Articles written by Ken Stern

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 By Ken Stern    News    December 20, 2024

November felt cold and was damp but not much rain fell

Don’t let December’s rain, gray skies or fields of standing water distract you into thinking it has rained a lot. November maintained 2023’s pattern of rainfall below the monthly century’s norms. While precipitation came down 22 days, half of thos...

 By Ken Stern    News    April 10, 2024 

306 Center St. project gets town approval

Brandon and Kate Atkinson, owners of the 306 Center Street La Conner property, got the letter they have long wanted: An administrative determination on April 4 from the Town of La Conner planning department approves their application for their...


Langley faces challenges similar to … La Conner

A woman is elected the new mayor of a small town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in November 2023. “I think Langley is a very sweet, quaint town. It is not homogenous. (That’s) my experience,” Mayor Kennedy Horstman told the Weekly News in a joint...

 By Ken Stern    News    April 10, 2024 

Town wants public feedback on uses for Jenson property

Town of La Conner staff are planning a community mingle about the best use for the Jenson property. The date may be April 25 but no information has been posted on the town website as of April 8. “Town officials over the next few months will begin e...

 By Ken Stern    News    April 3, 2024

Anacortes Food Co-op reopens with growth spurt

Food co-ops in our communities offer amazing examples of thinking globally while acting locally to create a more sustainable world in people’s home towns. The Anacortes Food Co-op is doing exactly t...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    April 3, 2024

From the editor

If there is one thing that is certain in the dominant culture of the United States, it is that we are number one. The best. The greatest. Back in the halcyon days of certainty portrayed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, the metaphor was that we... Full story

 By Ken Stern    News    March 27, 2024

Four years of COVID-19 in La Conner

Monday was the four year anniversary of Gov. Jay Inslee’s March 23, 2020 emergency proclamation in response to the emerging coronavirus pandemic. He imposed a “Stay Home – Stay Healthy Order throu...

 By Ken Stern    News    March 27, 2024

La Conner's tax revenues are middling in December

The Town of La Conner’s sales tax revenue was significantly down in December, to $47,549, the lowest since 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. The total, reported to the town council by the state Department of Revenue, is $15,554, 2...

 By Ken Stern    News    March 20, 2024

Tulip Valley Farms pair back in court

Tulip Valley Farms proprietor Andrew Miller and Mount Vernon farmer Larry Jensen are named defendants in Skagit County Superior Court for pretrial hearings March 21 with the Skagit County Prosecutor’s Office for the August 2023 lawsuit the county f...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    March 20, 2024

From the editor - Counting students in or out

La Conner School District Director of Finance David Cram offered a realistic assessment last summer when presenting student enrollment numbers and the year’s budget to the school board and Superintendent Will Nelson. The head count in the e...

 By Ken Stern    News    March 20, 2024
Tourists take photos in front of a blooming field of yellow daffodils

This week's color is yellow

BRIGHT SUN, BLUE SKY, YELLOW DAFFODILS, OH MY – Last weekend was a perfect trifecta for tourists to swarm the western Skagit Valley for the hundreds of acres of daffodils in bloom, as this field at B...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    March 13, 2024

From the editor - Rick Larsen's Israel dilemma

On Feb. 13, the United State Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill containing military aid of $61 billion for Ukraine and $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is in no hurry to take it up in the... Full story

 By Ken Stern    News    March 6, 2024

Shelter Bay board to be questioned in court case

The five Shelter Bay Community board directors sued by former community resident Jan Henrie almost a year ago are making another attempt to dismiss Henrie’s Skagit County Superior Court civil complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duty and m...

 By Ken Stern    News    March 6, 2024

Another Shelter Bay Community director resigns board position

Shelter Bay Board of Director Dan McCaughan resigned in late February. An email to residents from the Shelter Bay Community announced his resignation Feb. 28 and broadcast the “immediate board position opening” seeking applicants to replace him. The...

 By Ken Stern    News    March 6, 2024
Hail falls in front of an office building

Seventh-wettest February was also pretty mild

Suddenly, the fields around La Conner are puddling up. February's 3.2 inches of rain is the third above average rainfall month in a row. There was over 2 inches of rain the last six days: 1.2 inches...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 28, 2024
Citizens gather at a public forum

Would one-way boost First St. safety?

Safety. That is the number one concern for La Conner's First Street, Fire Chief Aaron Reinstra told the 40 people gathered to discuss parking and traffic patterns at last Tuesday evening's Community...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 28, 2024

How might First St. travel and parking transition?

What is the process, procedure, requirements and schedule to make South First Street one way? First, it will not happen in a hurry. Town Administrator Scott Thomas, Planning Director Michael Davolio and Mayor Marna Hanneman’s responses to emailed q...

 By Ken Stern    Opinion    February 28, 2024

From the editor: La Conner's parking problem

If the 30 residents at the Feb. 20 community mingle on what was billed as a forum to discuss parking on South First Street had their way, the clear sentiment was to improve safety in the downtown by making it a one-way street south of Washington... Full story

 By Ken Stern    News    February 28, 2024

Presidential primary requires party declaration

Voting in Washington state’s presidential primary is underway for voters willing to declare their party on their ballot. The ballot instructions state “The major political parties require voters to mark a party box” and then vote for a candi...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 28, 2024

Town's January tax receipts are solid

Lots of tourists stayed overnight in La Conner last November. The town council’s January packet summarizing revenues reported $9,464 was collected in hotel/motel taxes, above 2023 and the second highest ever. The visitors did not spend a record a...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 21, 2024

Port hikes moorage rates at marina

Boaters and campers tying up their boats or parking their RVs at the La Conner Marina will be paying 5% and 10% more starting in April. Port of Skagit Commissioners passed a resolution updating Marina moorage fees and “miscellaneous charges” at their...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 14, 2024

Black Press, owner of Everett Herald, files for bankruptcy

Black Press Ltd., owner of the Everett Herald’s parent company, Sound Publishing, is seeking a sale to new ownership as part of a corporate restructuring transaction, Black Press announced Jan. 15 and reported in the Lynnwood Times. That day Black P...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 14, 2024

Conway gas spill update

Some 50 area residents attended the Conway School community meeting Feb. 6 to gain more information about the Dec. 10 Olympic Pipeline gasoline spill near Conway and the ongoing cleanup, local media reported. Billed as an open house, residents could...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 7, 2024

Town ends 2023 with record surplus

Largest ever, that is the Town of La Conner $971,884 2023 budget surplus. Councilmembers opened their January packets to find that the $43,947 in sales tax revenue pushed the year’s total to $630,453, 3.5% and $21,272 above budgeted projections. I...

 By Ken Stern    News    February 7, 2024

That hot mess of January: Very wet, very cold, very warm

January’s weather was full of extremes and records. There were four record lows for the day of the month: 10.4 degrees Jan. 12, 9.8 degrees Jan. 13, 14 degrees Jan. 15 and 16.4 degrees Jan. 16. The average daily temperature was below 20 degrees J...


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