Bellingham Alive Feb Mar 2016

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Featured Homes

The Way to Via

Tiny Houses

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Special Issue

Welcome to our annual Home and Remodel feature. In this issue, we explore sustainability. We have a focus on ecohomes, green building, and the beauty of trees. We celebrate solar, examine energy efficiency, and talk tiny houses. We provide inspiration for your next project, and showcase the marriage of beauty and function in these homes that are gentle on the Earth. From roof to rain garden, we give you ample advice and inspiration.

February | March Contents Lifestyle


17 18 19 21 23 23 24 25 25 26 27 27 28 30 32 36

47 68 85 90

Eco-Friendly Design By the Numbers Lasting Image Calendar  February & March In the Know  WWU’s Salish Sea Studies Institute Wonder Woman  Susie Purves In the Know  Bison Bookbinding In the Know  Community Boating Center Changing Room Apps We Love Community  NAMI Whatcom Book Reviews Who Knew? Five Faves  Tiny House Gear Spotlight Artist  Aaron Lovett Quick Trip  Sundara West B&B Steering Column  Special Advertising

Home and Remodel Featured Homes Architectural Profiles  Special Advertising Section Premier Homes  Special Advertising Section

DINE 95 97 100 102 103 104

Via Birch Bay Cafe and Bistro Dining Guide Mixing Tin  DiSaronno Sour Sip  Body Style Wines Seven Great Tastes Review  Filling Station

AGENDA 105 108 110 111

SHOP 39 42 43 44

Found: Leather Necessities  Work Wear Around the Sound  Warby Parker Savvy Shopper  Heroine Clothing

Featured Event  St. Patrick’s Day Parade Around Town  Hooking Up with Second City Out of Town  Bill Maher The Scene  Bellingham Technical College Gala

Notes 8 13 14 112

Editor’s Letter Letters to the Editor Meet the Team  Favorite Paint Color Final Word

For ideas, inspiration and resources, the Seattle Home Show is February 20–28 at CenturyLink Field, and the Whatcom Home and Garden Show sponsored by the BIAWC is March 4–6 at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden.

Patios and Hardscapes Outfitting your Tiny House Method Homes


Featured Homes

February | March 2016


notes On the Web

Be sure to check us out at: Submit your events on our new calendar! Do you have an event that you would like our readers to know about? now offers an events calendar where viewers can search by 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 Our recommendations for the best home and remodel YouTube gurus.

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Notes Editor's Letter

“The home should be the treasure chest of living” –Le Corbusier

I love tiny houses. I love that builders and architects are embracing new ways of building to lessen the environmental impacts of construction and to expand the availability and affordability of housing in our community. And I love reading about, thinking about, and asking people about their home construction and remodels. There’s something elemental about how we shape and reshape our living space, how we express our taste, how we cull and sort and store. I love the personal touches, the little pieces of their lives that people leave out on coffee tables, line up on shelves. I had the privilege of accompanying our superstar photographer Diane Padys to photograph one of the featured homes in this issue. The owners’ support of local craftspeople in this house was absolutely astonishing, from our Spotlight Artist Aaron Lovett’s beautiful metalwork to their hardscapes by Russ Beardsley of Borrowed Ground, whom we feature in Home and Remodel. Just about everything in the house was locally sourced and created. What a wonderful way to extend the meaning of home. This issue’s mission is to celebrate and inspire. And speaking of inspiration, I had the privilege of being a judge for the Boys Club Girls Club Youth of the Year competition, and if these kids are any indication, we’re doing really well by our children. From a young woman who loves soccer and sculpture in equal measure to a young man who


overcomes adversity to speak in front of a group of strangers, it was a great evening. The Boys Club Girls Club is an extension of home, a giant rec room for sports and homework, coding and goofing around. And if there’s one thing Whatcom, Skagit, and the San Juans are about, it’s a sense of home — no matter where you’re from, or how you got here — whether your family’s been here since the last ice age or came over from Holland in the 1800s — we’re all residents sharing a giant home. So here’s to home!

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Notes Contributors

Tanna Edler Tanna is the owner of Tanna By Design ( She specializes in residential and commercial remodels and new construction design. Tanna has received three top awards from the National Interior Design Society Association and was named their 2012 and 2013 Designer of the Year. Additionally, she was voted North Sound Life’s Best of the Northwest interior designer in 2013 and 2014.  p. 48

Rodd Pemble

Edwin Y. Chang MD, FACS

Look Your Best

Recycling Manager at SSC, Rodd Pemble wore a wetsuit snorkeling in Maui, so you know how often he ventures into Bellingham Bay. He can be found mountain biking in any weather on Galbraith Mountain.  p. 25

Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surger y

Diane Padys

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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. 80

Madeline Takata Madeline Takata is a 21-year-old senior at Western Washington University studying visual journalism and photography. After a full year on staff at the university newspaper, and contributing to the student run magazine, Madeline is currently the multimedia editor for Klipsun magazine and an intern at Bellingham Alive. Between school and interning, Madeline works at Spruce downtown and enjoys spending time with friends and family. Upon graduating, Madeline is excited to travel and begin a career with a magazine publication.  p. 44

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nsl northsoundlife

Publications Bellingham Alive North Sound Life North End Metro NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings

President/Publisher  Lisa Karlberg Editor in chief  Frances Badgett Art Director  Kelly Slater editor Kaity Teer

Account Executives Babette Vickers | Tina Ruff

Lead Designer Kelsey Wilmore

Writers Dan Radil | Jake Uitti

Contributors Tanna Edler | Rodd Pemble | Diane Padys

Editorial Assistants Alyssa Pitcher Madeline Takata

Office Management Jenn Bachtel

ProofReader Pat Karlberg

Corporate Office K & L Media, Inc. 909 Squalicum Way, Ste. 110 Bellingham, WA 98225

Inquiries & Subscriptions 360.483.4576 x4

Cover Image Method Homes interior by Vance Fox



Letters to the Editor


Color My World Coloring has been an important part of my mental health routine. I was so happy you published an article and an illustration to color! From all the coloring fanatics out there, thank you! Allison R., Bellingham

Aerial Awesome Your article about Terril Teran Mire was so inspiring. Thank you for the beautiful photos and cool information. Deb C., Lynden

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I can’t wait to get involved with Fit School! I’ve been looking for something like that since moving here last year. The article is great! Susan R., Bellingham

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February | March 2016


Notes Meet the Team We have a new feature for you here at Bellingham Alive called Meet the Team. Enjoy!

What is your favorite paint color in your home? Kaity: Picking the right paint color is hard. I admit to skipping the whole process altogether in favor of being a paint-repeater. I fell in love with Sierra Madre by Behr and have now painted my bedroom this color in at least two different houses. It’s a warm greige that pairs well with clean, white accents and is soothing and minimal without feeling cold or uninviting. I don’t foresee changing it anytime soon.

Jenn: It’s not hard to narrow my favorite paint colors to a few, but one!? If I have to choose just one I’d go with my master bath color, Farrow & Ball’s Chappell Green. I’m tied down by having unfortunate blue counter tops so this was my solution to bring a little green into my life. It’s super versatile, depending on décor and lighting it can almost be too hard to tell if it’s a blue or green! I pretty much love the entire blue and green palette offered by Farrow and Ball.

Frances: My favorite is called Home Song. Right out of the can it was a little too yellow, so we had the paint shop modify it to make it greener. It’s a very light lime green, and it’s perfect for our kitchen.

Kelsey: Paint? Wall paint? I don’t really care much for walls. I like the inside of my tent, the walls are orange and sometimes I think it would be cool to run the Great Wall marathon in China. That would probably be colorful. You know that part in the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are when the walls in Max’s room become the world all around? I suppose I would like those walls. This is not to say that I don’t love color, I do, I just prefer to experience it outside of walls.

Tina: I spend a lot of time in my kitchen preparing meals, eating dinners, and with my husband making our morning coffee. I needed the room to be bright and cheery. We chose Sunflower Yellow for the warmth of sunshine all year long. I love the vibrant energy while I cook food for my soul.

Lisa: Washed Denim Blue in suede finish by Ralph Lauren. The suede finish gives a soft elegant matte feel to the room while adding warmth and texture. It can be a DIY project but make sure to follow the directions and take your time, otherwise it will look inconsistent.

Kelly: Being a recent first time home buyer, the possibilities of paint color were endless. But my most favorite color we chose is canary yellow for the bathroom. Yellow is and has been my favorite color since I was little. It was the color of my childhood bedroom even. I love how unapologetically cheerful it is, and bonus that it fit with our black and white hexagon tile flooring and subway tile shower.


Babette: Benjamin Moore’s Buttered Yam for the accent wall in my kitchen. Warm, inviting, delicious, and looks great with a basket of eggplants, yellow carrots, and fresh chard.

to where you live. HEALTH



Featured Homes

The Way to Via


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The Coloring Craze | Paddleboard Yoga | Aerial Artist Terril Teran Mire

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

Little Footprints, Big Gains Eco-friendly design written By Frances Badgett


ack in the 1970s, environmentally conscious house design was relegated to the fringes. Solar homes were first gaining notoriety, but were rare projects. No one built to preserve trees on new construction sites. But with a growing consciousness and improvement in materials and costs associated with eco design, the paradigm has shifted dramatically. Considerations like direction of sunlight, storm runoff, window materials, and flooring are all part of the eco package. … continued on page 22

LIFESTYLE By the Numbers

NAMI Whatcom's Stigma Stomp had


participants last year. p. 26


Michelle Millar got her start in fashion at age

p. 45 Method Homes owners Mark Rylant and Brian Abramson have


lived in Bellingham

years. p.65

Nancy and Paul Orlowski updated their



home. p. 69

months after it opened, Via suffered terrible flood damage from a giant wave. p. 95




will perform at the Mount Baker Theatre in February. p. 106

Lasting Image


© Kristoffer Arestol

The truth is of course that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time. David Bowie

February | March 2016 19

“Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.�

(Quote by Berthold Auerbach)

Positive. Uplifting. Encouraging.

Stream | Mobile |



february & march F e br u ar y


marc h

Baby: The Musical Bellingham Theatre Guild, Bellingham February 6, 7:30 p.m.

f e br u ar y


Elevation: The Art of Cascadia Allied Arts Gallery, Bellingham February 7–27, 6–9 p.m.

Polecat Wild Buffalo March 11, 9:00 p.m.

Runnin’ O’ the Green Boundary Bay Garden, Bellingham March 12, 10 a.m.

11 M arc h


f e br u ar y


The Nerd Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham February 12, 7:30 p.m.

marc h

Skagit Home and Garden Show Skagit Valley Fairgrounds, Mount Vernon March 18, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.


f e br u ar y


Sweetheart Dinner at Chuckanut Brewery Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen, Bellingham February 14, 5–9 p.m.

marc h

The Northwest Dance Festival Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham March 19, 7:30–9 p.m.

19 February | March 2016 21

Exterior Excellence Trees Simple, affordable, and great for hanging tire swings, trees are a lovely addition to your outdoor living space. They can reduce energy bills while also filtering pollutants and stabilizing soil from erosion. Leafy deciduous trees are great for summer shade and for processing carbon dioxide, the big contributor to global climate change. Rain Gardens Runoff from your property ends up in storm drains which lead to the bay or to a nearby lake. One way to ensure that runoff is cleaner and better for habitat is to plant a filtering system, or rain garden. Though few things sound less pretty than stormwater treatment, these swales can be beautiful. Edible Lawns You see the signs around town that read “food, not lawns.” What are they even talking about? You can’t eat your front lawn, can you? Well, maybe you can. There is a movement afoot to have people give up the pooltable lawn for something a little more useful. By planting blueberries instead of bluegrass, you not only get more mileage out of your exterior space, you increase the absorption of on-site stormwater, help out the bees and birds, and you get fewer trips to the grocery store. Have too much left over? Victory Gardens in town provide our local food banks with fresh, local produce. Small Potatoes Gleaning will come by and help harvest if you can’t get it all into crates. So get out in your yard and get planting!


Solar Panels Not only are solar panels better for the environment by making us less dependent on other forms of energy, they are making more and more sense financially. There are several local workshops to get you oriented in the world of solar. As with so many sustainable practices, there are rebates and incentives. And then there’s that check from the energy company. Not a bad deal at all.

Going Inside Keeping a drafty house at a comfortable temperature can be as easy as turning up the thermostat — but that comfort comes at a price. Here are some tips and materials that keep your house cozy year-round without heavy drains on energy or your bank account. Audit Your Usage If your home is an existing structure you want to green up a bit, Sustainable Connections has an excellent program called the Community Energy Challenge. They will perform an energy audit to determine where your leaks and gaps are, then they help you prioritize your needs. Maybe some extra insulation will do the trick, or maybe a few solar panels will be a more effective use of your dollars. They help you sort through the options and pick a project. Not only do they get you started, they vet all the construction, so you know you’re getting reliable, quality work done on your most important asset. There are incentive programs and rebates that Sustainable Connections can help you puzzle through. In the end, you will save money and energy at the same time.

Windows Windows’ efficiency is rated with a U-factor. Passive solar windows are generally south-facing and unshaded by structures or trees during daylight hours. According to, these windows store the sun’s heat, much like solar panels. Unlike solar panels, they provide daylight year-round, and cooling in the summer through ventilation. Flooring Few things have affected our planet more than deforestation. Using reclaimed and sustainable wood, you can extend the life of hardwood for beautiful wood floors that have character and style. Some great sources are our own ReStore, Duluth Timber in Bow, and Reuse Consulting. Bamboo is a sustainable, hardy, and excellent ecofriendly wood as well. For a beautiful example of bamboo, check out Village Books in Fairhaven. Natural linoleum made from tree resin is also a great versatile option. Heating and Cooling in Comfort Now that you have your solar panels in place, hook them up to your furnace and really get yourself off that grid. Even without the solar boost, switching to a tankless system, replacing an old, inefficient furnace with a newer one, and insulating the heck out of your home will all lead to greater energy savings. And that’s good news for your wallet and for the planet. Whether you’re starting with new construction or updating a Sunnyland bungalow, there are now more options than ever for creating an eco-friendly space that serves both your bank account, and our ailing planet. 

WWU's Salish Sea Studies Institute Susie Purves

written By Frances Badgett


n November 30, Western Washington University established the Salish Sea Studies Institute, which will serve as a resource for research, education, and community involvement in the issues and science surrounding the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. These waterways were once considered one large, unified body of water by the Native American tribes that inhabited the northwestern corner of Washington State and the southern coastal areas of B.C. The institute will host the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, a gathering of tribal representatives, government officials, natural resource managers, and business leaders to help overcome the biggest challenges facing the Salish Sea — challenges that don’t end at political borders. The guiding principle behind the Salish Seas Studies institute is that of unity — in policy, in culture, and in approach. Canada and the United States plan to work together to solve historic and ongoing problems in our shared waters. Wayne Landis, director of WWU's Environmental Toxicology program, Professor Bert Webber, and Brian Burton, Vice President for Academic Affairs spearheaded the project. Webber has been particularly passionate about the Salish Sea, and in many ways the formation of the Salish Sea Studies Institute honors his years of dedication to the cultural heritage and environmental protection of the Salish Sea. 

Wonder Woman Written and Photographed By Frances BAdgett


usie Purves had been running nonprofits in the art world for decades before moving to Bellingham. In 2013, she took the wheel at the Pickford Film Center after the departure of Alice Clark. It can’t be easy walking into a town like Bellingham and filling the shoes of someone as beloved as Clark, but Purves, as it happens, fit right in immediately. In the short time she’s been here, she “gets” Bellingham for all its gifts and quirks. “The Pickford is an absolute gem,” she said. “This place is a treasure.” It takes energy, drive, and determination to run an arts nonprofit, but Purves is clearly up to the task. When asked what her day-to-day schedule is like, she laughed. “I allow the staff to do their jobs. I’m the shepherd.” It’s pretty rare in the art world to have an executive who makes room for the staff, but Purves sees this as the biggest lesson she’s learned from arts nonprofit management. “It’s important for there to be organizations that trust the artist’s vision and realize artistic projects. The government’s not going to do it, the artist can’t because of limited resources.” So that leaves the execution to energetic, smart people like Purves. She is particularly delighted by how much this community supports The Pickford. When seeking funding for the Media Literacy Program, Purves said that people didn’t give huge donations, “But so many people donated in small chunks. They felt a connection to those kids and a desire to support them.” The program sends

experts into middle schools to teach kids about media literacy. “Middle schoolers are at an age that they are starting to see their place in the world and understand it.” Purves wants to offer the program in more schools. “If Bellingham can have a generation of kids growing into their teen years and able to assess what they’re seeing and understand what is a call to action, what that means, and what kind of effect that has on them, that will be tremendous.” Purves’ big ambition is to involve the Pickford in the community more and more. “Bellingham is the kind of town where if you have an idea, even a wacky one, and it can be done, everyone will say, ‘Okay’ and you get to do it.” She cites the Rooftop Cinema as a prime example. “When I came to town, I wanted to show movies on top of the Parkade downtown.” Everyone was on board, and it has become one of the most popular downtown events. Among her favorite programs are the Doctober Documentary Festival and the Children’s Film Festival. “We have a film that is perhaps not showing anywhere else in the United States. It has no North American distribution. I had to hunt it down and convince them to send it to us.” It is a French-Finnish-English production called Moomins on the Riviera. The Children’s Film Fest will kick off with an ice cream social and music by Spencer Willows. “It’s a great event, and not something you’d find outside Seattle, San Francisco, and other major cities.” Until now, thanks to Purves.  February | March 2016 23


Hefty, Heavy, Historic Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress written and Photographed By Alyssa Pitcher


he print process at Bison Bookbinding and Letterpress captures the essence of the bison. They are both historic, and ecological. The machinery used is heavy and large, just like a buffalo. Both were brought to the edge of extinction but have had a revival. Ever since she was a child, Carly James dreamed of becoming an artist. She discovered book arts during college and has been hooked ever since. James co-owns Bison Bookbinding and Letterpress with her husband, Kevin Nelson. The two opened the business in Bellingham in 2004 and relocated to a print studio downtown in October. The new studio allows them to connect with the community, as well as print, store, and sell their products in one space. On the third Wednesday of each month, James and Nelson open up their workspace for the Write More Letters Club. It is a semi-guided session to explore, preserve, and make new friends through written correspondence. The idea is to inspire the community to devote time to hand-written letters. “There’s a pendulum swinging back between everything being totally virtual to something physical, tangible, and with cards and correspondence it’s like a record that you save of 24

your life,” Nelson said. “People don't print out emails and save them and read them in 20 years but people will pull an old card out of a box and reread it, so it’s got a lot more lasting value to it.” Whether it is a blank book, greeting card, or stationery, everything in the store has a connection to writing. James works with a small group of local artists to create styles and designs for Bison’s products. “All of [the styles] are produced in a way to highlight something special about the letterpress process, and on top of that it’s highlighting the amazing art that’s coming out of Bellingham,” James said. Original work is created with media such as pen and ink, painting, or watercolor then a printing plate is made for the letterpress machine. “Virtually all of our products are run through the letterpress, so it's keeping the process alive,” Nelson said. “The bison is a historic American animal that almost went extinct and that has had a resurgence. And it’s kind of the same with letterpress,” James said. “It was the way of printing but as it became obsolete it nearly died off and artists are the ones who have brought it back to life.” 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes [ Apps We LOve

written and photographed by Rodd Pemble


he image of a tanned, blondehaired surfer stripping off his wetsuit semi-discreetly beside his VW bus at Malibu or Venice Beach may be a romantic one for many readers — the sun is out, dogs are playing Frisbee, the waves roll in forever. But then there’s the romance of undressing after a SUP session, or a surf ski tour on Bellingham Bay. The wind is blowing, it’s spitting rain, and the average water temperature of 48 degrees happens to be warmer than the air that day. You’re huddled between a rack of life jackets and shelves of rental boats at the Community Boating Center (CBC) on Padden Lagoon, hopping around trying to get that last damn ankle cuff off your numb foot, with fingers that are working about as well as bratwurst from the meat drawer. It was the fall of 2013, and Mike McKenzie, Education Coordinator at the CBC knew there had to be a better way to shelter members changing into and out of their paddling and sailing gear. The Center is cramped, with every square inch taken up by rental gear and storage for community

members’ boards, surf skis, kayaks, and boats. Building a changing room wasn’t in the budget, but Mike had an idea — what if he could get a used portable restroom donated? He stopped by the yard at Sanitary Service Company (SSC), where mechanic Brett Bailey pointed out a handicapped-accessible restroom, much larger, with a nice flat floor, “That’s what you want — maybe we’ll have one sometime at the end of its working life, that Paul would give you.” Paul is Paul Razore, owner of SSC and longtime supporter of community recreation, from Ski To Sea and the Bellingham Bay Marathon to the Mount Baker Bicycle Club. In early March 2014, Paul sent Mike a note: “Brett has an old restroom for the Center, just has to pull the tank.’” By the end of the month, the sanitized, forest green unit was at the CBC, outfitted inside with hooks for clothes and benches to avoid the wetsuit dance. So no more driving across town wearing your wetsuit (you know who you are!), or huddling under an overhang in the rain — thanks to SSC, no matter what the weather the CBC’s ‘Green Room’ awaits you. 

Chairish Home Decor FREE Chairish, Inc. Buying vintage and vintageinspired goods has never been easier. Chairish helps you pick out and purchase all the vintage decor you could ever want, including large items and rare finds.

Roomle FREE Roomle, GmbH Roomle puts designing your remodel or addition right at your fingertips. Plug in your measurements and let Roomle help you configure the space.

Project Color FREE The Home Depot This is a fun app. You take a photo of your room, select among reds, blues, etc., pick your tone, and it “paints” your room in that color.

BrightNest FREE BrightNest A home organization app that is genuinely helpful, BrightNest helps you tidy, sort, and upcycle all over your home.

February | March 2016 25


Stomping Out Stigma National Alliance on Mental Illness written by Frances Badgett


ll of us have days that are a little less colorful than others — a case of the blahs, a sense of being stuck in our lives, a rough time in relationships around us, the grind of routine. But for those with mental illness, that grind can turn into a spiral into darkness. A light at the end of that darkness is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. NAMI Whatcom has been working to remove the stigma of mental illness since 1984. Volunteer-run, NAMI Whatcom is a large support network for those who are often isolated and stigmatized by mental illness. Board Chair Christine Morrow said, “We’re here to offer support and education to families, friends, and individuals who have received a diagnosis of mental illness.” NAMI offers diagnosis-specific courses and support groups taught by people who have experienced the illness. For example, the Family-to-Family group is led by someone who has a family member who struggles with mental illness. All the courses are free. “We believe that education helps to support the community and reduce stigma.” The NAMI office volunteers are often members of the organization as well, and the office experience helps those re-entering the workplace, aids those who are learning to navigate the office environment, and serves as a model for families and for volunteers on how they want the world to embrace tolerance. “We model the acceptance and understanding we want to see. We aren’t here to judge them.” When the volunteers do enter the work force, they bring that modality with them, and influence the world in a positive way.

“We believe that education helps to support the community and reduce stigma.” Another way NAMI Whatcom serves the community is through the courses they offer. There are courses in peerto-peer counseling and support, family members of those with mental illness, parents of children who have been diagnosed (or not yet diagnosed, as small children are not diagnosed until they are older), and BASICS, which is a sixsession program designed for parents and caregivers who have adolescents or children with mental illness. The support 26

groups include a recovery support group, which supports and encourages people living with mental illness; the family support group for family members whose loved one is living with mental illness; and hearts and minds, which addresses physical health and its connection to mental health. There is also a suicide survivors support group that is not a Signature NAMI program, but is affiliated with NAMI. If there isn’t a group representing your needs, NAMI can find you one.

NAMI does not handle emergency cases. “We’re a resource, not case managers.” Currently, NAMI Whatcom is forming a student-led campus group at Western Washington University. “We’ve had an outpouring of interested students in the past two years,” Morrow said. This is the second NAMI campus chapter in the state. The participating college students will also go to high schools and middle schools to spread the word about campus programs that can help entering freshmen with mental illness. NAMI Whatcom also held its first Stigma Stomp, a race and mental health fair, last year at Bloedel Donovan Park on Lake Whatcom. They had 350 participants, many of whom were families, volunteers, and members. The Stigma Stomp will be held again this year on Saturday, October 8th. October is Mental Health Awareness Month, which Congress created  to honor the work of NAMI. All participants are welcome.

Book Reviews

In the Know


written by Frances Badgett

These two books explore what it means to seek out and create a perfect place, whether it’s as big as a town or as small as a tiny house. The Big Tiny By Dee Williams 304 pages Plume

Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism by Chris Jennings 512 pages Random House

Not many folks know that Edison was once the headquarters of a national Utopian socialist project. Utopia fever was hot during the turn of the century, and Jennings’ book is a wonderful exploration of Shakers, Owenites, Fourierists, Icarians, and Perfectionists. We tend to condescend to that era as delusional and silly (how many times do we still predict the end of the world?) but their aims aren’t entirely different from ours — to create a better world for themselves, and for their children.

Dee Williams is the poster child for the tiny house movement. Her book is a memoir of her experience building her tiny house and living in 84 square feet. Williams was drawn to the tiny house movement after a medical emergency nearly ended her life. As she recovered, she discovered a passion for scaling down and cutting back, and created her own little manageable piece of heaven. Moving and compelling, this memoir is sure to inspire you.

February 19, 7 p.m. Bob Pritchett Village Books 1200 11th St. Bellingham Local entrepreneur Bob Pritchett will read from his blunt, witty book on how to get ahead. His book, Start Next Now is sure to be a favorite among the ambitious. Pritchett is the founder and CEO of Faithlife. March 3, 10 a.m. March Madness Book Sale Bellingham Public Library 210 Central Ave., Bellingham Pick up a stack of books for less than you’d pay for a cup of coffee. The annual March Madness Book Sale at the Bellingham Public Library is the best place in town to find great deals on all the books you’ve been meaning to read.

Who knew? Big Influence, Tiny House Though people have always lived in small, mobile housing (think yurts, tipis, and trailers), the tiny house movement as we know it started in the late 1990s as a reaction to the large “McMansions” that were all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s. Denizens of tiny houses replaced the great room with a loft bed, the giant staircase with a ladder, and transformed the way people think about living space. Even larger homes are now being built with some of the principles of good, compact design that came of the tiny house movement.

Social Solution In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many planners and social justice groups examined how best to rebuild in New Orleans, particularly in the area hardest hit — the 9th Ward. Design-builder Marianne Cusato developed Katrina Cottages as an alternative to the FEMA trailers. Brad Pitt also got in on the act with his Make It Right project, which also provided tiny houses to residents of the 9th Ward.

Housing for Homeless Controversial but gaining speed, the movement to build small, functional living spaces for the homeless started a few years ago. Tiny houses are being created or adapted as housing for the homeless in Eugene, OR, Olympia, WA, and Ithaca, NY. Mobile, attractive, and safer than living outdoors, tiny houses are seen as a possible way to transition the homeless into actual homes.

Yeah, But Where? City codes protect singlefamily neighborhoods from the incursion of mother-inlaw cottages, Airbnbs, and most other kinds of detached dwellings. Though many communities are rewriting their codes to accommodate residences that have been previously frowned upon, these situations frequently come with a lot of tension. So before you clear out your driveway for the trailer and framing lumber, check the local codes.

February | March 2016 27



DryFlush Toilet “But mommy, how do they poo?” my daughter asks when we look at tiny houses on Pinterest. Good question, and here’s a solution: The Sanitizer from The Sanitizer Toilet is a compact self-contained toilet that reduces human waste to a lightweight, odorless substance that can be easily discarded. The Sanitizer Toilet uses heat to evaporate all liquids and dry the solids. That’s some hot s*it right there!

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Whiskey Stones A Scandinavian tradition, whiskey stones keep your drink cold without watering it down with ice. They also serve as excellent ice substitutes for cooling meat, keeping cheese fresh, and other handy tasks. They’ll help you save some of your tiny freezer space for steaks and veggies and the occasional popsicle.

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Indoor Portable Heater It doesn’t take much to warm up a tiny house, but it does take a little something when the temperature dips into the 30s. A safe portable heater is a great option for your small space, and there are several compact options for those who want to feel more like living in their space, rather than camping in it.

Nesting Tables with Benches Saving space is essential in tiny houses. By nesting everything from mixing bowls to tables and little benches, you can maximize your storage and create great ways to expand. Nesting tables that come with tucked-in benches are the best, because you get a variety of table options and places for you (and a guest or two) to sit.

February | March 2016 29

LIFESTYLE In the Spotlight

Vision and Site The work of Aaron Lovett written By Frances Badgett



he single most important thing to understand about Aaron Lovett’s work is that when you encounter a piece, whether it’s a railing or a public sculpture, it was designed and created for that specific space. When you see the edge, it is meant to slice the sky just as it’s doing now. When you run your fingertips along the curve, it is meant to frame the ground as you now notice it does. This is the beautiful intention of Lovett. “I like weaving a theme into a space and creating something interactive, a sculpture that can only exist in that space at that time.” His piece “Swell” at Big Rock Garden is a beautiful example of his site-specific, spare aesthetic. “Swell” served as Lovett’s introduction to Bellingham, as he had just moved here from the east coast. “It was a way to show that I’m here, and this is what I like to do.” The sculpture is a memorial to a man who loved the ocean whose foundation commissioned it. The metal wave suggests the ocean but, as with everything Lovett creates, there

are multiple layers occurring at once. “‘Swell’ is a waterscape, but the high mark for water after the oceans rise.” So it is a statement about climate change as well as a tribute to the foundation that funded it, as well as a lasting tribute to the marriage of forest and ocean here in Bellingham. A combination of abstract idea and concrete form is typical of Lovett. But despite the layers of thoughts, ideas, and perspectives he tackles, his work is distilled and clean, with lines that are deceptively simple. He uses blacksmithing and molding with heat from a single, whole piece of metal, rather than assembling separate pieces. The effect is that of organic growth, of unity. “Taking a piece and sculpting with blacksmithing makes it possible for me to put my fingerprint into the piece.” Lovett has also created sitespecific public sculptures in Portland and Bellingham. He created “Dial Transformation” for the former G.P. site in Bellingham. A temporary installation created for both photography and for the site, “Dial Transformation” is a series of circles spinning at different

speeds. It is a kinetic light sculpture, and was captured in photography by Jason Byal. “We had no budget. The piece is totally about Bellingham. It marked a period of transition about our waterfront, our community as a whole, and where we’ve been in the past, and where we’re going.” Lovett showed a version of “Dial” in Portland, but the meaning was slightly different. “It was at the convergence of highways, and it was about all that volume, speed, and passing energy. People pulled off the highway to see it.” When the Whatcom Museum had their big conceptual show “Vanishing Ice” a few years ago, Lovett was commissioned to create a piece in front of the Flatiron Building downtown. “I created a piece to scale of that building in a state of tectonic collapse and organic growth.” In other words, a building dismantled by tectonic shift, and yet growing in spite of the collapse. The piece was called “Shift.” All of Lovett’s work is commissioned, and his business model is slightly different from most artists.

One section of his business is large, public sculpture. Because his work is site-specific, it’s difficult for him to duplicate his sculptures, which makes his work challenging for collectors. He has a segment of his business that is product-based — lamps, belt buckles, wall hooks — that function as traditional retail. The third segment is a kind of blend of the two — custom work for homes that is very sculptural in approach, but functional (handrails, gates, etc.). His process is one of editing and refining — he designs and envisions a piece that is likely impossible. He then distills that vision into something painstakingly simple, but challenging on a practical, fabrication level. “Every piece I create is unique, so I learn in the process of creating it. I shape it into the essence of what it wants to be.” He describes the finished product as having honesty. And perhaps that is what communicates most clearly to the viewer — giant, honest, solid works that boldly and beautifully inhabit their spaces. 

February | March 2016 31


Sundara West B&B Sanskrit for Beauty written By Jake Uitti


rive the path to Sundara West mansion bed-andbreakfast on its five-acre plot of land, and you might see the 93-year-old grandmother of proprietor Hank Dressel picking vegetables in the lush garden. Or your eyes might lock onto the adjoining greenhouse-encased 44-foot long swimming pool, complete with water slide and heated with solar panels. The swimming pool and adjacent hot tub were constructed in 2003 after Hank’s parents, Marshall and Jackie Dressel, bought the home from its only other prior owner in 1997. “When it was originally built,” said Hank, who runs the place with his partner, Alford Johnson, “they used old parts and pieces from other old houses that were torn down to make it still look like an old house.” The partnership of Hank and Alford, who met through online dating, couldn’t be cuter or better matched. Together, along with running the bed and breakfast for the past three years, they own and operate a salon in nearby Bellingham. For the salon, they make their own organic, biodegradable aromatherapy products, from shampoo to body mist, also available at Sundara West. “My philosophy,” says Hank, “is attention to detail. I just like to make everything as perfect as possible.” And he has. Sundara West’s Lavender Room, which costs $195 per night or $165 for multiple nights, is one of the three rooms available, along with the Yellow Room ($195/night) and the Queen room ($165). The Lavender Room has a kingsized bed, big puffy sheets and bathroom with claw-foot tub and homemade soaps. It looks over the perfectly manicured lawn, complete with wedding gazebo, which seats 50, and the fresh garden growing apples, strawberries, blueberries, peppers and squash. 32

Guests at Sundara West also have access to a library of movies and a fridge stocked with fresh juice, fruit and sweets. But you’ll want to save room in the morning because Hank and Alford wake up early and “play restaurant,” making a coursed, savory and sweet breakfast based on their guests’ preferences and dietary restrictions. They serve breakfast in their beautiful Victorian dining room. “We do anything anybody wants or needs,” said Hank, who has a background working in the service industry, from busser to bartender to manager. “We use as much from our own garden as possible. If not, we get it locally from somewhere organic.” For those keeping score, the word “Sundara” is Sanskrit for beauty. Said Hank, “My mom’s sister has a place in Virginia where she does weddings and she named her place Sundara and my mom loved the name so when we started off doing just weddings she named the house Sundara West.” Family is a big part of the equation for Hank. It’s why he moved to Washington from Arizona. “My sister was getting ready to have a baby in Vancouver, Canada.” There’s also a secret room in Sundara West that will soon be made into a bedroom with a separate entrance staircase for his parents and an additional room for the 93-year-old grandma. But the overarching goal for the bed-and-breakfast oasis for Hank and Alford is for anyone staying there to have as near a perfect stay as possible, which isn’t too lofty a goal given the expansive beauty of their manicured home. “We just like to make everything as enjoyable and relaxed, yet elegant, as we can,” Hank said. “All we want is to be accommodating — plus a little extra. We want to make a memorable experience.” 

February | March 2016 33

LIFESTYLE Special Advertising

Listen to your heart written by Elisa Zaragoza, MD


s your heart trying to tell you something, and you don't know it? Here are five potentially heart-related signs and symptoms that might surprise you. 1. Your heart skips a beat. The sensation that your heart flutters, skips a beat or beats too fast at times is called having palpitations. It's common and usually harmless. On the other hand, palpitations can sometimes be a sign of arrhythmia — an irregular heartbeat that's triggered by a problem with the heart's electrical system. 2. You're tired and swollen. Swollen feet or ankles or extreme tiredness can all be signs of heart failure. Heart failure doesn't mean your heart is on the verge of stopping. However, it does mean that your heart isn't pumping blood to your body as well as it should. 3. You get chest pain with exercise. Chest pain triggered by physical exertion can signal angina, which isn't a disease itself but a common symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD). Having angina or chest pain could be a sign that you are having a heart attack. 4. You huff and puff. Feeling short of breath can be a warning sign of a heart attack or heart failure, especially if it comes on suddenly, persists or is progressive. 5. You get leg pain when walking. If you feel pain or cramps in your legs or hips when you walk, or if they feel tired, then you may have


peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD can significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Some of these symptoms, such as chest discomfort or shortness of breath, could mean you're having a heart attack. Play it safe, and call 911 right away. If you experience any of these warning signs, speak with your primary care physician.  Elisa Zaragoza, MD Cardiologist PeaceHealth Medical Group Cardiology 2979 Squalicum Parkway, Suite 101 Bellingham, WA 98225 360-734-2700

Keep your heart happy Who do you love with all your heart? Turns out the same people who warm your heart can help keep it healthy too. They inspire us to stay heart healthy. If you need more support in your pursuit of heart health, PeaceHealth is here with screenings, nutrition advice and teams of specialists who never miss a beat.

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LIFESTYLE Special Advertising

The Steering Column Six Degrees of Trouble How to Recognize How Big The Problem Really Is? Part 1 Written By Ziad Youssef

No trouble at all Problems vary from small to large in life, but the impact, or what we might call trouble, doesn’t always match the size of each problem. For example, some problems are small, but have very little impact on our lives. Like a mosquito bite, they’re annoying, but the aggravation is usually very shortlived and it takes hardly any effort to overcome it. That’s an example of what I call “no trouble at all.” It’s just the the 1st Degree of Trouble. In traffic defense, that’s like getting pulled over for speeding, but getting off with just a warning. Understanding your problem To really understand the 6 Degrees of Trouble we explore the nature of problems in general; or, at least, the difference between small problems and large problems, and the difference between those that have little impact and those that have a large impact. Small problems are those that are easy to identify. The source of the aggravation is isolated, and easily singled out. On the other hand, a large problem is not very easy to isolate at all. It’s wide spread, and affects many people. And, the source of the aggravation is vague or hard to identify. Also, for our purposes, impact is measured by the duration of the effect, the amount of effort required to eliminate the aggravation.

An Inconvenience On that basis, a large problem with only a small impact on your life, still means not much effort is required to overcome the aggravation, and is nothing more than an “inconvenience.” The impact a problem creates is based on the duration of the aggravation and the level of effort required to resolve it. So, inconvenience is the 2nd Degree of Trouble, and a good example of that is the common cold that circulates in the office or slow internet days affecting almost everybody, but never amounting to anything more than an inconvenience, like the common cold. In the legal system, that’s similar to choosing a good lawyer. There are several to choose from, but with a little research and effort, you can usually make a good decision. Brace yourself What usually causes more alarm and rises to the level of 3rd Degree Trouble in this analysis is a small problem with an intermediate impact like a wind storm. There, the problem is quickly identified, and isolated, but the impact lasts longer, leaves more damage, requires some precaution and a bit of clean up afterwards. I call that the “brace yourself” level of trouble. It’s like getting pulled over for a DUI, and being asked to perform field sobriety tests. You aren’t sure what say or do when the police ask you to step out of the car, and your decision could result in immediate arrest and a night in jail for DWI. To Be Continued.... Bracing yourself, however, will not help you with the next three degrees of trouble, so come back next month when we present Part 2 of the 6 Degrees of Trouble.  My Traffic Man 1828 Franklin St, Ste D, Bellingham

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Shop Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound

Found Friends Written By Frances Badgett | Photographed by Michele M. Waite


eah Macaleer and Nicki Lang were having coffee one day when Lang asked Macaleer if she’d go into business with her. “I just asked her out of the blue,” Lang says. Macaleer was thrilled, and the two have been turning Found: Leather into a successful business ever since. For Lang, it all started in Guatemala. During her travels there, she lost a favorite leather bag. When she returned, her dad lovingly found some leather and tried to recreate the bag for her. The process of finding leather and remaking it into something beautiful, durable, and comfortable stuck with Lang. She began making bags from old leather couches, old leather jackets — whatever she could find. She did custom work, so each piece was unique. When she partnered with Macaleer, they created some regular designs to keep the production streamlined for Lang, and so that customers who saw their bags out in public would be able to buy the same bag. Customers can add elements like pockets and shoulder straps, but Lang can no longer complete custom projects. “I just don’t have time.” continued on page 41





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They started up their business with the help of the Western Washington University small business center. “They were so helpful,” Macaleer said. “We have a great community, and a lot of people in our lives were there to advise us and help us transition into business partners.” Some of that help is from home — Macaleer’s family and Lang’s in-laws are all in Bellingham. “I moved here from Texas and everyone followed me,” Macaleer said. Their families were their first customers, their childcare providers, and their biggest supporters. Tucked in a gallery above Harris Street, Found does most of their business online ( “It’s neat how the word is spreading,” Macaleer said. A man in Virginia called to order his wife a bag. “He owns a store, and a woman pulled out a wallet. He asked her where she got it, and she told him.” It’s easy to see how Found would generate a buzz — the bags are made from high-quality leather and have a very nice hand-made look about them

without looking overly done or too rough hewn. They strike a balance. “I like the more natural-looking leathers,” Lang said. “I like for the products to look finished, but not mass produced. I don’t want us to lose that handmade quality. Even the embossed leather has a vintage look that I love.” Lang’s process begins with function. She wants a bag that serves its purpose well, that is comfortable, that looks good. “I wouldn’t want to create something that looks good but isn’t functional.” She also determines which leather would go best with which product. “We’ll get a leather in, and it’ll lend itself to a certain color or style.” Macaleer’s favorite pieces are the Legacy Tote and the Fairhaven Grand. “I have two children, and I can pack all their things in there, groceries, whatever I need to. Large bags for a working mom are great.” Lang’s favorite bag is, “Anything I’m working on that’s new. Coming up with a new design is always exciting.” Lang sometimes works evenings to

develop new designs. “It’s not really work, though.” Currently, Lang and Macaleer are working on the spring line, which will have new colors. They’re also developing a messenger bag that can serve as a diaper bag. And on the horizon? “We love dogs. We both have dogs, so we’re thinking about collars and leashes.” As for the future of the business, it is very bright. Both partners seem very free from the conflict that friendship-owned businesses can cause. On Macaleer’s part, there is deep respect for Lang’s craftsmanship and ability, and for Lang, the respect for Macaleer’s business and marketing acumen is apparent. “Our business is a safe space,” said Macaleer. “And we have a lot of fun.” Lang said, “I never thought this is where I would end up, but I love it. I’m so glad I did.” Together, these two women not only offer beautiful products, their friendship is fuel for their great collaboration. And that’s something for all of us to celebrate.  February | March 2016 41


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© Warby Parker

Around the Sound

Something Warby This Way Comes Written By Kaity Teer


alling all fashion-forward, philanthropic, four-eyed lovers of the written word! A bookish spectacle known as the Warby Parker Annex opened its doors in the Fremont neighborhood last October. This is the New York-based eyewear retailer’s third Annex, and it joins a growing line-up of thirteen other stores nationwide. Loyal customers who have purchased eyeglasses online, or perhaps in-person when the Warby Parker school bus rolled through town on its cross-country tour in October 2012, or more recently during last summer’s Pop-In@Nordstrom pop-up shop, can now visit the company’s first standalone retail location in the Pacific Northwest. The Annex in Seattle reflects the literary theme of the Nordstrom pop-up shop. Books influence the space at every turn and are even available for purchase. Browse titles from independent publishers like McSweeney’s and New Directions while you try on frames surrounded by other writerly kitsch, including typewriters and coffee mugs, of course. A window installation of stacked books and a literal writer’s block (literally, a cement block with customer-generated scribblings on it) are among the first sights customers both near-sighted and far-sighted will see upon entering the store. Stop by the

Reference Deck (a nod to public libraries) to ask advice, get your frames adjusted or pick up orders. Both sunwear and optical frames are available for purchase. Warby Parker — its name derived from those found in Jack Kerouac’s journals — first debuted in 2010 as an e-commerce purveyor of vintage-inspired, designer eyeglasses available at affordable prices. It pioneered a free at-home try-on service, which gave potential customers the opportunity to select five trial frames to wear for five days. Its “buy a pair, give a pair” model has distributed more than a million pairs of glasses to people in need, according to the company’s website, by partnering with VisionSpring, a non-profit that trains lowincome men and women to give eye exams and sell eyeglasses in their own communities. In all, more than 18,000 men and women in over 35 countries have received training. So, your visit to the Annex in a quest to look stylish and smart may do some good, too. Perhaps a new pair of specs will stir the writer in you. If so, you may find yourself picking up a pen and contributing your own five-word memoir to the growing compendium on the concrete writer’s block. Here’s mine: I wore glasses in kindergarten. 

February | March 2016 43

SHOP Savvy Shopper

Bellingham’s Newest Heroine written AND PHOTOGAPHED by Madeline Takata

Heroine Clothing 1328 Commercial St. 360.483.9265 44

THE SHOP  The sign for Bellingham’s newest women’s boutique, Heroine Clothing, hangs beneath warm and inviting strings of lights. The boutique is up a step from the sidewalk and offers the latest women’s fashion trends. Inside, dark wood is lit up by dangling Edison lights throughout the cozy space, illuminating the walls which are lined with carefully selected items ranging in colors and textures. The moody atmosphere is paired with a chic decor perfectly encapsulating the urban modern vibe. Accompanying the array of clothing, shoppers can pick from scarves, handbags, jewelry, and hats all tastefully chosen by Heroine proprietress Michelle Millar. THE ATMOSPHERE  Urban-industrial meets boho chic. KEY PEOPLE  Heroine’s story all began with a woman’s love for fashion. At age 16, Millar began working in retail, and that sparked her passion for the fashion industry. “I love retail. I love how different it can be from day to day,” Millar said. “I love meeting new people and helping women find things that make them feel good, make them feel beautiful.” Her passion grew when she joined the team at Sojourn back in 2001. After managing the store for four-and-a-half years, Millar recognized a crucial missing element in the Bellingham shopping experience: shoes. This led her to open up the beloved shoe boutique Mi Shoes on Railroad, which just celebrated their tenth anniversary this past fall. After hiring a managing team, Millar was able to step back and begin her next project, a mobile clothing boutique called Belle on Wheels.

Millar has parked her hot pink retail truck at festivals, markets, private parties, and events for several years, but when the demand for more came quickly after, she knew she wanted to find a more permanent location. When a vacant space opened on Commercial St., Millar jumped at the opportunity and opened Heroine’s doors in November 2015. WHAT YOU’LL FIND  Whether you are hunting for a statement piece, a winter coat, a perfectly fitting sweater, soft comfy t-shirts, jeans, intimates, or accessories, Heroine has a wide selection of items for women of all ages. With a variety of essential basics like boyfriend tee’s and denim plus pieces perfect for going out or in the office, Heroine provides outfits for all occasions. Millar’s creativity, eye for style, and natural instinct for fashion have helped shoppers find the perfect outfits for the past 10 years. By using her connections within the fashion industry, Michelle has been able to foster a shopping experience that is fun, feminine, fashionable, and sexy while keeping prices attainable. OWNER’S FAVORITE  Millar says she feels most in her element when she is wearing a soft loose-fitting sweater on top of black skinny jeans with overthe-knee suede boots and a well-loved beanie. Her minimalistic style embodies a chic cozy comfort, which translates to the store’s signature looks. She loves clothes that are tactile and feel good on. Favorites like off the shoulder t-shirts, beautiful basics and slightly cropped tops are spring trends she is excited to bring into the store for the upcoming season. 

February | March 2016 45


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Patios and Hardscapes Outfitting Your Tiny House Method Homes


Featured Homes

Home & remodel

Green with Envy written By Tanna Edler


ne’s vision became the envy of all! My client wanted a current space with a hint of Old-World charm; the result was stunning. Within the new floor plan, we doubled both the prep area and storage and gained a built-in wine bar and buffet. The juxtaposition of the heavy stone range and hood surround plus the clean quartz countertops was the eye-catching effect we hoped for; yet the green island cabinetry stopped the show. Picking up the color in the vein of the quartz, this refreshing tone warmed the palette in the kitchen while maintaining the natural liveliness. … continued on the next page

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… Even in this single kitchen project, the client’s requests were varied. The tricky part as a designer is to combine disparate elements into a balanced, cohesive whole. Inspiration for our transitional eat-in kitchen included marblelike countertops, Shaker cabinets painted white, paneled appliances, a herringbone patterned backsplash, an organic feature and a large prep sink. This beautiful kitchen in shades of white, green, and wood tones is a lovely example of how to work with white in a kitchen. It is balanced nicely by the warm stone, rich flooring and embellished fabric stools. And of course, overisland lighting for glamour. This now spacious kitchen combines several design styles; blending contemporary, traditional, and modern elements together seamlessly. Our goal was to create a family kitchen with a lived-in vibe allowing plenty of space to entertain and enjoy. You too can embrace that idea by furnishing with everything from books and pictures to rugs and upholstered pieces for a relaxed, welcoming space. 

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Home & remodel


Patios and Hardscapes written by Frances Badgett | Photographed by Debra Goldman


one are the days of pouring some cement and calling it a patio. Today, patios and outdoor spaces have become an extension of the interior of a house — the extra living room, the spare entertainment center, an auxilary kitchen. And with these new functions come some new ways to create an outdoor space. But none of this is really new at all — think ancient Greece or Rome, and you’re getting there. Stone masonry is one of the oldest skilled trades in history, and for good reason — it’s solid, protective, and downright lovely. Few elements are as easily sourced as stone, and it can be polished or natural. It also comes in a spectrum of colors from oranges and reds to greens and blues. Stone masonry is a highly skilled form of craftsmanship. You can’t just take a pile of great-looking rocks and make them into a retaining wall. Well, you could, but it might not hold. To get lasting results, stone masons use a variety of techniques and specialized tools to create stable, attractive features. Stone masons apprentice for several years to learn the craft. It’s hot, heavy, and dirty work.

Russ Beardsley and his team at Borrowed Ground use a variety of techniques to create unique stone structures. They use slanted stone, layered stone, and wall niches to create a distinctive look. Beardsley specializes in dry stone masonry, which is masonry that does not include mortar. The look is timeless and classic, and allows for curves and arches in a way wet masonry does not. The structural integrity of dry stone masonry comes from compression and interlocking stones, which also adds a pleasing aesthetic touch. Examples of dry stone masonry date back as far as the Neolithic age. So your retaining wall may outlast, well, all of us. When landscaping with stonework, it’s important to bear in mind that plants will fill in, and some of the features of your walls or structures may get lost in a jungle of leggy ferns and blooming rhododendron. To avoid unraveling whatever lovely effects you achieved with your stonework, pick low-lying surrounding plants. As for walking, scooting chairs, and other daily wear-and-tear, no worries — if stone masonry survived the Visigoths, it’ll survive your five-year-old. 

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Borrowed Ground

Home & remodel

Tiny Houses written by Frances Badgett


ake a bike ride or stroll through the alleys of Bellingham, and you’ll start to see outbuildings that contain more than just garden tools. You’ll see curtains. A bike rack. Maybe even a telltale smokestack with a little plume rising. Those aren’t your average sheds and garages, they are tiny houses. Many of them are built completely or at least in part by homeowners. These garden cottages are everywhere, and it’s easy to see why — they are affordable, convenient, and a potential income source for homeowners. Some are primary dwellings. Some are built to accommodate parents or grandparents. Some are rentals. And some are vacation rentals. The laws governing the permitting and construction of these units are complicated, but for the owners, these little gems are points of pride. 

Moceri Construction 58

Bellingham Tiny

Š Donna James Photography

Home & remodel

Outfitting Your Tiny House written By Frances Badgett | photography by Christopher tack


ost Americans have a big refrigerator with a built-in freezer, a nice big dishwasher, a sizable oven for those occasional feasts, and a cavernous washer and matching dryer to cut down on laundry days. Tiny houses make it difficult to squeeze these large appliances into a tiny footprint. Luckily, manufacturers have stepped up and sized down without sacrificing quality. Clotheskeeping in a tiny house must be a kind of nightmare anyway (unless you strip down to basics). But not having ample laundry facilities doesn’t mean you have to wear stinky clothes. LG, Deco, Heier, and MagicChef have created combination washer-dryers for the American market. These units are pretty common in denser places like Asia and Europe, but unheard of in the U.S. until very recently. Be sure to read all reviews carefully — they are not all created equal. And with the price tag at well over $500, you want to make sure the clothes you pull out of there are clean and dry. However, the convenience of combining washing and drying is not only space-saving, it’s pretty darn cool. It’s sort of like a crock pot for your clothes. Kitchen appliances are tricky anyway, and getting them downsized can mean spending big bucks. We’re not talking about dorm fridges here, we mean heavy-duty, lasting, properly temp-controlled real refrigerators that you can slide under a counter. U Line, Frigidaire, Summit, and others have some excellent options. A dishwasher is probably a luxury item in a tiny house, but Edgestar, Danby, and others make countertop dishwashers that can hold six place settings. As for ovens, some of the high end toaster ovens can do a great job roasting chicken, baking pizza, and many other tasks you wouldn’t imagine for such a small appliance. For more oven space, there are compact ovens (24 inches or less) that can fit into pretty tight spaces. Just because you’re downsizing doesn’t mean luxury disappears — many tiny houses have flat-screen televisions, computer work stations, porches, gardens, skylights, brewing supplies, even tiny hot tubs. Many tiny houses are getaways and mental breaks. Art studios, writing cottages, reading nooks — tiny houses aren’t just for glamping, they can function as whatever you most need them to be. The best part of picking out floor plans and imagining details is in customizing your tiny space to accommodate your needs. 


Clean. Energy. Invest in your future. global experience, local commitment 814 Dupont Street Bellingham, WA 98225

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Reduce your power bill Take the guesswork out of going solar. written by Trish Haveman


ave you thought about going solar but you’re not sure where to start? You’re not alone! It may seem daunting, but that’s where Western Solar comes in. Since its founding over ten years ago, Western Solar has installed over three megawatts (3,000 kilowatts) of solar electric systems in Western Washington, helping hundreds of families and local businesses generate power from the sun. Many customers have realized a lifelong dream of off-grid living. Others have reached their ideal of harnessing the power of solar to power electric vehicles and forego fossil fuels altogether. For many more, the main benefit has been reducing their yearly energy bill through renewable energy. But really? Solar in the state known for Seattle’s constant drizzle and grey skies? Actually, yes! While Washington has a reputation for cloudy days, it’s a fantastic location for producing solar energy. The Puget Sound area sees 30 percent more sunlight than the world’s leader in solar, Germany, with Bellingham rating even higher. Whatcom County’s long summer days, combined with the mild temperatures, are optimal for solar production. Washington residents also benefit from the best combination of solar 62

incentives in the nation. In addition to a 30 percent federal tax credit, utilities allow customers to produce more electricity than they use, resulting in an automatic credit on your power bill. These credits accumulate during the sunny summer months and are drawn upon later in the year when electricity consumption is higher. Many who go solar see their bill reduced drastically, with some seeing it disappear completely! The icing on the cake is the state production incentive, which takes the form of a yearly check from your utility. Customers who install systems designed with made-in-Washington solar equipment see the highest yearly payment. Even better, these panels are manufactured right here in Bellingham, allowing you to keep your dollars in the local economy. Between the top notch incentives, and the savings on electricity, solar has become a home improvement option accessible to people across all income brackets. Solar isn’t just for environmentalists, once you start penciling out the numbers you can see that solar makes financial sense regardless of class or politics. So how do you know if solar makes sense for your home or business? Simple — start with a free solar

site assessment. Western Solar will take solar readings on site, review your electricity usage, and measure the available roof space. The site-specific solar readings will then be analyzed with 30 years of local weather data to determine if the site is a good fit. After analyzing your solar readings, Western Solar creates a custom system design and provides you with a 25-year financial analysis detailing how the proposed system would work for you for the long term, factoring in all available incentives. Once you’ve chosen the option that best fits your needs, you can take advantage of Western Solar’s easy installation process. Their dedicated Customer Support Coordinator will be your point of contact from start to finish, as they handle all permitting and file all utility and state paperwork on your behalf. Does it sound like a plan? Let’s get to work. Or rather, let Western Solar get to work! Schedule your FREE site assessment by calling 360-746-0859 or visit 

“From beginning to end, Western Solar and the staff that I worked with were cooperative, friendly, and professional in all my dealings with them. In two days, I had a system that I am proud of, and I look forward to each day when I walk by my meters and note the money I am saving and the contribution I am making advancing the use of renewable energy.” - Ralph D. 9.9 kW system, Mount Vernon

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The Method of Home Innovation Architect Sage Modern | Photographer Vance Fox written by Madeline Takata


erndale-based Method Homes is paving the way to innovative house construction. When it launched in 2008, founders and owners Mark Rylant and Brian Abramson envisioned pioneering a business in which they could reshape the house building industry. With their minds set to create an original production process, Method was founded upon the desire to innovate the construction process while using sustainable design and construction. Rylant and Abramson have been residents of Bellingham for the past 20 years. They learned the trade in construction and applied their craft to create Method Homes. “Through prefabricated building techniques, utilizing everything from modular, to panelized, to timber framing, Method is able to deliver custom homes all around the country in half the time and usually for much less cost,” Rylant said. Method takes pride in their excellent time management, ensuring that projects are on schedule and of good quality. With masterlevel craftsmanship from locally employed professionals and fixed construction budgets, the team has been able to build more than 150 custom residential projects. Their passion for design and home building inspires the company to keep improving. Never settling for anything less then satisfactory, the team is always pushing themselves. “There is no ceiling or limit to how good one can get in this trade,” Rylant said. “It’s up to the individual.” … continued on the next page

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With that mindset, the Method team strives toward innovation as well as improving the environment by reducing waste produced during construction. Rylant worked beside companies who were leading the way in sustainability and green building prior to Method. Rylant enjoys working with other like-minded builders, architects, and designers who value sustainable design and building principles. “It’s fun to see their approach change into something they too, never thought was possible,” Rylant said. …


“We are doing things in construction that have never been done before.” Method is grounded in community. The tight-knit team employs nearly 30 local residents in the Ferndale building facility. By depending on local sub-contractors and vendors, the company promotes a family atmosphere, which allows them to function successfully with discipline, trust, and hard work. Method uses a strategic construction system, which calls for a tremendous amount of coordination for each

project. “We build very large pieces of a home in one spot and then have to transport them to the site and successfully install them, put them together and finish them seamlessly,” Rylant said. Though this process is challenging, but the satisfaction of building a beautiful, sustainable home is worth the challenge. Method is proud to develop an idea into something real and tangible. “At the end of the day, our goal is to end up with a beautifully built home that our clients will enjoy forever,” Rylant said. “New trends come and go,

“We are doing things in construction that have never been done before.” but a solid, quality built home lasts generations. Being able to create something that has so much impact on a family is very rewarding.” Rewarding not only for the builders, but for the many happy clients Method has served. 

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Bay View House


Featured Home



Architects: Adair Orr of Armadillo design Lab and Dan Welch of {Bundle} Design Studio Photographed by Chris DiNottia | Written by Frances Badgett

Homeowners Nancy and Paul Orlowski wanted to update this 1978 contemporary. They wanted to emphasize the kitchen as the center of the house and open up the living area to invite more flow. The cabinets were created by Smith and Vallee, as well as the fireplace surround of reclaimed steel. The construction was by Chuckanut Builders. Natural textures like wood and stone complement the white walls and countertops, giving the house modern lines that still retain a lasting, classic sensibility.The final product is that of light and angle, curve and shimmer.

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Net Zero House


Featured Home



Architect Sean haven of haven Design Workshop | Photographed by Jim Wright Smith Written by Frances Badgett

Bellingham Bay Builders and Sean Haven of Haven Design workshop took on the challenge of designing and building a Net Zero house. Net Zero means the building creates as much energy as it uses, making it fully sustainable. The house also has solar panels, runoff catchment and processing, and a heat pump water heater and solar panels, and more. Not only is the house completely efficient, it is also a stunner, with a lovely open floor plan that maximizes circulation and flow, and gorgeous built-in cabinetry.

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Featured Home



False Bay Writer’s Cabin Architect Oslson Kundig | Photographed by Tim Bies | Written by Frances Badgett

This stunning San Juan Island beauty is a perfect metaphor for a writer’s personality — open, receptive, and unguarded at times, and closed, private, and introspective at other times. A beautiful example of contemporary architecture, this cabin folds up into a neat little package, or opens up to a big, expansive view. The interior is thoughtfully designed to be completely functional as well as luxurious. An ideal retreat for anyone, it lives up to its name as just the right spot to write the Great American Novel. Or at least a poem or two.

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Home & remodel


Featured Home



Eldridge House Architect JWR | Photographed by Diane Padys | Written by Frances Badgett

As with all of the best Bellingham stories, it started with a bike ride. The couple had been looking around for a house after renting for many years, and they came upon this one. Set back from the street and overlooking Bellingham Bay, it was exactly what they wanted. The yard was overgrown, and the house was a rambler that hadn’t been updated since its construction in the 1960s. The couple set about remodeling, using mostly local artisans. The result? A comfortable, unpretentious, and yet artful home that accommodates family, friends, and even a lovely bald eagle who lurks in the trees above.

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February | March 2016 83

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Special Advertising Section

Architectural Profiles We are pleased to share with you these select building professionals who can assist on your projects, whether you’re planning a small update or a major home construction project. Start your project on a firm foundation.

Architectural Profiles Haven Design Workshop At Haven Design Workshop we have integrated collaborative design, sustainability, and realistic budgeting into every project since 2008. Clear and open communication throughout the process ensures that as an integral part of the design team, your vision becomes the Haven you desire. In order to aid in visualization, holistic 3d modeling ensures that all parts of your project are accounted for, resulting in a more complete design and economical construction process. With our proven experience in custom design and construction, we work within the framework of your budget and project constraints to help turn your ideas into reality while our extensive knowledge and excellent local business relationships become an invaluable asset in smoothing out the entire process from design to construction. At Haven Design Workshop, we turn limits into guidelines and aspirations into realities, leaving you with the Haven of your dreams.

Haven Design Workshop New Interactive Website: 2417 Main St #102 Ferndale, WA 98248 360.527.2840

JENNIFER RYAN DESIGN Jennifer Ryan Design is a Bellingham-based, full-service interior design company, bringing style and personality to your favorite spaces. Jennifer is a multi-talented authority on all things beautiful, fashionable and functional. With her uncanny ability to combine unexpected patterns, colors and textures, your home will reflect your distinct personality. From concept and design to production, Jennifer Ryan Design projects run smoothly and professionally, with a high level of collaboration between clients, architects and builders. She is committed to exceeding clients’ expectations while respecting their budgets. Whether a single room or your entire home, Jennifer will realize your vision in ways you never imagined. Her hands-on approach assures that all elements are seamlessly executed, and your wishes and goals are met. See for yourself why clients and design professionals alike rave about Jennifer’s impeccable eye for great design, attention to detail and easy work style.

Jennifer Ryan Design 360.733.9519


Architectural Profiles KOTA CONSTRUCTION, INC. Kota Construction’s objective is to deliver a long-term quality investment to our clients, on time and within budget. This is achieved through effective communication, diligent teamwork, and exceptional craftsmanship. We value consistent communication with our clients, ensuring your continued knowledge of your project’s status throughout all phases of construction. Through these positive relationships, Kota has built a solid and dependable reputation in our community. Combining our experienced staff with quality products and exceptional local subcontractors, we have developed a team dedicated to quality. Our overall goal is to provide you with the comfort of knowing your project is being well-managed with the quality craftsmanship you deserve, resulting in your complete satisfaction and a project that Kota Construction Inc. is proud to stand behind.

Kota Construction Inc. PO Box 31284 Bellingham, WA 98228 360.303.3027

Ashley and Vance Engineering At Ashley and Vance Engineering, we have created a collaborative process that places our clients at the center. Since our founding, we have built a strong local presence and are partners with Sustainable Connections. We have a team of experienced engineering professionals ready to deliver your project, and take great pride in making this an easy process for our clients. We foster clear communication with our clients and provide regular updates. In their words: “Ashley & Vance Engineering has the experienced engineering team necessary to deliver large complicated projects on tight deadlines.” – Carla Vaga AIA, LEED AP Principal, Studio William Hefner Architecture “Ashley & Vance Engineering is my number one choice for structural and civil engineering services. They’ve proven their commitment to my projects and continue to exceed my expectations.” – David Waldron, Owner, David E Waldron & Associates

Ashley and Vance Engineering PO Box 31284 Bellingham, WA 98225 360.746.8020

February| March 2016



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When it comes to servicing and repairing your garage doors and openers, no one does it better than Overhead Door. No matter what brand or model... from simple tune-ups and repairs to full replacement and the experts at Overhead Door to get the job done right – right away. 202 Ohio St., Bellingham, WA | (360) 734-5960 |

Special Advertising Section

Premier Homes


Homes San Juan’s Exclusive Custom Luxury Estate on Private Island. Enjoy Forests, Farm & Ocean Fronts. Located in the San Juan’s this 29 Ac Island captures the iconic beauty of the beautiful Pacific NW. 360° of water & forest views. 4230’ saltwater frontage & tidelands. Architectural excellence, contemporary design, superior quality & top of the line finishes make this a SPECTACULAR home. Completely self-sustained environment. Power & Water. Caretakers Cottage & Dock! MLS#648615 $7,750,000. Leigh Zwicker 360.333.9975

February | March 2016


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Premier Homes Ferndale

3424 Slater Road. Spacious and Elegant log home on 5 acres w/Mt Views emanates the warmth of nature all around. Grand spaces & sophisticated finishes create an air of elegance. Master suite w/soaring ceilings, walls of windows & generous spa bath. Lower level w/guest suite, 2nd kitchen makes a perfect retreat for guests w/it’s private entrance. Indoor pool, w/hot tub, sauna, covered patio, Large Shop, & more! $748,000 MLS# 839173


The Meadows. A residential community a step above

the ordinary. A new development like Ferndale has never seen before. You are greeted by a grand monument, a tree lined boulevard which meanders thru 60+ acres of this development. Great walking trails, including a trail to the schools only blocks away. 28 acres of open space with some unobstructed views of the bay, Mountians, Greenbelts. Taking reservations now. Building to start in Feb 2016 Christine Cicchitti and Bryant Davis Re/Max Whatcom Co. Inc Christine 360.296.3814 Bryant 360.815.1262

Becki Taylor, Broker Windermere Real Estate, Whatcom 360.303.4788


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415 Briar Road Bellingham. Edgemoor’s luxury estate rambler.4605 SF of pure luxurious interior complete with mother-in-law suite, wine cellar, stunning views, 4 fireplaces, walk-in closets, spa bathrooms & more. Featuring 3+ bedrooms, 3+ bathrooms on a private manicured acre in the middle of Edgemoor with water feature, meditation patio, walking trails, gardens and fruit trees. $1,390,000 MLS# 810558

950 Lakeview Street Bellingham. Custom craftman-

ship with private access to Galbraith Mountain. 7,500 SF of intricate detail nestled on 6.79 acres of pristine privacy. Stunning views of Lake Whatcom and the snowcapped Cascade Mountains. 5 bedrooms en suite, luxurious master, media room, gym, and 1,100 sq. ft. attached apartment. The 3+ car garage includes mudroom and bath. This luxurious home is full of custom craftsmanship and amazing views. $1,750,000 MLS# 689878 Heather Othmer Windermere, Fairhaven 360.739.9224

Heather Othmer Windermere, Fairhaven 360.739.9224

February | March 2016


Beer & Wine Tasting! Friday is DATE NIGHT! Saturday is LIVE Comedy & Music! CISCOE MORRIS SUNDAY • 2PM over


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HOME & GARDEN SHOW Where your project begins!

March 4, 5 & 6

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Premier Homes SEMIAHMOO


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9131 Great Blue Heron Lane,Blaine. Exceptional wa-

classic blend of southern comfort & east coast style! This 3 bed/3.5 bath home offers 5,589 sq ft of beautiful wide plank floors, regal mill work and a HanselGretel fireplace that serves as a gathering place for all. Bright, spacious & comfortable this one acre property captures Harbor & Mountain views--the ultimate in waterfront living. Martha Stewart gourmet kitchen, sun dappled family room & generous guest suites! $1,495,000 MLS# 743181

terfront is the ideal location for renowned architect Nils Finne’s superb design. Distinctive modern design is characterized by an inverted roof, fir beams, fan trusses & clerestory windows-capturing the light--showcasing the view of the San Juan Islands & Vancouver BC. Comfortable & casual, this 3 bed, 3.25 bath home offers a warm interior infused with natural materials. A Must See! $2,900,000 MLS# 854508

Kathy Stauffer Managing Broker, Windermere-Whatcom 360.815.4718

Kathy Stauffer Managing Broker, Windermere-Whatcom 360.815.4718



8625 Ashbury Ct, Blaine. With captivating curb appeal, exterior stone work & custom double entry doors this home wins you over at first glance. Classically built home is thoughtfully planned & well-designed in the use of space & detail. 3 bed/3 bath, 3 car garage, 4 fireplaces, private guest suites, high ceilings & oversized windows, custom cabinetry--so many features! And the best part of this rare gem — an outdoor room with fireplace, kitchen & t.v.--rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest! Great sun exposure--peaceful & quiet! $674,000 MLS# 800868 Kathy Stauffer Managing Broker, Windermere-Whatcom 360.815.4718

3095 Thornton Rd, Ferndale Beautiful 4 bed, 5 bath home on shy 5 acres in the countryside. Master bedroom & walk-in closet on the main floor. Formal dining & family room with fireplace. Wonderful cooks kitchen w/high-end appliances & granite countertops opens to cozy living space. AC heat pump, hi effic furnace, tank-less water heater, build-in vacuum and hardwood floors. Home is inviting and a pleasure to be in. Price: $675,000 MLS#818411 Cerise Noah 360.393.5826

February | March 2016


Full Menu Service

Enjoy delectable Entrées and Specialties from our new menu! Including an extensive Soup & Salad Bar, Dessert selections, and a range of complimentary beverages.


Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 2 pm Turkey Bacon Panini


Sunday – Thursday, 5 – 9 pm Half Rack of Ribs

Weekend BuFFet Favorites

Join us for our famous Weekend Buffets!

Friday Night Seafood: 5 – 10 pm • $21.50

Saturday Night Prime Rib, Steak, and Dungeness Crab: 5 – 10 pm • $24.95

Sunday Brunch: 10 am – 2 pm • $14.00

Owned by Upper Skagit Indian Tribe • On I-5 at Exit 236 • 877-275-2448

Must be 21 or older with valid ID. Details at Rewards Club Center. Management reserves all rights.

Dine 7 Great Tastes · Dining Guide · Drink of the Month

On the Way to Via Written and photographed by Frances Badgett


riving along Birch Bay Drive, you might get so distracted by the expansive waterfront view that you might miss this little nondescript building perched over the beach. But you shouldn’t. You should stop, because this café and bistro is not a dive bar. It’s not a roadhouse. It’s not a fish-n-chips shack. It’s a very special gem right in the heart of Birch Bay. Your adventure begins with Skinny Dog, who is a motif, a mascot, and the namesake of the Skinny Dog Lounge. Skinny Dog is the creation of owner Yoon Oh’s brother, Jefferson Oh. Not only does Skinny Dog greet you at the front door — in the form of a charming painting — there are more paintings throughout the restaurant featuring Skinny Dog. There are many creations by Jefferson, in fact. But these aren’t typical paintings — each is done by hand. No, literally, with his fingertips. Yes, fingerpainting. And they are stunning, from the long, sleek bar to the paintings in the bistro, Jefferson’s fingertips have graced all the walls. And the paintings are rich and colorful, much like Birch Bay itself.

continued on next page

DINE Feature

… Yoon Oh bought Via in 2012. A native of Korea, Oh moved to Birch Bay for the leisurely pace and the beautiful views of the bay. The name Via sounds like the Korean for “It’s raining” as well as its common meaning of being on the way to somewhere. Oh put a lot into the renovations, and his brother Jefferson painted extensively for the café. Three months after they opened, a huge tide rolled in, flooding the entire restaurant to the second floor, blowing out the windows, and depositing mud and debris everywhere. One of Jefferson’s salvaged paintings still hangs in the dining room, damaged but still there, evoking the spirit of Via. Through the heartbreak and devastation, employees, neighbors, and community members came together and Via was rebuilt in just under three months. That tragedy now a distant memory, the hardwood floors, expansive views, and elegant but unpretentious décor make it a very pleasant stop for lunch or a sunset dinner. The lunch menu is hearty and satisfying, with crisp, delicious fish-nchips, a salmon sandwich, a crab sandwich, and a great burger. Dinner is classic fare, with steak and lobster, crab cakes, Chicken Portofino, Chicken Serrano, and salmon. The entrees are served with perfectly cooked vegetables and potato options. The prices are reasonable for the portions, and the views are stunning. The second floor can be rented for special occasions, and the upper deck can accommodate 50 guests. On a summer day, you’d be remiss not to enjoy a tender salmon dinner from up there. The Skinny Dog Lounge has a wonderful dark quality, making it a versatile spot for either a quiet drink or a rowdy night of karaoke. The bar itself is covered in Jefferson’s beautiful paintings — portraits of people he knows, iconography of Birch Bay, and that skinny dog. They often have live music as well as karaoke and loads of local character — and many characters — to keep it all very interesting. Happy hour is from 2-6 p.m. every day, and there are bar specials every day. Via also hosts special events like Super Hero Night and Movie Night. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and have a great time. Skinny Dog Lounge also boasts great bartenders and excellent service. Oh is a humble man, but he clearly takes pride in this lovely place that he’s had to build twice. May the waves stay at bay, because this seaside café deserves to stand the test of time. 


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

patty of Oregon beef, topped with a deliciously thick slice of melted white Cheddar; a burger made in heaven! For fabulous food, elegant ambience and world-class views, be sure to visit the Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.   Toby’s Tavern Seafood 8 Front St., Coupeville 360.678.4222,

The Freeland Café American/Hawaiian 1642 E. Main St., Freeland 360.331.9945, For more than 35 years, The Freeland Café has been serving Whidbey Island locals a dawnto-dinner menu of American breakfast ­classics with a mix of Hawaiian flavors. A stack of three savory pancakes stuffed with delicious, sweet blueberries marks a signature favorite among the carb-craving regulars, while a hearty egg breakfast with crisp, sizzling bacon charms away the hunger of nostalgic hometown diners; add Hawaiian-style rice with Spam and gravy for a more exotic breakfast alternative. Lined with ceiling-high windows and an eclectic mix of artwork, The Freeland Café offers a generous seating area situated adjacent a popular bar of the same name. Sit back and enjoy the aroma of warm syrup and coffee, and the friendly chatter of neighborly patrons, as you dine back to a simpler time.   Prima Bistro French 201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, A quintessential South Whidbey dining ­experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. Fried Spanish Marcona Almonds arrive steaming hot, glisteningly crisp and in a glory of flavor — and just in time a glass of Pinot Grigio. The selection of reds and whites offers options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. The Burgundy Snails in Herb Butter taste delightfully creamy, with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled

Dining Guide


it needs to be just right, and they did not disappoint. The filet mignon was cooked to perfection and mouth-watering. This is a great choice for an evening out. You will walk away satisfied, and you’ll understand why it is becoming the go-to place for locals and visitors alike.

Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Their famous bowls of Penn Cove mussels — served by the pound! — come fresh from the adjacent cove, and keep shellfish connoisseurs clamoring for a regular fix. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit. Fish and chips arrive hot, deliciously flakey, and generous in size, with sides of sweet coleslaw and fries deserving mention for their merit. For those waiting among the weekend crowd of regulars, a giant chocolaty brownie will drive your mind insane, and keep your appetite satisfied before the main course earns its way into the dining room.

san Juan

Vinny’s Seafood 165 W. St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934 Owner Becky Day welcomes diners to Vinny’s Ristorante in Friday Harbor, mirroring the feel of this warm Italian restaurant. Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire of Chef Daniel Van Hamsersfeld 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.

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.  –

Calle Mexican 517 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.5566, Newly opened, this eatery is already getting attention with a write up in Sunset magazine. Known for their take on Street Tacos — with six meat fillings to choose from and handmade corn tortillas — but that’s certainly not the only mouthwatering option. Try the Carne Asada, Posole or Tortas to name just a few menu options. The Spicy Mango Margarita, made with fresh mango and jalepeno, is fast becoming a customer favorite. With 60+ tequilas and mescals to sample, there’s always another reason to visit again.


Nell Thorn Seafood

13moons at Swinomish Casino & Lodge

116 First St., La Conner 360.466.4261,


12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes 360.588.3800, Located within the casino 13moons is sure to catch your attention. Situated on the waterfront, 13moons has a warm and inviting lodge atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. We started our meal with generous pours of wine, then moved on to the roasted beet salad. I am always skeptical of this dish, as

This small-town gem located in the heart of La Conner brings in tourists and locals alike. They boast well-prepared and locally sourced fresh seafood as well as an extensive wine and beer list. The charming and cozy pub atmosphere, homemade soups, and generous portions make for a great special occasion or romantic evening. Try the polenta cakes with cured black olives and roasted garlic tomato sauce — you won’t be disappointed.

February | March 2016 97


Dining Guide

TRUMPETER PUBLIC HOUSE Gastropub 416 Myrtle St., Mt. Vernon 360.588.4515, The Trumpeter is an ideal combination of high-end, fine dining and English pub variety. Try traditional pub selections like shephard’s pie, fish and chips, or more unique choices like pork tenderloin complimented with an apricothoney glaze or crab mac and cheese with a creamy Gruyere sauce and wild-caught crab. Additionally, the Trumpeter looks to accommodate all tastes with gluten-free dishes, and the option to make any dish gluten free. Of course, a gastropub isn’t complete without beer and Trumpeter completes the dining experience with 18 taps of local and European brews. There’s also a fine selection of wines and drink choices.

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 round-eye, 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.

Whatcom Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill Beef/Seafood 7 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.527.3473, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill serves the same quality food we’ve come to expect and love from Anthony’s other restaurants. The Hearthfire menu speaks to the everyday eater, not just the special occasion treat of Anthony’s. Seasonal items, like peaches or huckleberries in the summer, complement salads, entrees and drinks. Steaks, seafood and items on the Woodfire rotisserie round out the selections.

Blue Fin Sushi Japanese 102 S. Samish Way, Bellingham 360.752.2583, At Blue Fin Sushi, fresh sushi is used to create a variety of tasty options like the Tekka roll, which is seaweed, rice and tuna. The waitstaff is friendly and it’s always entertaining to watch the chefs at work. Blue Fin also offers a full menu of non-sushi food items. Its version of fish and chips, for example, is a must-try: tempura fried salmon pieces served with sweet potato fries with a creamy wasabi sauce for dipping. Blue Fin Sushi also serves a variety of teriyaki, orange chicken and bento boxes.

Bayou On Bay Cajun/Creole 1300 Bay St., Bellingham 360.752.2968, Bayou On Bay serves a wide variety of classic Cajun and Creole dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boy sandwiches and hush puppies, to name a few. A house-made remoulade, which accompanies many of the dishes, is worth the trip alone. The bar offers an extensive list of drink options. Bayou on Bay is a must for foodies as well as people just looking for a satisfying meal.   Black Forest Steakhouse German/Steak 1263 Barkley Blvd., Bellingham 360.733.9185 638 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine 360.306.8342, Black Forest Steak house offers a versatile dining experience. It’s fancy enough for special occasions, anniversaries and graduation celebrations, but it’s also a place you’ll want to go to any day. Black Forest makes its steaks different than most other steakhouses: It broils them in a 1,600-degree oven, leaving the meat tender and flavorful.


The Copper Hog Gastropub 1327 N. State St., Bellingham 360.927.7888, Gastropubs are known for having pub fare with high-class style and high-class food, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Copper Hog. You can also find classic pub favorites like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and poutine, as well a less-routine pub grub such as Ramen soup or ahi prepared a variety of ways. The Copper Hog also has a wide variety of beer, including local and organic brews. The menu changes seasonally. You’ll want to go back often so you can enjoy everything the menu has to offer.   Fiamma Burger All-natural Burgers 1309 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.733.7374, One word speaks volumes about Fiamma Burger: variety. With six different patty types (including homemade veggie, bison and salmon) and more than 17 menu options, there are endless possibilities for a burger masterpiece. You can even get a “burger in a bowl,” served without the bread. And with extra things to add on like fire-roasted green chiles or a scoop of chili, it could take a long

time to find your perfect creation. All burgers are served on a fresh-baked egg bun, with crisp lettuce and all the usual fixings. Spice it up with chipotle ketchup, spicy mustard, or curry mayo, then cool it down with a beer or milkshake.   Fireside Martini & Wine Bar Dinner/Bar 416 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.738.1000, Fireside is out to make a name for itself. By using fresh, local ingredients and a menu that changes on an almost daily basis (based on what’s fresh at the market that day), the Fireside has a lot to offer the casual diner and those more focused on detail. The Fireside claims to have the largest “by the glass” wine selection in Bellingham, none of which are served anywhere else in the area. Cocktails are based on in-house infusions of spirits and it’s a collection found only at Fireside. Beer options range from local to obscure to international. The decor in Fireside is welcoming and intimate, with couches and armchairs throughout the lounge.   The Fork at Agate Bay Eclectic 2530 N. Shore Rd., Bellingham 360.733.1126, As unassuming as they come, The Fork at Agate Bay is a quiet retreat of fine food and wine only a short drive down the east side of Lake Whatcom. Be careful not to be fooled by its quaint exterior; inside you’ll discover a surprisingly upscale atmosphere warmed by a welcoming and rustic charm. Opened in June 2009, it has gained recognition as one of Bellingham’s best restaurants, emerging as a favorite for food connoisseurs. From a simple yet elegant egg breakfast to wild-mushroomstuffed chicken, the menu is a delightful and modern take on the classics. With a full wine bar, an in-house baker and fresh, local ingredients, The Fork at Agate Bay provides a sophisticated twist on Northwest dining.   Giuseppe’s Al Porto Italian 21 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.714.8412, Giuseppe’s Al Porto Ristorante provides an enhanced dining experience to its customers, including outside seating that provides diners with the joy of eating by the water and taking in the sights of beautiful Bellingham Bay. The classic Italian dining that earned Giuseppe’s the reputation as the finest Italian restaurant in Bellingham is still going strong. Whether you try the chicken marsala, happy hour specials or three-course, early-dinner specials, your mouth will water. Daily specials and the full menu include meat specialties, fresh seafood and authentic Italian pastas.

Il Caffe rifugio Italian 5415 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.592.2888, Richard Balogh has brought fine dining to the “wilderness.” Fifteen miles out on Mount Baker Highway, just past Deming, is a funky old café that has been transformed into an oasis for people who enjoy good food and coffee. Menu items befit their Italian name with pannini and frittatas for Saturday and Sunday brunches; Cioppino is a summer dinner menu highlight. The dinner menu changes weekly, begging for a second trip. A small covered deck with colorful lanterns sits adjacent to the dining room for your al fresco pleasure. Just beyond, in a meadow, sits a red deck used as a stage, and is the centerpiece for special dinners under the stars.   Mi Mexico Mexican 241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073 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.   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.   Rocket Donuts


306 W. Holly St., 360.671.6111, Bellingham 1021 Harris Ave, 360.366.8135, Bellingham

• Slow-cooked BBQ ribs with our homemade BBQ sauce • Build Your Own Burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns • Micro Brew Steamed Mussels

360.332.2505 2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham Casual Friendly Atmosphere for Good Times and a Great Water View

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.

February | March 2016 99

Slo-Pitch Sports Grill and Casino

Lighthouse Bar & Grill DiSaronno Sour

3720 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.733.2255, 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.

Ingredients: DiSaronno Sour, lemon juice, sugar with a topping of red wine foam

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.

Super Mario’s Salvadorian 3008 N.W. Ave, Bellingham 360.393.4637,


eautiful views should have a cozy, delicious drink to accompany the experience. Lucky for cocktail enthusiasts, the Lighthouse Bar & Grill at the Hotel Bellwether has the perfect drink for stretching out by the fireplace or gazing out at sailboats from the patio — The DiSaronno Sour. The bright, refreshing drink is not only delicious — the red wine foam makes it quite a beauty, too. Smooth DiSaronno with nice earthy tones balances nicely with the bright lemon. To balance the acid of the lemon and the warmth


of the DiSaronno, the wine foam makes a great entrance. The overall effect is both fresh and warm without being too sweet or too sour. A perfect blend for an early spring evening. So kick back in this bar by the bay and enjoy. The sunset view is spectacular, and the staff is very friendly and capable. So next time your work week gets the best of you, head to the Lighthouse and try the DiSarrono Sour. You won’t be disappointed. 

Serving fresh, healthy meals with the customer in mind is what Super Mario’s is all about, and it’s the consistent flavor and quality of the food that keeps bringing people back. The veggies are chopped fresh daily, nothing is frozen, and nothing is cooked until it’s ordered. In addition, nothing is deep fried.   The STEAK HOUSE AT SILVER REEF Hotel C ­ asino Spa Steak/Seafood 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360383.0777, This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Primegrade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. The wine list is ample and recognized for its quality by Wine Spectator. This dining experiences rivals any of the bigtown steak houses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.

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THE LOFT RESTAURANT Saturday March 12th, 3pm – 5pm Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with great food and wine tasting at The Loft Restaurant on Bellingham’s beautiful waterfront. Dan “The Wine Guy’ Radil will moderate. Featuring four wines from Eastern Washington’s Lost River Winery perfectly paired with small plates from The Loft Chef, Steven Engels. $45 for tickets Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door the day of the event SPONSORED BY

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


Body Style Wines written By Dan Radil


ou see it all the time when sifting through the wine section in search of the perfect bottle to serve with tonight’s meal: “body style.” But what does it mean? Body styles range from light to medium to full, and refer to the richness or weight of the wine on the palate. Confused? Think of the difference between thin, flavorless bottled water and the mouthfeel of sweet, acidic, and flavorful fresh-squeezed orange juice and you’ll get the idea. Categorizing a wine with a certain body style depends on a number of factors including its fruitiness, acidity, sugar, alcohol, oak, and tannins – that astringent, chalky texture you sometimes find on the wine’s finish. Red wines are especially influenced by these latter two factors, because, unlike most white wines, they are fermented with their high-tannin skins and seeds and then aged in oak barrels. In addition to making the wine darker in color and fuller in body, this process also adds complexity to the flavor profile, which is just one reason why red wines are often both the source of spirited discussion and so much fun to drink. On the Lighter Side Pinot Noir should be at or near the top of the list for those who prefer lighter to medium-bodied red wines. The grape’s natural acidity makes it an excellent food-pairing choice, especially with high fat-content foods such as salmon, duck, or lamb. Sourced from 15 acres of the winery’s original plantings, the Willamette Valley Vineyards 2012 Bernau Block Pinot Noir (about $55) is an exquisitely crafted, must-try Oregon Pinot. Slightly edgy, ripe pie cherry and pomegranate flavors lead off, while a velvety soft finish provides both balance and elegance. The Stoller Family Estate 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir (about $45) is another representation of Oregon Pinot at its finest. “Meticulous sorting and attentive winemaking were essential,” according to the winery website and this attentionto-detail approach is evident from the first sip. Fragrant 102

raspberry and strawberry aromas carry over to the palate along with just a touch of earthiness. Seamless and silky, a flourish of dried cherry appears on the extreme finish. Mid-Range Choices Bobal is one of Spain’s most widely grown red wine grapes, and it offers wine drinkers plenty of fresh, deep-colored fruit flavors and good acidity that place it squarely in the mediumbodied wine category. A couple of options: The Isaac Fernandez 2012 Bovale (about $14), a 100-percent Bobal sourced from vines at least 60 years old. Lovely dark berry and cherry aromas and flavors fill the glass, with spicy/peppery accents and a whisper of vanilla on a soft finish; and the Bodegas Mustiguillo 2013 Mestizaje Tinto (about $15) a Bobal-based red blended with touches of Garnacha, Merlot and Syrah. It’s a bit more dense and gritty with reserved blackberry and black currant fruits along with a spritz of white pepper on the finish. Serve it with practically anything beef. A trio of selections from Walla Walla’s Vino La Monarcha also make solid, medium-bodied red wine choices and offer good value at about $20-a-bottle each. The 2012 Wahluke Slope Merlot features a soft entry of plummy fruit and a pleasant, darker layer near the finish with a touch of bittersweet chocolate; the 2013 Sangiovese opens with bright raspberry and boysenberry flavors that are perfectly balanced with toasted oak and supple tannins; and the 2013 Malbec is a delicious fruit-forward wine with a mouthful of brambly berries, hints of clove, cinnamon and pepper, and a slightly structured finish that make it an absolute pleasure to taste. Also from Washington is the Thurston Wolfe 2012 Howling Wolfe Zinfandel (about $20) in Prosser. Red currant and berry flavors are capped with a bit of baking spice, toasted caramel, and a nicely textured finish. It’s a artfully crafted Zinfandel that offers a pleasant break from some of California’s heavy-handed alternatives.

Heavier Hitters Sagrantino is an Italian wine grape that produces extremely dark, inky, tannic red wines that fall into the fullbodied category. A prime example is the Scacciadiavoli 2008 Montefalco Sagrantino (about $39). It opens with a stunning fragrance of violets and ultradark plums followed by flavors of red plum, green tea, a trace of minerality, and chewy tannins. This wine can easily hold up to a medium-rare steak or gamey meats such as elk or venison. And be sure to consider the current red wine releases from Walla Walla’s Dunham Cellars. These wines are truly the complete package and carry a fullbodied, yet elegant quality in terms of their flavor profile and taste. “‘The passion is in the bottle’ is our slogan,” noted Bellingham resident and Dunham co-owner and chairman, David Blair. “We want to celebrate the relationship between fine food and wine (and) deliver a product we’re proud to put our name on.” Start with the 2013 Three Legged Red (about $19), Dunham’s perennial red-blend favorite that makes for terrific everyday enjoyment. Then take a step up to the 2012 Trutina (about $29), a beautiful, five-varietal blend with a base of juicy blackberry and red cherry fruit, gentle notes of caramel and rose hips, and a slightly herbaceous finish. Single-varietal wine enthusiasts will love the Dunham 2012 Syrah (about $35), with vanilla bean aromatics, blueberry and spiced black plum flavors, and a finish with a touch more vanilla and a dusting of cocoa powder; and the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon XVIII (about $45), with a wonderfully complex bouquet of meadow grasses and hazelnuts, reserved flavors of cassis and espresso, and nicely integrated tannins. It’s a superb pairing partner with osso buco. Dunham’s crown jewel: the 2011 Lewis Vineyard Syrah (about $75). Wild blackberry and graphite on the nose, luscious dark fruit flavors on the palate, and underlying notes of slate and spice box highlight this incredible, faultless wine. It’s luxurious from start to finish and undeniably worth the price. 


Great Tastes

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

1 2 3

The Panang Curry at Wanida Thai is creamy and fresh and delicious. Pair with a Thai beer and you have a great meal right there.

Bellingham is known for a few things, chief among them, Boomer’s hard ice cream milk shakes. Holy cow, these are good!

Newcomer Filling Station offers great classic American burger fare with all the fixin’s. The tire track fries are golden crisp and delicious.

4 5

Hungry? Head to Aslan. Yes, the beer is good, but the waffle fry poutine is a great companion.

The Spicy Pulled Pork and Kimchee Sub at Greene’s Corner is succulent and delicious. And Greene’s Corner is a rad little hangout with tons of microbrews and great wines.


The Raclette Board at Temple Bar is basically melted cheese on bread. And it’s basically freakin’ heaven.


The tofu sandwich at Café Rumba will make you want to dance. Roasted tomato, amazing salsa, and fresh veggies, it’s amazing.

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DINE Review

The Table Pasta 100 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.594.6000, Folks who have enjoyed the fresh, handmade pastas of the Bellingham Pasta Co. from their local market can now experience them served with a helping of marinara, alfredo or pesto sauce at the Pasta Co.’s restaurant, The Table, which is named for the long family-style table that fills the center of the dining room. Pasta is not the only item on the menu: starters, salads, sandwiches, pot pies and desserts round out the selections.   Temple Bar Bistro 306 W. Champion St.,Bellingham, 360.676.8660,

The Filling Station A Retro Spin on Fairhaven’s newest Burger Joint written and photographed by Madeline Takata


he minds behind Avenue Bread are at it again but are taking a more retro approach to their second venture, The Filling Station. When walking through its newly opened doors, you feel as if you walked into another decade. The 1950s vibe resonates within the walls of this all-American burger joint. From the antique gas pump to the car memorabilia lining the restaurant, the Filling Station is Fairhaven’s newest go-to spot to satisfy your hunger. The upbeat, family-friendly atmosphere mixed with the vintage theme is brining a new dining experience to the Finnegan corner. The decor isn’t the only thing paying respect to its old-fashioned inspiration. With names like The Chevy Pickup, 104

The Mustang, and The Thunderbird, the menu provides different burger selections along with appetizers like Dip Sticks (deep fried zucchini strips), Hot Rod (foot long hot dog) or the Junkyard (classic, onion and tire thread fries). The menu also provides salads, like The Tesla and The Prius, sandwiches, and soups. The Filling Station proudly pours celebrated local brews like Chuckanut, Aslan, Wander, and Kulshan. Original cocktails like the Sidecar and Oil Change are offered along malts and frappes. To satisfy your sweet tooth, the menu offers treats like a brownie sundae made with Avenue Bread cookie dough. Owners Wendy and John DeFreest take pride in what they are cooking up in the kitchen. Striving to only feed their customers local and fresh ingredients, the menu integrates the beloved Avenue Bread recipes with a gourmet twist. An average diner menu transforms into a unique take on a classic diner experience. Diners rave about what’s on their plates. Join them Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. for brunch.  1138 Finnegan Way, Bellingham 360.715.1839,

Continually recognized for their craft cocktails and small plates, Temple Bar aims to please. Begin with the classic Temple Bar cheese plate, a collection of three rotating cheeses varying in texture and flavor. They are often paired with fruit, honey, toasted nuts and bread. Next, dive into a piping hot gratin, which varies based on what is in season. In between bites of a salad made with locally sourced ingredients, sip on a unique cocktail with house made infusions and bitters. Finally nibble on the chocolate chili muffins: the perfect end to a charming experience.   Torre Caffe Italian 119 N. Commercial St., Ste. 130, Bellingham 360.734.0029 If you want an excellent early morning espresso or a taste of old Italy for lunch or just a mid-afternoon break, Torre Caffe is the place to go. It’s authentic, right down to the co-owners, Pasquale and Louisa Salvatti, who came here from Genoa in 2005. Traditional Italian lunch fare (soups, salads, paninis and lunchsized entrees) is made daily with the freshest ingredients. Louisa’s soups are near legendary. Go early, go often. Your tastebuds will thank you.   WasaBee Sushi Japanese/Sushi 105 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham 360.223.9165, WasaBee Sushi is a dining experience not soon to be forgotten. Deliciously fresh and succulent slices of fish resting atop carefully handsculpted pillows of rice are a sushi lover’s dream come true. Delicately sweet Hamachi, beautifully barbecued Unagi, and bright and glistening Ikura arrive on little porcelain plates garnished with freshly made wasabi and paperthin slices of white pickled ginger. It’s a refreshing break from the pink-dyed variety so often found in many sushi bars. Ambiance, incomparable quality and prices that cannot be beat make WasaBee Sushi a darn fine place to eat.


Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word

St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 12, noon


rab your green and celebrate the Irish spirit at this annual family-friendly fun event. The Grand Marshal this year has yet to be announced, but we know it’ll be someone awesome. Expect lots of pipe bands and great plaids. Cornwall Ave, Bellingham

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The Glenn Miller Orchestra March 20, 3–5 p.m.

Valentine’s Day Cover Show February 13, 11 p.m.

Bring your friends and enjoy some covers of your favorite cute-meet songs, your favorite prom slow dance, or your Death Cab moment on the corner of Holly and Cornwall. Whatever you want to remember with moony eyes and swirly hearts, this is the show for you. Make.Shift 306 Flora St., Bellingham 360.389.3569

Join in the classic sounds of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and take a little step back in time. Tap your toes to classics like “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “In the Mood.” Because remember, if it ain’t got that swing… Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080


Take Six February 20, 7:30–9 p.m.

Harmony from Discord

Garnering 10 Grammys and winning audiences all around the world, a cappella show-stoppers Take Six will be singing their way into Bellingham’s hearts. Formed on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, these folks sing gospel and r-n-b with a touch of soul.

March 6, 4:30 p.m.

Mount Baker Theatre 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 106

The first thing to know about this beautifully conceived program is that the director of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Yaniv Attar, did his Doctoral work in the music of the Holocaust. The second thing to know is that the program centers around composers whose works were composed in the face of oppression. The third thing to know is that the performers, Jessica Choe, Susan Gulkis

© Take 6- Courtesy of Take Six

© St. Patrick’s Day Parade - Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Agenda Events

Assadi, and Zart Donbourian-Eby are incredibly talented musicians. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 Dash and Splash: 5K Fun Run and Polar Plunge February 27, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Come on in, the water’s totally not fine! Maybe it is if you really run yourself crazy during the Splash portion of the 5k, then you can chill off (or, rather, freeze) during the big splash. Seafarer’s Park, 601 Seafarers Way, Anacortes 360. 299.1822

MUSEUMS A Stich Here, Stich There — Crazy Quilts January 6–March 27, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

The fad of crazy quilts started in the 1880s when quilters embellished quilts with needlework and random sized patches of fabric that might or might

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not complement the others very well. Whimsical and fascinating, the crazy quilts are a combination of craftsmanship and unbridled expression. La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum703 2nd St., La Conner 360.466.4288 Chipping the Block, Painting the Silk: The Color Prints of Norma Bassett Hall February 1–February 14, noon–5 p.m., Saturday 10a.m.–5 p.m.

Whatcom Museum 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930

DANCE Celtic Arts Dance Championship February 13, 9 a.m.

Fasten your sporin and grab your tam, it’s time for some Celtic dancin’ ayeee. A great way to see the best of the best compete, this lively, loud, fast, and fun competition will bring out the Riverdancer in you. Or at least have you kilt-shopping. Whatcom Community College Syre Center 327 W. Kellogg Rd., Bellingham 360.383.3000

© Second City

This is the first time since her death in 1957 that more than 60 of Hall’s prints will be on display, and many of them are on display for the first time in the Pacific Northwest since 1930. Hall was born in Oregon and came of age during the Arts and Crafts movement. Her woodblocks are distinctive and colorful.



The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly February 11, 8 p.m.

Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

Improv is an art, and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to head down to the Upfront for The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Bellingham’s longest-running improv show. The opening set is by Upfront’s students, and they are hilarious. Interactive, goofy fun, GBU is a great night out.

Opposing fracking, standing up for migrant labor rights, the history of the Duwamish Tribe’s relationship with Seattle, police shootings, our world is pretty full of strife and conflict. The Human Rights Film Festival holds these issues up to the light, examines them, and creates a place where we can come together to find solutions.

Upfront Theatre 1208 Bay St., Bellingham 360.733.8855 Hooking Up with the Second City

McIntyre Hall Presents: A Man’s Requiem An expression of South Korean Buddhist and Christian beliefs, A Man’s Requiem is a production of the Yong Chul SEOP Dance Company of South Korea. Described as “Approachable yet thoughtprovoking,” the performance is visually dazzling and sure to spur discussion. McIntyre Hall 2501 E College Way, Mount Vernon 360 416.7727

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


Locations vary (Bellingham Public Library, The Pickford Film Center, Whatcom Community College, and more) February 18-27, *times vary per film 360.738.0735

February 14, 7 p.m.

Second City has brought us many of the best comic geniuses around. Perfect for your Valentine’s Date Night, Hooking Up is hilarious, inventive, and exciting. The best at what they do, SC will make you laugh until you cry. Keep an eye on that funny woman Ali Barthwell­ — she’s going places!

March 11, 7:30 p.m.

February 18–27, times and locations vary

Silent Film Series: The Long-Lost Sherlock March 13, 3 p.m.

See how drama and comedy unfolded on the silver screen before actors could talk. Facial expressions, gestures, and emotive postures were all a part of the craft of great silent film acting. Come see for yourself. Live organist Dennis James will perform. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080

Fine Art Show April 15 - 23


Regional artists in 2D & 3D

Depot Art Center | Anacortes

Art of Shopping

April 17 Champagne, jewelry & accessories

Color Run April 23

Get “colored” at Do the 5k fun run |



BBQ & CHILI COOK OFF At North Bellingham Golf Course SATURDAY MAY 21 3pm - 7pm Professionals & Novice Welcome

February 20, 6–8 p.m.

Bring your friends and your appetite — Blaine is cookin’! This great event showcases local restaurants and caterers. Get your tickets early — they will not sell tickets at the door. Semiahmoo Resort 9655 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine 360.322.4544

Competition Sign up thru May 14

*Cash Prizes Public mark your calendar! Come taste local craft beer while sampling the cook-off! Tickets at

Ruth Ozeki March 4, 7 p.m.

Whatcom Reads presents the gifted and amazing author Ruth Ozeki, whose book A Tale for the Time Being has received accolades all over the place. Ozeki is not only an author, she is also a Zen Buddhist priest. She will be on hand to answer questions, and the event is free. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080

More info at or 360.733.5388

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Agenda Events

Out of Town Seattle Bill Maher © Bill Maher

March 27, 7:30 p.m.

You know him and maybe even love him from his show “Politically Incorrect.” The sharp and acerbic wit of Bill Maher isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in his tribe, you won’t want to miss this lively, wild, ranty show. Guaranteed to make you blush, clench your fists, and laugh out loud. Maybe all at the same time. Paramount Theatre 901 Pine St., Seattle 855.705.7419

Vancouver Drone Fair February 20, 11: 30 a.m.

Whether you find them agile, useful, and fascinating, or privacy-stripping and dangerous, drones are now a part of our toy collection, and they are here to stay. Drone Fair celebrates these flying gadgets with exhibits, flying competitions, and more. This fair celebrates the positive use of drone technology, from photography to humanitarian aid to building repairs. British Columbia Institute of Technology, 3700 Willgndon Ave., Burnaby, B.C. 604.434.5734


The Scene


The Bellingham Technical College Foundation raised $118,000 at their Black Ties and High Heels Save Lives gala and auction in October. The food was prepared by BTC’s award-winning culinary arts program, and the centerpieces were designed by BTC’s machining program students.

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Final Word

Gender Confusion Explained Loretta puts staplers in “his” place wirtten by Loretta W. Cleese


love The Donald and the GOP presidential campaign — I feel liberated. Apparently, it is now politically correct to be un-PC. To this I say: “About time.” Those of us with a sense of humor and broken “check valves” live for this moment. Even the discourse between The Donald and Hillary over which of them is sexist or more sexist provides me with total comic freedom. That and my divorce; I do have a few residual anger issues with men that need a healthier outlet. So, with The Donald’s inspiration, here goes. I don’t know why, but I see physical objects differently now that I am single. Where most would see an everyday utensil or appliance or whatever as gender neutral, I can’t help myself — they are either male or female to me depending on their characteristics and, of course, my mood. And why not? Men have referred to ships as “she” even before Christopher Columbus told his wife, “BRB, honey.” According to different sources on Google, a ship is a “she” because “she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep her goodlooking” and “without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable.” Oh, and “some have a cute fantail, others are heavy in the stern, but all have double-bottoms which demand attention.” Need I say more? Whoever said those quotes became explorers out of necessity — they weren’t welcome at home. The gender of ships notwithstanding, unlike Hebrew, the Germanic languages, French and Spanish, the English language is relatively gender neutral when objectifying objects. This is so wrong; imagine the missed Seinfeld-like humor opportunities. For example, a stapler — is there any doubt that a stapler is male? I don’t think so. You pound it on its head, and the one-trick pony that it is instantly becomes a “he.” Am I wrong, ladies? Sound familiar? Of course, assigning genders to things won’t solve all ambiguities. Did you know that the word “key” is male in German and female in Spanish and the word “bridge” is female in German and male in Spanish? Go figure — at least I would have assumed “key” was male in both languages as a carry-over from the enlightened ship/chastity belt days. I believe that was the Bronze Age if I am not mistaken, or perhaps pre-invention of the wheel.


But regardless, despite the potential for gender confusion for the same word, we can make some much-needed progress here and now. All I need is some Schoolhouse Rock, “I’m just a bill on Capitol Hill” background music, and I am good to go. Besides, I am just getting started. My editor says I have 400 words left to “express” myself. Think about “it.” Every single everyday object worth a damn is female — for example, cell phones, iPads, smart screen TVs, dishwashers and washing machines, convection ovens, espresso machines, electric toothbrushes and hair blowers. The list is endless. All are capable of multi-tasking complex functions and ironically, all started out as male before they were improved. Before cell phones, for instance, there were flip-top phones; before espresso machines, there were coffee pots; before iPads and laptops, there were typewriters; and before were convection ovens, there were microwaves (although they remain standard issue in kitchens for males emergencies). Even men’s trucks are approaching “keylike” gender confusion with their female-inspired interiors. Perhaps the only modern day vestige of the male-dominated Bronze Age may be the family barbeque. But even “it” is under attack. Barbeques now have searing stations, rotisseries, and side burners for sauces — and they come with an instruction booklet. OMG, men! Ladies, your heads are nodding; you know your man’s days of grunting of “fire is good” are numbered. So, while I am waxing philosophically in total tongue-incheek jest, I want to thank The Donald for his “tell it like it is” persona and un-PC expressions, like “schlonged,” which The Donald used recently to describe what Barack did to Hillary in 2008. I wonder if he will say he was schlonged if he loses. Male politicians can be schlonged, can’t they? I would certainly hope so in The Donald’s case. There, I feel better now. 

PROVIDING ENERGY. IMPROVING LIVES. We’re committed to improving lives in the communities where we live and work. Environmental investments over a period of years have helped the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent, eliminate more than 1,400 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions, install continuous emissions monitoring equipment on refinery process units, and achieve our goal to reduce energy usage by 10 percent over 10 years. As a result, Ferndale is one of only four refineries in the United States to be awarded Energy Star status by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And we continue investing in our plant to shrink our environmental footprint, as evidenced by the $70 million process unit we are building that will allow us to lower the sulfur content in our gasoline to 10 parts per million. At Phillips 66, supporting our people, our communities and our environment guides everything we do and it always will.

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You won’t find them in ordinary kitchens. Or at ordinary stores. Sub-Zero, the preservation specialist. Wolf, the cooking specialist. You’ll find them only at your local kitchen specialist.

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