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    Notice was given that the following Monroe City Council Meetings have been cancelled:

    • Tuesday, April 14, 2020, Business Meeting; and
    • Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Study Session.

    The next regular meeting (Business Meeting) will be held
    Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 7 p.m.,
    via Zoom – remote meeting platform.
    Participation information will be posted with the April 28th agenda.

    For more information, please call (360) 794-7400.

  • Swift Night Out in Monroe

    This year marks a decade celebrating the autumn migration of the Vaux's Swifts in Monroe.
    Pilchuck Audubon Society will host the “Swift Night Out” event starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, on the lawn of the Wagner Performing Arts Center on Main Street. Society president Cindy Easterson said the public should bring binoculars and comfortable chairs.

  • 'The Meg' a shallow Hollywood flop
    I will be the first to admit I was wrong. I thought that this would be upbeat, fun, maybe some witty dialogue and some cool shark-bait situations. Not so much. Dialogue was awful, jokes were worse. 
  • Third year for Monroe’s Historic Homes Tour
    The public will have the chance to inspect Lenni Rich's handiwork during the Monroe Historical Society’s third annual Historic Homes Tour 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 28.
  • Music in the Park a July jam

    Tunes will be cranked up for this season’s Music in the Park starting Friday beside Lake Tye.
    The free Monroe concerts begin at 7 p.m. each Friday in July, with a new band featured every week.

  • ‘Solo’ full of missed opportunities
    In the wake of last winter’s critically divisive “The Last Jedi,” the Star Wars juggernaut released its second standalone film in just six months; this time an origin story of the franchise’s most beloved scoundrel, Han Solo.
  • A self-guided tour for wedding planning
    Sarah Dylan Jensen, owner of Mockingjay Press, a marketing company for local businesses, is partnering with the DMA for “Marry Me in Monroe,” festivities she says are a “unique and modern way to experience wedding planning.” The event will go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5. An evening wine walk will follow.
  • ‘Ready Player One’ scores visually
    Ernest Cline’s dystopian pop-culture phenomenon was destined to be adapted to film from the start. The only question was how to translate such an imaginative and fantastical virtual reality world into a tangible, visual display.
  • ‘Uprising’ falls short

    As much as I admire the grandeur of the idea, isn’t there an easier way to battle giant monsters than to use giant robots? Maybe make a giant missile and shoot it from a giant launcher? Or better yet, a giant bear trap sprung by a giant piece of cheese? I don’t know, I don’t buy the concept, but on paper, it’s a fantastic idea.

  • ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ runs out poorly
    “A Wrinkle in Time” was first published in 1962. That’s a long gestation period for a novel to find its way to the silver screen, but perhaps the digital and visual effects have finally caught up with Madeleine L’Engle’s epically visionary story.
  • ‘Game Night’ worth playing
    The timing seems just right for a smart comedy to hit theaters. I was just thinking that it’s been a while since I’ve had a good laugh in the theater. Fortunately, there is more depth and story to this one than you might expect, and notably strong characters (a fantastic cast as well).
  • ‘Shape of Water’  characters don’t float
    One of the more unique stories to come out of Hollywood this year is a quirky and possibly classic love story of sorts, where a misunderstood creature and a lonely, compassionate woman find each other in the most unlikely of circumstances.
  • ‘Disaster Artist’ a success
    On the surface, this seems like a terrible idea. James Franco directing and starring in what is essentially an homage to what is arguably the worst film ever made. Let that sink in for a minute.
  • ‘Three Billboards’ one of this year’s best films
    Dark comedies tend to be a challenging genre to master. Every piece has to have a delicate balance; writing has to be sharp and funny, the story has to be swift moving and clever, and the actors need to harness the director’s vision and become the characters intended.
  • Sky River Rock Festival jams again
    The revival festival has been in the works since winter. A committee had formed by January, which at points included different community members and Mike and Roger Fisher from Heart. The bands were initially scheduled to show up at the Lauritzen Family Farm, south of Sultan. The spot was miles from Betty Nelson’s raspberry farm, where the original Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair took place in 1968.
  • ‘Detroit’ strikes a nerve
    It’s a little early for Best Picture candidates to come out, isn’t it? Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow has made a name for herself by shooting gritty, realistic depictions of modern warfare (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”). “Detroit” is merely a departure in setting, not genre.
  • CANCELLED: Suley En Vogue Summer Bash to jam in Monroe
    An eclectic blend of artistic and musical backgrounds are coming together for a summer party at The Blue Boy Golf Course outside Monroe.
  • 'Dunkirk' scores big
    Christopher Nolan’s name has become synonymous with brilliant and cerebral science-fiction films ever since breaking on the scene with the masterfully crafted “Memento” in 2000. He followed that with the epic Dark Knight trilogy, “Inception,” and most recently “Interstellar” in 2014.
  • Final Planet of the Apes a serious ride
    I quite enjoyed the first two Planet of the Apes remakes; much more than I expected, and it was largely due to the care and attention to detail in the motion-capture effects of bringing the simians to life.
  • A fresh take on Spider-Man
    I’m getting a little tired of film titles with colons and subtitles. Just thought I’d start with that. What I’m not tired of, surprisingly, is superhero films. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is different than the other Avengers films, in that it’s more grounded in the high school drama of an insecure, immature teenager who is grappling with the great power and great responsibility of super strength, super speed, super agility, super spidey senses, and all that other stuff we’ve seen already (five times in the last 15 years).
  • Freehold Theatre Lab’s ‘Hamlet’ to reach wide audience
    Freehold Theatre Lab has spent more than a decade working to make performances and workshops accessible to people from all walks of life, and that includes those
  • 'Baby Driver' fully loaded
    “Baby Driver” is one of the more surprisingly refreshing films to cross the silver screen this year. It’s a genre-bending musical action-romance that is equal parts Michael Mann, Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino.
  • About ‘Last Knight’
    Rarely am I regretful for the time spent in a comfortable chair, watching a $260 million film on a 100-foot screen. But it does happen. I mean, come on, I could have watched the Mariners win another game in what will be Seattle’s first World Series year ever. I digress.
  • ‘The Mummy’ reboot wraps up mediocrity
    Déjà vu. That’s the first thing that comes to mind as I reflect on watching Tom Cruise sprinting away from danger while those all around him just can’t seem to run as fast (or look as good doing it). “The Mummy” is a forgettable, mediocre action film with a highly formulaic arc.
  • ‘Wonder Woman’ is wonderful
    It’s about time we have a bona fide female superhero. That’s the general sentiment around the campfire, which is why I am incredibly dubious of the lack of studio confidence in this franchise. There has been minimal advertising, marketing and merchandising. Where are the action figures, fast food tie-ins and ubiquitous product placement?
  • Art From Under the Bed
    Saturday’s “Art From Under the Bed” silent auction included many notable pieces among the large collection of donated artwork on display at the Monroe Congregational Church. 
  • Choir students take show on the road
    It took two years for Pam Weaver’s home-school show choir students to prepare for their performance at the Burroughs Music Showcase in California last month.
  • ‘King Arthur’ fails royally
    There’s a lot to criticize about this film, mostly from an objective angle; costumes, dialogue, underdeveloped characters — even gaping plot holes. But if you strip away the layers of expectation, there is some pretty entertaining action going on in “King Arthur.” Of course, some action is never quite enough to carry a feature-length motion picture.
  • Big roles for ‘Little Women’
    The tale told in “Little Women: The Musical” holds a hefty weight for many of the performers and crew members who wove together this year’s Monroe High School spring production.
  • 'Guardians 2' a space blast
    Take a deep breath. The sweet smell of summer blockbusters is in the air. With dazzling special effects, brilliantly chosen 1970s music and a genuine movie-going good-time vibe, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” hits the big-budget bullseye.
  • ArtUpMonroe
    The ArtUpMonroe campaign set to launch in June will rely more heavily on social media — complete with its own hashtag — and supply more events and programs in the area. Regular art walks, public classes and community partnerships are also on the list.
  • ‘Free Fire’ a simple, fun shoot’em up
    “Free Fire” is a nice break from the mainstream-targeting fare that’s consumed the theaters over the past few weeks, and it even provides an impressive cast for a meager $10 million budget.
  • Fast  and the  terrible
    The eighth film in the shockingly successful franchise has arrived, and unfortunately there is no end in sight. The eight films have grossed just under $4 billion worldwide, with production budgets totaling just over one billion ( It’s a no-brainer from the studio perspective, but I find myself wondering, what is it about this franchise that keeps people coming back time and time again?
  • ‘Life’ a sci-fi must watch
    One thing that makes a sci-fi film great is the realism it can provide. If the future is not so dystopian, or if the technology is not so far off. “Life” captures that framework nicely, establishing a setting that we could imagine possible.
  • Kong is blockbuster royalty
    The iconic chest-thumping beast is back, and bigger than ever. Warner Bros. has been retelling the King Kong legend for decades, and in what is rumored to be the setup for the Godzilla/King Kong showdown, we have a 100-foot- tall, sometimes disproportionately represented gorilla, ready for his close-up.
  • 'Get Out' a brilliant balance of horror, racism study
    Jordan Peele, of “Key and Peele” fame, throws his hat in the ring as writer/director of a new breed of horror, and it’s fantastic. Imagine if “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was thrown in the ring with “Cabin in the Woods” and “The Stepford Wives,” and they had a tussle. What emerges is a delightful film that reiterates some of the darkest thoughts and fears that Americans hold inside for fear that those around us will think we are, gasp, racist.
  • The community totem pole project originally planned for Gold Bar is still moving forward, but the final placement and design remain undecided.
  • John Wick fights for legendary
    Legendary film characters just happen; they can’t be forced. In 2014, we were introduced to John Wick, the boogeyman of hitmen at the twilight of his career, his reputation preceding him wherever he goes, inspiring trepidation in all he encounters. 
  • Adam’s 2017 movies to watch
    2017 holds some promise, but also will devour the movie-going audience’s money by putting out sequels, reboots and recycled material galore. I’ll break some of the more anticipated films down into four distinct categories, and hopefully it will help you navigate the convoluted path of how to spend your hard-earned money on movie night.
  • ‘Hidden Figures’ adds  history, entertainment
    Based on the remarkable true story about the space race in the 1960s, “Hidden Figures” is a clever double entendre, referring to the complex and cutting edge mathematics as well as the unsung heroes who helped put the first American rockets into space. 
  • ‘A Monster Calls’ for Kleenex
    Are you in need of a good cry? Apparently I was; a bawling, blubbering mess of a man sitting by himself in a dark theater. Embarrassing as it may be, it was also an extremely cathartic and refreshing experience.
  • Swifts a permanent fixture in Monroe
    Some might call 2016 the year of the Vaux’s swifts, as the graceful migratory winged creatures became Monroe’s official city bird. The theme is being carried over into 2017, as the city ushers in the new year with a sculpture to honor the petite birds and their swirling flight. 
  • ‘Passengers has space, no chemistry
    Ill timed, but well intentioned is the first thing I have to say about the long-awaited sci-fi film, “Passengers.”
  • ‘Rogue One’ brings action, respects  canon
    The highly anticipated standalone to the beloved franchise has arrived. Brilliantly planned, this film is the second in a six-year sequence of Christmas openings, with Episode VIII in 2017, the Han Solo origin in 2018, Episode IX in 2019, and a yet undetermined film in 2020. I’m no seer, but I don’t think that will be the end of the Star Wars Extended Universe.
  • Oscar nods to surface for ‘Manchester by the Sea’
    Once in a while a film comes along that reminds you just why you go to the movies in the first place. None too often does something this utterly heart wrenching and beautiful unfold in front of your eyes. It’s an immersive tale so simply done, but so complex in emotional range.
  • ‘Fantastic Beasts’ bites off a long story
    In your local theaters — that’s where you can find them. The Fantastic Beasts. For a film that tends to live more in the realm of mediocre, the beasts are not just fantastic, they are spectacular. They are magnificent and awe-inspiring. They are the whole reason this film exists, except of course to make money and set the table for what’s to come.
  • With her penchant for magic and her ability to fly, Mary Poppins is one of the most enchanting and well-known characters in all of theater. For Sultan actress Maleah Haverly, Mary Poppins has always been her dream role, and one that she has aspired to play ever since she was a little girl.
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