October/November 2014 Bellingham Alive/North Sound Life

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Art through the Senses pg 71

Best of the Northwest pg 81

6 NorthSoundLife.com





Featured Home Chuckanut Home


Remodel Contempo Casual

Center for Independent Living

20 By the Numbers 21

Lasting Image


Calendar October & November


In the Know The Tap Trail


In the Know Book Reviews


In the Know Who Knew?


Community Blue Skies for Children


Wonder Woman Rosalinda Guillen


Apps We Love


Art Through the Senses


Best of the Northwest

DINE 113

Pierside Kitchen


Dining Guide


Mixing Tin The Magneto

32 5 Faves Oil Paints


Sip Samson Estates


Quick Trip Lummi Island


Review 9 Restaurant


In the Know Opus Performing Arts School


Seven Great Tastes


Spotlight Mary Ann Kohl



Featured Event Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

with Spencer Myer


eARThbenders & Artisans


Events Around Town




Out of Town


Savvy Shopper Dakota Arts


The Scene Bite of Bellingham


Menu Apple Pie


Race & Runs


Spa Review Melange Spa & Electrolysis


Beauty Styling For Family Photos


Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet a Staffer Melissa Sturman


Final Word

October | November 2014


NOTES On the Web


Starting at the end of October, we will have a fresh, new website! Be sure to check us out at:



Intern at Bellingham Alive! and North Sound Life


Get yourself a head start by interning with K & L Media. If you are a writer, photographer or a designer, an internship provides valuable experience and adds creditability to your CV and portfolio. More information is available online at northsoundlife.com/jobsand-internships or email editor@ klmediacorp.com.

We bring you two bonus drink recipes from the gifted mixologist D.J. Riemer of Packer’s Oyster Bar.

Go green with a digital subscription.

Even more at northsoundlife.com: Eat & Drink | Lifestyle | Home & Remodel | On the Town | Travel

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NOTES Editor's Letter

Celebrating the Best


he annual Best of the Northwest contest is over, the votes are in, and our readers chose their favorite restaurants, goods and services in our area. Rewarding the craftsmanship and passion of our area businesses for the fifth year in a row, we are thrilled to bring you the results. One of the biggest rewards of my job is discovering Bellingham through you — our readers. Your ideas, suggestions and votes always contain hidden gems and further my education about this place we all call home. So thank you. In this issue, we also celebrate something else near and dear to my heart — the arts. With fantastic illustrations by our own Kelsey Wilmore, we bring you fall arts events and inspiration to satisfy the senses. The crisp weather and rainy days of fall make it the perfect time to take in galleries, theater, dance and concerts. The warm lights of cafes and retail spaces during Art Walk make for a perfect respite. And then there’s food. Pierside Kitchen at Semiahmoo opened this year, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome this new shining star into our local culinary scene. The soaring ceilings, open, bright space and perfectly prepared food make this a new favorite on our list, and we’re sure it will be on yours, too. I can’t imagine a better date night than watching the fall sunset over the water through those giant windows. This issue also marks my first anniversary at K&L Media, which continues to be as wonderful an experience as it was a year ago. I’m very lucky to work with a smart, amazing tribe of women under the leadership of the kind and generous Lisa and Ken Karlberg. Enjoy the fall, and here’s to the best. Cheers,

10 NorthSoundLife.com

NOTES Contributors

David Christensen David E. Christensen AIA, LEED AP, is an Architect with Christensen Design Management in Bellingham. He has received 44 Design Awards and has been involved in projects ranging from dog houses to masterplanned communities. He is a member the American Institute of Architects, Urban Land Institute, National Association of Homebuilders, American Planning Association and the United States Green Building Council.  For his featured home, see p. 61

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Arlené Mantha Third generation baker, and professionally trained pastry chef from Los Angeles, CA. Arlené has taught classes for Bellingham Alive’s ‘Meet The Chef’ series as well as the Bellingham Gluten Information Group. Her passion for comfort food and modern aesthetic has manifested itself in her restaurant Twofiftyflora located in Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher.  For her feature article on making the perfect apple pie, see p. 49

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Ashley is the owner of Love Beauty, a makeup artistry company based in Whatcom County. Specializing in weddings, events, and makeup for photography, Ashley strives to create looks with her clients that reflect their personality and natural beauty. When she is not behind her brushes, Ashley can be seen serving on the Whatcom Coalition to End Homelessness, experimenting in her kitchen, and finding any excuse to share good food with friends. lovebeautybellingham.com  For her tips on styling your family, see p. 58

Zacchoreli Frescobadli-Grimaldi Zacchoreli grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and has lived in Bellingham with his partner of 17 years and their two zany dogs. He is a Cordon Bleu Chef, has a master’s degree in English Studies from Western Washington University, and is a grant writer for a non-profit organization. He and his partner enjoy wine, traveling and anything that has to do with the culinary arts.  For his profile of Pierside Kitchen, see p. 113


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PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive North Sound Life North End Metro

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER  Lisa Karlberg EDITOR  Frances Badgett ART DIRECTOR  Kelly Slater ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Christine Biernacki | Kaelen Morris Lisa Knight | Melissa Sturman Wendy Clark


EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Suzanne Bair Katie Heath | Lynette Martinez

WRITER Kyla Rohde


CONTRIBUTORS Arlené Mantha | Ashley Thomasson David Christensen Zacchoreli Frescobadli-Grimaldi



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Letters to the Editor


Loving Fall “Your magazine is the only one I get! I enjoy it so much. It’s just so right for this area and is getting better and better with every issue – the art and the quality is noticeably improved.”



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Note on the Cover: The cover photo of the Mount Baker Theatre’s chandelier was taken by our editorial assistant Suzanne Bair. Mount Baker Theatre is our winner for Best Live Theater in the Best of the Northwest contest.

–Tara H., Mount Vernon

October | November 2014


NOTES Meet a Staffer Every issue we highlight an ­­employee of K & L Media.

Melissa Sturman Fitness fanatic, Country Music loving entrepreneur

What is your role at the ­magazine and how long have you been with K & L Media? I have worked as an account executive for our lifestyle magazines since September 2014. I secure relationships with business partners and find the best possible way to reach their target markets through advertising.

What is your background? Compassionate · Professional · Local

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I grew up in the small town of Gig Harbor, WA and during high school moved to Issaquah, WA. I worked for many years in the travel industry as a full-time travel agent, and was able to help wonderful people build and create vacations of a lifetime. I recently relocated to Blaine and was blessed with this job as an account executive.

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? I love that working for K&L Media is getting me involved with the community. Though I grew up in the PNW, I am new to the area. Working for this company is allowing me to meet some wonderful people. Everyone’s passion for what they do really shows by their commitment with what they do for a living.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? I spend a lot of my time outdoors. I love going on hikes and anything fitness related. If the sun is out, you can guarantee I’ll be out on the water wakeboarding or surfing. I also have a special love for beauty and makeup, and in my spare time, I occasionally do beauty product reviews on my YouTube channel. I was also a dancer for 15 years, so if the music is playing I promise I will be dancing! 

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



n the center of downtown Bellingham is a little-known non-profit organization that focuses on fostering independence for differently abled individuals in our community. Although The Center for Independence has been part of Bellingham for almost three years, few know about the organization or what it does. Who they are The North Sound Center for Independence is part of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and State Independent Living Counsel (SILC), organizations which focus on the advancement of independent living and rights for those with disabilities throughout the United States. The purpose of these agencies is to assist with consumer-driven advocacy for the needs of people with disabilities by the those who know those needs best — the consumer. By following a nonmedical model and an independent living philosophy, CFI places the participants in charge of their own care. Fifty-one percent of staff and board members of CFI must be disabled, and their motto is “For the People, By the People.” Their mission statement is, “The Independent Living Philosophy means that people with disabilities have rights to self-direction and autonomy. We have the right to choose where we live and how we live. We have the right to participate fully in our communities. continued on page 24  …

LIFESTYL E By the Numbers


The Center for Independence has programs for youth ages

and up. P. 24


Thank you for your votes!

Dakota Arts’ new space is



square feet. P. 47

Eric Hall has created a sound archive at Make.Shift with music from more than

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20 NorthSoundLife.com


won Best Cocktail and Best Bar & Lounge in our Best of the Northwest. P. 86

The organizers of the Bellingham Tap Trail printed


maps for the brewery tour. P. 26

Lasting Image


For featured photograph consideration, please submit to editor@klmediacorp.com.

© Rachel Brown

"Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." GEORGE ELIOT

October | November 2014






A Broadway Cabaret Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Bellingham October 2, 7:30 p.m. bellinghammusicclub.org

Dracula Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham October 25, 7:30 p.m. mountbakertheatre.com





Telefon Skylark’s Hidden Café, Bellingham October 17, 8-11 p.m. fairhaven.com


Thrillingham Maritime Heritage Park, Bellingham October 31, 8:30 p.m. bellinghamzombies.com




Spooky Ceramics Good Earth Pottery, Bellingham October 20, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. goodearthpots.com


Aida McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon November 7, 7:30 p.m. mcintyrehall.org




Sanford-Hill Piano Scholarship Recital Performing Arts Center at WWU, Bellingham October 21, 7:30 p.m. wwu.edu

The Capitol Steps Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham November 15, 8 p.m. mountbakertheatre.com


October | November 2014


L I F E ST YLE In the Know

continued from page 19

Independent Living means self-direction and selfcare, and freedom from control by professionals. We have the right to have control over the support services and assistive technology we use to live independently.” What they do North Sound CFI assists our local community in three main areas: information and referrals, independent living skills training and advocacy. The Center for Independence helps individuals beginning at age 14. The CFI programs are open to those with all disabilities, but to be qualified, the individual must be able to articulate and work toward independence, as well as identify as having a disability. All services are available to consumers at no cost. For some consumers, CFI assists with information and referrals to other services in our community, while some participants create individual plans with goals for working toward independence. What does independence mean? In this case, the consumer identifies what independence means to them, identifying what obstacles they may face, and work towards overcoming those obstacles. While one consumer may be focusing on overcoming employment barriers, another consumer may be working on navigating and overcoming transportation challenges, while yet another may be working on developing financial literacy, living independently, or transitioning from youth to adult needs. Some participants require the additional help of programs such as the Washington State Independent Living Youth Council. The 24 NorthSoundLife.com

program manager of North Sound CFI clarified, “You don’t always see the obstacles in the way, sometimes one needs to be removed to find and work through the others.” He went on to explain that the biggest barriers are the “artificial barriers — preconceived barriers for both the individuals and society.” In other words, overcoming one obstacle can mean new obstacles. And CFI is there every step of the way. As consumers work toward achieving their own individual goals and working through these barriers, CFI also works politically on the state and federal levels, lobbying in Olympia and Washington D.C. for funding and policy awareness. Locally, CFI works to ensure that local policies are inclusive for their participants. They perform simple tasks, such as ensuring access to public buildings in our area are brought into compliance with the ADA and other laws, or helping children become better integrated into schools and have the assistance they need to get the education they deserve. For each individual participating in the program, the services they receive are as diverse as each of the consumers and their goals. There is no one-size-fits-all model. Each consumer plan is strictly tailored to the individual, and changes with the consumer’s needs. CFI does offer some specific and core services: peer support, information and referral services, independent living skills training, peer mentoring, social activities and events, adaptive computer skills training, advice about finding and keeping an attendant and much more. There is also access to on-site adaptive technologies available for those with need. But the program manager

stresses “We’re a teach how — not a do for” organization which continues to put the control in the hands of the consumer. CFI helps consumers advocate for their own needs, participate in the political process, and connect them to the resources they need to meet their independence goals. It is also important to note that each CFI offers different services to better serve the needs of their local community, while still offering core services. For example our highly artistic Bellingham Community is a place where consumers can participate in activities such as the Bellingham Downtown Art Walk, which takes place the first Friday of every month. In contrast, the South Sound CFI offers an Out and About Program which physically assists consumers in getting out into the community for activities. This integration of community activities into the lives of the participants also enhances and broadens our community’s perspective. The importance of the Center for Independence: For the Art Walk, participants create their own art using a variety of different media, learn how to present their art for display, communicate and market themselves by discussing their work during the art walk, assist with event planning and promotion and more. While many may not see the direct benefit of this program, it becomes quite evident when participants begin exercising their public speaking abilities, or participate in interviews for employment. Likewise, the Out and About Program assists differently abled individuals in overcoming physical and social barriers in using public transportation and public accommodation.

Each program identifies a set of needs by its consumers, and develops engagement opportunities. Building those life skills creates a stronger, more inclusive society. The importance of community and partnerships CFI also works closely with community partners such as the Bellingham Public Library. The library provides space for Emergency Preparedness Education for differently abled individuals in our community. CFI also provides nutrition education through the youth program to help younger consumers learn how to prepare healthy meals with help of other community partners. The Holiday Inn generously donates rooms for members of the board of directors to participate, while Caitac USA provides invaluable direct financial support as the only for-profit sponsor. Just as each CFI offers different support programs, each center is also run independently. Most CFI locations receive some state and federal money considered “seed money” in which to open the doors, but the rest of the funds used to provide services are through grants and donations. By working closely with the consumer and community partners, the Center for Independence helps to open doors and level the playing field for those who are differently abled in our community. CFI Northsound would like to thank all their individual and community partners. They say it takes a village, but sometimes the first step is becoming part of that village. 

October | November 2014


L I F E ST YLE In the Know



old on Bellinghamsters, an entirely new way to enjoy beer is a-brewing. Those who thought they knew their way around Bellingham’s beer scene will have to start with a blank slate. From Boundary Bay to Chuckanut Brewery, four Bellingham residents have created the Bellingham Tap Trail — a beer map — as a way for beer-lovers everywhere to navigate the breweries of Bellingham. Shannon Larkin, Mindy Overlin, Scott Pelton and Brian Seales created Bellingham Tap Trail (BTT) as a part of Taps, Caps and Corks LLC. Seales and Larkin also own a marketing company called Ketchup+Mustard. Seales says he has inside information about new Bellingham breweries in the works: seven breweries exist in Bellingham now, with two more to open by the end of 2015. “Bellingham has breweries, but how did we plan to find them all without a map?” Co-founder Scott Pelton said. “Problem solved. We’re excited to bring all Bellingham’s amazing breweries together and be the resource for all beer-related venues. We already have people coming to Bellingham for the sole purpose of trying our beer. Let’s show them the inner workings of the breweries, get to know the owners and get to know all the amazing nooks and crannies of our beautiful city. BTT isn’t just about exposing people to our breweries, it’s about showcasing the best of Bellingham, but with beer.” Inception of the BTT Bend, Oregon has had incredible success creating a 26-brewery beer map, brewery tours and expanding awareness to the community of 80,000 people, Pelton said. He hopes that Bellingham’s Tap Trail will be as successful. 26 NorthSoundLife.com

“Mainly, we're excited to have started a business whose sole purpose is beer. Beer is not a bad business to be in.” The Trail The Bellingham Tap Trail will include different beer competitions, gear, merchandise, an interactive map updated semi-annually, beer reviews and other events. The four cartographers of the brewery map expect the trail map to be completed by the time of Bellingham Beer Week 2014, which took place in mid-September. The map will also have a “passport,” listing 15 breweries and tap houses. When a customer purchases a beer at one of the locations, he or she receives a stamp on the passport. After receiving 15 stamps, the customer is eligible for free BTT gear. Tours When the Bellingham Tap Trail launches, beer enthusiasts can navigate the breweries by touring van. “We've had great beer in Bellingham for some time and we want to enhance that tradition. We're not only adding a map and a website, but we'll have tours by 2015. We're bringing people to the beer

and we're investigating three ways to do that,” Pelton said. BTT staff will drive a van full of BTT map users (or Trail Blazers) around to different breweries and educate them about local businesses and other community knowledge. Because Bellingham has such a strong bike community, the BTT staff is also researching a cycle pub, a bicycle powered by 12 people that could be steered by a BTT staff member. Each of these tours will visit three or four breweries at a time, lasting three hours. The goal is to make each tour different. Pelton said that the organizers have printed 10,000 maps to distribute throughout the region, at brewery events and community events. The BTT website will also be updated with beer reviews, events, calendar listings and emails. Pelton and his team are ready. “By encouraging tourists and residents to explore our many taps, we're getting people engaged in the communities that pubs, breweries and tap houses create.” People already visit Bellingham for the beer. The Bellingham Tap Trail will provide them with an opportunity to see and experience the behind-thescenes action of local breweries, and what makes Bellingham so special. 

Book Reviews

In the Know



All great art starts with a great idea but what do you do with it afterward? These authors take a focused approach to the process and not just the finished product in these two fantastic books that take you through the basics and beyond with an in-depth look at art for everyone.

Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters by MaryAnn Kohl, Kim Solga 144 pages Bright Right Publishing, Inc., 2008

Great American Artists for Kids offers a fantastic opportunity for children to learn 75 different artistic styles from American Masters. Using different media and techniques, children can explore everything from architectural design to woodcarving. Opened-ended projects allow children to learn about each American artist — along with the technique and tools used — while creating their own art in a similar style. It is a perfect introduction to art history with a balanced approach of both fun activities and information appropriate for children ages 4-12. Parents and educators will love it, too. Clear materials and process lists make it easy to bring these activities to life and inspire creativity.

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Show Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon 224 pages Workman Publishing Company, 2014

So you’ve created a great piece of art — now what? Bestselling author Austin Kleon walks you through the basics of getting your work out there and known. Not a shameless selfpromoter? That’s ok. Kleon takes an approachable look at marketing your product no matter what your style and pace. Little tips and tricks will have you asking yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and random quotes will have you laughing out loud and prove you’re not alone. Show Your Work is perfect for anyone looking to market their creative work — applicable to art, music, writing, and more.

October 2, 7 p.m. OLIVER DE LA PAZ AND SUSAN RICH Village Books 1200 11th St., Bellingham Villagebooks.com Poets Oliver de la Paz and Susan Rich will read from their newest collections, Post Subject: A Fable and Cloud Pharmacy.

October 30, 6:30 p.m. AUTHOR GARTH STEIN Chuckanut Radio Hour Whatcom Community College’s Heiner Theater, Bellingham Villagebooks.com Author Garth Stein will discuss his book A Sudden Light with Village Books’ own Chuck Robinson during Chuck's radio variety show, Chuckanut Radio Hour.

Who Knew? Lummi Island Lore •

Film director Irvin Kershner was a resident of Lummi Island. His most famous film is The Empire Strikes Back.

The Spanish settled briefly on Lummi Island, and there is a persistent claim that the Lummi Indians named their tribe for the Spanish lanterns — or luminara — they saw twinkling through the trees in the distance.

Lummi Island is known for its excellent fishing, and has been a busy fishing site for the Lummi going back many generations. The traditional style of fishing is called reefnet fishing, in which fishermen stretched a net between two canoes and then cinched the fish into the net. Reefnetting produces the highest quality of salmon.

According to the website roadsidethoughts.com, if you drew a straight line from Bellingham to Lummi Island, the distance would be 10 miles. If you walk at a pace of two miles per hour, you’d be able to walk from downtown to dinner at the Willows in five hours. You’d probably want to take the ferry back.

October | November 2014


L I F E ST YLE Community



lue Skies for Children has been serving underprivileged children in our area since 1997. Their mission is “to raise hope and self-esteem by sponsoring enrichment programs and other essentials for homeless, low-income, and foster children in Whatcom and Skagit counties.” Seven enrichment programs assist local children with needs as diverse as art lessons or school shoes. The Little Wishes Enrichment Program grants ongoing financial support for activities like art lessons, dance and team sports. The One Time Little Wish Program offers assistance with onetime costs, such as school trip fees, special needs equipment, tutoring or other specific one-time needs. The Little Wishes Instrument Loaner program offers children an opportunity to participate in band and orchestra by covering the cost of buying or renting an instrument. The Drivers Education Scholarship provides teens ages 15-17 the opportunity to apply for a competitive scholarship to assist with payment of up to $350 in drivers education fees based on merit and need of applicants. The Josh Fueston Memorial Swim to Live Fund is for swimming-related activities, like swim lessons and pool passes, and assists with fees to participate in the Bellingham Bay Swim team. Shoe Give provides new shoes and socks for

kids in need, and their Winter Warm Up provides children with a new or gently used coat, hat and gloves. Blue Skies’ programs have a big impact on families in need in our community — Winter Warm Up estimates serving between 500-600 children this year, with the distribution of more than 400 pairs of shoes, and will serve 75 children per month through ongoing enrichment activities. Blue Skies will serve over 750 children this year among all its programs. Community partners such as Soles4Souls, Zumiez and Sleep Country provide invaluable resources each year, but Blue Skies for Children also relies heavily on other community donations and sponsorship as well. “A hundred percent of Blue Skies’ income comes from grants, business sponsors, individual donations, community philanthropic organizations and fundraising. We receive no funding from local state, or federal programs,” said Director Julie Guay. Their largest fundraiser is the Annual Dinner and Charity Auction in October, with this year’s theme being Days of Wine & Roses. The event will be at the Lakeway Inn October 11th at 5:30 p.m. Other events include their Annual Garage Sale, Casino Night, and community-sponsored fundraisers throughout the year. 

“Involvement in enrichment programs is more than just participating in an activity for the sake of being in an activity. For many of these sponsored children, participation is a way to work on building social or physical skills, gain self-confidence, and simply be part of their community. For other necessities like coats and shoes, parents are able to divert those funds to other necessities like rent and increased utility costs during the winter. Blue Skies helps not only the individual child they serve, but the whole family in this way.” -Past parent participant 28 NorthSoundLife.com



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Miranda July is an artist and filmmaker known for her quirky, cheeky style, and her app, Somebody, is no exception. “Send your friend a message… a stranger will deliver it!” The app delivers messages to people around your friend. Created with support from Miu Miu.

Rosalinda Guillen


s Rosalinda Guillen talks about Community to Community — the organization she started to spread awareness and bring social justice to farmworkers in the community — she sits beneath two distinctive pictures. One is of her inspiration, civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, Caesar Chavez. The other is one of her achievements: a group photo of farm workers from Château Ste. Michelle Winery with organizers — her included — who had just successfully won a union contract. These are the things that drive Guillen as she fights for farmworkers rights — the people that have inspired her, the things she has experienced, and the battles she has won. ​Guillen was raised in labor camps as the oldest of eight children. She worked on a farm in La Conner with her brothers and sisters. She soon became a teen mother with two sons. Shes continued to support herself through farm working, until she was hired at Baker Boyer Bank in Walla Walla. She worked at banks around the state until 1993 — April 23, to be exact. “That was the day Caesar Chavez died,” Guillen said. She became fully involved in fighting for farm workers’ rights. “I was so disconnected from all the social democratic structures of this country. I was just focused on survival,”


she said. “I had even forgotten how to speak Spanish.” She learned about the generations of farmworkers becoming poorer and poorer as agro-corporations that controlled the farms got richer and richer. She learned about the farm worker movement. And she learned how to spur change in things that needed to be changed. This growing awareness got her involved in organizing boycotts against the farms that were mistreating farmworkers, which, in turn, lead to the picture that hangs proudly on her wall. “The work that I do is about ensuring that the consumers understand that farmworkers play a key role in the food that they buy at the grocery store,” she said. “There has to be some recognition and value given to us.” In 2001, Guillen founded Community to Community, which works with immigrant farm workers to develop a nutritional information project, farm worker-owned cooperatives, and supported and organizes boycotts of farms that are mistreating workers —  most recently, Sakuma Bros. Farms in Burlington. The co-winner of the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize, Guillen’s hard work has earned her everything from praise to criticism, but she doesn’t let any of it stop her in her fight for justice in her community. As the need continues, so does her work. 


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Technology in the Classroom


ssumption Catholic School has just celebrated 100 years of building a strong school and community, where their focus is supporting excellence in body, mind, and spirit. To do this, Assumption Catholic School takes pride in finding a balanced approach between tradition and technology in the classroom. While some parents are concerned about children being overly “plugged in” Principal Monica Des Jarlais said, “The way students learn today is very different than it’s been over the years. Students are continuing to learn more visually, and we must adapt.” The balance is in keeping the human connection with students: teaching social media responsibility while maintaining personal integrity online is key. Students are still taught the basics; writing in cursive, writing letters by hand, how to cite sources, using paper text books, getting their hands dirty with the Dirt to Dirt service project, and learning appropriate social behavior so they don’t miss basic communication and social skills. While technology is integral to the education students receive, it never replaces the teacher in the classroom. Teachers are essential in the link between students and the information that technology provides. Just like a pencil or a book, computers and multimedia are modern tools to access information and produce projects that enhance learning. Students are able to use computers and multimedia tools that build better global awareness and interaction with students while propelling them for the future. “We are told our students leave here and are leaps and bounds above their peers because they are using technology every day,” said Des Jarlais. Students are creating projects with Powerpoint presentations, using Excel, Movie Maker and word processing

programs — to name a few — which are all important to being competitive in today’s world. Integrating technology into the classroom allows students to access learning in a whole new way. To enhance their learning experience, students in all grades have access to computers, software and other technological tools. The kindergarteners use iPads with educational apps they love, bringing characters they read about to life. The use of familiar devices also blends technology they use outside of the class with practical uses at school. Classrooms use SMART Boards where students and teachers interact with technology daily. The school also boasts a 2:1 ratio of children to computers, which are split between two computer labs with 60 computers combined. The computers are replaced on a rotating basis, and no computer is more than four years old. Computers which are rotated out of the lab are then brought into the classroom to increase student access. Additionally, computer educational programs are used, such as IXL Math to help students with math drills and practice, as well as Razz Kids which help students with reading assignments and exercises they can access at both home or school. Assumption Catholic School believes strongly in finding the balance between traditional and modern learning. “We focus on excellence and the human experience– body, mind, and spirit.” Assumption Catholic School: sustaining technology, retaining tradition.  2116 Cornwall Avenue Bellingham, WA 98225 Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 360.733.6133 | school.assumption.org

October | November 2014


L I F E ST YLE Five Faves





Filling out the spectrum with 119 colors, Windsor & Newton also creates watercolors, acrylics and many other paint media. The company employs artists within their laboratory to test the color and texture of each of its paints, and artists work at Windsor & Newton in several other departments as well. Windsor & Newton also offers raw umber pale and yellow ochre pale, which are unique to its brand. Windsornewton.com



Holbein was founded in Japan in the early 1900s, but changed to its current name in the 1930s. The company is named for the portraitist, Hans Holbein, who painted Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More, among many other famous Englishmen. Holbein has no beginner or entry level lines — all of their paint is created and formulated in small batches for professionals. Holbeink.com






Each tube is hand-poured, and every pigment is carefully tested. Vasari is a favorite among oil painters, who like the traditional colors as well as the Vasari proprietary colors. Painters describe Vasari oils as smooth, rich and vibrant. They offer paint sets by artist palette: Renoir for outdoor color, Sargent for earth tones. Vasaricolors.com




Initially developed over a period of 11 years, from 1881 to 1892, the Schmincke family named their oil paints after Cesare Mussini, who studied painting at L’Accademia in Florence and sold his special oil formulations to the founders of Schmincke. The colors today are prized for their high quality and purity. Schmincke.de






Proof that Williamsburg in Brooklyn has really always been the epicenter of hip, in the mid-1880s, Carl Plansky began making paint for his painter pals. Williamsburg was recently bought by Golden Paints, but retains the Williamsburg name. Pigments for each batch are carefully ground, ensuring quality and consistency in each tube of paint. Williamsburgoils.com

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October | November 2014


L I F E ST YLE Quick Trip

34 NorthSoundLife.com

Quick Trip




uiet and unassuming, Lummi Island isn’t as showy and flashy as some of the other islands in the San Juans, but it has a lot to offer the weekender. The island is named for the nearby Lummi tribe, who called it Skallaham. Today, artists, retirees and young families make up the permanent population, and vacationers swell the ranks in the summer months. In winter, Lummi is a quiet retreat. Getting there From I-5 take Slater Road to Haxton Way. Turn left on Haxton to the ferry dock at Gooseberry Point. Ferries leave at ten past the hour. If planning an evening return, be advised that the ferry stops running after 10 p.m. The ferry ride accommodates cars as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The ride across Bellingham Bay is lovely, particularly at dawn and dusk. Where to eat The ferry comes in right near the newly revamped Beach Store Café, the commercial center of Lummi. The café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekends, and lunch and dinner during the week. The Loganita Farm that supplies The Willows Inn also supplies the Beach Store Café, so all the food is very fresh. The café offers both full meals and quick snacks for picnicking. There is also live music every Friday night. The superstar of fine dining, The Willows Inn, is manned by Chef Blaine Wetzel and his kitchen of culinary elves. Wetzel just won the 2014 James Beard Rising Start Chef of the Year Award for his innovative and amazing Northwest fare. Reserve early — the Willows’ main dining room sells out pretty quickly. Guests of the Inn receive first priority on dinner reservations and seating arrangements. The Willows Inn also has a more casual café downstairs, The Taproot Café. Locally sourced with full bar service, it’s a nice option if you’re intimidated by the gourmet fare upstairs. It’s open

Thursday-Sunday, and offers lunch and dinner. The kitchen at The Taproot will also create picnics for you, which is perfect for your day of art gallery hopping. If you’re restaurant-wary, there is also a general store for supplying your kitchen or picnic basket. What to do Lummi Island is an artists’ paradise, and the locals are more than happy to open their studios and galleries on weekends for your perusal by appointment. The Lummi Island Artists’ Studio Tour on Memorial Day, Labor Day and the 2nd weekend in November includes twenty-three locations and thirty-four artists all around the island. The tour includes the bronze sculptures of Ann Morris, the beautiful organic sculptures of Denise Snyder, the bold and luscious paintings of Ria Harboe, and many, many more. There is no better memento of your wonderful weekend than a beautiful work of art from a local artist. Lummi Island is a great place to explore by bicycle. Though some of the hills can be challenging, it is undulating, so you get some breaks from the climbs. The views are spectacular and the roads are quiet. Kayaking is also popular on Lummi — Elakah Expeditions offers traditional explorations as well as wild food foraging trips. The Lummi Island Heritage Trust sponsors lots of hikes and treks on the trails they maintain throughout the island. Where to stay The Willows Inn is a romantic retreat offering beachside lodge rooms, cottages and guest houses. The views are spectacular year-round, and the cozy living room is a great place to watch winter storms. Lummi Island Beach Haven operates a well-appointed vacation home that is available year-round and offers lots of places to hike, beach-comb and explore. Air BnB also lists several rentals. 

October | November 2014


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hen a small group of local parents decided they wanted something more from the offerings of performing arts education in Bellingham, they didn’t just sit back and wait for the perfect studio to drop into their laps. They created their own. Thus, Opus Performing Arts School was born, thanks to Tiiu and Martin Kuuskman of Blaine, and their business partner, Allan Redstone. The school, which is located at 114 W. Holly Street, opened up for students in September, and features dance and music classes for students ages six to adult. It has two programs — a pre-professional program for those more serious about their craft, and a recreational one as well. “We wanted to introduce more of an academy setting,where there was one-on-one, detailed, high-quality instruction, so these kids are getting constant attention,” said Tiiu Kuuskman. The objective of the space, Kuuskman said, is to have teachers and faculty come together under one roof and streamline a syllabus that would help foster learning and advancement. Both of the Kuuskmans have lengthy experience in the performing arts. Tiiu has traveled with various professional ballet troupes in both Canada

and the U.S., and Martin is a Grammynominated bassoonist. What the Kuuskmans noticed in the community was a lack of just that — community. It felt as if the many talented people in the performing arts around Bellingham were isolated from each other. “We wanted to connect these people, bring them together, collaborate, and to benefit the kids,” Kusskman said. Now, after a year of preparation, the school houses two dance studios, a basement used for musical programs, and an office space. Opus is not about one person’s vision, Kuuskman said. It is the collective effort of many talented and unique individuals, all with different experiences they can bring to the table. “When people think and collaborate together, great things happen,” she said. Goals for the future of the studio include expanding to an orchestral program, as well as becoming a beacon for those seeking to train in the performing arts between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. But for now, they are happy with the opportunities the present is giving them. “Everyone is very ignited and excited,” Kuuskman said. “We are feeling very connected to our community.” 

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October | November 2014


L I F E ST YLE Spotlight



elebrating 30 years of success this November, MaryAnn Kohl is the local author of 23 books focusing on the process of creating art for children from ages 2-12. Her first self-published book Scribble Art was an immediate best-seller. Mudworks, Kohl’s second book, won the Ben Franklin Award for Excellence in Independent Book Publishing sponsored by the Independent Book Publishing Association. Since then, she has published nine books under her own imprint with Bright Ring Publishing Inc., with a new forthcoming book Action Art due out in May 2015. She has also published her wildly successful series under Gryphon House, had her books translated around the world, and has won many awards. After spending many years as a grade school teacher, Kohl wanted to stay home with her daughters. Working with children, she realized that children are fearless, love to experiment and aren’t constrained by what art should be. “Projects are great, but children should be able to create their own thing — use pipe cleaners, or feathers or whatever they envision.” Each of her books is jampacked with process art ideas that are open-ended, allowing children’s imagination to take flight using common household materials. Over the years, her books have included everything from First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos, which includes fun activities like dancing foot paint, squeeze a rainbow, and creating chunky beads. She also included international projects in her book Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions From Around the World. “It is this process of exploring and creating, rather than the final product that is most important for young artists.” she said. Kohl encourages getting messy and letting kids be kids. Activities get children active and engaged, using their imaginations

38 NorthSoundLife.com

which help them make connections to the world around them. Her books encourage fun — but Kohl also offers fantastic learning opportunities with great science experiments, math and environmental projects and more. She also stresses that there is definitely a place for art simply for art’s sake. “Art allows children the opportunity to express themselves,” which she feels is sometimes the best learning opportunity possible. Helping parents, childcare centers, teachers and others learn about the benefits of open-ended art projects for kids, Kohl also hosts workshops around the United States. Workshops include detailed group presentations with hands-on time for participants to try activities before taking them back to the children they work with. As a leading expert Kohl has also worked as a consultant for Fisher-Price, Nickelodeon, Kaplan Early Learning, Barnes & Noble, and more. Her articles can be found in Family Fun, Parenting Magazine, Collage, and countless others. She also provides a monthly newsletter with additional activities and has a strong following on social media. Decades later she attributes part of her success to the Independent Book Publishing Association (IBPA).

Although IBPA’s name has changed several time since they began in 1983 their mission has been the same — to assists self and independent publishers. Kohl said, “IBPA was there to kind of hold my hand as I learned how to do this.” Paying it forward, Kohl is now serving her second term on the Board of Directors helping other authors and independent publishers gain the education and advice needed to be successful. Writing and publishing is a tough business. The work doesn’t end just because you have a finished book in hand. It takes a lot of work to get it into print, market it, gain an audience and get it on shelves. It’s also hard to know where to start. Again, it comes back to the process with open-ended projects — this time with authors and independent publishers. Just as artists come to their work with different levels of skill, interests and backgrounds, so do authors and publishers. Kohl and IBPA help supply or direct members to the tools they may need, and it is up to them to come up with their creation. Thirty years and twenty-three books later, she must be doing something right. 

October | November 2014


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ith creativity — and the determination to cultivate her passion — Aerin Adrian recently opened eARThbenders and Artisans, a new ceramic and pottery studio in downtown Bellingham. “I started making pottery 17 years ago at the Community College of Yakima,” Adrian said. From there she went on to major at Western Washington University in East Asian Studies. Finding that her strong passion for her craft endured, Adrian said she wiggled her way into a pottery class at Western Washington University, but the class was reserved for art majors only. However, with her willingness to keep her passion alive, she said she convinced the professor of the class to let her take it as a humanities elective. Years later, thanks to Adrian’s dedication Bellingham now has a studio where she and fellow artisans, first-timers, and children can go to improve their skills or learn a new one. “I didn’t plan to be downtown, because I didn’t want someone elbow-deep in clay running to feed the meter,” Adrian said. However, once she stepped inside the space, she said she knew continued on page 43

continued from page 41

it was the one. “This space has really good energy, and the floors were undone,” she said. Adding that clay is messy and the concrete floors would withstand the mess better than carpet. The studio has five pottery wheels used for throwing clay — a technique that is used to create several types of pottery. At eARThbenders, artists use this technique to make teapots, vases, rice bowls, coffee mugs, plates and more. “The most beautiful thing is to see all five wheels going at the same time, and to watch the people relax while throwing,” Adrian said. Next to the pottery wheel station is one slab roller which is used to roll out large slabs of clay. In front of the five pottery wheels sit two handbuilding tables, used to handcraft pieces such as sculptures and figurines. After being thrown or hand-built, the creation dries on a shelf. The next step is to glaze the piece in the glazing room, which is separate from the main studio. She added that the rooms are separate to help prevent dust from landing on the glazed pieces, which could cause smudges. Last, the clay is fired in one of two kilns — an oven-like mechanism. Once the firing

process is complete, the pottery is ready to take home and use. Or some artists display their creations in the studio for sale. eARThbenders is a community where all levels are welcome, instruction is thorough, and prices are just. Classes offered include sculpting, wheel, and a class for kids called Kids Club. Learn to hand-build in the sculpting class or how to throw in the wheel class, or have your children learn these techniques in the kids’ club. Experienced potters can rent wheel time and buy clay by the pound. “I opened the studio for the people. I wanted a place where people could come to relax and share ideas, even trade pottery,” Adrian said. The process of making pottery is a creative adventure that Adrien has turned into a business. A passion cultivated through determination, and a dream come to life. eARThbenders and Artisans 1411 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham Mon.–Sat. 12 p.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.–8 p.m. 360.920.2815

October | November 2014



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Classic pieces bring a level of comfortability and statement pieces a level of expression. Get creative — pair classic pieces such as wool trousers, or pearl hoop earrings with statement pieces such as a red striped jacket, or a studded leather tote to feel expressive without leaving your comfort zone.

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THE SHOP Dakota Arts has been in downtown Bellingham for 20 years. With a new location, a new on-site art gallery — and much more space overall — art enthusiasts can be sure to find what they are looking for. Alan Weydert, the manager at Dakota Arts said, “I looked at over 25 spaces before finding this location. Some did not work because they were not downtown and we are committed to being downtown.” The location change happened in July this year. ATMOSPHERE “I like the new space because it is more urban, more open, and more industrial,” said Weydert. Adding that the most noticeable changes are the square footage, vaulted ceilings, wooden columns and exposed brick walls. This nearly 6,500square-foot space is split in half. The right half is the sales floor where art supplies can be purchased and the left half is the new on-site art gallery. At back of the art gallery is a classroom. The wall that stands between the gallery and the classroom can be moved, making both rooms adjustable in size. KEY PEOPLE Weydert said that Dakota Arts in Bellingham is the flagship store and that there are two other locations, one in Ballard and one in Mt. Vernon. Beyond selling art supplies, “Dakota Arts is the leading source for pastels in the world,” Weydert said. Adding that the 10,000-square-foot warehouse in Mt. Vernon houses not only a retail store, shipping and receiving, but also a manufacturing grounds where pastels are made.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND Tons of art supplies, and a staff who is helpful and extraordinarily knowledgeable in all things art. Weydert said that all the employees at Dakota Arts are also working artists. In fact, the first show that was displayed in the gallery was all work done by Dakota Arts employees. It would be a great gallery to use for art students at Western Washington University who are pursuing a bachelor in fine arts. “This is a good venue for emerging artists to have a real show in a real gallery.” There are new workshops, classes, and demos on the horizon — set to be hosted in the classroom that sits behind the gallery. As of now, there is a weekly figure drawing session. No instruction is given, but the classroom acts as a studio where artists can come to practice. Weydert said that they are in the beginning stages of organizing classes to be taught, as well as finding instructors for those classes. “We want a balance of professional artists as well as community members.” He added that the Mt. Vernon location offers several classes taught by professional artists, so having something similar to that is the goal. However, also having local community members teach a few days would be a great balance. OWNERS FAVORITE “It’s a joy working for Dakota Arts and working with the owner Craig,” Weydert said. He added that he enjoys working in the art supplies industry because it is a small industry. He said that it is neat to see what others are doing and to get excited for them, without any competition. Adding that there is a sense of comradery that exists. “Every day you are helping people who are exploring their creative side, and sometimes you get to teach them something new.”  

October | November 2014


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his is it, the time of year in which all that is cozy and good comes out to stay a while. Autumn, fall, the holiday season, harvest, whatever. There is a real security in leaning into these comforts: food, sweaters, books, wood-burning stoves, puzzles, and Vitamin D. I have become aware that I am submitting to a rhythm that is occurring without my permission. Growing up in Southern California offered me different beautiful things, like a love for sandy beaches, white decor and a love of cache words like rad or like or right!?, all of which are way over-used. But I somehow totally neglected to create an authentic sense of nostalgia through a season, a certain time in space. I am spurred on by the shifting of light and a tide that is the saltiest I have ever tasted. It’s as if I have decided to submit to the longings for these little life-changing compulsions over time. One by continued on next page


one. Little by slow. For instance, what I learned the first year that I lived here: fleece is a MUST in the PNW and now as I look, I don’t even question it. I cannot help but to allow myself all the cozy excess tidings and savor all the flavors of the season.

You eat with your eyes Living in the Pacific Northwest for the last ten years has provided an absolute playground for this need to fulfill. The bounty of the fresh and local is “better than yours.” I don’t say this to be cocky, I say this because it is true. This place, the very soil is majestic. From the world class Mt. Baker ski haunt to the salmon running, oysters off Chukanut, Orcas off the island trails, crab and a multitude of colorful aqua marine life, piles of rain coming down so slow and constant you almost forget it’s there, to a simple vegetable home garden, or an apple orchard on one of the various small and large farms in the county. All of it thrives in this wild climate. All but tomatoes and citrus anyway.

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When I turn to fall, I turn to PIE Apple pie, to be exact. In high school, I worked in a high end bakery in Los Angeles where we made pie — a lot of pie. So much pie that we had valet parking and lines around the corner of the bakery shop. And even my greatgrandfather Lloyd had a pie bakery in Southern California. But never did I have more respect for apple pie, before arriving here in Bellingham, and that’s because it all happens in one place. The apples are grown, harvested, sold, prepared and eaten here. What a concept. Total game-changer. My son gets it so much that he refuses to eat an apple anywhere else, because they pale by comparison.

October | November 2014



Put it together So when those magical apples are combined with butter from grass-fed cows and the pastry, warm and flaky, the tart taste of apple jumps to the front of the tongue and gently slides back down to the middle of your palate to balance the silken taste and texture of a true butter crust. I have to have one. Pie cravings can come at any time and therefore I must have pie! Yet, that pie is the same pie that sits atop my Thanksgiving table and steals the whole show. I call it Pie On the Fly. I have a friend that calls it “amends pie.” She has used pie as a peacemaker, a truce, it has brought down walls between neighbors for years. I hope that you will enjoy the recipe below and make it yours, whatever you call it. 

Recipe for a butter crust (top and bottom) 2 cups of all purpose flour 1tsp kosher salt 2 sticks of unsalted butter (small pieces) 1/3 cup of ice cold water Combine dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer; flour, salt cut in the butter. Butter should be cold. As cold as you can get it. Mix until butter is combined with flour and is about pea size. ■■ Add the water ■■ Mix until the dough just comes together into a ball. (Do not over mix.) ■■ Divide dough in half. Make into 2 small disks. Wrap them in plastic until ready to roll out. ■■

Recipe for the apple filling 3 lbs of apples (about 6 apples) 3/4 cups of organic sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch

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2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter your pie pan. ■■ Peel, core and cut apples into 2 inch slices. Toss apples in a bowl add lemon juice and toss, then add sugar and cornstarch, toss again. ■■ Roll out both pie doughs into 10 inch circle. Then fold into pan. Cut off the excess dough around the edges or fold them in half. ■■ Add apple pie filling to the pie pan. ■■ Lay your top dough over, flute the edges or use a fork to pinch the top and bottom dough together. Then score the center by using a sharp knife to make two lines in the center. ■■ Brush butter over the top and sprinkle with organic sugar ■■ Bake for 55 minutes ■■


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October | November 2014




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Race for Education 5K run 9 a.m.  Civic Field, Bellingham active.com

Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon Half marathon trail race 9 a.m.  Lake Padden, Bellingham lakepaddentrailhalf.com

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Seattle Turkey Trot 5K run/walk 9 a.m.  Golden Gardens Park, Seattle seattleturkeytrot.org


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Fairhaven Frosty 5K & 10K 10K run & 5K run 10 a.m.  Fairhaven Park, Bellingham gbrc.net

Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K run/walk 10 a.m.  Bellingham High School, Bellingham bellinghamjinglebellrun.kintera.org

Last Chance Marathon Marathon & half marathon 9 a.m.  Fairhaven Park, Bellingham databarevents.com

I believe... IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE, YOU WOULD LIVE HERE... Walking the Semiahmoo sand-spit adds life to your years. You can live in a community without big box stores and still have everything you need. You shouldn’t choose your home on whether it’s close to your job but rather you should choose your home for the other 128 hours in the week. Eating fresh means... you pulled your own crab pot. Traffic is a lifestyle choice and not a very good one. There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing with your dog is one of them. Blaine, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo,

Seeing is believing. Kathy Stauffer

Managing Broker 360.815.4718 | kathystauffer.com

Whatcom County... even when it rains, I shine!


Morning Oasis



wner and licensed esthetician, Dagmar Susser, met me at the door to Melange Spa & Electrolysis in downtown Fairhaven like a bright cup of sunshine. I was immediately welcomed into her charming boutique spa which held a distinctly luxurious and European feel, reflecting her European heritage. Born in Vienna, Susser spent her younger years throughout the region before moving to the United States and then to Washington, where she has lived for the past 20 years. In 2013, Susser opened Melange Spa and Electrolysis in her current location in the Fairhaven Square Building. Susser’s decision to open the spa came from wanting to help other women

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after her own lifetime struggles with skin problems. Growing up with severe acne and skin reactive allergies she understands the unique needs and problems that women face. Her specialty of course is skin. “I have women come in who point out areas they consider flaws that I wouldn’t have even noticed, but they do. It’s my job to point out what is beautiful and help them achieve their best.” Taking this as my cue, and with plenty of options at this full-service spa, I couldn’t help but chose a facial. (Let’s face it — my skin could use a little hydration after this beautiful summer.) I walked into her well appointed room to lie down into an hour of pure bliss. Something in her spa instantly created

a relaxed atmosphere — maybe it was the soft lighting, the subtle fragrance in the air or the mellow music in the background, but I instantly melted into the comfort of the soft table where my skin was bathed in moisturizing luxury that lasted for days. While my choice was to pamper my skin, Susser says that her most popular service is her lash bar, closely followed by her special acne facial, and a biopeel microdermabrasion treatment. But Melange Spa also offers plenty of other services, too: body treatments, nail service, makeup artistry and more. For me, my spa day was over far too quickly and I can’t wait to go back. Check their website for a full list of services or to schedule your appointment. 

Now’s the time. Come and see.

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Kathy Stauffer, Managing Broker 360.815.4718 kstauffer@windermere.com Visit me at: kathystauffer.com




t’s that time of year again — vacations are winding down, school is back in session and routine has resumed once more. Although we all know we’ll miss those carefree summer days, I can’t help but feel that fall is Bellingham’s favorite season. We rejoice in the beautiful colors, praise cozying up with a warm latte (pumpkin spice, perhaps?), and can hardly wait to start wearing our favorite sweater. But while the late summer lingers here in Bellingham, it is the perfect time to slow down the pace and savor this perfect season. One way to both enjoy and preserve this beautiful time is to capture it on film. Whether a family session for Christmas cards, an engagement session for those save-the-dates, a senior photo package or a portrait session just because, there is no better time to get your pictures done. For those of you who already have fall photos planned or for those still considering it, here are my styling tips so you can make the most of your investment! Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize While this may seem obvious, or easy, I cannot stress enough how proper accessorizing can take a portrait from good to great! Scarves, jewelry, jackets, shoes — they all add style and texture that will translate well in photos. Utilizing your accessories can also help you save money. Instead of buying a new outfit, you can turn a simple dress or pair of jeans with a t-shirt into a full-fledged outfit by adding a scarf and cute boots. Not sure which accessories to use? Bring them all! You 58 NorthSoundLife.com

can always decide when you get there and it’s better to have the option of using them than not having them when you need them. Plus, your photographer might have some input on what will photograph the best. Think Differently About Matching For years, matching outfits have been the status quo for family sessions. And while the concept is a good one, the execution hasn’t always been on par. Identical outfits can take away texture which keeps interest in the pictures, as well as detract from personal style. Instead of choosing matching outfits, pick a color palette (i.e. blue and cream) for your family so each person can find an outfit that suits their personality but still flows well. Kick It Up a Notch When thinking about how to style your hair and makeup, don’t be afraid to go a little bold. While still looking like yourself is important, the camera and light can often wash us out in pictures, so a little extra product can help counter-balance that. If hiring a professional is not an option, make sure to take some time to pamper yourself! A little extra makeup and a few more curls in your hair will bring your beautiful features to life on the other side of the lens. Not to mention, spending time pampering yourself can help you to feel more relaxed, confident and ready to take on the camera! 

Can I ever get rid of the dark spots that developed on my face when I was pregnant? My daughter is almost two and they’re still as dark as when she was born. If I can’t get rid of them, do you have any specific products you would recommend to cover these without looking too cakey? - Abby Y., Everson

Yes! While there are many products that are recommended to reduce dark spots, they can be costly and it’s rare they ever go away completely. To save some money and just focus on coverage, start with applying your normal foundation or tinted moisturizer. Then, very lightly apply a creamy color correcting concealer on top (for red spots use a green concealer, for a dark spot use a red/pink based concealer and for a yellow/orange spot, use a purple concealer). Last, if needed, lightly dab a skin-matching concealer over the spot until blended. I’ve always used liquid foundation but just recently started using powder foundation and really enjoy it. I’m wondering how I decide when to use liquid versus powder foundation! - Tina C., Ferndale

Great question! The two biggest factors you would want to consider would be your skin type and the finish you want. Every product is different and created with special formulas, but as a general rule, liquid foundation is best for dry skin and powder is for oily skin. You can use powder foundation on dry skin, but sometimes it can make pores and lines more noticeable, rather than blur them like a liquid foundation would. Just know that with liquid you can find anything between a dewy or matte finish, while working with powder you will almost always achieve a matte finish. If something works for you then use it!

Lise Waugh

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October | November 2014


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HABITAT Home Remodel Tips and Tricks · Featured Home



n partnership with the Northwest Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, we selected this exquisite home perched above beautiful Chuckanut Bay. This project began as a remodel, but the needs of the family were greater than the existing house could provide, and a rebuild ended up being a more affordable option. A Feng Shui consultant reviewed the new design to ensure proper interior circulation, maximize air flow, increase light and to showcase the stunning view. Outdoor terraces built into the hillside create additional living space that complements the openness of the interior living space.  continued on next page  …

HABITAT Featured Home

Christensen designed the home to reflect its woodland surroundings with natural, low-maintenance elements like stone, metal, glass and wood. The home is also designed with non-toxic and sustainable materials like non-formadelhyde insulation and high-performance glass in the windows on the west side. The landscaping of native plantings complements the setting and the earth tones of the house.

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Featured Home


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HABITAT Featured Home

The open living space not only allows for a range of family activities and interaction, it also provides a perfect space for entertaining guests. The kitchen cabinetry provides a seamless look amd conceals the appliances, making an open kitchen and living room an attractive, unified space.

Each detail of the home is carefully considered, from the open, bright bathroom to the intimate seating space in the living area. The raw, natural textures and patterns throughout the house create a theme of a spa-like retreat, perfect for cozy nights by the fire.

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IN HOME LOANS, NOT HASSLES CONTACT ME AT 360.255.7090 TO LEARN MORE Steve Snodgrass Sales Manager steve.snodgrass@everbank.com NMLS ID: 420700

© 2014 EverBank. All rights reserved. 13ERM0139.28. EverBank NMLS ID: 399805.

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



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October | November 2014 65





n my recent project, I assembled an eclectic collection of furniture, which is neatly placed in a symmetrical living area layout. In this aesthetic, casual contemporary embraces stylish comfort. The arrangement of this living space makes it a great place for bringing people together and fostering conversation. Contemporary style is, by definition, what is being created and produced right this minute. It combines elements from a variety of styles and eras. I love clean lines and smooth surfaces without intricate details with my contemporary designs, however, that doesn’t mean I will make your home feel cold. Instead, I complete with a blend of comfortable, livable essentials that create a sophisticated, current look.

Spaciousness is key in a contemporary space. Visual integrity is vital and we often see kitchen merging with dining merging with living. In addition to an open floor plan, large windows provide plenty of natural light, bringing the outdoors in. The effect is all together airy and at ease. My clients were are all about showcasing individuality and personal style. Thus, we selected unique forms to take center stage in their contemporary space. We balanced several natural materials and natural finishes, using wood, metal and other industrialinspired materials to provide an aesthetic balance. Here are a few of the key choices we incorporated:

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COLOR Contemporary design is typically offset by neutral colors of brown, taupe, cream or pure white. Decorating with pale gray is the latest urban trend, and one of my favorites.

METAL ACCENTS Metals like stainless steel, nickel and chrome are very popular in contemporary design, providing a sleek finish. Side tables with geometric designs, collections of mirrors and reflective interest, and floor lamps with metal frames worked perfectly.

TEXTURE If you want to add texture and depth to create a more inviting settings, look to rugs, wallpaper and furniture upholstery, as we did throughout our entire space.

WOOD When it comes to choosing wood surfaces, contemporary designs usually feature very light or very dark tones. We went completely custom with each piece for this project; bamboo wall treatment surrounding the fireplace, live-edge cedar for the dining table and beautifully stained alder for the one-of-a-kind kitchen table and bench.â€‰ď ´

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Jack & Michelle Johnson

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ART through the

SENSES A great work of art overwhelms and crosses the senses: a still life in which water droplets glow so perfectly, you can feel them; a film’s depiction of a meal that is so meticulous, it makes you hungry; a passage in a novel that describes a summer field so well, you can smell the grass and soil. In this feature, we celebrate the senses.


October | November 2014




Visual art in our area is so abundant. Some say it’s the light, some say the views, some say it’s the calm, easygoing lifestyle. For whatever reason, our corner of the Northwest has become a gathering place for visual artists. We celebrate the filmmakers, painters, dancers, photographers and sculptors who work so hard for so little to help us frame and understand our world through our eyes.

Whatcom Museum and Lightcatcher This fall, the Whatcom Museum and the Lightcatcher are putting on a retrospective. In their show Reaching Beyond: Northwest Designer Crafstmen at 60, which is juried by Ben Mitchell, the museum will display 60 years’ worth of clay, glass, wood, metal, fiber and mixed media art by 90 artists who represent the finest in handmade arts.

Art Walk On the first Friday of every month, people from all over the area flock to downtown Bellingham to enjoy the work of local artists, and the venues that host them. Small galleries, boutiques, restaurants and studio collectives open their doors from 6-10 p.m. There is also a special Children’s Art Walk that showcases the work of some of our most creative artists — the under 18 set. And there’s a juried show of contemporary art called Creative Spaces. Art Walk is sponsored by the Downtown Bellingham Partnership in collaboration with Allied Arts. It’s the perfect way to spend a fall evening or a cozy winter night. WHATCOM MUSEUM

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The Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Lucia Douglas Founded in 1993, Lucia Douglas Gallery has been a home for fine artists in Bellingham who launch into bigger markets. Despite their success elsewhere, many of Lucia Douglas artists still come home to the gallery. Thomas Wood, John Cole, Ann Wood, Lisa McShane and many more are often in shows at Lucia. The receptions at Lucia Douglas are a wonderful way to connect with the artists with their work in a personal, intimate setting.


Smith and Vallee This lovely space is both a workshop for fine woodworking and a gallery. With regular exhibits of the best in local art, Smith and Vallee frequently juxtaposes works that evoke a theme, from the atmospheric paintings of Tyree Callahan, Sharon Kingston and Lisa McShane in their show Sky, to the sculptural work of David Eisenhour and Jennifer Bennett. Owned by locals Wesley Smith and Andrew Vallee, it’s the perfect destination after a fall afternoon drive.

Studio UFO Trish Harding creates intriguing landscapes and gorgeous portraits. She is active in organizing plein air days, in which artists set up easels and paint our lovely streetscapes and landscapes in the open air. She’s a fixture of the downtown Art Walk and her gallery is also an excellent art school. She offers courses in figure drawing, creating a watercolor palette and more. Trish is open and friendly, and always up for a painting adventure.


Randy R. Clark, aka Fishboy, is the patron saint of Sunnyland, a folk artist who paints on plywood with whatever paint he can scrounge or scavenge: he’s a wild child, a rock-n-roller with a childlike heart of gold. Portraying the world of nightmares and dreams, he creates, birds and people, dogs and fish, and fish and boys. With his rare brand of sophistication and whimsy, the world Fishboy creates is always worth the journey. His gallery is a cozy place, outfitted comfortably with couches and window seats. That comfort allows you to dwell with Fishboy’s creatures and creations for a fall afternoon. Open weekday afternoons or by appointment.


The Firehouse has been a staple in our local grassroots cultural scene, with regular performances and theater productions. A beautiful, soaring and versatile space, the Firehouse is not just a great place to perform, it is also a great place to see a performance (a rare combination in our ‘burg). This fall, the Firehouse continues its excellent dance classes in the Sunday Contemporary Dance Class series, focusing on modern, ballet, contemporary and jazz dance. There’s also the Monday Night Modern Dance Class with Dance Gallery. Drop-ins are welcome. The Chuckanut Sandstone series continues this fall with open mic and collaborations between the written word and dance, and in October, Kuntz & Company will perform their work Hide and Seek under the direction of Pam Kuntz.



Though bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Nirvana put the Pacific Northwest on the map, our area is also home to world-class jazz, inspiring classical and festivals and performances that celebrate our incredible home-grown talent.

Whatcom Symphony Orchestra Fall isn’t complete without the opening strains of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra wafting through the Mount Baker Theatre. Under the direction of Music Director Yaniv Attar and led by Concertmaster Grant Donnellan, the WSO is heading into another fall season of beautiful music. The opening concert will be a program of piano works from the Romantic period. In November, the WSO will tackle Mozart and Mahler, building to their Holiday Extravaganza with the Mount Baker Toppers and the Bellingham Children’s Choir.

McIntyre Hall


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The organizers at McIntyre Hall have a wonderful fall planned, chock full of interesting programs and performances. The Barefoot Movement, a mix of Bluegrass and Americana, will perform in September and October. The Sno-King County Community Chorale will perform with The Brothers Four in I Hear America Singing!, a musical program of traditional folk songs. The Northwest Ballet’s production of Dracula will be on October 18th, and the Gala Concert will be on October 25th.


Make.Shift Though they have ample gallery space, the downtown wild child that is Make. Shift is also committed to the local music scene in a big way. They provide local bands a free van for moving equipment to and from gigs. They offer studio recording space and performance spaces for live music, and they have started a local music library. Bellingham resident Eric Hall compiled a library of more than 500 Bellingham bands, which are available to stream for free at Make.Shift. We are lucky to have such passionate and creative people keeping our cultural scene vibrant.

Poetry Night


Every Monday at 8 p.m., the Whatcom Poetry Series hosts readings of local and regional poets of distinction and open mic poetry for anyone who wishes to sign up. The location alternates between the Bellingham Public Library and the downtown Alternative Library. The poetry series is a great way to celebrate poetry and community on a cozy fall night. Sign-up begins at 7:30, readings begin at 8.



Some art is meant to be felt, to be run over the palm or through the fingers —  sculpture that warms from your body heat on a winter day, or a finely woven tapestry of silk. Art that is made to be touched grounds us in the texture and landscape of created objects, and makes our experience with the work intimate.

La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum The world-class La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum regularly programs fascinating fiber art shows, while maintaining an impressive permanent collection. More than just a scrap-happy hobby, quilting can be a deeply expressive, very personal form of art. This October, the Quilt Museum hosts its annual Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival, a celebration of the woven art.The festival features a juried and judged show of art quilts, wearable art and other forms of fiber art. Whenever you visit, the Quilt Museum is likely to impress.

Lummi Weaving and Carving LA CONNER QUILT & TEXTILE MUSEUM

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Traditional weaver Bill James creates blankets, baskets and cedar hats in the Coast Salish tradition. His late mother and teacher Aunt Fran was such an institution, she won a Congressional Medal of Honor. Their works are represented in the Museum of the Native American in Washington, DC, but Bill’s heart is here at home, where he teaches Lummi youth the arts, crafts and old ways of their people. Carver Felix Solomon’s restoration work is on display in front of the Whatcom County Courthouse, and his own pole called “It’s Mine” is installed at Maritime Heritage Park. And Jewell James’ carving is practically legendary. His storypoles have commemorated the attack on 9-11, protested the coal facility proposed for Cherry Point and other areas where disaster has struck, or where there is a need for healing. One of his storypoles stands in the place of the tragic 1999 pipeline explosion.



Alley Arts: Creating Public Art

There’s something very compelling about walking a woodland trail and finding a beautiful work of art, and there are so many places in our area to do just that. There is something poetic about the juxtaposition of sculpture and daily life — that one piece you pass on your way downtown every day — the conversation that happens with that reminder of expression in your routine.

Allied Arts of Whatcom County hosts their annual Alley Arts Mural Project October 4th from 4–7 p.m. The public is invited to participate under the guidance of local artists Kathryn Hackney and Jason Darling. They will outline the murals and then help the public create it. This year’s inspiration comes from the documentary film Trash Dance, which is showing at the Pickford on October 10th at 5:45. The mural will have 3-dimensional elements and textures.

Just beyond the utilitarian structures and traffic of the border, there is Peace Arch Park. The arch itself is monumental. But around the grounds are some distinctive pieces of contemporary sculpture that give Peace Arch a reputation beyond just a tourist stop. There is the Lead Pencil Studio Non Sign II, which greets visitors atop a hillside, a broken frame open to the sky. Every year, the Peace Arch International Sculpture Exhibition features more than a hundred artists and sculptures. Big Rock Garden in Bellingham is another wonderful walk among some stunning works of art. The permanent collection is up to 39 sculptures, and is consistently growing. It’s the perfect place to take a picnic, spend an afternoon of contemplation or take a quick lunch break stroll. Western Washington University also has a distinctive collection of sculpture, turning the entire campus into a large sculpture garden. For hidden sculpture treasures, the San Juan Islands’ Sculpture Park takes the cake. Located in beautiful Roche Harbor, the lovely setting and easily accessible paths make this 100-piece exhibit worth the trip. Lummi Island is home to the Ann Morris Bronze Sculpture Garden, which is a lovely display of her work. Viewing is by appointment only, or on the first Saturday of each month from 10-5. A jug of cider, a nice picnic lunch and an afternoon enjoying the careful placement of sculpture in a natural setting — what a nice way to welcome fall.

October | November 2014



a taste? While we don’t recommend licking a Fishboy painting, we did manage to find food that elevates itself beyond being beautiful or delicious — food that is an opening to understanding, crafted and created to challenge and excite.

The Willows Inn on Lummi Island

© Charity Burggraaf


Our sense of taste is a tapestry of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and Umami. Can art have

A washed stone with the perfect oyster perched on top. A smoking box with a single mussel inside. Chef Blaine Wetzel marries the art of presentation with the mastery of combining ingredients to create incredible flavors.

Chocolate Necessities Chocolate Necessities is celebrating 25 years of fine chocolate-making with artisan techniques and painstakingly sourced ingredients. Using Callebaut chocolate, they create works of art, from small, artful truffles and filled chocolates to these exquisite masks.

Pure Bliss Desserts Can a cake be art? We think so. Look at the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud. The perfect balance of ingredients, of icing, with the delicate perfection of the decoration elevates these sweet treats into little edible works of art.



Saturday | October 25

$44, $39 & $34, $15 youth/student Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters.


Saturday | November 22

$44, $39 & $34, $15 youth/student Sweet Honey In The Rock® is a performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture. The ensemble educates, entertains, and empowers its audience and community through the dynamic vehicles of a cappella singing and American Sign Language interpretation for the Deaf and hearing impaired.

Fraser Valley Food Show As with an art show, this food show has juried selections, competitions, displays and more. Events include cheese and wine seminars, Bite of the Valley with participating restaurants, sausagemaking competitions and celebrity chef cooking demonstrations. A great place to savor the art of great food, the event takes place October 3–5 in Abbotsford. 



$39, $34 & $29, $15 youth/student David Benoit is a contemporary jazz pianist, composer, and five-time Grammy nominee.

ec4arts.org | 425.275.9595 410FOURTHAVENUENORTH EDMONDSWA98020

Marketing & promotion of Edmonds Center for the Arts is made possible, in part, by assistance from the Snohomish County Hotel-Motel Tax Fund.

October | November 2014


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Craft Beers • Small Plates • Dancing • Live DJs • Live Entertainment


In partnership with:

WINNERS The results are in!

Our readers and the listeners of

KAFE 104.1 have voted on their favorite businesses, services, restaurants, stores, spas and more, from Blaine to Anacortes. Looking for the go-to places to get the perfect haircut or find the best dentist? Look no further.



Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa

Mount Baker Theatre

Silver: Skagit Valley Casino Bronze: Swinomish Casino & Lodge

Silver: Upfront Theatre Bronze: Bellingham Theatre Guild

With events, expos and activities, there are always reasons to spend a weekend at the Silver Reef, but they’ve wisely added one more: the Cigar Lounge. It’s the perfect place to gather and relax — a calm oasis among ringing slots and busy card tables. The hotel and spa are world-class, and offer excellent packages for weekends and holidays. And then there’s the food…so much of it, and it’s so good. •• 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale, 866.383.0777

From raucous musicals like Mama Mia! to worldclass entertainment acts like Joan Baez, to the orchestral perfection of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Mount Baker Theatre is a hub of culture in the budding Arts District of downtown Bellingham. The building itself is a local icon, and well worth a visit. •• 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham, 360.734.6080



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BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE Wild Buffalo Silver: Green Frog Bronze: Packers Oyster Bar This venerable local hotspot has seen some ups and downs in recent years, and we sincerely hope it sticks around for a good long while. With excellent local and national acts, great service and a groove-worthy dance floor, it’s the place to get your booty moving. •• 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.746.8733

Art Gallery



Allied Arts Silver: Make.Shift Bronze: Jansen Art Center Allied Arts is, yes, an excellent gallery. But it’s also a major force in our local arts scene, spearheading education and outreach programs, sponsoring Bellingham’s downtown Art Walk and annual Whatcom Studio Tours, as well as supporting hundreds of local artists by providing regular venues and opportunities. We are lucky to have such an active arts scene, and in large part, we have Allied Arts to thank for it. •• 1418 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, 360. 676.8548

October | November 2014








The Lightcatcher

Ben Mann

Ski to Sea

Silver: Spark Bronze: Museum of Northwest Art

Silver: Tyree Callahan Bronze: Graham Schodda

Silver: Anacortes Arts Festival Bronze: Northwest Washington Fair

With its elegant curved smoked glass wall and soaring modern interior, The Lightcatcher is a beautiful venue for viewing distinctive works of art. The Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) is an artfully created and designed play space for little ones. And lest we forget, TwoFifty Flora is the perfect lunch spot. •• The Lightcatcher, 250 Flora St., Bellingham; Whatcom Museum, 121 Propsect St., Bellingham, 360.778.8930

His bright landscapes and whimsical still lifes make Ben a local favorite, which is why his work is on every street corner. Okay, not literally, but many of them. Colorful and appealing, Ben’s work is always in demand. Mambo Italiano in Fairhaven always has a great selection of Ben’s paintings for sale. •• PO Box 4284, Bellingham, 360.920.4284

Bellingham is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true, and Ski to Sea celebrates everything we love about outdoor recreation, from skiing the icy peaks of Mount Baker to gliding across Bellingham Bay in a kayak. It All Ends In Fairhaven is a giant welcome home for the outdoor warriors, and the best street fair of the year. •• 2227 Queen St. #6, Bellingham, 360.746.8861



Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa is thrilled to be the Best Casino and serve the Best Steak in the Northwest! With our incredible new expansion coming summer 2015, we’ll have plenty of room for you and all of these great awards.


S i l v e r R e e f C a s i n o. c o m • ( 8 6 6 ) 3 8 3 - 0 7 7 7 I-5 Exit 260 • 4 Min. West • Haxton Way at Slater Road Must be 21 or over to play. Management reserves all rights. ©2014 Silver Reef Casino

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Avenue Bread

Osaka Japanese Restaurant

Mount Bakery

Silver: Old World Deli Bronze: Coconut Kenny’s

Silver: Wasabee Sushi Bronze: Zen Sushi

Silver: Cupcakes Like It Sweet Bronze: Pure Bliss Desserts

A great sandwich begins with great ingredients, and no one knows this better than the owners of Avenue Bread. Starting with their excellent bread, they build sandwiches fit for kings and queens. The reuben is especially tender and juicy, and the turkey-cranberry sandwich is a regular favorite. •• Various locations, Bellingham, 360.715.3354x1

Great for lunch or dinner, Osaka offers an extensive menu of Japanese specialties, including donburi, tempura, udon and yakisoba, as well as traditional soups and appetizers. But Osaka’s sushi really shines. The fresh, delicious rolls and sashimi are ample and satisfying. Best with a nice warm sake, this is a great place for a spicy tuna roll. •• 3207 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.676.6268

Bellingham’s sunniest corner, Mount Bakery serves up fresh food and mouthwatering pastries in their sweet, Eurostyle cafe. The best breakfast offering is the Belgian waffle, piled high with fruit and whipped cream and a little drizzle of chocolate. The sandwiches, soups and quiches make for a perfect lunch. Pair with one of their house-made teas. •• 308 W. Champion St., Bellingham, 360.715.2195

October | November 2014



BEST STEAK The Steakhouse at Silver Reef Silver: Black Forest Steakhouse Bronze: Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse Chef Tom Hull and his team at the Silver Reef have perfected the art of serving a great meal with just the right accompaniments. The menu includes seafood, lamb and other dishes, but steak is Hull’s specialty. He uses local Misty Isle Farms beef, and the improvement in texture and taste over frozen or more distant sources is noticeable. The ambiance is elegant and refined, and the service is absolutely world-class. The Steak House is perfect for a romantic date, a special occasion or an evening of just plain great eating. •• 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale, 360.383.0777

BEST BURGER Boomer’s Drive-In Silver: Fiamma Burger Bronze: Five Guys Do yourself a favor: drive, right now, to Boomers and get a burger, shake and waffle fries. Boomer’s tag line is “Bellingham’s Best Burger” and while there’s hot competition out there, who are we to argue? Not only is Boomer’s delicious, it’s also easy on the wallet: the classic Boomer burger is under $5. •• 310 N. Samish Way, Bellingham, 360.647.2666

BEST BAR & LOUNGE Poppe’s 360 Silver: Scotty Brown’s Bronze: The Temple Bar One of the best kept secrets in patio dining in Bellingham is Poppe’s 360 excellent outdoor space with fire pits and live music. The drink menu is 86 NorthSoundLife.com

always impressive, and the food is a fantastic complement to all those great cocktails. With friendly, professional service and top-notch bartenders, Poppe’s 360 is a perennial favorite for good reason. •• 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, 360.746.6476

BEST COCKTAIL Poppe’s 360 Silver: Redlight Bar Bronze: Rock and Rye Oyster House This year in particular, Poppe’s 360 has been working hard on revamping their cocktail menu, and the results are showing. Delving into craft cocktails isn’t for the faint of heart, but bar manager Juli Wavada isn’t daunted. Mixing up her own bitters and simple syrups and delivering great cocktails with a smile, Juli and her team are giving the newer bars a run for their money. •• 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, 360.746.6476

BEST COFFEE Cruisin’ Coffee Silver: Woods Coffee Bronze: Black Drop Coffee House With 14 locations all over the state, it’s hard not to pass a Cruisin’ Coffee on your morning commute. Our readers recommend cruising the drive-through and picking up a hot beverage of your choice. Not only does Cruisin’ serve rich espresso and coffee drinks, they also serve Spice Hut’s excellent teas. These little huts are well worth a stop. •• Various locations in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Anacortes, Bow and Mt. Vernon, 360.738.3789

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Jalapeños Family Mexican Restaurant Silver: Chihuahua’s Mexican Restaurant Bronze: Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant The original Jalapeños offers waterside dining at the head of the Whatcom Waterway, with views of Lummi Island and Orcas beyond. The Fairhaven location sports a nifty rooftop patio and a downstairs indoor patio, which stays toasty even in the depths of winter. The food is carefully prepared and a great value with gigantic proportions, and the service is reliably friendly and fast. And then there are the drinks — this year, Jalapeños added to their family of margaritas with the Big Papa. Even bigger than the ennormous Big Mama, it’s a surefire one-way street to a night of big fun...and possibly morning-after regrets. •• Various locations in Bellingham, 360.671.3099

BEST DESSERT Pure Bliss Desserts Silver: Mallard Ice Cream Bronze: Cupcakes Like It Sweet We know it was hard for our readers to sample from all the local shops and bakeries to vote in this category, and we applaud your hard work. Pure Bliss is the brainchild of Andi Vann, and one of the best spots to grab a perfect slice of cake and a cup of tea. The interior is a cute combination of Parisian pink and black, and complements the frosty cakes in the case very nicely. A great place to stop in and grab a little treat or linger over dessert, Pure Bliss is a sweet spot in our downtown. Oh, and just in case you’re looking for a cake for an occasion, yes, they cater. •• 1424 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, 360.739.1612





Live Music Weekly Free Community Workshops


Saturdays, May 10 — October 25, 9am - 2pm Wednesdays, June 18 — August 27, 4pm - 7pm 7th Street & R Avenue At The Depot 360-293-7922 anacortesfarmersmarket.org

Join us for our 8th Holiday Farmers Market

Nov. 22nd & 23rd 10am to 4pm Two Day Event at the Anacortes Port Warehouse (North end of Commercial Avenue)

Eat Local for Thanksgiving, and get your Holiday Shopping done Early! Door Prizes and Live Music All Day! Free Admission!

BEST HAPPY HOUR Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill Silver: Poppes’s 360 Bronze: New York Pizza Earlier this year, our office had a chance to check out Hearthfire’s happy hour, because we kept hearing about it. It did, indeed, live up to its reputation, with great food and drink deals and beautiful sunset views. The service was speedy despite the crowd, and the food was fresh and well prepared. Clearly, our readers agree. •• 7 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, 360.527.3473

BEST BREWERY Kulshan Brewery Silver: Boundary Bay Brewing Bronze: Aslan Brewing


The Art of Sandwich Making Best Sandwich (



Best Sandwich







Best Bakery

Best Sandwich

v i s i t o u r n e w we b s i t e a t ave n u e b re a d. co m ( 3 6 0 ) 7 1 5 - 3 3 5 4

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Beer experts up and down the West Coast and all over the country laud Kulshan for their perfectly crafted beers. The patio is packed all spring and summer, and the taproom is lively all winter. Food trucks provide excellent fresh snacks while the crew concentrates on brewing and serving rich, balanced, delicious beer. •• 2238 James St., Bellingham, 360.389.5348


BEST PIZZA La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza Silver: Goat Mountain Pizza Bronze: Coconut Kenny’s Thin, toasty crust and artisan ingredients make these pizzas the best in town. The fun interior of stainless steel and exposed beams makes for a perfect casual lunch, and the patio is perfect for a sunset date. La Fiamma also serves cocktails, has a distinctive wine list, an assortment of sandwiches, various pasta dishes and exceptional desserts. Family-friendly, La Fiamma gives little ones raw pizza dough to play with before they dig into the real thing. •• 200 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham, 360.647.0060







Food Truck


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StrEAT Food

Pierside Kitchen

Silver: Highway 542-Go Bronze: JT’s Smokin BBQ

Silver: Ciao Thyme Bronze: The Steakhouse at Silver Reef

Offering new twists on old favorites, StrEAT Food is the kind of food truck you end up chasing. The chicken artichoke sandwich, chile verde dog and Homesick Texan taco are all favorites. The owners also operate the Ferry Terminal Cafe out of the Bellingham Ferry Terminal in Fairhaven. Open Wednesday through Saturday, the cafe serves many of the same favorites, and some extra dishes you won’t find on the truck. Two words: shrimp grits. •• 355 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.770.9052

Semiahmoo is open and bustling again. The resort has reopened, revamped and created a whole new dining experience — Pierside Kitchen. Under the guidance of Chef Eric Truglas, Pierside’s Northwest specialties include wood-fired pizzas, beautifully seared meat and perfect salmon. Everything is plated so beautifully, it feels like a shame to pick up a fork and dig in. But you have to. •• 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine, 360.917.3767

BEST WINERY Coach House Cellars BEST TAKE-OUT Busara Thai Cuisine Silver: On Rice Thai Cuisine Bronze: Best Chopsticks Lunch and dinner don’t have to mean boring plastic containers or shopping, cooking and dirty dishes. Busara’s fresh menu is extensive and consistently delicious. Perfect for curling up in front of the last few episodes of Mad Men, the curries, noodle dishes and specials are always satisfying. •• 404 36th St., Bellingham, 360.734.8088

Silver: Mt. Baker Vineyards Bronze: Dynasty Cellars Available at Vinostrology, the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and The Black Cat, Couch House Cellars is an area favorite. Coach House started in a garage, and it has grown exponentially since. The owners are currently creating a new tasting room and event space. Coach House offers a merlot, a cabernet sauvignon, a syrah and a chardonnay. •• 5012 Samish Way, Bellingham, 360.389.0884

BEST INTERNATIONAL CUISINE BEST SPIRIT Bellewood Acres’ Bellewood Distilling Silver: Chuckanut Bay Distillery Bronze: Mount Baker Distillery What was once Bellingham’s premier orchard and farm store is now a fullon distillery as well. Owners Dorie and John Belisle ensure that their distinctive gin, vodka, brandy and liqueurs are of the finest quality. Bellewood creates the only genuinely farm-to-table spirits in Washington State. Bellewood Distilling’s equipment is made in Kentucky by Vendome, and the produce comes from the orchards that surround the distillery. •• 6140 Guide Meridian Dr., Lynden, 360.318.7720

Kyoto Steak House Silver: Il Granaio Bronze: On Rice Thai Cuisine Who doesn’t love watching a Japanese chef wield a sharp knife, light a big fire and rhythmically slice-and-dice for your dining pleasure? Lucky for Bellingham, we have Kyoto Steak House, where you can enjoy fresh yakisoba, teriyaki, tempura, kastu and udon. Not only that, they offer fresh sushi as well, giving customers the full complement of Japanese cuisine. You won’t go home hungry. •• 115 Samish Way, Bellingham, 360.756.0058

October | November 2014


HEALTH & BEAUTY BEST HEALTH FOOD SHOP Community Food Co-op Silver: Terra Organic and Natural Foods Bronze: Super Supplements

Health Food





Chrysalis Inn and Spa

Jimmy’s Personal Care

Silver: The Apothecary at The Majestic Inn & Spa Bronze: Salon Bellissima

Silver: Happy Nails Bronze: Polished Petite Spa

A Chrysalis is a sheltered case from which a butterfly emerges, and this is a great metaphor for how customers feel before and after the amazing spa treatments at the Chrysalis Spa, located in the Chrysalis Hotel. The hotel offers spa packages for guests, but you don’t have to stay at the Chrysalis to enjoy the spa. Treatments include warm stone massage, facials, Swedish massage, hydrating manicures and pedicures, wraps, mud, prenatal care and more. The service is attentive, personal and experienced. •• 804 10th St., Bellingham, 360.756.1005

BEST MEN’S SALON V’s Barbershop Silver: Kaur Lounge Bronze: Jake’s Barbershop Good old-fashioned shaves and haircuts are hard to come by these days, but for men who want a little more than a strip mall experience, there is V’s. Refined and professional, V’s offers excellent service. •• 414 W. Bakerview Rd. #107, Bellingham, 360.656.6911 92 NorthSoundLife.com

Bright, funny, sparkly Jimmy is the king of the mani-pedi. His chic and delightful salon and day spa reflects Jimmy’s warm personality. Cuddle up on the orange leather seats, take in the ozonepurified air and grab a complimentary iPad to entertain you while you get a great pedicure. •• 1327 11th St., Bellingham, 360.933.4268

BEST FITNESS CENTER Bellingham Fitness Silver: Bellingham Athletic Club Bronze: Flex Gym A full-service gym with classes, fitness programs and loads of workout equipment, Bellingham Fitness has been in operation since 2003. Not only do they offer the standard spinning, Zumba, yoga, Pilates and aerobics classes, the staff at Bellingham Fitness also offers personal training, summer camps, nutritional counseling, youth and senior programs. There’s also on-site childcare for busy parents. •• 1730 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.733.1600

The Community Food-Co-op, with its two locations (downtown and Cordata) is the hub for food-conscious Bellingham. A wonderful source for organic and local produce, whole foods and, yes, coconut oil, the Food Co-op isn’t just a store, it’s also a community resource. The deli has prepared salads and the wine selection is extensive. The Co-op also offers classes and hosts meetings in their annex downtown. •• 1220 N. Forest, 315 Westerly Rd., Bellingham, 360.734.8158

BEST MASSAGE THERAPIST Lise Waugh Silver: Christina Alessandra Bronze: Kerry Gustafson Specializing in Thai massage, Lise began her career in veterinary medicine before starting her yoga practice. Based on ancient Chinese and Indian techniques, Thai massage is a combination of movement and firm, steady pressure. Thai massage is credited with treating migraines, chronic joint pain, anxiety and more. •• 1602 Carolina St. #12, Bellingham, 360.393.6327

BEST YOGA STUDIO Yoga Northwest Silver: Barre 3 Bronze: 3 Oms Yoga Specializing in Iyengar Yoga, Yoga Northwest offers many classes for varying levels of ability. The staff is also very inclusive, with classes for those who have mobility issues, or who need to modify their yoga poses for maximum comfort. •• 1440 10th St, Bellingham, 360.647.0712






BEST PERSONAL TRAINER Lenny Olson - Bellingham Fitness Silver: Tate Norris - Northwest Fitness Bronze: Hunter Clagett - Bellingham MMA Not only is Bellingham Fitness our readers’ choice for the best gym in town, in-house trainer Lenny Olson is this year’s first choice for best trainer. Whether you’re interested in a boot camp, weight loss or conditioning, Lenny can help you with all your fitness needs. •• 1602 Carolina St. #12, Bellingham. 360.393.6327

Salon Bellissima Silver: Kaur Lounge Bronze: Studio Galactica Whether you want to maintain your cut, or you want something completely fresh, the ladies at Salon Bellissima are our readers’ favorites for trimming up your tresses. The staff is professional, well trained and exceptionally talented. They offer waxing and other services, in addition to styling for special occasions. •• 1215 Old Fairhaven Parkway, Bellingham, 360.715.1052

BEST CHIROPRACTOR Dallas Chiropractor Clinic Silver: Natural Way Chiropractic Bronze: Brad and Dana Chiropractic Dr. Jerry Dallas and his crew are masters of the delicate art of spinal manipulation, taking away those nagging backaches and wicked neck cricks. With reasonable rates and a quick scheduling, Dallas can get you in, fix your aches and send you on your way in a flash. •• 1509 Broadway, Bellingham, 360.733.3775

October | November 2014








Dr. Faith Bult, DDS

Silver: Bellingham Physical Therapy Bronze: Lynden Family Physical Therapy

Silver: Dr. Eric Yaremko Bronze: Dr. Marcus Fairbanks

The team at CorePhysio specializes in sports and spine rehabilitation, pelvic health, upper core rehabilitation, women’s health, osteoporosis and balance and they offer real-time ultrasound. They also offer educational outreach in the form of workshops and demonstrations to help those with ongoing issues. •• 1514 12th St., Suite 103, Bellingham, 360.752.2673

Faith’s bright smile is a good advertisement for her business. Trusted by patients for her integrity and beloved for her excellent service, Dr. Faith is our readers’ choice for the best this year. She offers treatments for sleep apnea and botox and dermal fillers in addition to all the standard dental services. Whatever your needs, Dr. Bult can take care of you. •• 405 32nd St., suite 100, Bellingham, 360.715.3333


Dr. Lisa Kaepernick, Bellingham OB/GYN Dr. Shannon Billau, DO

Silver: Dr. Julianne Snell, Barkley Women’s Health Care Bronze: Dr. Michael Mallory, Bellingham OB/GYN

Silver: Dr. Miriam Shapiro - Family Health Associates Bronze: Dr. April Wakefield-Pagels - Family Care Network

Bellingham OB/GYN tops a lot of lists for excellent care, and Dr. Kaepernick is one of the reasons why. Warm and professional, she treats her patients with respect and kindness. •• 3200 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, 360.671.4944

Dr. Billau treats each member of the family as her own, with warm, friendly attention. She takes patients’ concerns seriously, and believes in integrated care. She specializes in osteopathic medicine, and treats musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries, and works in women’s health, obstetrical care and dermatology. •• 3015 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, 360.671.4402

BEST PHARMACY Hoagland Pharmacy


Silver: Haggen Food and Pharmacy Bronze: Healthy Living Center (HLC)

Dr. Monica Mahall - Peacehealth

There are occasions when your typical drug store loaded with greeting cards and two-liter bottles of soda isn’t quite enough for your needs. In steps Hoagland, which is well stocked with lots of products for home aid and pharmaceutical use. The knowledgeable pharmacists and helpful staff make Hoagland’s a special place. •• 2330 Yew St., Bellingham, 360. 734.5413

Silver: Dr. Nancy Bischoff - Peachealth Bronze: Dr. Steven Wallace - Peacehealth Peacehealth won all the awards in this category this year, and it’s not hard to see why. With excellent attention to everything from skinned knees to broken bones, Dr. Mahall takes special care of the littlest patients. •• 4545 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham, 360.738.2200



Dr. Emily Sharpe, Natural Health Clinic

The Willows

Silver: Dr. Holly Levine Bronze: Dr. Joseph Wessels

Silver: Orchard Park Assisted Living Bronze: Highgate Senior Living

Dr. Emily Sharpe is a trusted N.D. who treats the whole patient, not just symptoms. Her specialties include the treatment of fatigue, thyroid problems, allergies and more. On her website, Emily states, “My passion for these specialties is rooted in my personal journey through disease and health.” •• 1707 F. St., Bellingham, 360.734.1560

Retirement in our area is an active, engaged time of life, and the Willows offers plenty of programs for retirees who like to move and shake. From geocaching to hikes and more, the Willows offers a program for everyone. They also have a lot of personal care, salon and spa services, guest accommodations and more. •• 3115 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, 360.671.7077

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1215 Old Fairhaven Pkwy, Bellingham 360.715.1052 | salonbellissimabellingham.com

1327 - 11th St.



NORTH WINNER WEST Thank you WINNER for voting us!


All natural products – Vegan & Ozonated Water Systems

Our guests are much more than just clients. You’ve all helped us create a beautiful family at Salon Bellissima. We are honored by your continued support and love. THANK YOU!

Full Mani/Pedi $50 ($60 Value)

Monday & Tuesday Only. Not Valid With Any Other Offer.


Exp. 11/30/2014

360.933.4268 • JimmysPersonalCare.com

YOGA N O RT H W E S T The B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Center of Bellingham


since 1979

Ingela Abbott for a

Yoga Hiking Biking Adventure in

Thank you to all our loyal clients for their continued support over the years, we are thrilled to be recognized year after year and could not do it without you!


Thank you for voting us

12 Days, Feb 16 - 27, 2015 Or, come join our

12-week Fall Classes Sept 22 - Dec 14


and make up any classes you’ve missed. Check online for our schedule with 32 classes weekly.

Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Mt Vernon, Anacortes (Dec. 2014) 360.671.1710 | Naturalwaychiro.org



360.647.0712 1440 10th Street Fairhaven Bellingham




Tanna Edler

Private Gardens Design

JWR Design

Silver: Domistyle Design Bronze: SVC Interiors

Silver: Borrowed Ground Bronze: Corion Landscape

Silver: RMC Architects Bronze: Zervas Architects

Tanna Edler of Tanna By Design has been awarded the Interior Design Society’s Designer of the Year for 2013 and 2014. Her portfolio includes everything from condo makeovers to extensive restaurant renovations. Tanna’s known for creating interiors with a personal touch. •• Yakima, 509.225.9214; Snohomish, 425.737.1193

Whether you’re sprucing up an entryway or creating a whole new backyard paradise, Private Gardens can help you design and create your dream oasis. Experts at both contemporary landscaping or blending with historical structures, Private Gardens Design can help you realize your dream. •• 1609 12th St., Suite 100, Bellingham, 360.752.1333

Jerry Roetcisoender founded JWR in 1997. He has an extensive background in the nuts-and-bolts of building — his father was a contractor in Lynden. The services include consultation, design, permitting, leading to a great finished product on-time and within budget. JWR has several stock plans to choose from, but as with any great architect, they love to innovate and create for clients. •• 104 Front St., Lynden, 360.354.0333



Domistyle Design

GreenCoast Carpentry

Silver: Dream Maker Bath & Kitchen Bronze: Builder’s Alliance

Silver: Moceri Construction Bronze: Chuckanut Builders

For creating a bright, beautiful, functional kitchen, Domistyle begins with great materials — a sampling of their touches includes concrete countertops, fir cabinets, steel tiles and the finest in vent hoods. Whether remodeling or creating a kitchen from scratch, the experienced team at Domistyle can help you create a kitchen or bathroom worth raving about. •• 5115 E. North St., Bellingham, 360.756.0296

Through careful craftsmanship and careful design, GreenCoast specializes in outbuildings, sheds and retreat houses. Owner Jeff Nelson is dedicated to the principles of sustainability, and he works to minimize the negative affects to the natural world. Lovely and sustainable, GreenCoast’s projects reflect Jeff’s attention to detail and excellence in craftsmanship. •• Bellingham, 360.224.6872

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT Amy Zender Silver: Marcy Mjelde Bronze: Chet & Jess Kenoyer Amy Zender is a trusted real estate professional who specializes in luxury homes. Though she is based in Bellingham, she represents property from Seattle to Vancouver. She is one of very few licensed professionals through the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. •• 2111 Rimland Dr., Suite 124, Bellingham, 360.920.4886

BEST NURSERY BEST LANDSCAPER GlacierScapes Landscaping Silver: Windwood Landscape Bronze: North County Lawn Care Specializing in a complete landscape service package, GlacierScapes can handle hardscape, softscape, wetland mitigation and more. They can help you set up the perfect patio or create just the right water feature for your back yard. They operate a private nursery with mature ground stock and unique plant materials. Whatever your landscape needs, they can help you. •• Bellingham, 360.305.4470 96 NorthSoundLife.com

Garden Spot Nursery Silver: Kent’s Garden and Nursery Bronze: Joe’s Gardens The helpful and professional team at Garden Spot is always on hand to help you select just the right pots, plants and seeds for your porch, patio or garden. They carry some of the best selection of flowers, veggies and landscaping materials anywhere, and they are very knowledgeable about soil. •• 900 Alabama St., Bellingham, 360.676.5480

BEST HARDWARE STORE Hardware Sales Silver: Ace Hardware Bronze: Home Depot Hardware Sales has been around for more than 50 years. Chock full of all your hardware needs, Hardware Sales also adds incredible personal service and tons of advice from experienced folks who know their homebuilding projects. They also have equipment available for rental. •• 2034 James St., Bellingham, 360.734.6140


BEST HANDYMAN Tony’s Handyman Silver: Evan Eidsvik - Integrity Carpentry Bronze: Chris Pidgeon - Sound Construction Installing tiles can be a messy, time-consuming task. Repairing a roof can be dangerous and difficult. Tony’s Handy Man can handle those jobs and many others, including landscape maintenance, pressure washing, fireplace tile installation, wood floor installation and more. •• Bellingham, 360.224.2257

BEST HOME DECOR Grandiflora Home & Garden Silver: Greenhouse Bronze: Fishtrap Creek Interiors Whether you’re into classic, contemporary or shabby chic, Grandiflora has exactly what you need to spruce up your home, freshen up your patio or brighten your bedroom. Grandiflora has excellent prices and helpful, friendly staff. •• 719 Grover St., Lynden, 360.318.8454

Hardware Store




Wedding Venue




Upfront Theatre

Belle Flora & Home Interiors

Silver: Pure Bliss Desserts Bronze: Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill

Silver: A New Leaf Flower Shoppe Bronze: Rebecca’s Flower Shoppe

Owned by local celebrity Ryan Stiles, the Upfront serves up hilarious improv Thursday-Saturday every week. The Upfront also offers a full range of improv classes for those aspiring to take the stage. Laughter is the key to a great date. •• 1208 Bay St., Bellingham, 360.733.8855

Family owned and operated since 1945, Belle Flora carries an abundance of tropical exotic flowers as well as fresh cut flowers and fine gifts. They can help with wedding planning, memorial events, home and office design and consultation and personal delivery. •• 1201 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.734.8854


Boulevard Park Silver: Oyster Dome Bronze: Semiahmoo Beach Taylor Dock stretches from The Chrysalis Hotel and Spa along the water to Boulevard Park. Build up your nerve during a romantic stroll and then pop the question at the park by the glittering water with the islands in the distance. Your intended won’t say no. •• 470 Bayview Dr., Bellingham, 360.778.7100 98 NorthSoundLife.com

Boulevard Park Silver: Zuanich Point Park Bronze: Larrabee State Park Put together some noshes and nibblies and spread a blanket at lovely Boulevard. Great for peoplewatching, bird-feeding, shore-combing or just plain relaxing, Boulevard makes a delightful picnic spot. •• 470 Bayview Dr., Bellingham, 360.778.7100



BEST WEDDING VENUE Lairmont Manor Silver: Evergreen Gardens Bronze: Broadway Hall Romantic and classic, Lairmont not only has a beautiful indoor space for tying the knot, the grounds are lush and perfect for an outdoor wedding, too. There are little spaces for the bride and groom to prepare, and the basement makes an excellent place for getting the bridal party together, or a reception after the ceremony. •• 405 Fieldston Rd., Bellingham, 360.647.1444

Picnic Spot



Doggie Daycare


BEST VET BEST DOGGIE DAYCARE 3 Schips and a Girl Silver: Rover Stay Over Bronze: Hyline Hotel and Training for Dogs

Northshore Veterinary Hospital Silver: Fairhaven Veterinary Hospital Bronze: Maplewood Animal Hospital

The 3 Schips and a Girl Canine Lodge is a great, stress-free and comfortable environment for your small dog. 3 Schips also offers daycare by the hour or day, depending on available space. •• 4775 Aldrich Rd., Bellingham, 360.927.6033

When it comes to your pet’s health, few things are more important than a vet you can trust. Northshore is fully equipped to handle any medical situation and a compassionate staff to keep you and your pet at ease. •• 1486 Electric Ave., Bellingham, 360.738.6916



Pet Stop

Cedarwoods Canine School

Silver: Walker’s Healthy Pet Bronze: Clark Feed & Seed

Silver: Thinking Dog by Laura Berger Bronze: Tails-a-Wagging

Pet Stop delivers in more than one sense: they are well stocked and very helpful. In addition to excellent customer service, they deliver to your home or work place. The friendly staff will also special order anything they don’t have in stock. •• 326 36th St. (Sehome Village) Bellingham, 360.738.3663 (360.pet.food.)

Cedarwoods offers boarding, daycare and obedience classes, but there’s another aspect of dog obedience in which they excel: owner education. They work with you and your dog to teach confidence, reduce anxiety and foster great communication between you and your pet. Cedarwoods is number one by our readers for the third year in a row. •• 6497 Woodlyn Rd., Ferndale, 360.384.6955

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BEST GROOMER City Dogs Grooming Silver: Grooming with Love Bronze: Dog Gone Gorgeous

Thank you readers for voting The Willows Best of the Northwest 2014!


Owner Lee Ann Kelly has been a pet groomer for more than 20 years. She and her staff take great care of each pet, tending to the pups’ safety and comfort. All dogs receive nail trimming and filing, ear cleaning, a nice bath and brush out with a blowdryer. They also offer selfwash on Sundays from 10-4 for DIYers. •• 711 E. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.756.9515


BEST OFF-LEASH DOG PARK Lake Padden Silver: Bloedel Donovan Park Bronze: Fairhaven Dog Park Ducks, open spaces and trails make Padden a puppy paradise, with lots of great smells and places to romp. It’s peaceful and lovely for owners, too. •• 4882 Samish Way, Bellingham, 360.778.7100

BELLINGHAM: James & Alabama, Lakeway Center, Airport Way & Bennett, Cordata Parkway & Calluna, 1506 Iowa St and E. Bakerview & Hannegan LYNDEN: Lynden Towne Plaza FERNDALE: 5885 Portal Way MOUNT VERNON: College Way & LaVenture ANACORTES: Commercial & 13th St. BOW HILL: Exit 236

October | November 2014



Toy Store


BEST TOY STORE Fairhaven Toy Garden Silver: Launching Success Learning Store Bronze: Yeager’s Sporting Goods With charming wooden toys, lovely handcrafted instruments and costumes galore, the Fairhaven Toy Garden is a kid’s paradise. The staff is friendly and very helpful, and the toys are very carefully selected to be the best for stimulating imaginations and exercising growing brains. There’s also a great craft corner and a kids’ club with lots of activities. •• 1147 11th St., Bellingham, 360.714.8552





Perch & Play


Silver: Lynden Skateway Bronze: Birch Bay Water Slides

Silver: Perch & Play Bronze: Chuck E. Cheese

A bright, clean space, loads of activities and a playground that can’t get rained out, Perch & Play puts together a great party. They have several packages to choose from, and can customize any package with whatever fits your tyke. Best part? A kids’ birthday with all the trimmings? What more could anyone want? •• 1707 N. State St., Bellingham, 360.393.4925

Whether you’re creating a handprint in clay or a whole tea set, CreativiTea is a wonderful place to spend time with your family and create beautiful unique gifts and mementos. •• 1312 11th St., Bellingham, 360.752.1724

BEST AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM Assumption Catholic School Silver: The Firs Bronze: Gabriel’s Art Kids For many parents, there’s a gap between the end of the school day and the end of the work day. Enter the after-school program, where kids can play, learn or just relax in a safe environment. Assumption is our readers’ choice for their Extended Day Program, which includes movies with popcorn, trips to the park and more. •• 2116 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, 360.733.6133

BEST CHILDCARE St. Francis Childcare Silver: The Treehouse Gang Bronze: Gabriel’s Art Kids St. Francis is a unique intergenerational childcare and preschool center for Bellingham. The school fosters positive interactions and social relationships, teaches through engaging children in creative play, and fosters confidence in parents with teachers who are attentive to each student. They are currently making plans to move into a new space in January. •• 3121 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, 360.734.6760

Family-Friendly Activity





Place to Work





Israel Jacob - Peoples Bank

Merry Maids

Bellingham Automotive

Silver: Monisha Brandt - Edward Jones Bronze: Frank Ellars, Edward Jones

Silver: Abby’s Cleaning Service Bronze: Victoria’s Cleaning Service

Silver: Harmony Motorworks Bronze: Sterling Automotive

Serving Skagit, North Whatcom, Chelan and Douglas counties, Israel is a financial guru at Peoples Bank and our readers’ choice for best financial advisor anywhere. Israel can help you create and meet your financial goals, help with long-term planning and more. •• 3100 Woburn St., Bellingham, 360.671.7891

Whether you need a simple spruce-up or a serious thorough cleaning, Merry Maids has the full staff and training to handle all of your cleaning needs. Satisfaction is guaranteed, and the same team will clean your home whenever possible. They offer free consultation, and credit cards are accepted. •• 895 Texas St., Bellingham, 360.243.0035

Dependable, reliable and trustworthy Bellingham Automotive has been in operation since 1991. It is a full-service automotive shop with expertise in all foreign and domestic vehicles. They offer 24-hour towing and a 3-year or 36,000-mile warranty on all parts and labor. •• 4116 Hannegan Rd., Bellingham, 360.676.5200


Peoples Bank


Silver: Poppes 360 Bronze: Faithlife Corporation (formerly Logos Bible Software)

Sew and Sew

Whidbey Island Bank/Heritage Bank

Silver: Tommy the Tailor Bronze: Amy’s Alterations

Silver: Peoples Bank Bronze: Whatcom Educational Credit Union

From excellent management to a comprehensive benefits package, Peoples Bank offers a lot to its employees. They rate highly in work-life balance and job security and advancement as well. The employees are dedicated to customer service. •• 3100 Woburn St., Bellingham, 360.354.4044

Offering professional alterations for men’s and women’s clothing, Sew & Sew is a favorite among our readers. The team has more than 35 years of experience. They also have expertise in bridal and formal alterations. •• 1324 Commercial St., Bellingham, 360.733.5913

Whidbey Island Bank started in 1960, and has been going strong ever since. With 32 branches in six counties, Whidbey Island Bank represents the best in banking service. •• Multiple locations, wibank.com

104 NorthSoundLife.com

Fairbanks, Galbraith & Schmidt General Dentistry



The Office of Dr. Fairbanks, Dr. Galbraith and Dr. Schmidt would like to thank all those who voted! It is a pleasure to serve this community! 360.676.9050 | 3628 Meridian, Suite 1-b Bellingham | fairbanks-galbraithdds.com


! e t o V r u Thank You for yo


Keep Movi

Sports Spine Orthopedics Orthotics Balance Work Injuries Vertigo




LyndenFamilyPhysicalTherapy.com (360) 354-0585

Right Care. Right Here.

Congratulations to our Best of the Northwest nominated doctors!


hen it comes to caring for you and your family, PeaceHealth Medical Group has the expertise to help you prevent disease and live well. Services like annual physicals, immunizations and screenings help you avoid illness and stay healthy. Whether you need family medicine, pediatrics, or women’s services, PeaceHealth provides you with the right care, right where you need it. www.peacehealth.org/phmg/bellingham

Thank you to the community for your continued support!


1486 Electric Ave Bellingham, WA



3927 Northwest Ave.

Complimentary wine or beer and light snacks with Polished treatment! A relaxing pedicure with a girlfriend is a wonderful way to unwind and have fun. Add some wine and it is heaven!


Call us or Stop In!

2332 James St.

360.778.2495 | 2336 James St. Bellingham

360.738.0333 GOLD


Happy Hour at Polished GOLD

www.northshore-vet.com (360) 738-6916

Thank you for voting for us in the Mani/Pedi Category!


Crazy dog person, you’re one of us.


THANK YOU to our wonderful Consignors and Customers for Voting Us BEST Consignment!







Thank you so much for your vote!




BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING Sojourn Silver: Cheeks Bronze: Find Your Fashion From the latest trends to classic style, Sojourn is a favorite for many women in our region. Sojourn’s success lies in owner Peggy’s exquisite taste and her ability to stock labels like Free People, BB Dakota and Jack and Tulle — brands that are hard to find here in Bellingham. •• 1317 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 360.671.5704

BEST MEN’S CLOTHING Macy’s Silver: Gary’s Bronze: Men’s Warehouse Macy’s has an extensive selection of menswear, including many styles of business wear, casual wear, high-end labels and lots of basics. Macy’s also offers excellent service, and a wide selection of men’s furnishings. •• 50 Bellis Fair Parkway, Bellingham, 360.715.6000

BEST SPORTING GOODS STORE Yeager’s Sporting Goods Silver: REI Bronze: Big 5 Sporting Goods Offering brand names in apparel, camping, fishing, hunting, marine and outdoor living, Yeager’s is a favorite stop for the outdoors enthusiast. Not only do they have an extensive inventory of goods for outdoor adventuring, they also have an extensive kitchen collection, including crock pots, ironware, old-fashioned canning supplies and freeze-driers. Yeager’s also has a great selection of toys. •• 3101 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.733.1080

Sporting Goods Store


October | November 2014



BEST BOOKSTORE Village Books Silver: Eclipse Bookstore Bronze: Barnes & Noble Booksellers From the best in new fiction and non-fiction to some great bargains on used titles, Village Books is the literary center of Bellingham. The staff also book regular author appearances, host writing groups, foster book discussions and hold book clubs, keeping the literary fires of Bellingham burning. Village Books also runs the Book Expresso, a print-on-demand machine that is a taste of the future. •• 1200 11th St., Bellingham, 360.392.2665



BEST CONSIGNMENT SHOP Labels Consignment Silver: Find Your Fashion Again Bronze: Buffalo Exchange This regional favorite is a go-to for Bellingham’s fashion-conscious women on a budget. Owner Sage Bishop specializes in stocking gently used designer clothing, shoes, housewares and handbags. It’s a great place to pick up a Calvin Klein dress or a pair of Dirt jeans. There’s also a great range of sizes, and a wide selection of shoes — sometimes even Fluevogs. •• 3927 Northwest Ave., Bellingham; 2332 James St., Bellingham, 360.676.1210




BEST JEWELRY Burton Jewelers

Stampadoodle Express Rubber Stamps

Silver: Ben Bridge Bronze: Red Barn Jewelry

Silver: Apple Yarns Bronze: Michaels

Operating in Anacortes since 1930, Burton Jewelers is an institution. A true old-fashioned, old-time jeweler with both traditional styles and the latest trends, Burton has everything for the discriminating customer. Philip Burton is the AGS Registered Jeweler on staff, and part of the founding family. Burton will also do custom work and engraving, adding a personal touch to your selection. •• 620 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.293.6469

Don’t let the name fool you: Stampadoodle sells more than just rubber stamps and pads. They also carry paper, stencils and die-cuts and much more. They also can create custom stamps, labels, embossers and more for all of your crafting needs. Committed to creating community around crafting, Stampadoodle also hosts classes and demos in card-making, stamping, flat-brush painting and more. •• 1825 Grant St., Bellingham, 360.647.9663

BEST APPLIANCE STORE Judd and Black Silver: DeWaard & Bode Bronze: Best Buy Our readers know Judd & Black from our Meet the Chef series, wherein a chef takes us through a three-to-five course meal in Judd & Black’s Mount Vernon test kitchen. But if you look around after your amuse bouche, you’ll notice some of the best brand name appliances available: Wolf, Subzero, Bosch and more. •• 2001 James St., Bellingham, 360.733.7722

Craft Store


BEST SHOE STORE Hilton’s Shoes Silver: 12th Street Shoes Bronze: Fairhaven Runners For 90 years, Hilton’s Shoes has been marrying comfort and fashion, offering stylish designs from labels like Dansko and Bjørn that are easy on your feet. The associates at Hilton’s are experts in matching your activities with your footwear for maximum comfort. Though they carry pricier brands, Hilton’s also has excellent sales in the back of the store. There is nothing like having your shoes carefully selected with expert help from friendly staff, and we’re lucky to have Hilton’s doing just that right in downtown Bellingham. •• 113 W. Magnolia, Bellingham, 360.734.3090

BEST GROCERY STORE Haggen Food Grocery Store Silver: Community Food Co-op Bronze: Fred Meyer Bellingham’s own neighborhood grocery, Haggen has been an excellent purveyor of groceries for more than 80 years. With almost 20 locations throughout the state, Haggen serves up fresh produce, meat and bread, a wide selection of frozen foods and house-made specialties in the deli. Haggen also offers tons of in-store deals and specials, giveaways and more. Haggen’s Market Street Catering is also an excellent caterer for any event. •• Various location throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties.

October | November 2014 109







Best Buy Silver: Costco Bronze: TD Curran

Silver: Haggen Bronze: Youngstocks On their website, Joe’s Gardens’ motto is “Cultivating flavor while honoring tradition and our community,” and we can’t sum it up any better. Farm-fresh produce fresh-picked and soilwarm, beautiful hanging baskets and excellent vegetable starts for creating your own garden at home are all part of the Joe’s experience. •• 3110 Taylor Ave., Bellingham, 360.671.7639

We wish to

Quick, easy and convenient, Best Buy has an excellent selection of appliances, cell phones, computers, video games, televisions, vacuum cleaners, fitness trackers and more. They offer great deals and professional customer service, taking the fear out of making a large purchase. The name brands they carry include Apple, Dell, Samsung and Sony. •• 4281 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, 360.715.0008

congratulate the winners and thank our readers and fans for voting this year. We also thank KAFE 104.1 for



partnering with

Wilson Motors

Penny Lane Antique Mall

us and making

Silver: Roger Jobs Bronze: Northwest Honda

Silver: Aladdin’s Antiques Bronze: Fairhaven Antique Mall

this year’s Best

Award-winning Wilson Motors specializes in new and previously owned Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Scion and Nissan vehicles. Wilson boasts friendly and honest salespeople, excellent prices and unparalleled service. •• 1100 Iowa St., Bellingham, 360.676.0600

A grand consortium of some of the best antique dealers in the area, Penny Lane is stall-upon-stall of collectables, art and more. If you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind gift or special addition to your antique collection, look no further. •• 427 West Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3301

110 NorthSoundLife.com

of the Northwest a huge success.



1730 N. State St. • Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 733-1600 • BellinghamFitness.com



Bellingham, WA

Bellingham, WA GOLD

ALL CLASSES INCLUDED! ZUMBA, YOGA, ETC. Expires 11/30/14. With this coupon only. Must be 18 years old, a first time visitor, and live or work in Whatcom county.

& Event Space


Vodka • Gin • Apple Brandy GOLD

Free Tastings Full Service Catering Authentic Farm to Glass Experience

HARVEST HAPPENS! Apples u pick/we pick, Fresh Cider, Pumpkin Patch, Bistro Open Daily, Distillery Tastings, Farm Tours On weekends…Bin Train Rides, Live Music, Corn Maze, Corn Cannons

6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264 360-318-7720 | www.bellewooddistilling.com

Check us out online for more info!

Thank you to all of customers who have help made our business a success. The amount of support shown through the Best in Bellingham Contest will drive us in continuing our hard work and efforts in providing the best food, service, and overall experience at all of our restaurants.


Your Financial Future: Will You Be Ready? NY CS 7790428 BC006 01/14 GP10-01505P-N06/10

Susan Rice Financial Planning Specialist Financial Advisor 2200 Rimland Drive, Suite 105 Bellingham, WA 98226 360-788-7005 • 800-247-2884 susan.e.rice@morganstanley.com

© 2014 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.


JOB INFORMATION 7790428/602858172



Retail Byrnes Susan Rice Ad


SPECIFICATIONS 4.75" × 2.25"


4.75" × 2.25" N/A


CREATIVE STUDIO 1585 Broadway 23rd Floor New York, NY 10036 180 Varick Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10014








FILENAME: 7790428 Susan Rice_b m1

Byrnes, Lesley Mitzner, Julie F013 16/02/2014

MODIFIED BY CH AN 01-15-2014, CH AN 01-15-2014


LAST MODIFIED: January 15, 2014 1:13 PM

sjwinemerchants.com 360-393-3271

• 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 nickisbellamarina.com Casual Friendly Atmosphere for Good Times and a Great Water View

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



here are places we dine because the ambience is lovely, even though the food is questionable. There are restaurants we frequent because the food is great, but the décor is as comfortable and inviting as a carnival ride. And then there is Pierside Kitchen at Semiahmoo Resort — a fine dining restaurant that ought to be on everyone’s list of top five favorite restaurants. The décor is elegant yet inviting, the seasonal cuisine always exceptional and the ever-changing craft cocktails sublime. Serving comprehensive — but not overwhelming — breakfast, lunch and dinner menu items, Pierside Kitchen is gastronomic nirvana. Entering Pierside Kitchen’s dining room, one wanders down a long hallway that opens into a bright, open foyer. Just stand for a moment and take in the elegant décor. The distressed wood walls imbue the sense of time passing, while the contemporary floor to ceiling windows provide views of the Strait of Georgia, Point Roberts, White Rock B.C. and Peace Arch Park. The soaring exposed-beam ceilings and washed paints give the space dimension and a lovely weathered seaside cottage look without being kitschy. In the fishing industry’s heyday, the property was the site of a large fish cannery, and the building’s architecture is meant to reflect this history. An expansive dock extending over Drayton Harbor provides space for Pierside Kitchen’s outdoor dining. This open space is an ideal spot to read a magazine while lingering over breakfast, have a lunch with family or enjoy a sunset dinner. Inside or outside doesn’t really matter because there simply is not a bad view from any table. To the west, watch as morning breaks over Blaine Harbor and the distant mountain range. Or watch continued on next page  …



commercial fishing vessels and personal boats cruise through Drayton Harbor in pursuit of the morning catch. Born and raised in Paris, France, Eric Truglas is Semiahmoo Resort’s Executive Culinary Director. His culinary training originated in the family kitchen, and he completed his formal training in Versailles. Eric is quite enthusiastic when he states, “The Mecca of being a chef is here, in Whatcom County. We have fresh local produce, seafood, poultry, and beef. And, some of the best wines in the world are made here, in Washington State: it doesn’t get better than this!” Committed to a philosophy of farmto-table cuisine, Eric impresses upon his entire staff the importance of quality local ingredients and French culinary techniques to produce exceptional food. Motivated to develop a food service department, Eric set about to build a culinary team that lives and breathes this philosophy. He has instituted practices that assure diners enjoy dishes that are expertly executed with diligent attention to detail. Preparation of pristine ingredients is entrusted to a staff of culinary professionals including Executive Chef de Cuisine Martin Woods. A noted chef in his own right, Woods spent two years training in France before returning to the United States, where he has cooked at some of the Northwest’s best restaurants.

Both Truglas and Woods are completely committed to sourcing ingredients from both local purveyors and farmers alike. Pierside Kitchen’s local suppliers include Drayton Harbor Oysters, Pleasant Valley Dairy, Cloud Mt. Farms produce, Willie Greens and Hempler’s Meats. Pierside also has its own kitchen garden, complete with greens, edible flowers and produce. Fresh ingredients are only one half of the equation — the real wonder of it all is what wonderful things the culinary team is able to do with these ingredients. When dining at Pierside Kitchen, it is always best to start with an appetizer or two, even if dining alone. Impossibly fresh oysters on the half-shell are dressed with just enough Apple Mignonette to provide flavor without obscuring the bivalve’s delicate salty ocean flavors. There are also the woodfired clams, a heaping bowl of Manila clams accented with chorizo and a wonderful white wine sauce scented with garlic and roasted tomatoes. It is a dish that one craves in the middle of the night, yearns for all afternoon, and remorselessly devours. A well-rounded meal should always include soup and salad. At Pierside Kitchen, these hearty dishes are served with a glass of wine, and are a meal unto themselves. French Onion Soup Gratiné holds to tradition like barnacles on a rock, and the

Walla Walla Sweet Onions very nearly melt on the tongue. At many restaurants, a seasonal salad consists of the same lettuce and tomatoes they always serve. This is not the practice at Pierside Kitchen, where salads are constructed with seasonal ingredients that represent the best of a farmer’s crop or fisherman’s catch. The Dungeness crab and Shrimp Louie salad is a reincarnated classic large enough to share, but so delectable that one wouldn’t want to. Dressed in a wonderful house-made sauce and garnished with perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs with large crab claws and a generous mix of crab meat and shrimp, this salad alone is worth a drive to Semiahmoo Resort. It’s always difficult to select just one entrée, so don’t do it – even if you’re dining alone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having everything one wants. It isn’t greedy, it is indulgent. Don’t bother if people stare, they’re simply envious. The Cedar Planked King Salmon is a phenomenal entrée. A generous portion of salmon is cooked to moist, tender perfection in the woodfired oven and served with grilled radicchio and Potatoes Anna. The salmon quite simply flakes apart, and its subtle

flavor is accentuated by the caramelized starches of the cedar plank. Crispy, buttery Potatoes Anna pairs wonderfully with both the salmon and a glass of Jovino Pinot Noir. Follow the salmon with the Dry Rub Harissa flat iron steak. This spicy version of a traditional Middle Eastern paste adds a new dimension to the juicy, tender beef. This entrée is served with grilled onions and mint yogurt sauce and it pairs beautifully with a Terra Blanca Arch Terrace Cabernet. This wine also happens to pair quite nicely with the tagliatelle, a garlicky rich tomato, basil sauce with a drizzle of olive oil. It makes an exceptional side dish to pull both entrées together. Of those who would compromise gastronomic certainty for a comfortable setting there are many interesting restaurants to choose from. For those of us who consider such a compromise unconscionable, the obvious and only choice is Pierside Kitchen at Semiahmoo. From the décor, to the menu selection, to the diverse wine list and creative cocktails, Pierside Kitchen has everything a discriminating diner could want. Now, make a reservation at semiahmoo.com/pierside-kitchen. 

D IN E Dining Guide

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 northsoundlife.com

ISLANDS DOE BAY CAFE American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.8059, doebay.com/cafe/cafe.html Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Cafe. The cafe is set in the Doe Bay garden, providing a beautiful view and the majority of the cafe’s organic ingredients. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class dishes made by Executive Chef Abigael Birrell. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas or the Pan Roasted Point King Salmon served with a carrot ginger sauce and smoky fried chickpeas and charmoula.   PRIMA BISTRO French 201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, primabistro.com 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,

116 NorthSoundLife.com

with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled 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.


the fresh, exciting ingredients found throughout the Pacific Northwest. The menu features local selections rotated with the seasons. The macaroni and cheese features Northwestfavorite Cougar Gold cheese with a buttercrumb crust. Burgers are juicy, cooked perfectly, and served on homemade potato buns with the smallest bit of crunch and a fluffy interior. The whole family can enjoy Seeds’ offerings — comfort foods satisfy children’s desires while more intricate food items appease fastidious palates.

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.  –

SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE Japanese 1830 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington 360.588.4281, sakurasteakhouse.com Professional Teppan Yaki chefs take you on a journey of delicious and interactive dining at Burlington’s Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. Using the freshest ingredients and perfect seasonings, they stir-fry your meal right before your eyes, creating a fabulous feast. Choose from steak and chicken to salmon and shrimp; each meal is served with soup, salad, rice and vegetables. If it’s sushi you crave, they also offer a full sushi bar for even the most discriminating taste buds.   SEED’S BISTRO Regional NW 623 Morris St., La Conner 360.466.3280, seedsbistro.com Seeds Bistro in La Conner is a celebration of the fresh bounty of food offered in Skagit County. It offers simple dishes that highlight

WHATCOM BAYOU ON BAY Cajun/Creole 1300 Bay St., Bellingham 360.752.2968, bayouonbay.com Bayou On Bay serves a wide variety of classic Cajun/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.   BRANDYWINE KITCHEN Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071, brandywinekitchen.com Named for the decadent heirloom tomatoes grown on their farm, the owners source much of their ingredients locally and hold the “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options (like ricePanko Fish and Chips), and includes beer from both Boundary Bay and Chuckanut breweries. Try the Quinoa-Salmon Cakes with red pepper aioli or a BLT with Hempler’s bacon and maple-tomato relish. Don’t miss the Hibiscus Iced Tea for a refreshing sip or treat yourself to a Raspberry Champagne Cocktail.   DIRTY DAN HARRIS Steakhouse 1211 11th St., Bellingham 360.676.1087, dirtydanharris.com The “dirt” on Dirty Dan Harris? In a word: excellent. The steakhouse provides warm, friendly waitstaff, quaint historic surroundings and superb food. Perhaps the best reflection on the restaurant is owner Kathy Papadakis’ waitstaff. Most have worked here for years — and it shows in their enthusiasm for your dining experience. The filet mignon is Dirty Dan’s signature entree. You won’t be disappointed.

Leave room for dessert, however, because the selections are dangerously good.   THE FORK AT AGATE BAY Eclectic 2530 N. Shore Rd., Bellingham 360.733.1126, theforkatagatebay.com 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.   THE FOUNTAIN BISTRO Eclectic 1910 Broadway, Bellingham 360.778.3671, thefountainbistro.com The Fountain adds a new spice to its location at the junction of three historic Bellingham neighborhoods. The Fountain features fresh takes on salads, hot and cold sandwiches, “crepe stacks” and quiche. The quiche is light and fluffy, and comes in a bacon and cheese variety or veggie. Baked in a crepe-like pastry shell, set inside its own personal ramekin, it’s the perfect size and consistency for a nice lunch, especially served with a side salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette. There are two varieties of crepe stacks, featuring chicken and salmon, but get them fast, because it is not uncommon for them to sell out early on in the day.

THE LOBBY BAR at Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn


Som creates Northwest

HOMESKILLET American 521 Kentucky St., Bellingham 360.676.6218, homeskilletsunnyland.com

fresh cuisine in

Owners Tina and Kirby named their restaurant after one of their favorite lines in the movie “Juno,” when the main character calls a store clerk “homeskillet.” The skillets on their menu came afterward, but are now one of the eatery’s most popular items. A small skillet is filled with perfectly-fried potatoes, eggs and toppings you choose. Try Tina and Kirby’s personal favorite: the poutine, home fries smothered in traditional gravy, topped with fried eggs and cheese. Homeskillet can’t be beat with its friendly service, colorful atmosphere and ultimate comfort food.

a comfortable

contemporary dining atmosphere.

Best Western Plus Lakeway Inn 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham | 360.671.1011 | thelakewayinn.com

October | November 2014 117

IL CAFFE RIFUGIO Italian 5415 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.592.2888, ilcafferifugio.com

Packers at Pierside The Magneto

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 panninis and frittatas for Saturday/ Sunday brunches; Cioppino is a summer dinner menu highlight. 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.   JALAPENOS MEXICAN GRILL Mexican 1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041 jalapenos-wa.com Jalepenos Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complimentary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any types other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos”. They’re messy, filled with shredded chicken, cheese and topped with guacamole, but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and Jalepenos doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop.

© Diane Padys


Ingredients  Gin, vermouth, Luxardo, Fernet Branca, orange bitters, tarragon lemon foam and garnished with edible flowers.


everage supervisor and super bartender D.J. Riemer runs the bar at Packers with speed, elegance and expertise, a rare combination in any bar. He creates the simple syrups, designs the craft cocktail menu, and creates incredible beverages like the Magneto from his own imagination. His menu is often themed: the current fall drinks are all named for X-Men characters. He’s also been

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241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073

known to name his drinks for Tom Waits songs and other fun bits of pop culture. Packers used to have the feeling of a slightly older after-golf sports bar. With a revamp and upgrade, it’s now a very chic and pleasant place to settle in with a Magneto — D.J.’s special mixture of gin, vermouth, Luxardo, Frenet Branca and orange bitters. A beautiful drink that goes down nicely, the Magneto is the perfect drink for watching the sunset over the water through Packers’ giant windows. 

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 nontraditional 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.   NEW YORK PIZZA & BAR Italian/Gourmet Pizza 902 State St., Bellingham 360.733.3171 8874 Bender Rd. #101, Lynden 360.318.0580, newyorkpizzaandbar.com If you love pizza, then you’re going to love New York Pizza and Bar. Not just because of the crispy, handmade dough (made fresh daily)



Samson and Delilah Samson Estates Winery



amson Estates is nestled among the berry farms and pastures of rural Whatcom County, with the Mount Baker foothills in the distance. The tasting room staff is very friendly, and Samson’s wines are definitely worth the drive. As with most local vineyards, they source for their veritals (the Samson line) from Yakima and Columbia Valley. The Seven Horse Hills Merlot and Seven Horse Hills Syrah are stand-outs. They also produce a lovely dry Riesling and a nicely balanced Chardonnay. But Samson’s real strength lies in their fruit and dessert wines. The fruit and nuts are mostly grown on-site in Everson, and are sweet without being cloying. These are not perfume-heavy wines without depth, they are very complex. A particularly great dessert wine is the Oro, a hazelnut dessert wine

that pairs perfectly with chocolate, vanilla and crisp fruit. The Cassis Black Currant Port makes an exceptional dessert wine as well, and is the perfect complement to sparkling wine for a great kir royale. The Blu blueberry dessert wine is surprisingly complex, and goes well with pies and cakes. Chocolate Necessities in downtown Bellingham keeps a supply of the Delilah series on hand for pairing with their chocolates. There’s a reason Delilah has won Samson armloads of awards — the wines are exceptional. Even if you’re shy about sweet dessert wines, you should take the picturesque drive out to Samson Estates and try them — they might surprise you.  1861 Van Dyk Rd, Everson 360.966.7787 | samsonestates.com

October | November 2014 119

D I N E Review

9 Restaurant


ick Moss — the award winning executive chef at 9 Restaurant at the North Bellingham Golf Course — has definitely raised the culinary standard for golf course fare. Under Nick’s guidance, this made-from-scratch restaurant serves the most diverse menu in Whatcom County. The restaurant emphasizes fresh affordable cuisine that appeals to a large, culturally diverse customer base. Consumer-focused menu planning requires frequent and thoughtful product-sourcing from Whatcom County farms, wineries, and breweries – and 9 Restaurant delivers. The frequently rotating menu assures that the freshest ingredients, best wines, and extraordinary beers are always available. While harvesting herbs from the kitchen’s balcony garden, Nick told me, “9 Restaurant is the most affordable scratch kitchen around.” I readily agree with his assertion. Exceptional quality is essential to Nick’s restaurant program. Nick and sous-chef, Drew Oliver, prepare house seasoned ground beef, roast beef, chicken and turkey to ensure that customers enjoy the best fresh food imaginable, and at the lowest prices of most local high-end restaurants. A personal favorite is the housemade hot wings served with a painfully delicious spicy hot sauce. Then there is the Flaming Andy, Drew’s succulent hamburger loaded with Jalapeño peppers, red peppers and blue cheese. My

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mouth waters reflecting on that fine meal, and at $8.95 it’s quite easily the area’s best gourmet burger for the buck. One simply cannot dine at 9 Restaurant without enjoying a bowl of a scratch-made soup. Nick’s soup menu changes every day, which means that he constantly produces a variety of soup stocks for use in his wide array of clam chowders, beef, poultry, vegetable, and fish-based soups. 9 Restaurant is located in North Bellingham Golf Course’s club house, which sits in the center of an 700-acre property that includes the 18-hole golf course. The view from the restaurant’s sun room includes the 10th tee and the 18th fairway and green. The course-side patio is a fantastic place to enjoy a meal, pint of local tap beer from microbreweries such as Kulshan, Aslan and Wander Brewing, a cocktail or a Bellingham Bay Coffee Roasters espresso drink. 9 Restaurant is an excellent location for wedding receptions, office parties and other special events. During the fall and winter 9 Restaurant offers three affordably priced food and wine dinners, and two beer dinners including the beer vs. wine competition that shouldn’t be missed. Restaurant hours vary seasonally, but you can count on the first pot of coffee at sunrise, and last call near sunset each evening. Visit northbellingham.com for current menus or phone the restaurant at 360.393.3800 for questions or to order in advance. 


or because of the fresh, high-quality ingredients or the amount of them that top each slice. But because New York Pizza is the master of pizza diversity. Anything you want on a pizza you’re likely to find here. Regardless of what you order, expect to be more than satisfied. There’s also a full bar and great happy hour selections.



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.

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.

SLO-PITCH SPORTS GRILL AND CASINO 3720 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.733.2255, slopitchcasino.com Conveniently located right on Meridian, SloPitch serves up a great burger and fries. With excellent Happy Hour specials in a casual, sports atmosphere, Slo-Pitch is a great place to watch the game or take a mid-day break.


The she-crab soup at The Cliff House is legendary for a reason. Try it as a starter, or build a whole light meal around it.

TEMPLE BAR Bistro 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.


The tamales wrapped in a fresh corn husk at Taco Lobo are so delicious, you won’t be able to stop at just one.

WASABEE SUSHI Japanese/Sushi 105 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham 360.223.9165, wasabeesushi.com 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.


The meatball panini at Mambo Italiano is the perfect blend of ingredients and spices.

4 5

Try the Rueben sandwich at Boundary Bay pairs really well with a hoppy IPA or creamy stout. Great either way!

StrEAT Food isn’t just a great food truck, the owners also operate a café in the Ferry Terminal in Fairhaven. Try the shrimp grits for some amazing Texas-inspired goodness.


The veggie Pho at La Patisserie is the perfect fall lunch — fresh, tasty and very warming.


The pulled pork barbecue sandwich at Jeckyl & Hyde BBQ and Deli is tender, juicy and perfect with one of their homemade sauces.

October | November 2014 121

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September 14, 2014 - January 4, 2015 www.whatcommuseum.org




AGENDA Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word

Spencer Myer and the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 at 3 p.m.


his program, Romance at the Piano, is a celebration of the Romantic Era of classical music in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries. Pianist Spencer Myer was the gold medalist at the 2008 New Orleans International Piano Competition, and his acclaim is growing. The program includes Leshnoff’s Starburst, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, op 21 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 73. Dr. Ed Rutschman will present a free, one-hour pre-concert lecture in the MBT Encore room. 

October | November 2014


AG E NDA Events


The Skagit Symphony is bringing forward a Whidbey Island violinist, Gloria Ferry-Brennan to perform teenagedMozart’s D major concerto in this gala. The program also includes American in Paris, by George Gershwin. McIntyre Hall 2501 E. College Way, Mt. Vernon 360.416.7727, skagitsymphony.com


VAUDEVILLINGHAM | Bellingham Circus Guild

OCTOBER 18, 7:30 P.M.

Pitch-perfect harmonies and folky melodies are the basis of Seattle-based group Uncle Bonsai. Singers Patrice O’Neill, Arni Adler and Andrew Ratshin present On Night in Bellingham, performing songs from their new release, The Family Feast, and a bedtime book for adults, The Monster in the Closet/Go To Sleep. Fairhaven Library Auditorium 1117 12th Street, Bellingham 360.778.7188 bellinghampubliclibrary.org NUAGES OCTOBER 18, 8 P.M.

Described as a Gypsy jazz quartet, Nuages is inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt and blends energetic sounds and wistful romance. Skylark’s Hidden Café 1308 11th Street Bellingham 360.715.3642, skylarkshiddencafe.com


Frankenstein science comes alive with a boom as a four million volt MegaZapper releases 10-foot arcs of purple lightning at the Spark Electrical Museum in downtown Bellingham. Family-friendly, the experience also includes machines that look similar to Frankenstein’s laboratory. Those 18 years of age and over are also 124 NorthSoundLife.com

allowed into the lightning cage centerpiece while the cage is hit with the four million volts. Spark Museum of Electrical Invention 1312 Bay Street, Bellingham 360.738.3886, sparkmuseum.org FALL FRUIT FESTIVAL OCTOBER 4 AT 10 A.M., OCTOBER 5 AT 11 A.M.

The annual fall fruit festival has been an ongoing event for more than 20 years. The festival hosts more than 200 kinds of fruits to taste. The festival also provides live music to enjoy as well as Julia’s Pumpkin Patch for U-Pick fun. Cloud Mountain Farm 6906 Goodwin Road, Everson 360.966.5859 cloudmountainfarmcenter.org YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN SEPTEMBER 26,27,28, OCTOBER 2,3,4,5,9,10,11,12

This classic show follows Charlie Brown and his quest to win the love of the Little Red-Headed Girl. The show also follows lovable characters Snoopy and Linus as they battle with kites and try to realize what makes them happy. Bellingham Theater Guild 1600 H Street, Bellingham 360.733.1811 bellinghamtheatreguild.com

THEATER VAUDEVILLINGHAM The 15th of each month brings an entirely new and exciting performance by the members of the Bellingham Circus Guild. As a variety show fundraiser, it aims to promote creativity and give performers a new place to try out material. It can include comedy, magic, theater, juggling, burlesque, music and aerialists. The Cirque Lab 1401 6th street, Suite 102 Bellingham bellinghamcircusguild.com


This exhibit showcases nature-inspired visions of the northwest by Yakima artist Leo Adams. Many of the works are from previous private collections but many were also created specifically for this exhibit, inspired by the northwest landscape and his home. The Whatcom Museum 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org



Known for working with biological materials, artist Dianne Kornberg brings her talents to Western Gallery once again. Kornberg’s Madonna Comix is a photo-centric compilation of 26 large prints that illustrates women as maternal, sexual, physical, spiritual and sacrificial beings. Along with the exhibition, during the Northwest Society of Photographic Educators at Western (October 10-12) there will be a book signing on the 12th.


Western Gallery 516 High Street Bellingham 360.650.3900, westerngallery.wwu.edu BIRDS, BACKYARD HABITAT AND BEYOND OCTOBER 28, 7 P.M.

Watercolor artist Craig Johnson and his wife (a writer) Joy documented native bird species flourishing in their natural habitats. They were able to record the birds that flew into their small backyard and will display that documentation of birds raising young, searching for food and defend their territory. The event also helps illustrate how to increase the number and variety of birds that visit a backyard. Old City Hall 121 Prospect Street 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org


Bellingham’s big band The Swing Connection will perform for listening and dancing to rich sounds of the Big Band Swing era. Anyone is welcome to dance as well as just listen to the music underneath the 100-year-old crystal disco ball. The Leopold Crystal Ballroom 1224 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham 360.733.3500 swingconnection.org

Have an event you’d like to see listed here? Write us at info@klmediacorp.com

October | November 2014


AG E NDA Events


This film festival in beautiful Friday Harbor will feature more than 30 dramas and documentaries over the 7,8 and 9 in four different venues. Three films will also premiere at the festival, focusing on northwest issues and stories. Friday Harbor Film Festival 10 First Street, PO Box 2627 Friday Harbor 360.298.1938, Fhff.com


This fun-spirited race will give out prizes to the fasted male and female humans that don’t get tagged by staff and turned into zombies! People can register as runners and a few people can register as slowmoving zombies and waiting-to-scare-you zombies. There is not a fixed route to run on, but runners must check in at checkpoints along the way and start and finish at Boundary Bay Brewery. Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro 1107 Railroad Avenue ALLEY ARTS MURAL PROJECT OCTOBER 4, 4P.M.–7 P.M.

The community can gather together to be a part of the mural that will be installed on the 1400 block between Cornwall and Railroad Avenue. Artists Jason Darling and Kathryn Hackney are creating the look for the mural, and looking to utilize community help to shape it. The inspiration for the mural comes from the documentary Trahs Dance about one choreographer’s found beauty in women and men who pick up trash and garbage trucks. Along the 1400 block of Cornwall between Magnolia Avenue and Champion Street 360.676.8548, alliedarts.org CIRQUE MECHANICS: PEDAL PUNK OCTOBER 16, 7:30 P.M.


A circus show full of mischief and tomfoolery, Pedal Punk combines daredevil antics and mechanical wizardry for a spectacular show of acrobats, flying unicycles and trapeze artists. Inspired by steam punk culture, the power of Pedal Punk comes directly from its performers. Fun for all ages. Mount Baker Theatre main stage 104 N. Commercial Ave. Bellingham 360.734.6080, mountbakertheatre.com

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Plan for an evening of Scottish dancing, country dancing and ballroom dancing as you listen to pipe bands. The event includes instruction in Scottish dancing, and all proceeds from the silent auction benefit the 69th Annual Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering planned for July 2015. Seattle Latvian Center 11710 3rd Ave NE, Seattle sshga.org

Opening the studio doors of Whatcom County artists for twenty years. Come see where creativity begins...

First 2 weekends in October Oct. 4,5 & 11,12


Opening Reception at the Jansen Art Center Thursday October 2, 6-8pm Artwork displayed from October 2 - December 15

The annual Orchid festival put on by the Northwest Orchid Society features displays and flora from NWOS members all across the region. This show will include vendors from Washington, Idaho and even rare orchids from Ecuador.

An Exhibit at the Book Fare Café

Artwork displayed from September 1 - September 27

The more studios you visit the greater your chance to win a piece of artwork! www.studiotour.net


NOVEMBER 8–9, 9 A.M.–5 P.M.

Swanson’s Nursery 9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle 206.781.5805 nwos.org


This annual event is a conservatiothemed art exhibit and sale, offering leading wildlife artists and naturalists. The event is put on by Artists for Conservation (AFC), a leading group of artists supporting the environment. Grouse Mountain 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, B.C. 613.256.7300 artistsforconversation.org 128 NorthSoundLife.com

The Scene


Bite of Bellingham On Sunday, September 14, Bellingham came together in the Depot Market Square to enjoy bites and nibbles from more than 20 local restaurants. Bellingham Alive’s own Lisa Karlberg was a judge. Bayou on Bay won the prize for their mushroom grit cake with tasso and crawfish gravy.

Š Photography by Suzanne Bair


Final Word

Hope: The Emotional God Particle WRITTEN BY KEN KARLBERG


am in mourning. My comic idol is Bill Cosby, followed closely by Robin Williams. The tragic loss of Robin should be a dark reminder — the will to live comes from within, even for the most talented amongst us. He had everything and yet he had nothing in his eyes, at least not enough to keep him on this earth. Why? And is his death any more tragic than any other suicide? Aren’t all lives precious? I suspect most of us would admit, in a moment of absolute honesty, that we have had the same “fleeting thought” at difficult intersections in our lives? But we are still here. I ask the question again — why? The answer to that question has been a lifelong pursuit for me. The answer matters. Science is moving at light speed, past the building blocks of life in the universe — carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen — to the origins of life itself, and may be on the cusp of discovering the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle thought to be responsible for the creation of life. To you geeks, nerds and techies, I am cheering for you with pom-poms in hand. But as amazing as your discovery would be, it is Robin’s suicide that has me at the local Woods Coffee, asking myself fundamentally different questions for the umpteenth time: “What gives us the will to live? What sustains us in our darkest of moments?” In my younger years, my answer was love. Most of us are walking wounded to one extent or another because — right or wrong — we perceive that we weren’t unconditionally loved as a child or an adult by those who mattered most to us. Few of us escape our childhoods unscarred. Some become emotionally needy or bitter, and their personal and professional lives are constant push/pull interactions to manipulate others to fill this primal love void. Others turn the negative into a positive by giving love freely to anyone and everyone. Regardless, it is the need for love certainly drives many of our behaviors in life. But does love, by itself, give us the will to live? Not for Robin. He had his family’s unconditional love and the world’s 130 NorthSoundLife.com

adulation and respect and yet love didn’t sustain him. Love was not his answer when his world became dark. Why? There’s that question again. Something was missing and humor was his mask. As the love of others and his own selflove poured into his genius of a comic soul, his need for love was simply greater. In the end, Robin proved that he was no different than you or me at this fundamental level of life — he was broken; he was human. To everyone who shares his same pain, his internal battle was obvious. The mask was for his benefit, not ours. Don’t we all struggle with this mathematical equivalent of a “love” equation at times? I do. Robin, we get it. You were wrong. You were not alone. I am angry for you and others in that same dark space in life — how many precious souls will be lost to suicide today, tomorrow, next week? And what can you or I do about it? Forget the Higgs boson. What is the emotional God particle that brings meaning to life? Love is most certainly part of the answer, but the baseline variable in the “will to live” equation, I submit, is hope. You can hope for love, but you can’t love for hope. Whether you are spiritual, religious, atheist, agnostic, apathetic or just plain angry in life — we all share the common thread of hope. It is our common emotional glue that binds us to our future. Lose hope and there is no reason to care, no reason to follow life’s rules or laws, no reason not to tie the knot, pull the trigger, or jump. So, as we approach the holiday season, take a moment and go to someone else’s world, especially teenagers, who don’t yet even have the life experience to know what to hope for. As adults, we do. Look for their pain — it is in their eyes. Their silent cry for help is in their erratic rollercoaster behavior. And when you ask “how are you,” mean it. Stop, listen and talk. This could be your chance to give hope to someone who needs it. 


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