Week of June 19, 2024

Judge rules BNSF owes Swinomish Tribe $395M

Bill Lucia, Washington State Standard

BNSF Railway Co. must pay the Swinomish tribe $395 million for violating the terms of an agreement that allowed the railroad to run trains across a strip of the tribe's land in northwest Washington, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik ruled last year against the railroad for trespassing between 2012 and 2021 as it sent trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota through the Swinomish Reservation, en route to refineries near Anacortes. Determining what amount of money...

Two women and two men cut the ribbon to open a park pavilion

Patience is a virtue

Bill Reynolds

Conner Waterfront Park, perhaps best known for its signature salmon slide, now has a new landmark to showcase. The ribbon was cut Friday to dedicate a long-planned pavilion at the popular shoreline park. Town Public Works Department staff had worked on the pavilion's construction since December, as time permitted. "This is another piece of the puzzle put together," said local landscape architect Curt Miller, among a crowd of over 40 on hand for the ceremony. Mayor Marna Hanneman, Town Parks...

La Conner Methodists lose pastor, but the town will keep her

Judy Booth

"I love La Conner; I love the church and I love the people." La Conner United Methodist Church Pastor Marcella Baker repeated that phrase often in an interview Saturday. Her parishioners also repeatedly commented on her great love and her great faith. "We are extremely happy for her getting ready for retirement; but very sad for our part because she is a fabulous woman and has incredible faith," said parishioner Anita Mesman. Bill Taylor, a member for nine years said, "She is spot on – the...

  • Hurdles champ Tommy Murdock competes at famed Oregon track

    Bill Reynolds

    Tommy Murdock hasn't slowed down since capturing twin state hurdles titles in ­Yakima last month. A week after graduating from La Conner High School, Murdock competed in an elite national meet at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Murdock, who collected five state gold medals as a La Conner hurdler, took part in the 2024 Nike Outdoor Nationals and USA Track & Field U20 Championships on the same track where the U.S. Olympic Trials will be held starting Friday....

  • Annual Swinomish Education Dinner honors achievements

    Bill Reynolds

    Departing La Conner Schools Superintendent Will Nelson, who is leaving after three years to accept a teaching post at Western Washington University, was among special honorees during the year-end Swinomish Education Dinner at John K. Bob Ball Park on June 13. Nelson received a ceremonial blanket representing warmth and protection as part of a program that also honored the first-ever cohort of ­Swinomish-trained teachers, the tribal community’s corps of classroom student advocates, Swinomish K-12 students and college graduates, and La...

  • New report notes shortcomings in students' math, reading proficiency

    Grace Deng, Washington State Standard

    Most Washington K-12 students failed to meet basic math and reading proficiency standards in recent years, according to a new report. The analysis from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that in 2022, 66% of Washington fourth graders were not proficient in reading and 72% of eighth graders were not proficient in math. A spokesperson for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction pointed to progress the state is making based on other measures and called into question “the methodology and the narrative being pushed by the Foundation...

  • MoNA auction raises $420,000

    Over $420,000 was raised at the 32nd Museum of Northwest Art’s Annual Art Auction June 8, the Museum posted in an email Friday. The thank you to supporters starts “we have soared to incredible new heights,” echoing the auction’s theme of “spreading our wings.” A week earlier, staff reported over 200 people attended the auction. Proceeds came from sale of tickets, silent and live auction art and the raise the paddle appeal, with people joining from Whatcom County down to King County and all the way to Eastern Washington. Source:...

  • Memorial gardens create a place of tribute, reflection

    Kathy Wolfe

    Dealing with loss is a universal challenge, but establishing a memorial garden can serve as a beautiful tribute to honor a loved one, offering a serene space for reflection and remembrance. There are no strict guidelines for creating such a garden. Whether it's on a small balcony or a spacious yard, the focus should be on capturing the essence of the individual being honored. Consider their interests, personality and favorite spots, perhaps incorporating elements they cherished or frequented....

  • Museum of Northwest Art opens new art exhibits

    Two exhibits open at the Museum of Northwest Art on First Street on Saturday, June 22, and run through Sept. 29. “Joseph Gregory Rossano: Portraits of the Divine” is a compassionate tribute to nature. The distillation of decades-long engagement of the artist with the impact of human beings on the natural world, it offers a selection of large-scale sculptures, drawings and paintings from three of the artist’s ongoing series: “At the Top of Her Lungs,” “Whitewashed” and “Ivory”. By depicting a menagerie of animals whether...

  • A&E Briefs

    Mark your calendars for these upcoming fun activities. Free outdoor concert at La Conner Marina July 4. Local favorites Pacific Twang will hit the stage at 5:30 followed by The Power Players Band from Seattle at 7:30. The Power Players are a dynamic 11-piece band featuring a full horn section, percussions and a host of talented vocalists playing classic rock. Fireworks show follows at 10 p.m. Local food vendors and a beer/wine garden provided by Anacortes Brewery will open at 5 p.m. The concert is a fundraiser for the Rick Epting Foundation...

  • La Conner economy floats along

    Is the La Conner economy like a log floating in the Swinomish Channel, carried by the tides, up or down channel as the tide rises and falls with no momentum except moon and wind? Sometimes the log travels for miles in a single day and over the course of days or weeks, maybe helped by the breeze or a favorable obstruction or beaching. The next rising tide continues its forward direction. If progress is measured in distance, then that log may have a phenomenally successful run. Other times a log’s movement is held back for any of a host of...

  • Pope Francis considers all God's creatures

    Father Paul Magnano

    One of the central themes of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’, “On Care for our Common Home,” is Francis’ strong and repeated critique of anthropocentrism, or the tendency for us humans to not only prioritize our species over and against the rest of creation but also to promote a hubristic sense of our exceptionalism on this planet. The results of this misguided way of thinking, to borrow a phrase from the pope, have been devastating for the environment. We have put our own comfort, desire for wealth and distorted sense...

  • A hot alternative to hidden costs of recycling

    Greg Whiting

    Some nominally recyclable organic materials, in some specific locations, may be better used as fuel for a waste-to-energy system, even if that system produces some carbon dioxide, for the purpose of replacing a fueled heating system that would produce even more carbon dioxide and reducing waste shipments. La Conner may be one such location. There are two major reasons to recycle. If you can reuse raw materials that have already been extracted and processed, you’ll reduce the need to extract...

  • Police Blotter

    It was a slow week for crime in La Conner. So slow, in fact, that there’s nothing noteworthy to report in the Police Blotter. But please, do not feel compelled to commit a crime just to make the...

  • Salisbury steak

    Patricia Aqiimuk Paul Esq.

    This is a take on my mother's recipe, who made them with moose burger. I use a very lean hamburger. After handling raw meat, I wash my hands thoroughly. Prepare all vegetables before handling meat. Ingredients Hamburger, 1 lb. Onion, 1/2 C finely chopped Green bell pepper, 1/4 C finely chopped Garlic, 1 T finely chopped Parsley flakes, 1 T dried Worcestershire sauce, 1 T Prepared yellow mustard, 1 T Egg, 1, slightly scrambled Salt and pepper, 1 tsp each Seasoned bread crumbs, 1-1/2 cups Flour,...

Rendered 06/19/2024 16:44