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Articles written by Anne Basye

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 By Anne Basye    A & E    November 16, 2022

Community was all-in at Art's Alive opening gala

Art, appetizers and wine and lots of buzz about the quality of the show – in short, the Art's Alive opening gala Friday was "a wonderful night," observed La Conner Arts Foundation board member...

 
 By Anne Basye    A & E    November 2, 2022

38th annual Art's Alive!: Great art, Friday gala

This year, raising a glass to the artists featured in the annual Art's Alive! festival will be a cinch. Instead of sipping your wine or beer outdoors in a tent – a measure taken in 2021 to keep the...

 
 By Anne Basye    News    October 19, 2022

Farm report: Dry, with warm weather while water stays scarce

A long dry season has been a mixed blessing for local farmers. Back in June, when the Skagit Valley was so cold and drenched some fields could not even be planted, Dean Swanson thought we would never hit 80 degrees. “Farmers asked for a warm dry fa...

 
 By Anne Basye    A & E    September 28, 2022

"Welcome to Indian Country" opens Poetry Festival

Some of the 37 guest poets and artists participating in this year’s Skagit River Poetry Festival are crossing oceans to reach La Conner. Others just have to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Canadian poet Karen Solie, flying in from St. Andrews, Scotland,...

 
 By Anne Basye    A & E    September 21, 2022

Sweet deal for Poetry Festival volunteers

A million details make the Skagit River Poetry Festival happen – and they are all coming together. Before the Festival takes place in La Conner Oct. 6-9, there are 34 poets to match to housing,...

 

Hikers organize to improve mountain trails

When Bill Hayton and Laurence McCulloch moved to Pleasant Ridge, they wanted to explore hiking trails in the region. Joan Melcher made that happen. Melcher, 85, is the point person of the Skagit...

 
 By Anne Basye    A & E    September 7, 2022

Poet Laureate Rena Priest read at Lincoln Saturday

“When you are poeting, you are making the world, creating the universe out of nothing,” Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest said last Saturday at the Lincoln Theatre. That’s because the word poet comes from the Greek word poesis or “ma...

 

Birthday Club keeps harmony among neighbors

Books clubs and bridge groups come and go, but the Harmony Birthday Club has been around for about 130 years. Honored with a Pioneer Spirit award at the Aug. 4 Pioneer Picnic, the club has been...

 

La Conner residents win ribbons at county fair

After a vigorous week at the Skagit County fair, two leaders with La Conner roots are taking it easy. As 4H dairy supervisor for the whole fair, Chelsy Mesman of Mesman Farms helped 18 young people...

 
 By Anne Basye    News    August 2, 2022

Dam relicensing drives Skagit County habitat restoration moratorium

On July 18, the Skagit County commissioners approved a six-month moratorium on offsite compensatory mitigation of salmon habitat. “Offsite compensatory mitigation” means habitat restoration projects that mitigate for environmental impacts that...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    July 27, 2022

Poetry and music sounded Sunday in Pioneer Park

Could there be a more beautiful spot for poets and poetry than the sylvan glade of Pioneer Park? Georgia Johnson doesn’t think so. “For 37 years I’ve driven across the bridge and past the park...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    July 13, 2022

County residents want agritourism on ag land

In the ongoing discussion around whether and how to permit agritourism activities, Skagit County residents believe preserving the county’s rural character should be a top priority. In a spring 2022...

 
 By Anne Basye    News    June 28, 2022

‘Farmstand Fresh’ produce from Genuine Skagit Valley Farms

Genuine Skagit Valley’s Farmstand Fresh campaign is winning applause from La Conner-area participants. The summer promotion seeks to bring visitors to Skagit farmstands between the tulip and fall harvest seasons. When visitors purchase from 16...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    June 15, 2022

Wet weather and high costs bogging down area farmers

A good farming year is easy to recognize, says John Thulen of Pioneer Potatoes. “My ancestors bought a pickup, built a barn or added on to the house,” he said. It’s all in the county register. With record rainfall, late freezes, a cool spring...

 
 By Anne Basye    A & E    June 7, 2022

Artist Newell-Reim savored her place, her time

I only met Lavone Newell-Reim once, but after immersing myself in the new show at the Skagit County Historical Museum, she feels like an old friend. “Lavone Newell-Reim: A Life Well Lived” traces Newell-Reim’s journey from Kansas to Sauk...

 
 By Anne Basye    News    May 31, 2022

The train to SeaTac is a 21st century option

SeaTac airport is about half an hour closer to La Conner now that Sound Transit’s Link light rail service extends to Northgate. As a frequent commuter between SeaTac and Skagit Station in Mount Vernon, I’m thrilled. The public transit journey...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    May 24, 2022

Focus on local grains is recipe for excellence

Driving to work, Rachael Sobczak passes acre after acre of her ingredients. The 12-year La Conner resident is owner of Water Tank Bakery, which opened last June at the Port of Skagit. She crafts...

 
 By Anne Basye    News    May 10, 2022

Farmland Legacy Program fends off residential development threats

Fully Contained Communities (FCCs) may have Skagit County residents on edge, but they are not the most significant threat to local farmland. The real villain? Low-density residential land use. According to the American Farmland Trust, 11 million...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    April 26, 2022

Rexville Grange still serving members and neighbors at 95 years

Don’t talk about the Rexville Grange in the past tense. Membership may be small and the calendar light, but this Grange is alive and well. Built in 1927, the Rexville Grange has hosted potlucks,...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    April 12, 2022

Growing agrotourism in Skagit County requires planning and nurturing

Drive the roads surrounding La Conner, and you’ll see, depending on the season, everything from brussels sprouts and fava beans to berries, wheat and barley. You’ll also find half a dozen farm...

 
 By Anne Basye    News    March 29, 2022

Farmworkers end strike against Washington Bulb Company

Seasonal workers for the Washington Bulb Company are back at work after a three-day strike that made headlines throughout the state. The strike was sparked by an error the company made when...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    March 29, 2022

Tourism bureau CEO visits town

Looking out at the Rainbow Bridge from Nell Thorn last fall made a favorable impression on new Skagit Tourism Bureau CEO Jake Buganski. “Seeing La Conner’s vibrant downtown while I was interviewing for this position was one of the big reasons I...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    March 23, 2022

Ice cream social is town reunion

“I’m seeing a lot of faces I haven’t seen in a long time,” said La Conner Chamber of Commerce board member Tami Mason of Washington Federal as she scooped ice cream last Thursday. From the...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    March 23, 2022

New meat processing facility makes Mesman farm more productive

The new Island Grown Farmers Cooperative (IGFC) meat processing facility at the Port of Skagit in Burlington is a dream come true for its 80 regional members, including the Mesman Dairy. Still...

 
 By Anne Basye    Community    March 16, 2022

Ring Lane acreage now protected from development

When Jens Peder Nielsen came to La Conner from Iowa with the Hulburt family early in the 20th century, land was on his mind. Soon J. P. Nelson, as he began calling himself, was using earnings from...

 

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