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Articles from the February 8, 2023 edition


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  • Morris and First street business shufflings

    Anne Basye|Feb 8, 2023

    January and February may be quiet months for La Conner, but town businesses are in the midst of big changes. Perhaps the most prominent is the recently opened Firehall Kitchen and Taphouse at 402 Morris Street. Owned by Pam Alvord of La Conner Brewery, Firehall is located in – natch – the former home of the La Conner Fire Department. Old-time LCFD photos on the walls honor the building's history. "We are growing organically as the staff settle into a new kitchen and a new menu," says man...

  • What a week: accidents, burglary, power outages in La Conner

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 8, 2023

    A full moon didn't rise until Sunday, but a lot of crazy things happened in the La Conner area days prior. It started with a burglary at Pioneer Market and included a pair of power outages, the sinking of a boat on the waterfront and a car slamming into a house and flipping onto its top side off Shelter Bay Drive Friday night. The early Wednesday break-in at the Morris Street grocery store didn't net the burglars much. They got away with five cartons of cigarettes and apparently had their...

  • UPDATE/CORRECTION Billboard at Conway I-5 exit proposed

    Ken Stern|Feb 8, 2023

    UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Skagit County Planning & Development Services updated its “notice of development application with optional SEPA DNS” for Pacific Outdoor Advertising erecting a sign at the I-5 Conway intersection Feb. 7. The notice now states construction of “a 2-sided static (not digital) billboard” has been applied for. That changes the original Jan. 31 application’s a “2-sided/faced Static electronic billboard sign” was applied for. The deadline for written public comments is now 4:30 p.m. Feb. 24, advanced from Feb. 17. Only environm... Full story

  • January was cloudy and damp

    Ken Stern|Feb 8, 2023

    January was cloudy and felt damp, but it was not wet. The 1.7 inches of rain was only 43% of the century's average for the month and 2.3 inches below the 4.0 average inches of January rain since 2000. It clusters with the other years of less than two inches of rain: 2017, 1.6 inches and 2019, 1.8 inches. There have been four or more inches of rain 11 Januarys, with five years since 2013. Almost half the month's rain, 0.8 inches, came down Jan. 24-27, with 0.35 inches the 27th and 0.6 inches Jan. 26-27. While there were 16 days of...

  • Debt ceiling not the problem

    Ken Stern|Feb 8, 2023

    The good news is raising the nation's debt limit is not a problem. The U.S. Congress has always voted to pay its bills– and will this spring. The source of those debts, of course, came from Congress first approving the annual budget and the corresponding appropriations. Our elected officials have a matching obligation to agree to pay for what they already committed to spend. That is what running the government – or a business, or a family – is. There is planning, spending to execute programs agreed to and paying all the bills as they come... Full story

  • Funding Town fireboat

    Feb 8, 2023

    Last July, Adam Avery made an excellent pitch for a new fireboat to the La Conner Town Council. The old one doesn’t work well. Adam said that a new boat would cost between $275,000 and $375,000. The administrator referred to grants that might help and stated that we are more at risk than anyone in the county for fires such as what we might face. Adam said that he and his team would seek out the perfect boat for our needs and Mayor Ramon Hayes “pledged that the Town would help with a strategy for bringing on project partners.” ‘ That was then an...

  • Ideology not making communities safer

    Ron Muzzall|Feb 8, 2023

    There are lies, dang lies and statistics, but in the debate on fixing the failed "police reform" laws from 2021, it seems that no amount of research, pleading, facts or lived experience can overcome ideology. In my estimation, that is exactly the sticking point. Advocates of the public safety status quo that has facilitated significant upticks in police evasions, violent crimes and thefts, are unwilling to entertain any reasonable arguments for why their ideologically driven approach may need...

  • Conserving energy and reducing home heating costs

    Greg Whiting|Feb 8, 2023

    The most important thing most people can do to cut their electric and natural gas bills is reduce the amount of energy they use for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). This is because most – up to two-thirds – of money spent on energy in a home is for climate control. The rest is split between lighting, water heating, cooking, refrigeration, electronics like TV and computers and a variety of specialized devices. The HVAC system itself is probably the most important part of the HVA...

  • Rep. Clyde Shavers holds La Conner town hall

    Feb 8, 2023

    Late Saturday afternoon, approximately 40 people came to the La Conner Civic Garden Club to hear from newly elected Rep. Clyde Shavers of the 10th Legislative District. Shavers began by sharing three principles that guide him when researching, drafting and submitting legislation to the House: 1) Does the legislative policy reflect a story or an issue that was shared by a constituent? 2) Does the policy positively affect not just one individual, but the entire district and state? 3) Can we carry this policy forward into the future? In other...

  • Sound Rowers Paddling Race in La Conner

    Feb 8, 2023

    AND THEY'RE OFF – Saturday paddlers headed north as the Sound Rowers Open Water Rowing and Paddling Club opened its season with its annual race in La Conner. High winds forced a course change from the traditional route around Goat Island....

  • Bernice Jane Stevens

    Feb 8, 2023

    Bernice Jane Stevens 10/1/1927 – 7/10/2022 Bernice Jane Stevens, longtime resident of Mount Vernon, Washington, died July 10, 2022 at the age of 94. She was born on a forty-acre farm in Mount Vernon to James and Elizabeth. She had three older sisters: Isabelle, Joyce, and Gladys. Bernice went to Ridgeway Grade School and she usually got there on her roller-skates. She graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1945. Her position as a song leader and a cheerleader in high school set her up for a... Full story

  • James (Jim) L. Frey

    Feb 8, 2023

    James (Jim) L. Frey, 83, a longtime resident of the Skagit Valley passed away in Mount Vernon on Monday, January 30, 2023. He was born in Madison, Nebraska on March 14, 1939 to Ervin and Alice Frey. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School with the Class of 1956, and earned his college degree from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC in 1963. In 1961 Jim married Kay Randles in Mount Vernon. He taught school in La Conner for 13 years and then started his own business as Frey Construction. He... Full story

  • U.S. EPA blocks Bristol Bay, gold mine in Alaska

    Feb 8, 2023

    WASHINGTON, DC. — The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced their final determination Jan. 30 to approve permanent Clean Water Act protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking the Pebble Mine proposal, after a 12 year-long battle. Bristol Bay is one of the most productive salmon runs in the world; 40-60 million salmon return to the watershed every year. The Pebble Mine proposal, which would have extracted gold, copper and molybdenum located in the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers, two of the eight major riv...

  • Rep. Rick Larson reflects on raising debt limit

    Ken Stern|Feb 8, 2023

    Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Arlington) has a solution for Congress reaching the debt ceiling: pass legislation removing the budgetary ceiling. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) has again introduced a bill, The End the Threat of Default Act, that strikes from the U.S. Federal Code the term “debt subject to limit” and inserts “the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government.” The U.S. is one of two democratic countries that has a statutory limit that, being set, has to be raised. The bill has 42 cospons...

  • Braves secure playoffs with comeback win

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 8, 2023

    Funny the difference a few days makes. The La Conner Braves started last week suffering one of their toughest defeats Jan. 31, a humbling 56-31 home loss to Mount Vernon Christian. They rebounded quickly, first posting an amazing comeback home win Feb. 3 over conference foe Friday Harbor, clinching a 2B bi-district playoff berth. They earned a earned a moral victory the next night in a hard-fought loss to 2A Burlington-Edison. "These kids play hard, real hard and it's starting to pay off,"...

  • Lady Braves hoops team wins thrice

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 8, 2023

    Though shorthanded at times, the La Conner High School Lady Braves held the upper hand in three lopsided hoops wins last week. La Conner defeated 1A Meridian and NW1B/2B rivals Mount Vernon Christian and Friday Harbor by double digits to improve to 16-4 going into last night's late action at league foe Coupeville. The 65-18 weekend home victory over Friday Harbor was especially impressive since the team was without injured point guard Shaniquah Casey and leading scorer Ellie Marble saw only...

  • Senior moment: Marble passes career 1,000-point scoring mark

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 8, 2023

    In an age of specialization, senior Ellie Marble is having a ball as a multi-sport standout. The proof was provided Jan. 31 before a standing room only crowd at Landy James Gym. That’s when Marble, a prized Central Washington University volleyball recruit, was presented a commemorative basketball in recognition of having passed the elite 1,000-point career hoops scoring mark. Marble, the reigning Washington State 2B Volleyball Player of the Year, was honored in front of the scorer’s table by Lady Braves head coach Joe Harper as part of the Sen...

  • Marble recognized for WIAA Hall of Fame

    Bill Reynolds|Feb 8, 2023

    On a night when La Conner School Board members were recognized for their service to the district, the panel first deflected attention to retiring faculty member and coach Suzanne Marble. At its two-and-one-half hour Jan. 23 hybrid meeting, the championship volleyball mentor was lauded for her upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, the state’s governing body for schools athletics and extracurricular programs. Marble joins the 2023 WIAA Hall of Fame class in a May ceremony. She guided t...

  • 'Barefoot in the Park' at Whidbey Playhouse

    Ken Stern|Feb 8, 2023

    The timing is perfect to go see "Barefoot in the Park," playing for two more weekends at Whidbey Playhouse after opening Feb. 3. It is set in a New York City brownstone in February 1963. It is February here and even more so in the apartment there, which has a hole in the skylight, allowing snow in Don't worry. Neil Simon's script is taken to heart in this well acted and directed production. You will keep warm from laughter. The cast uniformly hits all their cues and play well with each other. The action swirls around Corrie (Karina Andrew),... Full story

  • Kiwanis January students of month

    Feb 8, 2023

    The La Conner Kiwanis Club's High School Student of the Month for January is Nathan Haley. Nathan's parents are John Haley and Bonnie Beddall. He is a freshman at La Conner High School. Nathan enjoys his English and art classes. He has been part of ETC – a service club at school. Outside of school he enjoys videogames and drawing. He is not sure what his future career will be but plans to go to college. Middle school Student of the Month is Eva Porter. Her parents are Brian and Laura Porter. She...

  • Juna Swanson earns dean's list

    Feb 8, 2023

    Juna Swanson has been named to the fall semester Pacific University dean’s list. A freshman at the Forest Grove, Oregon school, she earned a grade point average of at least 3.7 (of 4.0) while completing 12 or more credit hours. Swanson participates in women’s basketball at Pacific, which competes at the NCAA Division III level....

  • Cothing drive at Washington Federal Bank

    Feb 8, 2023

    Drop off coats, socks, hats, gloves and shoes and women’s supplies at the La Conner Washington Federal Bank through Feb. 17 for the Winter Daytime Shelter in Mount Vernon. There is a dire need for women's supplies. The Winter Daytime Shelter is open and located at First United Methodist Church, 1607 East Division, Mount Vernon. The bank is at 620 Morris Street. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m....

  • Valentine & Poetry Workshop Feb. 11

    Feb 8, 2023

    Join poet Jeffrey Morgan and paper artist Nancy Scagliotti to create love poems and valentines 1-3 p.m. Feb.11 at Habibi, 407 South First Street, Mount Vernon. Fee of $10 includes supplies. Families welcome. Register: [email protected]. Sponsor: Skagit River Poetry Foundation...

  • Cranberry Honey Butter

    Patricia Aqiimuk paul|Feb 8, 2023

    There are many ways to enjoy this recipe. Try it on warm toast or a toasted bagel. This recipe makes enough to gift to that special someone who admires and enjoys your cooking. I chose to use fresh cranberries that I keep in the freezer. I took out just enough for this recipe and let them sit at room temperature, alongside the butter. If you want more sweetness, you can always add it directly, after you have buttered your toast. Ingredients • Butter, unsalted, 1 cup softened • Cranberries, &fr...

  • Police Blotter 1/29-2/4

    Skagit County Sheriff Office|Feb 8, 2023

    Tuesday, January 31 7:58 a.m.: Broken glass – Sometime overnight a section of glass on the front door of the business was broken. No entry by a suspect into the building was reported. A suspect has not yet been identifi ed. Morris St., La Conner. 6:56 p.m.: Suspicious drivers – An unknown vehicle pulled into the driveway and left. About 30 minutes passed and another vehicle did the same thing. It was determined the vehicles might have been going to a nearby business and went to the wrong drivewa...

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