du jour fill the air. With a formidable selection of crêpes, it’ll take more than one trip to decide which is better, sweet or savory. But at this eatery, it is criminal to pass up the sweet little numbers filled with velvety smooth vanilla-flavored cream cheese, white chocolate and your choice of fresh fruit. A crêpe option for every crêpe crave.   MI MEXICO Mexican 241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073

BEST of the


Mi Mexico’s reputation as one of the local favorites among Mexican food lovers is well deserved. The experience starts with a warm, friendly, professional waitstaff in an enjoyable, upbeat atmosphere. And from there, Mi Mexico separates itself from the competition with a choice of traditional and non-traditional Mexican dishes that few Mexican restaurants in the Pacific Northwest offer, all made with the freshest of ingredients available. From your first bite of Mi Mexico’s homemade salsa to the last bite of your main entree or dessert, you will already be planning your next visit.




Voted Best Fish & Chips

MYKONOS Greek 1650 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.715.3071 Pita bread is pita bread, right? Not at Mykonos. If you order a starter of hummus, prepare your tastebuds for slices of pita bread heaven. If you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of Greek cuisine, try the traditional Greek salad as a litmus test. You won’t be disappointed. It is delightfully fresh and light and a meal by itself, with perhaps the best feta dressing west of Athens. Should you still be hungry, your main course options include the traditional Greek spin on veggie, lamb, chicken, steak and seafood prepared with rice or pasta. Mykonos offers excellent value for the price. Phidippides would be proud.   NEW YORK PIZZA & BAR Italian/Gourmet Pizza 902 State St., Bellingham 360.733.3171 8874 Bender Rd. #101, Lynden 360.318.0580,

Nickis Bar and Grill on the waterfront in Bellingham serving award winning, hand dipped, tempura style fish & chips. Build your own burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns.

360.332.2505 2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham

If you love pizza, then you’re going to love New York Pizza and Bar. Not just because of the crispy, handmade dough (made fresh daily) or because of the fresh, high-quality ingredients or the amount of them that top each slice. But because New York Pizza is the master of pizza diversity. Anything you want on a pizza you’re likely to find here. Regardless of what you order, expect to be more than satisfied. There’s also a full bar and great happy hour selections.

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hether it be gift-giving, party-hosting, or just plain old everyday shopping, this is the time of year when many of us pull out all the stops. Holiday gatherings with good friends, good food, and of course, good wines, seem to make the season just a little more special, and if that means going over our anticipated budget, why not? Certainly there are plenty of solid, value-priced wines to be had. But the holidays practically demand that you spend a few dollars more than you normally would for a wine to enjoy either on your own, with family, or perhaps as a gift for that special someone. Just remember that the definition of a “wine splurge” is completely relative to your spending comfort zone. So while $20 a bottle may be considered a splurge by one person, something in the $40 to $60 price range might be more like it for others. The key here, regardless of your spending limits, is that a step up in a wine’s price meets or exceeds your expectations for a step up in quality. If that happens, then the higher price was certainly worth it. Here are a few suggestions of some special wines that you might enjoy any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. 82

$20 TO $40 “MID-RANGE” SPLURGES Look to Europe for an incredible selection of food-friendly varietals at prices that fit the lower-end splurge category. Start with Italy’s Chianti Classico region, which offers Sangiovese-based red wines that pair nicely with everything from veal parmigiana to pepperoni pizza. The Ruffino 2012 Riserva Ducale (about $25) and the Ruffino 2011 Riserva Ducale Oro (about $40) are two perfect examples. The Riserva Ducale displays savory touches of pepper and green herb that accentuate its core of red cherry fruit; while the Oro opens with fragrant violets and bright cranberry flavors that melt into darker dried cherry and a soft finish that is beautifully framed by a touch of bittersweet chocolate. Those who favor bigger wines from France’s Bordeaux region should enjoy the Château Aney 2012 Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois (about $24). This impressive blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot is beautifully balanced, with hibiscus aromatics, black currant and black cherry fruit, tart acidity and a nice, meaty tannic structure. It’s a great value and easily comparable to other wines from the region at twice the price. Big, full-bodied wines are also the order of the day from Napa

California’s Baldacci Family Vineyards. A trio of current releases include the 2014 Sorelle Chardonnay (about $38) with tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and guava and a hint of field clover and orange zest on the extreme finish; the 2013 Elizabeth Pinot Noir (about $40) with dense red plum and berry on the palate, slightly chewy tannins, and a trace of earthiness; and the 2013 Fraternity Red Blend (about $40) with currant and blackberry compote flavors, supple tannins, and a full, round finish with plenty of staying power. Malbec has become a rock-star favorite for many red wine lovers and Argentina’s Mendoza region has achieved worldwide recognition as a “go-to” source for this increasingly popular varietal. Indicative of the region’s quality is the Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve 2013 Malbec (about $25), comprised of 85% Malbec with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah blended in. This is a gorgeous wine that delivers both character and elegance, with brambly raspberry and blackberry fruit, hints of baking spice, white pepper, and herbs, and a soft, velvety finish. OVER $40 INDULGENSES Rob and Donna Mellison from Washington’s Mellisoni Vineyards on Lake Chelan have put together a winning formula by offering wine

EST. 2014

enthusiasts a must-visit tasting room with stunning views, first-class service, and beautifully crafted wines. Their 2013 Syrah (about $50) is a great example of what you’ll find on a typical tasting menu. It features a base of ultra-black plum with nuances of candied cherry, inky minerality, and firm tannins that suggest cellaring another three to five years for maximum enjoyment. Oregon Pinot Noirs are sometimes a bit pricey, but the extra dollars can often pay off with an exquisite wine that really must be tried to be appreciated. A case in point: the Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir (about $55) from Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills. A visual and sensual delight, this wine’s shimmering ruby hue is followed by a whisper of smoke and raspberry on the nose, dark strawberry and red cherry fruit flavors, and a seamless, silky finish with a lovely touch of rose petals. Serving suggestions include poached salmon, duck, goose or roast turkey. From Italy’s Tuscany region, the Avignonesi 2012 Desiderio Merlot (about $65) is another red wine gem that’s worth the splurge. It’s packed with black cherry and blueberry fruits, undertones of clove, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, and ample tannins that will require a bit of aeration. The addition of 15% Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine additional character, depth, and structure and allows it to pair well with anything beef such as Ossobucco or a crown roast. And nothing caps off a holiday celebration better than an extra-special bottle of Champagne. The Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve (about $65) is comprised of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, with nearly half of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir coming from reserve wines aged in stainless steel for an average of 10 years. The Heidsieck’s striking gold color is highlighted with yeasty, fresh-baked bread and stone fruit aromas, layered, cherry-cream pie flavors, and a lengthy, nutty finish with a flourish of toasted vanilla bean. Exceptional! 

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December 2016 83

DINE Holiday Dining Guide



t’s that time of year! Yes, presents, and yes, family, and yes, cheer, but mostly? Good food. Where can you get a great evening with your family for the holidays? Or maybe you want the holidays to be like other days, just without having to go to work. We’ll give you a list of restaurants you can count on to keep the troops fed, and places to go to keep yourself warm while you ignore the tinsel.

Pierside Kitchen 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine 360.318.2090, Holiday hours: Dec. 24, 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m.; Dec. 25, noon–8 p.m. Come enjoy some of the finest food in the area with the best view imaginable. Semiahmoo is presenting special holiday meals for those who want something a little special for the holidays without having to make it. Reservations required, menus available online.

Keenan’s at the Pier 804 10th St., Bellingham 360.756.1005, Open Dec. 24, Closed Dec. 25 Relax by the water, gaze through the house binoculars out the bay, and enjoy incredibly fresh cocktails and cuisine. A relaxing dinner here and stroll along Taylor Dock will be a great way to take a deep breath before the holiday crush of the 25th. If you look closely, maybe you’ll see Santa arriving over Orcas.


The Steak House at Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa 4876 Haxton Rd., Ferndale 360.383.6077, Open Dec. 24 & Dec. 25 Though there’s nothing about walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke and dinging machines that screams fine holiday dining, once you’re inside the peace and quiet of The Steak House, you’ll be able to enjoy the intimacy and fine food for which The Steak House is famous. Cozy booths, fine cocktails, excellent food, and five-star service are all a part of The Steak House experience.

5th Street Bistro — Majestic Inn & Spa 419 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.299.1400 Holiday Hours: Dec. 24, 7:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Dec. 25, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Located in the heart of historic downtown Anacortes, 5th Street Bistro is a quintessential destination in the beautifully restored, 19th century boutique hotel, the Majestic Inn & Spa. 5th Street Bistro offers a seasonally fresh, locally sourced farm-to-table menu paired with Northwest wines and local microbrews. Enjoy casual fine dining prepared by master chefs, and a professional staff that is passionate and attentive. 5th Street Bistro offers one of the best happy hours in Skagit County, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in a warm, inviting atmosphere for locals and out-of-towners alike to enjoy for the holidays.

Cask & Schooner Public House & Restaurant

13moons at Swinomish Casino & Lodge

1 Front St., Friday Harbor 360.378.2922, Holiday Hours: Dec. 24 & 25, 12:00–8:00 p.m.

12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes 360.588.3800, Holiday Hours: Dec. 24 & Dec. 25, 11:00 a.m.–9 p.m.

With a rustic fare menu and well crafted spirits, Cask & Schooner is known for sourcing locally, organically, and sustainably, and has some of the best seafood you’ll find anywhere in the San Juans. From “in the shell” to pub classics, to fine entrees and more, Cask & Schooner offers high-end fare in an old-timey nautical atmosphere. Close enough to the Friday Harbor marina to smell the salt and see the ferries come and go, Cask & Schooner is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

Pacific Northwest natives and travelers far and wide come to Swinomish Casino & Resort not only for the entertainment, but for the unique and incomparable dining experience. Only the freshest ingredients from the Puget Sound and market-fresh produce from the Skagit Valley are beautifully prepared by our regionally recognized kitchen. The beautiful views of Fidalgo Bay and the rich cultural atmosphere of authentic Swinomish native tribal art ensure a holiday to remember — without the cooking and the cleanup.

Naung Mai Thai Kitchen

The Mansion Restaurant at The Moran Lounge —  Rosario Resort & Spa

3015 Commercial Ave. C, Anacortes 360.588.1183 Holiday Hours: Dec. 24 & Dec. 25, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Just imagine — warm, authentic Thai food from the comfort of home — that’s what you’ll find at Naung Mai Thai Kitchen. Naung Mai offers fresh, authentic, and perfectly spiced Thai food, and is conveniently located on Commercial Avenue in Anacortes. Not your average Thai place, the Thai Kitchen is set in an adorably renovated pink house that provides a warm, cozy atmosphere that makes you want to kick your shoes off and stay a while. The owners are very friendly and will make you feel good about supporting a local family business for the holidays.

1400 Rosario Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2222, Holiday Hours: Dec. 24, 5:00–8:00 p.m., Dec. 25, 12:00–9:00 p.m. The Mansion Restaurant at Rosario Resort & Spa is a premier destination for foodies, island hoppers, and anyone looking for a fine dining destination with a breathtaking Pacific Northwest waterfront view. The Mansion overlooks Cascade Bay on the original veranda of the Moran Mansion on Orcas Island. The Mansion uses only the freshest local ingredients to craft a delightfully creative seasonal menu that captures the unique flavors of the changing Pacific Northwest harvest. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a Puget Sound island holiday for the whole family, the Mansion offers an unforgettable experience unlike any other. 

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Anthony’s Restaurant Cucumber Cooler INGREDIENTS St. Germain liqueur, gin, fresh mint, lime, fresh cucumber, soda. $8.50


his refreshing drink combines all the cooling refreshment of cucumber with the tang of lime and a sweet St. Germain finish. It’s perfect for watching the boats maneuver around Squalicum Harbor or clearing your palate after a night of indulgence. Served crackling cold in a tall glass packed with ice, this

tart-sweet concoction would also pair well with Anthony’s MahiMahi tacos, Tombo ahi salad, or the Dungeness crab toast. So when the holiday rush gets you tangled up in lights and tinsel, stop by Anthony’s and grab this refreshing drink. You’ve earned it.  25 Bellwether Way, Bellingham

6186 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.599.2337, Mount Baker Highway is home to a plethora of dining options, but at the North Fork Brewery you can get beer, pizza, tie the knot and visit the beer shrine all under the same roof. The brewery produces relatively small batches of beer, 109 gallons, keeping the beer fresh and the options changing. Their staple is the India Pale Ale. The opening taste is a strong citrus flavor, but is quickly dissolved by the aggressive bitterness, making it a quite enjoyable beer to accompany a slice of their homemade pizza. The pizza crust is made fresh daily with a hint of beer. The sauce is well-balanced with tomatoes and spices. Made with fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses, there is nothing not to like about this pizza.   ON RICE Thai 209 N. Samish Way, Bellingham 2200 Rimland Dr., 360.738.9995, Bellingham 1224 Harris Ave., 360.676.9995, Bellingham, On Rice is the place to go in Bellingham. With its affordable lunch specials and three locations around town, it’s easy to enjoy one of On Rice’s many flavorful Thai dishes. A classic Thai favorite, Pad Thai, is interpreted well here. It’s sweet, without being overpowering, and has just enough spice to balance the dish out. All dishes are available with chicken, pork, beef, seafood or tofu and can be made as spicy as you want them to be, between one and four stars. 
   PEL’ MENI Russian 1211 N. State St., Bellingham 360.715.8324 Step off busy State Street after your late night festivities for an inexpensive and satisfying fill of plump dumplings. Stuffed with either meat or potatoes, these dumplings are piping hot and sprinkled with cumin, paprika and cilantro. Because they pair so well with tasty libations, Pel’ Meni manages to consistently have a line out the door as soon as the sun goes down. For $7, you’ll get a plastic, clam-shell container full of savory dumplings. Smother them with vinegar, sour cream and hot sauce for the full effect.   SCOTTY BROWNS North American Cuisine 3101 Newmarket St., Bellingham 360.306.8823

© Frances Badgett


Scotty Browns offers an edgy, energetic ambiance, a varied menu of mainstream and upscale creations, and excellent drink options for all ages. Outdoor dining is a popular alternative during warmer weather. The selection of beer, wine and cocktails is broad enough to accommodate most any mood. If you are into martinis or cosmos, try the Mr. Pink. The name

is a little unnerving to order if you are male, but worth the leap of faith. Some items on the menu, like appetizers, change seasonally, so you know you’ll never get bored. Casual to upscale dining options range from hamburgers, rice bowls and pastas to higher-end seafood and steaks.




SKYLARK’S HIDDEN CAFÉ Eclectic 1308 11th St., Fairhaven 360.715.3642, Syklark’s Hidden Café in Fairhaven is worth seeking out. From decadent breakfast items such as eggs benedict and house specialty banana bread French toast with maple ­walnut topping to hearty dinner entrees such ­Halibut & Lobster Thermidor and New York Steak with Jack Daniels Herb Butter, the menu at Skylark’s is varied and every bite delicious. Come for the food and stay for the jazz on select evenings.

The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top eight this issue. Step out and give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

ROCKET DONUTS Bakery 306 W. Holly St., 360.671.6111, Bellingham 1021 Harris Ave, 360.366.8135, Bellingham With two locations, Rocket Donuts is an icon in Bellingham for its delectable donuts and sci-fi themed storefronts. The donuts are made fresh daily, giving them their fluffy, soft texture. Try the classic glazed or spice up your morning with maple-bacon bar. Rocket donuts is unique by offering vegan and gluten free options. Lift off your morning Rocket style.   SLO-PITCH SPORTS GRILL AND CASINO 3720 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.733.2255,


STONE POT Korean 113 E. Magnolia St., Bellingham 3092 N.W. Bellingham Ave., Bellingham 360.671.6710 Stone Pot isn’t just a clever name, but the clever little pots and skillets many of the meals are served in. The Stone Pot Bibimbap is a medley of vegetables with choice of meat or tofu that sits atop a sizzling pot of rice. A fried egg is placed on top — stir it in to mix the yolk throughout the rice and meat as the hot pot continues to cook the egg, similar to fried rice. All meals are served with a variety of buanchan, small, seasonal dishes of vegetables, meats and seafood that complement the main dish. The menu also includes soups, noodle dishes and entrees such as Kabli, marinated beef short ribs, Spicy Pork, served on a sizzling platter with onions, and the traditional Bulgogi.


The Philly steak sandwich at the Shakedown makes for a great lunch. They offer so many versions of the Philly, you can come back for 8 days in a row and try each one. And you should.


What is more French than beef Bourguignon, the perfect winter stew? EAT makes it the classic French way, and it is delicious.


Conveniently located right on Meridian, SloPitch serves up a great burger and fries. With excellent Happy Hour specials in a casual, sports atmosphere, Slo-Pitch is a great place to watch the game or take a mid-day break.

The breakfast sandwich at Cosmos Bistro is an amazing and delicious blend of cheese, eggs, bacon, and onions. So tasty, and such a good start to your day.

If wholesome comfort food is your jam right now, the BLT&T at Avenue Bread is amazing. Thick-cut bacon, crisp-fresh lettuce, and thin-sliced turkey between two perfect pieces of rosemary bread make this a regular favorite.


Filling, delicious, nutritious, the Hawaiian bowl at Aslan is amazing. Try it with a ginger rye, and take the rest of the day off.


The windows at The Bagelry offer a great view of the bustling, busy downtown lunch crowd. A pastrami bagel sandwich makes the visit even more worthwhile.


The salmon cakes at The Loft are flaky, light, delicious, and so fresh. Enjoy with a glass of crisp white wine and a beautiful view.


The fried cauliflower at Ciao Thyme is beyond amazing. Crisp, golden, and delicious, it is a treat. Grab a large portion and share with your friends.

December 2016 87





Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word

The Three Irish Tenors perform We Three Kings DECEMBER 14, 7 P.M.

The Irish Tenors have been charming and delighting audiences around the world, from Madison Square Garden to the court of Queen Elizabeth II. Their Christmas album “We Three Kings” is one of the top-selling holiday albums of all time. Come and hear for yourself what makes these three an international sensation. 

Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,




Working in sculpture and mixed media, Heric takes the common objects and forms that surround us and transforms them into fascinating and fanciful objects. His work has been featured in exhibitions nationwide. He currently resides on San Juan Island, enjoying the solitude. San Juan Island Museum of Art 540 Spring St., Friday Harbor 360.370.5050, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S 50 GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHS THROUGH JANUARY 15, 2017, WED.–SUN., NOON–5 P.M.

National Geographic has written the book on arresting, evocative images that conjure our world in beautiful, visual, unique ways. The Whatcom Museum has brought 50 of these beautiful photos to the Lightcatcher. Enjoy the majesty of these captured moments before they leave town. Holiday Magic


Enjoy the spirit of Christmas in global style as the Skagit Valley Chorale presents a program from all over the world. They will feature holiday favorites from Russia, Nigeria, Brazil, and beyond in this international exploration of the meaning of Christmas.

Lightcatcher 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, MATCHED MAKERS: NORTHWEST ART COUPLES UNTIL JANUARY 1, TUES.–SAT., 10 A.M., SUN. AND MON., NOON

This stunning show displays the work of 56 artists who paint and create side-by-side. The artists, born between 1877 and 1983, work in all media. Prominent voices in regional art include Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge, Barbara and Clayton James, Gala and Zack Bent, and more. Museum of Northwest Art 121 N. 1st St., La Conner 360.466.4446,

McIntyre Hall 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.727.7727,




DECEMBER 16, 7:30 P.M.

DECEMBER 4, 2016, 3 P.M.

A great holiday opera, performed by the Pacific Northwest Opera (formerly the Skagit Valley Opera), Amahl and the Night Visitors is the story of the Gift of the Magi. Amahl is a shepherd boy seeking shelter when he has the good fortune to come upon a certain manger for the night.

What are the holidays without the bright ringing tones of choral music? This holiday event will bring the magic. The children’s holiday classic The Snowman will play in the background to an orchestral score, making this concert a magical one for the whole family.

McIntyre Hall 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.727.7727,

Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,



DECEMBER 21, 7:30 P.M.

DECEMBER 14, 6:30 P.M.

Bronn and Katherine Journey are going to perform their final holiday concert. For 35 years, the Journeys have charmed and delighted audiences with the dulcet tones of their music. Katherine sings, Bronn plays harp, and they both enchant.

The Port of Anacortes invites you to hear Geoffrey Castle and his All Star Band perform a very special Celtic Christmas extravaganza, with Pamela Cassella and Veronica Cassella-Nim from the Seattle Opera, the Seattle Irish Dance Company, a town crier, and, oh yes, Santa Claus. A rich and exciting evening full of entertainment for all ages, this night will be one to remember.

McIntyre Hall 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.727.7727,


Port of Anacortes 100 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.299.1822,


There’s ART in

DECEMBER 10, 7 P.M., DECEMBER 11, 2 P.M.

A program of choral music that is sure to delight all ages, the Orcas Choral Society will present a program of traditional holiday music and some new tunes to keep you going. A perfect way to warm up for the holidays. Orcas Center 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281,


Nothing says Christmas like Irving Berlin and his classic songs of the season, “White Christmas” chief among them. Join in this singing and dancing celebration of this enchanting and delightful musical. Family-friendly, holidayapproved, this a must-see. Bellingham Theatre Guild 1600 H St., Bellingham, 360.733.1811 THE HAPPY ELF NOVEMBER 25–DECEMBER 11, TIMES VARY

Based on the movie starring Harry Connick Jr., this instaclassic is now in high must-see holiday rotation. Luckily, our local thespians in Lynden are bringing it to the stage for the holiday season. Enjoy the antics of Eubie the Elf and his work in advocating for alternatives to coal and other forms of community organizing.

2016 SANTA, SLEIGH RIDES & MORE! Dec 10-11 Dec2016 17-18 SANTA, SLEIGH RIDES & MORE! Dec 10-11 Dec 17-18

Claire Vg Theatre 655 Front St., Lynden 360.354.4425, THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER DECEMBER 8 & 15, 7:30 P.M., DECEMBER 4 & 11, 2 P.M.

This holiday classic is a cautionary tale about letting truly terrible people into safe spaces, and the hilarity that can ensue. The Herdman kids are cigar-smoking, fighting, nasty kids who crash in and take over the annual church Christmas pageant. The rest is hysterical history. Anacortes Community Theatre 918 M. Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6829,

• Shop & Sip • Fresh Cut Trees & Wreaths • Ornament & Cookie Crafting Bon•Fire & S’mores Country Cafe & Distillery&Tastings • Shop &• Sip Fresh Cut Trees• & Wreaths • Ornament Cookie Crafting • Live Music & Community Carols • Elf Heidi’s Children’s Week Dec 19-22 • Bon Fire & S’mores • Country Cafe & Distillery Tastings • Live Music & Community Carols • Elf Heidi’s Children’s Week Dec 19-22

Month long activities begin Friday Nov. 25! Seeactivities website for begin event schedule Month long Friday Nov. 25!

6140 Guide Meridian (360) 318-7720 - See-website for event schedule 6140 Guide Meridian - (360) 318-7720 -

6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden 360.318.7720 |

December 2016 91

© John Sinclair


Lighted Boat Parade and Santa Claus


Combining two of the great pleasures in life — treasure hunting and books — this sale is a huge annual event sure to fill your canvas bags with delight. A great place to stock up for all your winter reading, this sale has something for everyone. Bellingham Public Library 210 Central Ave., Bellingham 360.778.7250, LIGHTED BOAT PARADE AND SANTA CLAUS DECEMBER 17, 2016, 6:30 P.M.

Join the Friday Harbor Sailing Club and the Port of Friday Harbor in welcoming Santa to the 24th annual Lighted Boat Parade. Santa arrives on boat, his path lit by many beautiful glowing lights. Carolers, cookies, and Christmas spirit make the evening special. Bundle up and enjoy the beautiful lights and good cheer. Friday Harbor Marina 204 Front Street, Friday Harbor 360.378.6114, HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS THROUGH DECEMBER 24, 10 A.M.–7 P.M.

Whether you’re in the market for handcrafted holiday goods for friends and family, or you just want to indulge yourself in some beautiful jewelry, letterpress stationery, and handcrafted wooden bowls, this festival is for you. With refreshments and live music 92

on weekends, plenty of hours for your convenience (open seven days a week), and great vendors, the festival has everything you need for delightful holiday shopping. 4145 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.676.8548,


It just isn’t the holidays without the magical beauty of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Ballet Bellingham is staging this beautiful production. Tchaikovsky’s score is one of the most recognizable pieces of music in existence, and it will have you dancing out of the theater in your own holiday dream. Mount Baker Theatre Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080, THE NUTCRACKER SUITE DECEMBER 10, 7 P.M. & DECEMBER 11, 2:30 P.M.

Fidalgo Danceworks is one of the best dance troupes in the area, and this production of The Nutcracker is sure to be a great one. Come enjoy the music, movement, and magic of the world’s favorite holiday past-time: Nutcracker performances. A.H.S. Brodniak 901 3rd St., Anacortes 360.229.8447,



Hollywood’s Classic Musical – Live On Stage

JAN 6 – 29, 2017

WildLights © Ryan Hawk

Out of Town SEATTLE

The Hilarious Murder Mystery Farce

MAR 3 – 26, 2017

Downton Abbey Meets Gilligan’s Island

APR 28 – MAY 21, 2017


See the zoo as you’ve never seen it before, lit up in thousands of twinkling holiday lights. Faux snowball fights, caroling, Santa and his reindeer, and more are just some of the events on the WildLights agenda. The zoo also offers booking for private parties, just in case you want to make the office holiday party extra wild and festive. Woodland Park Zoo 5500 Phinney Ave., Seattle

The Stunning R&B Musical Spectacular

JULY 7 – 30, 2017



Year of the Woman, indeed. This feminist ball of hilarity is coming to Vancouver to bring her unique brand of bawdy, blunt comedy to polite Canadian audiences. Go see this woman with “thoughts and questions and shit to say” and let us know how it goes. Pepsi Rogers Arena 800 Griffith Way, Vancouver B.C. 604.899.7400,

WANT YOUR EVENT POSTED? Events are posted on a first-come first-serve basis. Submissions must be received seven weeks prior to the event with all the necessary information. Please submit event name, dates, times, short 40-word description, cover charge or ticket price, event venue including street address, a phone number and a website. Any event from Seattle to Vancouver will be considered with priority placed on listings from Whatcom County, Skagit County and San Juan County. Bellingham Alive is not responsible for errors in submissions. Please email all submissions to

December 2016 93

AGENDA The Scene

Best of the Northwest Party The results came in, the votes were counted, and we celebrated! Our annual Best of the Northwest had the Four Points Sheraton rocking on October 14. The mixologists at the event crafted signature cocktails from Bellewood Acres Distillery, Melissa’s Memorable Events Catering fed us some delicious treats, and Cosmos Bistro, Pure Bliss Desserts, and Crave Catering provided a tasty dessert bar.. Fidalgo Bay provided coffee. Kulshan and Farmstrong provided beer, while Coach House and Samson Estates brought us wine. It was a night to remember! Thank you to everyone who voted, congratulations to the winners, and we hope everyone had a great time! See you next year!

Photos Š Lydia Love


The Scene


December 2016 95


Final Word



s a young teenager, I leapt a mighty leap from the cliff of life. It was a leap of faith for the bottom was nowhere in sight. I turned and looked back to see my mom, alone, waving. “I love you,” she said. The wind was cool as I began to fall. “Keep your jacket zipped tight,” my mom instructed. I was glad that I listened to her one last time. Although I leapt hard with my young legs, I did not leap far enough. Almost instantly I struck the branches of a sapling. Like a fist from my childhood, I was startled. The whip of the branches stung badly. There, in my jacket, was a small tear. “That’s so unfair,” I blurted angrily. But I was early in my leap; I was determined. The hole is not severe, I thought to myself. And I turned my attention downward. As I gained speed, the face of a young woman whizzed past. I recognized her vaguely. I had hurt her in the past, but I don’t remember how. I wish that I could recall. “Use your words next time,” I offered as an excuse. “Who cares,” I heard my dad say. I turned reflexively toward the sound of his voice. How could he be so thoughtless? I was alone. The voice was mine. He was me. The voice is not my fault, I lied to myself. “Yes, it is,” the truth responded: “Change.” “How?” I cried. “Own yourself,” the answer came through the wind. But there was no time to change or heal. I was gaining speed, faster and faster. Instinctively, I reached outward with my arms to slow my descent. To my surprise, the jacket became wings as I reached and I began to soar. In, out and around dangerous outcroppings I flew. The jacket did not just keep me warm. The jacket was my cape — I could fly! I felt invincible. Now the perils that lie ahead at the bottom were of no concern. I was in control of my journey downward. Happy images of my family and life’s accomplishments flew by. I looked to my right and to my left to see others who had leapt, too. Most were falling faster, their jackets in tatters. Some were jacketless altogether. They must know where they are going to be in such a hurry, I surmised. “Good for them,” I smiled to myself. “I wish them well.” Unlike the others, my journey was uncertain and unknown. The reckoning of the bottom was coming, but with my jacket to protect me, I was safe. Or so I believed. I looked uneasily over at the small hole in my jacket. The fabric had torn further and was now flapping in the wind. “Honor the jacket,” my parents had taught. “Don’t tempt fate,” they warned. What did they mean? Their riddles were of no help to me now. “Use different words next time,” I blamed again. “I did not ask to leap when I did.” 96

My confidence undaunted, I ignored the initial turbulence. But the turbulence worsened and I began to tumble severely. I reached for the hole in my jacket, but I was helpless to fix the tear. It was too late. I was falling too fast and out of control. Striking outcropping after outcropping, my battered body finally came to rest on a ledge, humbled. I looked up to see an empty bird’s nest and my mom wagging her finger back and forth. “I love you,” she said, “Your daughters will understand in time.” “Honor the jacket,” she reminded. And with that, she pushed me from the ledge. Suddenly, a hand grabbed mine and the turbulence was no more. I looked over to see the face of an angel. The tear in the jacket remained, but it had been patched. “Is that better?” she said. “Much,” I replied. “Where are you going?” she asked. “I don’t know, but would you like to come?” I replied, hopefully. With a squeeze of my hand and the words, “yes, I believe in you,” my journey changed forever. I was truly safe for the first time. All I needed was my angel by my side. The fragrance of flowers was now everywhere. The warm air against my skin was telling. The bottom must now be near. I spread my wings to slow and enjoy the moment. “I love you,” my angel said, as she released my hand. “I will see you at the bottom.” I looked at her anxiously. “Own the moment,” she encouraged, “It’s time. Look for him.” “Look for whom?” I thought to myself. More riddles. What did she mean? I landed with a deep sense of fulfillment that belied the unknown of the leap. The journey down was not what I imagined. It was painful and hard, but full of laughter, love, and discoveries that had meaning. Most importantly, I mattered to myself. I owned my journey. I was humbled by those who came to greet me — friends, family, and others who I touched unknowingly. The celebration brought tears to my eyes. “I am not worthy,” I thought to myself. All I did was leap. Tired from my journey, I needed to rest. I looked for my angel, but she was nowhere to be found. As I searched for her in the crowd, I saw the familiar face of my dad. “Dad,” I called, “How long have you been here?” “Since you leapt,” he replied, “I’ve been here the whole time, waiting.” “How was the jacket?” he asked. “Did you know?” I exclaimed. “Of course,” he laughed, “your mom and I wove the jacket from the best of life’s principles and values. We knew you would fly to great heights if you honored the jacket.” I thought about the wisdom of his words and the meaning of the riddle became clear. “I fell down, but I learned from my mistakes, dad,” I said, with a parent’s gratitude in my voice, “I should have given ones just like it to each of my daughters.” “I have no doubt that you did,” he reassured me. “Sorry about the hole,” he apologized, eyes downward. “That was my fault, not your mother’s, and I should have been there when you leapt.” “That’s all right,” I whispered in his ear while we hugged. “I understand better now how hard the journey can be. I wasn’t there the way that I wanted to be when my daughters leapt.” “Will you be there for them at the bottom?” he smiled. “Yes, waiting, just like you,” I smiled back. And then we rested together, each tired from our journeys. I was not him, and he was not me, but we were one — again. “I love you, dad.” “Me, too,” he replied. 

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n g i S

ay d o T Up

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Every 15 Minutes!

On I-5 at Exit 236 • 877-275-2448 Must be 21 or older. Management reserves all rights. Owned by Upper Skagit Indian Tribe.


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Please consider an investment’s objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For this and other important information about the Saturna Sustainable Funds, please obtain and carefully read a free prospectus or summary prospectus from or by calling toll-free 1-800-728-8762. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. The Saturna Sustainable Funds limit the securities they purchase to those consistent with sustainable principles. This limits opportunities and may affect performance. Distributor: Saturna Brokerage Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saturna Capital Corporation, investment adviser to the Saturna Sustainable Funds.

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