Articles written by Mel Damski

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 By Mel Damski    Opinion    May 29, 2024 

If I ran the zoo

No, my obsession is no longer Donald Trump or the Mariners or preparing to vote for the Oscars. My obsession is BIRDS. I sit in my hot tub at least twice a day and I am transfixed by the bird feeders...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    March 6, 2024
Snow geese fly and forage in a field

Save the birds!

I've always been a bird lover. I grew up with birds in cages in my house and now I have feeders in the front and the back of my house. My dog Rosie loves to sit by the window and watch the birds come...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    February 7, 2024

If I Ran the Zoo

It’s heartbreaking to be updated on how many homeless people there are in Skagit County. Fortunately, they are no longer camping out on sidewalks in our towns. I can no longer visit my friend in S... Full story


If I ran the Zoo

Rain rain, go away, come again some other day. No, rain please don’t go away, stay so I can breathe another day. We live in a place with a lot of rainfall, especially at this time of year. This m... Full story


If I ran the Zoo

If you are heading towards Whatcom County or Canada and you are not in a hurry, Chuckanut Drive is a wonderful alternative route. Chuckanut is a winding road that goes along the Pacific coast and feat...

 By Mel Damski    News    November 1, 2023

E-bike rebates provide another reason to ride

Electric bikes are getting more popular and are getting strong support as a very healthy means of transportation. Washington Governor Jay Inslee is a strong advocate of electric bikes and the...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    October 25, 2023

If I ran the zoo

It’s been heartbreaking for me to follow what’s happening in Israel right now. My cousin Yossi Drory lives in Tel Aviv and the last time I saw him in person I was four years old and he was five and... Full story


Shelter Bay's Paul Fadoul directs 'The Mousetrap' in Anacortes

“The Mousetrap” is running through Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre and it has been selling out every show. It is a wonderful murder mystery by Agatha Christie, her first play. It ope...


Are you offended? Feedback requested

When I became a columnist many years ago for this newspaper, I borrowed the title “If I Ran The Zoo” from a delightful book by Dr. Seuss. For me, it was just the perfect title for a column in whi... Full story

 By Mel Damski    News    September 13, 2023
Rabbi Shmuli Silver and wife Shevy.

Jewish congregation starting in Skagit Valley

Shopping at Trader Joe's in Bellingham recently, I ran into two young men who I could tell from their wardrobe were ultra-Orthodox Jews. We chatted briefly and they told me that a rabbi from Brooklyn...

 By Mel Damski    News    September 6, 2023
Woman holding miniature donkey

Miniature donkeys raised as companion animals

When you drive around Skagit County, you see lots of animals: horses, cows, goats and more. One small farm on Best Road that immediately caught my attention has a sign stating JF Miniature Donkeys....


If I ran the zoo: Do your part to preserve birds and habitat

I love birds. I have feeders in the front and the back of my house and my office and I refill them every day so that I can continually enjoy watching them in large numbers. Which brings me to a very... Full story

 By Mel Damski    News    August 2, 2023
Four people play pickleball

Pickleball expanding throughout Skagit County

Pickleball started nearby on Bainbridge Island as a sport for kids in 1965. It has evolved into an extremely popular sport that bridges the generation gap, with many older participants. Last year the...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    July 26, 2023

So many great stories, whether old or new

I just turned 77 years old, and as I write this, I feel older and wiser. Well, wiser in some ways as we can always learn from our own experiences, but also facing the challenges of short-term memory l...

 By Mel Damski    News    July 12, 2023
Bob Grace, left, pushes Francis Sylvester in his wheelchair

We are ready to roll

If you often drive over the Rainbow Bridge between La Conner and Shelter Bay, you are likely to have seen a man pushing a disabled tribal member in a wheelchair and they both seem to be very comfortab...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    June 28, 2023

If I ran the zoo

Women, women everywhere. I noticed more women recently in places where we hadn’t seen them before, such as covering men’s sporting events on television and serving as governors and in the police and...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    May 31, 2023

If I Ran The Zoo

The Mount Vernon High School debate team debated about the positive and negative effects of social media May 15. Also on stage were Jason Miller, publisher of the Concrete Herald, Ron Judd, executive...


'Healing Heart' film of Vi Hilbert's quest

The Lincoln Theatre joined with the Skagit River Poetry Foundation to host an informative and inspirational evening with the Valley premiere of the film, "The Healing Heart of Lushootseed" last...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    April 26, 2023

If I Ran The Zoo

Believe it or not, I was a star athlete in high school. My senior year I was an all-county linebacker, an undefeated wrestler and a catcher in baseball who batted .517. There were scouts at all of my...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    March 29, 2023

It's a wonderful life and a land of opportunity

These are tough times that will definitely be noted in our history books. Crime and violence are at all time highs (which can be seen as big lows). Many small businesses have shut down and many big...


If I Ran The Zoo

It has been absolutely heartbreaking to follow the news of the devastating effects of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The number of deaths is nearing 44,000 as I write this column and will...

 By Mel Damski    Opinion    January 25, 2023

If I Ran The Zoo 1/25

Am I proud to be an American? Yes. This is the country that gave my parents a wonderful place to live after they barely escaped from Nazi Germany. Am I happy with the direction this country is headed...


Beaver Tales Coffee offers 'Magic Skagit' tales

Three years ago Meyer Sign & Advertising Company launched a blog series dedicated to “telling the stories of the people, places and things that make the Skagit Valley a magical place to live.” The Mou...


If I Ran The Zoo

As I drive around the Skagit Valley, I am blown away by the beautiful cloud formations I am seeing. If I am able to pull over in a safe place along the road, I stop and take a cloud photo. I am...


If I ran the zoo

Okay, are you sitting down? You are about to be very surprised by what this progressive liberal is about to say. I am very much in favor of the death penalty for murderers who are absolutely guilty of...


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