The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. XIX

Rounding up the downtown bagel battle
May 25, 2022 at 5:45 a.m.

This Actually Happened: Sometime midweek and midmorning, the CDN staff, staring at screenshots of 4-inch-round charts depicting Ski to Sea entrants, suddenly and inexplicably started craving bagels. Next thing you know, a takeout order was in the works, Venmo codes were being exchanged and bagels with varying schmearage were being consumed. 

This Brought to Mind an Obvious Question: Does Otherside Bagel Co., the new bagel place on State Street, measure up to the old standard, The Bagelry, on Railroad? Better/worse, richer/poorer, a copycat or an innovator? Like most things contentious and fight-starting, our staff has strong thoughts on this, but yours are welcome, too. Bring them on at

Speaking of Ski to Sea: It’s this weekend, which means that a good third of local folks are hiding out over in the Methow Valley until the coast is clear. Cowards, all cowards. (If you're reading this on your phone from Cinnamon Twisp Bakery, you know who you are.)

And Further Speaking: Good to see S2S return, but The Hammer hopes people play it safe in any big-crowd situations, given the ongoing disease swirl. We don’t want to get famous, period, but especially in the way that Sturgis, South Dakota did with its Harley rally a couple years back.

Still Speaking: CDN has the entire news crew out in hip waders and hats this weekend to cover the race. Feel free to follow along — or send us your own race reports and photos — on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at #CDNs2s.

It Sounds Like: Blue Wolf Capital, the money firm behind the possible smelter reopening, is giving that effort a full run, signing onto a labor contract with worker gains in the event of reopening, first reported by CDN last week. The remaining hurdle however remains the big one: Finding electricity from a variety of sources at a low enough cost to make the project pencil out.

If They Can Do It: More power to them. (A lot more, in this case.) Whatcom County needs the jobs — and a lot of others. 

A Pint-sized Deed is Optional: This mini-homes village being proposed for up near WinCo is an intriguing take on Bellingham's ongoing obsession with density. But The Hammer sadly sees absolutely no way to fit his vinyl collection and/or subwoofer into one of those, let alone himself. 

Worth a Thousand Words: Congrats to all the capable shutterbugs who were awarded prizes in the recent city-sponsored “Essence of Bellingham” photo competition. The Hammer would’ve entered a few shots of posed dandelions, but thought the name was a reference to the smell that wafts over Post Point Park when the wind shifts over the treatment plant.

And Finally: Raise your hand if you’re a local or Western grad who truthfully might have predicted in the early 1970s that the Outback Farm, an experiment next to fledgling Fairhaven College, would live to celebrate a 50th anniversary in 2022. (Congrats to the farm and all its dirt-stained volunteers.) 

The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays and updated as needed.

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